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Topic: Battling the booze

  1. Kazzl
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    8 February 2016

    When the black dog bites, many of us reach for a drink. It can ease the pain, help us relax, block out what's going on in our minds. If it's just the odd drink now and then, even one or two a night, there's no harm and maybe even welcome relief. But for some of us, many in fact, literally drowning our sorrows becomes a problem in itself. We drink more and more until the booze takes over, and drinking becomes all we want to do. 

    That was me for a long time until I finally realised the combination of booze and depression would kill me. If I wanted to live, if I wanted to be able to manage my depression, I had to get sober. I did, nearly five years ago, and it's the hardest thing I've ever done.

    If booze is controlling you and you're not controlling it, this thread is for you. If you want to regain control - get sober or moderate your drinking (which for many is harder than quitting) or if you're worried you are drinking too much, join us here.

    On this thread I'll talk about my battle with the booze and offer advice and support to anyone who is struggling. I welcome anyone who's been there or is worried they are going there, to join in. And I hope others now living sober will come here to help our friends who are struggling.

    One thing this thread is not is a place to discuss how much a drink or two helps you. It's not an anti-alcohol thread, but it's not a general discussion about alcohol either. It's for people who are genuinely worried about it or who want to control it, and it's a place of celebration (without judgment about drinkers) for those of us who are now living sober.

    I hope anyone who's battling the booze will join us.

    Cheers 😀

    Kaz 

    18 people found this helpful
  2. PatT
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    8 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz,

    I've been through an arduous battle with prescription drugs and alcohol for most of my adult life and decided to get clean about 16 months ago. It was the best decision I ever made. Drinking and drugging was destroying my life even early on and I wound up in rehab at age 23. I've noticed that addiction and alcoholism are more frequently popping up on this board and would even suggest to the moderators that they create a subsection to deal specifically with alcoholism and addiction. It goes hand in hand with anxiety and depression for many people, I know it did for me.

    Good thread Kaz,

    I hope more people can come forward and talk about their experiences.

    7 people found this helpful
  3. Missing user
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    8 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Well done Kaz.  Both for starting up this thread as well as for conquering your addiction to alcohol 5 years ago.

    Until about 20 years ago I hardly drank at all, other than maybe a glass of wine with christmas dinner, wedding toasts, and the like.  But after I developed ptsd I found that I started drinking more and more.  Then when I married my husband 18 years ago, he was a big drinker, so it became normal to have a drink or two most nights.   Turned out that he is an alcoholic, and I guess if you cant beat them, then you join them.  

    When my ptsd got particularly bad around this time last year (hubby was away at the time) I was feeling afraid, couldnt sleep, and I just wanted it all to stop.  So I would drink all night trying to forget, to try to force those distressing thoughts out of my head.  Then I'd literally fall into bed and still couldnt sleep.  But I was drinking quite heavily and would have no memory of it all the following morning.  One evening I passed out and woke up the next morning on the floor.  This really frightened me and I decided it was time to seek help.

    As a result I underwent CBT and Exposure Therapy for the PTSD last year.  This has helped to reduce some of the anxiety symptoms and definitely helped me to modify my drinking.  I do still have an occasional glass or two of wine, or scotch, but I think I have it under control at  present.

    I am still afraid though that I could lapse back into the habits of last year.  And if I was to do so, I may not come back.  So I am very interested to hear of other peoples experiences of combatting the lure of drinking to help with sleep and to help to forget past traumas.

    And having a husband who is an alcoholic, I am also interested to hear how others are able to deal with living with an alcoholic and how best to help them.

    Sherie xx

    2 people found this helpful
  4. geoff
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    8 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    dear Kaz, this is certainly a very good post, one which I will continue with tomorrow, but in the meantime I was one
    that fell to this habit, from early in the morning until whenever I could stay awake.
    I would also drive my car until I was caught, and now in hindsight, I was stupid, not caring about other drivers on
    the road and I deserved to be punished and lost my licence for 2 years, and now I would never drive if I have had a drink,
    and tell those that they can't drink and drive, so I have to make that point before I continue on.
    My need to be able to drink while in depression is something that could only numb me, although my wife and 2 sons hated
    seeing me drink and would anything to get rid of the wine cask, so if they found it they would empty the contents, which
    then made me become a cupboard drinker, hiding it in different spots, and not one spot but several spots, so if they found
    one spot, it didn't matter because I had several other spots where I had hidden my grog.
    My need was so intense which eventually was one reason why my wife divorced me, I don't blame her, however she had problems
    which she was never going to fix, because 'she knows best', and unfortunately she is still not willing to change, which
    at times has created problems with our 2 sons, who didn't want anything to do with her, so I then became the 'go-between'.
    A great post to start, and by the way I only drink socially these days and have no need for alcohol to help me along in
    life.
    There's a lot more to discuss.  Geoff.
    6 people found this helpful
  5. Kazzl
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    8 February 2016 in reply to geoff

    Thanks Pat, Sherie and Geoff. I really appreciate your responses - and Pat a special well done to you mate for tackling it so young. I know lots of people (through another forum for people with alcohol problems) who only faced up to it in mid-life or older and one thing they all had in common was that they wished they had acknowledged their problem at a much younger age. I'd love to hear more of your story, especially for the benefit of other younger people on here. Good stuff!

    Geoff I'd like to hear how you go about moderating your drinking. I'm an all or nothing kinda gal and know I can't moderate, but some people can and do very successfully. Do you find it difficult or is it comfortable for you?

    Sherie hun - seems to me you had the excellent sense to take action and take control before drinking took control of you. That's so great. I regularly woke up on the floor, and a variety of other places I shouldn't have been LOL, before I accepted I needed help. Recognising and admitting you've got a problem isn't easy, but the sooner you do the easier it is to find your way out.

    I want to mark a special day for one of our members today - Moonstruck is three years sober today. We've posted in the cafe and elsewhere about this but I think it's really appropriate for this new thread to kick off on a high note - Good on you Moonstruck! For anyone who wants to join us there is cake in the cafe and a little celebration around 8pm tonight. I hope other sober folks will feel comfortable sharing special anniversaries etc like that. We do need to congratulate each other! 

    I also want to invite people to post here with ideas or questions about what you'd like this thread to include. I have my own, but I hope to hear from others so it's as useful as possible.

    Have a good evening everyone!

     

    3 people found this helpful
  6. Kazzl
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    12 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi folks - It's Friday! These days I love Fridays because I know I've got a whole weekend ahead to play with!

    There were times though when Fridays were fraught for me. I'd be really looking forward to what I'd do on the weekend, counting the hours till knock-off time ... and my first drink for the day. I would tell myself all day that I wouldn't drink too much tonight because I wanted to enjoy tomorrow.

    Then I'd get home, open a bottle, and two or so (bottles) later fall into bed if I was lucky, or, more likely pass out on the couch, floor, paving outside or somewhere else I shouldn't have been. Often after a raging row with my then partner.

    Saturday mornings were a mystery - I didn't see many of them. Saturday afternoons were trying to pretend I was OK while feeling ill with a shocking hangover. By Saturday evening I'd usually lost the battle of 'I won't drink tonight', then Sunday was a repeat of Saturday.

    On Monday, people at work would say what did you do on the weekend and I'd lie. Make up something that sounded feasible 'oh, just a quiet one, housework, gardening, you know'.

    If any of this is familiar to you ... maybe it's time for a change.

    I hated Fridays when I was first getting sober because I didn't know what to do with them and the urges were so strong. I had to change my routine. I often went to bed very early to beat them. Other things I did was get immersed in a good book, take a long hot bath, go to a movie, go to the gym - basically anything that stopped me opening the bottle as soon as I got home. But I had to be committed to it - no half-heartedness and no 'just one'.

    These days I love Friday nights. And Saturday mornings (they exist! who knew!) and the rest of the weekends.

    I'll be hanging around here tonight if anyone needs some Friday night company.

    Cheers

    Kaz

    8 people found this helpful
  7. Bayleaf
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    12 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Battlers.

    Kazzl your post rings bells here, I am looking forward to the weekend too but it wasn't always so and the fights and lost weekends were part of my journey too and, for me,  it went downhill from there. That was several years ago and getting free of my addiction was the hardest but most rewarding thing I have ever done but these days I am able to enjoy the whole weekend and I fully expect to enjoy this one.

    Abstinence has become a part of my life, usually it is something I don't question and don't consciously work at but recently, since the black dog has wondered by, I have had to apply myself just a little. I don't believe that I am at great risk of a return to drinking, I am not craving and certainly not in physical need but I have been aware of a wanting to feel different, to escape from the intangible down or to counteract that vacant feeling that the black dog brings, so I am being careful right now. 

    So I'll be nearby tonight too so if you are battling please drop by, say hello. 

     

    2 people found this helpful
  8. geoff
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    12 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    dear Kaz and Bayleaf, what a great post this is, because I have been through all of this myself, but it wasn't Friday
    or Monday or any other specific day that I was looking forward to, it was the hour or when I woke up that I was looking
    forward to, so I could find a reason why I could drink, and what was the reason, well there was no reason at all, but it
    didn't stop me from drinking, I pretended to go to my shed to do something, was just an excuse to find where I had hidden
    some alcohol and continue drinking, what a great relief that was.
    I will open this post tomorrow morning and answer Kaz, but in the meantime let me know how you both go tonight, and
    it doesn't matter how you feel. Geoff. x

    3 people found this helpful
  9. Kazzl
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    12 February 2016 in reply to geoff

    Hiya Bayleaf, thanks for posting! I soooo understand that wanting to escape. For me it was about turning off my mind - finding oblivion. But for we-of-the black-dog-brigade, seeking oblivion can be a dangerous thing in itself, especially if we find it in a way that leaves us capable of doing terrible things without even being conscious of it. Like posting rubbish or abuse or too much personal information on facebook or phoning someone who's upset us and telling them off. And, we can make ourselves vulnerable to predatorial types - not just women, but men who can end up in brawls.

    I wince when I remember some of those things. 

    Hey Geoff - thanks mate. You've reminded me about the 'hidden' booze. I didn't hide mine because I mainly drank at home and my partner did too, so I didn't have to hide it. But the other forum I belonged to had lots of stories from people who hid their booze so their partners or families wouldn't know how much or when they were drinking. They found some very creative ways to do it too (even inside the lining of a coat!)

    Then there was the problem of disposing of the empties ... sneaking out to other people's bins on bin night. It's almost funny to think of those things now ... but not quite. I still find it satisfying to put my empty plastic bottles of diet cola into the recycle bin - they don't make the telltale clink clink clink of wine bottles. 😄

    Cheers

    Kaz 

     

     

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Missing user
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    17 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Good evening Kaz, and other contributors to this thread.

    As explained in my earlier post to this thread, I dont believe I ever got to the stage where I was "alcohol dependent", but I have abused alcohol in the past.  And I think it definitely had the potential to control me, rather than the opposite.  

    It was around this time last year, that I realised that it was becaming a real problem.  But after some treatment for my PTSD I have been able to control it adequately for the past 12 months I think.  However, I am finding that same urge this year, to just drink to the state of oblivion.  To enable me to forget for a while, to force the brain to slow down, and to fall into bed oblivious to anything else.  To just give me a break for one night!

    But I know I cant do that.  So far, I have resisted the urge to go back for that 3rd, 4th and 5th double scotch.  I cant let alcohol take over my life, I cant add that to my ever increasing list of problems.  It is, I hope, just a passing thing due to current triggers, but I am a little concerned.  The temptation is definitely there, and is very strong.

    Sherie xx

     

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Missing user
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz,

    I havent seen very much of you for a while now.  I hope you're okay?  You have taken on such a lot lately, and I just hope you arent overdoing things.  I read on another thread that you were feeling 'frazzled'.

    Today I have had a busy morning, some good and some bad aspects.  This afternoon has been decidedly more bad than good.  I have been quite upset by a few posts this afternoon as well, which hasnt helped my thinking. Now I am feeling really tired, sad and even a little angry.  I feel defeated and kind of deflated.

    Hubby is down at the pub, after I dropped him off there a couple of hours ago.  Probably wont be back until around 9pm.  So I'm here on my own.  I've already had 2 double scotches, and concerningly I am very  tempted to have a few more.  To drown my sorrows, to forget things that I just dont want to remember, and to get some sleep tonight.  Just a one-off .............  Is that selfish of me?

    Sherie 

  12. Missing user
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Are you there Kaz?  I need your voice of reason.  I'm not feeling good at all.  But I am also concerned for you.  Tell me that you're okay.  Please ...

     

  13. Elizabeth CP
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Missing user
    Sorry for butting in here but I'm concerned for you Sherie. You have been struggling so much without sleep & little support. Please try to resist the temptation to drink to drown out the problems. See your GP & get some sleeping tablets & advice to use them properly to give you the rest you need so you can cope & don't do something you will regret. You are not selfish for being tempted to drink to excess under the circumstances. Look after yourself. I hope you don't feel upset by my comments I just care about you.
    1 person found this helpful
  14. Kazzl
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Missing user

    Sherie hun, I'm here. I'm OK thanks mate. I'd decided to stay off tonight because I didn't want to get any further involved in things that were making me want to drink, especially after a terrible time with a sick little dog who's been savaged by another dog (not my other one). 

    Anyway, that's another story. I know you're not feeling good hun and I send you much love, hugs and kisses. I'm glad I looked in and found you. I know how upsetting that was for you and I'm so sorry it happened. It was a non-issue that became an issue and shouldn't have in my opinion. 

    Voice of reason? Well, I'm not feeling that reasonable. All I can say is this should be a place for everyone to express themselves in a way that works for them and doesn't harm others. How giving love and compassion can harm anyone is beyond me. You can hug me any time you like.

    Now ... tell me please ... have you put the scotch away? How about you join me in the cafe for a chai latte? I'll make it myself, if you tell me how 😊 xxxx

  15. Kazzl
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    Hi Elizabeth - you are not butting in hun and your presence here is very welcome. Thank you for expressing your concern for a valued member. I hope anyone on the forum might do the same if they feel someone else is in trouble and, for this thread, especially if it's someone drowning their sorrows. That's what it's for. Well done.
  16. blondguy
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Sorry too for butting in Kaz/Sherie

    I have agoraphobia but I can sleep reasonably well...

    Your sleep has been bad news....which I have known for a while now....I was just being 'a guardian angel'...I hope

    I know you need some quality sleep..

    Here for you Sherie....

    Thankyou Elizabeth for being there too....

    Paul x

  17. Kazzl
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    19 February 2016 in reply to blondguy
    You're not butting in either Paul. I was about to leave a small Darrel Lea store in the cafe for you though ... shall we go there and all share it?
  18. Kazzl
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    Hmmm ... or we could stay here and consider it our pub with no beer (or scotch or wine) for the night. Coffee or chai latte anyone?
  19. blondguy
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Bless you Kaz....I need a break....Can I pick up those Darrel Lea Choc's in the Cafe? I need some respite here..Can I please order order a flat white with no sugar ta :-)

    The Cafe is place for kindness and taking 5. See you there.

    WOOF!!

  20. Kazzl
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    19 February 2016 in reply to blondguy

    Thanks Paul - you my friend are a born diplomat. I'll stay here though in case Sherie comes back, but I'll make you a coffee anyways. I carry a coffee machine wherever I go y'know.

    Kaz xx

  21. Kazzl
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Sherie - I'm still here hun. If you're around please let me know you're OK. I'm worried about that scotch bottle. If your husband comes in drunk and you're drinking it could get ugly - been there too many times. I'll be here for a while yet.

    Kaz 

  22. blondguy
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    hey Kaz...no worries....Tony just gave me a recipe in the Cafe....that was really nice of him...Yum!

    Can you please give Sherie a hug for me....:-) I am very worried about her sleep....Bless her kind heart....x

    This site is very good Kaz....sometimes we have to remember that typing on here is the same as texting on a cell phone....Like Black & White TV....its lacks colour....Our conversations are limited by typing compared to a 'phone call' when we have a clearer understanding of what is being said....If that made any sense sorry Kaz..

    Paul's Trivia : 'Only 40% of kids (14-25 years of age) use their cell phone as a phone......lol.....The bulk use them for texting and data....I must be getting old Kaz...

    Thankyou for being there xx

    WOOF!!

  23. Kazzl
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    19 February 2016 in reply to blondguy
    You're a better man than I am Paul.
  24. blondguy
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    19 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    Roger that Kaz...x
  25. Missing user
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    20 February 2016

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm okay, and thankyou for your concern.

    Yes, I've put the scotch bottle away.

    Kaz I'm really sorry to hear about your little dog.  How upsetting!  Will he be okay?

    Sherie xx

  26. Kazzl
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    20 February 2016 in reply to Missing user
    Hey Sherie xx Good to see you. Shelley and I are on your thread at the moment waiting for you. See you there.
  27. Missing user
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    20 February 2016

    Kaz, Paul, Elizabeth,

    Thank you all very much for your support.  You have all helped, a lot.    ( - :

    Feeling pretty 'rusty', but I'm okay now.

    Heading back to bed.

    Thanks .........

    Sherie xx

  28. blondguy
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    20 February 2016 in reply to Missing user

    Sherie Kaz Elizabeth

    You have also helped me too Sherie...Kaz and Elizabeth

    Thankyou for being there guys

    3:51am......nite 

    Paul xo

  29. geoff
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    20 February 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    dear Kaz, sorry I'm a few days late in coming back to this that was started by you.
    Is there anybody better off than someone else, we may think so and then believe it's true, so there is a great chance
    that we use alcohol just to compensate on how we are feeling, but instead of thinking that way, we have to take into
    account all the different circumstances, such as work, how we are getting on with our family and the last but not the
    least is if we are suffering more from depression.
    Ask yourself 'are all alcoholics depressed in some way', and then do they get 'involved in things that were making them
    want to drink', but if you're an alcoholic then anything is an excuse to drink, because the temptation is so strong to
    make you think 'I need a drink', and this can happen when something sad happens, or when something good happens, because
    'it's a celebration and why not'.
    Time means nothing does it when you want a drink, as it's 'half a glass full half a glass empty', as there's is no bottom
    in the glass, it needs to be full all the time.
    If you lay in bed and can't sleep, then you tend to think that if I have just one drink it will make me go to sleep, sure
    but then the taste of alcohol takes over and your back to being blotto, and so the routine continues, drinking everyday,
    but if depression has got a hold of you, then having a family doesn't matter, because the alcohol is much stronger and
    certainly needed, more than what your family are asking of you.
    To overcome the need for grog takes great determination, and your doctor can help you with medication, only if you
    seriously want to stop, otherwise it's a waste of time, but not only this you also need help in stopping. Geoff. x


    1 person found this helpful
  30. Kazzl
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    20 February 2016 in reply to geoff

    Thank you Geoff, you've described it perfectly. And you've raise a good point that a lot of people might not know - there is medication available to help you stop drinking, in fact it will make you feel very ill if you do drink. 

    'Only if you seriously want to stop' - that's the key to it all eh? To succeed in quitting you must really want to quit, more than anything else. It's so very hard - but you can do it if you have that 'great determination'.

    Great post Geoff. 

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