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From: lisak1238Jul-26 10:18 PM 
To: All  (1 of 4) 

Hi there 

I am new to the group. After sitting in on a few meetings, this organization offers the right fit for me.

Here is the quandary-I have not stopped drinking yet. I have been drinking heavily for around twelve years and recently have started even more, and drinking some whiskey when I used to stick to just wine. I am at around 20 or more drinks a week, which is awful.  I have gained 15 pounds and am noticing the booze affecting my quality of life.

The problem I am having is taking that first step. Tonight I am having just one glass of wine because it is my last one in the house, and am honestly not even really enjoying it. Such a stupid thing.... How does one get past that hurdle of the first day?

I would like some accountability for at least the first part. Does anyone know of some online programs that function like a rehab but might be online that are not twelve step?

And how did you get to that first day where you just said "okay I am done"?  I think that every night in the middle of the night, and then the next day it never happens.  This nightly process eats away at my self confidence.

Nothing is "wrong" in my life that creates a need to drink.  I have a great marriage, a great job, a great family, and a great life that would be better without booze.  I started drinking every day when I became a single mom and just never stopped

Your thoughts/experience/advice are much appreciated. It would be great to nip this thing in the bud before I have health problems or doe something really stupid.




From: Brian (BrianB125)Jul-28 5:06 AM 
To: lisak1238  (2 of 4) 
 3558.2 in reply to 3558.1 

Hello Lisa, welcome to the forum.

You've raised a number of big questions here, I'll give you my take on them - but remember, it's just my take.

People start drinking for all sorts of reasons - to fit in, to relieve stress, just to have a nice glass of wine with dinner - all sorts of  reasons, some bad and some perfectly natural.  And many people go on drinking for these reasons.  They may drink heavily at times, but usually it's not continuous.  But for those of us who become alcoholics, something changes.  It is almost like a switch being turned on in the brain, and we drink just to drink, there is no longer a reason for it.  It is a completely irrational response.  The psychologist Gabor Mate calls it "a bare want."  That was the best description I ever found for my drinking, and that is what makes it so hard to resist.

As for how you get to the point where you want to stop - that too is a hard question.  I think you get there before you get there - so to speak.  I wanted to stop for years before I actually did.  What seems to have happened to me is I got to a point where I was just too tired to go on.  Alcoholic drinking just takes a lot of effort - people think it doesn't, but it does.  It's no longer something you enjoy or want to do, but you keep doing it, and, as you say, it starts interfering with the rest of your life - and that just takes a lot of effort.  I also stopped many times before I finally stopped for good - some times for weeks, sometimes for months.  Some people just get to this point and stop, others have to struggle with it to finally get there.

My only advice is just to keep plugging away at it.  Eventually you will get there.  There will come a point where you can just stop.  It may take several tries like it did for me, but you will get there.  There is nothing special about those of us who stop.  It we could do it, so can you.  You just have to keep trying.  

I gather you don't want to go to AA.  Most of us here started with AA before we found Life Ring.  What I would suggest, if there is no Life Ring meeting around where you are, is just go to an AA meeting just to be around people who are going through the same things you are.  Just ignore the parts of the AA message you don't like, but it is very helpful to meet face to face with people who understand just what you are going to.  I was lucky in that I found a very undoctrinaire AA meeting where the steps and the religious elements of AA were emphasized much, and I am able to ignore things I don't agree with.  And while I didn't agree with much that was said, I did find many of the more practical discussions helpful.

And keep coming back here.  You might also try reading some of the Journals people have posted here.  They describe the day to day struggles people went through - some going on over years.

So good luck, hope to hear from you again.



From: lisak1238Aug-1 12:21 PM 
To: Brian (BrianB125)  (3 of 4) 
 3558.3 in reply to 3558.2 

Hi Brian

Thanks so much for your thoughtful response.  Everything you said above is true.

It is such an effort to keep drinking, and to keep doing it for no reason at all.  Past the point where it is enjoyable....where it becomes a detriment to all areas in life.

I feel I am at the point where I am ready to stop.  Your advice is appreciated as to the best way to go about it.  AA makes me want to drink every time I go to a meeting, but maybe it's about changing my mentality about the dogma.  Sometimes it is good to just listen to people there.

I am also scoping out an out patient rehab situation which could help. 

Here's to living life in a much better way-



From: Brian (BrianB125)Aug-1 1:48 PM 
To: lisak1238 unread  (4 of 4) 
 3558.4 in reply to 3558.3 


I don't know where you live, but there are often lots of AA meetings around - so just shop around until you find one that is less doctrinaire.  That's what I did.  I went to a dozen or more meetings before I found one that suited me.  There were still many parts I didn't like, but I could just ignore them and take what helped.  An outpatient program could be a big help too.  While some people manage to stop on there own, having in person help makes it much easier.

Good luck and keep plugging away at it.



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