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New to AA? Got questions? Here's the place to ask. Note that no one person speaks "officially" for AA. AA meetings in your local area are always the best source of information. Note that anyone may post and reply to messages in this forum.
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Niagara
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Hello

Post by Niagara »

New here

Think I have a problem. Others are telling me I don't, and 'can drink occasionally' but I know deep down that that's not going to work. Every night, I crave a drink. Sometimes, i can stick to one or two glasses, other times, it's a whole wine box. I've never been in trouble with the police, but I can (and do) run off at the mouth when I've had too much. Sometimes I'm a happy drunk, sometimes, I sit and cry. I drink, when I get down, upset, angry, fed up, bored. It's 'my treat', and 'my right' to have a drink on a night, it feels like I have little else to look forwards to. Or that's how I've been justifying it to myself.
I do have anxiety and depression, and sometimes feel the only way i can relax is to have a drink.
Lately, I'm trying to cut down to a glass or two, on a couple of nights of the week, but this is difficult for me. Difficult in a couple of ways - one, not to have a drink in the first place, and two, it's hard to stop at 'one or two'. Oh, I've had one or two, one more won't kill me....kind of thing.
I've spent money on booze, that we didn't have. not just me, my husband buys it, but he's not a drinker in the same way as I am. One or two max, and he can leave it alone, plus doesn't feel the need to drink every night. I sort the bills out, so I manage to 'find it from elsewhere'. Yet I struggle to buy new clothing, or afford a night out.
Now, he's taken up 'homebrewing' as a hobby....and is keen for me to get involved.
One night recently, he was at work, no wine, i ended up drinking some shaoxing cooking rice wine. Just to relax. That's not right, is it, really.
Something goes wrong, I crave a drink. Things are going well? I deserve a drink. So many excuses, just to have that drink.

I would like to think that I can stop at any time, but I'm coming to the realization that I may well be kidding myself there, and if I continue in the same way I am, then who knows how bad things are going to get.

And I don't know how to do this, without the support from those around me. I am so confused and overwhelmed, right now.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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ann2
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Re: Hello

Post by ann2 »

Hi Niagara, welcome :)

What you describe -- the physical craving -- is one of the symptoms of alcoholism. As an alcoholic, my body reacts to alcohol in my system by demanding more.

It's possible to put myself somewhere so I am forced to abstain and thus short-circuit that reaction. However, my problems don't end once I remove the alcohol. That's when the mental element of alcoholism kicks in. My mind becomes obsessed with thinking about drinking. Eventually the inner pressure succeeds and I drink -- maybe planning on "just one". Sadly once that one is in me, I lose any control and the physical reaction takes over.

I thought I was more or less doomed until I went to my first meeting of AA. The lady who spoke at the beginning of the meeting had the same back story as me, amazingly enough and was just one year older than me. She was celebrating 1 year sobriety and I got hope that I could do that too.

I kept going to meetings and hearing more about other AA members, how they got to AA and how it helped them. You can read some shares here in the forums from members who talk about their own experiences and what happened to them, and also check out personal stories of e-AA group members here http://www.e-aa.org/group_stories.php

AA was right there when I needed it and I hope you let us be there for you.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Niagara
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Re: Hello

Post by Niagara »

Thank you Ann

I'm looking at local groups in my area now. As someone with social anxiety who is also a recovering agoraphobic, it's a wee bit daunting (as in, terrifying) but I think I have more chance of succeeding in this, with people who know where I'm coming from and who are supportive.

I totally do not know what to expect at the groups, and there also seems to be several different types. Also, a donation system (pass the hat around?) What is the recommended donation for this kind of thing. I would rather go prepared and knowing what to expect, than feel like I messed up somehow and avoid going again. I am in the UK, if that makes any difference.

Thanks again x
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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avaneesh912
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Re: Hello

Post by avaneesh912 »

In the US, they ask for a buck or two. But don't worry about it, if you can't, they will not force you to.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

Lali
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Re: Hello

Post by Lali »

Welcome, Niagara. Since I am not from the UK, I cannot share with you what the format of a meeting would be. I know that in the States, it can vary a bit from group to group.

Your husband's hobby could be problematic for you in early sobriety. Is this something he does from your home?
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

BigB
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Re: Hello

Post by BigB »

Welcome Niagara.

You mention a dilemma that many problem drinkers face: Am I really an alcoholic and do I need to go to meetings? Let's face it: most of us at the beginning never wanted to (....at least I never did because I knew I had a problem at 19) With that said, you come to a point where you know something isn't quite right. There are functional alcoholics out there that know they have a problem although are not interested in any kind of help. Somehow, they can drink heavily without needing to go to AA. Then there is the type that has to go to meetings because their drinking has reached a level beyond which there is no return. You could always go to a few open meetings and see if you can relate to what people are saying. Then you can decide where you want to go with it. Ultimately, this is YOUR life and it would likely help if you had some kind of direction.

All the best!

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Niagara
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Re: Hello

Post by Niagara »

Yes Lali, it is.

Thanks for the advice all x
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

Mike O
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Re: Hello

Post by Mike O »

Hi Niagara,

The first thing I did when I realised that I probably needed help with my drinking was to get in touch with A.A. online as you've done here.

I was directed to reading our book Alcoholics Anonymous which is also known as The Big Book.

I read it and it changed my whole life. It showed me that I was, in fact, an alcoholic but it also provided the solution in the 12 steps.

I bought a copy from Amazon, but you can read it for free here:

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous

Give it a look.

I'm also incidentally in the UK.

Welcome to our group. Hope you'll stick around.

-Mike :D

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Niagara
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Re: Hello

Post by Niagara »

I think I'll order a physical copy. I can never quite settle down to reading on a screen for some reason.

Haven't had a drink tonight, but I'm struggling with that, if I'm honest. Orange juice...just not the same.

How do I even begin to discuss this with my husband? I feel so ashamed, like it's got to be hidden. Same with the meetings...how do I keep that secret from people? Should I even try to?

How long are these meetings anyway roughly? 1 hour? it doesn't say on the website about meeting times and places, only the start times.

I feel so tense, it's horrible.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

Mike O
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Re: Hello

Post by Mike O »

Niagara wrote:I think I'll order a physical copy. I can never quite settle down to reading on a screen for some reason.
Me neither.

This is the one I bought:

link to non-AA website deleted by a moderator in accordance with our link policy, please pm the poster for the link.

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Niagara
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Re: Hello

Post by Niagara »

Today is my second day of not having a drink.

I'm feeling pretty grotty, honestly. My head hurts, I feel nauseous, shaky and 'stressy'. Also really tired, but sleep is scanty, at best. I'm trying to eat, and drink plenty of water. My concentration is pretty lousy too.

When I 'decided to cut down' over the last few weeks, I also felt this way. I had put it down to, hay fever, anxiety, sickening for something, or just plain old depression.

I'm expecting it to last at LEAST 4 days, which is how long I went between drinks last time. What is a realistic figure for this please, anyone?
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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ann2
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Re: Hello

Post by ann2 »

I've heard it described as like a flu, only not so bad.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Niagara
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Re: Hello

Post by Niagara »

It's my sons birthday on wednesday. Traditionally in my family, all the family come over, the adults have a good old drink and the kids play. Normally the host provides the booze. I'm unsure whether to provide for everyone else, and hope I can avoid, or just not get any in, in the first place, and risk people being if not angry, then certainly a little disgruntled (rude not to provide for your guests, kind of thing)

Thankfully, my husband doesn't have any home made stuff ready to go, at the moment.

I'm already saying to myself now, well, you can have a drink and start again after the party.....and this is how it's been going for quite some time. I never manage to stick to quitting for one reason or another, be that weekend, party, friends over, upset, happy, movie night. You know?
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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Blue Moon
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Re: Hello

Post by Blue Moon »

Niagara wrote: I totally do not know what to expect at the groups, and there also seems to be several different types. Also, a donation system (pass the hat around?) What is the recommended donation for this kind of thing. I would rather go prepared and knowing what to expect, than feel like I messed up somehow and avoid going again. I am in the UK, if that makes any difference.
Until you decide you're a member, the "correct" thing is not to put anything in, and nobody will mind. But if it feels better, you could just put in £1 - that's what most of the others will be doing.

For the different formats - "Closed" is for anyone who thinks they might have a problem with alcohol ... generally everyone introduces themselves (e.g. "I'm Ian, alcoholic"). "Open" is for anyone interested in alcoholism, those shouldn't have the personal-intro.

I would not bother with any "Step" or "12&12" meetings at this stage. You want a Beginner / Newcomer meeting, or maybe a "Closed Discussion"-type. Most of the meetings where I sobered up (in Dorset) were about 1hr15 long, more than 1/2 of which was taken up by the "main share" where someone shares their experience.

It's OK to let people know you're new. We get new people all the time.

As for parties ... do they have to be at your place? How would that work if you were sick?
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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Niagara
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Re: Hello

Post by Niagara »

If I was sick, since it's my son, I'd just have to get up and get on with it.....that's just the way my family works.

Thanks for the advice re. groups, always helps to know what to expect :)
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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