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I've a long standing issue with my alcohol consumption when I go out drinking and it has been the cause of most of the major problems I've experienced in my adult life (I am 30).
At the moment I am not drinking and I haven't in 30 days. Before that it was 90 days and I also did a 90 day stint earlier in the year. So basically in 2015 I have been officially ‘off the drink’ for 7 months.
The reason for this is that I have promised my wife and mother of my kids that I will not drink again. It's a promise I've made many times. I really struggle to accept I can no longer drink but at the same time my family is the most important thing in my life and are more important than drinking. I am living a constant struggle with this conundrum. Am I right to just give up drink altogether and hope the struggle will get easier? Do I go on as I have the last 5 years in that I try to stop, which I do successfully for a while but slowly but surely I weasel my way back onto it until eventually I have a major blow out on it? Or is there another way and maybe I could actually become a social drinker for the first time in my life?
Without drink I am rather shy in big groups and I go into myself a lot. So at social events when not drinking I become very paronoid and get down on myself that I am not in the clique. So I’d love to be able to social drink but it has never been that simple for me.
I read a post about potential medical support to manage alcohol consumption and I’d love to hear more about that if anyone has details
Here’s my story:
The basic summary is I am not a day to day drinker. I am a busy man with work and family life so I usually just drank beers on weekends and even this is fine when I am drinking at home or at a party. The big issue is if I go out on a night out with my mates or with my wife. If I got out on my own without my wife, it’s possible I won’t come home until really late because I am off drinking somewhere, when I come home it leads to arguments. Or worse I have also often gotten into trouble with people and even with the police for being too drunk and fighting. If I go out with my wife we often come home having massive arguments and I can be mentally abusive. She summarizes that she can count on two hands the amount of good nights we’ve had out together when I am drinking in the last 6 years. She’s probably right too!
Here’s the rest of my story for anyone interested:
As said I am 30. I’ve been drinking regularly for about 16 years. At no stage was I ever completely dependent on alcohol in the sense that I went to school and then into the workforce where I work Monday – Friday without needing a drink. There was about a 24 month period when a 5 year relationship with my ex-partner came to end and then meeting my wife and the birth of our first child when my drinking was an even bigger problem and it was rolling into the Monday as well and affecting my work. But after my child was born I curbed it back a bit (so that was about 5 years ago now). Cocaine was also part of my weekends at this point which didn’t help with my drinking issues but that was always just an add on and I haven’t taking drugs in years and have no desire to.
Since then I have generally just been a sit at home drinker. This drinking is not really a problem or too excessive. I’d have 5-10 beers at home on a Friday and Saturday night and be fine for doing things the next day and work the following week.
But the issue is really when I go out on the town drinking. If I go to the pub to watch a football match and it’s just ‘a few pints’ then I am usually fine to do this. But when it’s a proper night out on the town, especially when my guard is down and I feel comfortable drinking again because I haven’t gotten into trouble in recent times then that is when there is a massive potential that I go overboard, blackout and cause some level of destruction, for example, the big two this year:
In march I was in the city with friends and I attacked someone which resulted in myself
A) Being arrested and charged with assault (where I had to pay a fine to avoid conviction) and
B) During the struggle with police I fractured my shoulder which is still not fully healed.
In September this year I was out with my wife and we got into a big argument because I was lashing back drink and dancing with a female work colleague and then when we got home I smashed up her smartphone and jumped down the stairs.
The two examples above I don’t remember in any detail as I had blacked out so I am only going on what I have pieced back together.
So as you can see I am a destructive drinker. I don’t really remember me ever being a social drinker. I mentioned above that drinking at home is usually fine but its fine because I am able to control myself a lot better and ‘drink with the brakes on’. I could just as easily say ‘feck it’ and drink myself into oblivion, there is a voice inside me that would love nothing more than to do that every day it seems.
From reading this you might say “just stay off the drink” and this is what I am trying to do but it’s really difficult. I tried AA and went about twice a week after the September incident, but I struggle with the higher power end of things and it didn’t do me much help in the end because I went out at the end of november with work colleagues and had 6 pints the same day I went to a meeting. Nothing bad happened that night and it was a really good night and it would be ideal to be able to drink like this all the time, but I really put the brakes on that night because I had told my wife I wouldn’t drink at all so I was very conscious of my drinking and had the breaks on and did things like skip rounds and alternative with soft drinks. I have never found the discipline to drink with the brakes on all the time, there is always the potential after I get comfortable with my drinking again that I will go overboard eventually and there is no two ways about it will happen again if I start the same cycle again.
In addition, I think the timeframe between me going back on the drink to having a big blow out is getting shorter. So either the ‘illness is progressing’ or maybe because I have deprived myself for long periods of time that when I am giving the pass to drink again I abuse this pass quicker and quicker each time.
I actually don’t mind that my drinking has been cut way back this year. I’ve lost about 6kg without doing any working out or change in eating habbits so there are health benefits! But I’d love to have the option of being able to have a few drinks from time to time, for example, at social events.
I read a post about potential medical support, would anyone know by the sounds of my story if I would be a candidate for it?
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