Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How Many Of You Are Like Me?

***Submitted by Anonymous

I am new to this site but find it incredibly inspirational at the stories of courage. 

I have not found this yet and need help.

I am a professional executive who has struggled with "the temptation" for over 10 yrs.

I call it that because it happens every evening and it is not like I desire to drink during the day.

After all, I feel I have it under control. 

I want to stop. Stop feeling like I have to have it.

How many of you are like me? 

Feel like you are not an alcoholic in the commercial sense of the word yet need a drink every night to cope?

As an executive, it all started in an airline club room. From there, I found the soothing and numbing effects helped me not to feel on the outside, yet my insides have so much pain.

I would appreciate any advice from any ladies who have been in my position.

I need help and not sure where I can go. 

If I reach for community help, my secret will be known...maybe this is what I need to do.


9 comments:

  1. I was also a professional who was shy to admit my issue. I feared public knowledge and now here I am, actually happy with the WHOLE person I am...very public about my alcoholism.

    I didn't know anyone like me, this stopped me from living sober for far too long.

    Know that today you have a choice, you CAN face yourself One Day At A Time. Do it privately, anonymous really does work if you choose it.

    It's up to you, how badly do you want a new life, a whole life which waits for you?

    Make the choice....we're here waiting for you

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  2. I was much like you. The most important thing I learned early on, when I finally worked up the courage to ask for help, was that it wasn't how MUCH I drank or how OFTEN, it was how I FELT when I drank. Specifically, how I felt about myself. The self-loathing and shame for "needing" something to smooth out my rough edges, the dependence on a glass or two of wine each night made me cringe, because in all other areas of my life, I was independent, successful, and from the outside looking in, no one would have guessed what was really going on. For me, it got much worse before I asked for help - I hope that you can do so, now. Just being here is a step in the right direction. Please know that you don't have to do any of this alone.

    There is help all around you. AA meetings, if you decide to go. You don't have to talk if you don't want to. There are out patient treatment programs so you can learn about the physiological reasons you are dependent on alcohol, as well as the social and emotional. You can do this - you can stop this cycle that is making you so miserable, but it's you who has to take the first step and reach out.

    It's your choice. You have to make the decision to stop. You have to be totally willing to do what is suggested by those of us who have been where you are and now have found a solution to our suffering. There is an end to self-loathing. There is a life beyond that nightly need to numb out.

    Like Julie said, we're here, holding out our hands, waiting for you to reach out.

    Much love to you!

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  3. Perhaps you need a community around you; perhaps you can do it alone. Each of us has a preferred way to make seminal life changes--and that is truly what this is. You CAN do it. You have us, your own sensibilities and intelligence, meetings and support groups if you want them, chat rooms and blogs out the yin/yang... It's here, we are here, you are her--Let's all do it together.

    Write, pray if that's what you need, sing, chant, walk, ski, yogini, meditate, sleep off the cravings, read, record it on tape or chip or vinyl... you can stop. we can help. Success is right there for you.

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  4. I'm a 45 year old professional and so called 'functioning alcoholic' since 2000. I too only drink during evenings and it's never more than 5 beers or ciders/night. I actually drink less now than I did 10 years ago. But as Amy said, its not the amount, etc. its how I feel. While in my 30s it was doable, yet the regular drinks now effect my sleep and energy level more now. I'm tired of feeling tired. Yet when I drink less and feel better, I get more energy again and then think its ok. So round and round I go again!

    I've never been to rehab and always thought I could stop at home via AA etc. But been to AA and didn't like the meetings. I got "13 stepped" at my first meeting by some guy! But I know I can't do this alone and always been so afraid to make anything public as my livelihood and reputation rests on it. Hi I'm an alcoholic, and hire me as your consultant!? Who's going to hire me then?

    But I need to find help somehow as well. What are the options? I actually did a 30 day day program about 8 years ago. I stopped drinking for about 5 weeks, but I didn't have ongoing support after so I went back to my ways. I have thought about joining a yoga community or more health-based network which is great, but it doesn't address the specific alcohol cravings or need to reach 'for something' although perhaps food addicts could understand?

    Advice for me as well would be helpful for me too!

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  5. Anon, if you want to stop but are struggling to... you aren't fully in control. You have to realize that alcoholism is a progressive disease... Right now you're struggling with a temptation, but the temptation is going to grow bigger and stronger, whether you like it or not. You will get to a point someday where you can't stop. Do yourself a favor, and stop while you have your wits about you. You feel like you need it, BUT YOU DON'T. I suggest going to an AA meeting. Seriously. You may not think you're "there" yet, but just go and listen. I guarantee you, you will hear some of your own thoughts and feelings in the stories of others, and that might give you the courage you need to take some action.

    I totally understand where you are. I'm college educated, a successful naval officer, married, beautiful house, etc etc etc. But let me tell you something... alcohol doesn't give a shit about any of that. It doesn't care about your education or your job or anything else... If you're alcoholic, the end result is the same for all of us. You don't want that. You don't have to hit rock bottom like in the movies before you decide to stop and get help. That's what I did; woke up one morning after a bender and thought, this is insane, something's got to change. I started going to AA meetings and threw myself into recovery.

    At first, I was full of doubt, I was very conflicted about the decision. My mind went crazy. My drinking isn't that bad, I thought. This isn't really a problem, not yet. I thought about everything I was "giving up"... wine with dinner, champagne at weddings, girls nights. But then I thought about everything I'd already given up... emotionally I was a mess. I thought about everything I would lose if things went downhill with drinking... My health, my marriage, my job, my house, everything. It sounds dramatic but that's what happens; you hear it all the time in AA. After a couple of weeks, when the fog started to lift, when I'd started learning about alcoholism and recognizing myself in the stories in AA, I knew what I was dealing with and that I'd made the right decision. I may be a professionally successful, functioning, high bottom alcoholic... but I'm an alcoholic all the same.

    Your mind is going to fight you on this... just go to a meeting and see what you think. You have nothing to lose by going, you only stand to gain hope. There are a LOT of resources out there for recovery, it is not impossible and you don't have to do it alone. We're all here. AA is a strong fellowship. Good luck.

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  6. Great discussion. I'm a professional woman who has been in recovery for 23 years (25 years since my last drink, 12 years since I took anything else). Although 12 step recovery has been an important part of my own recovery, I completely understand and accept that AA or NA is not for everybody. There are other options. For women struggling with wanting to keep private, not wanting to go to AA, but wanting some guidance and support - I recommend thinking about hiring a professional recovery coach. A professional recovery coach is a life coach who works with people in or seeking recovery. Recovery usually, but not always, means abstinence - depends on the coach. I have a recovery coach myself - not to deal with substances because I am all good there - but I started working with her to help me reach some goals that I wasn't able to reach. (I've also struggled with workaholism). If anybody wants any further information about hiring a recovery coach email me - dawndorothy@gmail.com. I'd be happy to point you in the right direction. There are also other groups that you might check out - such as Women For Sobriety, or SMART Recovery. Warm wishes to all ~ Dawn ~

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  7. Thank you for writing...I totally relate.

    And related to what was written above about --- "it wasn't how MUCH I drank or how OFTEN, it was how I FELT when I drank."

    I remember someone writing on this blog --- "I hated the moral hangover I had the next morning."

    You can do this...

    xo

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, totally... I never had to many hangovers where I felt physical pain; my hangovers were mostly emotional. I always woke up so depressed, it was awful!

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  8. There are SO many of us just like you. The insidiousness of being "high functioning" or "high bottom" (though I sometimes think the idea that we have to "hit bottom" is more destructive than useful, and might keep some of us drinking longer than we otherwise would) is that we are on that merry-go-round of the cycle of work hard, come home, need/want/deserve a drink to unwind, drink even if we hoped we wouldn't, fall into bed, wake up in the middle of the night with dry mouth/pounding heart/insomnia, fight through it because after all we're not truly alcoholic so we don't drink to relieve that, get up exhausted, shake our heads at ourselves and say 'this has GOT to stop, vow to take a break, go to work... and repeat the whole thing, over and over and over. Sound familiar at all?

    It's true, your mind will fight you on this all the way. I think the trick for us is to stop intellectualizing, stop trying to figure it out ('am I an alcoholic or not?' "is it a disease or not?', etc.), and just trust the others like us who have gotten sober and are reporting from the front lines to tell us that life is better on the other side, if we'll just get off that merry-go-round.

    Start with 90 days. They say it's about how long it takes for the brain to start to heal and recover. Why not do it? Because you don't want to, right? Right. We don't want to because we are addicted. Much, much love and support to you. You can do this. It's another day one for me. I've had many over the last two years. I hope you can stop your cycle now, and not have to go through the pain of so many stops and starts. Believe me, it's not worth it to keep trying to moderate.

    xo
    Karen T.

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