New to site, need help!

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:35 am

New to site, need help!

Postby HQuinn4417 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:08 am

Hello! I just registered today, but I've seen this sight multiple times while searching for personal answers to questions I've been having. I've never found anything specific enough to my needs, so I thought I would join.

I'm 23 years old and I would like to become completely sober. I don't think of myself as an alcoholic (which, yes, I know you've heard this a million times, but please allow me to explain.)

I grew up in a split family in which both sides abused alcohol tremendously. Both of my parents still drink heavily, but luckily the emotionally abusive step father I had almost overdosed on drugs when I was 17 and was admitted, and moved out shortly after. (10 years of dealing with him was extremely traumatizing for me, being the oldest of 3 kids who's mom was constantly working or drunk.) I know what alcoholism and drug abuse looks like, and it's not me.

I've since grown up to be a pretty independant and successful business woman (well, so far, for my age I think so anyways). I'm in the process of opening my own Massage Therapy practice, along with becoming a yoga instructer and an all around expert in hollistic health and wellness.

I see my parents now, and they dissapoint me. I'm seeing them in the light of an adult and it's very hard for me to see them as caretakers of any kind. They seem immature, selfish, and out of control. It's very hard for me to take in, even though I've always been independant. Of course, neither of them will ever admit to having problems. In fact, they brag about their alcohol use.

One time my mother fell down the stairs while drunk, and had a severe head injury that bled everywhere. Luckily I was still living at home to call an ambulance. The doctor told me after she was fixed up that she had a BAC of .324, and for her to be walking and talking still was outright nuts. He recomended I get her into outpatient treatment immediatly. However, there is no telling my mom what to do, so that was a failed mission.

I want to cut the alcohol from my life completely. I do not want to become like them, and I'm desperately afraid I will if I continue to have ANY relationship to alcohol. I go out with my friends sometimes, but I can't drink as much as they do. If I do I get beligerant because I can't tolerate alcohol very well. I've also gotten myself in trouble because of drinking a few times.

My friends have been the only thing that's kept me going through the years. (No, they are not drinking buddies. These are my best friends sober, drunk, monday, tuesday, flag day, every day.) My friends, however, drink heavily when they go out. It's hard not to do the same when we get in that "mode", if you will.

I'm afraid that if I tell them I want to give up alcohol, they will support me but they wont believe me. I quit smoking cigarettes after 6 years cold turkey, so I feel like I could cut the alcohol as well. However, I'm a people pleaser and I just don't know if I can do it. Alcohol is EVERYWHERE! It's so easy to just whip out my ID and say I'll have a drink with my meal.. or at a bar... or whatever. I don't feel addicted to drinking. I don't feel scared or lonely when I'm sober. It's just convenient to be a drinker.

Can someone please help me? Any advice you can give me would be wonderful. I want to set a good example for my youngest sister (13, daughter of abusive step dad) who's already getting into trouble and I believe getting into drugs and alcohol.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to hear from someone soon.

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Postby Dallas » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:08 pm

Welcome to the site. I hope we can be of help.

If you're not alcoholic -- why don't you just stop drinking?

Non-alcoholics can simply stop drinking if and when they want to -- and they can stay stopped, and not even be interested in alcohol again. (Especially if it has caused them some problems.

What makes an alcoholic an alcoholic is: They can't leave alcohol alone -- entirely. Completely. :wink:

So... if you are "not-alcoholic" you should have no problem at all -- to stop drinking and to leave it completely alone. And... if you do that... your problem is solved and you'll never have to think about it again.

If your basing your "not-alcoholic" definition of "alcoholism"... on someone else's drinking patterns or habits -- that's not really going to be a good idea.

Here's a simple test question that may be of help.

Question: Are you alcoholic?

If... your answer is "maybe"... you might not be alcoholic.

If... your answer is "definitely not" -- then you probably are alcoholic.

Sorry... but that's the simplest test I know of when someone is concerned about their drinking, and/or they've had a few problems with alcohol -- the for sure alcoholic will answer "NO" when asked if they are alcoholic.

You see -- "non-alcoholics" don't even think about whether they are alcoholic or not. And, if you asked them if they are... typically, and often, their answer will be "well. I've never thought about it... but, I guess I could be." :lol:

Why don't you take a look at this page:
and take the test on the page.

You'll be able to answer "Yes" or "no".

If you're still not sure... then on that page above, you'll find a link for a 2nd test with different questions. And, you can grade that test for yourself.

Then, when you've done that -- please come back here to the forum -- and let me know what you thought about it.

Wishing the best for you....


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Postby HQuinn4417 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:09 pm

Thank you so much for replying! Well, I guess I've never tried to quit drinking before. I didn't mean to try and justify myself or anything like that. I've just been confused, and I'm afraid of losing my social life if I cut drinking out of the picture. Sometimes it seems like that is all there is to do around here.
I also don't mean to base my definition of the word "alcoholic" on one or two people or instances. I've researched alcohol abuse a lot throughout my life, and I feel I have a good grasp on what the signs and symptoms of alcoholism are. I personally don't believe I qualify. Perhaps I'm in denial, but that's not for me to decide.
I am mostly looking for support system for my personal goals of giving up the drinking party scene, and the loss of that time with friends and acquaintances. I am not looking to be labeled, so I hope you guys could understand and respect that. Throughout the process if I find it difficult to quit, or become distressed without the alcohol, I will gladly admit that I have a problem that I can't control.
How did \do you guys get through the initial dropping off the bar and party scene?

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Postby HQuinn4417 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:42 pm

Oh, also, will AA allow me at meetings? I'm afraid because I've never been, but I've always wanted to go for therapy. Is there a special day I have to go? Or are they all the same? I'm afraid of feeling like an outcast or that I'm going to be, like, attacked by people telling me to admit I have a drinking problem. That doesn't seem particularly inviting. Am I allowed to just listen and not talk? Telling life stories is a lot easier for me to do on a forum then it is in front of a group. Just wondering,

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Postby Dallas » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:36 pm

Good to hear from you again!

Your welcome to hang out w/ us here in the forum and on the site. If I can be of help or support to you -- regardless if you're alcoholic or not -- I'll gladly do what I can to help.

It's good to remember that when we share -- we'll be talking primarily about "us and our experience"... so don't get the feeling that we're talking about you. :wink:

If you do decide to try out AA... I'd suggest to be sure they are what's referred to as "Open Meetings." Those are open to anyone in the community and many of them will be geared for "those who have a drinking problem" and they may not be alcoholic. And, for those that would like to learn more. They don't always stick to this and you can run into some goof-balls and goofy situations -- please don't let that discourage you. Even the produce section at a supermarket gets goof-balls! :lol:

And, I'd suggest to attend "speaker meetings" only. Again, not all speaker meetings are the same. Some will be good and some not so good. In speaker meetings, typically, you don't have to introduce yourself or talk about yourself. Their format is for listening.

I'd also suggest "not sharing" and "not talking much" af first. And, that's primarily for your own benefit. You might want to keep it to something like "I have a desire to stop drinking. I may or may not be alcoholic. I don't know." Or, to keep it even simpler with "I'd just like to get more information."

In today's world -- many non-alcoholics give up drinking just like many people have given up smoking. They feel better. They smell better. They tend to live longer (I've heard)... and it's a growing "more social thing to do." And, many non-alcoholics and non-addicted-to-anything people choose a "Sobriety Lifestyle"... some of them even live & practice the 12 Steps as a way to live a better life.

When I first came to AA and stopped drinking -- I was terrified of what my "drinking friends" would think about me! :lol: Would they think I was weak and/or had a drinking problem? :lol: Would they think I was no longer tough enough or cool enough to hang out w/ the Big Dogs? :lol:
Would people think I was a weird-o or a goodie-good because I didn't drink? :lol: Of course... by the time that I first came to AA, I had experience many alcohol-related problems -- but to me, my friends and family... we were all SURE that I was NOT an alcoholic! :lol:

Maybe, fortunately for me -- my first effort to stop drinking w/ AA's help only lasted about 5 1/2 months before I started drinking again. I wasn't convinced that I was a real alcoholic -- but I did lie a lot and tell them that I was an alcoholic. :lol: I was REALLY trying hard to "not drink" for six months -- because I had the idea that this would prove that "I only had some problems, I solved the problems, I'm not alcoholic, so I can get back to drinking socially." I screwed up and drank -- unintentially -- before the six month target date. And, then I discovered that even w/ AA's help... I couldn't stop drinking again. I did mostly a lot of "controlled drinking"... At least I thought and felt like I was in control of it.

There had been other times that I had quit drinking before going to AA. Once... I did quit for about six months (I think it was six months) ... because I had bought a nightclub and was pursuing a pretty big business deal. I knew that my drinking "could" screw it all up -- if I lost control or did something dumb while drinking -- just once. :wink:

So... I definitely relate to being in the middle of a crowd that drinks a lot -- and being the "non-drinker." I didn't really care too much if people liked me or not. I figured that was my business. And, I never was much into people pleasing. I was more of a "what you see is what you get" kind of guy -- and "take me or leave me -- I don't really give a hoot" kind of guy.

Later on, too... after I finally did get sober and stay sober w/ AA's help, and knew for sure that I really was a "real alcoholic" ... I worked a lot as a bartender -- in some hard-core partying nightclubs -- for the first couple of years in my sobriety. There -- I was the only non-drinker.

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Postby lotusinbloom » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:20 am

Hi there. I've been in and out of the rooms for years. I finally admitted my powerlessness over alcohol and am finally working the program ...and for me, there's no turning back. I do not have another go around in me. I hit rock bottom real bad.

I was about your age when I was Court ordered to go to AA meetings. I balked at the idea but went anyway. I was in college and all I kept thinking was "how am I going to have fun" if I never drink again. I was about 19 or 20, I guess. I was sober for 30 days and I actually started feeling pretty good. I started to realize that "yes, my drinking was problematic" For the first time, I felt clean and whole...but.....I screwed up and went back to drinking and using....

Fast forward 26 years later and here I am.

Be mindful of the fact that you grew up in alcoholic home. I did as well. I would suggest first going to an Adult Children of Alcoholics meeting...just my opinion. Growing up in an alcoholic home changes everything - - and it has a direct impact on your self esteem and how you view yourself.

I proceeded to party my way through life until I had my children. My husband and I used to follow the Grateful Dead around so having a family changed all of that. We would still go to shows but not as often.

As my children grew (my son is away at college now and my 13 year old daughter is in 7th grade), I started going out with friends again and then drinking at home. The disease progressed quickly. There was a point where I was asking God to kill me in a car accident (praying that a tractor trailer would cross the line and slam into me) or some other way.

I had a career. A good career. I lost that. I lost my health. I filed bankruptcy. My home was foreclosed on. I was tested for cervical cancer. I was constantly ill with pneumonia. I had an affair. My husband had an affair. I went into detox and rehab. I had the police looking for me after I ran out of my house and swore I was going to kill myself. I have a (benign) mass on my liver. A friend died of an overdose. My husband's car was repossessed and just recently my husband was laid off from his job. The other day I found out my car needs new brakes - cha ching$$$. ALL OF THIS happened in the course of a year! I am still looking for a job.

My last drunk was on January 22nd of this year. I was constantly relapsing before that day. I fell hard. I stayed in bed for 6 days straight feeling sorry for myself. Something in me had changed and I knew that if I did not pursue recovery with vigor and honesty I would die and my children would be left without a mother, my husband without a wife. I want a new way of life and I have found some real good people in AA.

You are young. Don't let yourself go where I have gone. Alcohol is cunning and baffling. You already have that genetic propensity for alcoholism (your parents). Your little sister needs you.


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Postby sunlight » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:07 pm

Thank you all for sharing your stories. It helps me so much.

I wish everyone who's registered here would share his or her stories. We need to hear them! This is a perfect place to be anonymous.
I am just one tiny member of AA, but I have a story, and it just might be what someone needs to hear that thinks they can't get sober.
I bought a one-way ticket to hell, and thought that's where I was doomed to stay. But the loving, living hand of God and AA snatched me out! I never have to back there again, as long as I do a few simple things. And I do mean DO. :wink:

HQuinn, please check out the AA Big Book and the chapter "More About Alcoholism". It helped me determine whether or not I was an alcoholic. It also talks about the "potential alcoholic".

Dear lotusin bloom, thank you for giving of yourself. The lotus is a beautiful flower & so are you!

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Postby sparklek » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:18 pm

Keep coming back because it does get better, The most beautiful thing is to watch the miracle of this program work in others. Sometimes, many times in sobriety in fact, I look up and my past seems like some bad dream. I know it is real and it helps keep me coming back. Though life is never the way I think it should be, it's a lot easier when I am not drinking and working towards faith. Also, the program has given me people that love and support no matter what. I have finally found a place that I can truly be myself and be accepted. Money can't buy that. I would encourage both of you to try this thing whole heartedly. Give yourself a chance.

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