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Old 08-15-2013, 02:50 PM   #26
TheCroShow
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Thank you for sharing. Alcoholism has torn apart my family, kind of goes in cycles. The investigator expresses no remorse and carries on like nothing happened.
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:53 PM   #27
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

This is what I think about alcoholism and/or drug abuse (its the same ****). You have factors that steer you towards becoming an addict - genetics and your life experiences/how you learn to cope (or not cope) with them. Once you are 'on the path' (of which there are a million varying degrees as its in constant motion towards addiction because of the progressive nature of the disease), there are things that can enable you tobe a functional person dependent or semi-depemdent on a drink, drug, or the release you get from it. Things like a job, spouse, responsibilities, kids. In a vacuum, without those deterrents, you will progress very rapidly.

Back to your question. I progressed slowly over the first 10 years (from 15-25) because I was really physically active and I had things like job and school. From 20-25, my drinking definitely increased but I was still a mainly a 'weekend warrior'. In my early 20's, I started to do things like have wine with (every) dinner when I would go out to eat, drink during football games, drink on dates. Still, I have this one really vivid memory that I always remember now, as its kind of funny now - I remember being a senior in college and thinking "Why would anyone just want to drink by themselves?"

When I started playing poker, things started to change because I no longer had structure. I moved to a foreign city and started to go out more and more. My dependence still was masked by the fact I was always drinking in social settings. I would black out on rare occasions but wasn't a "messy" or obnoxious drunk - at least most of the time. Towards the end before I became a nonfunctional drinker/user, I started to do things like pregame by myself, before dinner, dates, etc. I had an apartment with a pool on the roof and soon I would just go up there, invite people over, and start drinking. Within 2 months I was drinking every day, all day long.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:00 PM   #28
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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Thank you for sharing. Alcoholism has torn apart my family, kind of goes in cycles. The investigator expresses no remorse and carries on like nothing happened.
If drunks had to apologize and show remorse every time they got drunk, they'd be apologizing all the time. It's not like they're gonna quit drinking. Who wants to apologize for their actions from the night before every single day? It's simpler to carry on like nothing happened.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:07 PM   #29
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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Hey OP, glad you made the thread. I've posted about my struggles with alcoholism and addiction and it's been a good thing for me and hopefully for some other people.

I know alcoholics for whom recover primarily means "don't drink / don't use", and from your OP it sounds like that might be the case for you. For me, recovery has meant changing the way I think about almost everything. Has recovery changed you as a person or are you basically the same guy as before, just without alcohol and drugs?

I'll have a year in September, hit me up anytime!
Thanks for the response and congrats on your upcoming year.

For me the word "sobriety" doesn't really cover everything that I've gone through since I stopped drinking. I don't think there's a word for it. When I speak, like at meetings or at a recovery center or something, I try to highlight the difference between abstinence and recovery. I hate to sound preachy but, for me, there is a huge difference.

My struggle with alcohol/drugs and the subsequent recovery process have been the most valuable thing I could have ever have imagined happening to me, beyond anything I would have even thought was possible. The reason for this is because I finally learned how to feel good about myself from the inside out.

I didn't have a messed up childhood, like I said, but I had a low self-image as a kid. More than that, I never was taught, or never learned, how to communicate those feelings properly. And as a result I never learned how to cope. The number one thing I have learned is that MY ADDICTION WAS A FUNCTION OF MY INABILITY TO COPE. My feelings of insecurity maybe weren't any worse than anyone else's. I had a good upbringing. But even as a kid, when given the chance to go right versus left, I always chose left. I never admitted, to myself or others, that I had these issues - I got anxious around and in front of people, I always analyzed everything I did and second guessed myself, I never thought I was as cool or as smart or as goodlooking as the next guy. I tried to overcompensate and as a result came off confident and probably brash for years. I WAS popular, good at sports, and decently smart, but nothing special...and I think that 'nothing special' was what I focused on.

The first time I drank, I felt that "ahhh" feeling. A release from those feelings of insecurity. I felt confident and secure. I more or less chased that feeling for the next 12 or 13 years until I stopped. Only when I stopped did I realize how I could gain true self-worth. The reason I relapsed every time, after rehabs, therapy, etc, was that I never got why I liked drinking so much in the first place. I never addressed the stuff that was always at my core since I was a kid. Once I got that, man....everything started to click. I realized I can have these struggles, these normal ups and downs, these feelings of insecurity, and I could DEAL with them - that they weren't going to kill me, that I could talk about them (meetings and therapy)...and that I could actually work on them - then I started to actually be confident for the first time in my entire life. I simply realized why I used drugs and alcohol my whole life and that I don't need them...and that my life is a lot better than it ever was even when I WAS a functional drinker. Because I am in a lot of ways a new person. I could write a book on this whole process but I think it's enough to say I personally never would have been able to gain that without this whole process. I am extremely thankful.

So to answer your question, no, I'm not the same guy. I actually like myself now.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:14 PM   #30
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

Early signs to look for in an alcoholic?
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:50 PM   #31
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I post on another forum filled with drug and alcohol abusers. What can I tell them besides Hugs Not Drugs and Crack Is Whack?
I kind of have a hardline stance when it comes to this stuff. It comes from being an addict. Theres nothing u can say or do that will make them realize anything they dont know.they will say (and mean) that they want to get better, but you have to let them get out on their own and see if they really want to put what they know into practice and stay sober. Meetings help. Friends help. If they are relapsing, let them hit their bottom. The faster they hit it the faster they have a chance to get better
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:53 PM   #32
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I think it's too early to tell if you have no long term health problems. Hopefully you don't. Good luck with sobriety. I like to drink but only socially. I do binge at times but it's infrequent. JFC at you drinking 30-40 beers a day. What did you weigh, or were you purging much of it?
Thanks for the GL. I weighed around 180, never purged
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:01 PM   #33
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ask me anything about being a 30 year old fk up. I miss the days when ask me threads on here were opened by interesting people :/
I actually used to feel the same way when i would read about addicts or people with 'problems'. And i mean, i was a huge fk up, but i dont consider kyself one now. I am actually an exec sous chef at an restaurant in a major city. I am still in debt but i think i wont be in 2 or 3 years. If i am still your definition of a fk up, i accept that and am cool with it. I def feel like i threw away 10 prime years of my adulthood being not the person who i want to be
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:08 PM   #34
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[QUOTE=gmcarroll33;39751264]How long were you able to go without drinking before you had a seizure? Did having your first seizure have any effect on you or did you just go straight back to drinking the next day?

I remember watching intervention years ago about Lawrence Ryan, the millionare tanning salon guy out of Vegas who drank a liter of Vodka or more per day, and had seizures all the time. Ultimately he died at like 34 from esophagael bleeding. I never knew stuff like that could even happen, especially so young. Glad you're better now and this isn't your fate[/QUOTE)

Thanks. I would have one somewhere between a cpl hours and a day after my last drink. I would HAVE to either get alcohol or get klonopin in my system or i would keep having them. Seizures are terrifying and that fear led me to do some absolutely ridiculous things in order to get alcohol. One time at 6 am on a sunday i broke into a grocery store, couldnt find any real alcohol, got a gallon (maybe 1/2 gallon), of cooking wine (like all your daily sodium in 1/2 a cup), mixed it with tomato juice, downed the whole thing, and peaced
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:09 PM   #35
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

When did you realize you had gotten addicted (if you even realized it at the time); how often/how many consecutive days/weeks(/months) do you think it took to develop it?

I'm asking because I used to drink somewhat heavily myself, 6 out of 7 days a week I'd drink a full bottle of 40% or a bit more for about a year. But I always took a day or two off if I started getting these small panic attacks, severe anxiety/ill temper, inability to sleep and so on. "Real" addiction never developed, never got physical cravings of any sort, so I'm curious how it was with you.
I probably have slight emotional/instability issues as a result though, and I definitely feel less intelligent.

Also; have you done any CT/MRI scans to check for damages to the brain, or any internal organs otherwise?
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:12 PM   #36
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How would you know out the drug dealers and did you take care to make sure they would be OK?
As any addict will tell you, if u do drugs enough, u know where to find them. I would answer 'really easily' but i know thats just me. Water finds its own level
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:58 PM   #37
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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Originally Posted by TheCroShow View Post
Thank you for sharing. Alcoholism has torn apart my family, kind of goes in cycles. The investigator expresses no remorse and carries on like nothing happened.
So why haven't you guys left that person? I'm not saying it's your fault, but you have to do that. There need to be repercussions, consequences. Sounds like you are allowing this person to act this way and get away with it.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:06 PM   #38
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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Early signs to look for in an alcoholic?
Drinking to excess is absolutely #1. Then I would say genetics. I think sometimes a person exhibits things where later on in retrospect it's like, "yeah, that makes sense he became an alcoholic, he was always a certain way". But I don't think that goes for everyone. In some cases I think the earlier 'signs' are more significant. Hindsight is 20/20. NO ONE close to me predicted I was going to become an alcoholic, or had a sneaking suspicion. It's incredibly progressive and can lay "dormant" for years, decades. In my opinion a lot of people who probably have it in them to be alcoholics never end up actually being one because of one thing or another. Like they either just figure out how to cope or they have too many things requiring them to not be drinking every day. Or maybe they just have more self control than I did.

I can say in the hundreds of meetings I have been to over the years, I have never met one alcoholic who didn't drink to excess early on and from then out. I never went out and had 2 beers (well maybe 10 times), and I don't know any alcoholics who did. If an alcoholic DID have 2 drinks, then that means those 2 drinks would push their BAC to a level where it wouldn't mine.

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Old 08-15-2013, 06:22 PM   #39
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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When did you realize you had gotten addicted (if you even realized it at the time); how often/how many consecutive days/weeks(/months) do you think it took to develop it?

I'm asking because I used to drink somewhat heavily myself, 6 out of 7 days a week I'd drink a full bottle of 40% or a bit more for about a year. But I always took a day or two off if I started getting these small panic attacks, severe anxiety/ill temper, inability to sleep and so on. "Real" addiction never developed, never got physical cravings of any sort, so I'm curious how it was with you.
I probably have slight emotional/instability issues as a result though, and I definitely feel less intelligent.

Also; have you done any CT/MRI scans to check for damages to the brain, or any internal organs otherwise?
Definitely didn't realize it. There was just an overall block on my brain to consider what I was doing. I wouldn't deny to myself that I was drinking every day, but there was no, like, "jeez i gotta get my act together." For me to do that I would have to admit I had a problem controlling my drinking, something I didn't do until the end. Once I got really rolling, there was never a step-back-and-analyze. I just wouldn't have allowed myself that.

That being said, in the years leading up to me becoming fully addicted, there were tons of times where I thought I should slow down, stop going out so much, drink less. Nothing ever worked obviously, at least not for too long.

I mean, I had periods in my life where I drank a LOT. And after them I didn't become fullblown. It was like finally, at 26 or so, my body and mind didn't have this tolerance any more, this ability to stop once I started. It was like a switch went off (even though it was a very gradual switch). I lost the ability to drink and then stop. Then the time between drinks just shortened until I was drinking to get the day going.

How long have you been sober? I felt pretty damn hazy up until about 8 months sober. I couldn't think straight. Even still I have difficulty concentrating. I am sure I am a little dumber than I used to be or would otherwise be. But whatever, you know? Small price to pay for a second shot at life. That's really how I feel. My whole perspective on life has changed. I may be a little bit dumber but I am ok with that as I feel I am smarter in a lot of ways that are more important.

Yes, CT/MRI scans. I'm fine on all fronts, knock on wood
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:29 PM   #40
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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How long were you able to go without drinking before you had a seizure? Did having your first seizure have any effect on you or did you just go straight back to drinking the next day?

I remember watching intervention years ago about Lawrence Ryan, the millionare tanning salon guy out of Vegas who drank a liter of Vodka or more per day, and had seizures all the time. Ultimately he died at like 34 from esophagael bleeding. I never knew stuff like that could even happen, especially so young. Glad you're better now and this isn't your fate
Sorry, I responded up above to this, but I didn't quote it properly. My response to this is earlier in the thread.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:35 PM   #41
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

30-40 beers???

That is insane. That is $100 a day there. Aren't you constantly having to take a piss?

How many DUIs?
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:44 PM   #42
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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30-40 beers???

That is insane. That is $100 a day there. Aren't you constantly having to take a piss?

How many DUIs?
Yeah, was constantly pissing. My urinary process was automatic.

No DUI's, no access to car.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:12 PM   #43
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

Congrats OP. Do you go to meetings? Do you have a sponsor / sponsor anyone? Have any service commitments?

I've been sober for 17 years, had my last drink when I was 24. Good sponsorship and service have gotten me where I am today.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:13 PM   #44
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

What do you think your highest BAC was?

How did you avoid alcohol poisoning? Or did you not.

I have one of the most unbelievable semi-functional alcoholic friends. He can drink a whole bottle of wine at 7:30am, drink about 10 more beers, smoke cigars, and then drive home. And he also plays better golf the drunker he gets.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:38 PM   #45
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

Did you eat at all? I was a vodka drinker, mostly. But if I went out I would drink beers (but always full of vodka before arriving). Anyway, my brain cells adapted to this and got their energy from alcohol rather than food, when I was at my worst. I would be on a binge and suddenly just realize that i hadn't eaten in about three days. I would have to force myself to eat sometime, usually a very small meal.

I know its crazy for non alcoholics to imagine not realizing you haven't eaten in three days, but for me it would just dawn on me and I would be like OMG, I better eat!!!. I always had benzos and would detox myself. I'm sure I would have had seizures if i didn't have benzos constantly
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #46
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

% chance you relapse in the next 5 years?

Do you enjoy the taste of a good drink?
Do you enjoy the feeling of being drunk (not wasted)?

Do you think you could, in the future, drink responsibly? A friend of mine went in rehab and was dry for a while, she started drinking again and assured me she had it under control but she just gets obnoxious and doesnt know when to stop. It's really sad.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:14 PM   #47
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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% chance you relapse in the next 5 years?

Do you enjoy the taste of a good drink?
Do you enjoy the feeling of being drunk (not wasted)?

Do you think you could, in the future, drink responsibly? A friend of mine went in rehab and was dry for a while, she started drinking again and assured me she had it under control but she just gets obnoxious and doesnt know when to stop. It's really sad.
I know this isn't my thread, but I can answer these.

No, I don't really enjoy the taste of alcohol. I love the feeling.

Could I drink responsibly? Probably, but I don't want to. I have done it before, but was always craving more. I believe that is the number one thing that sets alcoholics apart from others. The Phenomenon of craving it is referred to. One is to many and a thousand is never enough. That makes sense to many, but most get to a point and call it quits. I want more and more and more until I pass out.

Many people keep it together for a while after a period of being dry, but if you are a true alcoholic (which only you can decide for yourself after a real look at yourself) then at some point, a week, a month, or maybe even a year. You will revert back. I'm going to post a story from The Big Book.

Quote:
A man of thirty was doing a great deal of spree drinking. He was very nervous in the morning after these bouts and quieted himself with more liquor. He was ambitious to succeed in business, but saw that he would get nowhere if he drank at all. Once he started, he had no control whatever. He made up his mind that until he had been successful in business and had retired, he would not touch another drop. An exceptional man, he remained bone dry for twenty-five years and retired at the age of fifty-five, after a successful and happy business career.
Then he fell victim to a belief which practically every alcoholic has - that his long period of sobriety and self-discipline had qualified him to drink as other men. Out came his carpet slippers and a bottle. In two months he was in a hospital, puzzled and humiliated. He tried to regulate his drinking for a while, making several trips to the hospital meantime. Then, gathering all his forces, he attempted to stop altogether and found he could not. Every means of solving his problem which money could buy was at his disposal. Every attempt failed. Though a robust man at retirement, he went to pieces quickly and was dead within four years.

This case contains a powerful lesson. Most of us have believed that if we remained sober for a long stretch, we could thereafter drink normally. But here is a man who at fifty-five years found he was just where he had left off at thirty. We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again: "Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic." Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever. If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:10 PM   #48
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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Congrats OP. Do you go to meetings? Do you have a sponsor / sponsor anyone? Have any service commitments?

I've been sober for 17 years, had my last drink when I was 24. Good sponsorship and service have gotten me where I am today.
Thanks, you too. I go to meetings although not as many as most people in AA would recommend. I work a lot of hours at my job, and I prioritize physical fitness over meetings. I average a couple a week. I have a sponsor, and I do service like speaking at meetings/jails/detox centers when I can.

Sobriety is the same as anything else - it's really individual. What works for one might not work for another. I do know if it weren't for AA, I would have an incredibly difficult time staying sober...because its so invaluable to be around other people who are in the same boat. It can be hard for 'normal' people to relate to some of the stuff we go through. That being said I think placing too much value on AA is also a mistake. I know a ton of people whose lives revolve around AA. Without saying my version is better, I don't envy their version of sobriety and don't want that for myself. I think that is awesome for staying sober and it undoubtably helps. It also can help with social issues you might have, and it without a doubt helps with tolerance and patience with others. But my goals aren't in the rooms. I think real sobriety, or my version of it anyways, comes outside of the rooms...where I live a normal life (always keeping in the BACK of my mind the fact that I'm an addict/alcoholic). I think good therapy is at least as valuable as AA for 'getting better'.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:13 PM   #49
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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What do you think your highest BAC was?

How did you avoid alcohol poisoning? Or did you not.

I have one of the most unbelievable semi-functional alcoholic friends. He can drink a whole bottle of wine at 7:30am, drink about 10 more beers, smoke cigars, and then drive home. And he also plays better golf the drunker he gets.
I know one time in Portland I spent a night in jail and the cops said it was one of the highest they'd ever seen. I can't remember what it was though.

I had some weird physical sh*t happen to me during the tornado years. I never really got too much into trying to figure out what happened at time but I had some weird times where my body would semi-shut down, or have weird physical/mental 'attacks'. It would be after I would be going on long, hard benders. I honestly have no idea if I ever had alcohol poisoning. I was hospitalized numerous times but never for that. I puked up blood a number of times.

Yeah I mean for a long time I was like your friend, I could go all day drinking and seem ok. I sucked at golf drunk too tho

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Old 08-15-2013, 10:20 PM   #50
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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Did you eat at all? I was a vodka drinker, mostly. But if I went out I would drink beers (but always full of vodka before arriving). Anyway, my brain cells adapted to this and got their energy from alcohol rather than food, when I was at my worst. I would be on a binge and suddenly just realize that i hadn't eaten in about three days. I would have to force myself to eat sometime, usually a very small meal.

I know its crazy for non alcoholics to imagine not realizing you haven't eaten in three days, but for me it would just dawn on me and I would be like OMG, I better eat!!!. I always had benzos and would detox myself. I'm sure I would have had seizures if i didn't have benzos constantly
I would try to get a meal a day in. I definitely went days without. Like you say it was more like, "sh*t, I should eat". Or I would just start feeling reeeeeally weak. But yeah, alcohol and blow were my priorities, food was just sustenance once in a while
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