I want to live alcohol free. Is it too late?

Posted , 10 users are following.

I'm a 48 year old husband and father of 1 boy , (and another on the way). Life is good. Alcohol has pretty much been a part of my life from early adulthood thru to the present. In stages I would quit here and there, but nonetheless a crutch in stressful situations and/or socially as well. For the past year and a half it's gotten worse. It's either a bottle of wine (large one) a night or a 12 pack of beer (sometimes more). I use it to de-stress, well at least that's the lie I use to give myself the green light to continue poisoning myself. My wife has noticed and is concerned. And even though I do spend a lot of time with my son, I am stepping away more and more to go sneak that sip and ever since he's been here, basically I've drank everyday and feel I am missing stuff still. There's no weening off in my case I feel. It's either quit or continue down the spiral. I need help. Someone please help me.

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  • Posted

    Most of us try to quit, and stay quit, but find that we can't maintain it. Some can, and hats off to them, but the numbers are very small. The reason is that even if we change our existing habits, we cannot change the fact that the pathway in our brain that associates alcohol = chemical reward has been strengthened by repeatedly confirming that is correct by drinking.  That pathway is now stronger than all the others and cravings/urges to drink are a result of that.  Eventually, we succumb and end up drinking again at some point

    Firstly, be aware of alcohol withdrawals.  Cold turkey can be dangerous.  Think of how your body and brain is so used to alcohol (which is a drug) and that to suddenly stop can cause major issues.  If in doubt, please see a doctor to be assessed.  There are some medications available that can help make this withdrawal period easier and, more importantly, safer.

    After that, if you find that you are staying stopped is going well, then brilliant!  That would be the ideal result. 

    However, please also read about how sometimes it can be beneficial to use medication to treat this condition and help weaken and eventually break down that strengthened pathway in the brain.

    This IS a treatable condition and there is no point in struggling with relapses if you don't need too.  There is no shame in using a medication to help aid you in the same way that you might use any other medication to help a particular condition.  For example, some with early diabetes can control their condition with a change in diet (habits, in our case) but others need a medication AND a change in diet.

    Medically-assisted treatment is very underrated - as if somehow it is changing one addiction for another, and that we must struggle to be 'stronger' to do this without additional support.  That is wrong, especially as medications to treat our condition are non-addictive! 

    It's not for everyone of course, but just keep the knowledge of it in your back pocket in case you find yourself struggling, and relapsing.

    Wishing you all the best.

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  • Posted

    Sean, I was at the same level, a 12-pack every night. I started The Sinclair Method and dropped my drink count month by month. Took about 6 months till I'd gotten down to less than a six pack per month. I didn't feel deprived and knocking drinks off my daily total wasn't difficult, but it did take patience and time. 

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

    In the first month I'd gone from 80 per week to the 30-40/wk range. Since August, I've been drinking within low-risk limits, a huge turnaround for me (I'd been drinking every day for over 30 years). 

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    • Posted

      Brilliant reply to Sean Adefree!! you have achieved so much and give a fantastic reply I think. I was like you and drank too much but my twin girls were 13 months old when I stopped drinking..only one reason: live longer and see them grow up, get married etc....that was it!...you have a good life and one tiny person coming along!! Try to change although it is gut wrenching and hard...Robin
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  • Posted

    Keep strong, you have done well to come on this forum as i personally (think we all do once on it), so use it as good support. I would also say to see your doctor, there are talking supports that also will help if you feel that you need to. It doesnt always have to be AA by the way as this is not always for everyone. Have you talked much to your wife about your drinking? It can maybe help to just be honest about how your feeling and hopefully if you both can it will help you and her along the way. I do strongly advise seeing your doctor and make the first step. You can do this, just depends if you want to cut down or stop all together. I personally found the Allen Carr book helpful also. Keep your chin up and keep using this site. There is plenty of support on here from good people who have all been like you or maybe even worse (like me sadly). Hope to hear from you soonĀ biggrin
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  • Posted

    You've given two good answers with advice that you should certainly consider.

    Many people start off as light drinkers, but then they build up a tolerance and require more alcohol to get the same effect. Yes, most people start drinking a bit more heavily because of stress, anxiety or boredem, but then it becomes a routine.

    A 12 pack of beer a day is a fair amount and then would require that you eaither taper down a bit or get a detox, as you're likely (not guaranteed) to suffer withdrawals if you cimpletely stop.

    The problem you will find, as Joanna has mentioned, that your brain will have changed. What this in effect means, is that your brain, even if you get sober, will think about alcohol constantly. This eventually wears people down, as they try to ignore it and it becomes very tiring mentally, so muc so, that it is easier to cave in and get some alcohol. And then the process has begun again.

    Have a look at the link ADE posted and come back and let us know your thoughts.

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