First time here... found it for a reason
Hi all. I've been reading posts all morning as I work through another hangover. I believe I'm an alcoholic, from a long line of alcoholics. I want to post a bit of my story and hear some of your thoughts. I need to make some changes and I hope that I can find encouragement here to do so.
I'm 35 and I would say I'm a functioning alcoholic. I've held my job for 12+ years and I've been steadily advancing. I'm a college grad, a father, a husband, and a generally responsible person... great credit, nice house, boat, etc. I started drinking pretty early in life with my childhood best friend. I remember the first time I got "hammered" was with him at his father's company Christmas party. We made complete jackasses of ourselves and embarrased his folks... I think we were about 12. As stupid as it was, we had a great time and enjoyed that 'fuzzy buzzy feeling.' I've been chasing that feeling ever since.
I'm definitely a binge drinker. There's a country song that goes "the more I drink, the more I drink... if I have one, I'll have 13". That's totally me. I stick to beer only, but I have no problem putting down 20 in a day. I would say that I keep my drinking to the weekends, but the truth is I spend maybe 1 or two nights a week sober, or with no beer at all. If its in the house, I drink it. On the weekends, I like to slam a beer or two in the morning to get my "relaxing weekend" going, and by the end of the night I usually end up tired and trashed. I hide some of it from my wife, but obviously once I start tying one on, she sees it and hates it. I've been drinking even more recently due to problems in my marriage... or is it I've been having even more problems in my marriage recently due to my drinking? I'm thinking it's the latter.
Anyway... I went out for a "happy hour" with the guys last night that ended up being a happy 5 hours. I spilled the beans on my troubles at home and vented to the boys. Basically, I turned the good old guys night into a really depressing horror show of drunken stupidity. I hate that. They were drinking too, but they can hang without falling off of the cliff. I feel at a new low this morning as I think back over the past few months and the increasing frequency of my embarrasing moments. I don't typically do too many REALLY stupid things when I drink, but I know that there are many things I do that are just plain annoying. - I can't remember anything after I've had the first couple and my memory seems to be pretty much gone all the time; I'm starting to slur and have slower speech earlier in my drinking episodes; I'm sure that I tell the same old and tired stories each time I drink, and I exaggerate (sp?) alot of things to the point that I annoy myself; I get to a point where really bad ideas start to sound good, and that's usually where (in my mind) I'm having the most fun. Who the heck starts drinking during the afternoon pre-season game and ends up taking their ATV out off-roading at 2:00AM on a Monday morning before the weekly meeting with management? I apparently do.
So I end up here, reading posts. And in pretty much every post, I can see myself. So, at least I know I'm in the right place. Now, my question is how the heck do I stop and save my marriage.
I have tried having NA beers around the house before, and that actually started to work. If I wanted a beer, I'd have one! Best thing was, I wouldn't get hammered. It was funny to notice too, that without the alcohol driving my consumption I would have my fill after 2 or 3 at the most. Many times, 1 NA beer sipping during a TV show was plenty. After a week or so of that, I would find that I didn't crave beer quite as bad and it was easier to go a few days with nothing. I'm thinking that going that route might be the best way for me to get rid of the actual alcohol, but keep enjoying my beer. Somehow though, I have to find a way to commit to ALWAYS bying NA, and not going for anything else. The other thing is that I have to find a way to be able to function socially around my friends and family WHO ALL DRINK and not fall into my typical drunken mess.
Ideas, experiences, or pointers on dealing with social situations around friends who drink (and drink ALOT)? Thoughts in general? I'm excited to start working on cleaning up my act... I've been wanting to for years now, and I can finally see that my life is getting worse and worse with alcohol in it. I'd love to hear from others.
im new to this too. did you want to start a new thread?. I reply on the drinking problems and alcoholism thread directly.
Welcome. You are in the right place. Great folks on here. Come join us on the main stop drinking thread. I think you will be able to relate to some of the last few posts by Vic, Kevin, and bdog, etc. Folks take awhile to notice a new thread.
Wow, great first post,..and welcome dude! I don't know exactly where to start,....but first of all you sound a WHOLE heck of alot like myself,..just 5 years younger, especially your 2nd paragraph where you describe your life,...and yourself as a functioning alcoholic. From the outside everything in your life looks perfect,...and in fact it probably is,...I know I've been very blessed and very lucky,...."SO WHY IS IT that I'm so damn miserbale most of the time???" Same deal with me, I have an awesome wife, 4 beautiful healthy kids, a great job of 14 years, nice cars/truck, boat, camper, and dog and a cat, etc.
My first suggestion would be to go back and read through some (if not all) of the archived articles on the home page of this site. There is a wealth of great information that is written just for people like us. I find several helpful things in each one of them. Another thing I would say is that your probably going to have to cut down or cut out going out with the guys,...at least for a while. With 4 kids, most of that has been cut out for me,..just no time. Most of my buddies are married with kids too, so a few times a year is about all we can do. I'm new to this forum too,...just a few days and it's really been helpful. Honestly, other than that I can't give you too much advice because I'm in the same exact boat as you are. I currently still drink,..like you beer only,...and struggle my a$$ off constantly trying to keep it "in check". Sometimes I'm successful for months at a time and sometimes I slide back for months,...so I know the cycle well. I also know well the question of..."is it problems in my marriage that causes me to drink more,...or is the drinking more that is causing the problems"...and you're right it's most always the later. Keep on trying to improve yourself,...and just by being here and posting as honestly as you have, tells me that you are in the right track. Look forward to talking (typing) to you in the future.
Again welcome!...and hope that helped in some way.
bdog, Millie & kevin2... thanks for the welcome. I've been reading more posts in between tasks and I'll definitely head over to the main thread. I've read so many posts today that they're all kind of mixing together but all good stuff. Kevin, your vacation practice rings true with me as well as many others as I had read. I always seemed to find a way to sneak in my beer on every vacation, and I hate that every drive home is excruciating. Just once, I'd like to feel lively, revived and content with lots of good family memories playing in my head on a drive home from vaca. I'm sure I'll be trading more posts with you all soon.
Hi there -
I think alot of us on this site are "functioning" alcoholics. That is one of the reasons I struggled when I tried AA - step1 - admitting my life was unmanageable...I didn't think so - I drank, but I also took care of everything. Worked, paid the bills, made sure the kids were taken care of, etc... Where the unmanageable part came in was the drinking - I couldn't manage that - it consumed me at night...and during the day - when could I get that first drink, what did I need to do before I could drink, what did I have going on the next day that might be impacted if I did drink...know what I mean?
So Welcome!!! This site for me was a life saver...it is filled with people who understand what you are going through, forgive you when you fall, encourage you, great articles to help you get through it, etc... If you have reached that point in your life where you are miserable drinking - then this is the place to be. I am so excited that now instead of bit*** about life failing me, drinking away my misery, pity party after pity party, thinking "oh well - this is my lot in life!" I can make plans and do something about it. I am saving money, planning a trip to Europe, fixing things that used to bug me...life is beautiful. Each day is a new experience - some better than the last, but "this too shall pass" is my mantra. Good luck!!
I totally get your life stories concerning alcohol BGustavsen, Eric and Sally. For many years I was a good functioning heavy drinker. I used to drink all night long then sleep for maybe 2 hours and make it to mgmt meetings for 8am and work all day. I never missed a day of work. Even sometimes I would go to the gym or to other social settings after work after drinking all night. Kept the daily grind pace up fairly well until the past few years. However, after turning 40 things started to go downhill and get harder to be a good functioning heavy drinker. Like you mentioned Eric my brain has been pickled too many times and now my memory is not as sharp as before. I've also noticed a few other capacity downgrades. All the signs now point to the party being over and it's closing time on that chapter of my life.
PS: Sally - I read your post on the 60-90 day thread ( but I'm only on Day 38) so I will post here instead. I am in the same boat as you lately concerning:
"Blah feelings... It seems like my emotions are at a stand still...seem to have lost my passion for living - don't want to drink - but kind of in a numbed out pattern."
That is exactly how I have been feeling for a few weeks now and I don't have any answers to "fix" that situation at this point. But the way I look at it is it's better to feel like that than being hungover and massively depressed.
Hey Vic - some advice I have gotten is to "rethink" my life. I need some short term goals to motivate me - get me excited about living - instant results kind of things. So I am going to make a list today of things I would like to accomplish around the house. Just had new wood floors put in, but saved the base boards and trim for me to do. Going to go to the lumber store today and look at my options. I'm seriously going to rethink going back on my diet - eating healthier, maybe even join the exercise thread (I said thinking about it LOL) And I am going to start counting my blessings - I think being grateful for where I am - maybe helping others more - will get me out of my rut. Good luck!!
Thanks for your input gang, some good suggestions to get out of the post pickled blues.
Welcome! You are in the right place and I can relate very well to what you have written. Wanting to stop drinking is the most important first step.