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listenup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:57 PM
Original message
Serious Drinking Question
How does one make it longer than a few months if one has been drinking steadily for the past 30 years?

I really am trying, but have fallen down twice now in the past 30 days. I don't get a lot out of meetings, tend to be somewhat withdrawn, and don't want to go back.

To the young ones - enjoy the party times and hope they don't bite you years later. I have a good job, make a decent amount of money for where I am, and should be happy, but alcohol is driving me into a pit.

I have seen others battle with various addictions and dependencies for years and years, but it's something when one is in the middle of it. I have a new appreciation for those that defeat their demons.

Thanks for reading and thinking about it.

Happy Trails!
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searchingforlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. You have to make yourself go. There are others there who are
introverted also. If you don't like the meeting you are attending, try another one. The biggest step is to GET HONEST WITH YOURSELF. You must realize that you are not fooling anyone.

As a person who has had my life profoundly affected by alcoholics (childhood and adulthood) I bless you for trying to conquer this dragon.
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Cappurr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. You have a disease....not a failure of morals or will power
My mother died from alcoholism. I have been sober since 1990. But I went to rehab twice and went to group therapy for eighteen months and AA meetings regularly.

I, too, am a loner and being a loner is dangerous for us. It can literally kill you.

I have found AA meetings differ from place to place.
I am more comfortable in some than in others. But I'm not one that believes AA is the only answer (which a lot of AA's will tell you). There ARE other groups and there is also private outpatient therapy, usually associated with rehabs or mental health organizations.

Don't give up, whatever you do. And believe me when I tell you you can't stop drinking by "white knuckling" it in your living room.

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Lindsay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. I have no answer for you
but I hear ya.

And no personal experience, but I believe there are on-line meetings that might be helpful if you are withdrawn. Googling will find them, I'd guess.

I have heard from a family member in AA, though, that meetings really are important. I know how hard it is to make yourself do things you don't want to do (my problem is chronic depression, not substance abuse, but I've found many parallels between them). Still, the only thing we can do is keep making the effort.

Postive vibes to you, my friend.

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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. I hear you, Listenup...
As a consumer of alcohol since I was 15, it's not an easy thing to wean oneself off booze. I know I have a tendency to drinking to excess, particularly when the conditions are right. Still, I've moderated my habits fairly substantially over the past 5 years....having kids 14 and 15 are a big part of it.

Don't kick yourself if you imbide a bit....the fact that you are aware and making an effort to change is a good start.
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ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
5. dunno
but i've never had any problems quitting drinking and starting again. i've quit for months for various reasons (not enough time on the weekends, ect.), and never had any problems.
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49jim Donating Member (366 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. I agree
with 4.5 years of sobriety, I have to say the meetings are what help me. I also did 30 days in a rehab after a DUI. I tried out patient at a local clinic and had 10 months but went back out and it got worse! Try different meetings and connect with someone, get some names and call in between meetings.A day at a time will add up.There are great sites on the internet with information and help.
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roughsatori Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. Don't drink one day at a time even if you don't make a meeting
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 05:11 PM by roughsatori
Of course, many people need AA to get to understand that. Maybe they have some SA meetings (Secular Recovery) meetings you could try. They are different then AA. Here is a link to their website: they have a email list and chat rooms and meeting lists. Good Luck, and keep us informed of your progress.
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MarianJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. AA & 1 Day at a Time
It's kept me sober for almost 14 years now. Good luck.
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listenup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thank you everybody!
I live in a rural area, and the meetings now are only two days (Mondays and Fridays) each week now due to lack of interest and involvement. I couldn't believe I went through a 28 day program, was feeling strong, and just fell back into the pit.

My life is good these days. I have gotten rid of most of the other demons, but this seems to be such a part of me.

Oh well, that's life, right? It could be so much worse.

Good luck to all those out there with an understanding!

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Prisoner_Number_Six Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
10. Use a little willpower, and
a LOT of prayer! Also, don't sit alone at home thinking about it-- get out, take walks (NOT drives!), have a good, filling meal, and just generally try to remember what connecting with life feels like. After you detox, you will be amazed how good complete sobriety feels!

And don't stay alone. BE WITH PEOPLE. The less you stay alone, the less likely you are to start focussing on what you aren't doing-- drinking!

Yes, it's hard, and yes, I've gone through it. Feel free to PM me if you need to talk, yell, or take a swing at someone! I'm an easy target, and I have quick reflexes and a thick skin.

Good luck. My prayers are with you.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
11. I second what has been said
Take the offers to PM someone when you need encouragement (PM me if you ever need a friend), get to meetings when you can or fidn them online. Prayer works - but you have to find the type of prayer that suites you - I prefer self-talk, meditation, what have you. Do not beat yourself up about the disease. When I first got sober I went to a variety of meetings - drove a long way for some of them til I found the group I liked, saw a lot of movies, ate dinner out, went to bookstores, everything I could think of to occupy time. Changed habits to isolate myself from triggers for drinking. I drank a lot of carbonated water. Hang in there! You're on the right track.
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kimchi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. Don't beat yourself up-you are trying.
Old habits are extremely hard to to break.

I have no answers for you-but tell ya what-you can PM me and I'll try to talk you out of that drink. And then you can talk me out of that cigarette. (Actually, I'm not ready to give them up, but you can still give me hell.)

I know what you mean about the meetings. I hope you have some good friends who can support you, and do fun things with you without alcohol.

Happy trails, listenup.

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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sorry, Listenup.
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 07:26 PM by kaitykaity
There is no magic pill.

Either you know that drinking will kill you,
or you don't.

I know it. I know that the next time I take
a drink, I'll be dead. From an accident, a man
I pick up, a suicide.

The first time I quit, I only ended up with a dented
car and a blackout.

The second time I quit, I ended up in the drunk tank
with a dented car and a blackout.

The won't be a next time.

You decide. Period.

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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
14. Choose a sponsor
Meetings isn't enough.

You need one to one with someone who understands you and understands your kind of drinker.

Even if you don't like it, go to the damn meetings anyway. Sit in the corner and sulk but listen to what's said. You don't have to socialize if you don't want to. An easy way to acclimatize yourself to the meetings is to offer to read the Steps or Traditions.

Read the book cover to cover to cover.

Don't let the higher power thing throw you - just give it time.

PM me if you want to discuss this off-channel.
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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
15. I have a loved one who will not go to meetings
you'll go when you really want to beat it.
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carpetbagger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
16. Are you expecting too much from AA (i.e. enjoyment)?
I know there's plenty of people who really get into it, but it might help you even if it isn't a fulfilling time.

Or maybe not.

Talking to a doctor might help. Depression's treatable. There are also some medications which reduce the drive to drink. They're not magic, but they might help some.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
17. Not much experience on the subject but...
Perhaps find a healthy addiction, like a hobby. It should keep your mind on something else and eventually you won't have any cravings for a drink.
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stlsaxman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
18. I have good news and i have bad news...
The good news? If you don't drink things will get better. I guarantee it. Every
day my head hits the pillow and I didn't take a drink, no matter how horrible
the day was, I consider a success. In my first year i didn't get much out of
meetings either. But I felt safe there. I went every day for 120 days then
tapered it back to 4 or 5 a week. Everyone is different, yet we're all the same.
Find someone you feel comfortable with and call them a sponsor, then call
them again and again. heheheh See, we're all like survivors of a shipwreck
who meet later on and are still able to laugh about the hell we went through...

The bad news? you have to WANT to get sober. You gotta be so sick and
tired of being sick and tired that there is no other way to get your life together
BUT to quit. If you already feel like this then you already know all the bad
news (so that's good news, right?). If you're wanting to quit for others (spouse,
kids, SO or employer) it may not work. Stop drinking for YOU!

oh and even more good news- if you think you're gonna miss the "good times"
you had while you were drinkin', if you're like me, once your brain clears up
you won't miss a single good time you'll have sober! That sence of dread
and impending doom will be replaced by the clarity and wholeness that
"normal people" have all the time! And oh- the "normals" (people who can
drink) are everywhere. Everywhere. But getting sober ain't about them.
If you feel uncomfortable not drinking around them, don't go around them 'til
you do (and you will!). All in good time, one day at a time.

About that "God stuff"- if you're not at ease with the "spiritual" aspect of AA,
look at it like i did, they talk about a "higher power" and a "spritual awakening"
a lot. Personally, I consider myself "spiritually aware" though I hate religion.
I took it with a grain of salt and concentrated on the other stuff. But i DID have
a spiritual awakening... my spirit woke up, yours will, too.

Don't worry about how you're gonna make it more than a few months or
weeks without drinkin'. That's a non-issue. Ever been to tomorrow? I haven't.
It don't exist. lol but you might not get there if you drink. If you take every
sober day as a gift, you'll see a lot more of those so-called "tomorrows" (and
remember them as well!)

Holy cow, i've rambling on and on... i'll stop now. you'll be fine, just don't
drink, simple as that. And your life will just get better and better.
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
19. Pick yourself up, start over. ODAAT.
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 09:32 PM by BiggJawn
The journey of a Thousand Miles begins with one step.
Don't worry about "a few months", focus on today. If you're trying to look at a long-range picture, you will freak out. chop it into bite-size bits and deal with it that way,
One Day At A Time.

Hang in there!
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
20. Sober three years here
and I have several comments.

First, you have to want it for yourself. I don't know where you live but if you PM me I will see if I can find some more meeting in your area (I find it very hard to believe there are only two days worth). I live in a pretty small area myself and I have a choice of meetings with in a few miles on most nights.

Second, get and use, phone numbers. Like any other group of people there will be some who you like, some who you don't, and others you won't know if you like or if you don't. Find a few people with serious time in the program and get their numbers. Call those people.

Third, try online meetings. There are several different online groups and chat rooms. These aren't perfect substitutes but are good in a pinch.

Fourth, People do slip and recover. Mistakes happen. You have to take it one day at a time. Learn from what you did. Remember what you did. But don't dwell on what you did.

Finally, AA isn't the only way but it did work for me. It works for others too. I wish you the best. PM me any time. I can't do it for you but I can help. You can beat this.
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xJlM Donating Member (955 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
21. A sponsor, steps, and meetings
It requires a complete change in your lifestyle and living habits. A sponsor is a good way to start; then start working on the steps by working number one - admit you are powerless over your addiction and your life is unmanageable by making it to a meeting every day. It might require some effort on your part, but that is what is necessary. Meetings are where recovery can be found, though. For my first year, my higher power (the god of my understanding) was the spirit I found in those rooms. And I listened to what I was told and tried to apply it to my life as much as I was able.

Now, some of what I say may be a little different than what you're going to hear at some meetings, because I'm a member of Narcotics Anonymous. It's based on the same spiritual principals, but it's a little different. A lot younger crowd (with prettier females), but we work on recovery from the effects of all drugs, alcohol included. If you'd like, check us out. You can find a number to call in the business section of the White Pages, under NA, in most major cities. And whatever you decide, good luck!
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maxanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
22. you have a disease that wants you dead
but it will settle for you drunk.

You don't have to go back to AA unless you want to live. Alcoholism is serious shit. My mother has brain damage from 40 years of drinking. You do not want to wind up like her, with paranoid delusions - thinking people are watching her and listening in on her conversations. I met a 21 year old this weekend in a DUI class who has cirrhosis. Oh, yeah - he's still drinking.

You'll have plenty of time to be withdrawn after you die. If you decide to stay among the living, you need to get your ass to meetings, even if you hate them. Go until you like them. Find a sponsor - and stick with the winners. Act as if it all makes sense to you.

If you stay home in the self pity zone, you'll keep on drinking.

listenup - I've been sober 14 years. I drank and drugged for 20 years. Sobriety is hard - but it's everything. My life today is so much more than I could have ever thought possible. If you need help, support, or more of a kick in the butt - pm me, any time.

If I can do it, anyone can.
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khashka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
23. Maybe this will help
>I really am trying, but have fallen down twice now in the past 30 days. >I don't get a lot out of meetings, tend to be somewhat withdrawn, and >don't want to go back.

That seems to me to be the most important part of what you said. You've fallen down twice in 30 days. It may well happen again. Can you really change 30 years overnight? It's gonna be tough, but it does eventually get easier. But it takes time. You're in this for the long haul and while you deal with it day to day - don't give up just because you fuck up. I've seen that happen too many times.

If you aren't getting much out of meetings then try different meetings. Maybe you aren't connecting with the people in the meetings you're going to, but there are other meetings and other people. Also you get out what you put in. I tend to be shy and withdrawn and I know it's not easy to talk in public or approach people. But you've got more to lose by drinking than taking a risk and participating. It can be difficult to get involved - many of the peole seem to have been there for awhile and have long standing friendships and you're not a part of that. But they've all been where you are and most of them will try to help if you'll reach out.

And if they don't (it happens - I've walked out of AA meetings because I thought the people were more interested in their own petty interests than sobriety) go to a different meeting.
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