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How to stop drinking - Page 562
  1. #11221

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    Congratulations Sue just read your story/blog! You have really made it and started the revolution. I felt the same way you do when i started this journey and not even close to your success. I so want to be able to say to the world my name is ----- and I can't drink and that's OK because it's a disease and not feel shame or embarresment- and you are starting the revolution, if everyone was willing to openly share their struggles it would give other people the strength to do so too. So thank you sooo much for starting this and I hope I can do the same someday I firmly believe it gives others the strength to go looking for help.

    AF and Alana you are doing so well. I'm on day 2 again.feel like such a loser I was so high and mighty for a while - I was doing well then felt so down(like Perwinkle said said manic/depressive) -couldn't get through it without drowning in my sorrow-what sorrow,I have so much to live for and be happy-it's my excuse. But I'm climbing up again and gathering my tools and strenghth and focus so don't count me out, I'm back.Going for a run.
    Best to all and I'll never quit quitting until it's the last time which i want it to be on October 25th, 2013.!!!!

  2. #11222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alana View Post
    Well, I'm back. The AA meeting was OK. I will keep going if it's going to help me stay sober. When I first walked in and looked around I was a bit depressed. I allowed myself to be open minded and appreciated everyone's story. I still felt like there was no one there like me with the exception of all of us being alcoholics. If I have to get a sponsor in order for this thing to work, I want to be selective so that it's a good fit. I don't want to be in an uncomfortable situation where I have a sponsor who I am uncomfortable to be around. Is this type of thinking selfish or bad?
    They say go to 6 meetings before deciding if it's not for you. They don't necessarily have to be the same meeting, find another if need be. It took me 3 different groups before I found one I clicked in and wasn't so much a whiny venting session, but felt encouraging for growth. I found an all women's closed group to be best for me. Even if you don't click with anyone, that's ok, there are plenty of other tools to use for recovery

  3. #11223

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    Ok then... I shall try and answer my own question from 22 hours ago - in the absence of a response...
    I think, a 'dry alcoholic' means that you are still living exactly the same - just without the alcohol. Apart from the odd change, I haven't made any changes albeit have a healthier diet.
    I have the same partner and mates that drink, live in the same house and have the same job. I don't believe these are key to future success. I thought my partner having a glass with dinner was making it more difficult but in reality, I don't want a glass, I want at least a bottle. AND, when he's been away, I've still been thinking 'no-one would know' about drinking alone... This just backs up stupid AV will provide you with an excuse for any occasion!
    So, the only missing element I can see in this is the 'spirituality' part. I'm not trying to be contentious, I'm just trying to understand what is meant - if one genuinely struggles to believe in this type of thing (don't get me wrong - I'd love to - I think it would be so beneficial, particularly in difficult times) and is slightly cynical, does that mean I can't succeed??
    Or, are we simply talking about the difference between someone that doesn't drink but constantly craves a drink vs someone that tries to be more positive about the change?
    ????????

  4. #11224

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    Maybe I haven't answered it after all - thoughts welcomed!
    Day 27 and still feeling strong. Funny, don't even think about the 'Sunday ' thing.. Still crazy dreams though, I wonder if you just remember them more and they've always been like that?
    We're expecting a storm here - forming over the Atlantic at the moment... Going to spend some time making sure everything that can be is tied down...
    Xx

  5. #11225

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    Maybe a dry alcoholic is still relying on habitual routines, just without alcohol. Like, drinking alcohol free beer instead of just ditching the illusion completely.
    My partner drinks wine, which I've never drank, but I don't feel any desire to have any. Last night we were sitting down watching a movie, me with a coke and later a coffee, her with a few glasses of chardonnay. If I'd been drinking a few alcohol free beers I think I would have been standing at the edge looking into the abyss as opposed to being able to stay up after she's gone to bed and read for a while.
    As for spirituality, I am agnostic and based on the scale of the universe, time, the quantum world and so on...I think we have to just assume our choices are our own and accept responsibility for the consequences.
    Anyway, being off alcohol certainly makes a person more philosophical and for some people that's pretty 'dry' :-)

  6. #11226

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    Ha ha... Good point..
    And - someone about in a sensible timezone, you get double welcomed dav!!. usually I'm kicking my heels for a while until they get themselves out of bed across the Atlantic...
    But surely dry alcoholic can't just be those that drink AF drinks??

  7. #11227

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    Well, maybe it's someone who is descriptively admitting that they are going to drink again at some point or going through a particularly hard struggle?
    It seems to invoke images of someone who has not put the rest of their life in place in order to move beyond dependency, to me.
    As I'm new to stopping I might have notions that are provably mistaken in relation to long-term abstinence. I have to admit that I find the notion that I'm not responsible for my drinking as kind of irresponsible, you know? Also, the idea of offering it up to some imaginary higher power seems like avoiding the issue.
    And... I've probably offended loads of people within 4 or 5 posts so I'm off :-)

  8. #11228

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    Yeah - I sometimes think that.. Ultimately it's as simple as not pouring the muck down your throat. Maybe making it that simple stops the over complication and over analysing I'm terrible at??
    Awwww dav... Don't go.....it's 3 hours til they wake up...
    shouldn't worry about that dav, it's a very liberal and open minded forum - it's virtually impossible to offend - as long as you're rationalising your thoughts and feelings and aren't just being offensive.. (Although I'm sure I have my moments!)...
    I'm going to treadmill while listening to 'kisstory' - I seriously need to grow up and act my age.. Whatevs!!

    Xx

  9. #11229

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    Correction. 4 hours

  10. #11230

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    AF..To attempt an answer to your question. I think you first need to decide if you are an alcoholic or not. My brother readily admits to drinking too much, but I do not think he is an alcoholic. If sufficiently motivated I believe he would be able to cut down or quit. A good way to distinguish between alcoholics and problem drinkers is that alcoholics usually have a history of attempting to stop drinking and then failing, perhaps many times over. You might say "piffle" (if you are a brit), what is lacking is good old fashioned will power. I think not. There is good evidence to show that in other areas alcoholics may exhibit plenty of will power. Of course one can quit if sufficiently motivated, for example if someone were to put a gun to your head, and promise to shoot if you took a drink.

    So I think the first thing is to decide if you are an alcoholic or not. If you are, then the notion dry drunk has real meaning. If you are an alcoholic and has somehow managed to put a gun to your head to compel quitting. (or some other dire consequence), you are likely to crave drink and not be very happy (dry drunk). It is also likely that you will still drink despite the dire consequence.

    Real alcoholics are different. Call it a spiritual condition, call it a disease, it does not respond well to will power. There seems to be a complex of spiritual, physical conditions that compel drink. You might be an alcoholic, or you might not. Time will help you to find out. I managed to quit for 30 days and thought I had this thing licked. Time showed me that was not true. Despite a fairly strong will I found myself with a drink in my hand.

    Well I am not going to go on and on. But I think this is the gist of it. For some will power suffices. For others something else is needed that goes beyond one's own resources -- higher power, massive changes, group support. I am saddened when I see some on here who beat themselves up because they think they lack the will power to quit. They keep trying but keep coming up against their own alcoholism, yet refuse to admit it and take the steps that will lead them to freedom.

  11. #11231
    Jim, you put that very well, probably better than I can.

    I think the bottom line (so here I go trying to restate it in my own terms) is that if a "real alcoholic" (as Jim pointed out) simply eliminates alcohol from their life they are NOT going to be content unless they take action.

    Now that action could be many things. Call it a program, call it a spiritual transformation, call it what you want. But if all you do is to remove the booze then you will not be happy and content. This is as good a definition of any for a "dry drunk."

    A dry drunk is an alcoholic who is not drinking but they are also not taking any positive action in their life.

    What defines "positive action?" That is a can of worms, and I have tried to explore it on Spiritual River. Certainly AA is one path that works for some. But it could be religion, a church community, or even an intense exercise program (for some people anyway).

    Or it can be a holistic approach, a combination of ideas that produces the right path for living well without alcohol. I would like to think that I am on that path myself. Regular exercise, writing about recovery, reaching out to people online in recovery, working actively on improving the relationships in my life, and so on. My path to sobriety is not just one thing but it is many efforts combined.

    If I stop doing all of these things (exercise, online recovery, working on relationships, etc.) then eventually I will drink alcohol. But long before I pick up that first drink I would be correctly labeled a "dry drunk." Because I would no longer be ACTIVELY working on my recovery. Just drifting through life, angry at the world, blaming others for my unhappiness, and so on.

    To borrow from one of the AA principles (step 10 I believe) you might pause at any given moment and ask yourself: "What have I done for my recovery lately?"

    Or "what have I done for my recovery today?"

    If you ask that question of yourself every single day then it should help keep you on track. If you stop asking that of yourself then you will start down this slippery slope that leads to dry drunk syndrome if you are not careful. Gotta stay vigilant. Complacency is sneaky.

  12. #11232

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    Patrick, that's similar to what I wrote about tackling alcohol by focusing on the positive as opposed to the negative. I read your blog about it being better to focus on the negative and maybe I'm just naive at this early stage but I seem to be better able to get through weekends by celebrating a long distance run, a book read, a day with my children than remembering bad moods, apathy and ill health.
    I do believe you and your point about having to refocus everyday, or reaffirm, and that's scary because it means its here forever.

  13. #11233
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    dav, you have not offended me for sure.. I need more time to think.. I am not sure I agree with Jim and Patrick on what is a "real" and how that "real" alcoholic should go about their life.. Having people try and tell me that, maybe, I don't fit their "real" alcoholic mold so I am a "problem" drinker, because I don't feel or agree with them on how to move forward with "my" life.. I don't make excuses for "my" problem.. I did "it" created "it" and shit on many things in my life.. I take responsibility for my actions and now do what I have too, to be the best I can be each day.. Problem drinker my ass! Put all the names and labels you want.. It boils down to me doing something that was Wrong and Selfish and Self Centered.. I took control of it and ceased to be Self Centered and I am now a non drinker..
    I know many of you feel you need to give up power.. Alcohol took my power, dignity, and self respect.. I feel clarity and no more denial.. I can justify anything with my ability to live in denial.. I took my power back by being able to say no to alcohol.. I ended the denial and have moved on with life.. I think the hardest part about alcoholism for me now is dealing with people, friends, who can't let me be me.. Society says we have to drink to have fun.. I am starting to surround myself with people, new friends, who see life is fun without being drunk.. This is what works for me..

    Chad
    Xxxxxx
    “Well, if it can be thought, it can be done, a problem can be overcome”

  14. #11234

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    Absolutely, Chad! But look at the adverts that we are subjected to which show the great times alcohol brings and the beautiful people who indulge and are perfectly able to stay cool and unaffected by drink and its effects! No wonder we feel like outsiders.
    Another thing that I have begun to notice since I've stopped drinking is how movies portray the lack of consequence from alcohol. Characters go to a bar and knock back 5 or 6 shots on top of beer then solve mysteries, are chased through streets, remember obscure details, look fine, speak without slurring and so on.
    People complain about movies and scenes of violence that don't show consequence but, to me, the alcohol scenes are just as irresponsible and unrealistic.

    Chad, what you are saying about being unsure of where you fit in is what I feel also. I was just thinking that its only since the net has made it possible to not only communicate about these subjects, but also provide access to previously difficult to find information that this area is truly being explored in such detail.
    It would have been impossible to correlate and compare so many peoples experiences up to 5/ 10 years ago so the information and 'expert' view needs to be revised.
    For example, how influential was the fact that alcoholics met face to face at meetings and much was held back as opposed to forums like this where honestly is probably easier for people? Does the solution then change? Do we now accept that there ARE many people who don't fit the stereotype and maybe the stereotype itself was never real in the first place so therefore the provided advice was never going to be a lasting solution?
    Hmmm.
    Last edited by dav; 10-27-2013 at 01:14 PM.

  15. #11235
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    Hmmm.. Indeed dav!! Thank you, for your great perspective.. Maybe?? Time to change the parameters for how we approach it.. Maybe?? This forum and other forms of online recovery, such as the blogosphere, aren't just a way to white knuckle it, until, somebody convinces us of other alternatives.. Just a thought..

    Chad
    Xxxxx
    “Well, if it can be thought, it can be done, a problem can be overcome”

  16. #11236

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    Now I've stopped stuffing my face and as it was me who asked for people's opinions on this i'll throw my two penneth in...
    I also struggle to understand the need to pigeon hole people.. I completely understand it will assist anyone giving up to focus on the positives and not constantly think about what you're missing out on...
    I read Jim and Patricks responses earlier and have been thinking about them since. I'm just not sure where that leaves me... I feel like you're saying, until I get some 'label as you see fit but for want of another phrase 'spiritual distraction tactic' I'm destined to fail as, if I am an alcoholic, willpower can't work?? Surely it can't be that black and white? I don't know...
    I do understand also that you need to continue to work on sobriety.. Maybe writing on this blog is my distraction?? I'm not sure i completely do get it.
    What I do know is that listening to others stories and feelings around their drinking on this forum I do 100% identify with.. And that's all I understand at the moment. But that is very real.
    I've also had a belly full this weekend of mates persuading me out on the lash - they think '100% abstention' is over the top... Even when I try and explain I'm happier like this.
    It will be 4 weeks completed tomorrow and I've been surprised at times where the challenges have come from so far...
    Thanks to everyone for their continued support - means a lot
    Xx

  17. #11237
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    All labeling aside.. If you drink more than 14 drinks (male) 7 (woman) in one week, be aware trouble is probably on the way..

    Chad
    xx
    “Well, if it can be thought, it can be done, a problem can be overcome”

  18. #11238

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    Let alone one hour - ahem
    Xx

  19. #11239

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    AF, loving the conversation! Thanks for bringing it up again. And, oh yes, an hour, me too. . .

    Sometimes I'm not big on words or labels because of the connotations / baggage they bring with them. Yet what a rich conversation has developed with "dry drunk" as the starter.

    I used to take those quizzes you'll see in magazines - oh, that makes me sound old, which I am - or on the Internet: Are you an alcoholic? You'd add up the points. But it didn't matter what the answer was until I took action to stop drinking. No that's not true either. I took action lots of times to stop drinking, which lasted anywhere from minutes to 1 day to days to 3 months once. It didn't matter until I stopped drinking. Now the label doesn't matter to me either. I'm a "1 is too many, 100 is not enough" (thanks Jeff) and a "one glass, my ass" (thanks Serenty) kind of gal. It really doesn't matter why. I have accepted that I am not a bad or weak-willed person, alcohol has that kind of effect and hold on me. No need for labels, it's just the way it is.

    I'm gonna think some more and come back later. I like that this conversation has drawn me in and gotten me thinking. Thanks AF and Jim and dav and Chad and Patrick.

  20. #11240

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    And one of things I like about this forum is we have so many examples of how people have broken free: in-patient rehab, intensive out-patient rehab, AA, Al-Anon, Rational Recovery, Patrick's spiritual recovery, counseling, on their own, all or some of the above, with medication, without medication. What we all have in common is our commitment to living without alcohol. Not just living but thriving and growing.

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