Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
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13-08-2014, 02:22 AM
Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
So, many of you know that I've got a drinking problem. Of what type, I'm not entirely sure. Is it based on emotion? An inability to deal with life's overwhelming problems without escaping into a bottle? Or is it, at this point, a chemical addiction that leaves my body dependent on alcohol to continue functioning in a manner it perceives as "normal?"

I don't know. What I do know is this: Just over a year ago, I lost someone I cared about deeply, and I dove head-first into a months-long drinking binge as a result. While in the throws of this bout of self-medication and self-loathing, I met someone who took my breath away, and then proceeded, also, to take away every ounce of my dignity and sense of self-worth. This caused me to delve even further into my regimen of destructive reconstruction. I've not been able to stop for any significant length of time since.

Since approximately July of last year, I've consumed at least a 6-pack a night - sometimes 12 or more (typically followed by at least one bottle of wine) when I was feeling particularly disturbed. And what, in regard to overall health, has this caused? A massive, bleeding stomach ulcer that threatens to perforate and turn septic my otherwise healthy form. A liver that doctors say is far from healthy and needs time to heal; lest it be ripped out and replaced with a more suitable specimen. (As if they'd offer one to someone like me) A mind robbed slowly of its memory to such an extent that I can no longer recall precise events and conversations with those who assure me such instances were beyond the ability to forget. An already-damaged heart that has accepted abnormal palpitation as part of its daily routine because it can't remember a time when it wasn't basted in rhythm-disrupting toxins.

I once (and, at times, still do) took pride and found great enjoyment in my drinking habits. It's nearing the cold months, after all. The leaves are soon to fall and it's time to break out the old mug and dark lager for the chilly seasons that are to come. And hell, Miso being a drunk has become a source of comedic reference amongst my friends. "Oh that Miso," they say, "off on another drunken adventure. God bless him." And I'll confess, it's still quite fun. The look of unease on their faces when I come up with a drunken idea, and the subsequent look of relief and amusement when my idea pans out later on. Their assurance that it'll never work out because one of my eyes is half-closed and my lips are pursed, and their expression of sheer amazement when my plan has somehow worked out. Shit, the most fun of all is when I'm complimented on my ability to retain a fluent and sophisticated manner of speech while being shit-faced. Many an argument has been won and many a mind turned (and many a panty seduced into invasion) while I spoke from the depths of intoxication. I admit even still: I like who I am when I'm drinking, and I like the way that I feel. I find great enjoyment in the sensation of my legs floating through clouds as I walk down the darkest and most desolate of streets.

But the doc says I have to stop. She's done the scans and taken the blood. She's seen the MRIs and she says that I need to stop. For my own sake. I swear to her that drinking is more of a hobby than an addiction, and to an extent I am sincere, but her experience betrays my air of fraudulence - no matter how slight - and she assures me that I need to abandon that which makes me feel most alive for the sake of my health, and for the sake of my future. If I do not put down the bottle/glass/mug/chalice, I may not live to see the daughter I pine for at such great lengths. (Given my suicidal nature, is that really an assurance anyway?)



During my second-to-most-recent visit with the doc, she told me that my current girlfriend seems to be a source of anguish for me, and that her presence lends to my unhealthy habits. She advised - merely as a friend, rather than a medical professional - that my GF and I take a break. On the way home, I pondered this advice, but was unable to reach a precise conclusion regarding what course of action I would thence take. During the following days, however, my conclusion was reached for me. I texted my girl to inform her of new developments in my career, and yet received no response in return. Nothing. Not so much as a simple "congratulations." In fact, I've neither seen nor heard anything from her in over 3 weeks. (Despite her FB page being alive and well) I have no idea where she is or what (or even "who") she's doing. But do you know what?

I don't care. It is not in me, at this point, to care. I mean, hey, she promised to make all of my dreams come true once before dismantling every hope I had for us and fucking off into my past. Why would I ever be surprised that she backed out again? No, I do not care. All I can muster the energy to care about now is my personal future. I'm now a freelance trainer; no longer confined to the rules and whims and greed of a corporate gym. I'm also joining the police force; something I've long spoken about but never actually pursued. (Freelance training is merely a supplementary source of income, after all. Why not live both dreams at once?) I'm moving from my current state of purgatory and seeking new lands to conquer and inhabit so that I may practice my art(s) in fresh and inspiration-inducing environments. I'm bettering myself and moving forward whether certain half-hearted individuals can - or are willing to - keep up or not.

And yet, for all my efforts and tangible progress, I cannot seem to overcome the fucking urge to drink. I guess it's part of my persistent urge to destroy myself; I don't know. But it haunts me without relent. I've endured (a word chosen carefully) lengthy spells of sobriety, sure. I've gone up to 4 weeks without so much as looking at a vessel of alcohol - save for the occasional and unexpected beer commercial that's intruded upon my night-time TV viewing. But even so, I sit here now, typing this with 7 in the belly and one in the freezer awaiting my summoning. Why? Well, currently, I blame the pseudo-girlfriend. After all, I promised her I would quit as a show of devotion to her and not myself. But, as stated, despite my outreached arm, she's not shown the slightest hint of interest in me as of late, and so I receded back into my own little world with no one to whom I must prove myself and only myself to satisfy. But, even so, I now realize - given that, despite my anger, I truly don't care what she's up to - that there's something much deeper going on. Something that keeps me clinging to the bottle even though I'm not drinking to drown out the problems she and I have had, nor to dull the pain from past relationships which still cut me so deeply. Tonight, I told myself that I got drunk because my drink of choice was a new brew to which I've taken an immediate liking, and yet, somehow, I sensed that I was lying to myself.

In the end, the doctor tells me that I need to stop. And frankly, I don't want to. I don't know why. Emotions, an enjoyment of the drink, a chemical dependency; I don't know my reasons. I just know that the drinks are plentiful, and I don't want to stop. And yet, regardless of what I want, I need to. No client wants a trainer who smells of a hangover, and no police force wants someone who drinks every day - regardless of how it affects (or doesn't affect) his conduct on the job.

For the sake of my stomach, I'm going to try to stop until the middle of September. Until my birthday. Maybe overcoming this small obstacle for this small reason will be the first successful step in conquering this disease for ME. After all, I am all I have left now.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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13-08-2014, 02:30 AM
RE: Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
Sounds like you know what you need to do here. I've no advice to give.

But here's a hug Hug

Atheism is the only way to truly be free from sin.
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13-08-2014, 03:25 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2014 03:33 AM by pablo.)
RE: Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
I'm sorry you're going through this, I've been in a very similar situation myself.

Rather than spout advice to you, I'll just tell you what helped me and maybe something will click with you.
I was the same in the sense that I was drinking way too much and it was wrecking my health and relationships.
I still didn't want to quit, I liked getting drunk.

When I was on the verge of losing my girlfriend and my kids, out of desperation I hooked up with AA. Some of it was ok but the rest (all the religious shit) drove me batshit every time I went to a meeting.

I'm not suggesting by any means you go to AA, it's just part of my story.
Anyway, along the way I learned a few things about myself I didn't know.
A big one was that I was Bi-polar, my mood swings were so extreme when I drank I never knew what I was going to do, happy drunk or I wanna kick the shit outta you drunk.

Emotionally I felt like a different person, a better person, when drunk.
I was more out going and funny, It was easier to pick up women...I think you know the drill.
I'd lost a lot by the time I finally decided to get my shit together. I was barely able to hold a shitty job, my girlfriend left with the kids, and basically I was barely functional at all.

I really can relate to the cravings for alcohol, I picked up a trick or two along the way that help.
Candy; Alcohol has a lot of sugar in it, if you drink excessively and stop, your body will crave that lost sugar. Keep some sugary candy stashed around the house, car, wherever.
One thing that helped from my AA days was their "One day at a time" motto. It actually works. To bad they don't know god has nothing to do with it.
Rather than trying to stay sober for a week, month, or until your birthday, just try to get through one whole day. It's soooooo much easier that way.
I hope maybe some of this can help you out. I think you can do it.
Best of luck to you brother. Thumbsup
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13-08-2014, 06:05 AM
RE: Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
You are almost certainly an alcoholic.

You can stop and live or you can drink and die an ugly, lingering, painful death.

Your call, bro. Drinking Beverage

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-08-2014, 11:04 AM
RE: Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
Chas has the right of it here. It doesn't matter why you want to continue to drink, or what made you start in the first place, you must stop if you want to live. Otherwise you'll continue on to an agonizing death. No other considerations needed, this one is a black and white issue.

I've shared my own battles with alcoholism in another thread with you. I'm here for support if you need it. It's not fucking easy, but you can do it.

Also, don't stop and then drink again on your birthday. You'll start right back up like you were, I guarantee it. I think for you the quit has to be complete. Has your doctor said it is safe to stop drinking on your own? Be careful, with someone who drinks as much as you, you may need medical help to stop. Detoxing from alcohol can be dangerous when you're used to levels that high.

Hug

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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13-08-2014, 11:52 AM
RE: Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
(13-08-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  For the sake of my stomach, I'm going to try to stop until the middle of September. Until my birthday. Maybe overcoming this small obstacle for this small reason will be the first successful step in conquering this disease for ME. After all, I am all I have left now.

That's not stopping.
Your statements have nothing to do with stopping. All you are doing is telling yourself when your next drink will be.

Commit yourself to YOU.
Do what's best for YOU, whether YOU likes it or not.
There will be times when you have to get tough on YOU to make sure you don't do stupid shit like pick up the booze for a party where you promise yourself you won't drink. If you offer to pick up the booze, you will just be enabling YOU to drink. Prevent that from happening with a simple decline.

The thing is... you are in a codependent relationship with YOU. (everyone is) Don't enable YOU rather, take charge of YOU. Become the dominant one in the relationship.

YOU is an infant... and you have to be it's parent and wipe it's ass until it can do it itself. You have to teach it, let it play, keep it aware and inquisitive and curious but also keep it from falling out of a tree onto it's head because it has no idea of it's fragility or it's limitations. YOU thinks it's invincible.

You have to be everything to YOU; Mother, Father, girlfriend/boyfriend, best buddy, entertainer, teacher, tour guide. It is a commitment.

If you thought other people were difficult to get along with... wait 'til you have to spend time with YOU.

BUT: you can help make YOU into someone you like and want to be around. If you get that far, others will want to be around YOU and really like being around you, as well.
***

Why do you want to be a cop? Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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13-08-2014, 05:12 PM
RE: Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
(13-08-2014 11:52 AM)kim Wrote:  
(13-08-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  For the sake of my stomach, I'm going to try to stop until the middle of September. Until my birthday. Maybe overcoming this small obstacle for this small reason will be the first successful step in conquering this disease for ME. After all, I am all I have left now.

That's not stopping.
Your statements have nothing to do with stopping. All you are doing is telling yourself when your next drink will be.

Commit yourself to YOU.
Do what's best for YOU, whether YOU likes it or not.
There will be times when you have to get tough on YOU to make sure you don't do stupid shit like pick up the booze for a party where you promise yourself you won't drink. If you offer to pick up the booze, you will just be enabling YOU to drink. Prevent that from happening with a simple decline.

The thing is... you are in a codependent relationship with YOU. (everyone is) Don't enable YOU rather, take charge of YOU. Become the dominant one in the relationship.

YOU is an infant... and you have to be it's parent and wipe it's ass until it can do it itself. You have to teach it, let it play, keep it aware and inquisitive and curious but also keep it from falling out of a tree onto it's head because it has no idea of it's fragility or it's limitations. YOU thinks it's invincible.

You have to be everything to YOU; Mother, Father, girlfriend/boyfriend, best buddy, entertainer, teacher, tour guide. It is a commitment.

If you thought other people were difficult to get along with... wait 'til you have to spend time with YOU.

BUT: you can help make YOU into someone you like and want to be around. If you get that far, others will want to be around YOU and really like being around you, as well.
***

Why do you want to be a cop? Shy


It works better when you have others to help.

Your mind is like a dangerous neighborhood - you don't want to go in there alone.

Listen to other people - remember, it was your best thinking that got you where you are.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-08-2014, 02:39 AM
RE: Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
(13-08-2014 11:52 AM)kim Wrote:  
(13-08-2014 02:22 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  For the sake of my stomach, I'm going to try to stop until the middle of September. Until my birthday. Maybe overcoming this small obstacle for this small reason will be the first successful step in conquering this disease for ME. After all, I am all I have left now.

Why do you want to be a cop? Shy

Much appreciated, everyone. Truly.

The only unfortunate and ever-pressing realization is that I know I'm too fucking stubborn to listen to anyone but myself. I've always been that way. You guys give good and logical advice. Much of it based on years of experience. And yet, there's that shitty little part of me that simply will not give in because it doesn't want to. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say that I have any sort of personality abnormality, but in the metaphorical sense, it's like I have another me living inside me, and he's gonna do what he damn well pleases and I feel powerless to stop him. Like I said, he wants to keep drinking. He has fun. He likes beer. (He's a "Happy Little Boozer," as Korpiklaani once wrote…In fact I'd swear that song is about me if I didn't know better) He likes sitting outside and having a cold brew while he listens to music and gazes up at the cosmos overhead. He finds intense beauty in this. But as he does so, I'm reminding him that there's an ulcer on the verge of perforation growing in his stomach and a doctor who is offering to send him to rehab and countless friends who are literally begging him to stop and an entire future he may be throwing away. "Aww, but Poe was an alcoholic," he says, "he did ok. All the great writers were. And you'll be a cop, don't worry; every cop has a drinking problem after a few years of seeing fucked up shit. You're just getting a head-start on it. Just taste this craft brew, man! How can you say no?" He's like a little elf - like the little Rumpelstiltskin shit from "Shrek the Third" - trying to lure me into some nonsense with an admittedly convincing series of arguments. I want to hate him…but I don't entirely.



@Kim - A lot of reasons. The typical "wanting to be a force for justice in an unjust world" and all that cliche stuff, and other stuff that even I find difficult to put into words. Stuff I'm not sure many would understand.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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15-08-2014, 02:56 AM
RE: Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
(13-08-2014 11:04 AM)Smercury44 Wrote:  Also, don't stop and then drink again on your birthday.

I'm not necessarily saying I'll drink on my birthday. I'm just saying that, for me, a birthday is a sort of landmark, and when I reach it, I'll decide what to do next.

Growing up as a JW, I'm not really into celebrating birthdays anyway. I've celebrated in the past, but it was more an expression of religious defiance than anything else. If anything, a birthday is just an excuse to engage in all manner of debauchery, and this year, I'm just not feeling up to it. More than anything, aiming for my birthday is something I perceive as a mark of accomplishment. "Good, I made it to my birthday without a drink. Now that it's an excuse to celebrate, what are we gonna do next? Drink or no?" I don't know how I'll feel then. Especially since I'm a lot more focused on my jobs. One thing I've never done is drink when I have a prior commitment. (I wonder if I'll look back on that statement in 5 years and laugh) My schedule now is so hectic and my mind becomes too distracted with work to think about drinking. Activity becomes the distraction that alcohol seeks to be. I guess it fills the void?

Anyway, I don't know what I'll do for my birthday. I just kind of set my mind on it and said "Make it to that summit. Don't worry about the drinks around you; just get there." I have no idea what will happen afterward, but I do intend to make it there without fail.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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15-08-2014, 03:17 AM
RE: Addiction and Health: Stopping the Madness
Do you live by yourself? Do you have a partner, roommates, or family who can support you? I'd suggest turning your house into a dry house. If you've got no liquor to drink, it makes it easier to resist.

Atheism is the only way to truly be free from sin.
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