First post - facing up to alcohol misuse

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hi.

I just signed up here, I referred myself this week to an organisation (via my GP) that helps people to stop drinking. I'm in my early 40s and I've drank on almost a daily basis for as long as I can remember. My parents both had alcohol issues (my mum was a serious alcoholic but has now been dry for about 16 years, which I'm very proud of her for - my Dad drank spirits in large quantities for many years as many people of his generation did - he's now stopped due to unrelated medical problems).

I've had a phone assessment and scored 26 out of 40 on the AUDIT test and I'm waiting for an appointment for a face to face assessment. I feel quite positive about this but the idea of stopping drinking completely (ideally I'd like to be able to have the occasional drink but this may not be feasible) scares me. I can't remember not drinking and it is central to most of the things I do. I know this is too much and the time has come to change it.

I'd like to hear some positive stories from people in similar positions if possible, tell me that life without drink is nothing to be scared of... I am determined to change.

Thanks.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Renegadetiger, I was a Drinker right from about the age of 15, I reckon I must have become properly Alcohol dependent by the Time I was in my mid to late Twenties. The Drink was me, it was my personality, it was what all my plans were centered around. It was my universal Medicine for curing any type of hurt I was feeling both physical and Mental. The thought of not drinking was an impossibility, I honestly thought that if it was taken away from me, then what was the point of living, It was particularly scary because I would be throwing away my identity, not have ever really knowing who I was without the booze.  By the time I first asked for help,  it was kind of to late. I had already lost the trust of people I loved, had run up thousands in debt, made lots of bad relationship choices and ended up in Hospital a number of time due to the Alcohol. I tried half heartedly to give up a couple of times, each ended with me jumping back off the wagon because I hated life and myself without a drink. Once I even left two weeks in rehab, and went straight to the Pub, what a waste of Money. It was only the last Time that I decided to quit due to a Family ultimatum, that I wanted to try and see this thing out. Like you, I was signposted to one of these services and began a Reduction programme. I know how things look for you, you are bound to be nervous, your about to make a massive change in your life. One weekend (whilst on a reduction) I ended up in Hospital because my Doctor thought I had a blood clot, My Family were called, my Parents were even contacted from abroad because they thought it was the End game. Turns out it was Heart Failure, (which I believe was fron Alcohol) but they could not pin point the cause. After I was released I continued with groups and courses at the Drug and Alcohol center and learnt some really good life skills (some also not so good), and after Time, you start to feel better, it may be a little bit at a time, but you get better. Your Body starts to rewire it's self so that you can get pleasure from other things besides drink. Your other problems might not go away, but you can deal with them much better and effectively. If you stick with it and set yourself goals on what you want to acchieve in Life, they will become very much obtainable to yourself. One Day you will wake up with a smile on your face and Life will feel good. I have been Dry for 23 Months now, and work as a Peer Mentor in somewhere quite similar to the place you are going. I really hope that it works for you and you remember that you are doing a good thing. You will find yourself again, try to have fun doing it. gl

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  • Posted

    Well done on making the first move to a much better life.  It won't be easy and you may have to stand your corner with regards to the treatment that you believe will suit you best, rather than what they want, if you don't think what they want will help you.  But you will get there.

    I would suggest you start by googling NICE Guidance CG115 and read it.  And follow that with NICE Guidance TA325.  (there is a section on each for the patient)

    These two documents inform medical staff, and the patient, what the options are with regards to assessing your situation, and the treatment that can be offered to you.  It will really help you to understand what should happen and what help you can get.

    Then lastly before your appointment, take a quick look at the NHS Constitution so you know what your rights are as an NHS patient (for example, staff have the right not to be abused obviously, but you have the right to see a medically trained physician about your condition to see if a medication may help you, not just a key worker who is not trained in these matters).  And then google NHS Choices Alcohol Misuse so that you can quickly read a summary of all this.

    It's also worth noting that CG115 states clearly that in most cases, abstinence is the preferred goal of treatment, but that treatment can not be declined to you if you feel that you wish to know of harm-reduction help available.  It really all comes down to undestanding that Alcohol Use Disorder is a spectrum, ranging from severe dependence down to mild dependence, and so what treatment will help you best will depend on where you currently are on that spectrum.  If someone is mildly or moderately dependent on alcohol then permenant abstinence may not be necessary.

    I hope this information helps and please let us know how you get on.

     

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  • Posted

    Renegade, I was cracking open the beers every night for over 30 years. Started with the better part of a 6 pack and worked my way up to a 12 pack every night for the last two years. I spent many, many days laying on the sofa, waiting for 5pm to roll around so I could drink again.

    A friend fell into a binge and arranged a detox for himself, I (hungover) helped him to get there. I knew he wasn't about to plug into AA, so I looked for alternatives for him and for me, as this was a bit of a wake-up call. 

    In my research, I came across The Sinclair Method:

    http://patient.info/health/sinclair-method-for-alcohol-use-disorder

    I decided this was for me. I made an appointment with a doctor that was familiar with the method and started treatment in the early part of last year. It took a bit over 5 months till I saw my first consecutive dry days in a long time. It wasn't long after that till I started having consecutive dry weeks. These days, it takes me over a month to drink a 6 pack. At no time along the way did I ever feel deprived of alcohol. With The Sinclair Method, you don't hold off the craving, you take a pill and go meet it face to face. As the months went by, I drank less because I was satisfied earlier. Now, I barely think about the stuff and on those odd days when I do want one, one or two fills the bill. 

    Especially if Alcohol Use Disorder runs in the family, The Sinclair Method is the shortest way I've found to get from being plastered every day to being a free man. 

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  • Posted

    you can do and my advice is to stop completely if you can. You are honest and facing up to your problems which is great. I nearly destroyed my health and my family and had to stop and I did manage 4 years ago. You can do and I really wish you best of luck. come back here asking for advice...Robin
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  • Posted

    Well done on finding this forum, you are in the best place.

    With the support here I started The Sinclair Method 9 days ago. It has been nothing short of a miracle, for me. Still very early days, but with a bottle of wine or more every night, 7 days a week. AD for at least the last 20 yrs....now with a small glass instead. I don't feel deprived, I just fancy a cup of tea instead. Naltrexone works for me. 

    Done correctly TSM might well be the asnwer for you.  Do your research & follow it to the letter. Good luck x 

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