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*Controversial* I need some advice regarding sobriety


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ambivalent

 
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I've been in this kind of, daze of indecisiveness... The only possibility for a rational or non-biased opinion I found to be here, mostly because this is completely off topic for this forum.

It feels like there are two sides- either you are an alcoholic/addict or you are strickly not. I am 20 years old and went to rehab over 3 years ago. I most definitely needed it.... But I feel like I was fed a lot of information while I was really low, and now...

What I'm really trying to get at is- ARE THERE PEOPLE out there, that have recovered from addiction? Like don't-have-a-problem-recovered. When will power is built up can it be overcome with knowledge and mind power? Are there honest, open-minded, healthy people who once had a problem but now have a drink every once in a while? I think if anyone said that in an AA meeting the whole room would think "riiiight keep coming back *cough* alcoholic"

Anyways, I just wanted to know if anyone had some 'outside' opinions, that would be constructive.


p.s. This is the only forum I belong to, and there is a well balanced melting pot of people that peruse these threads. If anyone finds this offensive or misposted I apologize in advance.

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Rowe2ry

 
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I REFUSE to drink anyhting currently as a 17 year old. I have a 16 year old girlfriend who likes to drink (her mom is a clynically depressed alcoholic that lets her drink to keep from feeling guilty of drinking so much herself) and I try try try to keep her from drinking. I am hugely anti-alcohol and I think it ruins lives. At 21 I think maybe I will get drunk for hopefully the only time in my life, then after that, reserve to drinking to 1 glass of given alcohol per social event.

Just my views, yeah I know I strayed from your original question a little but I just kind of went on a tangent. Maybe there's something useful in there.


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TheCustomer99

 
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I heard that drinking non-alcoholic substitutes can help in the same way nicotine gum helps for smokers, I suppose.

"Anecdotal thinking comes naturally, science requires training." - Michael Shermer
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WakeCarver

 
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I have an aunt who was an alcoholic. She didn't drink for many years after she was recovered but now has the occasional drink with family and friends. I guess the short answer to your question is yes, a person who has the will power can do pretty much anything they set their mind too. You should ask yourself, however, do you believe you have the will power to not fall back into addiction if you start drinking again. Is it worth the risk to find out? Do you have a good network of friends and family you can rely on for support and comfort? Will these people let you know if you start to slip and will you listen to them when they give advice. If you have answered yes to these questions then maybe you can try drinking again. But I have also seen many people ruin their lives because they thought they could handle their addiction and just do it "once in a while" but quickly fell back into addiction. If you feel that there is even a small chance that you won't be able to handle only drinking once in a while then answer is definitely no. The only person that can really answer your question for you is you. You know yourself the best, and you are a little older now. You know what you want more and are less likely to be as influenced by peer pressure. I wish I could give you a better answer than this but this is the only advice I have to give. I wish you the best with this and hope you make the decision that is the right decision for you.

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fleurya

 
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As far as drinking alcohol, I think it's all mental. I hate to say it, but the best perspective on alcoholism I've heard came from a episode of South Park. Stan's father had a big mental breakdown about being an alcoholic and decided never to drink again. But the always clever Stan pointed out that, even if you never drink again, alcohol is still controlling you, because swearing it off forever is admitting you can't control yourself.

I think AA pushes the lack of control issue so hard on you that it does change you and make you less in control of your life. I think real discipline is being able to control yourself and your actions. If you can do that, you've really beaten alcoholism. However, as someone who has never been through a program like AA first hand, I can't really judge or relate to those who really struggle with it.

In your situation, I would say you have a very good chance of controlling yourself in the future. It sounds like you were very young, impressionable, and probably lacked discipline in your life. When you grow up, you become more focused and in control.

"Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"
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Mattlike

 
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I think there are many people out there that can absolutely overcome and have no problems for the rest of their lives. However, people with such problems have to want to help themselves and most remove themselves from a state of denial. Getting help from family/friends/loved ones is always a plus and can be very beneficial IMO. It's good to know that there is someone there pulling for you.

I dabbled in the use of drugs when I was a teenager mostly marijuana use. Ultimately for me it got to a point where I guess you can say I reached an epiphany and though/felt like uhh what the heck am I doing this for? It really didn't do anything for me that I really needed or that was beneficial for or to me.

The hardest thing for me to do personally was quit smoking as I started at a very young age (13) and smoked until I was 28. I did this cold turkey and am very proud for being able to do so.

One thing I mighy suggest is looking out for a sponsor. Regardless, I wish you much luck.
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I'm confident that there are such people. There are all sorts of people, and all sorts of addicts.

The question for anyone who has dealt with alcoholism is, are you one of them? And there's only one real way to find out.

Personally, I don't understand why anyone who has already demonstrated a potential for addiction would go looking for trouble. But its an individual decision, and the individual is the person most qualified to make that decision.
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When I was younger, I was a drunk. A serious drunk. I could down a 12 pack a night and not feel it, that was just the warm up. Fortunately I was in the Navy and it was sort of expected and no one ever got in trouble for showing up to work drunk, as long as you showed up. I got drunk everywhere. Woke up on a Park Bench in Hong Kong at 5AM, no idea how I got there. Got drunk at a party and ended up on the North Side of the Golden Gate Bridge passed out in the park, no idea how I got there. Passed out on the beach in Rio and woke up back on the ship, no idea how I got there. You get the picture.

I progressed until the last 2 years of my last tour when I got my own place and actually had a home that was not a big grey thing that sailed away every once in a while. From that point on my drinking steadily declined to the point where I rarely drink any alcohol anymore, a 12 pack will last 6 months or more in my fridge.

Now, I said I was a drunk, but I'm not sure I was an Alcoholic. I think I drank because I was bored and everyone else around me was doing the same. Once I had a chance to escape that, I dried out, slowly, but I dried out. I do think that one can go from one extreme to being a normal social drinker, but it is easier for some than others. I don't think I have the addictive gene, so it was fairly easy for me, it might not be easy for others though.


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Carol247

 
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I know at least three people who drink Odoul's (or non-alcoholic substitute) when they want a beer or drink as a previous poster commented. They think it tastes the same but without all the alcohol. If that doesn't satisfy then a person must be looking for the buzz that alcohol brings and that may be where the addiction comes in.

I know that may not be an adequate answer to your question but I've never drink alcohol except for about 4-5 times when I was in my 20's.

The one thing I can relate though and that is a sugar addiction. I have had that and I know what it's like to think constantly about what sugar treat I'm going to have next. I've binged on candy by having at least 1000 to 1200 calories in one bag full. I don't do that anymore but I know if I let down on my healthy lifestyle just a little bit, I'll be right back going for the donuts, candy, pies and cakes. I just know I can't do it.

It's already been said, you know yourself and how much will power you have. If you doubt it at all, then I'd suggest you find a substitute because the outcome is not worth it and you have to love yourself enough to do the right thing because you are worth it.

Good luck!

"We have enough youth, what we need is a fountain of smart"! - Unknown
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It's all about knowing when to limit yourself. I do think you can have a good time with alcohol and definitely not become an alcoholic.


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Kash

 
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Fortunately for me, my experiences with alcohol haven't been very pleasant. Totally disgusted by the taste (definitely not a fan of beer or whiskey) and it's not exactly light on the wallet. Plus, I seem to have a ridiculously high natural tolerance as I can take up to 14 shots and not get drunk, which obviously can make drinking very expensive. And I haven't done a thing to build up this tolerance...

I think with enough willpower we can overcome anything. Though I guess it helps if the very thought of alcohol makes you nauseous


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I'm lucky in that as soon as I reach my limit I either pass out or throw up. These days I rarely get that far, a couple of beers with a friend or watching a movie is as much as I drink. I drink beer because I like it, not because I want to get drunk, and that's an important distinction - many people I know drink huge amounts with the intention of getting drunk, which just seems dumb to me, given how unpleasant the experience and it's after-effects are.

It's a grey area, I wouldn't say that people are either addicted or not, but I would say that, as Kash says, you can overcome it with willpower. For me, it's simple - I don't want to get drunk, so I don't drink too much. I've never smoked because I don't feel the need to (and it's hideously expensive over here).

If I were unable to stop myself getting drunk, then I wouldn't start drinking. But then we're into the whole "social" aspect, where you are expected to do what everyone else does, and where willpower is that much more important.

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I guess the real thing is why people drink or take dope and knowing the answer helps in finding out the answer to your question.

When I was a young post-teen (just over 18 right up to me early thirties) I used a lot of stuff: but it was kinda like a journey to me, to find out who I was and even though there were periods of very intense use, I never lost sight of what I was willing to use and what I was not. I've done some of the hard stuff but didn't like the effect it had on me, maybe because of the limits I knew I would respect from the start.

Drinking was a problem to me: if I wasn't sick like a dog right after, the next morning's hangover killed me and made me useless for a 24 hour period which I didn't like much. So I never was much into drinking back then.

Now I do take red wine and beer once (but I'm finicky, I only appreciate a couple of brands of beer) in a while and enjoy it but rarely overdo it, I just don't have the need much. I haven't done dope at all in over 13 years, the need simply isn't there anymore and I guess I figured out who I was or know enough to satisfy my "quest".
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Alcoholism runs rampant in my family. You can't be a male in my family without being an alcoholic. I had alcohol in my blood the moment I was born. Instead of placenta coming out of my mom's womb, it was rum.
In early high school, I was downing enough alcohol to buzz the entire Irish nation. I'm surprised my liver isn't the size of a raisin or something.
As I got older, I cut down on my drinking, but I was still drinking daily. I couldn't enjoy a day without having some sort of alcohol in my body. I couldn't enjoy a soda without spiking it with rum. I couldn't go to sleep without taking a glass, not a shot, a glass of cognac.

Now, I've really cut down on my drinking. I said to myself this is something I have to do, or else I'd be another statistic in my family. It wasn't easy, and it takes LOTS of discipline and determination, but if theres a will theres a way. There were plenty of times where I had to refuse to hang out with friends and/or family because I knew they were going drinking. It was tough.
But you only got one life to live, and your living it now. You can be another statistic, or you can be who you want to be, who you're supposed to be.
I know all of this probably sounds stupid, but I hope it helps in some way.
I wish you the best of luck.

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In my late teens and early 20's I did sort of like MHC and tried a lot of stuff, some Pot and different drinks. Down the line I really got sick and tired of it all and walked away. I have never wanted Alcohol or drugs again. I feel much better without any of it in my system. For me it was easy, I just decided no more and quit it all cold turkey. Never have had any temptation to ever do any of it again. For me it was being serious that I did not like what it was doing to me, and deciding to quit right there and then.

I find it better never to even drink at all, even in small amounts, then there is no temptation to drink more down the line. I just keep completely away from all of it. Works for me at least.

I have close friends who have quit smoking after 35+ years and walked away and never smoked again, but others had it harder but eventually quit when they really were serious about it. Same with Alcohol.
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