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Unread postby starr » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:05 pm

Hi Everyone,

I am new to this board (and to recovery in general), and I would love to hear from anyone that has experience in this area and/or has something constructive to say.

I am an educated and logical person, but I know that addiction can and does strike anyone. For general background, I have a B.S. in Psychology with honors and a Juris Doctor from a top-tier law school with honors. I am not ignorant of my situation, and I KNOW THAT I STILL NEED HELP.

I have been diagnosed by several M.D.s with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, coupled with Clinical Depression and Insomnia. This has been going on ever since I can remember (i.e., 7 years old), but lately, I have turned to binge drinking for a day or two every couple months or so. I will grab a pint of alcohol and get in bed for the sole purpose of sleeping and escaping the awful feelings that I have carried with me since childhood. I know that this is not healthy, I am am seeking to break this cycle ASAP. I have enrolled in intensive outpatient therapy (today was my first day!), and I know it will be an investment in my future -- the best investment I could possibly make. My insurance does not cover this type of treatment, but I know it's worth it. I am also going to go to AA meetings when my anxiety reaches a high point b/c that's when I am most tempted to drink.

What troubles me is that I can go out with a friend socially and have 0 drinks or 1 drink and I'm done. The only time I want to drink too much is when my anxiety takes over, and I feel like there is nothing I can do to quell that awful feeling. Sometimes I wake up already feeling that way due to the anxiety-related dreams I have every night.

Please -- if anyone has any words of support or suggestions or life experiences to share, I would love to hear from all of you!

Best regards,
Starr
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Re: New

Unread postby robertoZ » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:57 pm

Welcome.

A few things come to mind when reading your post. First, there is a difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Alcoholism is when you have signs of physical addiction to alcohol and continues to drink, despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities. Alcohol abuse is when your drinking leads to problems, but not physical addiction. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001940/). Second, alcoholism is a chronic disease which will get worse in a predictable way if left untreated. And third, as far as diseases go, this is the one to have. The treatment results in a life of blissful introspection and honesty, close, meaningful relationships, and a general feeling of grateful joyousness. You're lucky you're here.
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Re: New

Unread postby wjh » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:52 pm

I have never met someone who has come to AA or NA or any meeting looking for help that doesnt need it. This is not logical. Its viseral. While I appreciate your education, it is completel irrelevant. The old sayings are true. We come from Yale to Jail. I spent the better part of my younger years trying to think my way into a better life. I thought that if I just understood why then I would be able to overcome my problems. I, too, have been diagnosed with axiety, depression, and the like and I am not down playing any of these things. Quite frankly my depression can kill me equally as quickly as my alcoholism. The short answer for me was when someone said to me 'people who dont have a problem with alcohol just dont think about alcohol.' This made it very simple to me. The solution is in action. I needed to stop thinking and start acting. The solution is in the steps. I needed to stop trying to figure out how I was unique and just accept that a) I had a problem and b) I could not fix it alone. I had to believe, even just a little, that someone, somewhere knew more than me on this topic. If you think you may have a problem, then you do. People who think they might die from eating strawberrys stop eating strawberrys when they learn this simple truth. If I continue to eat strawberrys thinking maybe this time they wont kill me, then I am dilusional. Go to a meeting. Ask for help. Accept the help. Wash, rinse, repeat. Good luck. My life is 1000x better. I know 1000 people who would agree. I am greatful to be an alcoholic. Many people are out there, wandering through life, dazed and confused. I can go into any AA room anywhere in the world and be instantly loved and understood. Again. Good luck.
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Re: New

Unread postby joeboo2265 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:14 am

Hello Starr: Like the above poster, your education resume is not necessary. Alcoholism is not discriminatory. I had what I believed was severe anxiety. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin and felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. For me, it wasn't severe anxiety, it was severe alcoholism. Rehab, outpatient, sponsor, meetings and fast forward 21 months, I am sober. Those feelings I had are long gone, and can be for you too. I wouldn't change my life for anything. I try to live in the solution, 1 day at a time. I wish you luck. Enjoy the journey.
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Re: New

Unread postby jonas » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:06 am

Hey man, i am new to this whole things as well. My marriage is hanging by a thread, and i am staying with my parents for the weekend to dry out. Just this friday, after 3 weeks of sobriety (my wife and i had made a deal that i wouldnt drink anymore) i stayed home from work, and bought a pint of whiskey. My plan was to sober up before she came, and all would be fine. I would get my fix, and no one would be the wiser. Unfortunately, she came home and i was completely trashed. I ended up crying on the floor and screaming that i was sorry (from what i can actually remember). I also have depression and ocd disorders. ive been selfr medicating for the past 16 yearswith alchohol and pornography.

Like i said, i am new to this. I have known that ive had a problem with alchohol for years. But i am only now REALLY trying to do something about it. I have found an AA meeting that is held on fridays. Fridays seem to be my worst day, seeing as i can go for a week without drinking, but on a friday, when i dont have work the next day, those are my toughest days. Those are the days that i will scheme to get my fix. I need to get my sobriety for myself first and foremost, and then for my family. I am scared for the future, but i can only hope that things will get better and i can get myself out of this rut.

I dont know if this post is helpful to you or not, but myself being a logical thinker as well, i feel that i can relate to your story. I have a very scientific mind (or so i like to think), and have a very hard time turning to anyone for help. But i now realize that i cant do it on my own, and that is perhaps one of the most difficult things i have had to admit to myself and others.

Be well, and chin up
jonas
 

Re: New

Unread postby abclimo » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:40 am

Starr: Hi and welcome. The one thing I keep finding time and time again is how many of us self-medicate to try to get through life. I was self medicating also. If you are are drinking to take the edge off your anxiety, to sleep, etc., then maybe you need something for your anxiety. It turns out that I had been self medicating to cover an anxiety disorder as well, I now take an anti-anxiety medication and things are so much better. I also have 38 days clean and sober and it is a much better feeling than I had gotten when I was using. True, I wasn't addicted to alcohol, I was addicted to prescription pain medication. Either way, an addict is an addict, we have addictive traits and personalities. Definitely try going to meetings, not just one, but try multiple to find the ones you are most comfortable at and go to those, it's amazing what you will learn by going to meetings. If you are not comfortable at first talking, just go and hear to what they have to say, it will be amazing what you can learn that will help you cope, instead of taking that first drink. You have identified that you have a problem, now make a plan, and follow through with it. You can do it, we all can with support from others who have been there.
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Re: New

Unread postby kaylafay » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:31 am

Hi Starr. I'm sorry to hear of your anxiety. I know how hard it can be. Our stories are a little different, but I think that they are both rooted in anxiety. For me, the drinking led to more and more anxiety. Where I could of dealt with the anxiety in a constructive way, I chose a drink. By default that drink turned into 9. I didn't have to think about it anymore, but now I had two problems...the original anxiety plus so much more anxiety over being a mess. Regret, gulit, more anxiety, hopelessness. I'm new too. I haven't had a drink in just over a week. Thats not that long, but I have a plan for my anxiety and I'm really determined to stay sober. I'm sure you've tried everything under the sun. I know we all have. It sounds like you have a plan with treatment, but please find small things to drive away the anxiety. I've started to go walking in this huge cemetery by my house. It's a historical site and very peaceful. When anxiety comes on, I ride down there, put my headphones on and walk it out. It works, because there's hardly any people and it feels a whole hell of a lot better than sitting in my house being over come with all these racing thoughts. If you have to cry, bring sunglasses. Keep your chin up. You're being a brave person to set up the appointments and do what you have to do. Sometimes that is the hardest part. Good luck Starr. You can do this.
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Re: New

Unread postby joeboo2265 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:11 pm

Kaylafay...don't downplay the fact that you haven't had a drink in "only" a week. Its a miracle. You are heading in the right direction. I love the walking in the cemetery thing. Thats awesome. Sitting in your house alone will get people nowhere. If you feel good now after a week, wait till you see how great life is without the drama and insanity of active alcoholism 1 day at a time. I wish you well in your journey. 21 months of sobriety and I am loving it. Post again, would love to read your progress.
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Re: New

Unread postby abclimo » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:57 am

Joeboo: I'm glad to see your post and that you have been sober for 21 months. You definitely deserve a woo hoo!!! I'm glad you spoke from your experience. The more people posting, the better this site is becoming and I'm sometimes really excited by what I see here!!! Everyone who has made it another day deserves a woo hoo!!! Congrats!
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Re: New

Unread postby kaylafay » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:21 pm

Thanks joeboo! 21 months is great! Congrats on that! I just think there is so much hope in the possibilities of life without the alcohol. Of course everything isn't hunkey dorey. People still call me at midnight to go out for a drink and I say "No. I'm in for the night." And that's that. Instead I say, "I'll call you in the morning for coffee." When I'm out with my friends who are drinking they say, I miss drunk you. You're so fun when you drink!!! Sometimes that's embarrassing when they say that in front of people I don't know so well. I'm sticking to the idea that I'm the one who had the problem and they aren't completely used to what I'm doing yet. They don't have the problem. I do. They weren't the ones who wanted to stay up all night drinking. They weren't the ones who used alcohol as a go to to have a good time. Alcohol isn't their only definition of fun like it used to be for me. I feel another part of the world opening up to me. Did you feel that?
There are small things that I appreciate, like how it feels like there is more time in the day now. Im not laying in bed recovering for hours like I used to. I don't wake up thinking, what in the world was I even doing for those 8 hours yesterday? I remember my days and nights now. They arent bleeding into eachother like they did before. Even work feels better because I don't feel as irritable. All in all, things are looking up. I don't know how Im doing it this time where I couldn't do it all the times before. I think it took hitting rock bottom. Not that I haven't done that before, but I've never failed in terms of working. I mean, not being able to control my drinking to where I show up at work drunk as a skunk. That was the ultimate shame because every body knew exactly what was going on but me. I was too drunk to even realize that I was a complete mess in a very public way. I don't know what to say. Only that I'm glad that I have this outlet and I can "talk" with people about all of this weirdness that has been going on for nearly a decade. I am going to start writing in a journal again, so I can spare you all of my personal, "I'm taking up a lot of space" rants. Once again, joeboo I'm glad that youve made it this far. I'm sure you're up to all kinds of things you didn't have time for before. What are you enjoying most? I'm keeping in mind that people line you are a testament to the fact that this can be done.
Starr: How are you doing?
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Re: New

Unread postby abclimo » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:20 am

Kayla: Glad to see you are still living the good clean life!!! Please don't feel you have to spare us, by posting online I think we're all helping each other stay clean and sober. Isn't it great when you start to see things in the world that you didn't notice before? Sometimes they are just little things, and sometimes they are profound things and you are like wow. I also love the amount of time I have freed up in my day by not having my addictions anymore, it's amazing looking back how much time they took out of my day, I'm still amazed I was able to get anything done. June
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Re: New

Unread postby HalstonJazz2 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:17 pm

Hi Starr,

I identify with you completely, and have 17+ years of sobriety! "Alcoholism" is a "symptom" as we say. Many of us go to "Mental health" (rehabs; detoxes, etc.) to get a start in recovery. Alcoholism is a mind-body-spiritual disease. Those of us with diagnosis' such as yours, can still get sober, but oftentimes need medication. Be sure to find a psychiatrist that understands alcoholism. In my case it took years to get on the right meds. -- This and AA works!
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Re: New

Unread postby joeboo2265 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:20 pm

Kaylafay; Thank you for the accolades. What am I enjoying most for the last 21 months? LIFE. Living like a sober person. No drama. No insanity. I take responsibility for everything I do today. It's a gift that you will receive if you follow the path. Let us know how your doing.
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Re: New

Unread postby teacher » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:53 am

I am new also. I have been binge drinking several times each week now that I am retired. I never used to do such stupid and dangerous things and I believe I am now an alcoholic. My husband drinks with me. We normally talk through the entire evening as we drink. I do not set out to drink too much it just happens. Today I feel like crap. (I am in my very late 50's, usually eat very lightly and I know this causes me to become intoxicated faster since I drink on an empty stomach. ) I don't know if I am an alcoholic OR an alcohol abuser but I want to stop. I do not want to die from this. I just looked up meetings in my area. My husband said I don't need meetings, I need self control. I am a little afraid to attend a mtg. as parents of students I have had may be there and then it will be spread all over town. I have a PT "to die for" job in a very public place and I am afraid someone will see me and it will get back to my employer. I need help. I want to stop. I hate myself for drinking. I quit smoking 19 years ago so I think I can quit drinking but I can go for a few days w/o drinking then I see Sam Adams Oktoberfest staring at me in the grocery store and I have to have it. OR I 'll hear George Thourogood singing "Who Do You Love?" and I must have Sam Adams. I am weak and disgusted with myself and I need help.
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Re: New

Unread postby joeboo2265 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:04 pm

Hi Teacher. Do yourself a favor. Look for a meeting out of town. They are everywhere. Just go and listen. And don't drink today. Love the self control thing from your husband. In early sobriety I heard a counselor tell someone who said they were going to stop with willpower. He said next time you get diarrhea, try to get rid of it with willpower. Keep posting and best of luck in sobriety.
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