Skip to comments.If You Suspect You Might Have A Drinking Problem (An Open Letter)
Posted on 12/11/2004 5:37:20 AM PST by RobFromGa
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There is another inner voice, the voice of the Spirit of God who can and will help you...in fact, IMHO, He has been helping you and you are tuning yourself more and more to Him now.
It is because of the desire of your heart, as you said, that you have been able to do this and I commend and congratulate you on making that decision and then having the integrity and honor to stick with it. It is at that point, when such decisions are made and committed to as a result of the sincere desire of our heart that God can help us. I believe He has helped you.
I will copy your story and spread it around if you do not mind. I know several friends and relatives who could benefit from your experience. Yopu really should consider making it into a book and publishing it.
Congrats bro. Got my 1 yr coin 11/17. Any fellow freepers alumni of Hazelden? Mail me!
I worked there for a year (in West Palm Beach, FL) does that count? LOL I could never afford to go to treatment there.
Congratulations. Keep coming.
I went to Center City, MN. Cashed in some IRA's to attend. I look at it as an alternative investment since I will not live to age 60 if I pick up again.
I can relate to that as I am blessed with the same reaction to alcohol. I drink it for the pleasure of it and imbibe every day, be it beer or wine, and I have that same automatic cut-off switch that tells me when I've had enough. Not only do I not get drunk but I don't want to get drunk as it ruins the experience for me. Nothing worse then losing control of one's faculities and then getting up in the morning with a hangover so I avoid it.
However, I do not have the same relationship with food. For many years, I was signifcantly overweight because I stuffed myself everyday. I could never get enough food. I'd stop at the convenience store on the way home from work (knowing I'd have dinner shortly) and grab a bag of chips or a box of cookies for the ride. All the same things that alcoholics talk about, I had with food. I kept stashes of food hidden around the house. Before going to a party, I'd gobble some food before going just in case there wasn't enough food when I got there. Then when I got to the party, I'd always be concerned that the food would run out before I got my fill so I'd be grabbing as much as possible early on. At restaurants, I'd obsess about portion size and have my wife and kids order full meals so that I could take stuff off their plates just in case there wasn't enough on my plate. Then when I had my fill, I'd hurry up my wife and kids because I hated sitting in a restaurant in front of an empty plate.
So I totally understand the alcoholic thing even though I was never an alcoholic myself. There are other addictions out there too, such as gambling, smoking, drugs, sex and pornography. Even sports. I know somebody who has to be watching sports all the time and obsesses over just about every sport.
Well like Rob, I kicked my habit about 20 months ago. I've taken off over 100 pounds and still I am constantly tempted by foods that I no longer allow myself to eat. I've gone through two Thanksgiving/Christmas seasons without having a single cookie, pastry, piece of pie, etc. I'll allow myself a sugar-free treat once in a while but basically I stick to whole foods and avoid processed foods that are high in sugar, salt and artificial ingredients. This is a constant struggle that I must deal with the rest of my life, otherwise I will become very fat again.
I believe there is something about the wiring in a human's brain that makes one susceptible to addictive behavior. I don't know of a single person who does not have an obsession/addiction of some type. I'm not saying this in an effort to "make us all victims." It's just the way it is.
Yes to that, but also, there is a whole new world out there since I can drive after six PM now! Six PM is when I would have my first drink.
....I found this to be true also. I never knew how red and bloated my face was. Well, I guess I knew, but thought it was caused by getting older.
Way to go!!!!!!
I was in the same situation. Although I started drinking beer at a very early age (16) I rarely drank enough to get really drunk, and never had hangovers. When I was in college, I did start drinking heavily, and my roommate would joke that they could find me by following a trail of beer bottles. I also discovered that I loved both tequilla and rye whiskey. It wasn't unusual for me to stay off the beer, but drink an entire fifth in an evening. I did pretty well in school, and once on summer break, I spent nearly the entire summer drunk.
So, one day, I started wondering if I might be an alcoholic. Then I read the saying, "If you think you might be an alcoholic, you probably are one."
At that point I thought, "well, lets see if I really am one." I stopped drinking that day, and didn't have any alcohol at all (except for a very rare dose of "Nyquil" when I had a bad cold) for the next 7 years. Then, one day, I decided that I'd like a beer. And I had one. That's the key... I had ONE beer. And didn't have another one, or really feel like having another beer for a few months.
So, I discovered that I don't have a drinking problem. That I can stop anytime I want. So, I do have a beer every now and then. I would guess that I have fewer than 3 a month. Some months, I'll have none, in fact, it's been two months since I've had a beer, but I've had a Samual Smiths Taddy Porter and a Young's Double Chocolate stout sitting in my fridge all that time... Maybe tonight I'll have that stout for desert.
I guess I'm lucky that I don't have a drinking problem.
Nothing objectionable about your item as such, but this thread probably isn't the place for it.
XCamel, what you said, what you said! BTTT and here it is again:
A few basic caveats:
Beware "double-digit" sobriety.
Addiction is always a symptom of deeper problems.
The only one who doesn't know, is YOU.
Alone you must do it, but you can not do it alone.
The farther you are from your last drink, the closer you are to your next.
Vader: "Use the STEPS, Luke..."
Even sober, your disease does not rest. If you drink, you do not "start over", you pick up where you left off...
One is too many, and a whole ocean is not enough.
Outstanding book. I also like 'The Courage to Change' and the Hazelden pamphlet 'Stinking Thinking'. They keep me honest.
One of the greatest blessings of my sobriety is that my grandchildren have never seen me drunk.
I would further state to any of you out there reading Rob's Open Letter, instead of asking yourselves whether you have a problem, ask those closest to you, if you have a problem.
As the former wife of an alcoholic, when he did quit he asked me if I thought any of our friends, neighbors or family might think it odd that he not drink around them, and I told him that they would probably all be grateful. He responded by asking if I thought any of them might have thought that he had a "drinking problem" and I told him that if they were truly honest with themselves, they all knew he did.
Although we are no longer married, I am grateful to God that he quit drinking because I know his life has been immeasurely enriched every day by his sobriety. I am also grateful to God that I got to spend 16 years with a sober husband rather than divorcing a drunk.
"I do have a pregnant wife, a 27 month old son and a job that take up a great deal of my time. As a result I don't get to AA meetings much at all anymore."
You do know what I'm going to say now, right??? :)
Rob - well done, and welcome to the club. I quit 11 1/2 years ago and have not looked back. Cigarettes took a little longer, but I quit those too. Elfman - all the best to you. Don't be afraid to ask for help, advice or encouragement from those of us who have responded here.
There was a thread in which this was discussed back in '03.
I don't know if Jim gave any feedback. Laz?
Anyone is welcome, whether you are recovering yourself or whether you are affected by the addiction of others.
Thanks to quantim for the graphic!
Once a maintenance drinker graduates to the blackout stage, he or she is now beyond the clinically safe "cold-turkey" point.
Those who indulge heavily and then make a decision to abstain or even to try and quit and fall back can often, through will, stop altogether with constant abstention but the key word here is constant, the most dangerous stage for this type of person is the point where he goes public and begins to brag about his achievement for it is at this point that his will is most tested and needs reinforcement.
Congrats on quitting. It sounds like you needed to take a step back. I also drank heavily for many years and just up and quit. I wasn't a acoholic type , so it was easy, once I made up my mind. I went stone sober for four years.
I vowed that if I couldn't have one or two ocassional glasses of wine without it being a problem then I would quit for life.
I do drink about once or twice per week now and enjoy it instead of plowing them down. I have no reason to get drunk anymore. I think that is the problem for many....there is some inner reason for seeking oblivion. That needs to be resolved.
GOD BLESS YOU! I wish I knew fourteen years ago what I know now. Would have saved me from alot of mistakes. Oh well, life is good now! 4 year BD in April.
Good luck to you, I wish you the best. Feel free to Freepmail me if you would like to talk about this off line.
I think the answer would lie in one's definition of "heavy drinker".
Some people drink constantly, but in small doses. THEy drink to get a slight buzz, and no more...but they need to be in that state AT ALL TIMES. That would be considered heavy drinking, even though never actually being drunk.
I personally have a history of overindulging during the holiday seasons. I don't know why this is I just know it is. THat is why this year I vowed to not drink untill after new years. I made this decision about a week ago. It seems quite a coincidence that I would see your post just now.
I couldn't help but notice that your ideas seem to be at odds with those of AA. I never did understand the philosophy of AA. It doesn't make any sense to me at all.
Haven't touched a drink in over 12 years.
Every time my 3rd son has a birthday means another year sober for me.
If someone offers me a drink I simply say
No thanks, I've had enough for a life time..
Congrats my friend!
I've added you on the ping list. Let me know if you want to be taken off. I don;t expect this to be real high volume just the occasional news story related to addiction recovery.
One of my parents was an alcoholic and finally beat it with the help of God and AA.
May God continue to bless you and keep you strong.
I myself can drink if I choose to with no problem. But I only choose to once or twice a year. I have a healthy respect for the power of the bottle and have seen many lives and families ruined by it so I stay away from it most of the time.
What don't you understand about AA? It's simple program for complicated people. You ask for help - you get it. I know it goes against the grain for people to seek support for a problem but alcoholism can rarely be handled alone. Better to have many people on your side.
"It didn't help that she was mean and bitter while drunk."
Damn, that never helps. That was my mom, I don't think that woman had a happy day in her life. Brilliant woman, and I love my mom, but she was just SO unhappy.
"I've taken off over 100 pounds.."
Congratulations to you. I think you are right about the processed foods. And they are certainly full of salt.
He just doesn't seem to get hangovers. If I did that, I'd be in a coffin pretty fast.
One night she prayed for the power to quit drinking and she felt a wash a peace flood over her. From that moment on, she never had the desire to drink again. It wasn't a matter of self-control, mind games, or anything else. She was healed to go and "sin" no more as the basic desire was gone.
I pray that your reprieve from this power over you is a total healing and that all desire to drink leaves you. That way, it is a joy to live rather than a calendar game that you are enduring.
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