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Telepresent


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 6:55pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
So, as of today, I am no longer going to drink alcohol.

I've got real problems with drink. Frankly, I'm an addict, though you wouldn't know it to look at me. But when it's gotten to the point that the first thing I think of on waking is "how long until I can get a drink?", and I'm spending all my money on it (and hoo-boy, I cannot afford to be throwing away money right now), and when I don't have any for as little as a few hours from waking my heartbeat accelerates, my breathing shortens, and I get into a sweat and can't think about anything else, and I'm willing to steal whatever my flatmates have lying around. And then when I do get it, instantly relax, and my body temperature rises, and I think I'll just have one or two... and when I've drunk a couple bottles of wine on my own and it's 2am and there's nothing else and I get furious...

Well, that's not good, is it?

So, I'm quitting. No more alcohol to pass these lips.

I'm terrified. I can tell, this is going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done. I've been submitting to it for so long, I don't know if I'm going to be strong enough to hold out.

And of course, I'm going to have to tell people, and I can see what they're going to think: "he doesn't need to do that! What does he think he's on about, getting all melodramatic about it? " and they won't take me seriously. Once more to be the angsty attention-seeker, in everyone else's mind. I had enough of that trying to convince people I was depressed. I really don't want to have to do it again.

But I have to. I'm waiting for my flatmates to come home at the moment, cos I'm going to have to ask them to help me, watch out for me. And they'll agree, but behind closed doors, they won't agree it's necessary. Cos I'm not a bum. Cos I don't reek of booze all the time. Cos I don't get into fights or end up in hospital. Cos I've never been in trouble with the police. Cos I've never been fired from a job. Cos I still keep it civilised, mostly.

I mean, that's not a proper alcoholic is it? Not in most people's eyes.

But I am. And I'm about to embark on the hardest exercise of self-will in my life.

And I'm scared. And I'm craving. And I'm scared.

That's it, really. Just needed to say something.

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gadgetgirl


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 7:14pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
Telepresent, I just wanted to say that you are very brave! It doesn't matter what your flatmates think really - if you are unhappy and want to stop then only you can know.

In all seriousness you might want to consider something like the AA for mutual support. You might also want to see your doctor if you can face it - withdrawal can be hard.

Good luck!

That would be me.

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katysara


Moderator

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 7:19pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
It is a proper alcoholic hon, and you do know that.

I have an immediate fear - you describe physical addiction to drink. Coming off alcohol when physically addicted can be dangerous - you've heard of delirium tremens? (The DTs) You could have a fit, you could even die. In other words you should really see a doctor and have medication to help you through this. Should you choose to ignore that piece of advice you should at least have warned your flat mates and have them ready to dial 999.

After that, have you thought about joining Alcoholics Anonymous? Along the way I trained as a drugs and alcohol counsellor (although I do not practice and am way out of date) and though we are all equal here I think it is OK for me to say I have seen my fair share of people dragged to AA and seen it turn their life around - you don't even have to buy into the higher power business for it to work. I have even been to AA meetings to observe and they were friendly places. It's not for everyone, but it's worth a good thought.

I'll be around if you need me. You have my mobile number - use it if you need to. This will be hard for you, but you sound determined. Be strong.

Love,
KSx

I am an administrator on this site.

"Having a great intellect is no path to being happy."
~ Stephen Fry

See my website: www.katysaraculling.com

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katysara


Moderator

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 7:22pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
See, we were typing at the same time. Great minds think alike!

KSx

I am an administrator on this site.

"Having a great intellect is no path to being happy."
~ Stephen Fry

See my website: www.katysaraculling.com

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Telepresent


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 7:53pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
Yeah, I'm going to try AA. I admit, I'm a little suspicious of the whole 'higher power' business (being a staunch atheist, it's not something I'm going to be able to buy into), but I'm going to give it a shot. There's a meeting tomorrow evening I'm going to check out.

Hadn't thought about the medical side of things. Poo.

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IdeaCollector


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 8:13pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
My lil bro is the same way and desperately needs help.

I wish you every success with this! I think you'll find yourself better off, if not in the least a bit richer for it.

I used to be EternalStudent on these forums until the switch over. So don't get excited..I'm not someone new and exciting. I'm just me :P

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TheElephant


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 8:28pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
Good luck.

I think I'm lucky that I have such a weak constitution, I could never get far with drinking too much. The genes are there, so doubly lucky I guess.

One thing that helped me when I gave up smoking was a spreadsheet, keeping track of what I would otherwise have been spending on cigs, instead allocated to console gaming. I've now got more than I could ever keep up with playing, but don't miss the smoking, as it helped me through the worst of the cravings.

I wouldn't have thought of the physical side of giving up, but even if nothing else helps, it was worth posting here for the advice the others have given.

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elTweeno


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 8:47pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
Just wanted to drop by & wish you all the luck in the world, TP.

I had to give up drinking age 17 (not for the same reasons - I had a heart problem) and watching all my friends turn 18 & have massive parties wasn't fun, but I still enjoyed that year and it did me the world of good, because now I know I don't need alcohol for fun. And just knowing that is very reassuring to the daughter of an alcoholic.

I think your friends will understand. I don't drink now, again - haven't since Christmas - because if anything's gonna have an instant impact on any mood I'm in, its alcohol. My friends have all accepted that I don't drink (even the ones who weren't around the last time) and have left it at that. I get the odd "don't be boring" comment, but never from the people who know me well enough because they know I have my reasons.

Can't really add much to what folks have said above, but I'd definitely consider talking to others who have given up drink. I don't know much about AA so I can't comment, but a close friend of mine gave up drink before me the first time & has stuck it out, and we have such a bond because of that now.

Okay, this has turned into a rather longer post than I meant it to, and probably hasn't helped at all.

Best of luck though

eT

I'm also on Twitter: elTweeno (of course!)

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Veg Chick


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 8:52pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
Hi Telepresent

I don't look like an addict either, but I am, codeine. And I can understand how all consuming it can be.

You have made a huge first step, you should be proud. I can't really add much to what the others have said, just get as much support as possible (including medical).

I just want to say good luck, and wishing you all the strength to beat it.

VC
x

I am nothing

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katysara


Moderator

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 9:57pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
Yeah, I'm going to try AA. I admit, I'm a little suspicious of the whole 'higher power' business (being a staunch atheist, it's not something I'm going to be able to buy into), but I'm going to give it a shot. There's a meeting tomorrow evening I'm going to check out.

Hadn't thought about the medical side of things. Poo.

My friend Clare (wont mind me sharing this) was/is a staunch atheist and went to AA about 6 years ago now. She was able to discuss with the members of the group that she was an atheist and her troubles with a higher power. In the end she surrendered herself to the fact that the alcohol had power over her and not vice versa, and that was enough. She has not drunk alcohol since her 1st AA meeting and does not even go to meetings any more.

As for the medical side of things, you will probably be OK. It can take days for the worst effects to appear so warn your friends for tonight and make an emergency appt with your GP tomorrow. She or he may have extra advice as well.

Hugs for bravery,
KSx

I am an administrator on this site.

"Having a great intellect is no path to being happy."
~ Stephen Fry

See my website: www.katysaraculling.com

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Midsomerlover


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 10:10pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
Best of luck from me too.

I drink a beer from time to time but that's it. Mainly because both my parents suffered from alcoholism in the past and I know what it can do to people. Alcohol and its addiction destroys everything but itself. People don't trust you anymore, they won't invite you anymore, they will eventually ignore you untill you are all alone. And I never want that to happen to me.

So again, the best of luck to everyone who decides to quit.


@midsomerlover on Twitter.

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Telepresent


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 10:23pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
Well, I'm certainly willing to go along to AA, and I'm happy to talk to them about it all. I think there's just suspicions hanging around in the back of my head from the memories of bits read here and there, and representations on TV and films, forming good old ill-informed prejudgement. Bad Tele! I really should know better than that, but it's there on my shoulder nonetheless. Doubtless to be proven rubbish.

I'm going to call my med centre tomorrow morning. It's a triage system, and I'm usually able to get an appointment for early afternoon if I call around 9. I'm just aware that I'm going to have to tell them I really, really don't want to cut down, I want to stop. I know I'll find it a hell of a lot harder if I try to cut down. I've taken the big step, and I'm actually feeling a lot better about it now - just had a good walk to take the energy out a bit, and I get the feeling that I'm going to be drinking a lot of tea with sugar (I usually don't have any sugar, but it's tasting a lot nicer with, at the moment).

Although I'm going to have to be careful not to become a smoker. I'm an on-off stress smoker, and reckon this might push me into smoking proper. Which will be very silly.

I'm also planning on fixing my bike up tomorrow (the tyres are flat, and the chain needs oiling). The plan is simple and basic: get jittery, go cycling. I've been meaning to sort it out for a while, so this seems like a good time.

Actually, at this minute I'm oddly looking forward to it all... though I'm sure that'll change several times in the next 24 hours. And then the next. And the next...

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Telepresent


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 10:36pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
I think your friends will understand.

Well, yes, my flatmates were very good about it. I think they're aware I drink a lot, and on my own - it's hard to hide it from them when they don't see me several times a week, hear chinking bottles when I've been shopping, and they've probably seen all the empty bottles lurking around my room. And of course, their half finished bottles have a habit of vanishing...

So yeah, I was being unfair on them, I think. Symptom of just being worried about it all.

Some of my other mates, though, particularly the London contingent... I think it will be harder for them to grasp. They're strong party types anyway, so when I do see them it's full steam ahead, as it were. And when they lived with me, we were all students, so excessive alcohol and drugs were the norm. I don't think they ever quite 'got' the depression, and this is going to be the same - particularly with one guy. Next time I see them, I think it's going to take a lot to convince him that I'm serious.

Ah well, deal with it when it comes to it.

Okay, this has turned into a rather longer post than I meant it to, and probably hasn't helped at all.

Don't be silly. It's support, and support helps. So thank you.

That goes for everyone.

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Mister


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 10:51pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
I just want to wish you the best of luck. I have a friend like that, he drinks every day, and I wish he would do the same thing, but he refuses even to admit there might be a problem. So I know it must be hard for you. So, again, I wish you all the best!!

Beautiful thing, the destruction of words.

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elTweeno


Member

Posted Wed May 20th, 2009 11:26pm Post subject: Quitting Alcohol
Glad I could help.

And I really hope it goes well with your friends - you never know, their reactions might be a pleasant surprise for you.

The bike thing sounds like a great idea - I know people who've taken up running to get over smoking cravings when they've given up, so it sounds very wise to me.

eT

I'm also on Twitter: elTweeno (of course!)

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