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Hiding it with alcohol?

AspieChris

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Anyone else covering it up with alcohol or ‘other’ mind numbing substances?

I’ve been a person who lives in a NT world for 5 decades. Got a great job, great wife (who understands), awesome child (also an Aspie at 15 years old), and I’m desperately trying to turn off the noise when I get home from work every day. I’ve been doing this off and on for 30years.

This is not a question about addiction, It’s only a question about bad solutions to a problem that has no solution.

It’s not a solution except that it solves a problem that has no solution. Test me for alcohol right now and I’m just a drunk….? Or am I just a desperate man who would rather numb my senses than lose my mind and wind up mumbling to myself until I’m homeless? My family needs me to bring home a paycheck and teach my son to ride a bicycle.

I know that I’m not alone. I’m hoping that there’s someone else that is struggling with a. similar problem.

Whatever your solution might be. I promise you I have tried it and it hasn’t worked. I’m only asking if I’m not alone.
 

MNAus

Well-Known Member
You're not alone mate. I've never got to a stage where alcohol causes real damage, but definitely recognise it's a little too easy to use as a way of turning down the volume and that it's not a decent solution. I wish I had answers, but there seems to be a chasm between whatever would actually help and what is required of you as breadwinner, parent, partner. I know how it feels to need to escape the stress, the pressure, the noise, but that you're obliged to be there because, well, if you're not, it all collapses. You need to find a way of letting yourself off the hook and feeling that it is a positive thing to do so. Your current approach has reached the end of its usefulness.
 

AspieChris

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
You're not alone mate. I've never got to a stage where alcohol causes real damage, but definitely recognise it's a little too easy to use as a way of turning down the volume and that it's not a decent solution. I wish I had answers, but there seems to be a chasm between whatever would actually help and what is required of you as breadwinner, parent, partner. I know how it feels to need to escape the stress, the pressure, the noise, but that you're obliged to be there because, well, if you're not, it all collapses. You need to find a way of letting yourself off the hook and feeling that it is a positive thing to do so. Your current approach has reached the end of its usefulness.
Thank you for your response. I’ve been wanting to post this for a while, without outing myself as a “drunk”… But the ‘chasnm’ you refer to looks as wide as the Grand Canyon. I go back and forth from being a person who is hiding and awesome, to being the guy that nobody cares is slurring his words because he gets stuff done.
 

AspieChris

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Going to sleep now. Tomorrow I’ll wake up with not much of a memory of why I finally pulled the trigger and started this thread…. and happy I finally did.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Sometimes we roll thru life just great, other times we dull our over sense of sensitivity. You get my drift or the flood hopefully of what l am conveying.
 

MNAus

Well-Known Member
While you rest, I'll say this. First up, you KNOW that it exacerbates things. So if there IS another path, that's surely got to be better, right? That would be a no brainer, surely?

I think a lot of high performing Aspies have work life balance problem. Not traditional ideas of work, like the 9-5, but work as in effort.

A lot of use who weren't diagnosed till later have spent most of our lives compensating for a disability, and that has made us outstandingly good at getting things done. Our brains are like the tool box with a tool for (nearly) every occasion. Got a problem? I'll open up the tool box and sort it out. Whatever it is. Anything. Because that's how we grew up. Our ability to get along depended entirely on working out what the problem was, working out how to fix things, then solving the problem. We were kind of like geocentrists around our heliocentric peers when it came to social norms, etc. Our models needed bewildering levels of energy to work, we maybe even prided ourselves on our talent. We supercharged our ability to cope, to survive, to solve.

But that doesn't work long term. It's tiring and like a tidal wave of tribbles, the small problems just build. But we don't let ourselves off the hook, we rev the brain engine up higher, to just fix things, just fix everything. EVERYTHING. We are playing 5 dimensional whack-a-mole. People come to depend on us, even lean back a little because we're the fixers. But it will kill us. We have to let things fall sometimes. We have to let people fail. We have to say "Nope, it's my hour off, someone else needs to do it." As painful as it might be you have to let others be unhappy and inconvenienced.

The approach you have has brought you spectacularly far, and kudos to you for doing that. But it no longer works. You have to let yourself off the hook.
 

kenaij

AQ score: 38, Aspie Score: asp 142/200 nt 58/200
To a point yes. I don`t drink every day when I get out of work. But I prefer to drink at birthdays to get an edge of. I never get drunk. But I can balans it perfectly at a point where it relaxes me enough that I can get through it, without losing control.
But I completely understand. If it was not for my wife who has had bad experiences with an alcoholic dad I would probably also drink more.
 

Bolletje

Overly complicated potato
V.I.P Member
I mostly used alcohol to function in social situations. Take off the inhibitions so I socialize more smoothly. Preferably have a drink or two before going to a party.

Work parties without alcohol are something I used to dread.

I’m better at socializing without alcohol, and I’ve all but stopped drinking because of a partner with a very serious alcohol addiction.
I previously liked to use alcohol to unwind, but thankfully I’ve learned how to do that sober.
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of the Jigglypuff Army
V.I.P Member
A lot of people cover up their problems by drinking. My abuser did this after I became an adult and she became extremely abusive towards me and got away with it for the most part because she wasn’t beating me up and leaving bruises on my body (she mainly just slapped my face which actually doesn’t bruise as easily as you’d think) and it was more emotional and verbal abuse. The drinking definitely affected me both mentally and financially as she used my money to buy bottles of wine and to spend at the bar where her friend worked. I had actually seen her do this and she claimed that she would put it back after she got her paycheck but I can never be sure that was true. She always kept the money on her.
 

AspieChris

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
While you rest, I'll say this. First up, you KNOW that it exacerbates things. So if there IS another path, that's surely got to be better, right? That would be a no brainer, surely?

I think a lot of high performing Aspies have work life balance problem. Not traditional ideas of work, like the 9-5, but work as in effort.

A lot of use who weren't diagnosed till later have spent most of our lives compensating for a disability, and that has made us outstandingly good at getting **** done. Our brains are like the tool box with a tool for (nearly) every occasion. Got a problem? I'll open up the tool box and sort it out. Whatever it is. Anything. Because that's how we grew up. Our ability to get along depended entirely on working out what the problem was, working out how to fix things, then solving the problem. We were kind of like geocentrists around our heliocentric peers when it came to social norms, etc. Our models needed bewildering levels of energy to work, we maybe even prided ourselves on our talent. We supercharged our ability to cope, to survive, to solve.

But that doesn't work long term. It's tiring and like a tidal wave of tribbles, the small problems just build. But we don't let ourselves off the hook, we rev the brain engine up higher, to just fix things, f**ing fix everything. EVERYTHING. We are playing 5 dimensional whack-a-mole. People come to depend on us, even lean back a little because we're the fixers. But it will kill us. We have to let things fall sometimes. We have to let people fail. We have to say "Nope, it's my hour off, someone else needs to do it." As painful as it might be you have to let others be unhappy and inconvenienced.

The approach you have has brought you spectacularly far, and kudos to you for doing that. But it no longer works. You have to let yourself off the hook.
Yeah, there’s my life in print. I felt like what you wrote came from inside my head.

Dunno how to make changes though. For example (and I’m making this up):

I can’t live without my house or my wife and kids. They’re everything to me. But she wants desperately to have another child. Having the first one practically killed me from the stress. I wouldn’t change anything now but having a screaming baby in the house was murder.

Arguing with her is murder too. It’s destroying me slowly. Something will change, even if that something is me drinking myself into an early grave.

She leaves me to find someone who will give her another child, my life falls apart. Sell the house, split time with my son, pension gets split two ways. But if she stays… I get to have a miserable argument almost daily with a woman I love more than life itself, and my son gets to watch it all happen.

———-

This is fictional. She’s menopausal, no chance of children. But I encounter these types of complicated situations that have no real answer every day. Some huge, some tiny. My life has been set up wrong (thanks to my worthless parents), but it’s good. It’s complicated but really good, and I desperately want to NOT screw it up.

Unfortunately, alcohol has worked for 25 years. Lately it’s been working ’a lot’. I’m not blind to the giant cliff at the end of this road, but it always feels like I have more time to find another solution. And hopefully there might be an off-ramp coming up that I didn’t see on the map.
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
I used to be a huge drinker when I was younger but strangely never developed an addiction. I never married or had kids so I can't relate to that side of your situation but alcohol was a very necessary tool for me. Without it I was too sensitive to socialise.

When I was in my 40s I had a massive burn out and walked out of my life, literally. Ran away to live in the rainforest like Robinson Carusoe and it took me a long time to start becoming social again. Living in the bush with no people around I had no need or desire for alcohol, now that I'm becoming more social again I find it is once again required.

Something to watch out for as you get older - your metabolism slows down. It doesn't take as much to get you pissed and it's more difficult to find that balance between sociability and drunkenness.
 

AspieChris

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I used to be a huge drinker when I was younger but strangely never developed an addiction. I never married or had kids so I can't relate to that side of your situation but alcohol was a very necessary tool for me. Without it I was too sensitive to socialise.

When I was in my 40s I had a massive burn out and walked out of my life, literally. Ran away to live in the rainforest like Robinson Carusoe and it took me a long time to start becoming social again. Living in the bush with no people around I had no need or desire for alcohol, now that I'm becoming more social again I find it is once again required.

Something to watch out for as you get older - your metabolism slows down. It doesn't take as much to get you pissed and it's more difficult to find that balance between sociability and drunkenness.
Yeah. I’m older now. My body isn’t processing alcohol as well as it did in my 20’s. Ironically though…. I’m 10x more functional when drinking than I was 20 years ago. My life is less hectic than it was back then. I take medication for some significant nerve damage in my spine. It’s probably having an effect on how I feel when drinking.
 

Richelle-H

Autocosmic Reality Tester
V.I.P Member
I relate to what you have written because it might be a description of my fathers inner landscape when I was growing up. My memories as a pre-teen and teenager was watching my father come home every night and down two double-martinis. He would have horrible rows with my mother in their bedroom once and a while, and they would cut me as deeply as they did my mother.

There were four of us, besides my mother, and I am sure he drank due to stress. But...

Here is the end of his story, not that it will help you much, and apologies if what I am about to write adds more fuel to feed your distress. He was a functional alcoholic for some 40 years, finally only stopping when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is what killed him. I am sure he had undiagnosed Asperger's, for there are too many signs of autism in all of his progeny, but he was married to my mother for over 40 years until she passed away in 1984 when she was in her early 60s. My father managed about another 18 years without her, but his last 5 years were grim.

Have you tried focused meditation. Stress is as much a killer as alcohol, and while those daily drink-until-you-cannot-feel-anything bouts may help you cope, the price-tag comes with hidden physical costs. You know this and are obviously looking for a way out. That is a good first step: recognizing and admitting that you have a problem.

I hope you can take the next step and seek some help if you cannot find it within yourself to cope without alcohol. I watched it slowly kill my father while it transferred his stress to my mother. She was my role model, as she never complained, never let on that there was anything wrong. She was a true stoic of the highest order, but I am quite sure that my fathers drinking helped to shorten her life as well.

I feel for you and I ask forgiveness if reading this has added any stress not already present. I truly hope you find a way out of your personal quagmire.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
You are basically a high functioning alcoholic from what you are describing. You basically have to go to the hospital while you are weaned off, and medically observed. Then maybe you can start a exercise program to substitute for the alcohol. But you need to detox first. We had a guy come to the liquor store who needed his fix daily. It took 3 weeks because he also had a blood infection. You could also just go talk to a general practitioner and tell him you are ready to change, what steps do l need to go thru to make this happen. I am not a medical professional and everything mentioned here should be followed up with your GP so as to create a safe medical outcome and give you a chance at the life you wish to have.
 
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AspieChris

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have stopped drinking before. Cold turkey. No withdrawals except for a hangover on the first day. I quit once from 25 beers per night. Once or twice from about a liter of gin or whiskey every night. Each time the drinking had gone on for years. I never had a problem quitting except that I had to deal with life in color again. No doubt it’s why I’m right back here again.

My goal this time is to taper down over time. Maybe 2-3 weeks. Life is really difficult and it’s more for me about having a sanctuary to look forward to each day. I have never had cravings during the day for booze. My world is chaotic. The stress builds. I’m desperate by the time I get home for a place to go that is not only quiet, but satisfies my responsibilities as a husband/father/homeowner. That sanctuary is inside my head after a lot of liquor.

Sounds horrible right? It’s actually not that bad. And hangovers are not at all difficult, even helpful at times. I cannot even think about anyone else’s crap when I’m barely handling my own. And my wife would prefer I didn’t embarrass myself occasionally in front of our son or neighbors, but she sort of enjoys me on alcohol. I’m funny, patient, willing to sit through a movie she picked and enjoy it (instead of going outside to work on something that can wait), all the good stuff she wants in a husband. How do I know? She hears me via text from work that I’m stressing and the cocktail is waiting at the door when I get home.

I need a better outlet. Meditation is way worse because I have so much garbage bouncing around in my head that ‘quiet’ time is like Chinese water torture .
 
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AspieChris

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I relate to what you have written because it might be a description of my fathers inner landscape when I was growing up. My memories as a pre-teen and teenager was watching my father come home every night and down two double-martinis. He would have horrible rows with my mother in their bedroom once and a while, and they would cut me as deeply as they did my mother.

There were four of us, besides my mother, and I am sure he drank due to stress. But...

Here is the end of his story, not that it will help you much, and apologies if what I am about to write adds more fuel to feed your distress. He was a functional alcoholic for some 40 years, finally only stopping when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is what killed him. I am sure he had undiagnosed Asperger's, for there are too many signs of autism in all of his progeny, but he was married to my mother for over 40 years until she passed away in 1984 when she was in her early 60s. My father managed about another 18 years without her, but his last 5 years were grim.

Have you tried focused meditation. Stress is as much a killer as alcohol, and while those daily drink-until-you-cannot-feel-anything bouts may help you cope, the price-tag comes with hidden physical costs. You know this and are obviously looking for a way out. That is a good first step: recognizing and admitting that you have a problem.

I hope you can take the next step and seek some help if you cannot find it within yourself to cope without alcohol. I watched it slowly kill my father while it transferred his stress to my mother. She was my role model, as she never complained, never let on that there was anything wrong. She was a true stoic of the highest order, but I am quite sure that my fathers drinking helped to shorten her life as well.

I feel for you and I ask forgiveness if reading this has added any stress not already present. I truly hope you find a way out of your personal quagmire.
No worries. Thank you for sharing your story. I don’t want to end up like your father.
 

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