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I’m an Alcoholic!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Totallysteff, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. Totallysteff

    Totallysteff I'm not sick. I'm just weird! V.I.P Member

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    One of the ways that I have coped with my variety of different was to drink. Drinking is something I would do to help ease my nerves, and blend in. I never did manage to do either thing, but I did manage to have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I’m not sure why I’m posting this, except for the fact that it feels important.
     
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  2. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's not surprising given what we have to put up with in life.

    I use quitting blogs to cut down/regain some control over it, they have lots of useful tips.
     
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  3. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    A book I've read that I would recommend is - Drinking, Drug Use and Addiction in the Autism Community by Ann Palmer and Elizabeth Kunreuther

    I too was an alcoholic for many years. Whilst I quit drink and cannabis at the same time, I've recently started smoking again. As for alcohol though - I wouldn't want to go back there. With weed, I've quit 3 times now, each one for over a year. But I always went back because I fundamentally enjoyed the experience.

    Drinking though - I used that to fill a gap, during a period of smoking abstinence. The feelings from alcohol are very different, and the hangovers, which eventually led to regular migraines were too much for me. Behaviours when drunk, and memory loss from being blackout drunk etc. were all very risky behaviours which eventually led me to quit.

    I can't really frame alcohol in any sort of positive light any more. I didn't start drinking until my late 20's. The first time I drank, I got alcohol poisoning, at the age of 17. I didn't touch the stuff again for a very long time. Even to this day, when I see drunk people - they annoy me. It reminds me of how obnoxious and erratic I used to be when I was drunk.

    But, we all have a means to cope, or unwind, or fit in. That book is worth a read though - it's quite eye opening.

    Ed
     
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  4. TryingtoLearn

    TryingtoLearn New Member

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    I've been thinking a lot about this recently. I can go a long time without a drink, went about 2 years not drinking.

    But if I don't drink I don't socialise.

    If I try and socialise without alcohol I don't speak much outside my interests, and I might not speak much at all. But after a few drinks I can be lively and fun.

    I wish I could flick a switch to make myself more sociable without alcohol but I haven't quite figured that bit out yet.
     
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  5. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    It dawned on me that if one only has a good time around a person when habitually drinking then it is time to find a new person(s). Bless the situation which involves drinking with a goodbye, and move on.
     
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  6. TryingtoLearn

    TryingtoLearn New Member

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    I had been thinking of approaching the issue that way - if I try to find a new set of friends without alcohol, then that could help.

    But then I looked hard at myself and realised without alcohol I don't really socialise well. So if I do try to find new friends they will probably get bored about me obsessing about my interests. After a drink I am more able to engage in "normal" discussions.

    Also I've realised I hardly ever feel happy unless I've had a drink, then suddenly I can become happy. Been told I should get some antidepressants soon - I wonder if I will be more sociable once I've started those or not.
     
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  7. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    It’s an extremely difficult thing to do because it involves changing so much of what at first seemed positive. Luckily I didn’t find it hatd to stop having alcohol. It isn’t all that tasty to me.
    The reality is (for me) that the hard physical & emotional intentional losing of that ‘identity’ is important. It requires me to be courageous - which I’m not good at - but trying anyway. The only way I can handle change is to add a new activity, new identity. I substitute (something healthy) for the loss. Physical exercise is my way. Off I go on a walk-run - or weight wotkouts at the gym. There are ways to find a community of people who bond over non-alcohol activities. Exercise is way better at chasing off depression than anti-depressants. I’m not saying to ignore your doctor. (mine said a long time ago that I need to be running an hour a day)
     
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  8. TryingtoLearn

    TryingtoLearn New Member

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    Funnily enough some of that seems to align with a bit of what I was thinking. I didn't realise I was that much affected by ASD until very recently (without help from any doctors).

    I'm just starting to understand and accept ASD, and it seems like I almost need to rebuild a new identity. But I have no idea what the new identity will be. Part of me feels like maybe I need to try to start life all over again, but I'm 40 years old already and I've already failed and lost most opportunities in life (friendships, romance, jobs) I've already failed badly so haven't got 40 years to learn and try again. I feel like this is my last chance to hit life hard again but I'm totally stuck on what to do.

    For last few years I would occasionally read up on forums like this and my mindset was more aligning with people people who had been diagnosed but did not want to be changed. I've finally got to the point of accepting I need to change myself but very stuck on what I should be changing.
     
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  9. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    You need to cut it out and get help. I've been there. Your addiction will kill you or someone else, and will lead others around you into addiction as well. You need to fight this demon.

    I have been there.
     
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  10. Martha Ferris

    Martha Ferris Seeking answers

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    To cope people use various methods. Some rely on self distructive ones such as substance abuse. You can learn constructive coping mechanisms to replace the destructive ones. Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step. Make a list of all the self destructive mechanisms that you use to deal with your situation then come up with ways you can replace those with constructive ones. Get help in doing this.
    Our thoughts create pathways in our brains. I liken it to how the Colorado River created the Grand Canyon. The more you think the thought the deeper the canyon. Make a new river bed. Whenever you have the unwanted thought stop it and jump to the river bed of thoughts that you want to replace the negative ones with. It is hard and it takes practice but it can be done. Remember though that in times of stress when we struggle to cope it is easier to go back to our destructive coping mechanisms than use our new ones. Be aware.
    You are not helpless. You can change or improve your life one choice at a time. Even when it seems there is no good choice you always have a better one even if the difference is small. Decide to make good choices for yourself. Creating the life we want is a life long process. Love yourself enough to make the journey.
     
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  11. Amy Stone

    Amy Stone Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am lucky that I don't have an addictive personality, so maybe I am speaking out of turn here. But like others, I do find it difficult to socialize without having one drink, especially since almost everyone I know in my neighborhood is a hard-core drinker (probably alcoholics). I already feel on the outside with AS, but if I socialize and am not drinking, I can't keep up and from my perspective everyone gets real stupid, real fast. Usually I just hang for about an hour or so then leave.

    But I get no value from hanging out with drunks. No connection. No insightful talk. We aren't doing anything productive. They don't add value to my life or improve it when inebriated. There is no basis for a good friendship. I only get so much time on this planet, do I want to spend it like this? The answer for me is no.

    You can't drink if you are hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, scuba diving, jogging, volunteering....etc. If you know you have a problem and you want to change it, then perhaps find some new interests that don't involve drinking and you may just meet some new friends that don't drink either and form some healthy relationships. I am trying this approach myself.

    By writing this, you know you need help. It's the first step and further than people like my husband are willing to take. Maybe take the next one and seek out some AA groups and counselors.

    Good luck Love
     
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  12. Totallysteff

    Totallysteff I'm not sick. I'm just weird! V.I.P Member

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    Thank you so much! Parts of your experience really hit home with me. I really appreciate your recommendation as well.
     
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  13. Totallysteff

    Totallysteff I'm not sick. I'm just weird! V.I.P Member

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    Thank you for this. I know that what you have shared is true, but sadly not very easy. I am working at it though. I really appreciate your advice, it pulled at my heart.
     
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  14. Totallysteff

    Totallysteff I'm not sick. I'm just weird! V.I.P Member

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    For me drinking isn’t an option. I am unable to control the amount I consume. I drink a lot, and often to the point of blackout. I would love to be able to casually drink, but I am not one of those people. I’m glad to hear that you are able to do that, and that the forums are helpful to you.
     
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  15. TryingtoLearn

    TryingtoLearn New Member

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    That's where I seem to be a bit different. I can speak to people but it's only after a few drinks I start to connect to people and either just have a laugh or end up having deep insightful conversations or even switch between fun and meaningful stuff.

    I will admit this is where I am stuck - half of me is thinking to stop drinking, but what to do next? I just never really had any desire to do the "fun" stuff outdoors like you mention. I've faced up to realising I have pretty much been a "basement dweller" messing with my computers pretty much all my adult life unless I go out for drinks. But even when I go out for drinks I'm not very sociable until I've had a few.

    I've been out of work for years because of medical problems so part of me thinks I need to go hardcore on rebuilding my skills. But then I will be even more of a "basement dweller" losing what remaining friends I have. But if I try to make efforts to catch up with old friends, I will just be going back to my old habits of getting drunk with them.
     
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  16. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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  17. Barymore

    Barymore nevertheless, she persisted V.I.P Member

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    Hi @Totallysteff

    I am sorry to hear about your difficulties, thank you for being so open!
    Like others have already written, I can also relate to this topic. In my teens, twenties / early thirties I used alcohol as a major crutch - for social interactions, for intimacy, to combat loneliness (plus weed for that) etc. I also smoked and lived a generally unhealthy lifestyle in many ways. It certainly wasnt made easier by being in a sub-culture where this was considered normal and cool. Plus I would consider myself to have an addictive personality.
    I tried to quit and get out of those patterns so many times. I did manage but it took years and multiple relapses.
    Now, 20 years on I dont smoke, hardly drink (I need to be strict here as I dont do moderation well) and have a very much healthier lifestyle. Plus I dont miss it (which makes it so much easier).
    I wont say what exactly I did as we all follow different paths (there have been some good ideas mentioned) but what I will say: dont give up! Keep trying, keep changing things, dont give up when you have a relapse. Yes it sucks, guilt is a killer but everyday is a new chance to do better. Trite, I know, but it carried me through harsh times.
    Chin up!
     
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  18. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's a good point, relapses are normal in moving away from addiction, so have your relapse, and start again. As long as you're still trying, yu are doing good.
     
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  19. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I believe there are medications intended to help people quit addictions, if that sounds like an interest for you.
     
  20. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    @Totallysteff You could let us know how it’s going? I know for me it helps so much when a person cares about, is interested in what I’m dealing with.
     
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