I'm Graystone and I'm an Alcoholic.

Introduce yourself or read introductions from others!
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:01 pm

I'm Graystone and I'm an Alcoholic.

Postby Graystone » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:52 pm

I’m new to this forum and would like to thank Dallas for helping me with my login.

I’m 54 years, married with 2 children. My location is the outer banks of North Carolina.

I was later than most in taking my first drink in 1970 at age 16. I admitted to myself I was alcoholic at age 20 but have known for years my alcohol consumption was not normal right from the time I took that first drink.

I first came to AA in 1993 and stayed sober for 30 months. In 2002 I had another 30 month sobriety and there have been shorter periods of sobriety in-between too numerous to count.

My current sobriety date is October 2008. I have a home group and a sponsor.

Since I have always been a functional alcoholic I have an absolutely amazingly insane ability to identify out & pickup that first drink. I keep coming back because that first 30 months of sobriety ruined my drinking forever.

I look forward to contributing where I can.


Site Admin
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:17 pm

Thanks for sharing Graystone!!!

Glad you finally got logged in! We can help you and you can help us... and none of us will EVER have to drink again... as long as we keep trying to help each other, and the new guppies that come along.

The Internet sure has been a blessing for us alcoholics that can find all kinds of logical and reasonable reasons... for not doing what we need to be doing to stay sober! Helping others! Regardless if it's the middle of Los Angeles or the northern rim of isolated areas in Canada... or the desserts of New Mexico... we might not have it all together... but, together, we can have it all!

Glad you're here!


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Postby gunner48 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:37 pm

Hi Graystone. Gunner here. Anything we can do for you out here in Missouri let us know. Welcome to the site.

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Postby DebbieV » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:49 pm

Hey Graystone,

Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing more of your ES&H.

Greystone Wrote:

Since I have always been a functional alcoholic I have an absolutely amazingly insane ability to identify out & pickup that first drink.

I understand that statement so well, I dont know if you would have called me a functional alcoholic or not..However, I could come up with some real insane reasons to drink..Like, I'm thirsty :wink:

Glad your here with us.


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Postby ccs » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:44 pm

Hi Graystone WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!

thank you for sharing and helping me today

please keep coming back (I need all the help I can get :D :wink: )

hope to hearlots from ya

Luv-2-All ( Oh!!! :oops: I`m cessie an alcoholic) nice 2 meetcha!!

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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:01 pm

Postby Graystone » Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:17 pm

DebbieV wrote:. . . I dont know if you would have called me a functional alcoholic or not . . .

Debbie the mainstream label is high bottom alcoholic but I prefer functional alcoholic. Identifying out has always been my downfall until I learned to identify with the way another alcoholic drank, thought, and acted. The other alcoholic might have a DWI and I don't but what's important is we both drank, got drunk and drove.

I've come to believe you hit bottom when you stop digging.

garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:36 pm

Hi Graystone,

A "functional alcoholic" huh? "High-bottom" too?

God bless you my friend. I understand. I can identify with going in BIG CIRCLES that last 30 months at a time then hitting the ground.

From what I've learned, there really is no such thing as a "functional alcoholic". I used to think I was a functional alcoholic too. But then I met someone and worked with her a little bit, and she was just like me.

Then I watched her crash and burn a couple times, then vanish, then reappear literally almost half-dead.

I could relate because she seemed so "functional".

But one day it occurred to me. She wasn't "functional". She was a hard-working super-motivated "go-getter" in everything except alcohol. When she crashed and burned the last time, it nearly killed her.

A "functional alcoholic" is really only an alcoholic that has a higher threshold for pain. I know it hurts you a lot more going back out after 30 months than it does the new man who is in and out maybe on a monthly basis. You probably hate failure. You probably hate yourself for "folding" so far into sobriety. You probably carry a big stick and beat yourself up regular when you think you're falling short on anything.

I'd just say you probably have a high tolerance for pain. Like me and several other alcoholics. I never had a real good sense of when to cut my losses and bail out. So I fought with alcohol a few years longer when I relapsed. I got my butt whooped, and I'm still paying for it 10 years sober.

I'm just now learning how to stop beating my own @ss. My problem has been accepting that I actually have limitations. I have a bum knee, a leaky stomach, and high anxiety. What in THEE HELL am I doing plastering walls and hanging drywall by myself at 2:30 AM while my ankle is swelling and my back is killing me?

Hell I'm 50 years old and know ER staff by name, can identify which I.V.'s you use for dehydration or low potassium, know which floor is for trauma, GI, and Infectious Disease patients - And I'm not even in the medical field - that's how many times I've beat myself up so bad that I ended up in the hospital.

So when you say you're a functional alcoholic, brother I feel your pain!

Welcome, and please put down that big stick! :wink:

God bless,

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Postby Graystone » Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:47 am

In writing my introduction I was really hesitant to use the word functional. When I use functional I’ll always get some variation of the response “Y-E-T you’re eligible tooâ€

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Postby DiggerinVA » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:26 am

Welcome Graystone.
Don't worry about being a functional, I have a friend I'm jealous of who is a functional. Heck he has had two DWI's but the pain has not moved him to the rooms. Well actually he has had to go to metings and thinks he knows what is going on. But really he has not been show the real message. After all people seem to keep it a secret, at least around here. After all it is not like being on the wagon. One day I hope he will ask. But in the mean time a twelve pack to get through a day at work for him and it has been that way for years. By the way he agrees I needed to do something, after all I have no off switch.

Work the steps it is a good way of life.

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Postby Dallas » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:24 pm

Hey Graystone! Nice to hear from you! And, I understand!

I went to my first AA meeting in one of the sadest shapes that I had ever been in... but when I looked around the room and listened to the people in the room... my head said... "Gee. If I had gotten that bad I would have stopped, too!"

I couldn't relate to them. All I seemed to hear was the failure stories... and my life did have some failure stories... but I had a ton of success stories, too!

When I would listen to AA's in those first meetings share... My head would say "Heck! As bad as I am... I can still do what these people are doing with the help of God or their Higher Power! I don't think I need what they got!" I better get out of here soon... before I catch what they've got! :lol: :lol:

Graystone wrote:My dilemma has been to keep from identifying out and away from that first drink with MY HISTORY.

That was one of my dilmma's too. I found my answer in the Doctor's Opinion, in the Big Book. I had reached a place where my head couldn't differentiate the true from the false. In most areas of life... I was like a normal highly successful person... but, when it came to picking up that next first drink... that set off a chain reaction for more drinking... that was what confused me. "Why can't I drink and enjoy it and control it... like I used to?" And, "how can a person that has achieved all the successes that I have achieved... and still capable of achieving... be an alcoholic?"

Graystone wrote:Maybe if I change my brand or start drinking 30 minutes later than normal or count my drinks or make a written list I can look at while drinking of how I’ll feel the next day maybe I’ll stop at 6 and not get drunk.

I think I must have passed through that phase rather quickly. As I would read about the same experience... that Bill writes about that, in the first few pages of Chapter 3, More about alcoholism... I didn't know that I was doing those things to try to control my drinking... but, I was doing all of those things except for one. "I never tried not taking a trip!" :lol:

[quote="Graystone"]Back in 93 when I sat down with my first sponsor and told him my story he pronounced me not ready for AA. I asked him why and he said "when you are no longer wearing that watch because of alcohol and you are no longer wearing that wedding band because of alcohol THEN (and boy did he emphasize the word THEN) you're ready for AAâ€

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