in Links / Psychology

Wed, 14 Apr 2004, 15:54

I am, as most people who know me will be able to attest to, not an alarmist. Heck, I still believe that a large number of studies about the dangers of product X or substance Y are heavily exaggerated. However, this study (MSNBC link) rings all too true:

WASHINGTON - Heavy social drinkers show the same pattern of brain damage as hospitalized alcoholics --enough to impair day-to-day functioning, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. Brain scans show clear damage, and tests of reading, balance and other function show people who drink more than 100 drinks a month have some problems, the researchers said.

Reading the piece I wondered.... Who is drinking 100 drinks a month? And then, I thought back. To my college days. One hundred drinks a month, that's on average three a day. Five or more on the weekends, and you're all set for a sober day or two, and still remain in this category. Yepp, that'd be me. For about three years, this would adequately describe my drinking habits. Yes, I had my sober days, and even a sober week or two, when I was broke, but amended by all those night-long drinking sprees and party indulgences, I might have broken the 100 drinks a month easily in most months.

And then I asked around. Few of my friends actually hit the 100 drinks a month, but some a rather scarily close. Let's say you're half there. That's half the dose you need for brain damage. There's little out there, I'd get as close as this to, if I know it'll turn my cranium into mush.

As I said, just another thing to consider if you're thinking about quitting or starting it up, again.

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TrackBacks

Apr 16, 2004 6:23:20 AM
Namenlosen Trinker

Jonas Luster, over at We Quit Drinking ruminates on the potential brain damage caused by excessive drinking,...

Apr 16, 2004 6:28:28 AM
Namenlosen Trinker

Jonas Luster, over at We Quit Drinking ruminates on the potential brain damage caused by excessive drinking, defined in this case as 100 drinks a month... Somewhere in my youth, I remember hearing that every sip of alcohol destroys a certain number of ...

Jul 14, 2004 2:04:20 PM
Sublime Recovery

We Quit Drinking: Another reason to quit drinking now I wonder how I am not a drooling fool in a mental hospital. Miracles....

Comments

Apr 14, 2004 9:12:07 PM
1 - Bose

This isn't that far off of other evidence from several years back that has shown that 3 drinks daily for women, 4 drinks for men seems to be a limit above which health impacts are seen after a 5-year pattern.

It's one of the things that surprises me about alcohol awareness. We see plenty of education about addiction risks, but not about what is safe (some assessments are slightly higher than the 1/2 drink limits for men/women), nor about impacts apart from addiction.

Apr 17, 2004 2:29:55 PM
2 - Michael

Are you kidding. 100 drinks a month is nothing. 3 Beers a day, thats normal isn't it?
I thought problem drinking was a LOT more than that.
I suppose we have degrees of problems here.
A scientific lab type study of what happens to the human brain after just 3 beers a night, and then what happens to the human brain and the rest of the body when you spend most nights pissed out of your tree.
As I said, we obviously have degrees of problems here.

Apr 21, 2004 4:04:23 PM
3 - Starless

Well, I surely haven't quit drinking, but that doesn't mean that a huge part of me doesn't want to. I'm not your average "problem drinker." I don't neglet what is important, become abusive, or miss work because of my addiction. I do, however, worry about the damage my drinking does to my body and mind. I think about these things constantly. My biggest problem is that I don't like the worrisome, aggitated person I am when I don't drink. These are characteristics that were existant within me before I ever knew alcohol. They seem to diminish when I'm drinking... most of the time. I'm 27 years old, I have a great boyfriend and a steady job. Yet, something is still crying out inside of me. I think it's that feeling of being contained by an unnatural want/need. The feeling that everything will fall apart if/when I make that drastic change. On an average day, I drink six beers a day. When I'm trying to be good, I drink a 22oz. When I *really* wanna drink, I go for the twelve pack. I once quit drinking for an entire year, but I was on prozac and smoked an ounce of marijuana every two weeks. So, I don't feel as though I accomplished such a great task. I feel as though the clock is ticking and every sip I take is another fall into sickness and poverty. I spend too much money on alcohol and cigarettes. I guess maybe I do neglet what is important. If I need new shoes, or a pair of pants, I'll check my account to see if I have enough money once my beer budget works out. Sad? Yes, I am often, but I entertain those less fortunate of possessing a sense of humor toward their current downfalls, break-ups, or sadnesses. I thrive in social situations where I get to be the host, mixing others' drinks while I tend to my beer. I lied when I said my drinking doesn't affect my work...I'll miss a day or so every couple months due to a hangover. I realize this isn't as severe as some, but it's enough to make me ponder it all daily. Most people know that when you drink every day, you're not hungover every day--you just feel like shit every morning and it feels natural to you after a while. It's not as funny or cool as it was the night before, but you keep repeating it, day after day, hoping that some light will shine itself upon you and make you whole. Make you not want to drink anymore. But... It doesn't happen. Spiritual procrastination just keeps sinking it's ugly fangs into my thoughts and I keep allowing myself to fall for it. I'm far beyond the denial phase, you see. I'm the living, breathing torment of awareness and it's killing my flair for life. Sometimes, I wish so much that I didn't know what it is that I do to myself. I guess I've had a few too many psychology courses to surpass that one. I know what I do. I drink to sleep so I can work and then drink again to sleep, while making a few social rounds in between. I'm a busy woman, I am. Busy believing that everything happens for a reason. If only I could make sense of those reasons. Then, I belive I'd be getting somewhere.

Apr 21, 2004 4:05:17 PM
4 - Starless

Well, I surely haven't quit drinking, but that doesn't mean that a huge part of me doesn't want to. I'm not your average "problem drinker." I don't neglet what is important, become abusive, or miss work because of my addiction. I do, however, worry about the damage my drinking does to my body and mind. I think about these things constantly. My biggest problem is that I don't like the worrisome, aggitated person I am when I don't drink. These are characteristics that were existant within me before I ever knew alcohol. They seem to diminish when I'm drinking... most of the time. I'm 27 years old, I have a great boyfriend and a steady job. Yet, something is still crying out inside of me. I think it's that feeling of being contained by an unnatural want/need. The feeling that everything will fall apart if/when I make that drastic change. On an average day, I drink six beers a day. When I'm trying to be good, I drink a 22oz. When I *really* wanna drink, I go for the twelve pack. I once quit drinking for an entire year, but I was on prozac and smoked an ounce of marijuana every two weeks. So, I don't feel as though I accomplished such a great task. I feel as though the clock is ticking and every sip I take is another fall into sickness and poverty. I spend too much money on alcohol and cigarettes. I guess maybe I do neglet what is important. If I need new shoes, or a pair of pants, I'll check my account to see if I have enough money once my beer budget works out. Sad? Yes, I am often, but I entertain those less fortunate of possessing a sense of humor toward their current downfalls, break-ups, and sadnesses. I thrive in social situations where I get to be the host, mixing others' drinks while I tend to my beer. I lied when I said my drinking doesn't affect my work...I'll will miss a day or so every couple months due to a hangover. I realize this isn't as severe as some, but it's enough to make me ponder it all daily. Most people know that when you drink every day, you're not hungover every day--you just feel like shit every morning and it feels natural to you after a while. It's not as funny or cool as it was the night before, but you keep repeating it, day after day, hoping that some light will shine itself upon you and make you whole. Make you not want to drink anymore. But... It doesn't happen. Spiritual procrastination just keeps sinking it's ugly fangs into my thoughts and I keep allowing myself to fall for it. I'm far beyond the denial phase, you see. I'm the living, breathing torment of awareness and it's killing my flair for life. Sometimes, I wish so much that I didn't know what it is that I do to myself. I guess I've had a few too many psychology courses to surpass that one. I know what I do. I drink to sleep so I can work and then drink again to sleep, while making a few social rounds in between. I'm a busy woman, I am. Busy believing that everything happens for a reason. If only I could make sense of those reasons. Then, I belive I'd be getting somewhere.

Apr 21, 2004 4:08:30 PM
5 - Starless

Well, I surely haven't quit drinking, but that doesn't mean that a huge part of me doesn't want to. I'm not your average "problem drinker." I don't neglet what is important, become abusive, or miss work because of my addiction. I do, however, worry about the damage my drinking does to my body and mind. I think about these things constantly. My biggest problem is that I don't like the worrisome, aggitated person I am when I don't drink. These are characteristics that were existant within me before I ever knew alcohol. They seem to diminish when I'm drinking... most of the time. I'm 27 years old, I have a great boyfriend and a steady job. Yet, something is still crying out inside of me. I think it's that feeling of being contained by an unnatural want/need. The feeling that everything will fall apart if/when I make that drastic change. On an average day, I drink six beers a day. When I'm trying to be good, I drink a 22oz. When I *really* wanna drink, I go for the twelve pack. I once quit drinking for an entire year, but I was on prozac and smoked an ounce of marijuana every two weeks. So, I don't feel as though I accomplished such a great task. I feel as though the clock is ticking and every sip I take is another fall into sickness and poverty. I spend too much money on alcohol and cigarettes. I guess maybe I do neglet what is important. If I need new shoes, or a pair of pants, I'll check my account to see if I have enough money once my beer budget works out. Sad? Yes, I am often, but I entertain those less fortunate of possessing a sense of humor toward their current downfalls, break-ups, and sadnesses. I thrive in social situations where I get to be the host, mixing others' drinks while I tend to my beer. I lied when I said my drinking doesn't affect my work...I'll will miss a day or so every couple months due to a hangover. I realize this isn't as severe as some, but it's enough to make me ponder it all daily. Most people know that when you drink every day, you're not hungover every day--you just feel like shit every morning and it feels natural to you after a while. It's not as funny or cool as it was the night before, but you keep repeating it, day after day, hoping that some light will shine itself upon you and make you whole. Make you not want to drink anymore. But... It doesn't happen. Spiritual procrastination just keeps sinking it's ugly fangs into my thoughts and I keep allowing myself to fall for it. I'm far beyond the denial phase, you see. I'm the living, breathing torment of awareness and it's killing my flair for life. Sometimes, I wish so much that I didn't know what it is that I do to myself. I guess I've had a few too many psychology courses to surpass that one. I know what I do. I drink to sleep so I can work and then drink again to sleep, while making a few social rounds in between. I'm a busy woman, I am. Busy believing that everything happens for a reason. If only I could make sense of those reasons. Then, I belive I'd be getting somewhere.

May 9, 2004 12:52:51 PM
6 - Sherwin

Degrees of problems.... Understanding the problem effectively means really getting to the root of it. I drank heavily in my college years, and then moved to Asia, where alcohol is served 24/7, and most of my friends drink at least 200 drinks per month. Until I looked at this sight, I never really considered anything short of completely debilitating to be "problem drinking"... I quit drinking not because I was afraid of the health effects, but in order to facilitate the quitting of cigarettes, whose effects I could definitely feel. Now, the longer I've been off the booze, the more I've come to realize this one simple equation: (for myself, at least) Booze = Temporary good times. Now, the goal in life for most people is to be happy. I want to have a good time. However, let's say I'm on the beach... I think "wow, this is great, but it would be PERFECT if I only had a cocktail... why deprive myself? What good is living healthy, if you're not living happy?" I turn to drink in this situation, because it really is the goal of my activity... The reason I'm just lying on the beach is to drink. that's why I'm there! The Question is, is there an alternative to that situation? What could be better than lying on the beach with a drink? This takes some thought. If I remove the drink, the scene becomes less satisfying. So, I must find something else to do on that beach, or get off the beach entirely! The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my whole life was built around finding myself in situations like this one. The whole goal had been to work hard to get money and then really enjoy my time off. If the time off were to be any fun, it required a boost from the bottle. I couldnt' quit, because it simply didnt' make sense to quit! Life would be no fun! Living without booze is great. However, the process of beginning a new life without it is very difficult, and not so great. I had to change my whole goal structure. I had to no longer look forward to getting off work so that I could go out with my friends and have a drink and see where the night led us.... Instead, I had to change my profession to something I could enjoy doing, and look forward to getting off work so that I could do one of the numerous activities that I had replaced the "seeing where the night went" with. In short, My work was unpleasant enough to require serious leisure time. The leisure time required drink. The drink precluded other activities. The preclusion of other activities reinforced the need to work, and thus, the need to drink. Now, The other activities preclude drinking, and sometimes even interfere with work. But, the better I get at the other things I do, the more rewarding they are, the more I grow, the more my confidence grows, and the more productive I am at work. This is long term good times! So, my advice is simple:
Maybe you need to quit the drinking cold turkey. The more you enjoy drinking, the more this is a distinct possiblity... If you expect to succeed, you have to ask yourself: "is my life built around drinking? Is drinking my only interest... My only hobby?" If it is, you will be in a situation where you get off work, go to the bar, sit with your friends, and realize that life is crap without the booze... why not just drink? What you need to do is exchange the Short-term, temporary good times that booze gives you for activities that are much harder to begin, but have a much bigger pay off... activities that will bring you longer term good times. activities that aren't so meaningless. If you can't go through your daily routine without a drink, then your life sucks, and you need to get interested in some other activities, fast. Take some courses, learn to paint, make music, go rafting, sport, a hobby! a project! Start small; Don't expect it to be as easy as ordering a drink. Nothing is as easy as ordering a drink. The more I do, the more I realize that. There really is more to life than parties, and daily life can be more colorful and more exciting than the greatest party ever was! you just have to give it some time and effort... especially in the beginning... To begin is hard.

Jun 3, 2004 5:08:19 PM
7 - acwguad

I started drinking when I was 12 years old. Getting drunk on the weekends at parties that my parents had no idea i was going to. Growing up in Mexico, it was so easy to get ahold of alcohol (they never once asked for any kind of ID). At the age of 15 I was pregnant and quit drinking completely for about 3 years. At 18 I started to drink socially again (at BBQs, parties, etc.) At 19 I got married and had my second child at the age of 20. At this point I was still drinking socially. At the age of 24 I got divorced and chose to drown my pain with booze. I drank pretty much every night after work for about a year. Then one day I decided I had to stop the insanity (after gaining 30 pounds). I stopped drinking during the week and started exercising instead. I would only drink Friday night and Saturday night. I lost the weight and was feeling great. There were even weekends where I wouldn't drink at all, just because I didn't feel like it. I felt so in control and strong. At the age of 28 (still a single mother of 2)I found out I had cervical cancer. I was told that I would have to have a radical hysterectomy done...this meant no more children.....ever. On the way home from that agonizing doctor appointment, I stopped by the store and bought a bottle of Jack Daniels (my favorite). I drank 3 stiff drinks that night (2 shots each)...once again drowning the pain. I have been drinking pretty much every day since then. In November of 2001 I had the surgery...everything went well, and as of today I am still cancer free.....but the way I chose to deal with the pain (drinking), is now causing me pain. I have been blessed with 2 beautiful children and now (as of 4 months ago) have been blessed with an amazing boyfriend. I want to start enjoying life without having to be influenced by alcohol. For once I would love to go to a bbq and sip on some iced tea instead of a jack and coke. For once I want to say good night to my children with a clear mind. For once I want to go out on a date with my boyfreind without having to down 3 shots BEFORE going on the date. For once I want to host one of my dinner parties (I host at least 2 per month)with a clear head so I can actually REMEMBER the good time I had! I am so tired of it!! And yet I can't seem to imagine life without booze... Today I told myself I wouldn't drink....tomorrow I don't want to drink either....nor the next day....and the next.... I want to be free.

Jul 14, 2004 2:01:51 PM

Three drinks a day. I can only imagine the amount of damage I have caused my poor brain. THre drinks was a warm-up for the real stuff to come.

Jul 26, 2004 7:48:09 AM
9 - Kelly

I feel the same way a lot of you seem to feel. I can't imagine what my life would be like to never drink again. To always feel the same just scares the hell out of me. I want to quit drinking, but I want it to be easy and it's not. Stress, arguing with my husband, being lonely, these things seem to set me off towards the alcohol. I am saying I'll quit but for all the wrong reasons. Somehow I need to find a reason of my own that makes me want to quit drinking worse than I want a drink. I have been married a year and have no children. Any suggestions on what motivated others to quit?

Aug 13, 2004 7:49:20 AM
10 - cosmo

I do not drink everyday, but when I do it is extreme. at least 2-nights a week I stop and pick up a tweleve pack and drink it until it is gone.
In my twenties I was as fit as the sexy guys you see on the light beer commercials. now @ 34 my gut sags over my jeans and does not fit my body. the rest of me looks normal. I always feel so fucking depressed for at least 2-days after one of these binges. I keep telling myself I am going to stop but I dont. I dont get violent or anything when drinking, just stupid. my wife hates when I do this and it is really upsetting her. It isnt fun anymore and it makes me feel ill,so why do I continue to do it? it is almost as if unconsiously i stop at the store grab the beer and never stop to think during the process how much I really hate it. I just want to stop and need some help/advice. I do not want AA. I tried it I hate the cultish feel of it and it really just creeps me out. There has got to be a better way and if anybody has any answers i would appreciate it.

Aug 13, 2004 7:49:26 AM
11 - cosmo

I do not drink everyday, but when I do it is extreme. at least 2-nights a week I stop and pick up a tweleve pack and drink it until it is gone.
In my twenties I was as fit as the sexy guys you see on the light beer commercials. now @ 34 my gut sags over my jeans and does not fit my body. the rest of me looks normal. I always feel so fucking depressed for at least 2-days after one of these binges. I keep telling myself I am going to stop but I dont. I dont get violent or anything when drinking, just stupid. my wife hates when I do this and it is really upsetting her. It isnt fun anymore and it makes me feel ill,so why do I continue to do it? it is almost as if unconsiously i stop at the store grab the beer and never stop to think during the process how much I really hate it. I just want to stop and need some help/advice. I do not want AA. I tried it I hate the cultish feel of it and it really just creeps me out. There has got to be a better way and if anybody has any answers i would appreciate it.

Aug 13, 2004 7:49:52 AM
12 - cosmo

I do not drink everyday, but when I do it is extreme. at least 2-nights a week I stop and pick up a tweleve pack and drink it until it is gone.
In my twenties I was as fit as the sexy guys you see on the light beer commercials. now @ 34 my gut sags over my jeans and does not fit my body. the rest of me looks normal. I always feel so fucking depressed for at least 2-days after one of these binges. I keep telling myself I am going to stop but I dont. I dont get violent or anything when drinking, just stupid. my wife hates when I do this and it is really upsetting her. It isnt fun anymore and it makes me feel ill,so why do I continue to do it? it is almost as if unconsiously i stop at the store grab the beer and never stop to think during the process how much I really hate it. I just want to stop and need some help/advice. I do not want AA. I tried it I hate the cultish feel of it and it really just creeps me out. There has got to be a better way and if anybody has any answers i would appreciate it.

Aug 13, 2004 12:41:44 PM
13 - keith

cosmo,
Try Rational Recovery (www.rational.org). Click Recover Now and look for the crash course to get started. It is the only thing that has worked for me... two years off the bottle after 15 years of, basically, being an everyday drinker. I've never been sober that long before since before I started drinking.

How much was I drinking? If I drank beer, I consumed anywhere from 6 to 18 in a day, depending upon what time of the day I started. If I drank liquor, mostly vodka or gin, I'd drink anywhere from 375ml to a 5th, again, depending upon what time of day I started imbibing.
So getting off that crap was a big job for me.

Rational Recovery helped me get away from the "disease" and "victim" concepts of alcohol addiciton. It made it abundantly clear that I was the facilitator. I drove to the liquor store. I went to the shelf and picked out the liquor/beer. I paid for it. I openend it, and I poured it into my body. The more I poured in, the dumber I got, and the more I poured in.

There may, indeed, be a genetic tendency toward alcohol addiction, but there is also a genetic tendency toward having blue eyes and male pattern baldness. No one is calling those "diseases". As humans, we have the ability to make choices. We aren't (at least most of us) motivated by stimulus/response like amoeba. People who drink a lot do it because they like, or love something about it. Otherwise, they would never do it again. The key is isolating the "addictive voice", which is explained completely in Rational Recovery, and learning to recognize all of "its" reasons for you to drink. Then recognize all the pain it has caused you in your life, your relationships, your job, your education, etc. It isn't the slightest bit interested in your happiness or welfare, only its own, at your expense. That expense racks up financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

We humans are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Your motivation to drink comes from your addictive voice, but it has no hands or feet. It can't do anything without your help. Don't help it. Take back control of your life.

Aug 27, 2004 1:17:03 PM
14 - tuffie

I am 44 and a mother of two fantastic young children. I'm also a professional and have a very good life. I make good money, I have a good husband and loyal friends and a large and loving extended family. Anyone looking at me from the outside would say, "she has it all".

Truth is, I have everything but self control when it comes to drinking. And the older I get, the harder it is getting to control. I drink, on average, 5 nights a week. Three of those nights I'll have two or three drinks, two of them I'll have 5 or 6. I kid myself by telling myself it won't catch up to me so long as I maintain a fitness routine, sleep well, eat well and drink lots of water, all of which I do. But the years of this kind of heavy drinking are definitely starting to take their toll on my body. Like most of you, I worry constantly about what it's doing to my liver and kidneys and heart. I had my kids late and want to be there, healthy and helpful when they have kids. At this rate, I'll be lucky just to be there.

I've tried many, many times to quit altogether. The hardest thing about it, besides the physical craving, is how completely drinking patterns are woven into the fabric of my whole life. My family drinks too much and my friends generally drink too much. And I love spending time with them in these altered states and getting into philosophical discussions or having good laughs. I very rarely get stupid or sick from too much drink, but the constant barrage on my organs is giving me an overall unwell feeling that never leaves. I want to have those childlike pure uninterrupted slumbers I used to have. I want my skin to look healthy and clear and unstressed. I want my weight to go back down to where it used to be when I turned heads. More than anything, I want to kiss my kids goodnight without the smell of alcohol on my breath and to give them an example of clean living that will guide them into a healthy adult lifestyle.

I don't want AA, I find it cultish too. But I do want support and hope I can find it here. It is very, very hard to quit drinking. I'm on day 2...

Aug 27, 2004 1:18:02 PM
15 - tuffie

I am 44 and a mother of two fantastic young children. I'm also a professional and have a very good life. I make good money, I have a good husband and loyal friends and a large and loving extended family. Anyone looking at me from the outside would say, "she has it all".

Truth is, I have everything but self control when it comes to drinking. And the older I get, the harder it is getting to control. I drink, on average, 5 nights a week. Three of those nights I'll have two or three drinks, two of them I'll have 5 or 6. I kid myself by telling myself it won't catch up to me so long as I maintain a fitness routine, sleep well, eat well and drink lots of water, all of which I do. But the years of this kind of heavy drinking are definitely starting to take their toll on my body. Like most of you, I worry constantly about what it's doing to my liver and kidneys and heart. I had my kids late and want to be there, healthy and helpful when they have kids. At this rate, I'll be lucky just to be there.

I've tried many, many times to quit altogether. The hardest thing about it, besides the physical craving, is how completely drinking patterns are woven into the fabric of my whole life. My family drinks too much and my friends generally drink too much. And I love spending time with them in these altered states and getting into philosophical discussions or having good laughs. I very rarely get stupid or sick from too much drink, but the constant barrage on my organs is giving me an overall unwell feeling that never leaves. I want to have those childlike pure uninterrupted slumbers I used to have. I want my skin to look healthy and clear and unstressed. I want my weight to go back down to where it used to be when I turned heads. More than anything, I want to kiss my kids goodnight without the smell of alcohol on my breath and to give them an example of clean living that will guide them into a healthy adult lifestyle.

I don't want AA, I find it cultish too. But I do want support and hope I can find it here. It is very, very hard to quit drinking. I'm on day 2...

Aug 27, 2004 3:13:25 PM
16 - Phoenixlev

"More than anything, I want to kiss my kids goodnight without the smell of alcohol on my breath and to give them an example of clean living that will guide them into a healthy adult lifestyle."

WOW! Me too. In every way. You know.. Some drop dead after one binge, others seem to cheat death and do it well into their 80s. Statistics show that most of us will fall somewhere in between. But don't worry, if we continue drinking we will find out soon enough. I, for one, would like to stop playing Russian Roulette with my life now. The question, of course, is how?

Sep 12, 2004 9:35:39 AM
17 - lilbig

Thanks to everyone who posts their thoughts and experiences on this site. I am very appreciative of them. It is sometimes funny to say things like that because in my desperate attempt to "debug" the power of my addiction to alcohol, I have come to realize how selfish my actions have always been. In other words, many people in my life have called me "the nicest man they ever met" but I know that my niceness has only been the byproduct of my search for acceptance. It is easy to be nice and kind when you are trying so hard to be liked. If only I could like myself...

Sep 29, 2004 4:04:04 PM
18 - Just starting...

For some time now I have recognised the enormous toll drinking has taken on my life - financially, relationships, health etc. Almost every negative event can be traced back to excessive drinking. I have everything going for me. Alcohol is my achilles heal. I am almost 27 and strongly believe that there is a small window of opportunity right now to turn this around. I find that whenever I decide that "this is it....I am going to stop", there is always a few big social events around the corner. How do people deal with this? Do I not go? If I couldn't drink at them, I probably wouldn't go.

In the past, I have found that the best way for me to stop drinking is to get into a rigourous exercise regime. This way, I won't drink b/c it will be reversing the good work I have done at the gym. But this often doesn't last.

I don't know...it's just too hard.... I love the feeling too much. But then again, I see where I'm headed with this.

Sep 30, 2004 3:36:26 PM
19 - lilbig

Hey Sean,
I'm not claiming to have all the answers. I have 3 DUI's on my record and have been through rehab, AA, etc. I am a public school teacher. Here is what works for me:
First-replacing drinking with exercise sounds like a great idea until the exercise becomes your new addiction. You'll know if it is your new addiction by thinking about your intention. Do you intend to stay fit and healthy or do you intend to get a certain response from people who see you? Are you working out for 30-45minutes a day, once a day with a day off every couple of days, or are you taking it to the extreme? One might say "even if I do take it to the extreme, isn't exercise better than drinking?" Yes, exercise IS better than drinking but over time you will lose interest in exercising and go back to the drinking.
Second-I would go to the social and let people you care about know that you are having a hard time with drinking. I would ask a friend (not a drinking buddy) to help you drink moderately or not at all. Moderate drinking is 2-3 drinks, nothing more no matter what. I usually bring my own n/a beverages so that when the initial excitement of "getting the party started" arises I can reach for my juice or water or whatever. I have also came to socials a little late so that I could skip the initial excitement (that is my weakness). The bottom line: 1)yes, you'll feel uncomfortable-deal with it 2)don't keep your suspicion of having a problem secret, secrets create bigger problems. Get it out on the table, that way you won't have to be "put on the spot" if someone asks you to drink 3) watch for the people who really try hard to get you to drink, they are the ones who will be in recovery next 4) every time you say to yourself "I'm going to quit drinking," you'll have social gatherings come up that seem like a once in a life time event of the year. That is the world's way of responding to your intention. See it as a test, challenge, gift, whatever. It is an opportunity to grow, not a set back. Why does a 2 or 3 year old cry and scream when you take his/her toy from them? Because they get scared and angry that something precious to them has been taken away. Why is it precious to them? Because it makes them feel safe and secure. How come the child loses interest in that same toy as they grow older? Because they have grown mentally and emotionally and have found safety and security in something other than a toy, tv show, game, or whatever. So then, why do you hold to tightly to your addiction to alcohol? What good has it brought to you? Imagine how great it is going to feel when you outgrow your need to cling so tightly to something that only brings you more pain. It will happen soon.
I hope that helps.

Nov 10, 2004 6:43:11 AM
20 - Katie

This site is amazing. I'm on day three without alcohol and am amazed at how good I feel. This being said, I know come 3:00, I'll be fighting the urge to stop for a twelve pack. I've gained weight, I argue with my family, I'm miserable every morning, yet I continue to do this to myself.....I want to break the cycle and am grateful that I stumbled across this site. Does anyone know of any other similar websites?

Dec 6, 2004 10:37:01 AM
21 - chris

I have felt so alone for years about my drinking.I am very glad to read everyone's posts, I don't drink everyday, but when I do, I have absolutely NO discipline. It is very mental for me, I can quit for long periods of time, and be fine, but can very much relate to the woman that said you get used to waking up feeling like shit. And the woman that said she has everything, but wants to kiss her kids goodnight without smelling like booze, you bring tears to my eyes, that is a dream of mine. I go between feeling good about something I do, and feeling like crap about my drinking, but it doesn't stop me. I downplay it in my mind, and think I want to "enjoy" life, and then with an anxious stomach at 4 in the morning, I beat myself up for "forgetting" how I got into bed. I am 38 and to all of the 20 somethings that wrote on this site, the years go by sooo fast, if you can get a grip soon, you won't be like me, so worried about your body and mind being damaged, how much have I done over the last 15 years, and what about my babies, I want them to have their mom around, and respect me. Ha! Now I want the world. I am my worst enemy. Yet, when I do quit, it isn't hard, made it through the holidays last year, and then feeling so confident, had one here and there, and then unleashed the undisciplined child in me. Well, I don't know what I am gonna do yet, still wallowing, but thank you for letting me see that I am not alone in this awful web! I really needed to know that!! Thanks.

Dec 11, 2004 8:30:54 AM
22 - Ashley

Man, I thought I was alone. I drink waaaay 2 much. Currently this is the situation, I have drunk nearly every day for the last 4 years, with the last year being the biggest can count the number of days on 2 hands). I am drinking atleast 7 full strength beers a day with and easy double of that on any given occasion (it doesnt take much). Thats atleast 250/month. I am currently doing a Computer Science Degree and I work in Management. I am exactly like Starless's writings as we are all just in this rut. Change seems just sooooo hard. This is my first night cold turkey for a long while, i'm a nervous wreck and im shaking to the shithouse with sweat pissing out of me. Drinking too escape then working to drink to escape from work to drink to escape from work to drink to escape. Logic is not happening here. How do we all stop ? How ?? its just so stupid and dumb but fuk its hard.

Dec 12, 2004 9:20:15 AM
23 - Kristine

I'm on day 6 of not drinking.

I think I started drinking (on and off) at 14 or 15. Now I'm 33! I've wanted to quit for the last five years or so. I got so sick of waking up feeling awful, but just couldn't pull myself away. And so many times I told myself I was quitting, but there was that 10% of me that didn't want to quit (that's the seductive "addictive voice" they talk about at Rational Recovery).

But this time is different. I can really feel a change. I'm 100% commited to quitting. Not cutting back, which I proved I couldn't do (that's also that "addictive voice", telling me I can 'cut back''). But quitting. Tomorrow will be one week!

This weekend I was at a wedding with alcohol being shoved in my face, but it wasn't as hard as I thought. Especially when I started to see people around me get drunk. I was usually getting drunk right along with them! It was a really weird, completely new perspective. But it felt good. I was clear-headed and healthy for a change. I woke up feeling good!

It's like an adventure. And it feels really good so far! I'm ready to do something new with my life! I gave SO much of it to alcohol. I'm DONE with it!!!!! I'M in charge now. It feels really good to tell that "addictive voice" to shut up!

Best of luck to everyone out there!

Dec 12, 2004 9:20:15 AM
24 - Kristine

I'm on day 6 of not drinking.

I think I started drinking (on and off) at 14 or 15. Now I'm 33! I've wanted to quit for the last five years or so. I got so sick of waking up feeling awful, but just couldn't pull myself away. And so many times I told myself I was quitting, but there was that 10% of me that didn't want to quit (that's the seductive "addictive voice" they talk about at Rational Recovery).

But this time is different. I can really feel a change. I'm 100% commited to quitting. Not cutting back, which I proved I couldn't do (that's also that "addictive voice", telling me I can 'cut back''). But quitting. Tomorrow will be one week!

This weekend I was at a wedding with alcohol being shoved in my face, but it wasn't as hard as I thought. Especially when I started to see people around me get drunk. I was usually getting drunk right along with them! It was a really weird, completely new perspective. But it felt good. I was clear-headed and healthy for a change. I woke up feeling good!

It's like an adventure. And it feels really good so far! I'm ready to do something new with my life! I gave SO much of it to alcohol. I'm DONE with it!!!!! I'M in charge now. It feels really good to tell that "addictive voice" to shut up!

Best of luck to everyone out there!

Dec 12, 2004 9:54:55 AM
25 - justanothermother

Good for you Kristine! I haven't had anything to drink for 8 days, and it does feel good! It is Sunday morning and I am up, showered, makeup on, and ready to go do something, instead of begging to sleep in and hating myself for what I can't remember! I haven't committed to quitting forever, but I really like it when I don't drink, almost as much as when I do. It is very hard to turn off that addictive voice, even to turn it down, but you are inspiring.