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Drinking after recovery
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Drinking after recovery

A brief history of my drinking.

I started drinking "socially" about 8-years ago (going out with friends, parties, etc.).  I acquired the habit of coming home after work and having a cocktail (glass of wine or a rum and coke), usually 1 or 2 and it "relaxed" me.

I started dating someone about 5-years ago and we regularly had cocktails (1-3) at the end of the day while relaxing and sharing the events of our day with each other, this became a routine.

Things went out of control in the last 3-years; I lived alone and when I got home from work I would mix a drink and relax, then I would mix another, and maybe another; it didn't matter what kind of mood I was, I would drink while I was on the computer or watching a movie.  It was more of a "impulse"/habit.

The reason that I'm here is two-fold; For the past year I've been drinking a fifth of rum (mixed with diet coke) every 2-3 days (sometimes more on weekends). Secondly; When I'm in a good mood and I have a couple of drinks everything is pretty much okay, the bad part is if I'm depressed or something is irritating me I over-react, and lose self-control.

My question is: Once you realize the problem, can you learn to control it or do you have stop for the rest of your life? I actually enjoy having a couple of drinks; I'm more relaxed, sociable, and my anxiety level goes down, it's the drinks that follow the "couple" that are causing me serious problems. I started taking OTC natural mood stabilizers and they seem to be helping with the anxiety and bouts of depression.

Thanks in advance,

Chad

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16 Comments Post a Comment
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775385_tn?1235596616
I know that drinking daily could bring on anxiety and depression.  I had horrible anxiety and depression when I was a daily drinker.  

I know many who drink a few after work and it doesn't seem to affect them.  BUT, if you are feeling depressed and anxious it could be a sign for you to stop?

Moderating your drinking is possible.  It takes a great amount of effort and thought.  I found it to be quite exhausting and just ended up drinking as much as I did before.

This is something for you to decide.  You know better than anyone if moderating your drinking is a possibility.  Or you could go for a while without drinking and then try drinking in moderation?  If you end up drinking as much or more than before you quit; then maybe you should seriously think about quitting for good.

Good luck!

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455167_tn?1259261471
hi. if you are having to make an effort to control your drinking, that in itself indicates you may be on dangerous ground. loss of control is another warning sign. if you have crossed the "invisible line" between 'normal' and alcoholic drinking, there is no going back. this seems to be due to a combination of factors including the alteration of neurotransmitter functions as well as genetic predisposition. hope this helps,  gm
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776192_tn?1236056671
Thank you Island Baby and boogieman.

I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject concerning the neurological aspect (Gamma-a, serotonin, T-5 and the like) of alcohol abuse, so far I'm finding that the physiological effects are reversible. I'm interested in finding out more about possibly controlling the of the amount I drink (limit), and at what point I become susceptible to having any negative emotions over-stimulated (anger, hurt, etc.).

Between 1 and 3 drinks I'm fine, after that there is the possibility of a negative outcome depending on if something disturbs me.  

I wish that there was a medication that could keep me at the 1-3 drink level, heightening positive emotions without heightening negative emotions (when the surface) as well.

Thanks again for responses,

Chad  

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455167_tn?1259261471
howdy. if you find a med like that, let me know as i have a very lucrative business idea!  gm
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729009_tn?1237330483
Be kind to your liver. It's hard to get a replacement. Try having cocktails on Fridays and Saturdays only or something. See if you can avoid 'school nights'.  I know you need a place to start without feeling like you're giving up your freedom to drink. Otherwise, any daily or semi-daily intake of alcohol may very well bite you in the rear down the road.
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Avatar_f_tn
As usual the boogieman is right on in his statements as well as the others who responded to you.U seem to be a well read man who is researching alcoholism in theory and personally......i believe that one who enjoys alcohol for its effects and taste and has loss of control issues with it has to try...and try...the controlled drinking notion.....and see if they suceed or fail many times.....it is only after repeated failures at controlled drinking does one accept the fact that they do not have that elusive OFF switch....and the necessity of abstinence becomes a reality.I began to drink at 14....drugs at 17 and loss of control set in for me quickly but i rationalized up until 28 when rationalizing was no longer an option.I'm 53 now.......sober and clean.....and getting the chemical monkeys off my back has been the height of freedom!
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776192_tn?1236056671
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful and intelligent input.

I haven't had a drink in 3-4 days and I'm actually feeling o.k. about it, there have been a few times that I thought "gee, it would be nice to mix a drink and and enjoy the evening" or "I'm bored... maybe I should mix a drink".  They didn't really feel like "cravings" so much as "learned habits" going off at the regular time/emotional state..

I'm reading an excellent book on anger management and it does warn about alcohol being an "intensifier" (though I already knew that, that's why I'm here), drinking while depressed or angry is definitely a big no-no for me.

I'm going to go ahead and "detox" for a full 7-days, and see if still feel in control (and I'm in an emotionally good frame of mind) I just might have 1 or 2 drinks in a personally happy environment to see how I do.

Thank you again everyone,

Chad

LOL! I'll let you know if I find one gm!  c.

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Avatar_f_tn
u go boy!and keep us posted on what happens!this is necessary personal research in order for u to arrive at your own decision towards hopeful comittment to total abstinence!
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776192_tn?1236056671
Minor update-

Well it's been a week since I've had anything alcoholic to drink, so I should now be clinically detoxified.

Yesterday and today were both personally and emotionally great days (though having nothing to do with sobriety).

I've had absolutely no interest in mixing a drink (due in part to the fact that I haven't been in a "social" setting).  I was considering going out this coming Friday (if the mood was right) and have a drink, though if I don't it won't be a big deal.

Wishing everyone a great week!

Chad
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553995_tn?1332022440
You had not mentioned what OTC med you were taking to elevate your mood. I know that Sam-E should not be mixed with alcohol. It works on neurotransmitters and adding alcohol can cause irritability like the way you were acting.

This would be a vicious cycle. Drink alcohol which is a depressant after the elevated state, take the OTC drug to help that, drink alcohol, get irritable, cause problems, this makes you sad, drink to not be sad, get depressed, take the OTC to not be depressed .............and on and on.

So what do you see as the key ingredient here that can be stopped that only causes the down side.

Glad you came on here.
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776192_tn?1236056671
Hello Phtartist,

I'm taking St. John's Wort, 300mg 3x day.  It seems to help with anxiety and mild bouts of depression.  Thanks for the heads-up regarding Sam E, I do have a bottle of it, though I have not taken any in over a year.

At this time I don't think that there is a key physiological ingredient causing the down side (so much for the "magic pill" theory), I believe that the downside is brought on by negative mood/thoughts and the alcohol, which I "thought" was helping me cope, was actually making it many times worse.

I still get a little anxious or moody, though pouring a drink no longer comes to mind, and I think that I've broken the "after work/I'm bored mix a cocktail" habit.  I'm also being careful to avoid people and circumstances that I know can cause me extreme anxiety.

The single largest feeling now is relief, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to stop or break the habit, and that I would experience the stereotypical withdrawal symptoms.


Thank you for your information and concern,

Chad

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Avatar_f_tn
I think its important to have activities to engage in that divert our minds away from the chaos of the world. and our work lives.....for me it is reading, my greyhounds and cats a good walk absolute peace and quiet watching Discovery channel, good stuff on Animal Planet......what do u enjoy doing that calms your mind?
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732810_tn?1232133154
I had to hit "my" bottom before I got off the elevator. I didn't have ot have DUI or hurt someone, but I did have to attempt to drink a little. a lot, in every situation possible to prove to myself that I really was. I was in and then back out of AA 5 years ago. I am now back in. I don't have the urge to drink anymore, basically I know I can't. I just can't. It will turn up into chaos, whether it was a good day or a bad day, the aftermath that always followed a bout of drinking just led me to not being the best I can be, in my job, as a mom, as a wife, friend, etc. I started forgeting about "me" and trying to forget about all the problems I had, or just saying cheers to all the problems I didn't have or the "great" sunshine outside. I didn't need an excuse to drink.
Anyway, Like they are saying, you have to decide when enough is enough. You will know when that is. I just hope you figure it out before you get hurt. I know it *****....Hang in there. It will work out if you just keep doing the next right thing that you think is right inside your heart. It's just stopping and listening to that advice when you don't want to that is the hard part......get the list of meetings in your area and keep them in your car. Check a meeting out at lunchtime or ealy in the morning. They are usually really good meetings.
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Avatar_m_tn
If you really want to cut out the craving for drink and become a social drinker,,

try reading www.sinclairmethod.com

I have tried all sorts of methods but this is the only properly researched method that makes any sense that I can find.

My last effort was Campral but this made little or no difference.

The best of luck
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Avatar_f_tn
hello to all. just putting in a little bit of my own life experience with alcohol. mainly to vent to "faceless" friends on the web...:) Alcohol has honestly runined my life. I'm 26, and i have already been through he*l because of the selfishness of being an alcoholic. in 2000 i was homecoming queen of my HS. I received a 4.0 in college, graduated with honors in Psychology, and was in love with the man of my dreams. Partying, being the life of the party, and overdoing the social life to "keep" up with everyone else caught up and laid me out. I lost everything that I was proud of.  not only am i doing my "time" for 2 dui's, and countless damage to my friends, family, and my body, but i am also going through rehab. i will not have a license until 2010, boyfriend broke up with me because it became way too much for him to handle, and i have to live with the fact that i have absolutely no self control with alcohol. I can't go out and do the "normal" social things that 26 year olds do. I know i can't handle it. it's been a long road, and drinking every night will lead to a depression. it's a viscous, terrible cycle that will continue to kill you unless you get help. For me it took the second dui and the loss of the love of my life to make me realize nothing would get better until i took care of myself. it's a hard life trying to live sober in a society that glamorizes alcohol.  but it's an even harder life trying to not lose everything you have drinking.  Good luck to you all.....I know what it's like in every stage.  just taking it a day at a time....not making too far out of plans so as not to fail.  
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527657_tn?1214055450
My advice which your not going to like is quit. Im an alcoholic and i almost died last year on my bday. im only 53 so dont think drinking cant kill u it can and it will. It killed both my parents your just going to have to decide what is more important in life, drinking or LIFE ITSELF.  I know I love drinking too but if I have one I dont stop its another and another until i pass out. So my dear friend it isnt possible to have just one your addicted and you will die if you dont stop.  Ill pray for you.

taybey
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243614_tn?1266201137
My son's name, huhh, i had to look at your birthdate.  Hey Hon get omeone on board with you to help you.  People are out there by the gilzillions  Just ask.  I am hoping you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior> Probem solved, which ever way it goes.>>> we can't lose.  Hang in there. TJack
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455167_tn?1259261471
hi there. things aren't as bad as they may seem right now. #1 is you know you have a problem and are taking action---that means a lot. #2 is if you will continue to take the action necessary for successful recovery, you will likely not get back what you've lost----but things that are even better. ya, our society is pretty screwed up. it glamorizes alcohol and demonizes things like pot (don't misunderstand, i can't do either, but i think you get my point). there is life after booze, it just takes some time to get there. you're still young, and if you get a handle on this thing now, the sky will be the limit for you. keep posting and take care,     gm
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