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Old 12-11-2009, 06:30 AM   #126
snuadg
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Originally Posted by LFS View Post
One of the things my extra time is going to is thinking a lot about life. My past, my present, my future. Especially my past. Who I am, who I want to be, etc. I'm pretty sure that drinking was a way to distract myself from thinking all the time.
I drink (in part) BECAUSE I spend TOO MUCH time thinking about life, often times about things that are out of my control. I pretty much have to force myself into activities so that this doesn't happen. [Cause when it does happen (read: continuous days of avoiding normal social interactions after work because I am trapped in thought or reading), I dont think it's too healthy. Often times it leads to staying up all night and going to work the next morning in a zombie-like state, with disturbing and/or depressing thoughts left brewing in my head.]

Drinking is one activity where I can take the evening off from all of that, and not worry about all the things I probably shouldn't be worrying about in the first place.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:03 AM   #127
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

good luck to you.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:44 PM   #128
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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It would be nice if this compulsion to NOT drink never goes away, but we'll see.
This will need some positive reinforcement once in awhile but it's basically a good sign.

For alcoholics, the decision not to drink is rarely (if ever) a passive process. You have to fill the time, you have to restructure your life so you don't face this decision constantly. Fail in doing that, it wears you down until you decide one day, "**** it."

Keep at it. There's no luck involved in the process but it takes strength. You're never going to avoid the day to day stresses of life but finding a better outlet is 90% of the battle. Maybe 99%.

Been there, doing that, family legacy on both sides to boot. It can be done.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:29 PM   #129
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Good luck LFS. Interesting thread to read.

My grandfather had a big alcohol problem when my dad was growing up. He was able to kick it at some point down the road, and from what I know, has stayed sober since then. He's running into some health issues now, but he's in his 80s - I'm amazed he didn't run into problems earlier.

My dad is a single malt fan like yourself, and probably has an issue. I was surprised by how much he drank over Thanksgiving - not fall down drunk amounts, but just the number of times he was refilling his scotch. And I think it's a regular occurance.

Makes me look closer at myself. I pretty much always have at least 1 beer with dinner each night. I'll never have more than two, but most days I crave that 1 beer when I get home from work. The thing that makes me the most nervous, is that many times I'll find myself making excuses for why I should have one. "Oh, had a rough meeting today at work." "I think I'll celebrate this review going well." "Hmm, making fried chicken tonight, that always goes well with a Mirror Pond." etc.

I do find that I can easily stop for a few days whenever I want to - but I don't find myself choosing to do that too often. Most of the time it's sort of a test to see how I feel.

Anyway, interesting to read the responses in this thread. Good luck on your journey.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:41 PM   #130
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Makes me look closer at myself. I pretty much always have at least 1 beer with dinner each night. I'll never have more than two, but most days I crave that 1 beer when I get home from work. The thing that makes me the most nervous, is that many times I'll find myself making excuses for why I should have one. "Oh, had a rough meeting today at work." "I think I'll celebrate this review going well." "Hmm, making fried chicken tonight, that always goes well with a Mirror Pond." etc.

I do find that I can easily stop for a few days whenever I want to - but I don't find myself choosing to do that too often. Most of the time it's sort of a test to see how I feel.
I suspect that at this level of drinking it is much more about ritual and routine and not the physiological effects of alcohol, but I could be wrong. I probably wouldn't worry about it in your spot.

Reading through this thread makes me think it would probably be a good thing if I took a lengthy 2+2 sabbatical.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:01 PM   #131
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Good luck LFS. Interesting thread to read.

My grandfather had a big alcohol problem when my dad was growing up. He was able to kick it at some point down the road, and from what I know, has stayed sober since then. He's running into some health issues now, but he's in his 80s - I'm amazed he didn't run into problems earlier.

My dad is a single malt fan like yourself, and probably has an issue. I was surprised by how much he drank over Thanksgiving - not fall down drunk amounts, but just the number of times he was refilling his scotch. And I think it's a regular occurance.

Makes me look closer at myself. I pretty much always have at least 1 beer with dinner each night. I'll never have more than two, but most days I crave that 1 beer when I get home from work. The thing that makes me the most nervous, is that many times I'll find myself making excuses for why I should have one. "Oh, had a rough meeting today at work." "I think I'll celebrate this review going well." "Hmm, making fried chicken tonight, that always goes well with a Mirror Pond." etc.

I do find that I can easily stop for a few days whenever I want to - but I don't find myself choosing to do that too often. Most of the time it's sort of a test to see how I feel.

Anyway, interesting to read the responses in this thread. Good luck on your journey.
This does not sound like a problem at all. Being able to drink 1 beer and stop for the night is probably harder then not having any beers at all for most people.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:19 PM   #132
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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This does not sound like a problem at all. Being able to drink 1 beer and stop for the night is probably harder then not having any beers at all for most people.
Yeah. If you switch beer for red wine it is actually healthy to drink 1 a day.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:30 PM   #133
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

One of the things that really helped with my motivation to quit alcohol was being the designated driver. Being sober around your really drunk friends, you realise that whilst drunk they're not funnier, smarter or even having fun, but have pretty much turned into a bunch of drooling retards.

I looked at them after I quit and realised that I never wanted to be that out of control again.

I pretty much quit alcohol completely for 20 years, but recently when I had to do a lot of travelling alone and was in considerable pain for medical reasons, I found myself lapsing into solitary drinking of more than I was comfortable with.

Fortunately I recognised the warning signs early and cut out the excessive alcohol before it became a problem again.

I think that I'm now happy that I can drink a single beer when I want to (which is maybe once every two weeks) and enjoy the occasional buzz of slight excess once in a while on holiday.

To be fair, I don't think that I was ever an alcoholic - but there was certainly a risk that I could have become one.

I wish you every success with this LFS and all the others struggling with addiction.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:01 PM   #134
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

It seems like you've quit around the holiday season. Was Thanksgiving hard for you? Are you dreading Christmas and New Years? These have always been times where it has been encouraged for me to drink even when I was underage (Irish Catholic ldo).
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:55 PM   #135
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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It seems like you've quit around the holiday season. Was Thanksgiving hard for you? Are you dreading Christmas and New Years? These have always been times where it has been encouraged for me to drink even when I was underage (Irish Catholic ldo).
Every other time I "quit" drinking I would dread traditional drinking holidays. Right now, I do not. In addition to the inexplicable resolve I have, I just feel better right now than I have in some time. The reasons not to drink are strong enough.

I'm really aware of the prevalence of alcohol in our culture. The constant barrage of advertisements is just amazing. Between stuff like that and the people posting in this thread I wonder just how big a problem this is.

In reference to something that's come up in this thread, I still don't know how to define what I was or am now. What's an "alcoholic"? Do you stop being one when you're not drinking, or am I an alcoholic who doesn't drink anymore? Doesn't really matter I guess.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:16 AM   #136
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

you should try going to AA meetings. I went to a lot in my late teens for court related issues and they seemed to help a lot of people. They would say once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic and judging by your op I would say you fit the bill. It's also a good way to meet people and do things that don't involve booze. good luck
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:58 AM   #137
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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What's an "alcoholic"? Do you stop being one when you're not drinking, or am I an alcoholic who doesn't drink anymore? Doesn't really matter I guess.
This was huge for me. And I do think it matters. "Alcoholic" means so many different things to different people. There is a reason for that. We all need different thoughts or beliefs to help us stop. Our definition of the problem is key to us being able to commit fully to quitting. If you don't believe it you won't try hard enough or long enough.

Non-alcoholics and some alcoholics seem to think booze controls them or they have a "disease". I am not saying that is not true. And I am sure this belief helps them stop. But I hate thinking that and it will not help me.

For me alcoholic means I only get enjoyment from drinking large amounts of alcohol. That amount got to be so large that it stopped being enjoyable so I choose to stop drinking. I like thinking that. Gives me the power I need to stop.

So it is important what YOU think an alcoholic is. Because if you think it is something that will not give you the power to stop you need to change what you think it is.

But yah it does not matter what other people think an alcoholic is, other people are idiots. I might be tired as that made no sense, I like it.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:29 AM   #138
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

I went out and drank tonight for the 1st time since the Monday before Thanksgiving. A friend called me up and asked me to go to karaoke with him. I didn't drink much, 4 beers in about 3 hours, but I was definitely feeling the effects. This was a major improvemenf over my old habits when i would've "pregamed" to avoid paying for overpriced beers at the bar and then guzzled as many as I could while there.

A few people commented on how i was drinking less than i normally do and i just brushed the comments off w/o making a big deal of it.

I wouldn't say I am disappointed in myself since i don't think I ever planned on quitting forever but I needed to make some changes in my behavior wrt alcohol and i think i have made progress in that area. Due to my financial and employment situation i got into a habit of sitting at home drinking alone to "entertain myself" and I don't think I will fall into that trap again
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:18 AM   #139
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

LFS just got a new house and will have a Man Cave. Obviously he shouldn't have a bar in it. I think he should have something BOC in there to fill the gap. I was thinking a hot tub, but that might make the joint smell like chlorine. How's the cave coming along LFS?
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:44 AM   #140
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Very good stuff ITT. Good luck to you LFS. It's all about will power. Worse men than you have done it.

I find myself drinking too much too alone too often, not to the point where it's a problem but I could see it going there. After reading a lot of these stories I'm going to keep myself in check and be honest about my alcohol use. I don't even like being drunk that much, it's just convenient because it's legal and other people don't really butt in if you keep everything under control.

What I really hate about lots of recovery programs (AA, NA, etc.) is the label of an addict. It becomes this thing you can't ever get rid of and you always have to be. There's a fine line between admitting the truth and making a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think it can be very damaging to one's self-image to keep repeating the label of an addict or alcoholic to one's self.

Did anyone here just stop drinking without much effort? I started because it was the common social thing to do and it's easy to get a hold of, but I think with some new habits and time I wouldn't miss it. The idea of having no vice or mental escape sounds terrifying but I guess addressing the reason I want to escape is better than numbing it.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:10 AM   #141
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

what's BOC? google says balling out of control i guess? who the **** says that ****?
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:57 AM   #142
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Originally Posted by LFS View Post
One of the things my extra time is going to is thinking a lot about life. My past, my present, my future. Especially my past. Who I am, who I want to be, etc. I'm pretty sure that drinking was a way to distract myself from thinking all the time. I guess that's pretty standard. I've been spending a lot of time dwelling on some pretty heavy stuff, which isn't really pleasant and probably doesn't make me a breeze to be around. These thoughts and tendencies are probably something I should keep examining. I've always known that alcohol was more a symptom than the actual problem itself. I think I'm starting to see the problem.

The good news is that I've noticed I'm procrastinating less and have a lot more patience in general. I'm unquestionably sharper than I've been in quite some time. My focus on work and my volunteer stuff is more consistent than maybe ever. I still have the sense of resolve that started this, but I'm also getting a sense of purpose.

I'm definitely a more serious person than I was a few months ago. That's probably a function of a number of things, but mostly not drinking. My feelings about this are a little mixed, but I'm also legitimately excited to see what I'm capable of when I'm actually trying.
It's an interesting thread LFS. I attempted to quit alcohol a number of times in my early 20's. I was essentially an alcoholic and probably swore off booze around 20-30 times from the ages 19-24.

It would take a very long time to detail all of my thoughts on the subject, but one thing I will say is that I believe alcohol is more a symptom than a problem fundamentally. Unfortunately, things like drink driving, violence and the destruction of personal relationships can occur while intoxicated. At that point, the consumption of alcohol itself is a problem.

Quitting can be difficult. The more awful a thing I did, the greater my intensity to quit would be. In these times, I would be able to quit for months at a time due to the severity of my remorse.

At some point, my life changed. That would be too complex a subject to broach. But when you wake up with a purpose that has meaning to you each day, and you have a strong desire to perform at your best, your core desires change.

One my my best friends used to try and encourage me to have one glass of wine during my periods of sobriety. I wanted to shag her, so I agreed. This always led me to binge drinking (I did get the sexytime so it was worth it).

Anyway, the point I'm trying to get at is that when I have a drink these days, I rarely have an urge to continue. I hate being hungover. It makes it more difficult to concentrate on poker or put in a hard session of physical training. It just slows me down. I still use it to develop new friendships and relationships, and sometimes we all need a break from the grind. But now, even while I'm drinking, I usually can't wait to get back to work with a clear mind, as well as fully hydrated for a run, swim or bike ride.

The other thing that has changed is that when I am drunk, my behaviour is extremely positive / social. When I was younger, anything was possible. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it was crazy, sometimes it was violent and sometimes it was sad. Now I generally just get excited and dance around.

So, even for people with extremely addictive personalities, I think it is possible that one day the urge to binge will dissipate. I just don't have that light switch in my brain anymore. Or if I do, it only wants to flick itself on twice a year.

This has been kind of all over the place, sorry I couldn't write something coherent. I wish you all the best with your attempt to quit. I think you've got a better chance of success than I used to because my friends and family were 50 / 50 on supporting my decision or encouraging me to drink with them.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:16 AM   #143
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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Originally Posted by LFS View Post
Every other time I "quit" drinking I would dread traditional drinking holidays. Right now, I do not. In addition to the inexplicable resolve I have, I just feel better right now than I have in some time. The reasons not to drink are strong enough.

I'm really aware of the prevalence of alcohol in our culture. The constant barrage of advertisements is just amazing. Between stuff like that and the people posting in this thread I wonder just how big a problem this is.

In reference to something that's come up in this thread, I still don't know how to define what I was or am now. What's an "alcoholic"? Do you stop being one when you're not drinking, or am I an alcoholic who doesn't drink anymore? Doesn't really matter I guess.

FWIW I no longer classify myself as an alcoholic, and no one I know does either (and they would be happy to say so if they did).
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:50 AM   #144
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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T
But yah it does not matter what other people think an alcoholic is, other people are idiots. I might be tired as that made no sense, I like it.
I like it too.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:25 AM   #145
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

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what's BOC? google says balling out of control i guess? who the **** says that ****?
I think that might be the only thing I ever learned from NVG. As to why it jumped in my head after not having gone into NVG in 2 years, or why I typed it, I have no excuse.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:22 PM   #146
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

good luck! =)
all the best to yea man
its hard to come out saying that you drink too much
and quite
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #147
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Op, sorry to hear you're having issues with alcohol. I've had issues with it too. But now, Im moderating my drinking due to hangovers. Everytime they're getting worse. How do you handle them?
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:49 PM   #148
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

I dont personally believe in quitting alcohol, I believe in moderation.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:51 PM   #149
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Thanks for sharing this, LFS.

A very good friend of mine who was a very heavy drinker (in the sense that he would drink a lot anytime he was drinking) quit right after his father died (in his fifties) as a result of liver failure. I never thought of him as an alcoholic, but obviously his family had a complicated relationship with alcohol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by euler217 View Post
Did anyone here just stop drinking without much effort?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monaguillo09 View Post
I dont personally believe in quitting alcohol, I believe in moderation.
Personally, I drink, but there are people for whom stopping drinking completely is easier than stopping after just one drink. I know some people who definitely have found that to be true in their own lives. People are different.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:40 PM   #150
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Re: Quitting Alcohol

Quote:
Originally Posted by LFS
This is why I'm committed to just never drinking again. I don't think I can have one drink.

Quoted. And a very realistic view.


To address comments on what your previous circle of buddies may think of your new found sobriety:

I believe for anyone who's had trouble with addiction, deep down inside, they secretly wish they could rid themselves of the continuous wanting.

Your progress annoys them. Sheds light on their own condition.

That steps can be placed and prove that you and they might have more control over their lives than they choose to admit.

I'm a fan of your random witticisms, but LFS, this is the realest **** you've ever wrote.

And I can dig it.

With a shovel, man.
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