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Old 11-25-2009, 12:40 PM   #26
Spottswoode
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

My late father, who died about a month ago, was a functioning alcoholic. He died of necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease), but his alcohol abuse was truly his killer. His health had declined so much over the last few years of increasing abuse (his mother passed away 2.5 years ago and he drank much harder after her death) that his body had undergone some serious physical changes. His bloodwork was a mess; he had almost no white-blood cells left, and his organs were in overdrive. When this disease chose him, it was like a high school bully picking on a third-grader, he had absolutely no chance. He was 58. He was never abusive, never chugged shots or binge drank, he just consumed a steady nightly diet of alcohol while watching television or at holiday parties.

I had another big paragraph typed up here but I deleted it and just want to keep the rest of this short. Growing up I learned the most valuable piece of advice from him, yet it was a piece of advice that he never delivered orally, it was "don't ever turn out like me". I was never embarassed of him, I didn't ever feel uncomfortable bringing friends/girlfriends home to meet my parents, but I just didn't ever want my children to feel like they missed out on me because I was too busy drinking.

I went through my binge years in my early 20's and at times I could tell that I was starting to carve myself the same path through life that he took. I made a conscientious decision at some point to stop drinking, I fondly remember stopping cold-turkey for about 3 years until I felt like I could enjoy a drink or two socially and not have to finish off a 12 pack or whatever.

I rarely drink now, I think I've had about 4 beers a month for the last few years and the last time I got drunk was at my cousins wedding in June 2009. Coming from an Irish-Catholic family, alcohol is everywhere and it's hard to avoid, but sometimes I just have to look around me at the families it has ruined to know I'm on the right track.


ps, good luck with quitting, I hope you can do it for your kids and wife's sake.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:41 PM   #27
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Last question first: 6'4", 267 right now.

As for preferred drinks, the only thing I wouldn't drink was gin. That said, if that's all there was I would drink it

In high school college, I drank pretty much exclusively beer. After college I still drank beer but developed a taste for martinis. Sometime in the last 10 years I started with scotch, then high-end scotch.
won't drink gin + taste for "martinis" = fail
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:49 PM   #28
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

In all honesty, you just have to get used to not drinking when you're in a social situation where most are drinking.

You can come up with excuses, but having to lie every single time someone else is drinking sucks, especially considering the situations will come up fairly often for the rest of your life.

Just tell them "no thanks, I don't drink." My company has a lot of drinkers, and we just hired a new guy who doesn't drink. At first everyone was super pumped to get him drunk (he's never drank, he's not a recovering alcoholic or anything), but now people just understand that he doesn't drink and it's pointless to ask/encourage him to drink.

It really is just a matter of telling the people flat out "No thanks, I don't drink." You can even throw a "My family has a history of alcoholics." in there at the end, but whatever you say, it needs to be straight forward and honest. You're doing yourself a great disservice by making up a lie every time you're in that situation. Obviously people will notice, and obviously it will look "out of the norm" at first, but it will literally take 2 times out with someone before it becomes normal to them that you don't drink anymore.

Don't over think it, don't put added pressure on yourself. People really don't care if you drink with them. And if they do, they'll get over it in about 2 minutes.

Best of luck.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:50 PM   #29
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Good luck on this path LFS. Based on your story much of your identity appears to be tied to drinking. As such, this drastic of a change may prove to be a seismic shift in how you see yourself and how you relate with others. The fact that your wife doesn't drink could be a big factor in your ability to abstain.

Anybody choosing to improve the conditions of their lives should be encouraged and supported.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:53 PM   #30
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Blah, people who drive drunk piss me off.

In any case, good luck with this. In all sincerity I really hope you succeed.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:55 PM   #31
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

TYVM Max.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:58 PM   #32
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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I would love for you to expand on this. I have a good friend who wants me to go to a meeting next week, I'm going to do it, if only to see what it's like. I agree that I might need help.
Well first I want to say that Im still drinking at this point so I dont have any good answers for you really. Basically the only people I know who drank like me and are really sober now go to AA.

I have been to 2 very highly regarded 30 day treatment programs. The first I was sent to by my mother when I was 16 and I was already drinking and using various drugs pretty heavily. This was also shortly after my father had died from cirrhosis when he was 44. Obviously I was 16 and thought it was a huge crock of ****.

The second was 3 years ago, when my wife and I decided that we both really wanted me to stop. I went and stayed sober for an extended period of time.

I really struggle with the AA concept for various reasons that I dont really feel like discussing. I decided to stop going and started drinking again.Besides a few months here and there stuggling with sobriety I have been drinking ever since.

I know alot of people who drink alot but they dont drink like I drink, and it doesnt have the negative impact on them that it does me. At this point I really truly believe that AA is the only way for people like me to not drink. I didnt want to write this really cause I didnt want to de-rail your thread into a Pro AA/anti-AA discussion like I have seen in another OOT thread.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:59 PM   #33
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

What is/was your drink of choice? Just getting past the college lifestyle of powerdrinking or no drinking at all, thinking about giving up the juice altogether.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:10 PM   #34
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Good luck LFS. If you're interested in getting back into shape, check out the health and fitness forum on 2+2 - it's one of the best I've found on the net due to a handful of posters that keep the signal to noise ratio high.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:37 PM   #35
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

I know someone who has been off the sauce for 20 years as of last week, and he still harbors this weird fantasy that he would like to keep a fully stocked bar in his house so he can offer friends and family whatever they want when they visit -- this despite the fact that a healthy percentage of his friends and family are either alcoholics or abstaining alcoholics.

He has made it 20 years, but it seems to me that he is torturing himself a little bit unnecessarily, because growing up and spending his whole life in and around "drinking culture" he just can't accept that a person can be normal and not drink. He has spent the last 20 years feeling like someone with two problems: He can't handle drinking, and he cannot drink. (Instead of seeing the former as a problem, and the latter as the solution to that problem).

Maybe this is just a non-issue, and it only seems like a big deal because I'm an outsider to the whole thing, but I would guess that a weight would be lifted off of his shoulders if he could fully and totally accept that he is okay just as he is, and lots of people in all walks of life for a wide variety of reasons choose not to drink, do not keep liquor in the house, etc., and he isn't missing out on anything or being a bad host or an abnormal person for being among their ranks.

Maybe with your wife being a non-drinker, this will be easy for you to come to terms with, but I definitely get the feeling that for some people, it may come as a bit of a surprise (i.e. people who seem to honestly believe that "everyone" in college binge drinks).
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:50 PM   #36
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Good luck LFS, threads like this make me glad I never started.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:58 PM   #37
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Good luck LFS. Alcoholism/alcohol abuse has been a somewhat prominent theme in my family, and it seems to have reached a head in the past year or so, both in good and bad ways as people are starting to recognize the issues and that they need to be addressed in better and healthier ways.

In an unfortunate way, I think it's good that you have seen alcoholism via your mother so that you do have an idea of where you don't want to end up, especially with your kids. As you mentioned, it forced you to grow up and I know it forced me to grow up dealing with my family.

It will definitely help with your weight loss, though! It may take about 6 months or so before your metabolism stops being wacked out, but after that you will likely see pounds just fly off!
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:11 PM   #38
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Quote:
Good luck LFS. If you're interested in getting back into shape, check out the health and fitness forum on 2+2 - it's one of the best I've found on the net due to a handful of posters that keep the signal to noise ratio high.
Hmmm. This will involve taking advice from Thremp. Like, lots of it. Only you can decide if you're ready for that.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:06 PM   #39
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

LFS' timing is interesting because I recently stopped drinking for a TBD amount of time. This will be the first major holiday weekend that I can remember where alcohol won't be a component. And as of right now I'm looking forward to it, not dreading it.

We're coming up on party season and my nemesis is house parties with open bars when I'm not driving. Green light city. I suppose my solution to this will be to drive myself, or offer to be a designated driver for others. Which I suppose some will appreciate so it's a win-win.

Anyway, who cares what people think if you say you don't drink? Strangers don't care and neither them nor friends require a detailed response. Just say "I'm taking some time off". I'm (embarrassingly) known for the quantities I can drink and remain lucid so when I've taken sabbaticals in the past friends have actually been supportive, heh.

Best of Luck LFS (and everyone else in a similar situation), maybe we'll have another drunken escapade in LA down the line...or maybe even a sober one!
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:17 PM   #40
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Someone who wishes to remain anonymous asked me to post this:

Quote:
Here I go :

My sister, father, grandfather on both sides, and brother amongst others in my family have all been hospitalized for alcoholism.

My earliest memoris of my dad all include alcohol. I remember my mother giving him a hard time about it and he would always make excuses. We'd go out for breakfast and my dad would make my mother bring airplane bottles of vodka for him to put in his OJ. He'd tell her he'd quit and drink "near beer" which was a nonalcoholic beer. He said he wanted to drink it just because he loved the taste. I saw him one morning pouring out the near beer and replacing it with real beer (yes my mom is/was mega gullible).

One day when I was 18 I was picking him up from jail for a DUI (He ran into the back of a parked Pepsi truck). I told him the only way I'd bail him out was to take him to treatment. He agreed and on the way he asked if he could stop at Exxon for a Pepsi. He came out with a 6 pack of beer. I was like WTF , he said they were out of Pepsi.

I joined the military and did the stereotypical drink like mad while I was enlisted. When I got out I drank like a fish for years. I got my gf pregnant, we got married and had our son. We divorced not too long after which just gave me an excuse to drink more.

One day while I was tipsy driving with my 3 year old son in the back I realized I was my dad all over again. As the next month or so went on I knew I had to quit soon or I'd be very addicted. I had just turned 30 and Tim McGraw's "My first 30 years" was on the radio all the time.

I knew I could quit but I had NO idea what I would do between the time I got off work and when I'd pass out (besides play with my son).

Well I woke up SuperBowl Sunday feeling like I had the flu coming on. But I went to a party and drank 10-15 beers anyway (which was a pretty light day). I woke up the next morning and said eff it, I'm done drinking.

That was almost 9 years ago and I havn't had a drink yet.

LFS, If I can suggest something I'd say love your wife and kids (ahich I'm sure you do) but find something productive to do for yourself to occupy yur time for 6 months or so. Maybe go walking after work every day for an hour. Then work it up to walk and jog etc. This will be healthy and give you something with goals to accomplish while you're quitting the alcohol deal.

You will be surprised how good you can/will feel waking up without a hangover every day. There might be a few times weeks after you've been dry that you will think you have it licked and you can go have a drink or two with the fellas. Ummmm no, you can't fall for it.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:47 PM   #41
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Something that's been interesting, maybe only to me: everyone in my life has been extremely supportive/relieved, even people I didn't know even thought about this. Like, I tell somebody and they're like "Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good idea." My father said that he was glad I was quitting and that he was worried I had a problem, but had never said anything. He said my mother had never talked about it, so hopefully she wasn't worried. She would've blamed herself.
This is pretty telling.

How serious is your wife about you quitting drinking? What would she do if you started again?
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:50 PM   #42
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Has anyone here accomplished going from unrepsonsible binge drinker/alcoholic to responsible social drinker (1-2 drinks only) + never drinking alone? I would like very much to hear a success story like this.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:54 PM   #43
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Has anyone here accomplished going from unrepsonsible binge drinker/alcoholic to responsible social drinker (1-2 drinks only) + never drinking alone? I would like very much to hear a success story like this.
This sounds like an awful goal. End goal of quitting alcohol should be quitting alcohol, not seeing if you can control it.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:57 PM   #44
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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How serious is your wife about you quitting drinking? What would she do if you started again?
She is probably less serious about it than I am. She actually thought that "I'm never drinking again" was overly extreme, but that may be because she thought I wouldn't be able to completely quit.

I don't think there would be any wifely consequences if I began drinking casually again. If I started drinking heavily again I might hear about it, but it's not like she'd leave me or anything. Even as an alcoholic I'm a better husband and father than most imo. Maybe the threat of losing the family would be a good deterrent to drinking again, but I'm glad it never got to that point and that our relationship could survive it.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:00 PM   #45
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Good luck LFS. Regardless of your motives, do it for your family in any case.

A couple of people mentioned it, but gym/light recreation will help in making you feel a lot better about yourself. Not to mention adding a couple of hobbies that will occupy your time and hopefully get out more.

Surprised that nobody in your family really talked about it until they heard you were quitting. Kind of scary to be honest if they just assumed you were going to be like other family members.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:05 PM   #46
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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She is probably less serious about it than I am. She actually thought that "I'm never drinking again" was overly extreme, but that may be because she thought I wouldn't be able to completely quit.

I don't think there would be any wifely consequences if I began drinking casually again. If I started drinking heavily again I might hear about it, but it's not like she'd leave me or anything. Even as an alcoholic I'm a better husband and father than most imo. Maybe the threat of losing the family would be a good deterrent to drinking again, but I'm glad it never got to that point and that our relationship could survive it.
If you're serious about this you should probably try to convince your wife that you really do have a problem you want to quit. Being accountable only to yourself isn't giving much backup.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:20 PM   #47
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Originally Posted by freddy827 View Post
Has anyone here accomplished going from unrepsonsible binge drinker/alcoholic to responsible social drinker (1-2 drinks only) + never drinking alone? I would like very much to hear a success story like this.
What do you mean? I'm sure there are plenty of people here (myself included) who went from doing retarded amounts of irresponsible binge drinking in college to being a responsible social drinker who can have a drink or two without losing control.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:24 PM   #48
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Originally Posted by miajag View Post
What do you mean? I'm sure there are plenty of people here (myself included) who went from doing retarded amounts of irresponsible binge drinking in college to being a responsible social drinker who can have a drink or two without losing control.
Irresponsible Binge Drinker in College =! Alcoholic
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:37 PM   #49
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Quote:
Originally Posted by freddy827 View Post
Has anyone here accomplished going from unrepsonsible binge drinker/alcoholic to responsible social drinker (1-2 drinks only) + never drinking alone? I would like very much to hear a success story like this.
i mean, i don't know if i'm a 'success story' but i went from being a marginally-functioning drunk in college (drinking every day to the point that it affected my social life and health, although somehow i kept my grades very high) to being a successful non-profit administrator by my mid-20's. i got married and i'm buying a house and in good health overall. i'll have more than two drinks if i'm out with friends but i go out pretty infrequently and don't drink much outside of that. don't get out-of-control drunk and it's not an issue with my wife, who has about the same proclivities that i do.

even when i was drinking heavily i didn't feel that quitting entirely was the solution for me, and i'm glad i can enjoy alcohol socially. i feel better about myself taming that issue and handling it with some responsibility than i would about just shutting it off entirely. but i understand that there are some people who need to just quit - my father in law is like that, a very laid back guy and a great dad who decided for the sake of his family that he needed to just walk away from it, and hasn't touched the stuff in 20 years. maybe if some of my issues had cropped up after i had kids i would have felt differently about it. so i understand how LFS feels and i think the way he's going about it is the way to go if you can - quit on your own terms, for yourself and your family, using your own will. gl LFS
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:12 PM   #50
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Originally Posted by LFS View Post
She is probably less serious about it than I am. She actually thought that "I'm never drinking again" was overly extreme, but that may be because she thought I wouldn't be able to completely quit.

I don't think there would be any wifely consequences if I began drinking casually again. If I started drinking heavily again I might hear about it, but it's not like she'd leave me or anything. Even as an alcoholic I'm a better husband and father than most imo. Maybe the threat of losing the family would be a good deterrent to drinking again, but I'm glad it never got to that point and that our relationship could survive it.
Glad you got to make the decision the way you did rather than being forced to for any more serious reasons.

I see a lot of myself in you description in the OP. Luckily, as I've gotten older I have found that my binge-like moments have become less and less frequent. Moreover, I find that there dinners/events etc where I have certainly kept my drinking to a minimum. Was this ever the case with you do you find yourself in the "go hard all night" at all times?

In any case, good luck to you.
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