Advice welcome as I start on this journey

Hi,

My name is Alex I’m 35 from the U.K married with two wonderful children.

My last drink was on the 27th of September. I went out with guys from work for a meal and a drink. Short story it ended messy for me, I drank all through the night in bars and did not return home until 7:30 in the mornin, missed work and the world came crashing down.

This story is not uncommon for me it’s my cycle of abuse with drink.

I am not the stereotypical alcoholic people imagine up. I can have two beers and go to bed with 4 beers left in the fridge. I can have two pints then drive home and not drink anymore when I get home. BUT! If I go past a certain point I lose all control and will carry on abusing until there is nowhere left to go and get a drink.

I will also do anything whilst drunk in terms of drugs, getting into fights and promiscuous behaviours.

This cycle has lost me jobs and potential careers, lost me friends and even lead me to prison on one occasion (could have been more than once).

I built my life back up and managed to get a career a wonderful partner and start a family. During the last 10 years there have been numerous occasions were I could have destroyed all that but by luck or a guardian angel (depending on your perspective) I have not!

I do know that I am on borrowed time however and if I do not get this monkey off my back once and for all I will at some point destroy that which is so precious to me.

Last year I joined AA and was sober for almost a year. I felt like the AA did not always talk to someone with my type of addiction issue but I can not get away from the fact that whilst I went I did not drink and that period of ye was the longest since been a teenager.

I have been reading about SMART Recovery and the techniques they use and my searching also brought me here.

Thanks for reading and any advice is welcome :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi i can relate to bits of your story I was attending aa it definitely helped me getting clean and soba then slowly i cut back on meetings and before i knew it I was back out there relapsing. Maybe get yourself back to aa I know that I need to go back to keep myself free of my addiction x

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Maybe try a meeting again seemed to work for a year wish you well

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HI Alex. Am just curious what you mean by your type of addiction issue? I only ask bc for this drunk, once I put a drink in me I was never guaranteed of the outcome. Sure sometimes it was nothing. Others it was an epic bender with the wreckage to show for it. There were bottles left unopened in my house for years. Others didn’t last five minutes. And everything in between.

While details may be different from others, for this Goat, that doesn’t mean that I am not an alcoholic suffering from the same disease that the mom who drinks too much wine or the bum on the park bench.

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Hi Alex welcome. I’m Geoff from the UK and I’m an alcoholic.
Goats touched on what I was going to say about AA.
The thing to do is see the similarities between you and other people’s experiences. Not the difference.
Ultimately the main aim for all who hit the rooms is to be sober. So differences don’t come into it.
That said I understand that SMART is good as well.
Anyway, hang around, and read. There is so much information and advice on here.

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I suppose I mean that SMART Recovery seems more accessible and workable for someone at my stage of addiction? (Maybe a better fescrpitor).

SMART recovery talks about sflf empowerment and the unique journey of recovery that works for you whilst the AA talks like it’s literally the only way to stay sober. I have no issue with the god aspect because I believe in God and attend church but I’m not sure it’s god’s job but rather the free will mind each of us have. I like the idea of utilising cognitive behavioural therapy tools to address the issue and come at it from a scientific based approach (perhaps because I’m an engineer so I like process).

SMART also say that using a 12 step program or anything else is fine too as it’s personal to each individual tackling there addiction issues. Some stuff was unworkable for me such as 90 meetings in 90 days.

But as I say in my intro story, whilst attending AA meetings I never drank once which was almost a year so I’m certainly not discrediting AA at all and perhaps if I reached the point that I’d lost everything and not a day went by that I did not drink the 90 meetings in 90 days would be an obvious position to take.

Hope this helps and apologies if offence was caused

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Thanks for the advice NATnat :slightly_smiling_face: I have a few things to consider including going back to AA

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I’m sorry to be blunt but you say that you are not an alcoholic like what people imagine, yes you are right that’s because your an addict, we all are, there is no good or bad addiction, an addict is someone who is doing something that they want to stop but can’t. We share the same mental battles the same emotions, I could also leave a beer in the fridge because its there for another day. It really is the strength and will of you that will get you through this not divine intervention. Though I am hugely impressed with the courage of those that go to meetings I just use complete and utter stubborness and the choice I made is to stay sober and stop taking drugs. I wish you well on your journey and you will find so much support on here. But please accept you are just like everyone of us so all advice is relevant to you. Be strong.

Hi Dolse, what I meant by that is societys predefined judgemental notion of what an alcoholic is i.e. the guy in the park with the bottle of cheap booze. I think we are saying the same thing because that’s what I was alluding to, that I may not be a homeless man in a park but I’m an addict and I am incapable of always drinking how I intended or how I would like.

And in terms of AA I like yourself am looking into how plausible it is to stay sober without going to AA meetings.

I totally accept that I am like everyone else in terms of the root cause is that I suffer from addiction, but everyone’s story, experiences and cycle of use is different.

Thanks for your advice :slightly_smiling_face:

I hope I didn’t offend you but if you thought yourself different you would have found it very hard to relate… I can’t relate to people on here who have a problem with sex, at what point do you think I’m having to much sex… but I can relate to addiction. The main thing is you are here and we will all help you, if it gets too hard pick up this app, you will never be alone.

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First, no offense taken.

I am just trying to understand where you are coming from and what you see your stage of addiction as being. As someone who is uberlogical as well, I have had to work hard to understand my issues and not always the way people expect you to figure them out in AA, with my therapist, sober coach, or others on here. FWIW, when I started this path, I was told by several counseling professionals that I was never going to get sober b/c I was too smart and logical b/c i didn’t blindly accept what someone was selling me.

I am not knocking or criticizing any other programs, b/c i believe and my experience has shown me that the bedrock of any recovery program or recovery worth having is founded on brutal self-honesty as the first step. Yes people have to find their own way, but I beleive that there are some navigational buoys that we have to stay within in order to not only get and stay sober, but grow as human beings.

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No I didn’t get offended I must admit the first part of your reply I was like here we go but once I digested what you were saying I agreed. I agree the root cause is no different i.e. addiction but for me it makes more sense that it manifests differently or everyones cycle of behaviours would be the same. that’s maybe why SMART Recovery seems to make sense from the initial reading on the approach.

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I’m certainly not knocking AA mate not one bit and I think the 12 steps are tried and tested. I’m currently reading the book on the 12 steps by Russel brand, all I’m saying is for me I’m wondering and researching what else is available. I came across SMART and it seems worthy of further reading.

you should resolve to just not drink at all. But view it as one day at a time. For me if i drink its like a game of russian roulet- maybe i’ll just have a couple drinks, maybe i’ll have a bunch and pass out on the floor. who knows? and who knows if it will lead to a cycle of abuse again? also as others have said, if AA worked for you, try another meeting again.

Thanks Nicole that metaphor really helps to express the issue I have with booze and I will at some point use it I’m sure.

Also, I’m certain I will attend a meeting at some point for sure and I have also looked at SMART recovery meetings in my area as well.

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I have been having those little.niggling thoughts about booze lately so decided to ready first post when I shared my story. This has helped me to focus on why I quit and how low I was after my last drink.

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