Tomorrow is the day :-(

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After a few years of being in denial about my drinking, tomorrow is the day I go speak to the doctor and try get help.

I've been drinking 1-2 bottles of wine per day for the past few years now as I am slowly seeing how its taking its toll on my body. My skin is looking older, my hair has gone crap, my body repairs itself a lot slower, the weight gain is depressing, im sick of hiding how much i drink and more importantly - I dont feel healthy. I start drinking about 6pm every day until about 11pm where i wake up feeling ok, not hungover as such but my body is feeling the strain. I'm so fed up with it!

What shall I expect from my GP? I'm scared I'll be judged as a mother and as a person. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Danni

    Well done on asking for help. That's a huge step in the right direction. I know exactly how you feel about alcohol showing in your skin and hair. I can't say what the doctors will suggest but they definitely won't judge you. Good luck and I hope your appointment goes well x

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    • Posted

      Thanks lovely!! I’ve avoided it for so long coz eventually my goal is to adopt and I’ve been scared of the paper trail they might use against me but I’m getting worse and I need to concentrate on the now and the family I have. 

      Xxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Dannnii

    Hard to say what reaction you will get. Hopefully you know your GP a little & have some confidence in her/him as a person to expect a positive response from but in terms of knowledge re: problem drinking or alcoholism, I'm not sure how many GPS really understand alcohol issues. I class myself as a recovering alcoholic thru AA who has not drank now for a number of years but my GP was not helpful to me in this. They don't spend long in med school on this subject. But still you have to start somewhere so the GP is prob a good starting point & rwally dout you wI'll be openny judged but i do understand your concerns. You know the truth about your drinking. Can you still cut down with a little help? or do you need to stop entirely because your drinking is out of control & ruining your life? Only you know. By the time I realised I needed to stop it was too late I could not do so on my own strength. I needed help & AA helped me to understand I would never be able to drink normally or safely in future, so understanding my problem today I am happy & able with help to remain entirely abstinent. I would ask you to keep an open mind & if you feel your GP doesn't offer the right choices for you be prepared to look elsewhere for help too.

    All the best Dannnii. You are taking a brave step here but one you must if things are to change. Good luck for tomorrow

    Kind regards Marc

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    • Posted

      A lovely reply, Marc.  Experience of what worked for you but with an open mind that everyone is different.  Awesome, I love this!

       

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    • Posted

      Marc thank you so much, I appreciate your reply! Thanks lovely!! I’ve avoided it for so long coz eventually my goal is to adopt and I’ve been scared of the paper trail they might use against me but I’m getting worse and I need to concentrate on the now and the family I have. I can stop for a couple of days but those days are a battle against myself and I am narky and thinking about my next drink. I live right by a shop that sells alcohol until 12pm so I find that hard too. Again, i appreciat your help xx
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  • Posted

    Some GPs are very good, Dannnii, and will be looking to provide the best help to you that they can.  They may have experience in treating other patients with the same issue.

    Others are not very knowledgeable about dependency issues and may well leave you feeling like you have wasted their time.  This is unfortunate and shouldn't happen, but sadly it often does.  Many are not even aware that medically-assisted treatments are available, and may try to get you out of their office as fast as possible with the instructions to go to AA - as if there are no other options.  Whilst AA may or may not be suitable for you, by posting here you now know there are medically-assisted treatments approved on the NHS, as well as options for counselling support, and various other therapies that may be suitable for you, and so if your doctor is unwilling to help, then see my paragraph below as to what to do next.

    Assuming you are in the UK, many doctors are guided by their bosses (your local health authority) to refer patients to local services who are commissioned to provide care to those with both alcohol and drug dependency issues.  This is mainly because the NHS doesn't provide GPs with a budget to provide these services.  Instead, the NHS give the budget to specialist organisations to provide you with the care.  It is quite rare to live in an area where GPs are instructed to provide this care. If your GP seems unwilling, or unable to help, then please do ask for the relevant referral... or at least the phone number of the local alcohol recovery organisation so that you can self-refer yourself to them - which is often quicker than waiting for your GP to do the paperwork to refer you!

    Also, if you go to the NHS Choices website and search for 'alcohol misuse' there is a wonderful section about what treatments are available on the NHS for this condition.  It covers all the options of what the NHS can offer. I would definitely suggest that you read this before you attend any appointments so that you have the basics in your mind as to what your options might be.  The ideal goal is to have an informed discussion about the various options available and then, together with people who are employed to support you (whether that be your GP or specialist services), you can then begin to move forwards together with a plan.

    If you are in the US or elsewhere in the world, ignore all the above except for the 'having an informed discussion about what options are available to you' because that is valid, no matter where you might live biggrin

    Well done.  You've made the first little decision towards getting your life back to how you want it to be!  I wish you well and remember that this is not a one-size fits all approach - your eventual treatment plan should be tailored to you and if you feel one of the available options would suit you best, then don't be afraid to say that. 

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    • Posted

      Wow, what a response - thanks so much!!!! I have tried AA before but it didn’t help at all, I don’t feel I’m anywhere near on their level BUT that could be my future. I’ve avoided going the docs for so long coz eventually my goal is to adopt and I’ve been scared of the paper trail they might use against me but I’m getting worse and I need to concentrate on the now and the family I have. 

      Xxx

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  • Posted

    Do you know what...I'm proud of you!!! I was in that same boat and felt the same way you described. Monday will mark my 1 year sobriety and you can do it too!!!!

    Lots of love and encouragement being sent to you.

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    • Posted

      This actually made me tear up - thank you so much!!! I am not willing to allow this to control me anymore.

      Thank you and WOW, we’ll done you - you are my inspiration ❤️

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    • Posted

      Wov! What a result Smile! One year sober is amazing! Within 6 hours you have had some brilliant replies Dannii! Best of luck.
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  • Posted

    Hey Daannnii, I can appreciate what you are saying. I’m a single mum and I’m a similar boat to you,2-3 bottles of wine per night until my partner called me out on it... I’m down to 1 but it’s a struggle, your not alone.  You are being so brave going to see your GP , well done you... wish I could do that.  I can’t tell you what they will say but I’m sure you are making a very positive step. Wishing you all the luck x
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    • Posted

      It’s hard isn’t it hun. I really look forward to my wine every day, I hate that it plays such a  key role in my life. It’s just liquid, why does it control me so much ??🤬

      Plus the cost of it all! 🤦🏻??? Xxx 

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  • Posted

    Hey Dannnii

    Your story sounds so similar to mine. I’ve drunk 2+ bottles of wine a day or up to 3-4 boxes in a week for many yrs now. While I’ve not had tests, I do not think my liver is diseased, but I have the same issues as you with skin, hair, very depressing weight gain, and possible pancreatic symptoms, confusion, etc. 

    I too recently became so sick of the rut. 

    I just wentnto my Dr two weeks ago and I have some suggestions if you want to hear them.

    First of all...I really encourage you to see a psychiatrist for your needs. A general practitioner is generally just not highly experienced or trained in addictions and the meat and potatoes of what can help you. Generally, therapy is going to be a strongly recommended part of your recovery...so a psychiatrist can line you up with a therapist, maybe an IOP program, or even rehab if needed. Your GP can refer, sure....but a Pdoc is going to know the resources that will work for you best. 

    Second....no matter who you see...PLEASE ask about Naltrexone!!

    I went to my Pdoc specifically asking about it. I did a lot of research on it before my visit with him so I was informed ahead of time. I actually became a member here to ask ppl here about Naltrexone, and I also asked some friends I’ve known a while in recovery about it. There are SO many testimonies about Naltrexone being a ‘miracle’. That many people can’t be wrong. Though of course everyone isndifferent and yes, there are those for whom it did notnseem to help....I must attest that within TWO days of taking it...it changed the entire game for me.

    In went from that 1.5 liter bottle of wine per night (or a 5th of whiskey in 2-2.5 hrs) to only having like 4 glasses of wine in a whole week! I was trying to follow the Sinclair method (look it up!) where you actually do (‘try’ to) drink while taking Naltrexone so that you experience the much lower effects of alcohol with this combination.  Only I found that I almost had to play martyr and force myself to drink to follow it! So honestly...I went like 4 days without drinking or even wanting to! The second week I found that even if I did not take the med, I was not enflamed with cravings to drink and had a couple of says when I had neither the med nor a drink. I have drank a couple of times this week, but only 2 glasses at a time. A NORMAL level of drinking. 

    I do feel like I need to keep taking it though...definitely continue therapy (need to anyway, I have complex ptsd)...and I am also considering an IOP program. 

    I hope this gives you plenty of info to ask your Dr. about. Do NOT be afraid to take as much time as you need to ask as many questions as you must. Another reason to make the appt w a PsychDoc! 

    They can schedule more time for you than a general/family practioner will. 

    So.....talk to a PsychDoc.  Ask about therapy and IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program). DEF ask about Naltrexone (and the Sinclair method, even if you and your Dr decide not to approach things that way).  And congratulations on taking this step to help yourself!!

    I wish you the best! Let’s DO this!

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  • Posted

    Oh! I forgot one thing. (Sorry....I’m usu. an introvert). 

    Even with as much as I was drinking (about your level or a little more)....I had put myself to a test a few times and found that if I forced myself to not drink, I did NOT have physical withdrawal symptoms beyond the really bad anxiety (to point of panic attacks - also the ptsd talking).  I don’t know if you’ve recently put yourself to that same test. If you indeed would have physical withdrawals that could be dangerous then your situation would be different from mine. If you take Naltrexone (or especially Antabuse, which makes you violently ill if you touch alcohol) and suddenly do not drink, it is not going to prevent withdrawal symptoms. If you are physically addicted, you would still have those issues. That may mean that instead of making Naltrexone or Antabuse or even IOP your first step....that a few days in an inpatient detox setting would be best for you. (And maybe rehab following that).  Otherwise the danger of withdrawals outweighs the ‘miracle’ of the Naltrexone or other meds. Once you’d be detoxed and physical withdrawals are done, then you could still receive Naltrexone from a PsychDoc in an outpatient clinic (or even in rehab). 

    Again...yet another reason to make your appointment with a PsychDoc!

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