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Binge Drinking
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Binge Drinking

Hello out there - I've been reading the most sympathic and caring comments made by members on this community and I knew I had to put myself out here too.  
Hello, my name is Honey and I'm a severe binge drinker - wine and occasionally beer.  
I've been binge drinking since I was 18 - I'm 48 now.  EVERY time I woke up I swore I'd never do it again. :(  
I'm in a loving relationship with a wonderful man who also loves to drink wine.  He sometimes drinks to excess - although he never loses control or has memory lapses.  I'm very afraid that I'll blame him if I continue to binge and leaving him is not an option I'm prepared to contemplate at the moment.
I manage to stay alcohol free for the week days - I just can't do my job if I'm hungover.  And, sometimesI won't drink much on the weekend.  But then, for no apparent reason I can fathom, I just let myself overdose.    
I realise now that I don't think I've ever been binge free for a month since I was 18 (except for my entire pregnancy).
I really hope there is someone out there with similar experiences to share, who can perhaps be a mentor or just a friend?
Honey
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I can identify with alot of what you're saying. I never drank when it was "a bad idea" to drink. The night before work, the night before a family function or something like that. And then I started to do it a little bit more and a little bit more until I wasn't really caring when I was drinking. It's the "smart" drinkers that can often be the most dangerous. The ones who are weekend warriors about it. If you drink enough on the weekends to make up for not drinking during the week you're not fooling anyone.

But you know that already.

If your partner loves you and cares about you.... and doesn't have the same problem, then he should respectfully make an effort to curtail, if not stop  his drinking in front of you altogether while you try to cut down and/or stop. And you DO need to cut down or stop because binge drinking is very, very dangerous.

Over time, heavy drinking will have negative effects on most every organ in your body. Skin, brain, heart, liver, stomach, etc... The list goes on.

You know you drink too much and we've all had those mornings where we swear "we'll never do it again!"

Until you really mean it you'll never stick with it. There's support out there if you're serious about quitting..
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I started out as a fun party drinker, then a serious problem drinker, and then a full fledged alcoholic. Sadly, now that I'm an alcoholic I can never go back to being a serious problem drinker again.

At first I would binge into blackouts on the weekends and maintain a comfortable alcohol level during the week so I'd be able to hang on to my job but not suffer withdrawal. I also didn't want my drinking to get in the way of my family, friends, job and participating in sports. Sadly, at the end, my family, friends, job and participating in sports got in the way of my drinking. Also, maintaining a safe comfort level during the week got in the way of my drinking. So I blacked out every night, drank during lunch and on the way home in the car I hit on a bottle because I couldn't wait to get home first.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease. Stopping at one drink, or even binge drinking and then stopping for awhile, is far beyond my comprehension. I was on an elevator heading for the sub-basement bottom, but I got off on this floor instead. On this floor are my AA meetings. I haven't had to take a drink since my very first meeting almost 28 years ago. It's because I knew drinking had quit working for me. One drink was too much and 1000 were not enough. I'm powerless. Once I drink there are no guarantees on what will happen next. So I don't drink anymore at all on a day to day basis.

I wish you the best, and would be more than happy to communicate if you wish.
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Thanks for responding.  Do I want to stop binging?  Yes I DO.  But, I want to be one of those people surrounding me who can stop at 3 glasses – and still have a wonderful evening! Forgive my naivety and petulance .  I’m frustrated with myself.  There is a 4 litre cask of wine in the fridge right now and I’m not even tempted to touch it.  Why?  I just don’t understand how these cravings work or why?
But, that said, I’ve given myself a target of 30 alcohol free days – so far I’ve gone 3 days without a drink.  I’ve told my partner and he was very accepting.  This weekend will be a tremendous challenge, however, because we have three days off and two of them will be spent at a gorgeous bed and breakfast with a spa – a luxury that seems synonymous with champagne.

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Actually, I'm sorry  ...... I'm kidding myself.  I think if the wine in my fridge was not so sweet (my partners favorite) - I would be tempted.  
I wouldn't drink it tonight because I'm still recovering from a nasty overdose on Monday day (I was off work) which left me nauseous, lightheaded and with dull tingling in my arms.  Even on Tuesday morning the lightheadness remained and a dull ache in one arm.
It's when I start feeling 'normal' again that I have to worry about which is why giving myself 30 alcohol free is the best thing I can do right now.
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Early in my recovery i was so angry that i couldn't be a social drinker/recreational drug user!I was in a pity party why me?and analysis paralysis that gave me a brainache!Then it dawned on me that my entire system is not wired right!i always drank/drugged to feel high,and if i stopped at a few i was trying to prove to myself that i could control it and eventually would reward myself with many to prove that i didn't have a problem!So i concluded that I have an allergic reaction to any mood altering substance that enters my system...it triggers a BIG GREEN LIGHT that  has a end result of intoxication.I knew at 19 I had a major problem and came to fully accept it at age 28.It is indeed a simple program for many of us who know how to complicate it!:)
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I first realized I needed to stop drinking when I woke up feeling lightheaded and dizzy, off balance with numb feelings all over. Theres a few others on here that will tell you a similar story.

I don't know what causes it but its definitely your bodys way of telling you that you need to stop drinking. I too set the "30 day goal" but after 30 days I still wasn't feeling right and I didn't want to start drinking again. I'm almost 50 days sober now and I still don't feel 100% like my old, healthy self.

You're right, it is when you feel "normal" again that you have to be careful because you'll be tempted to say "Oh, I'm okay now. I can have some wine." And the cycle will continue. Even if you FEEL normal, a lifetime of heavy drinking has taken its toll on your body and (assuming its possible) it takes a lot longer than 30 days to heal or correct that damage.

It's not that you're naive. It's the alcohol. You like it. Hell, you love it, don't you? We all did/do. If we didn't, we wouldn't do it so much and we would stop whenever we wanted to. Being hooked on something can make you do crazy things.

IF you can be that person who can go out and have 3 glasses of wine and stop right there then.... by all means... do it! Enjoy youeself. But for alcoholics that's not an option. We can't drink just a little bit. Like Addict said above, 1 drink is too many and 1000 is not enough. We'll fool ourselves into thinking we can control it, keep it at bay, regulate it. It rarely, if ever works. Slowly we start drinking more and more and then we're right back where we started wondering how we got back here.

Only you can say what the extent of your problem is. If you can cut down then by all means cut down. IF you find yourself going back to drinking heavily then you may have to decide that its time to quit for good. For most alcoholics this means a completly alcohol-free life and never touching a drink again. Only you can say if that's the right move for you.

But, from reading your posts it seems like you might be there. If you're drinking while taking medication, breaking promises to your family, and experiencing physical side effects and pain from drinking that you haven't experienced before... these are all bad signs.

30 Days is a good way to start out but it wont do much in the long run if you go back to binge drinking on day 31.

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The spa sounds wonderful. My thoughts when I entered recovery was to hold on for dear life until we went on a cruise ship, and THEN drink! Can't get arrested for driving drunk on a ship. But in AA we have a support system of friends. I told an AA friend about my plan one evening and he said, "So you drink. And then what? The 3rd might feel great. What about the 9th? And THEN what?" He told me" if I still think drinking and drugging works, then go out and study some more. We can carry the message, but not the alcoholic". But at the meetings I started hearing stories from returning alcoholics. It just doesn't get any better out there. ...by the time we went on the cruise the compulsion had completely left and I didn't even want to drink, even when my wife had a few. It was amazing. It still is amazing. The compulsion had completely left because I simply followed some suggestions from people who had gone through what I was going through.

It's easy to GET sober, staying sober because I really want to is the real blessing.
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I REALLY appreciate this site - thank you 63, 1003 and ibizan.  It's Friday morn in Oz and I've woken sober and I love the feeling.  
What do I do when I start feeling normal again?
Last night I found an AA meeting in my area but it's not until next Friday - I'm really looking forward to going.  It looks like it's women only and for me that's where I want to start.  I just wish I could go sooner than a week from now.  I also researched SMART Recovery because I could relate to some things another post said.  Unfortunately, in the whole of Australia, my state of WA, has only 1 meeting a week and it's closed!  I rang anyway and left a message.
I'm not familiar with AA but will I be able to have a mentor?  What I mean is, someone who I can call or text when a craving starts or I'm in a situation where I feel I'm not going to be strong enough to say 'No thankyou".  This site is wonderful - but with the time differences - I see many of you are in the USA (great country by the way,. I lived in Missouri for 4 years and it was one of the happiest periods of my life) and UK.  Although, I did notice one or two? from Australia.  If you're reading this - perhaps we could put ourselves on friends and stay in contact without the 12 time lapse?  Just a thought :)
Thanks again for your comments.  I find myself rereading them over and over and it really helps. xox
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check out Narlas posts in this forum......she lives in your land!
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I know you'd love to be that person who can have 3 glasses and stop, but if that is not the case, then you need to be willing to accept it.  I started out as a binge drinker, then became a daily drunk.  After some sober time, I continually went back to the bottle in the hopes that I could be a moderate drinker but I always relapsed into excesses again.....even if it was only 3 or 4 days in a week.  I think the binges were harder on my system than the daily drinking, but I had crossed the line long ago....you can't go back.  

There is a "test" in the BigBook of AA.  It says to have 2 drinks per day, every day for 30 days.  No more, no less.  If you can do that, there is a good chance you can moderate.  If you can't, then you have your answer.

I think the binges get harder as we get a little older (I'm not calling you old).. I'm 44, and I simply can't take it anymore.  Too much of a drain on the system.  

Keep asking questions and exploring....that's how you figure out these things.  
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Unless AA works differently in Oz than it does in the States (And I can't imagine it would) you will have a mentor or a "Sponsor." This is someone with a good stretch of time sober under their belt that will make thesemvles available to you to call, meet with, etc... to talk you through the tough times and help keep you guided and focused in your recovery.

Also I would reccomend seaking out additional recovery resources. A local church or hospital clinic might have substance abuse counseling and/or meetings that you could take advantage of. Google your state and "AA" or "Substance abuse" and see what comes up. Here in the States there are also a number of no-cost phone lines that offer advice and support for people with depression, alcoholism, gambling problems, etc.. Australia might have similar services. Again, google your state and "alcohol phone line" or "Depression hotline" and see what pops up. In the States these hotlines are very useful and the operators are usually able to refer you to a local meeting or support group in your area.

Also, don't be afraid to try some basic one on one counseling with a therapist. There are many that have experience with alcohol and substance abuse and could help you through this time and/or refer you to another therapist who specializes in counseling addictions. Even a basic depression counseling support group can help keep you clear-headed and working through some of your problems if AA is not as accessible as you would like it to be.

Call a large hospital in your area and ask for the "Chemical dependancy unit" or the "Detox unit" or the "Substance abuse unit." At least thats what they're called in the states. Sometimes these divisions of large hospitals also have counseling programs or rehab programs to help you through it.

Case in point: There are resources available to you, not the least of which is this forum.

There's also a book I'd refer to you and to everyone else on here. It's called "Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp." It details a young woman who, by all accounts, had everything going for her... and then fell into a 20 year "love afair" with alcohol. You might find some meaning, some comfort, and some solidarity in that book. I know I did.

When do you feel normal again? Whew... Hard to say. It depends greatly on how long and how much you've been drinking and how much, if any, damage you've done to your body. It wouldn't hurt to consult with a doctor about your planned sobriety. In fact I highly reccomend it. I've posted this before but here's some helpful tips on how to start out sober and stay that way.

1. Find a doctor and get yourself checked out physically to see how your body is doing. Share your concerns with the doctor and discuss any possible withdrawl (withdrawal) dangers he/she can advise you on. They will help you adjust your lifestyle and reccomend any supplements, treatments, etc to help you through this. They can also refer you to support groups and or / counseling services in your area that will be free of charge.

2. From my own experience I've found that adjusting your sleep schedule so that you get a decent, full nights sleep each night is very helpful. Sleep rejuvinates the body and the mind. Life always seems a lot worse if you're exhausted all day.

3. I've found that a little exercise helps as well. You don't need to get crazy, just do a little bit. Do some stretching in the morning or before you go to bed, Maybe go for a walk in the morning or at night. Bring along your ipod or whatnot and listen to some good music that you enjoy. Classical music, I find, is peaceful and thought provoking. I defy anyone to be upset while listening to classical music.

4. Remember a time when you drank too much even for you. Remember the bad feelings, bad things that happened, and most importantly remember how awful you felt when you woke up the next day (probably late) and how the whole day was ruined. Try to capture that feeling in your mind and think about it. Then think about how much nicer it is to wake up feeling refreshed in the morning, having had a good nights sleep, no hangover, no embarassing memories from the night before. Make that a goal to strive for each day. And each day when you wake up take a moment to realize how much better and nicer it is to wake up that way.

5. Don't be afraid to let people in. Friends, family, boyfriend, etc.. if they care about you then trust me they WANT to be there to help you through this.Don't feel you have to be alone if you have loved ones that are more than willing to go it with you. You don't have to shut people out. Your health, your recovery, is key.

When will you feel normal again? Hard to say. I've been sober almost 50 days and I still don't feel like my normal, healthy self. It's going to take time and work but it can be done. So in short, "you'll feel normal when you feel normal." But be careful! Because once you feel normal again is the time when you'll start to have thoughts like "I guess I wasn't an alcoholic," or "I can drink again now," etc.. This is when staying sober is the hardest. Try not to think about reaching a specific time or day in your sobriety but rather focus on being healthy and sober in the present. If you set a date to "end" your dry period you may be tempted to drink to reward yourself and thats when you can start the whole cycle over again.

Good luck with everything and keep us informed please! You are NOT alone in your struggle and we are here for you if you need us!
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Two drinks a day for 30 days?  That sounds like a lot - but then again, perhaps not as much as I would drink over a period of 30 days when I binge.   Is one 'drink' considered 4oz or 8oz?  i would like to try this (but perhaps for 14 days or is there a reason it's 30 days?) If I can't do it, then I'll know forever there is no hope of controlling my binging habit.  
I'm planning on going to an AA meeting next Friday.  Will I still be welcome if I am trying this?
It's Friday night in Oz now and driving home I found myself thinking I deserved a drink.  Isn't that what everyone is doing on a Friday night!  But, I didn't stop at a bottle shop. :)  I came home and had a tin of Campbells Chunky Soup (it's winter here) instead.  I can feel the craving, however very mildly, it is definitely there.  
Thanks for listening.
Honey
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Hello ibizan, I'm not very clever with sites - how do I find Narla? :)
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Hi, It's me again. :)  Sorry to be an indecisive floundering pest.  But, I don't want to try that experiment after all.  It seems too much - is that bizarre?  While I can easily down 2 bottles of wine in one night, then have 5 nights off, and down another bottle; have another 5-6 nights off and down 2 bottles again, I don't think I can drink two glasses a night every night for 30 days?  What IS going on with me!?
I must sound like such a navel-gazer.  But I'm genuinely perplexed and seeking an answer to control my habit.  
I'm reluctant to label myself an alcoholic.  I mean no disrespect at all. I deeply appreciate what you and the other contributers have been through.  I've spent hours and hours reading everyone's comments and I admire you all and respect the struggle you've confronted and your bravery at looking the beast in the face and surviving.  
My reluctance stems from a need to examine, question and hypothesis every possible aspect of my behaviour before taking the leap to complete sobriety.
I acknowledge I have a problem and being able to talk about it on this site gives me hope - please forgive me if any of my remarks frustrate you.  
I realise my habit has, on many occasions in the last 30 years, caused me incredible shame and on a few occasions I seriously considered suicide.  It's only now I realise I had depression and was I was prescribed Efexor-FX six weeks ago by my doctor.  Of course, the binging never helped!
Would I be a complete wacko if instead of the AA idea, I tried having 2 drinks on a Friday and Saturday only?  And if I didn't have a drink on Friday, allow myself 3 drinks on Saturday?  And do it for 30 days.  I think this might be very difficult because after 3 drinks the craving to have more would be much harder to resist.  
I'm sorry for gushing so much.  And I do appreciate your feedback.
Honey
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Hi!

I am using the drug called Camprol, I ordered it on line, it's magic. The odds times a tried a drink with using this I actually lost interest in the drink. I would say 2 small lagers maximum. I then get bored and walk away from it. About 90 per cent though this drug works well. If I start craving in the evening I take 2 Camprol and my mind focuses on something other than drink quite quickly. One thing I heard but please don't quote me is that the definition of an alcoholic is 60 units a week. I reach 33 units at my worst but there are times I crave alcohol, find it hard to stop once started so consider I have a problem.
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go back in2 this forum.Scroll down and see the post Want to Quit Drinking.You will see Narlas name as a poster.click on2 it....it will bring u 2 her profile.You can send her a note!
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It's not so much the amount you drink, it's the damage it is doing to you and the people around you. Drink can play games with your mind.

detox under the supervision of your GP.

Keep it simple, stay AWAY from ONE drink for ONE day. Make this your goal each morning....


Ray
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Hey Honeyb33,I received your note,you can PM me anytime I check-in regularly throughout the day so I would see your messages fairly quickly-As Rod said take it one day at a time,if thats too long make it one hour or one minute or one second they all add up.Keep talking we are here to help whenever we can.Good Luck

Denise
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It wasn't necessarily my intention to encourage you to drink but since you're still doing it at this time, this is an interesting experiment offered in the Big Book.  I could not do this.....or if I could, I would be forcing myself and would not enjoy it.  1 or 2 drinks just builds a thirst and desire for more, and I would eventually want to keep drinking for the rest of the evening.  

I was reluctant to call myself an alcoholic too, but two things changed:  First, I got educated about alcoholism and began to understand the signs and symptoms.  Secondly, because I was reluctant to call myself an alcoholic, I continued to "experiment". And I generally failed at self control....over and over.

In the end, I actually documented my drinking (the morning after) in a journal, and I looked at the months of failure.  Enough was enough and it was time to admit the facts.  Anyway, that was my experience.
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I'd like to comment on something that happened last night.  
As I mentiioned I have a 13 year old boy and he is away I have a binge problem.  And when he spoke about it with me I could see he was nervous and uncomfortable and I felt ashamed that I was responsible for putting a young teenager through that heartache.
But this is what happened last night :
I use my phone as an alarm so before I went to bed I checked it was on.  I changed the time for later and decided to change the tune.  In the tune listings there was one called "Recording".  Thinking is was a silly one my son made months ago I pushed "play".
I can't write this ...
My son had recorded us having a 'conversation' the last time I had drunk to much.
My voice was high and childish.  I was trying to conjole him because he kept saying 'Mum, you're not sober.  Go to bed.  Rest mum.'  On the recording I can hear myself asking if he was recording, he says he is because he thinks I won't remember what I was like in the morning.
I didn't.  I didn't even remember the recording was on my phone until I found it last night.  I think it was recorded about 5 weeks ago.
The recording ends with me calming calling my sweet boy a "patronising little twer;".
I've been a teacher for 18 years.  Teaching grades 1 -12.  I know the damage parents can do to there children.  I never realised I could be one of them.  :(
I believe things happen for a reason.  This is my second shockint warning.
Jacker, I know you weren't trying to encourage me to drink :)   This forum is fantastic because it explores every avenue openly and honestly.  I need to explore this habit to the end when I can and will, if it is, say 'this is an addiction.  I am an alcoholic.'  Only then do I know I will stop because I've had so many failures.  I don't want to say I'll stop again until I mean it 100%.  But, I have to say now - after my experiences of this last week, that I am 90% there.
Thanks again everyone for being there and being so supportive.
Honey
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Sorry for all the spelling errors in my last post.  I had to send it without checking or I never would have been able to push 'post'.
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Westguy-Drinking a Love Story is one heck of a book!It left me slackjawed!If there was ever one who got inside the head of an alcoholic it was Caroline Knapp!Tragic that she died at age 42 of lung cancer-was a heavy smoker! Jacker-The first book of hers I read was Pack of Two...she gets sober and doesn't quite know what to do with herself and decided to adopt her first dog Lucy from a shelter!She describes the life they had 2gether and the deep bond they formed and how it helped her stay sober!Another book she wrote....while she was drinking was called Alice K's Guide to Life for the Single Woman- HILARIOUS!
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I am glad you have listened to this recording-you can make a change we are all here to help.Best Wishes and PM me if you need to.

Denise
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Drinking a Love Story, I have also read and loved it. There is a lot of truth in this book. I am celebrating a non-hungover morning, in my loft room with the computer which looks over the beautiful countryside hills on a lovely warm summer day. Priceless!
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This piece of advice helped me a lot:

Just say 'I prefer not to drink to myself' I use this statement about myself all the time. It sounds preferable some how to 'I am an alchoholic'.

I prefer not to drink to-day Nicky

I have 31 year old daughter whom, it seems at the moment will never forget me drinking. I went to Perth WA recently where she lives and looked after my grandson for 3 weeks whilst she worked. I had no though of a drink at all. She still holds drinking that started at about your son's age again me though.
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so glad u found Narla!Please heed her advice-she knows what she is talking about and has worked hard to acheive a LOT in her recovery!:)
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So glad u had an enjoyable evening SOBER!it does get better!Your view sounds breathtaking-i can see it in my mind!:)sigh!!!!
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Thank You for the vote of confidence,I hope I can be helpful-I had heaps of good advice when I first became sober and throughout my recovery,now it's my turn to try and help.

Denise
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