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I quit drinking about a year and a half ago. Haven't had any alcohol since June of 2019. 

ok my story... Been debating on adding to thread but I've seen some brave people sharing their stories.  My story is similar to many of yours. For the record, I selected "I drink more than I

I love drinking

2 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

First, none of the rules you mentioned above work.  Obviously this isn't meant to be critical of you because I know you mean well, but people like me look at rules like "Just don't drink on weekdays" or "Stop at three drinks" and know that stuff like this is just wishful thinking

Thanks for sharing. And yes, I agree, none of those rules will work for people who have long term habits and/or addiction to deal with. My post was intended for people who are beginning to develop those habits during the pandemic and may still be able to make simple changes. 

I'm glad you've found something that's helped you to get control over your situation.  I'm not a doctor or alcohol counselor and this is not medical advice, but in my uneducated opinion it sounds like you have added one psychologically addictive substance to address another.  That's a dangerous line to walk, but if you were taking in a large amount of toxic, physically addictive alcohol,  and have cut it back, you're probably doing less harm to yourself than you had been before. 

Do you think this is physically sustainable as you get older?  Have you thought about an "exit strategy" for ending the alcohol use altogether? It's a huge change, maybe it's just not something you're interested in doing yet, but if you were, do you think it'd be possible?

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2 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I'll be honest that I'm one of the people you're talking to here.  I've been a heavy drinker since my 30s.  When people think of alcoholics, they tend to think about "real degenerates" who crack open a beer with breakfast, drink at work, pick up DUIs, black out every night, and suffer all sorts of relationship problems.  That's not me.  I have no desire whatsoever to drink before about 4:00 or so.  I have a great marriage and a great relationship with my kids.  I've never had a DUI and I don't drive drunk or buzzed.  My job is great, I've run five marathons, etc.  

The problem is that I really like alcohol.  It tastes great, but more importantly it feels pleasant.  It temporarily shuts off the inner monologue that I normally enjoy but need a break from on occasion.  That's all fine of course, but I know my drinking is problematic for several reasons.  First, none of the rules you mentioned above work.  Obviously this isn't meant to be critical of you because I know you mean well, but people like me look at rules like "Just don't drink on weekdays" or "Stop at three drinks" and know that stuff like this is just wishful thinking.  Second, I've always been the kind of person who would rather have four drinks than one, and who would also rather have zero drinks than one.  That's not a good sign and indicates a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol.  Finally, I know that the overall quantity of my drinking -- a handle of hard liquor would typically last me about four days -- is inconsistent with good health even if hasn't caught up with me yet.  

I'm not going to call anybody out, but I can name at least half a dozen long-time posters on this forum who fit the exact same profile, and I'll bet most readers of this post can as well.

What worked for me is a solution I mentioned in another thread that admittedly isn't possible for everyone: I made a road trip to a nearby state with a well-developed recreational cannabis market, and I loaded up.  For me personally, that has been an extremely positive lifestyle change.  I don't know why this is, but the effects of marijuana make me not want to have more than a drink or two, which is a complete game-changer.  I can have a couple of glasses of wine, or a glass of whisky*, and that's it.  Since early August, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've been drunk, and I'm no longer concerned at all about the occasional lapse.  It's also really nice to get a full night of healthy REM sleep and to wake up feeling like a million bucks.  

(*Before somebody else asks or points this out, a "glass of whisky" is 5-6 oz. of hard alcohol and technically qualifies as binge drinking even when it's spread out of the course of an evening.  I'm fine with that.  You'll just have to take my word on it that this is a huge improvement for me.  A side benefit of weed is that whisky tastes amazing and different brands taste like totally different products.  A downside to weed is that cheap wine tastes like lemonade (white) or kool aid (red) and cheap whiskies taste like a one-note symphony, so I've been spending more on smaller quantities of legitimately good wine and liquor, but I'm an FBG so money is no object to any of this.)

Just sharing this so that you at least get one serious response.

This is 100% me.

 

Except for me it was 4 marathons.

 

They were half marathons.

 

And I walked because my knees are shot.

 

But I did finish in less than 3 hours.

 

I have started drinking a bit less particularly for this time of year compared to the last 30+ Decembers.

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My drinking has decreased quite a bit since the pandemic with the lack of social get-togethers.  I will still have a couple beers at home on the weekends, but that's been about it.  Those flood gates might open when we get through the other side of this.

There have been several times I've left the office after a stressful day and think, "I NEED a beer."  I usually forget about it by the time I get home.

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3 minutes ago, bostonfred said:

Thanks for sharing. And yes, I agree, none of those rules will work for people who have long term habits and/or addiction to deal with. My post was intended for people who are beginning to develop those habits during the pandemic and may still be able to make simple changes. 

I'm glad you've found something that's helped you to get control over your situation.  I'm not a doctor or alcohol counselor and this is not medical advice, but in my uneducated opinion it sounds like you have added one psychologically addictive substance to address another. That's a dangerous line to walk, but if you were taking in a large amount of toxic, physically addictive alcohol,  and have cut it back, you're probably doing less harm to yourself than you had been before. 

Do you think this is physically sustainable as you get older?  Have you thought about an "exit strategy" for ending the alcohol use altogether? It's a huge change, maybe it's just not something you're interested in doing yet, but if you were, do you think it'd be possible?

You're right of course, but the mind-altering substances that I consume don't have any negative impact on my day to day life.  I use them in the privacy of my own while unwinding in evening -- if alcohol were unhealthy in the way that soda is unhealthy, I would drink to my heart's content and not give it a second thought.  I need to control my alcohol intake for health reasons.  That's really it.

I can definitely imagine cutting out alcohol completely, but the honest answer is that I feel that I'm drinking at a fairly sustainable level, and I honestly don't feel any pressure to cut back further.  I say that as somebody who I think is honest with himself, and I don't think I'm just in denial.  I should also note here that my decision to cut back in the first place was mine alone.  My wife never had any issue with my drinking.  I actually got quite a bit of side-eye for using weed at first, but she's cool with it now because apparently Stoned Ivan is a surprisingly charming guy.

One of the things I've enjoyed about your posts recently is how you and I have approached this pandemic in pretty similar ways.  After the 2-3 weeks of lockdown, it became obvious that this was going to be a long run thing.  At that point, I had put on about 5 pounds from stress eating and I was drinking way too much.  It occurred to me that I could either self-destruct during covid, or I could use this as an opportunity to make some overdue changes.  I took advantage of working from home to get in some extra exercise each day, and I jumped on MFP to cut my calories back without having to do anything drastic.  The result is that I'm back to my marathoning weight and have been for about five months now.  I also made an intentional decision to get my alcohol consumption under control, admittedly in an unconventional way.  Maybe this is all still a work in progress, but I feel like I'm coming out of this pandemic in way better shape than I was heading in.

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2 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

It tastes great, but more importantly it feels pleasant.  It temporarily shuts off the inner monologue that I normally enjoy but need a break from on occasion. 

This may sound a little stupid, but can you expound upon this part? Why are you trying to shut down the inner monologue - is your mind racing because you’re nervous, experiencing self-doubt or loathing? How often do you feel a break is necessary, and what happens if you don’t get one? Can you distract yourself in other ways, like exercising, watching TV, playing a game, etc.?

Please don’t think I’m judging you. I’m just trying to understand what sounds like a very different perspective from my everyday existence. I can certainly relate to episodic anxiety (if that’s what’s driving this) but don’t quite grasp the idea of regularly wanting to escape a normally enjoyable inner monologue.

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5 minutes ago, Terminalxylem said:

This may sound a little stupid, but can you expound upon this part? Why are you trying to shut down the inner monologue - is your mind racing because you’re nervous, experiencing self-doubt or loathing? How often do you feel a break is necessary, and what happens if you don’t get one? Can you distract yourself in other ways, like exercising, watching TV, playing a game, etc.?

Please don’t think I’m judging you. I’m just trying to understand what sounds like a very different perspective from my everyday existence. I can certainly relate to episodic anxiety (if that’s what’s driving this) but don’t quite grasp the idea of regularly wanting to escape a normally enjoyable inner monologue.

Good question -- happy to expand on that.  We had a thread a while ago where we asked people if they think in actual words and sentences -- most people do, but there's a small percentage of the population that doesn't.  There's a word for that that I don't know, but both sides always have their mind blown a little bit by people on the other side.

In my case, I have a very loud, very active inner monologue that runs from shortly before waking up until I go to bed.  It's like a radio station that runs in my head non-stop.  Reading, watching a really engaging movie or tv show, playing a video game, etc. does actually serve as a good distraction.  It's interesting that you mentioned exercise because IMO having that sort of internal monologue is actually conducive to stuff like distance running.  I can and have done 22-milers on a 400m track with no music or anything and not been bored at all because it gives me time to think about things.  When I go out for a walk, my own thoughts often get so intense that it's hard not to literally talk to myself out loud.  I know I'm hardly alone here, but not everybody experiences their own thoughts this way. 

I've always been like this, ever since I was a little kid.  There are lots of good things about this, but it gets exhausting after a while.  Just being able to turn down the volume and not think so much for a little while is relaxing.  It's kind of like if you were watching television and every show was Sopranos or Breaking Bad -- those are great, but a few mindless episodes of Friends is a nice change of pace and sets the plate for tomorrow's batch of high drama.

Not sure if that really clarifies things or not.  I do want to be clear that I'm not trying to drown out any worries or anything.  Like everybody, I have stuff that I can grouse about with regard to my boss, coworkers, etc., but those are just normal things in an otherwise good life.  

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9 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Good question -- happy to expand on that.  We had a thread a while ago where we asked people if they think in actual words and sentences -- most people do, but there's a small percentage of the population that doesn't.  There's a word for that that I don't know, but both sides always have their mind blown a little bit by people on the other side.

In my case, I have a very loud, very active inner monologue that runs from shortly before waking up until I go to bed.  It's like a radio station that runs in my head non-stop.  Reading, watching a really engaging movie or tv show, playing a video game, etc. does actually serve as a good distraction.  It's interesting that you mentioned exercise because IMO having that sort of internal monologue is actually conducive to stuff like distance running.  I can and have done 22-milers on a 400m track with no music or anything and not been bored at all because it gives me time to think about things.  When I go out for a walk, my own thoughts often get so intense that it's hard not to literally talk to myself out loud.  I know I'm hardly alone here, but not everybody experiences their own thoughts this way. 

I've always been like this, ever since I was a little kid.  There are lots of good things about this, but it gets exhausting after a while.  Just being able to turn down the volume and not think so much for a little while is relaxing.  It's kind of like if you were watching television and every show was Sopranos or Breaking Bad -- those are great, but a few mindless episodes of Friends is a nice change of pace and sets the plate for tomorrow's batch of high drama.

Not sure if that really clarifies things or not.  I do want to be clear that I'm not trying to drown out any worries or anything.  Like everybody, I have stuff that I can grouse about with regard to my boss, coworkers, etc., but those are just normal things in an otherwise good life.  

I can totally relate to this "inner monologue" deal. I had a therapist try to get me to confront where it comes from and why it's going on, but it turns out I was supposed to hate my parents.

I'm only half-joking. He was seriously pissed and considered it a stumbling block to cognitive therapy that I didn't have massive problems with my childhood. But I know what you're saying about active thinking. I do it all the time.

That said, I am an alcoholic and know it. My handles don't last four days -- they last two, tops. I have had to confront my drinking by going twice to rehabilitation and then getting with a twelve-step program, which I have fallen off of due to COVID and other things. What I have kept first and foremost is not drinking at all, which I haven't done since April 2, 2019. I keep that date as precious and my own because it was so tough to do just that. I've been hospitalized twice with .40 BAC and was so coherent during that time that I had to convince people to take me to the emergency room so I could get physical treatment. The last time it happened, I said enough and finally stopped a few weeks later (yes, the mind can justify anything, even a drink after blowing .4s two nights before).

But this is likely well-known to the board. I do not hide this, and desperately needed help. If anyone is there and needs help, there are people to contact that can help you. I would just go to Google and Google the rehabilitation areas in your immediate locale. They can recommend you to someone (outpatient) or take you in (inpatient treatment), something I likely wouldn't recommend with COVID. I'd see a doctor and make sure he or she knew your condition so that he or she would be able to prescribe you something to stave off the physical effects of withdrawal. Make sure you're not a crazily heavy drinker and quit cold turkey. You can have numerous side effects, including seizures and the like. If you drink like I drank, please see a professional before making drastic changes.

But this really has to do with a conscious decision to stop drinking. There's really no rationalizing it anymore at a certain point, and only each and every person knows his or her own point. So again, the onus really lies with the reader of this and the partaker of enjoyments. No judgments here. I hope everyone who needs help gets it.

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10 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I can totally relate to this "inner monologue" deal. I had a therapist try to get me to confront where it comes from and why it's going on, but it turns out I was supposed to hate my parents.

I'm only half-joking. He was seriously pissed and considered it a stumbling block to cognitive therapy that I didn't have massive problems with my childhood. But I know what you're saying about active thinking. I do it all the time.

That said, I am an alcoholic and know it. My handles don't last four days -- they last two, tops. I have had to confront my drinking by going twice to rehabilitation and then getting with a twelve-step program, which I have fallen off of due to COVID and other things. What I have kept first and foremost is not drinking at all, which I haven't done since April 2, 2019. I keep that date as precious and my own because it was so tough to do just that. I've been hospitalized twice with .40 BAC and was so coherent during that time that I had to convince people to take me to the emergency room so I could get physical treatment. The last time it happened, I said enough and finally stopped a few weeks later (yes, the mind can justify anything, even a drink after blowing .4s two nights before).

But this is likely well-known to the board. I do not hide this, and desperately needed help. If anyone is there and needs help, there are people to contact that can help you. I would just go to Google and Google the rehabilitation areas in your immediate locale. They can recommend you to someone (outpatient) or take you in (inpatient treatment), something I likely wouldn't recommend with COVID. I'd see a doctor and make sure he or she knew your condition so that he or she would be able to prescribe you something to stave off the physical effects of withdrawal. Make sure you're not a crazily heavy drinker and quit cold turkey. You can have numerous side effects, including seizures and the like. If you drink like I drank, please see a professional before making drastic changes.

But this really has to do with a conscious decision to stop drinking. There's really no rationalizing it anymore at a certain point, and only each and every person knows his or her own point. So again, the onus really lies with the reader of this and the partaker of enjoyments. No judgments here. I hope everyone who needs help gets it.

I knew you would be able to relate to all of this.  Congratulations on 4/2/19 -- that's awesome!

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38 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Good question -- happy to expand on that.  We had a thread a while ago where we asked people if they think in actual words and sentences -- most people do, but there's a small percentage of the population that doesn't.  There's a word for that that I don't know, but both sides always have their mind blown a little bit by people on the other side.

In my case, I have a very loud, very active inner monologue that runs from shortly before waking up until I go to bed.  It's like a radio station that runs in my head non-stop.  Reading, watching a really engaging movie or tv show, playing a video game, etc. does actually serve as a good distraction.  It's interesting that you mentioned exercise because IMO having that sort of internal monologue is actually conducive to stuff like distance running.  I can and have done 22-milers on a 400m track with no music or anything and not been bored at all because it gives me time to think about things.  When I go out for a walk, my own thoughts often get so intense that it's hard not to literally talk to myself out loud.  I know I'm hardly alone here, but not everybody experiences their own thoughts this way. 

I've always been like this, ever since I was a little kid.  There are lots of good things about this, but it gets exhausting after a while.  Just being able to turn down the volume and not think so much for a little while is relaxing.  It's kind of like if you were watching television and every show was Sopranos or Breaking Bad -- those are great, but a few mindless episodes of Friends is a nice change of pace and sets the plate for tomorrow's batch of high drama.

Not sure if that really clarifies things or not.  I do want to be clear that I'm not trying to drown out any worries or anything.  Like everybody, I have stuff that I can grouse about with regard to my boss, coworkers, etc., but those are just normal things in an otherwise good life.  

Funny, I was thinking about that exact phenomenon - aphantasia. Not necessarily wrt what you’ve explained, but just how different subjective reality is for each of us, so different at times it’s difficult to understand where people are coming from. I sometimes think this is true for my experience with alcohol - not finding it pleasurable or relaxing, only sedating. When I try to explain this, I get the impression people think I’m FOS or judgmental.

Anyway, thanks for clearing up your experience. I, too, find endurance exercise is a good outlet to organize my thoughts, but on average, my inner voice is a lot more reserved than yours.

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4 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I'll be honest that I'm one of the people you're talking to here.  I've been a heavy drinker since my 30s.  When people think of alcoholics, they tend to think about "real degenerates" who crack open a beer with breakfast, drink at work, pick up DUIs, black out every night, and suffer all sorts of relationship problems.  That's not me.  I have no desire whatsoever to drink before about 4:00 or so.  I have a great marriage and a great relationship with my kids.  I've never had a DUI and I don't drive drunk or buzzed.  My job is great, I've run five marathons, etc.  

The problem is that I really like alcohol.  It tastes great, but more importantly it feels pleasant.  It temporarily shuts off the inner monologue that I normally enjoy but need a break from on occasion.  That's all fine of course, but I know my drinking is problematic for several reasons.  First, none of the rules you mentioned above work.  Obviously this isn't meant to be critical of you because I know you mean well, but people like me look at rules like "Just don't drink on weekdays" or "Stop at three drinks" and know that stuff like this is just wishful thinking.  Second, I've always been the kind of person who would rather have four drinks than one, and who would also rather have zero drinks than one.  That's not a good sign and indicates a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol.  Finally, I know that the overall quantity of my drinking -- a handle of hard liquor would typically last me about four days -- is inconsistent with good health even if hasn't caught up with me yet.  

I'm not going to call anybody out, but I can name at least half a dozen long-time posters on this forum who fit the exact same profile, and I'll bet most readers of this post can as well.

What worked for me is a solution I mentioned in another thread that admittedly isn't possible for everyone: I made a road trip to a nearby state with a well-developed recreational cannabis market, and I loaded up.  For me personally, that has been an extremely positive lifestyle change.  I don't know why this is, but the effects of marijuana make me not want to have more than a drink or two, which is a complete game-changer.  I can have a couple of glasses of wine, or a glass of whisky*, and that's it.  Since early August, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've been drunk, and I'm no longer concerned at all about the occasional lapse.  It's also really nice to get a full night of healthy REM sleep and to wake up feeling like a million bucks.  

Thank you for this and the other comments you’ve made in this thread. I was just going to lurk after voting yes, but you and Fred have emboldened me. I am in just about the same situation - four days for a handle. I know it’s not healthy, and it makes me feel bad about myself pretty much all the time. The problem is, I am bored/lonely, and being drunk just makes things more interesting. When I am drinking, I can watch a ball game between two teams that I care nothing about and be riveted. I can watch a movie that I suspect is going to be awful, and still be entertained. It’s something to do and it’s been a habit for a very long time. Can’t remember the last time I took a day off. 

Just Thursday, I finally mentioned it to my doctor. He is strongly advising me to enter rehab. I cannot describe the extent to which I don’t want to do that. I don’t even want to quit altogether, and I know that  attempting to do so would ultimately end in failure. No, in a perfect world I would be able to drink when I wanted to, but I would be able to stop at a certain point and I would not feel compelled to do it every night. I’m trying to taper but I’m worried about DTs. My doctor said that trying to do it on my own is dangerous, and he has absolutely put the fear of God in my heart.

Unfortunately, cannabis is not an option, because I don’t live in a state that even borders a state that has it. I mentioned in the Kratom thread that I just wish there was something I could obsess over that wasn’t slowly killing me. I guess I’m just of the nature that I feel like I have to find some way to alter my reality every day or the day is just not complete. So I have all this swirling around in my head at this very moment. I’m glad I had a chance to tell someone. 

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10 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I'll be honest that I'm one of the people you're talking to here.  I've been a heavy drinker since my 30s.  When people think of alcoholics, they tend to think about "real degenerates" who crack open a beer with breakfast, drink at work, pick up DUIs, black out every night, and suffer all sorts of relationship problems.  That's not me.  I have no desire whatsoever to drink before about 4:00 or so.  I have a great marriage and a great relationship with my kids.  I've never had a DUI and I don't drive drunk or buzzed.  My job is great, I've run five marathons, etc.  

The problem is that I really like alcohol.  It tastes great, but more importantly it feels pleasant.  It temporarily shuts off the inner monologue that I normally enjoy but need a break from on occasion.  That's all fine of course, but I know my drinking is problematic for several reasons.  First, none of the rules you mentioned above work.  Obviously this isn't meant to be critical of you because I know you mean well, but people like me look at rules like "Just don't drink on weekdays" or "Stop at three drinks" and know that stuff like this is just wishful thinking.  Second, I've always been the kind of person who would rather have four drinks than one, and who would also rather have zero drinks than one.  That's not a good sign and indicates a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol.  Finally, I know that the overall quantity of my drinking -- a handle of hard liquor would typically last me about four days -- is inconsistent with good health even if hasn't caught up with me yet.  

 

 

This describes me 7-8 years ago almost perfectly.  Literally all of it.  Except I probably went about 1 year of hard drinking past this description.   Then I decided to give it up for good in March 2014, with an encouraging nudge from a couple people around me.   Best decision in a long time.  Haven't had a drink since.

It's always helpful to hear about other people with the "inner monologue."  So few people can relate to that.  My son is 12, and a few years ago he asked me "Dad, do you ever wish your brain could just shut off and take a break for an hour or two?"  First reaction:  ugh.  This is my fault.

Anyway, if anyone in here is struggling with their drinking, PM me anytime.   Glad to be a resource if I can.

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I probably fit the definition of a functioning alcoholic.  I've been drinking for more than 30 years and have never really stopped. However, the past 4 or 5 years I have started to drink considerably less, especially during the week. I also recently took 16 days off in a row which was probably the longest time period in a decade. I've never really drank during the day or let it interfere with work. My only issue is when I'm in a situation of drinking I have trouble stopping. This probably only happens once a month or once every other month.  

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My wife and I know we drink more wine than we should. We have a bottle with dinner and maybe one or 2 more a day on weekends. It's a concern about long term health effects though not that the actual drinking is a problem. 

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I had 2 beers on Wednesday,  2 on Thursday, and 1 on Friday. 

I anticipate having a scotch or 2 next friday.

Really these days I pick something I genuinely enjoy having.. a  nice craft beer or a nice scotch.  

My only blackout of the year was at my FFL draft

 

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ok my story...

Been debating on adding to thread but I've seen some brave people sharing their stories. 

My story is similar to many of yours. For the record, I selected "I drink more than I should and have tried to stop but its hard in the poll." I have been a drinker my whole adult life. It started with parties in High School, then college. Then it progressed to most weekends to every weekend. In my 30s it got progressively worse. I have never been a daily drinker but when I drink... I DRINK. Beer mostly and It would not be uncommon for me to have 7-8 pints a night 3-5 days a week. About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with fatty liver and had had elevated ALT liver enzymes. I would like to say that was a wake up call but it really wasn't. I tried to quit since then, but its been mostly fits and starts. I didn't cut the amount a drank when I drank , but I have been able to cut the days. I have had several 30-60 days sober only to go back to drinking.

It got particularly  bad during quarantine this last spring and When I went in for my  yearly in July my blood work was bad again. So I decided to quit again... With the exception of Election Night ( when I had several) I have been good. Im going on about 19 weeks sober minus that night.  I cant say that I will never drink again, but I can say I don't want to drink right now. Good luck to all who want to limit or change drinking habits. I know the struggle.

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9 minutes ago, tuffnutt said:

ok my story...

Been debating on adding to thread but I've seen some brave people sharing their stories. 

My story is similar to many of yours. For the record, I selected "I drink more than I should and have tried to stop but its hard in the poll." I have been a drinker my whole adult life. It started with parties in High School, then college. Then it progressed to most weekends to every weekend. In my 30s it got progressively worse. I have never been a daily drinker but when I drink... I DRINK. Beer mostly and It would not be uncommon for me to have 7-8 pints a night 3-5 days a week. About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with fatty liver and had had elevated ALT liver enzymes. I would like to say that was a wake up call but it really wasn't. I tried to quit since then, but its been mostly fits and starts. I didn't cut the amount a drank when I drank , but I have been able to cut the days. I have had several 30-60 days sober only to go back to drinking.

It got particularly  bad during quarantine this last spring and When I went in for my  yearly in July my blood work was bad again. So I decided to quit again... With the exception of Election Night ( when I had several) I have been good. Im going on about 19 weeks sober minus that night.  I cant say that I will never drink again, but I can say I don't want to drink right now. Good luck to all who want to limit or change drinking habits. I know the struggle.

Good luck tuffnutt.

I have often wondered if the reason I've never felt like I was anywhere close to be an alcoholic is because I did not drink in HS and College.  I was almost a teetotaler until I was in my mid to late 20's.  I really have only started drinking regularly/frequently for the last 10 years.  I can easily go days/weeks without a drink and can stop at one drink or even pour a glass/open a beer and not finish it.  Where we are similar is I know that it impacts my health and one of the main reasons why is that when I drink I usually make bad food choices (overeat, eat crap).  I think if I could drink without the poor food decisions I would be good.  Either way, I'm going to try and limit over the next few weeks but I won't be going zero alcohol - maybe after the 1st of the year.

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24 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

Drank heavily and especially on weekends, real binge drinking. Expectation was start drinking, don’t stop. Most of my friends were on board. I would drink until the booze was gone or I passed out.

 

This has been me and and my friends for as long as I care to remember.  We never worried about how much we would drink because we knew we would drink till the beer was gone. When you drink at the same level of everyone you surround yourself with its hard to see that your really drinking WAY too much. 

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15 hours ago, Tony Jabroni said:

I will be honest, I drink a ####load of beer.

Still function. Doesn't phase me. Vodka...never again.

So maybe.

 

I moved from mostly beer to vodka tonics (large ones) in my early 40s ...then onto the brown stuff and diet coke mid-late 40s. 

Big tolerance ...took a lot of pride in my ability to hold my liquor.  And I'm not a big guy, 5'9" - 160lbs - to as high as 190lbs at one time (currently 170lbs).  

As I've gotten older I am less able to tell when it's going to hit me, so I end up crazy ####-hammered more often than I'd like.  I mean I don't remember what happened, what I said, etc.

and then have horrible hangovers that I are a lot worse than I used have.  

I don't want to stop, but the challenge is that I really like it, but I need to find a way to dial it down (mix in water breaks, etc.) and just not get "over the edge".  The challenge is that the line changes too often ...one night I can hammer 7-8 large VO & diet cokes and be fine ...the next night it may hit me after the 3rd.  

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Maybe Fred or somebody else should start a new thread for those of us who are concerned about our drinking and might benefit from a little discussion. Not necessarily an AA thread per se, but some place for FBGs to talk about challenges, successes, failures, etc without all the extraneous noise. 

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

 Building on this, maybe we should have a shared Google spreadsheet where we publicly log what we consume against our goals.

I already have a daily tracker I use for a series of goals and work objectives. I start my morning by updating it for 5 minutes or so.

For example, I have three macro goals at work every week and daily I state my major milestones for that day against them. I also track whether I worked out, took my Spanish lessons, read for pleasure for fifteen minutes, and fasted until 11am.

I periodically update these goals.I make quarterly resolutions, not yearly ones, and at times I go entire weeks where some of these are tracked with red cells in Excel. But I’m honest with myself (only one who sees this spreadsheet) and it allows me to step back and make adjustments. 

Right now, I have fewer personal things I track because I think being strict is a bit too much to handle, but I’d be happy to be accountable to a group who wanted to do the same.

Good idea.  I would partake in that type of group thread.  If I can limit my drinking to Friday and Saturday, that's a big win for me.  I want a drink right now but I'm going to pass.  

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I used to drink a LOT but now it's usually one or two on Saturday. I'd rather have a single well made drink than a bunch of garbage thrown together. But it's that way with a lot things for me. A single piece of Godiva over a bag of m&ms, etc. I'm getting old.

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25 minutes ago, fred_1_15301 said:

Good idea.  I would partake in that type of group thread.  If I can limit my drinking to Friday and Saturday, that's a big win for me.  I want a drink right now but I'm going to pass.  

I would like to participate.

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For some the “everything in moderation” mantra won’t work but it would for me. I like a drink at a concert or comedy show, a beer at a Dodger game. I like a fresh squeezed lime margarita when having Mexican food on Friday night. I like a good glass of wine with a great meal. All of those add happiness to my life. 

I like a little buzz a few times a week but hate to be drunk. I have friends who their standard order is “a double Kettle and ....”. Can’t do that.  So for me I need to have a single vodka soda, then refill that with just club soda. Spaced out. Those are my best nights. 

Appreciate the thread. It’s made me think about it more. Especially retirement. I don’t want to be in that group where happy hour starts at 5. Then 4. Then 3. Then noon

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13 hours ago, AAABatteries said:

Good luck tuffnutt.

I have often wondered if the reason I've never felt like I was anywhere close to be an alcoholic is because I did not drink in HS and College.  I was almost a teetotaler until I was in my mid to late 20's.  I really have only started drinking regularly/frequently for the last 10 years.  I can easily go days/weeks without a drink and can stop at one drink or even pour a glass/open a beer and not finish it.  Where we are similar is I know that it impacts my health and one of the main reasons why is that when I drink I usually make bad food choices (overeat, eat crap).  I think if I could drink without the poor food decisions I would be good.  Either way, I'm going to try and limit over the next few weeks but I won't be going zero alcohol - maybe after the 1st of the year.

Why did you start drinking so late in life?

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3 hours ago, Terminalxylem said:

Why did you start drinking so late in life?

No particular reason.  I didn't go from nothing to drinking a lot.  I would try a mixed drink at restaurants or at a get together and also have cold beer during the summer at the pool or beach.  It just kind of grew from there.  I didn't seek it out as a way to de-stress or anything like that.  I've had a very blessed life up to now (46 years) and despite my joking around, I don't use alcohol to medicate or avoid reality or anything like that.  Kind of like Smails was just saying - I see it as something that adds to an already great life.

ETA - that reads like now I do drink a lot.  I don't. 

Edited by AAABatteries
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10 hours ago, fred_1_15301 said:

Good idea.  I would partake in that type of group thread.  If I can limit my drinking to Friday and Saturday, that's a big win for me.  I want a drink right now but I'm going to pass.  

In the same boat.  Cut back a lot about 3 ish years ago now during the week.  It's mostly Fri/Sat now with the occasional vacation stuff.  Trying now to watch the overall bingyness of fri/sat where possible.  

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9 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

We have a four month old puppy. He’s always ravenous. Best I can do to explain what it’s like once the bottle is cracked and I have a glass, is how he is when someone has a snack. He may know he’s not supposed to have it, but as long as that food is there he’s aware of it and his head is on a swivel. That’s not going to change until the food is gone or he’s eating it

This is an awesome description 

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It's a question I've asked of myself a few different times in my life.. and each time it's "No, I really don't think so".

I much more of a social drinker.. we do a lot of "couples" get togethers, game nights, etc.. that always involves alcohol.. golf league, pontoon boat rides, etc.. alcohol

But I rarely have any alcohol in the fridge.. I don't come home from work and "crack one open".. I hardly ever drink at home or crave alcohol.. I don't think about drinking or not drinking..

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7 hours ago, Judge Smails said:

For some the “everything in moderation” mantra won’t work but it would for me. I like a drink at a concert or comedy show, a beer at a Dodger game. I like a fresh squeezed lime margarita when having Mexican food on Friday night. I like a good glass of wine with a great meal. All of those add happiness to my life. 

I like a little buzz a few times a week but hate to be drunk. I have friends who their standard order is “a double Kettle and ....”. Can’t do that.  So for me I need to have a single vodka soda, then refill that with just club soda. Spaced out. Those are my best nights. 

Appreciate the thread. It’s made me think about it more. Especially retirement. I don’t want to be in that group where happy hour starts at 5. Then 4. Then 3. Then noon

I think I've gotten to a similar point in 2020, but I wonder if that'll change once this mess is all over. It's at least something I'll be aware of as the lid gets lifted on restrictions. Because I have been much water about drinking water along side whatever drink of choice. The starting time varies wildly, but the cap is on about 2 hours. If I may be drinking for longer than that (i.e. thanksgiving, golf) then I'll schedule a midday break - I've found that if I do that I slow down when I restart. And only one occasion comes to mind in which I probably had a nose too much booze in one sitting this year. Nothing egregious, but I think I just got a little too liberal that night with the bourbon when mixing up hot bourbon cider's. 

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27 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

Google sheet is set up. I’ve got my daily limit set, and starts off with 0 drinks last night. 

Will take no more than 2 minutes each day to log and keep yourself honest. 

Need at least one other FBG to do this. 

If you want in, message me with email address and I’ll add you to the sheet. 

Will message you a little later.  Thanks for doing this!  Accountability starts now.

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BTW my goal will not be to quit drinking completely.  I have no interest in that.  But I want to limit my drinking to Friday and Saturday.  The part that I haven’t figured out is how I’m going to limit myself on those 2 days.  

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33 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

Google sheet is set up. I’ve got my daily limit set, and starts off with 0 drinks last night. 

Will take no more than 2 minutes each day to log and keep yourself honest. 

Need at least one other FBG to do this. 

If you want in, message me with email address and I’ll add you to the sheet. 

Christmas is my big drinking holiday, you should start this after the new year.

 

Best of luck though.

 

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On 12/5/2020 at 1:45 PM, bostonfred said:

A lot of people who are having trouble and aren't posting about it.  . 

I was thinking this exact thing. Those that don't really have a problem with alcohol or are very low on the rungs of that ladder to a problem, are posting in here. We aren't seeing people who are like, "Yeah, I'm good for six every night, sometimes more." I don't come into the FFA nearly as often as I used to, but I do remember a lot of people who were definitely in that camp or at least alluded to it happening quite often here and there in various threads. 

I was in that camp. I drank a lot, pretty much every day for years. One day I had the realization, I could be a good drinker, or a good dad, but not both. As soon as I had that realization, I set the drink down and haven't looked back. It was weird at first. My normal inclination was to grab a beer when I got home. I had to consciously think about not doing that. But it didn't take long at all where that was no my natural inclination any more. My house is still full of booze. I work with various liquor brands who send me stuff to shoot pics and videos of. I keep it around for family and friends who come over for parties.

If anyone out there needs to talk about what they are going through and what to expect if they are going to try to quit, please, please reach out. Like if you decided to quit, you arent going to sleep for #### for a few weeks. And then you will sleep better than you ever have. And during that time you are going to be sleep deprived and your routine is all jacked up and you are going to miss the booze, so you are going to be a rotten bastard to be around. But then it will be so much better (about the time the sleep gets better). Oh, and your friends will not call you up to go to happy hour. Not because they're ####ty friends. Because they are worried they will tempt you and some will fear a lecture. And some don't want to be around someone who doesn't imbibe because they are worried that they shouldn't either. I had to convince a few that it really isn't a problem. I'm not going to lecture or be tempted. It's about the camaraderie. 

Seriously, if you need someone to talk to. I'm here to help. I've been there and I don't judge. 

We live in a society where if we have had a bad day, have a drink, it will get better. And if we have a great day, have a drink, it will get better. Neither one of those things are true. 

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Love how positive this thread is becoming. Thank you to the people who are sharing their experiences and taking this seriously. 

Also I owe @Judge Smails an apology I misunderstood your post earlier. Appreciate you coming back to discuss. I'm glad I got to make that rant but it shouldn't have been directed at your post. 

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20 minutes ago, TheFanatic said:

One day I had the realization, I could be a good drinker, or a good dad, but not both.  

This is the part that's hitting me the hardest.  I have 2 young kids and they'll often see me going down to the basement to make a drink.  They have no idea what it means but it's still embarrassing.  Other than that, I think I'm a pretty good dad.  I'm certainly not an angry drinker (probably the complete opposite) so they never really see any type of "dark" side with me.  And I'm healthy in all other aspects of my life.  But the drinking is a real problem and something I know that I need to get under control (if I want to stay a good dad for a long time).  

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I’ve been having a drink almost every night.  Some nights, 2 drinks. Last night I had 2, but nothing on Sunday.  I probably average 7 drinks/week. Prior to pandemic, I was maybe 3-5.  Some friends of mine have been arranging virtual social gatherings playing online poker or Halo. On those nights, which average every 2 weeks, I probably have 3-4 drinks in a night.  Honestly not worried about it though.  Maybe I should be, but I’m not.

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