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Old 09-26-2008, 04:39 PM
 
Location: The 719
13,646 posts, read 21,499,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskagrl View Post
Regardless, I think people should be aware of this potentially serious medical condition that can affect drinkers. It is a harsh reality to be told you have a condition which can kill --especially at a younger age. Most of us think we're invincible until something like this comes along--fact is, we're all going to die someday. I'd like to think the greatest joy and pleasure in my life came from something other than a bottle when my time comes.
That's exactly what my dad did! He just up and quit right about when I did almost 5 years ago. Two of his sisters were out visiting us; one from Ireland and one from New York (Yonkers). One brought a bottle of Jamison for his sake and they drank a bit as usual. All in my dad's family are NOT alcoholics. It's weird. Even the ones in Ireland. It's fairly rare over there, actually. At least two of my dad's bros died of alcohol complications, but one didn't.

Anyway, on the last night, my dad decided to get smashed and they got a bit tight as well. As he was going to bed at about 3:00am... he stumbled in the hallway and was quite sure he was having a heart attack. He slithered off to bed and in the morning, after he saw his sisters off, he decided that he was gonna die one day. But not that way.

He's sober today and all, but he grinds his teeth and his face is purple. He's otherwise very healthy and all, just a bit high strung. I truly think he's missing something, but I don't know what. I cannot just not drink.

The problem with the real alcoholic centers in his/her mind. You can't fix a broken mind with a broken mind. You also can't turn a pickle back into a cucumber. (I know I know! Dreaded slogans. I gotta million of em'.) But seriously, there was a time in my past when I drank alcohol and I felt like I finally fit in the world. It was like I was a Martian on Venus, and I finally found my way home. That obsession, that I can enjoy and control my drinking one day...will never leave me.

I hope it's not the case with you. But if it is, that's ok too. There Is A Solution.
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:38 PM
 
Location: SE Alaska
959 posts, read 2,070,800 times
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You guys are truly awesome; it is just helpful to hear your perspectives on alcohol and life.

Whatever my doc says about drinking isn't what I'm as focused on right now as processing my reaction when I thought I could never drink again. And it wasn't good, I'll tell ya! Felt like I had lost a best friend, one that would always make life more bearable and comfort me. If booze is really my best friend in my head, then I have a drinking problem of some kind, I think.

Perhaps I have been single so long because I can avoid lonlieness and the issues one must deal with when in a relationship with booze. I think that may be the case. And it's not just being single that is an issue--lots of wierd thoughts about life/death/the meaning of it all started surfacing when I was told not to drink anymore.

Anyway, chatting with folks on here has really been comforting and helpful. It's Friday night...err, that kind of sucks without beer but oh well. It would suck worse to die, right?

Thanks for these conversations. Feel free to PM me too. It's nice just to know I'm not alone in searching for answers to these issues.

Have a good weekend!
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago 'burbs'
1,022 posts, read 2,979,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskagrl View Post
Whatever my doc says about drinking isn't what I'm as focused on right now as processing my reaction when I thought I could never drink again.
I know what you mean. I was shocked, too, by my reaction when the doctor told me this. I was trying to figure out when alcohol became such an important part of my life?!

You just have to make peace with it somehow. When the second doctor told me that I could drink in moderation, I wondered if I should? Maybe getting sick was Gods way of telling me I need to put that focus somewhere else. Find a new hobby, a new interest, a new place to invest my time and money! Something that doesn't make me feel like crap the next morning and/or feel bad about doing/saying something the night before!

Now what will it be?

For me it was a few different things. For a while it was a new love of T.V! I found a bunch of sit-coms that I really enjoyed. Then I started reading again. I've read SO many books, and really enjoy it! Fiction, non-fiction, romance It may sound boring at first, but it's actually pretty nice and peaceful.

Now when I do go out, it is to enjoy my friends company. To talk to them and to new people.... with a clear head. My pool game has improved a lot, too!
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:03 PM
 
12,608 posts, read 14,617,198 times
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I knew someone who died in his 40s of alcoholic liver disease. He was told by doctors he HAD to stop drinking or he would die. He kept drinking, and he died. Super nice guy and when you see the statistics you think "Oh, that was probably some old alcoholic dude who had been drinking all his life." Nope. It happens to young, nice people too.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:32 AM
 
Location: KY
4 posts, read 19,080 times
Reputation: 12
Default Sweathogs R Us

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGowdog View Post
My realization was that I have a craving/allergy (don't want to use the dreaded d-i-s-e-a-s-e- word here) to alcohol that comes before any family member when it wants to, and it will convince me that I'm just fine and the World is jacked up. But um, fistfights with doctors, cops, jail cells, hospitals, blackouts, sore hands, feet, arms, legs, head, back, and unexplained bumps bruises, and oozing contusions convince me otherwise... It may have a little something to do with drinking alcohol like a sweathog the night before...

My job is with a law-enforcement agency. What above items I haven't personally experienced, I've seen first hand, and that also helped me realize my personal bottom. It can be ugly. I'm glad you are still here with us today

The thing you have is frothy emotional appeal. Hey, if that works for you, go with it. The AA "morality" is does it work when the rubber meets the road? If it works for you, do it. But don't think your method works for all, right?


Boy, if you could only talk to some of the people who are around me every day! They'd probably tell you I have no emotional appeal whatsoever!

I certainly, and in no way mean to imply that what I'm doing would work for anybody else. I believe that AA is a wonderful program and tool - for the right person. I am also sure it has saved thousands, and the meetings I went to opened my eyes to things I hadn't considered. For me, and as an example only, it was a right-handed glove on a southpaw though. Just didn't fit. I know I am among an impossibly small minority, that the odds are against my way.

I should state clearly to anyone who might use my example as an excuse to not get help they need: From what I have heard and seen in most every case - My method won't work for you. Get to, and Stick with a program of peer support and accountability. Please.


That's all wonderful stuff. That all shows me you have power over alcohol; thus a hard drinker and not an alcoholic. Give us a buzz if you find you can't stay stopped or control the amount once you start- no matter the external circumstances.

I've never been comfortable trying to define where the line between the terms hard drinker and alcoholic is. For myself or anyone else. I think it's largely irrelevant to one question - do you have a problem and do you want to stop? What I know is that I fought for around 12-13 years to reign-in, or lighten up on, what I very befuddledly realized wasn't a fun, recreational endeavor any longer. Those attempts didn't work, because I didn't think it was a big enough problem, and I have to admit, I was having way too much fun. (To this day, If I could possibly get away with it, I'd give $1000.00 to have a liter of good rum, a couple of 2-liters of coke, a case of Red Hook, a carton of cigarettes and a cooler of ice for just one weekend. I dream about it) Later, as things got more out of hand, I'm in the hospital, looking at all the others like me, I REALLY figured out I HAD to stop - or lose everything, I didn't want to be like that. I'm daggone hard-headed, and once I REALLY tell myself something that I HAVE to do, I do it. I'll never, ever drink again. There'd be too much of a chance I'd never be able to stop again. I take it as, and thank you for your offer of support in case the walls come tumbling down.


Well, if it's so cool... what do you do to give back and show others like you how to live successfully? And I'm talking about other problem drinkers? If you've truly come from near-death, you can be uniquely helpful to a dying drunk, right? That's what the program is kind of about and based on.

I don't single out problem drinkers to give back to. I am just plainly available for others now, where I wasn't before. I don't have to hide, make up excuses or turn my phone off. I constantly doing something for somebody else. You otta see my house. I'm always gone, and it looks like a bomb went of here. "If" I come upon a drinker with a problem however, I don't hesitate to tell them my story, offer resources, advice and my sincere help and care. But I'd just as quickly offer the same amount of energy and compassion to the lady down the road who's roof blew off and basement just flooded in the last storm, or the kids who want to learn how to make snares, go caving, rapelling, camping or fishing.

I admit it may be selfish, but I've put alcohol out of my life, and don't like thinking about it. Sometimes I've got to think about myself, find something else to do. It's really wierd - The couple of times I nearly drank was after being around particularly nasty drunks. Go figger. I've got no idea why that would hit me so hard, and being around someone that just has a drink or two is no problem.

No need to apologize. We've been corresponding a bunch in DMs. Either I'm gonna scare her away with the solution I've found or run her to an easier softer way. Or I might make her think a bit and at least give it a try. Hey, what's she got to lose? Oh yeah, those dollar meetings and free coffee are such a burden!

As far as the second opinion with the doc, I agree. But whether or not she's an alky, nobody can tell her that. True alkies are like Irishmen. You can always tell em', but you can't tell em' much.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:07 AM
 
Location: KY
4 posts, read 19,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskagrl View Post
Thanks very much Heyerdahl. You sound a lot like me, except for the past couple of years, when I've really been moderating --not going to bars at all and, for the most part, not getting totally blitzed.

I think your writings struck a chord about my past experience. Sounds alot the same. I moderated a lot of times. My last year in AK, I didn't drink a drop. The only person drinking coffee at the Craig Inn. I was the dd (Designated Deckhand) making sure all the bodies got back to the boat at closing time. It just got a little uglier every time I un-moderated. What a dumb-a$$ I was at times.

But--I think, given my reaction to being told not to drink, that I definitely have at least some dependancy on alcohol; mentally, if nothing else. When my life turns to crap, alcohol is usually there like a friend to turn to, able to take my mind off my problems and ease my conscience. That isn't the kind of person I'd really like to be. I figured I was better than that--more caring, more attentive to others--being without booze for a month now has brought some rather harsh truths to light--perhaps my life is just a tad empty.

Ahh... I think that's exactly the rub. The loss. It was always a good friend, a lot of fun, comfort, associated with many good experiences and only a few times did it ever turn on us. A definate balm to the soul and maybe even fuel for creativity. Empty? There's lots to get accomplished this time of year! The dogs should be running hard. Smoke about a hundred and send me one!!! I found a single can a three or four years ago, all that was left from what I made there. I darn near cried when I ate the last bite and it was all gone.

I've been here for about 5 years (SE) so I have been in a couple "sticky" situations in the woods/on the water; you are right about booze not mixing. I generally drink nothing or very little on fishing/hunting trips, but I've been out there royally hungover a few times and it is NOT good.

I could tell you some awesome stories about stickys on the water, hunting trips up the Unuk, and Fox Island/Nakat areas. Betcha we got good and wasted once we were back out... It's a wonder I'm alive!
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,704 posts, read 9,099,206 times
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I'll share my experience. My first husband was an alcoholic, like his dad and his mom too. I saw the signs, but we were both young and I didn't really know how to change anything. I took him to the ER with severe stomach distress and they admitted him for pancreatitis. He was in the hospital for a month. He went straight from there to rehab but he was unable to stop drinking and spiraled downwards pretty fast. He was in the hospital another 6 times in the course of a year. He died at the age of 29, about a year and a half after the onset of the first attack .

I'll admit that he was probably more of a hard core drinker than the average person and he definitely had a severe addiction. However, it's true that once you have pancreatitis, you need to be really really careful. He even had a problem digesting food properly after a couple of attacks.

If it happened to me, I wouldn't even take the chance. Lord knows I love my beer, but if I knew it was going to kill me, I'd do whatever it takes to quit for good.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:59 AM
 
Location: The 719
13,646 posts, read 21,499,229 times
Reputation: 13291
Good experiences Heyerdahl! I hear what you're saying.

I don't know how to define that line between the hard drinker and alky either, and I even hear some can cross over but not back. I'm afraid I never had a chance. I was stuck on full-tilt boogie with regards to drinking booze since I was 10. I fit right into a pretty crazy family too.

Just yesterday, I was having lunch with my "spiritual advisor" (one of those things I do besides going to a meeting or two a week is have lunch with the guys) and after describing my family to him, he asked "who in your family ISN'T a train wreck"? I told him my wife, MrsGowdog, describes my oldest brother, who's also a full-blown paranoid-schizophrenic (has been institutionalized since he was 18 and on-and-off since he was 14, despite graduating high school at the young age of 16, looking cooler than James Dean, having a beautiful 18 year old long-brunette haired girlfriend who used to drive me to kindergarden in her 65 Mustang convertible, and he was a welder by trade) as the sanest one of the bunch. My 29 year-sober friend laughed. Sad but true.

Thank you btw. I'm lucky and thankful to be alive. The miracle for me is that I don't even WANT to drink. I'm just having a kick out of life too. I used to love rafting (you can see my rafting stories in the Colorado thread), but almost lost my nerve doing it in a 10-minute swim through the class-4 Down Shoots Rapids of the Eagle River just out of Minturn (7850 elevation). Even though it was early July, that water was cold! I survived and got my self out just to get back into the raft (3 people at the time with one paddle, I was one of 5 swimmers on a flipped raft) just to do 6 more hours of rafting. We paddled our gizzards off after that. I wasn't gonna swim again that day! But you kayakers, now that's crazy! Hats off to ya.

I understand what you're sayin about service too. Take care of ourselves and stay sober number 1! Then from there, we can help anybody and everybody we meet. I just relate to these strange people more for some reason though. I love my immediate family and all that, but I've got a new family with these people in recovery. I don't hang with any and all of them, but in a not-so-small town, I see them often throughout the week just enjoying themselves. The ones who want no part of us, they seem to be doing what they gotta do and we sure don't chase them down. They're always welcome to check us out if they need.

Hey, if they find a better way, we'd love to hear from them. The door is always open.

Add: you know, I wonder what special challenges are experienced by specialized people like doctors, law-enforcement, airline pilots, famous artists and athletes, etc...

Last edited by McGowdog; 09-27-2008 at 12:31 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:29 AM
 
3,871 posts, read 7,422,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
I knew someone who died in his 40s of alcoholic liver disease. He was told by doctors he HAD to stop drinking or he would die. He kept drinking, and he died. Super nice guy and when you see the statistics you think "Oh, that was probably some old alcoholic dude who had been drinking all his life." Nope. It happens to young, nice people too.

I know a guy now who drinks heavily and allegedly has been told his liver is not functioning. He also had a minor stroke/tia. But, he's still going. I see him at the bar whenever I stop in. He's made his mind up that he will continue. I told him he's nuts but he does'nt care. EVeryday at 4 until 7 and sometimes later he is in his stool. When I pass by the bar on my way home and the door is open I can see him sitting in there. Saturdays he puts in a "shift." 11 am to 7.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:36 AM
 
3,871 posts, read 7,422,877 times
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I myself went to the bar on friday and I initially was annoyed by the herd of rabble rousers, but I soon settled into it. I saw a number of old drinking buddies. People tried to buy me shots, but I told them I can't do that anymore. I drank 3 blue moons which were very good and then I had to leave. I like this new role. It's similar to being a former sports star who shows up at the games every now and then and gets a standing ovation.
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