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If You Suspect You Might Have A Drinking Problem (An Open Letter)
RobFromGa | December 11, 2004 | RobFromGa

Posted on 12/11/2004 5:37:20 AM PST by RobFromGa

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To: RobFromGa
God bless you my friend. That "inner voice" that was tempting you was the adversary...and he wants you to be miserable.

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.

151 posted on 12/11/2004 8:53:45 AM PST by Jeff Head (www.dragonsfuryseries.com)
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Congrats bro. Got my 1 yr coin 11/17. Any fellow freepers alumni of Hazelden? Mail me!


152 posted on 12/11/2004 9:01:16 AM PST by wingnut1971
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To: wingnut1971

I worked there for a year (in West Palm Beach, FL) does that count? LOL I could never afford to go to treatment there.


153 posted on 12/11/2004 9:02:34 AM PST by kjvail (Judica me Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta)
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To: wingnut1971

Congratulations. Keep coming.


154 posted on 12/11/2004 9:02:47 AM PST by raybbr
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To: kjvail

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.


155 posted on 12/11/2004 9:09:15 AM PST by wingnut1971
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To: WineGuy
Drinking can be very good for you but nothing should be done in excess. Everything in moderation. My doctor agrees that my drinking is very healthy and tells me that the reason he doesn't recommend that everyone do it is that too many of those who try will end up drinking too much. They just weren't born with that automatic cut-off switch that I was born with.

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.

156 posted on 12/11/2004 9:10:37 AM PST by SamAdams76 (No intolerant liberal is going to take my Christmas away from me)
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Comment #157 Removed by Moderator

To: RobFromGa
Quit drinking the day my first child was born because I thought I could be a better parent and set a better example without it. None of my kids drink despite having been through HS and college where they were under intense peer pressure to do so. Without question all of our lives are much better as a result.
158 posted on 12/11/2004 9:21:30 AM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: RobFromGa
One thing that I have noticed is how much extra productive time I have available now that I don't have to schedule "drinking time"!

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.

159 posted on 12/11/2004 9:21:48 AM PST by SweetCaroline (Give thanks to the GOD of heaven, for His mercy and loving kindness are forever!!)
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To: xcamel
I take out a picture of my "old face" and it scares me to death. :-)

....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.

160 posted on 12/11/2004 9:28:13 AM PST by SweetCaroline (Give thanks to the GOD of heaven, for His mercy and loving kindness are forever!!)
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To: RobFromGa

Way to go!!!!!!


161 posted on 12/11/2004 9:29:56 AM PST by sweetiepiezer (Proud Mother of 2 US Marines)
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To: mgist
Good for you. How do you know when you have an alcohol problem vs. enjoying a drink.

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.

Mark

162 posted on 12/11/2004 9:30:04 AM PST by MarkL (Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. But it rocks absolutely, too!)
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To: WineGuy
Regarding #129:

Nothing objectionable about your item as such, but this thread probably isn't the place for it.

163 posted on 12/11/2004 9:30:22 AM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: xcamel

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.


164 posted on 12/11/2004 9:31:19 AM PST by PeriwinkleMinniepaws (http://www.gallerybyzantium.com)
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To: wingnut1971
I used this Hazelden book everyday for the first few years.
It was a great help

165 posted on 12/11/2004 9:32:01 AM PST by kanawa ( I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity)
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To: kanawa

Outstanding book. I also like 'The Courage to Change' and the Hazelden pamphlet 'Stinking Thinking'. They keep me honest.


166 posted on 12/11/2004 9:41:08 AM PST by wingnut1971 (Rarely have we seen a person fail who thoroughly follows our path.)
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To: paul51
Quit drinking the day my first child was born because I thought I could be a better parent and set a better example without it.

One of the greatest blessings of my sobriety is that my grandchildren have never seen me drunk.

167 posted on 12/11/2004 9:43:41 AM PST by kanawa ( I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity)
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bump!

168 posted on 12/11/2004 9:45:32 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP! )
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To: RobFromGa
Having been to many AlAnon and Open AA meetings, I can attest the the "bottoms" hit by many are too devasting for most of us to even imagine.

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.

169 posted on 12/11/2004 9:45:49 AM PST by zerosix
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Comment #170 Removed by Moderator

To: kanawa
One of the greatest blessings .....

indeed

171 posted on 12/11/2004 9:56:39 AM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: Archie Bunker on steroids

hahaha...


172 posted on 12/11/2004 10:11:37 AM PST by dakine
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To: raybbr

"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??? :)


173 posted on 12/11/2004 11:10:46 AM PST by Hand em their arse
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To: elfman2; RobFromGa

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.


174 posted on 12/11/2004 11:53:12 AM PST by Ol' Sox (Issa u Akbar)
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To: raybbr; Lazamataz
If any of you have any suggestions about how to handle this and maybe contact Jim Robinson and see what he feels about this.

There was a thread in which this was discussed back in '03.

Is there a need for a Free Republic daily 12-step thread?

I don't know if Jim gave any feedback. Laz?

175 posted on 12/11/2004 12:34:18 PM PST by kanawa ( I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity)
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Comment #176 Removed by Moderator

Comment #177 Removed by Moderator

Comment #178 Removed by Moderator

To: quantim; All
Here is a new ping list for people interested in Addiction Recovery. I am not looking to start any daily threads, but if I come across items in the news that might interest re: Addiction Recovery, I'll ping this list.

Anyone is welcome, whether you are recovering yourself or whether you are affected by the addiction of others.

Thanks to quantim for the graphic!


179 posted on 12/11/2004 2:00:43 PM PST by RobFromGa (End the Filibuster for Judicial appointments in January 05)
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To: RobFromGa
Way to go Rob! We are at about the same clean time. I'm at 13 1/2 months after 25 years of heavy drinking. Nothing like drinking every second you're awake. I sure don't miss those morning shakes. Took me 4 detoxes and 3 treatment centers. The last one, which was 32 days of intense in patient, was the one that finally did it. Actually, I knew I would die soon if I didn't stop, and finally wanted it bad enough. Thanks for sharing your story and please add me to the ping list.
180 posted on 12/11/2004 2:05:52 PM PST by codyjacksmom (Proud, new 1st time grandma as of 11/07/04....now it's payback time!)
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To: Pookyhead
Maintenance drinking is different from binge drinking; rarely does one indulge in both. In the maintenance phase most drinkers function at a higher level than those times when they consciously abstain; in some cultures whole generations grow up, reach maturity and live to old age in a maintenance state, but generally this is limited to more primitive people who more or less live off the land or have families with wealth or holdings.

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.

181 posted on 12/11/2004 2:24:42 PM PST by Old Professer (The accidental trumps the purposeful in every endeavor attended by the incompetent.)
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To: RobFromGa
Please add me to your PING list Rob and BTW congratulations on your sobriety.
caroline
182 posted on 12/11/2004 2:29:37 PM PST by SweetCaroline (Give thanks to the GOD of heaven, for His mercy and loving kindness are forever!!)
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To: RobFromGa
Great post!
I celebrated 14 years last week.
183 posted on 12/11/2004 2:34:14 PM PST by wagglebee (Memo to sKerry: the only thing Bush F'ed up was your career)
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To: RobFromGa

Bravo, Rob!


184 posted on 12/11/2004 2:37:55 PM PST by arasina (So there.)
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To: RobFromGa

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.

Enjoy.


185 posted on 12/11/2004 2:50:31 PM PST by TheLion
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To: wagglebee

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.


186 posted on 12/11/2004 2:57:33 PM PST by SweetCaroline (Give thanks to the GOD of heaven, for His mercy and loving kindness are forever!!)
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To: SweetCaroline
I've made some huge and disasterous mistakes in the last fourteen years. The difference is that now I can learn from them rather than simply keep repeating them.
God Bless.
187 posted on 12/11/2004 3:02:49 PM PST by wagglebee (Memo to sKerry: the only thing Bush F'ed up was your career)
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To: torchthemummy
I'll take your words of wisdom and hope that I can "jump on the wagon" and stay there.

Good luck to you, I wish you the best. Feel free to Freepmail me if you would like to talk about this off line.

188 posted on 12/11/2004 3:08:34 PM PST by RobFromGa (End the Filibuster for Judicial appointments in January 05)
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To: RobFromGa

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.


189 posted on 12/11/2004 3:08:59 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: kanawa

wonderful post.


190 posted on 12/11/2004 3:10:14 PM PST by RobFromGa (End the Filibuster for Judicial appointments in January 05)
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To: RobFromGa

Very interesting.

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.


191 posted on 12/11/2004 3:19:00 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: RobFromGa

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!


192 posted on 12/11/2004 3:23:16 PM PST by The Mayor (If Jesus lives within us, sin need not overwhelm us.)
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To: RobFromGa; quantim; SirLurkedalot; kjvail; bad company; xcamel; mystery-ak; Pookyhead; Puppage; ...

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.

193 posted on 12/11/2004 3:28:53 PM PST by RobFromGa (End the Filibuster for Judicial appointments in January 05)
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To: TexasCowboy

Ping!!!!


194 posted on 12/11/2004 3:32:58 PM PST by willieroe
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To: RobFromGa
Of all of the drugs that cripple, main and kill people, alcohol is one of the worse. I knew many alcoholics in the military, it seems to be an occupational hazard.

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.

195 posted on 12/11/2004 3:42:13 PM PST by Walkin Man
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To: mamelukesabre

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.


196 posted on 12/11/2004 3:45:17 PM PST by raybbr
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To: TC Rider

"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.


197 posted on 12/11/2004 3:52:34 PM PST by jocon307 (Jihad is world wide. Jihad is serious business. We ignore global jihad at our peril.)
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To: SamAdams76

"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.


198 posted on 12/11/2004 3:59:03 PM PST by jocon307 (Jihad is world wide. Jihad is serious business. We ignore global jihad at our peril.)
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To: RobFromGa
Physiology is also at play. I have a brother with a drinking problem. He can down a 12 pack, go to bed, get 7 hours sleep, get up the next mornign and go to work without hangover.

He just doesn't seem to get hangovers. If I did that, I'd be in a coffin pretty fast.

199 posted on 12/11/2004 4:04:16 PM PST by fso301
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To: RobFromGa
My late mother-in-law was an alcoholic and it nearly destroyed her life and those of her family. Her dad had been the town drunk and her sister was a boozing hellcat so she came by it naturally. She tried AA, psychiatrists, medications--nothing worked. She just didn't have the self-discipline. She ended up near suicide on a couple of occasions.

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.

200 posted on 12/11/2004 4:07:58 PM PST by MHT
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