Alcohol consumption and worried that I am an alcoholic

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Hi,

I have never written on any forums before, ever. I read them but tonight I actually feel the ned to seek some guidance and words of encouragement. 

Today I opended up to a Gp who I have never even met before by saying " I am concerned that I cant seem to be able top open a bottle of wine, without finshening it". I am 33 years old and started drinking at the age of 13, more so than my friends.  At the age of 18 I lost my 1st baby who was fully born and only surrvived a week.  (I never drank during pregnacy at all) My drinking spiralled out of control and for 4 months I got wasted everyday, looking back this behaviour acutally kept me alive.  It was only when I started uni I had a focus in my life and become in control again.  Several years have passed, I think I have always had a problem with alcohol consumption, I have suffered anxiety for several years after not knowing whether I would ever be able to have children due to genectic conditions.  I have since had a healthy boy who is now nearly turning 4 and I drink a bottle of wine at least 5 nites a week.  On the other 2 nights I have a beer or gin.  Some nights, even though only very occasional I can actually get through 1 and half bottles of wine. This concerns me massively.  I wake up feeling abit rough but able to get upon time, get my little boy ready for daycare, and make it into work for 9. My drinking does not affect my work or role as being a mother, apart from the anxities one experiences when drinking as much as I do.

I have never woken up and thought about having a drink.  I have had a glass off wine if out having a nice lunch at a restaurant.  I am a self employed healthcare professional and sometimes, if working from home in the afternoon, I will pour myself a glass of wine. 

I recognise I have a problem, I have tried to speak to my friends about this who basically just say, "have a detox for a week or so"...the most Ive managed in 6 days without.  My family I think are fully aware of my alcholol dependancy but no body has ever really approached this with me. 

I said to the doctor I need some help without feeling judged, or worried about the fact I am a single mum and my little boy is at risk. I love him so much, he is my daily medicine and I am an amazing mum and I need to sort this out. 

My doctor was very kind and supportive and encoruaging.  He has prescribed me 100mg thiamine to protect my brain any further for memory loss in years to come. I need to go and get a bllod test and then some liver tests.  I am scared of what the results may be.

 I am hopeful I can start some medication to help reduce the cravings to want to drink however I dont want to never be able to have a drink again.  I dont beleive I am an alcoholic but I am fully aware that I am alcohol dependent. I just want to start gaining control and reducing my levels within the safe limits. 

My dad is terminally ill and only 55 and I do not want to be in the same position in 20 years time. I want to support my son and see my grandchildren grow up.  Sorry for the essay, I have never opened up before and that twice now in one day. Gp and now this.  Maybe I am starting to accept things for what they are. If anybody can have the time or patience to assist me on the journey I am about to willingly follow, please do : )

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

1 like, 15 replies

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Kerry smile

    It is good that your GP has prescribed Thiamine for you. It does protect against alcohol-induced brain damage later in life as Thiamine deficiency is one of the main factors in this.

    I wouldn't get in a panic about the blood test. Part of it will be a Liver Function Test and it is very likely to show that there is SOME liver damage. However, the liver has great powers of recovery and any damage can be fixed by staying off alcohol unless a person has reached the stage of Liver Cirrhosis, in which case it is irreversible. Unless your skin is bright yellow, you do NOT have Liver Cirrhosis.

    Alcohol does affect other parts of the body as well as the brain and liver and your kidneys, pancreas and heart can all be affected and the risk of cancer and stroke are increased so you are right to be doing something about this now.

    If you get shaky when you try to go without a drink, you MUST have an alcohol detox. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and even, in some cases, fatal. Never try to suffer the withdrawal symptoms without medical help.

    There is a new drug which has just been approved for prescription on the NHS. It is called Nalmefene and you will find some discussion about this in this forum. A couple of people have started it and been discussing their experiences with it.

    Nalmefene is used for people who need to reduce their alcohol intake. It has an effect on the pleasure you gain from drinking too much and the aim is to help you drink in a more controlled way. The recommendation is that it is used for people who are drinking half a bottle of wine or three pints a night but I think there is some leeway. You take one of these pills a couple of hours before you drink and it's effect is that it helps to reduce the craving to drink large amounts. From what has been discussed on this site, it seems that there is a period of adjustment required for your body to overcome the initial side effects but people say those subside over a few days.

    Just one thing you said which I feel I should comment on. An 'alcoholic' IS the term used by some people to describe a person that is dependent on alcohol. However, as an independent alcohol practitioner, I NEVER use the word 'alcoholic.' smile

    Talk to your GP about Nalmefene when you return to get your blood test results. It's good that you have found a GP that has some patience and understanding with your alcohol issues. Too often that isn't the case.

    Good luck! smile

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your advice. To be honest I couldnt actually handle responding until now, in abit of shock for actually putting a post on.  So do you do consultancy work to help people like myself?

      Report
  • Posted

    Hello Kerry smile

    It is good that your GP has prescribed Thiamine for you. It does protect against alcohol-induced brain damage later in life as Thiamine deficiency is one of the main factors in this.

    I wouldn't get in a panic about the blood test. Part of it will be a Liver Function Test and it is very likely to show that there is SOME liver damage. However, the liver has great powers of recovery and any damage can be fixed by staying off alcohol or greatly reducing it, unless a person has reached the stage of Liver Cirrhosis, in which case it is irreversible. Unless your skin is bright yellow, you do NOT have Liver Cirrhosis.

    Alcohol does affect other parts of the body as well as the brain and liver and your kidneys, pancreas and heart can all be affected and the risk of cancer and stroke are increased so you are right to be doing something about this now.

    If you get shaky when you try to go without a drink, you MUST have an alcohol detox. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and even, in some cases, fatal. Never try to suffer the withdrawal symptoms without medical help.

    There is a new drug which has just been approved for prescription on the NHS. It is called Nalmefene and you will find some discussion about it in this forum. A couple of people have started it and been discussing their experiences with it.

    Nalmefene is used for people who need to reduce their alcohol intake. It has an effect on the pleasure you gain from drinking too much and the aim is to help you drink in a more controlled way. The recommendation is that it is used for people who are drinking half a bottle of wine or three pints a night but I there is some leeway. You take one of these pills a couple of hours before you drink and its effect is that it helps to reduce the craving to drink large amounts. From what has been discussed on this site, it seems that there is a period of adjustment required for your body to overcome the initial side effects but people say those subside over a few days.

    Just one thing you said which I feel I should comment on. An 'alcoholic' IS the term used by some people to describe a person that is dependent on alcohol. However, as an independent alcohol practitioner, I NEVER use the word 'alcoholic.' smile

    Talk to your GP about Nalmefene when you return to get your blood test results. It's good that you have found a GP that has some patience and understanding with your alcohol issues. Too often that isn't the case.

    Good luck! smile

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  • Posted

    Hey Kerry,

    basically, what Paul said! I suffered with a daily dependency, a functioning alcoholic. Having a few when I woke, on the train to work, lunchtime and finishing off at the pub before the next day, that was so hard to get out of, but I did.

    this is a great time for you to come forward and be as brave as you have to beat anything before you are in very deep. The fact you can do 6 days without the sauce is very good, so with the aid of the right people & meds it should be minimising the risk of any bad results coming back.

    dont worry about results until you have them in the form od bad numbers. The amount of time I stressed from when the needle went in until talking to the doc to get them was silly. It's done, they won't change and they may just as easily come back great as bad so please, just try to stay calm until you actually hear anything.

    well done on coming out. It's not easy, but remember, it's nothing to be ashamed of, especially as you're actively seeking help.

    welcome to recovery and sobriety & I hope it goes well for you. Just one piece or real advice. Be wary of the "just the one" thought......Yes, just the one is not safe any more if trying to get away from it.

    all the best.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kerry,

    This is the first and best step, to be able to talk openly and honestly about what you are going through. You will find there are so many people who will be they to help.

    I am not surprised you went off the rails after losing your baby. I cannot think of anything worse to go through. It must have been hell sad but now you have a lovely little boy and he must be what keeps you going :D

    I guess your drinking patterns sound similar to mine but nowhere near as bad as me. If i open a bottle of wine i can't not drink it all. I started off drinking say Thurs to Sunday but then if stressed at work id say, hey why not have some in the week too. Then it turned to most days. Then more than one bottle sad it must make matters worse for you that you work from home at times. I think being at home can make it easier to think oh ill just have one glass.

    the fact you can go 6 days is really good. I could do 3 and then the temptations crept it. I sometimes think its an all or nothing thing that affects people who can't stop drinking until they drop. I find it easier no have any at all but as soon as have one i want it all eeek!

    I'm trying nalmefene. So far i can't stomach the idea of drink so will see how it goes. But if you could give drink counselling a go first and other things your doctor suggests a try first if you haven't already done so then it may do the trick before you need to go medication route.

    i also tried aa a while ago which was great but so hard to fit in lots of meetings with a busy work schedule.

    Lots of good luck xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Kerry,

    Ur  need to want a future with out suffering the ill effects of alcohol in UR life is a good first step.. Acceptance! Ge grateful for this time sobriety is UR goal and LIFE IS A GIFT,

    I understand and exactly where u are as many have been in the same place.

    If you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you want to go and how to get there. Then never, never, never give up. 

    HOPE4CUREbiggrin

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  • Posted

    Hi Kerry I can sympathise with your feelings and understand the anxiety you feel from knowing you rely too heavily on alcohol. I feel in a very similar position to you and if you want to chat feel free.

    Going to your GP was the right thing to do 

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  • Posted

    I cant seem to respond to people indiviually as keeps coming up some kind of server error. Just wanting to say thank you all for your time and advice.  I am still getting my head around even writing the post I put on. Do appreciate your help though so thanks

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    • Posted

      That's what I wanted to do a while back but couldn't figure it out lol.

      Be great if someone could shed some light on how to do this

      X

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    • Posted

      Kerry to send a private message to someone.. Click on the the envelope to the left of the message under the members name u wush to PM. 

      See envelope under UR green design/avatar u have a black star with the no.1. Under that is the grey envelope to PM.

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    • Posted

      Click under UR green square to the left with a black star with the #1under the green square design . Under the black srar and ur  green ID/ avatar is a grey envelope click on the envelope to the left under the black star to private message under the person u want to sent a PM.
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Just wanted to let you all know for those still following and being kind enough to help me through this last week how I am.  After my visit to GP and joining this forum it was enough of a shock for me to actually not drink this week! Today I went to get what I thought was going to be a blood test and the centre I went to had a pilot study going on in which a liver specialist nurse was there scanning for scarring on the liver.  Before she did this she explained clearly about the possible results and potentially further testing that could be required.  My anxitey went through the roof.  If scores over 8 needs further testing.  Scores less than 8 dont require attention.  This was only to test for scarring and not inflammation.  There wouldnt normal suspect inflammation if score was less than 8.  My score was 3.5 to which I burst out crying and said "how can this be possible?!" Naturally I am feeling very releived.  Felt like coming home and having a wine to celebrate but decided against.  It has been a tough week with a positive outcome...I do not have liver damage and I have recognised early on that I am dependent on alcohol but can sort this out. I will still enjoy a drink with friends at wkends but concentrate on yoga during the week, not wine.  I would just like to encoruage anyone else who is concerned they are drinkming to much to speak to your GP about this and get the help and reasurrance that you need. Thank you all once again : )

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  • Posted

    I am going through a lot of trauma at the moment, my wife just up and walked on me and the kids after decades.  She had to drink.  I was a 50 a day smoker a month ago and know I will never smoke again.  Addiction will ruin peoples lives.  Alcahol controls my childrens mother and I refuse to be addicted to any drug.  Who do you want controlling your childrens mother?

    Goo Luck

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  • Posted

    Kerry, this is so sad. I hope you are better now. It must be horrible to lose the child, I wish you all the best.
    Report

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