Battling the booze
When the black dog bites, many of us reach for a drink. It can ease the pain, help us relax, block out what's going on in our minds. If it's just the odd drink now and then, even one or two a night, there's no harm and maybe even welcome relief. But for some of us, many in fact, literally drowning our sorrows becomes a problem in itself. We drink more and more until the booze takes over, and drinking becomes all we want to do.
That was me for a long time until I finally realised the combination of booze and depression would kill me. If I wanted to live, if I wanted to be able to manage my depression, I had to get sober. I did, nearly five years ago, and it's the hardest thing I've ever done.
If booze is controlling you and you're not controlling it, this thread is for you. If you want to regain control - get sober or moderate your drinking (which for many is harder than quitting) or if you're worried you are drinking too much, join us here.
On this thread I'll talk about my battle with the booze and offer advice and support to anyone who is struggling. I welcome anyone who's been there or is worried they are going there, to join in. And I hope others now living sober will come here to help our friends who are struggling.
One thing this thread is not is a place to discuss how much a drink or two helps you. It's not an anti-alcohol thread, but it's not a general discussion about alcohol either. It's for people who are genuinely worried about it or who want to control it, and it's a place of celebration (without judgment about drinkers) for those of us who are now living sober.
I hope anyone who's battling the booze will join us.
Hi autumngreen - yes, this is what can happen when people have a problem with alcohol. And you have done nothing wrong, you are being the best friend you can be. It really is his decision.
What he needs is for you to stand by him. Keep sending him messages of friendship and love. When he is ready to quit, he will know you are still there, and that will be a blessing for him because so many alcoholics lose everyone before they get to the point of facing their problem.
5022 - a very big congratulations on your sober Christmas! That's fabulous, well done. Hold onto the good feelings - no hangover, no fear of being found out, no embarrassment, feeling proud of yourself. Sit quietly and contemplate those feelings - feel them over and over. Store them up inside you and bring them to mind when the urges hit. You'll get through New Year, I know you will.
Hiya Lynda and Geoff. Thanks for being such a wonderful, kind presence on here. xx
Hi Geoff. Having to face me the next morning was something I don't want to do ever again. I was asked if I could look at me after drinking - short answer - no. I am so pleased to be able to say I haven't had a drink, since that time. I guess I will always experience urges, but I now overcome those by concentrating on things I know I can do. My kids love being around me, I'm happier. I know the man in my life is over the moon. But the biggest thrill for me is knowing I did something right for me. Abstaining for others doesn't work, abstaining for yourself is strength. I know my daughter gets concerned I will 'slip', but as time goes by and she sees me continuing as I am, she will relax and realize alcohol (like my ex) is past. I accept I will always be an alcoholic, but now I'm a recovering alcoholic. Note the 'recovering' in heavy words.
5022, I too was a cupboard drinker, because if my sons saw any grog they would throw it out, so if you can see this is where we are hiding all our problems, wouldn't tell anyone just as we wouldn't tell people about our depression, but perhaps it wasn't because we were in denial, just we felt as though no one would listen nor understand what sort of troubles we were having. Geoff.
Hi Kazz Lynda and Geoff. It is encouraging too read your posts.
Reading that you still have urges Lynda makes me realise how long this road will be. For me at the moment its about boredom and changing the well i guess daily ritual of drinkingdrinking, im still planning what i will do today too keep me busy so that if i do succumb it will be later and hopefully then it will be bed time.waking up sober, remembering the movie on tv the night before is such a feeling of freedom for me.
Geoff i often wander although i know it makes no difference now that if i was able too drink socially ( i decame a closet drinker after my dui which had a huge influence in family court matters five years ago) would my relationship with alcohol be different today. It is what it is today and there is also freedom in knowing it. You csnt fix something you dont acknowlege. Will i ever be able to drink again, just one or two like you can, i dont know and too be honest at the moment im hoping i will be able too but thats maybe because alcohol is such a love hate relationship for me, focusing on why i hate it for the moment.
Thankyou all for your kind andhonestt wordswords. Nae
What you could do is just talk your way into having two drinks, if that's what you really want to do, but you will need to have a strong constitution, so you limit yourself to 6 drinks and then slowly decrease it down to 2 drinks, but when you think of it, is it worth it, because there could be every chance that you drink too much if something bad happens.
hi Jim, yor wife is exactly where I was when depressed, hidden casks, anything that was alcohol, and it was one reason why my wife divorced me, because there was nothing she could have done to stop me, I was depressed and needed to self medicate.
I do understand how difficult it would be to live with an alcoholic, not only by what I was doing but an elderly friend had a son who stole money from his dad to buy alcohol, and he was meant to be his carer, so I ended up looking after him while his son got the extra payment from centrelink, but that was never enough money so he stole and 'borrowed' from his dad, he has now passed away.
Going to AA and rehab are not always the answers she is seeking, but you have to know why she does want to drink, but I'm sure she doesn't even know, however with rehab it maybe fine while she in there, but as soon as she's out then straight back to the bottle.
Nothing is going to change at the moment so it's a decision you have to make, but your kids aren't growing up in the environment you wish them to. Geoff.
Hi Nae. With me I could never limit myself to one or two drinks. I'm not strong enough. I always hoped I could, but I can't, it's that simple. With my health scare, that, to me, was a 'wake-up call. Then when I was accepted as a juror, that was another no-drink zone. I had to walk past a couple of pubs on the way to and from the court, talk about temptation with a capital T. The challenge was enormous. I had to keep reminding myself I was due back in court tomorrow and the next day etc. That was a while ago. By the time I was finished with radiation, plus jury service, the drink temptation had sort of eased to the point where the addiction wasn't so great. Yes- I still have the occasional urge, but the knowledge that one drink leads to two, leads to ???? I can't and won't go back there. Every decision I make now is made 'clear-headed'. When you make a decision and drink is involved, you wake up the next morning and you question whether you actually just thought about he decision or whether you made it under the influence. I would tell myself 'no more alcohol', nearly every morning I would tell me that. Give myself a few days, then back to the booze. It totally ruled me. I can honestly say, since I stopped alcohol and accepted I can't stop once I start, the pain has gone. The pain of knowing alcohol ruled. Now I rule.
Hi Jimsmit, welcome mate. That must have been a difficult post to write.
Firstly, I have to say that only the alcoholic can make the decision to stop drinking. And we are most successful when we make that decision for ourselves - because we value ourselves and the life we could have enough to stop. In other words, while your love and support is essential, your wife must really want to quit, for her.
That said, if she does want to get better as you say and AA and rehab haven't worked, I suggest she (both of you together?) talk to her doctor about a prescription drug that can help people quit.
I haven't used it, but my husband did when he started his sober journey (now six years sober).
It's worth a try Jimsmit, it might be what she needs just to get beyond those early weeks where it's so damn hard. Also, as she will need a prescription for it, there will be the opportunity for the doctor to monitor her progress.
Very best wishes to you and your family.