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Hepatitis B Community
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Avatar universal

social life down the tube

hey, i've decided to make a big decision in my life and quit drinking, because I have hepatitis b (born with it). I guess my question is has anyone gone through this? I'm 21 years old, so drinking is kind of the thing to do at my age. Its what me and all my friends do quite often (not exactly proud of that but were only young once). This will be a very difficult thing to deal with because I know my friends are still going to go out drinking and partying, and I will not be able to do this, so it will be a drastic turn in my life, and one I'm fearing maybe be extremely difficult to deal with. Has anyone else had to go through a similar situation with their hepatitis? If so, how did you go about dealing with it?
20 Responses
Avatar universal
I didn't know I had chronic hep when I quit partying. (long time ago, in 1981, heavy duty partying, lotta drugs, IV drugs, liquor, anything, everything). I had a good excuse (reason) back then for stopping (jails, institutions and ...death was the only one left, and I came close too many times to it).  But I had a whole lotta fun, too.  It's not easy saying "no I don't want any", but it gets easier the longer you're off all of it.  I can tell you this about quitting (if you're a heavy user), you won't quit until you are ready, and when you get ready you'll learn to life a new kind of life to stay away from it at all costs.  I think if you're trying to give it up for good, you need to surround yourself with someone (or many) who know you want to put it down and who have been there and done it.  Best of luck.  
140622 tn?1190102529
Hi Mike,
What a good decision you've made. Congratulations. It may not feel like it right away. But after you've become the designated driver and you have to spend night after night out with your drinking "buddies", you will be so fed up with them you will want to scream. There is NOTHING more tedious then to watch people get drunk and repeat sentences and get louder and slur words. I used to bartend (sober) and I stopped drinking after I was diagnosed with HepC. Also good for you, you may have spared some unsuspecting person from getting HepB by having drunk sex. You know the kind when you wake up the next day and think WOW...who is this and how did I get here? So so, icky. There are so many better things to do then to waste your time drinking. Try an AA meeting , they are VERY helpful to keep you from wanting to drink again and you'll meet some very interesting people.
A few other pluses, your liver will stay in decent shape..if you don't eat McDonalds only, you will stay young and good looking WAY into your old age when all your old "buddies" if they are still alive, look unrecognizable even in their 30's. Your mind will stay in good shape too and you'll be comfortable in your own skin in social circumstances. You won't need booze to give you false confidence and finally, you'll never get a DUI!

Keep positive.
-S
Avatar universal
Mike,,,most of the people here have hep c but same situation upon hearing they have,,,alcohol is not good at all and you are making a very wise decision.  I know its hard at your age but doesn't mean you have to sit at home either,,,,you can still go out and have fun,,just without drinking.  Best Wishes to You!
Avatar universal
I'm with ya there Mike, I had to make the same "sacrifice" close to a year ago. Initially I felt as you described, like  "what fun is it going to be if I can't even have a few beers".

Not condoning its use but now I only drink non-alcoholic beer. All my haunts either already had it or they carry it now. I swear to you now I shudder at the thought of drinking alcohol let alone getting drunk. If I go out I have 2-3 NA beers and thats it. I ride my Harley more go to the bars, shoot pool and never hear boo from anyone regarding what or how little I drink.

Avatar universal
There are a lot of fun things to do that don't involve alcohol.  Sports type groups are a great place to hang and meet people, and they are engaging in some healthy activities.

I have been DD more times than I can count, and it gets annoying staying around a bunch of drunk folks.  You probably won't want to drink if you see what a drunk really looks like when you are sober!
Avatar universal
View this as an opportunity to broaden your base of friends and also to find out who are your friends and who are simply drinking buddies. Lots of folks even your age don't go out drinking every night. Maybe substitute an athletic lifestyle instead.

All the best,

-- Jim
161341 tn?1189759424
My husband has hepC (from blood transfusion, not drinking) so I come here often for support. Our 2 sons ages 24 and 19, decided early on not to drink. This was just a personal decision on their part. One is now married (wife doesn't drink either) and the other is a freshman in college.
They're both rock climbers, snowskiers, hikers, mountain bikers, kayakers, etc. They realize they couldn't do the kind of things they like to do and participate fully in these activities.
This could be your opportunity to (like JmJm said) realize you CAN have fun without drinking and develop a whole different lifestyle doing things you couldn't do if you did drink.
Perhaps look into joining clubs or groups of people who enjoy outdoor activities.
There are plenty out there! One of my sons used to work at Sun&Ski (sporting store), and there were always groups of people from there looking for people to ride with, etc.
Let us know how things go for you!!
Avatar universal
I want to thank you all for your support and advice, its nice to know that I'm not the only one who is or has gone through this. I just want to be clear that I am NOT an alcholic, and I know that I can quit drinking. What I will miss is going out with my friends and having a good time (I know what you mean when you say what is wrong with people when they drink, when I sober and I'm around drunk people it actually pisses me off), not that I wont be going out anymore or anything, but I know it wont even be close to what I used to have. Thanks again to all of you.
Avatar universal
You will be the first of many of your friends to quit drinking over the years.Drinking just gets in the way of marrying,having kids,better jobs,a better life.
151263 tn?1243377877
If you have a serious addiction to alcohol, then there's nothing anyone here can say to make you stop. You'll either stop when you're ready, or if you're one of the unlucky ones, you'll stop when you're dead. But if you're just a casual/social/party drinker like I was when I was your age, then quitting drinking isn't THAT hard. You just have to put some effort into socially readjusting. Many people your age are still suffering from various insecurities carried over from their time in high school. Insecurities related to social position within the pack, how many friends you have, your appearance, and getting the guts to talk to women (and asking them out).

Alcohol is very frequently used to ease these insecurities and to loosen you up so you can relax and enjoy yourself. And to some extent it works, but in all actuality in many cases it achieves the exact opposite of what you would like to achieve. Putting on a beer buzz does not make you more physically or emotionally attractive to the opposite sex, in fact the opposite. Alcohol can make you think you're being funnier and wittier than you actually are, when in actuality many men and women will be thinking something else. Women like sincere, mature sober men, not obnoxious drunk frat boys. And drinking can also put tension on male friendships at times too. How many men have you seen fight at bars or at other occasions while alcohol is present? How many times have people had arguments or falling outs over drunken words to one another? If you think about it, it happens quite often.

When I quit drinking I was amazed at how my friends behaved when we went out. I never fully realized just how plain dumb and dangerous much of our behavior was. And it's actually a pretty good time staying sober once you get adjusted to the situation. You'll be both entertained and probably annoyed at what you observe through truly sober eyes. I was like "Is that how I behaved? Christ, I hope not!" ;-) That's the funny thing about alcohol, it can make an idea as unreasonable as running down the street naked seem like a perfectly reasonable idea at the time.

Also, since you'll be sober, you can size up situations more accurately than anyone else. And like I said, if you confront your fears about women, you can really work the sobriety angle to your advantage. Women like confident men, and a sensible sober person is going to be able to put that confidence forward a lot better than a buzzed "party boy". Plus, the simple fact that you're one of the few who has the self confidence to not drink - it shows you think for yourself, even amongst a crowd of peer pressure. Both men and women respect that, especially if you're helping them out by being the designated driver. People really appreciate having someone around who looks after them like that - you can be that person. A needed person, someone who saves lives even. Had someone like that been around when I was 17, I never would have been involved in a deadly car crash. And I wouldn't have gotten major surgery or a blood transfusion or HCV either! All these things are connected in more ways than you realize.

Anyway, you're old enough now that you're a grown man. A young man, but a man nonetheless. You know drinking is especially bad for your liver, you really have no choice. You don't want to hasten any damage or cause the virus to rebound by taxing your body with alcohol. The last few years have gone by pretty quickly huh? As you probably suspect by now, they'll start going by faster and faster. You want to be around for a long long time, and you wont be able to do that if drinking is kept in the equation. Keep yourself healthy and take care of yourself. You can get by without alcohol alot easier than you probably realize right now. Best of luck, and remember you can enjoy yourself just fine completely sober!
Avatar universal
Hi Mike, I'm the same age as you, and I also had the virus since birth. I was a heavy drinker since high school, but I quit drinking 2 years ago. Last year I had a liver biopsy, and discovered I had stage 2 grade 2 fibrosis, I was devastated by the news.

When my friends ask me to have a drink with them, I just told them that I quit drinking because the harms it caused to my liver. (Though I did not talk about HBV) I know it's hard to see your friends drinking, smoking, partying, and doing all those fun stuffs. But you gotta restrain yourself from doing all those things that's harming your liver, and search for alternatives to fill in those gaps.
Avatar universal
I totally agree with Sambone on this, like he says if you find it difficult or impossible to stop drinking or find yourself making excuses why it would be OK to "drink a little" then that would indicate alcoholism, if you are not an alcoholic then stopping drinking will not be difficult. If you find you can't stop on your own, get some help from AA. Millions of people have been helped by that organization.

There is NO reason you can't continue to do all the things you do now, you just have to drink nonalcoholic drinks.

I was usually the sober DD person at parties and to be honest, there is nothing more boring than a bunch of people after 3 or 4 drinks. They are too loud and not nearly as funny as they think they are when you are sober.
You might find, as others mentioned, that being around a bunch of people who are drinking isn't very fun when you are sober.

Listen to the others who are advising you to take up a sport or something. That will enhance your life far more than hanging around drinking your free time away. And just think, NO MORE HANGOVERS!

Being sober is just as fun if not more fun than drinking! You can do it.
Avatar universal
Like I said I'm not an alcoholic so I know that it wont be the drinking that I will miss. I believe I have a good understanding of who my true friends are, and I guess I will find out for sure. Even with my true friends I feel like my relationship with them maybe deter or not be the same, because I cannot go out with them, which is the thing I fear and will miss the most, not the alcohol. I was a baseball player in high school, and was pretty good at it (had a chance to play in college) but I unfortunately hurt my shoulder and have not recovered since. I loved it and still do, just playing it is out of the question for me. I could maybe, hiking, fishing, kayaking, snowboarding sound like fun things to do. I may have to give all those a try as long as I can find people to do it with. Thanks again for all your support
Avatar universal
I can relate to the change in social life when you give up the booze. I got hep c bein young and crazy and addicted, was dx'ed, had a kid and calmed down- then 8 years later and lots of denial over having hep c (I told myself my body had gotten rid of it!) I went back to heavy drinkin but no more IV drugs, just lotsa Percocet and Oxy. I'm still waiting to see what I did to my liver with all that s***. I felt awkward and bored out with my friends when they were all gettin hammered- esp. after I even quit smoking cigarettes! I just gradually faded from the bar scene and found new friends and activities. Bottom line is, staying home feeling sad and rejected on a few weekend nights won't kill you- but partyin as if you have a non-compromised liver just to keep up with friends that may not even be real friends- that might kill you. Hang in there- you're young and will find a whole new world out there without alcohol.
179856 tn?1333550962
Well let me tell you - if I'd quit when I first went into rehab at just about your age (almost 20 years ago) - I wouldn't be stage 3 right now and probably wouldn't even HAVE hepatitis C.

I just wasn't smart enough and always figured I was young - I had time - I wanted to party and hang out and enjoy life.

Well, stupid me for thinking that I wouldn't have to pay the piper some day. All the drugs and alcohol I constantly put into my body have done shot my liver pretty well.  So now finally I realize how important it really IS to me.

Hopefully it's not too late. But when I look back at the money, the jobs, the great opportunities I threw away I realize FULLY that the people I drank with and got high with...really weren't great "friends" like I thought they were.  OR they would have told me...you are on a path of total destruction get off it now. But they couldn't because they were on it too.

Many of them are dead now (Many) SO I guess I was lucky.

If I was you I'd try and find some friends to whom drinking isn't the priority and try and take care of myself NOW.  Before it's really LATE.  You won't believe how fast the time goes by. I never ever listened and now...man. Sure wish I had. Can't even BELIEVE I'm not in my 20s anymore.

Youd' be so much better off. But it's not the easiest thing in the world. I hope and pray you are mUCH better at it than I was.  Cause I was stupid.

I'll never drink again.  After I saw what alcohol hs done to my liver...it just ain't worth it.

Best of luck.
Avatar universal
You say: "another great thing about being sober is that you'll realize that drunks are indeed spitting on you and repeating themselves, and that this is only funny if you are drunk yourself"

I'll have to take your word for that because apparently I never got drunk drunk enough for that stuff to be funny - ever.

BTW, How is your Sister doing?

Mike
Avatar universal
I have seen some articles on liver transplants with methadone users as a result of heroin addiction. I can try to find them if you'd like - or you could Google "liver transplant methadone 2007" and I think they will pop right up. I'm too good these days. I got another set of good blood work from yesterday and I should have the Heptimax tomorrow which will be clear, I'm sure. I think things are so good that I might have a glass of....no, I'm not going to say it. I hope you feel well and are happy. Mike
86075 tn?1238118691
I think you've gotten some very good advice...if it's soooo difficult to stop drinking (having hepatitis is a very good reason to stop) then you do indeed have a problem, particularly if you start to "bargin" with yourself, well, I'll just control my drinking, and find that over and over again these bargins don't work, then yeah, you might be a borderline alcoholic, or just an outright one...

I know people who routinely drink socially, one or two glasses of wine or beer at the most, per day, or a few days out of the week, that are told to stop drinking for whatever reason (illness, a course of anti-biotics, etc)...and it's a little irritating, but they can stop it no problem...then there are people who just can't stop under any circumstances, if youre in the latter group, indeed try out AA...it's not the only program out there, but it's one of the best, if not the best...that's why the legal system mandates AA meetings to drunk drivers, etc...remember, if the "higher power" stuff turns you off, don't let that stop you from going, they are a very user friendly organization with no rules except that a person wants to stop drinking...you can tailor the meetings for your own purposes, just go...

I know it's almost mandadory to drink when youre in college, etc...there is a lot of binge drinking in this demo...but there are also a lot of young people who have fun without it...to me, it's a big ruse that you have to have alcohol to have fun, when I quit drinking, I thought parties, etc, would be so weird without alcohol, but after some time not drinking at social gatherings, etc...I proved to myself that was far from the case....

Sometimes I think that some of it is just having something to do with your hands while youre talking to people...get a fizzy water and a little fruit juice, or a lemonade, whatever, that'll take care of the "hands" situation while youre talking to people...If someone has a "problem" with you not drinking alcohol, then let it be THEIR PROBLEM because it certainly is their problem, what business is of there's what you choose to drink? Let em bully someone else...after awhile, I'm sure you'll find that you can be at ease and have fun with people without alcohol, and that you can have a sense of "well-being" being perfectly sober...to me, a brisk walk in beautiful woods, walking or swimming at the beach, running with my dog, riding my bike, etc...are great ways to get "high" and there ain't a drop of alcohol or joint or pill involved...you'll find this out soon enough and look back on this and wonder what the fuss is all about - I'm sure...be well...
86075 tn?1238118691
another great thing about being sober is that you'll realize that drunks are indeed spitting on you and repeating themselves, and that this is only funny if you are drunk yourself...the reason drunks don't want to be around sober people is that somehow, on some level, they know they are acting like idiots and it bugs them that a sober person will see this realistically....

it'll help move you over to a crowd who doens't necessarily want to get turned into idiots on drugs and booze- and you'll be way ahead of the game...remember we all told you this the next time youre standing next to some drunken friends at a party, you'll crack-up to yourself...and don't give them a break, if you do get some spittle on your face, wipe it off in front of them, don't act like it didn't happen, he he...
86075 tn?1238118691
yeah huh? I was just at a restaurant the other night, waiting for some take out food, and this drunk started asking me to sit down, told him I was just passing by, and the dude started insulting me...nobody is more touchy then a drunk, ha ha! Just hope he took a cab home cause cops around here wait outside of bars and restaurants to see who's walking funny...

Thanks for asking...you know, she went into rehab and got off the methodone...so she's at least doing way better there...but she's just sitting around, jumping out of her skin, so I just hope for the best for her...I know I maybe sound harsh talking about drunks, but she doesn't want to be like this I know, things are hard for her for her upstairs you know? She's got a hard time quieting her thoughts...one thing that is good, is that her levels (lft's, etc) aren't too bad considering, I mean, does this woman know how many aces she's drawing? Inspite of herself? Somebody is on her side whether she realizes it or not...hope youre well and enjoying yourself...you sound well...
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