Concerned about my alcohol use (abuse?) :(

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi All,

Where to start? I'm not sure...

Well, I am becoming more and more concerned about how much I am drinking on a regular basis.

I've been 'lurking' here for a couple of weeks and the threads / comments have really hit home for me. I am scared that my drinking is / could get out of control and destroy my life.

I suppose some background info. might be of use to you great people here.

So, (I hate people who begin sentences with 'so' smile  ).

I've had 'stress' / depression and anxiety issues for over 20 years. (Treated by GP's with medication from then 'til now and CBT at the time).

In the mid to late '90's I had a 'full on' nervous breakdown - off work for 18 months.

Just before my 'meltdown' I was drinking at least half a bottle of Single Malt every night, to try to make the stress go away. It didn't.

Pretty much since then I've always known I do drink 'too much' and have struggled ever since to keep my drinking in check. sad

Ok, to keep it short, roughly 3 months ago I had a 'stress' / anxiiety attack at work and basically 'fell apart', mentally. sad

I live in West Sussex, and went to my GP who increased my antidepressant dose (twice, over two months) and put me back on betablockers (which work, but are tough to live with - side effects, along with the increased anti-depressant dose side effects).

I was given (by my GP) contact details for 'Time to Talk', an NHS talking therapy organisation (for CBT my anxiety / stress issues) who, after a telephone consultation with them decided that because I 'drink so much' (more than the Government recommended 14 units per week) they discharged me from their 'care' (What care?) until I've adressed my alcohol issues. (For at least 3 months).

I've had a couple of sessions with a Chichester Wellbeing councellor, who has been very supportive.

Last time I saw her she mentioned CGL (Change, Grow, Live) in Chichester  - decided to go for it - just up the road. I'd worked myself upto it and - they don't do a walk in service on Tuesday afternoon! sad when I went.

Having looked at their website, it kind of flicked a switch in my mind, it concerned me, inso much that I don't want to be that person.

Well, after that diatribe / drivel, how much do I drink on a daily basis?

Don't keep any alcohol in my flat.

But I do buy a 'four pack' every night after work and more often than not go and get *another* 4 pack sad

Not happy about it, but struggling to sort it out.

Sorry for the long, rambling post, but I'm scared that I might be 'going down the tubes', due to my apparent inability to drink 'sensibly' sad




1 like, 19 replies

19 Replies

  • Posted

    Google "The Sinclair Method". It will seem too good to be true but it is very real. If interested there are good Facebook groups and a great book I can send you.

  • Posted

    Hi worried drinker

    Have you ever tried to stop? Had any withdrawal symptoms? Sweating shaking increased anxiety stress?

    As you have probably been told, cbt and meds don't help stress and anxiety whilst you are drinking. I when my OH stopped drinking for a while most of his stress/anxiety/depression went.

    Kind Regards

    JulieAnne x

    • Posted

      Hi JulieAnne,

      Thanks for commenting on my post smile

      To answer your questions, yes I have (I did stop for around 7 months - after turning up at work drunk one morning sad.

      More recently, I did have a day off a couple of weeks ago and had a couple of hours of feeling hot, not nessesarily sweaty and increased anxiety.

      The thing that's slightly irritating, to me, is that I feel that my anxiety and alcohol use are very tightly linked and I was hoping that both could be addressed at the same time. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case. sad

      Last time I saw my GP she suggested that going 'cold turkey' may not be a good idea - can lead to siezures and other issues eek.

      I can't believe how difficult this is!

      Thanks for reading.

    • Posted

      Hi Worried drinker

      Your drinking didn't become a problem for you overnight hon, it will take time to correct.

      Joanna has given you some really good advice. My Husband followed Joanne's advice and now he is drinking on average 6 units a week. He was very poorly. The last detox he had in hospital was 18 months ago. He regularly used to have Delerium Tremens followed by a seizure which is dangerous. I know that not everyone has this reaction, but it is too risky to just stop, because by the time you find out you are prone to having dts its too late. Having seen my Husband suffer with them, they are very unpleasant.

      Take Joanna's advice, we did and we haven't looked back.

      Kind Regards

      JulieAnne x

    • Posted


      Watch 'One Little Pill' as Hummingbird has suggested. It's very uplifting.

      Nalfemene and Naltrexone are used in The Sinclair Method which Claudia Christian talks about in one little pill. This is the method my Husband is now following.


      JulieAnne x

    • Posted

      6 a week from, what, about 20-30 a day?

      Wow, this is wonderful to hear.  Well done to him!  :-)

    • Posted

      Yes it’s fantastic news isn’t it. Well done JulieAnne and your hubby. Pleased for you xx
    • Posted

      I will pass on your good wishes to him Vicks and Joanna 💖

      Your support and advice was invaluable Joanna, he is a different person


    • Posted

      Now you understand why so many of us involved in raising awareness find it so frustrating (and depressing!) that so many barriers are placed in the way of someone even trying the treatment, and it isn't discussed by those that come into daily contact with people needing help.

      It's just utterly, utterly needless for it to be so difficult.  It shouldn't be this difficult, especially when the medication has been approved for many, many years now.  It's simply just a case of stigma and old-fashioned, out-dated beliefs, not to mention those who make tons of money from rehabs etc being very vocal against it every time it might be mentioned.  cry

  • Posted

    Hi Andy,

    Firstly well done for posting on here admitting it can be really difficult so you have made a huge step, we are here to support you.

    As a fellow sufferer of depression and anxiety I know all to well the cycle of drinking, for me a little gave me confidence and made me feel better about myself but then too much (rather regularly) would do the complete  opposite and I could have massive breakdown's and get so low that I would self harm not to mention the added self hatred and loathing the following day for having gotten drunk AGAIN!

    I don't understand how you got dismissed because of the number of units you drink, and how do they expect after 3 months that you can magically have reduced to down to meet there criteria. Soz I just get really wound up about these situation because they just make you feel worse about yourself and re affirms that you are on your own to sort it out.

    Have you watched the documentary 'One Little Pill' I promise you will feel so much better about yourself after it (I watched it Amazon Prime). 

    Please keep us updated with how you are doing.

    S x

    • Posted

      Hi hummingbird

      Years ago, I was referred by my gp for CBT. After a long wait for an appointment, I was feeling quite positive about actively seeking help for anxiety and insomnia and went for my first session.

      As soon as I mentioned alcohol problems, was told I’d have to see a CBT therapist specially trained in alcohol abuse. The only therapist who I could see was based at the ARC and the waiting list was about 6 months plus.

      Im not saying that’s what’s happened in WorriedDrinkers case, but it sounds similar.

    • Posted

      Hi Hummingbird-S,

      Many thanks for your welcome and support - much appreciated! biggrin

      I can really relate to your comments about the 'cycles' (apart from the self harm bit - hope you;re ok with that now?). Especially the self loathing bit! sad

      I mentioned the CBT 'not until you get your drinking sorted out' to my GP (and showed her the letter I got from them). She was a little suprised, I think, and suggested it maybe because so many people say 'yes' to CBT but then don't follow it through, and with limited resources they need to minimise 'time wasters'. I can fully understand and accept that. But it doesn't help me! sad

      For some reason I'm having a real hard time contacting the CGL people - I'm sure they can help but I currently am struggling to pick up the phone - I think I'm scared of finding out I'm an 'alcoholic'? Does that make any sense?question

      I have not heard of the "One Little Pill" - I will have a look.

      The one thing I have now realised is that this isn't going to be a quick fix, at all.

      Thanks for reading


    • Posted

      Hi Worried,

      Try to forget the word 'alcoholic' and instead think in medical terms which is that dependency is rated as mild, moderate and severe.  No matter where you may fall on that scale, there IS help available and there are medications available that can help you, all of which are non-addictive.  Medications can be used alongside CBT or talk therapy and can really, really help.

      When people mention the 'One Little Pill' video, they are talking about a treatment that can help you reduce your drinking, and many find that as their drinking reduces, their anxiety issues (and others) slowly reduce, too.  In the video, it talks almost exclusively of a medication called naltrexone which is a really old medication with equally old prescribing instructions generally only suggesting using naltrexone to help a relapse back to drinking once someone has managed to stop.  In England, since this video was made, another medication was specifically approved to be used by those who are still drinking and to help them reduce their drinking.  That medication is called nalmefene (brand name Selincro).

      In your area, CGL are most definitely the correct organisation to get in touch with.  Your local health authority has suggested that standard GPs do no prescribe as they don't have the resources to provide the additional support care (which CGL do).

      To learn more about nalmefene, please google 'NICE guidance TA325'.  The basic text of this document is on the pic I have posted.  If you think you meet this criteria, and if you think it can help you, then please pick up the phone to book an appointment with CGL and then when you get there, advise them that you are interested in seeing the prescribing physician there to see if nalmefene is medically suitable for you, alongside other therapy that they may assess could help you.


    • Posted

      Hi Joanna,

      Many thanks for your reply to my post.

      I looked up the medication you mentioned, and to be honest, it scares me that I might be 'that far gone' that I need medication... sad

      Regarding calling them, ironically one of the reasons I *want* the CBT is that I have a long standing issue with...telephones!...(when I had my nervous breakdown ~ 20 years ago, I associated the 'phone with stress. Still got that problem. Makes it a bit tricky.

      Will redouble my efforts to contact them.

      But I've come this far, so in for a penny, in for a pound, as they say...

      If you don't mind me asking, do you have any direct experience with CGL?

      Just completed their alcohol questionaire - 27/40 sad

      Not impressed with myself.


    • Posted

      I don't have CGL in my area, I have another organisation (Addaction) instead, but I do know many people who have experience with CGL.  Usually, everything is fine once someone gets sat in front of the doctors there, but up to that point, things can be tricky because the workers there don't know much about nalmefene at all.

      Although nalmefene works for all types of drinkers, it is only officially prescribed to those with mild to moderate issues, so don't let yourself think that if you need medication that means you are 'that far gone'.  It is specifically designed to stop you going further into the rabbit hole.

      Seeking treatment/help early is going to make things far easier for you in the long run,

      Plus, think of medication as a crutch to help you get back on your feet again.  If you break your leg, you would be thankful of a crutch to take the heavy lifting for a little while.  The same is true of nalmefene - it helps you whilst you get to helping yourself as well.

      Sorry to hear about your phone difficulties.  If it seems to much, their opening hours are usually on their website or maybe email them to arrange an appointment?  Try not to stress yourself out.

    • Posted

      Joanna, many thanks for your supportive reply biggrin

      OK, I've got to 'do it' - phone CGL.


      God, this is *so* hard.

      Thanks All, your support is so much appreciated!

    • Posted

      Hi All,

      Been a while since I last posted and thought (for those interested) I should update.

      I've been struggling, a lot, with trying to figure out why I appear to be where I am. (I can't help 'needing to know' - it's a character trait as an Engineer! sad ).

      After some good insights from my CWB advisor, I now *think* I now know *why* and *how* I arrived in my current situation.

      Before I get all over excited at "figuring this out", I just wanted to get some independent views on my thoughts, if you good people could be so kind. smile

      I was initially trying to reduce my drinking and not knowing why I was finding it so difficult. So I started thinking about it from the opposite side of the fence, as it were.

      Thinking about my whole life I realised I've had anxiety issues for as long as I can remember. in my early 20's I discovered that alcohol made the feeling either go away or massivly reduce.

      So, after some research, I've come to the conclusion that for nearly 30 years I've been 'self medicating' with alcohol to cope with the long standing, unresolved, anxiety issues.

      This matches pretty much with anxiety / alcohol related issues throughout my life. sad

      So, as a consequence of this long standing 'self medication' I now believe I have developed some level of alcohol dependency which is now affecting my ability to reduce my consumption. sad

      Ironically, this realisation has sent my anxiety levels through the roof!

      Not good.

      So, I've come to the conclusion that attempting to reduce consumption by myself isn't going to work long term - I need professional help.

      I have to contact CGL. Soon.

      If I can get the alcohol use sorted out I can get the CBT that I need to hopefully sort out the anxiety once and for all.

      Does any of this make sense?

      Any comments / advice will be more than welcome.



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