Ok, after many long months spent binging nearly every day and numerous relapses, I'm now on my 7'th day of sobriety. I received no formal treatment during this time, went through all kinds of cravings/sweats/insomnia, etc and only used prayer and benzos to get me through it.
Now given the fact that I did'nt go through any formal detoxification program and yet I have managed to stay sober, am I now considered a "dry drunk" or an "untreated alcoholic" and what exactly do those terms mean anyway?.
I was told that once you were an "alcoholic" you were always an alcoholic so if I did'nt receive any formal treatment, does that mean I am still "untreated" and if so, what exactly is required of me to ascend the lofty heights of treated-ness?.
LT... WHo cares how you get and stay sober. I don't personaly subscribe to the 12 step programs, I simply detoxed at home on Ativan for 2 weeks. I have been sober for 2 years. Before I did this, I was putting down a bottle of vodka every day...by myself. Always had one on hand, and couldn't function after about 4 hours of no alcohol. Couldnt even sign my own name. I spent at least 3 years in that state....alcohol was the only thing that made me functional.
I frankly don't care how I would be categorized. I still have my husband, my kids, my job and my health. I am blessed in every way. So I refuse to label myself anything other than VERY GRATEFUL to be here. God bless you, and I hope your journey is something you can get through and come out on the other side a grateful person.
Thank's for the reply. Yes, I hate having to wear various societal labels like "oh, your just a dry drunk". It makes you feel like your sobriety is all for nothing or something. Well, I went through a year and a half of drinking a case or more of beer each day and then was able to quit for a year before relapsing and going another round with the whole alcoholism thing. I went back to beer again and drank for about 6 months, meanwhile, trying every week or so to "quit". I understand that the more relapses you have, the more difficult it is to finally quit and the greater chance there is for seizures. I don't know how true this is but I know that this time around, it was tough as nails for me to quit but I am very glad I did. I think what got my attention this time were stories of people who had liver disease and were vomiting blood, etc. Yup, that pretty much sobered me up (both figuratively and literally).
Like you, I could not feel "normal" unless I had at least a 6-pack in me. Then, I was the life of the party...superman. It got to the point where beer no longer tasted like beer anymore but more like cough syrup or something. I grew to hate the way it tasted and what it was doing to my body. In fact, every stupid thing I did or said, every embarrassing moment, every broken relationship, etc could always be traced back to my drinking problem. I hated the stuff but I could feel normal without it and felt totally powerless. Many times, I would try to frighten myself into quitting by reading horror stories or looking at pictures of diseased livers or something and this, in part, is the reason I got sober.
So anyway, I still have mild to moderate cravings every now and then although they are nothing compared to those first few days. So how long does it take for them to completely go away?. Any idea?.
I have heard that they never really go away completely. I know that the first 6 months were very hard......someone gave me that goal...if you make it to 6 months, you are home free.. whether that is true or I just had that in my head, I don't know...but I craved it BAD several times a week... I had to really talk myself out of it.
I used to talk to the people that are deceased in my life that would have been SOOOOO disappointed in me if I started drinking again... sounds silly, but whatever works. i still crave it now, but in a different way...I don't have a need for it, but I sure could use a relaxing evening from time to time. I havent figured out quite how to do that yet.
I talk myself out of it by just remembering how sick I was....I couldnt eat anything at all, I was so sick that I didnt feel well until I puked every morning then I could start drinking again. I remember wanting to drive into the nearest light pole on the way to work every morning so that I could just stop this horrible feeling.
WHen I remember that, and know how good my family was and still are to me, it makes it easier.
And frankly SUGAR helps.. Cant explain it other than alcohol has alot of sugar in it. But SUGAR works. Sugar cookies, candy, even sweetner works.
Seems like many drunks and dopers carry a lot of baggage around. Also many have emotional/mental issues that trip them up. AA gives them a safe place to work thru the crap and gives them new tools to face life on life's terms vs their own terms, which usually gets them into trouble via using, jails, institutions or death. 15% of sobriety is keepin the plug in the jug and 85% is personal growth. Treatment is just an expensive hand holding exercise during the first few weeks - AA is where the real stuff happens. 12 step programs have changed my life!
I would rather go thru life sober in AA
believing I'm alcoholic,
than go thru life drunk or miserable
trying to convince myself that I'm not!
hey LT,are you feeling like there is something still kinda 'undone"?if so,i would really highly advise you to seek out an AA group to help you thu all of these new feelings and the new way of life that you finally chose(i am giving you a huge pat on the back here,hope you can actually feel it).you really DO need to stay in connection with other people who are in your current situation.these people know what you are deakling with and sre by far,the ones you really do need to have in your life right now.plus by going to AA you can find a sponser,this is a person you choose,or they will offer,to be the biggest source of your support right now.this person is one who will be there for you if you should ever start feeling like you want to start your old way of life again.my sponser thru NA helped to keep me on the straight and narrow.i could call her anytime of the day or night,remember,this person volenteers their time for you,so you are not 'bothering" them.
i really think that if you get to an AA meeting,this will be that 'piece'that you feel is the undone part.you need people to validate you and what you are going thru and mostly to tell you how proud they are of you and your accomplishment.it appears that you are not getting that from the people around you right now??you are doing a really amazing and lifesaving thing for yourself,and thats wonderful.the folks at AA know just how truely amazing your ongoing sobriety really is.this is where you really need to be.at least for a while,at the beginning.but you DO need that support right now,and a place where you can vent and hear others tell their stories and how they manage their sobriety.
please find a meeting in your area and just go,I think you will be happy that you did.hang in there LT,marcia
I do certainly agree with the validation issue... I get that from my adult children and hubby, so I guess if I wasn't getting that I would seek it out. I didn't mean to make AA sound useless, it just didnt work for me. I don't want to feel like I a a whiner, and sharing what I feel is like that to me. So I keep it to myslef, or I talk to hubby who is always here to listen and support me. I know may people for whom AA works and works well. I just think it doesn't matter how you get sober or stay that way.....as long as you do it.
Nitrochic I agree with you it doesn't matter how you get sober as long as you stay there, AA doesn't work for everyone I tried it myself was sober 28 days the longest I've been in 4 years, I stopped drinking because of high liver enzymes the past month I relapsed I drank 16 out of 31 days in May. Started June off with drinking this past weekend, I am on day 2 today the weekends is where I usually lose it for some reason I have been able not to drink all week. I hope and pray I make it through this weekend, It's so hard it's the summer being out in my yard and bbq make me want to drink.
[ REMOVED ]Keep up the good work LT your doing great
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Did you get sick from drinking. I feel like I'm playing very dangeriously here even with drinking once or twice a week. I am on day 3 once again.
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When I first sobered up, it was for professional and personal reasons, I went to an addiction doctor, and slept on my father's couch. About a week later, it was suggested I go to an AA or NA meeting. I happened to love the program and the 12 steps. My fiance tried on the AA and NA stuff, probably to pacify me, and he doesn't like it. It fills a space in me, and gives me a place to do something just for myself. I was always doing so much for everyone else that getting high and drinking were what I did for myself. Now I foster friendships and I have people I can call when life gets rough and I want to use or drink. My fiance, however, doesn't go to very many meetings, but has managed to stay clean and sober. He still reacts to some things like an addict or alcoholic would. He has changed a lot, but still we both have work to do on ourselves. We have chosen different paths to do that. My father was, without a doubt an alcoholic, but has not drank for nearly 40 years, just stopped on his own.
My point is, I am very close to people who are sober, with and without the help of AA or NA, and while it doesn't matter how you get sober, or why, it does matter that you stay sober. If what you are doing is working for you, then by all means, keep doing it. If it stops working, or you feel like you need more, that there must be something else, you do not have to drink. Take that time to try a meeting before picking up a bottle. Just do whatever it takes to stay sober. Coming to these boards is a great tool for you to use to stay sober. The program helps a person to clean up the internal issues that drive him or her to drink in the first place, it is a program for living happy, joyous, and free. Staying sober is one part of it, being happy being sober is another. I hope this helps.
I wish you all the best, and please let us know how you are!