Sobriety

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Rockdog, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Rockdog

    Rockdog Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't check in here as much as I used to, but I know more than one of you have posted about similar challenges and decisions. I know I'm not alone, but still it helps to hear about others' experiences and how they're coping.

    I celebrated by 40th birthday last week. I had a few friends over the house, played some guitar, and had beer, beer, and more beer. More than I'd planned. Turns out, I got blackout drunk, because I'm missing parts of the evening that were revealed the following day in photos. Nothing embarrassing, but still alarming when you have visual evidence of a snapshot of time that is gone from memory. I've blacked out more than once this past year. Each time, I would go through my usual 'post-mortem' where I'd wrestle with the notion of just quitting drinking altogether. In the past I've made it a few weeks without booze but no more than that.

    My problem isn't a dependency but more an inability to stop after 1 or 2. The threat of dependency, though, always looms: that demon has lived with my family for generations, the cause of untold damage. As I get older, I feel like my body is telling me that this lifestyle choice is no longer compatible. What is more, I have a wife and three daughters who are depending on me. Merely surviving is not enough.

    I'm not making any grand declarations or resolutions, especially in light of the start of a new year where those things are often perceived as clichéd or disingenuous. I just know that I like the peaceful feeling I'm experiencing right now, and I'd like it to continue, and so I will strive to preserve it.

    Thanks for reading.


    .
     
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  2. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    No labels, diagnosis, stigma, or any of that.

    Perhaps a meeting might be helpful? Just to hang on to the peace don't ya know?
     
  3. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Happy birthday.
    Everyones situation and abilities are different, some have better equipped toolboxes to deal with life. Its nice to see someone with some self awareness though, shedding light on things is always positive in the long run. That was the key for me, being honest and finding out why I really drank to excess. Piecing together events and wondering if I actually said the **** I thought I mightve said, or spent my money on what I thought I did was a project that got old.all I can tell ya is I quit the nonsense 6 years ago and life is just better all around.
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Some of us need 12 step program, but those who do also invariably try on their own for years before surrendering to the idea that it's OK to get some help.
    I'm not sure how to determine if you really need help in a 12 step or other program, but I do know that we generally keep making things worse for ourselves and our loved ones during the years we experiment with controlling it on our own.
    Another thing I know is that when those of us who it seems pretty clear really do need to attend and participate in 12 step meetings finally have our last drink or drug, we bring with us a long list of deep regrets earned during our trying to avoid joining a program.

    Many of us are surprised to have spouses divorce us when we finally sober up, because while they steeled themselves, lied for us and told us something like it wasn't that bad, or lied to us by saying it was indeed hard on them but it was worse than they admitted because they just couldn't communicate their own suffering watching us.

    Sounds like you're really in not that bad or not that far along stage of being an actual alcoholic, or else you're just a guy who partied too much in your youth and are now thinking it's time to change.

    Maybe set a schedule for quitting on your own or learning to drink responsibly on your own.
    Then if you fail to meet your goals, accept that you need help and start going to AA meetings.
     
  5. Toadtele

    Toadtele Tele-Afflicted

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    Just the fact that you’re aware of a potential problem tells me your heading in the right direction. I’ve wrestled with this too. I can go weeks without drinking but when I do it’s full on. But I can say I definitely feel better without it.
    Keep your head in the game and don’t beat yourself up when you stumble.
    Good luck and Happy belated birthday
     
  6. Rockdog

    Rockdog Tele-Afflicted

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    This is where I'm at right now, I think.
     
  7. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    You are a binge drinker, same as I was. Most people think of the daily drinker who is physically addicted and will have withdrawls when they think of an alcoholic. I could and would go days or weeks without drinking, but when I did I usually didn't stop until I passed out or puked. Drinking went with certain activities - playing pool, going to a ball game, being with certain friends, playing music. It was part of the fun.

    I had to abstain from doing those activities for a while in order to stop, including playing my guitar with other people. Also left a few friends behind permanently. I was probably around two years sober when I started doing the old fun things again. I had to learn that I could still have a good time without being buzzed.

    Took two DUIs for me to realize I needed to change it up. You might not be ready to stop yet, and that's OK. Being someone who didn't drink every day, that didn't need it physically, it was relatively easy for me to stop compared to some of my other alcoholic friends. You probably have that going for you too.

    Been sober now for 13 years. Good luck.
     
  8. noname_dragon

    noname_dragon Tele-Meister

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    You are on this forum because you are a musician. That's good news!
    My personal problem with drinking came down to WHY I feel I need or want to get drunk. When I worked on that, I was in a better head space and could simply not start with that first drink.
    I made guitar playing my substitute addiction. I focused on learning and growing in my music skiils. When I'm sober I play my best, play creatively and fearlessly. Honestly, seeing other players get sloppy and lose their edge inspired me want to take MY personal best to a new level.
    No judgement here friend, just try to do your best.
     
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  9. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    A woman named Annie Grace has a bunch of interesting videos on YouTube about maintaining sobriety. Her channel (and book) is called The Naked Mind. I found her thoughts to be insightful. She provides an approach that appears to be different than that provided by 12-step programs, though I would not think that it would be incompatible with them.

    In my experience, alcohol and musicianship don't mix. While was fun to drink and jam, I found that I played much better and learned more if I didn't drink while playing.

    You're at an age and with responsibilities that require you to move away from the type of cathartic partying that characterized a lot of my twenties and some of my thirties.
     
  10. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I started being depressed for nearly a week after drinking to excess. Black outs the lot. Never again. I can't tell you how good my life is now I've stopped, you can only experience it yourself, to really know what I'm talking about. Bipolar meds with alcohol, are not good bed fellows, the lesson has been learned by yours truly.
     
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  11. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I too can relate, I have been sober now for 7yrs. and its been the best 7yrs in my life so far. Binge drinking IS a form of alcoholism, myself I was a functional Alcoholic meaning I drank to function. I got this bad due to my binge drinking after my divorce and lost my business.(prior to that I was sober for all of ten years.) I guess my point here is not only has my playing/music writing and life improved three fold but my relationships with my family and friends have been enriched by my sobriety, get a hold on it before it gets a hold on you. god bless
     
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  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The red flag is the inability to stop once you've had a couple. That was me as well, and for a few years it didn't go beyond that. I would drink only occasionally, but when I did I never could stop once I started. Then things shifted to where it wasn't just occasionally binging, it was drinking every weekend, and then every day. And, as from the start, there was no ability to stop once I started.

    If you decide to deal with it now, it will be a hell of a lot easier than if you wait until things get really bad.

    I kept going until it was bad, and it was a rough go to crawl away from it all. But somehow I did get away from it, and it's been over fourteen years since I've touched the stuff.
     
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  13. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I quit alcohol cold turkey 3MAY11.
    I was 43, happily married with 3 sons.
    Best decision of my adult life. I've enjoyed sobriety more than the party lifestyle.
    Cold turkey is my only option.
    I am, to this moment, unable to consider just having a couple drinks.
    I am an all or nothing guy who drank for effect.
    Quitting hurt for a couple years, but then got much easier. Much to the point that I don't even consider it anymore.

    What hurt most is that I was unable to hang out with all my friends who still liked to hang out get drunk and play guitar all night.
    Sobriety is a whole new lifestyle.
    And I love it.

    FWIW at this point I can go where I want and hang out with whom I please with no issue.
    Although I will be honest, I have no desire to go and do anything that involves a bunch of folks just sitting around drinking. It seems very sad when viewed from a distance.

    You can do it.
    Good luck and Godspeed.
     
  14. ponce

    ponce Tele-Afflicted

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    Had my 40th last month too and been drinking since I was 17. Probably more than average. Not to the point of blackout but no week has passed without 3 or 4 beers. Smoking cigarettes too. Been thinking of reducing all of that. Our rehearsals with a band always have some alcohol in the background. Wondering if this year od gonna bring some changes in those points.
     
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  15. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    happy birthday! hope you have a great year! 40 is a biggie for a lot of people... great time to reinvent and make a plan for 'the second half'....

    the really great coaches in sports always make a new plan at half time and come out for the second half taking advantage of what they learned during the first half.

    Good luck man!
     
  16. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Your drinking isn't going to get better. I was never a maintenance drinker but when I drank I couldn't stop until I either passed out or was unable to obtain more. March will be 33 years without a drink for me and I don't regret it in the least. It's the very best thing I've ever done.
     
  17. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    No judgment from me—I admire the fact that you’re self-aware enough to discuss this.

    I too didn’t have a “have to have a drink” issue—I just would start and wouldn’t stop until all the alcohol was gone. Add to that the habit I have of drinking whatever beverage I have in my cup quickly and completely (whether it’s tea, coffee, water, juice, whatever), I’d get pretty blasted pretty quickly whenever I drank.

    I quit cold turkey 21+ years ago and am better for it.

    Might I make a suggestion:
    Even if you don’t want to go to a meeting, read the experiences section of “Big Blue” AA book—it was enlightening and surprising to me to see that other people had feelings and experiences I’d had.

    Good Vibes To You!
     
  18. Hey_you

    Hey_you Tele-Meister

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    if ypu cannot stop after x amount, I see that as problem. I stopped bout 2 yrs ago.Let me tell you how better my life is. andhow much $$ i am saving. I am missing out on nothing by not consuming alcohol. Stopping will only make life better, good luck
     
  19. soul-o

    soul-o Friend of Leo's

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    I am no good at drinking anymore. I've never felt that I had a drinking problem, but I started doing therapy for the first time last year and my therapist points out how much
    I bring up drinking. I only drink on weekends as a matter of discipline and I'm just a wreck after three glasses of wine these days. That's what stops me, I just go to bed. I just think it's such a personal and individual thing. We have probably all had those nights where we drank too much and then swore it off the next day. The thing is, as you get a bit older that carries more significance as a lifestyle thing. Best of luck with figuring out where you stand with that.
     
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  20. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    4 steps to happiness :

    1.)Go to an AA meeting

    2.)Get a good sponsor

    3.)Stop drinking

    4.)Keep wife and kids


    Anyone who can’t follow 4 steps to happiness either doesn’t want to be happy or is lazy.

    Good luck/report back
     
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