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Old 11-25-2009, 08:38 PM   #76
tuq
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Originally Posted by boozy View Post
Yah the money saved is a big incentive for me for me. I spend 100-200$ a week on drinking pretty easily and thats not even going out
My old man is staying with me for awhile so I recently fell into the habit of hitting a bar on the way home from the office as it was as close as I get to "me" time. Got to the point where I'd be there 5-7 days/week. Plus I had some booze at home for after.

I did the math...3 double vodka & sodas (on average, never left blotto, was there for 1-2 hours generally) = ~$15, 2 games of Golden Tee = $10, appetizer or entree = ~$7, gratuity @ 30% = $6. So my bar experience alone was probably around $40 in a short time frame. Then I'd have a couple of drinks at home, let's call it maybe $8 as it's mid-tier vodka and a mixer. So right there in a single evening (!) I was blowing nearly $50 on booze plus the bar experience - $40 if you remove GT, but that's still a lot and I have to do something as I get fidgety. So we're talking conservatively $200-250 per week since I didn't do it every day. That's an f'in mortgage payment in a lot of places. That I'm now "saving".

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Also drinking often also leads to harder drugs. And if I drink liquor I basically go off the rails at some point
Don't you mean ON the rails?
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:46 PM   #77
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Reading this thread is very frustrating when you yourself are an alcoholic and people come in and add pointless things like DUIs and food cooked in alcohol. Reminds me of the depression/SSRIs thread where unless you are directly affected you have NO idea what it is like.

My struggle with quitting is trying to enjoy just one quality beer or glass of wine. Like others I can go around a week of not drinking but once I get bored and have one beer there tends to be an empty case not long after. Im curious to hear from other problem drinkers if they have this same thing happen...When I take my first drink of beer (always mainly been a beer guy), I feel this immediate buzz feeling (like a rush of dopamine). I feel that is what sets me off because then I continue to drink more to try and keep that buzz going.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:56 PM   #78
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

I saw an episode of house recently where this super genius Robotrips to make himself dumber because he's miserable when he's "clear." I think that's a lot of the reason why I drink. It's not so much the buzz from the alcohol that I enjoy, it's just not being so god damn guarded with my emotions and not hating everyone that I'm interested in.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:21 PM   #79
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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I saw an episode of house recently where this super genius Robotrips to make himself dumber because he's miserable when he's "clear." I think that's a lot of the reason why I drink. It's not so much the buzz from the alcohol that I enjoy, it's just not being so god damn guarded with my emotions and not hating everyone that I'm interested in.
This is exactly why I drank.

Alcohol took away all my fear, all my worry, my pain, my social awkwardness, my over-analyzing everything. This is an extremely difficult thing to give up and I had to be willing to experience all that suffering. I have to be willing to experience it every day. It ****ing sucks.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:35 PM   #80
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

I don't care about food being cooked in a bit of wine, but I'll avoid stuff like chocolates liqueurs & liqueur desserts etc.

I was an alcoholic for 10 years & nearly died from it on a couple of occasions, been sober 8 months now. Most people really have no ****ing clue. I was playing golf with some guys the other day who know my situation, we get to the beer tent and I grab a coke. They're like "Can't you just have a light beer?" *facepalm*
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:41 PM   #81
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Thanks for sharing your story OP. Keep up with the healthy diet and exercise, these are two essential things that will provide positive results for you eventually.

Just wanted to throw a few things out there that might benefit you. I began drinking excessively in high school and throughout my 1st year off college. Have been through it all...puking, blackouts, driving drunk, starting fights, pissing myself while passed out, yada yada yada the list goes on. Eventually decided to quit during my 2nd year of school and for the past 3-4 years I rarely have consumed alcohol. The times where I did drink, I had no more than 2 drinks in a night.

The biggest thing that helped was training my brain to associate alcohol with unpleasant feelings and experiences. When you see people drinking, think "uh thats so gross." Conjure up images of some of your worst drinking experiences. Bring back memories of pounding headaches, queasy stomachs, and the unpleasent feelings you get from drinking. When you have a sip of beer or take a shot, physically grimace, say "uh", and think "uh that was so disgusting." In drinking situations, constantly think how bad it is for you, how horrible it tastes, etc. all the while maintaining a normal social disposition. You have an extreme drinking problem. Take the above info to the extreme and do that stuff inside of your head as hard as you can. Make yourself hate alcohol.

(This is kinda like when you were younger and caught a glimpse inside a girly magazine. You had to freeze those images inside your brain for later use. Or maybe when you think of something revolting you saw in the past, and actually gag or feel physically sick just from thinking about it. Take your unpleasant memories/feelings you have with alcohol and bring them back full force when stimuli in your environment induce pleasant feelings/memories/fondness towards alcohol in your head.)

Eventually by practicing this routinely I lost all interest in drinking and was even repulsed at the idea consuming alcohol. Today, I have no real desire to drink and really don't care for it at all. Part of your battle can be won inside your head (given your family history it may be tougher than for myself.)

Also, seeking out and reading actual scientific papers/articles and seeing the data and evidence behind the effects of alcohol really help to slam the door shut on drinking excessively. (I have a solid background in chemistry and molecular biology which helped a good amount when doing this.) Understanding exactly what occurs when you binge, knowledge of the short and long term effects on your body, will make you think what's even the point of pounding drinks. Just like knowledge when playing roulette, you know you're at a 5.26% disadvantage. Why wager money you can't afford to lose? This knowledge is such a turn off.

Keep up the good work OP. Please keep us updated in this thread and let us know how things go.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:00 PM   #82
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Originally Posted by LFS View Post


I said that recently in another thread. I really did love the taste of Laphroaig and Lagavulin. And Talisker. I would drink non-alcoholic Islay Scotch if it tasted identical to the real thing.
Islay Scotch whisky is my weakness as well. That it tastes so good yet can cause such damage is the truest sign that life is not fair.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:48 PM   #83
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

I have been trying to think of something to post here to help you. I could not come up with anything. Still I think you will do fine. I think I just want you to know I am cheering for you.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:50 PM   #84
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Sheesh, let's not get started on Islay scotch, it's what I've been into for a while now, but that's not helping this thread.

Agreed with amplify, at first, it also helped me open up a lot since I used to have anxiety/shy issues. It wasn't a good thing reflecting back and realizing I needed to be buzzed to have a good time/open up.

To be honest, I don't drink because of that reason anymore, but trying to quit/decrease mostly because it's draining hundreds of dollars a week and this just doesn't seem to hit me for whatever reason, even though it should. A lot of warning signs don't seem to hit me, DUI several years ago, increasing amounts of money spent, switching to harder liquor, etc.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:56 PM   #85
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Originally Posted by Explosivo View Post
My struggle with quitting is trying to enjoy just one quality beer or glass of wine. Like others I can go around a week of not drinking but once I get bored and have one beer there tends to be an empty case not long after. Im curious to hear from other problem drinkers if they have this same thing happen...When I take my first drink of beer (always mainly been a beer guy), I feel this immediate buzz feeling (like a rush of dopamine). I feel that is what sets me off because then I continue to drink more to try and keep that buzz going.
Yes, this is exactly what would happen, I would have "a beer" or "a glass of wine", than another, then another, and then drink all the alcohol in the house. And depending on what time it was, maybe go get more. Or, on a couple occasions, get some delivered.

This is why I'm committed to just never drinking again. I don't think I can have one drink.

One sad thing is that I'm not sure about Vegas. I'm obviously used to playing poker sober, but an entire Vegas trip with no alcohol...wow, I don't know. If/when I go back I think I'll bring my wife, something I steadfastly avoided on previous Vegas trips. Also Mat says he'll take me hiking.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:08 AM   #86
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Oh yeah and since you'll never be free from drinking situations entirely in your lifetime, and since lots a great activities that you'll partake in offer drinks, it's good to have some legitimate reasons for not drinking, or techniques to avoid it when just about everyone else is gulping em down.

So here's your Holiday Drink Dodging Guide:

-When someone actually hands you a beer or gives you a drink, accept it and thank them. For obvious social reasons this is by far the simplest thing to do, esp. with many people around. Next, open the beer, cheers, and take a non noticeably small sip. (If alcohol is your sworn enemy, you can just pretend to sip.) Then, hold your drink and socialize. Talk, walk around, be merry, etc. Do not take another sip. Hold your drink. Next, find a convenient time to set your drink down and "lose" it, or make your way to a sink or bathroom and pour some out. Continue on holding the drink if need be. Remember, you are battling alcoholism here and wasting a drink is a very small price to pay.

(This idea was from my Japanese language instructor. She said that as a foreigner in Japan I would likely be repeatedly offered drinks throughout the night, and if for whatever reason I couldn't drink, didn't want to, was to drunk, whatever...this would be the best way to handle it. It's not rude, I wouldn't stick out, and everyone could carry on their merry way without feeling hostile towards the only white american guy that just arrived to the party. First impressions are key.)

If offered:

-Say that you're the designated driver(+EV if this is actually true and not a lie). Don't be awkward about it though. Make light of the statement and say something playful like "Aww thanks but you'll have to give it to XXX or XXX cause I'm taking them home later on when they're hammered/wasted/smashed/plastered. "

-Say you're feeling sick and need some water or coffee first before getting started - which you're obv not going to do. No refusal, just a delay.

-Say you have "something" going on the next day. A big exam, large project, big job interview, a serious sporting activity, extra long shift, etc. etc. Fair excuses. Perfect if true. You might need to dodge a few more offers, but nothing a little playful joking around and smiling won't smooth over. If it appears to be a meaningful event for you, most people will ease up on the offers.

For events with closer friends and acquaintances (try to avoid these responses unless you know that these aren't a big deal and are okay for the situation):

-say that your family has a history of alcoholism (poster above said this- very reasonable quality excuse) Just about everyone you meet will be able respect your choice when you say this. It nearly certain to strike a nerve with many people within earshot, and will not induce more talk of the subject for obv reasons.

-say that you'd love to but you can't drink because of some of the medicine you're taking. Reasonable. People are on a wide range of meds nowadays, and many of them are supposed to be taken without alcohol. (Smoother if true, and/or people have an idea of why it's true with regards to you)

The key is to be suave. Be confident, polite, offer a quick and fair explanation, and that moment will come and go so fast. No one will remember and no one will care. Most importantly of all do not make people who are drinking feel threatened by your abstaining. Do not make anyone feel guilty and don't start talking about why drinking in excess can be unhealthy etc. Many people can handle having a few drinks here and there without any problems. Don't interfere with a merry social atmosphere.

(Be aware: You may run into the rare individual who needs to see everyone else drinking in order to help rationalize away the guilt they feel towards themselves for drinking excessively and abusing their body. This person is often overly aggro and will not let up on you all night. They will routinely put you on the spot intentionally in front of large crowds and try to get you to drink. You will need handle this situation delicately, avoid ruining the party atmosphere, and may even have to resort to subtle insults directed at said individual just to get them of your back. Tread carefully when this happens to you.)

Hope this helps everyone trying to cut down on their drinking! Feel free to add more suggestions!
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:09 AM   #87
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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This is exactly why I drank.

Alcohol took away all my fear, all my worry, my pain, my social awkwardness, my over-analyzing everything. This is an extremely difficult thing to give up and I had to be willing to experience all that suffering. I have to be willing to experience it every day. It ****ing sucks.
Is there not other medication you can take for this?
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:21 AM   #88
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

I quit drinking many times, but only for short periods like a week, a month, or three months, but never with the intention of quitting for good. Until ... in 2004, I really thought I was getting symptoms of mental and behavioral problems due to alchohol. I decided to quit...for good...forever...not a single drop...ever.

I quit for two years, but gradually fell off the wagon, and I'm now just about back to the consumption level I was at when I quit.

The first six months after quitting was easy! I was motivated, I was proud of every day that went by without a drink, I noticed that I didn't spend as much money, it was great. Then, out of nowhere, I started getting ... urges. A feeling would creep into my brain...a thirst. The feeling was unwelcome, unwanted ... how could I be tempted by something that I was 100% against? It became a fight ... a fight which I lost. After two years without a drop, I finally bought a six-pack, and another, and another.

I'm deeply respectful of people who have been sober for years and years, because I know they're fighting the battle every day. I doubt that quitting can be done alone. Next time I quit, I'll have to get into a program of some kind. I can't do it alone.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:48 AM   #89
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

RazzSpazz,

I enjoyed your post. I have noticed people single me out and try to force me to drink. I find it bazaar to the point that I felt I was overacting or something. All your tips will be super useful for me and I have not had a drink in 7 years. Now my goal is to not have an argument with a drunk for 7 years!
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:11 AM   #90
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Is there not other medication you can take for this?
i have tried the anti-depression drugs and so forth and those had negatives which outweighed any benefits. exercise and meditation seem to be the best medicine. and a little weed.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:29 AM   #91
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

LFS,
You're definitely an alcoholic. I think you know this, but the fact that you opened saying you may or may not be an alcoholic doesn't seem like a good sign.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:31 AM   #92
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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LFS,
You're definitely an alcoholic. I think you know this, but the fact that you opened saying you may or may not be an alcoholic doesn't seem like a good sign.
Yeah, that was partly tongue-in-cheek. I said that mostly because I don't really know what the definition of "alcoholic" is. I don't think there's any debate over whether I have/had a drinking problem, which is the whole point. I think the fact that I've been able to not drink for the past several months, a period that includes the death of my mother, is a good sign.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:32 AM   #93
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

LFS - Very happy for you. Addiction is a strange thing: when you're mired in it, it's daunting and intimidating to imagine yourself in situations without it. I managed to quit smoking for a year and a half, but before when I was contemplating quitting, I was most afraid of social settings with coffee, alcohol, and big meals -- all the ripest triggers I have for having a smoke. I couldn't imagine having to suffer through the agony.

After I quit, I found it easy to abstain in those tempting situations. It helped that I tied the quitting cigarettes with a greater health/lifestyle change. I think without having something to help anchor the desire to quit, it's prone to flutter away.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:40 AM   #94
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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LFS,
You're definitely an alcoholic. I think you know this, but the fact that you opened saying you may or may not be an alcoholic doesn't seem like a good sign.
I think it's more likely that people don't want to come out and say the "A" word definitively, especially in front of a group of people and especially in front of a group of people who know him or her. There is a certain stigma associated with it, like it's some sort of weakness instead of a disease. Which is why admission of such is often relegated to church meeting rooms with other strangers, or at least strangers initially. Or your drinking buddies.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:44 AM   #95
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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I think it's more likely that people don't want to come out and say the "A" word definitively, especially in front of a group of people and especially in front of a group of people who know him or her. There is a certain stigma associated with it, like it's some sort of weakness instead of a disease. Which is why admission of such is often relegated to church meeting rooms with other strangers, or at least strangers initially. Or your drinking buddies.
Yeah. Just thought maybe the label would make it less likely he goes back to alcohol.

Sounds like he knows what he's doing anyway and I just missed a joke.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:51 AM   #96
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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RazzSpazz,

I enjoyed your post. I have noticed people single me out and try to force me to drink. I find it bazaar to the point that I felt I was overacting or something. All your tips will be super useful for me and I have not had a drink in 7 years. Now my goal is to not have an argument with a drunk for 7 years!
Hey that's great, glad to help. Keep up the good work! No arguments with drunk for 7 years huh? Gonna be tough, but maybe, just maybe you'll be able pull it off!
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:58 AM   #97
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

RazzSpazz,

Yeah that was a good post, thanks. The "I'm drinking so everyone else needs to be drinking in order to justify my drinking therefore I'm gonna harass them until I do" guy is indeed pretty annoying.
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:27 AM   #98
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Good job LFS.

What is your wife's family history with alcohol?
Alcoholism, and alcoholics tend to flock to the like. The whole alcoholic with co-dependent thing. Family systems can go all out of whack when a drinker stops.

You might revisit the doctor who prescribed the lexapro. A true psychiatric evaluation is nigh impossible on a person in active substance abuse.

Those who have sugar cravings when quitting - their body is used to those alcohol calories. (the alcohol metabolizes to sugar)

RazzSpazz knows of what he speaks imo
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:00 AM   #99
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

LFS did you always feel in control of your drinking?

Alcoholism runs rampant through my dad's side of the family.

My dad, 2 uncles, etc. were all alcoholics. Yet I feel like I can stop drinking at anytime. Matter of a fact until tonight I probably havn't had one in a couple months.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:49 AM   #100
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Well I made it through the party w/o even wanting to drink. I didn't feel weird at all not drinking while others were. Day 1 of a 5 day holiday weekend with my college buddies down... 4 more to go.

The real test will be tomorrow when the Giants play on Thanksgiving night.
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