Instructables
Picture of Conquer Alcoholism Without Abstinence or AA!
Tried AA but it's not for you?

Alcoholics Anonymous is NOT the only option when it comes to conquering your drinking problem. Here's a radical idea: You don't have to totally sober up to recover, simply stop thinking like an alcoholic. Read on to discover how easy it was for me to put down the sauce and start living (and even drinking) like a normal person. You CAN still drink responsibly if you simply change your way of thinking about drinking!
 
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Step 1: The Come Down - They call it 'rock bottom'.

Picture of The Come Down - They call it 'rock bottom'.
1.) I realize my drinking has become a problem and I want to fix it.

As I sit (well, lay) here in front of my monitor, I'm sipping a Corona with lime. I was in A.A. a week ago, but now even back to drinking I'm happy because I feel I've finally snatched the reigns back from it. It was so simple. All along I was crying out for help and attention from those around me, but no one could ever have helped me but myself. I haven't been going to A.A. I didn't black out and wake up in jail or rehab. After multiple "rock bottoms" and hundreds of hung-over, horribly ashamed mornings I just decided it was time to regain control. Of course, my [Rainbow married] husband of one year threatening to move on to another and kick me out of our house definitely spurred on my decision, but the choice to REALLY stop my career/marathon/binge/daily drinking rather than just sneak around like my last couple attempts was something I finally sincerely wanted.

I think for a long time I just wanted an intervention or something. Some over-dramatic, theatrical display of how much my family, man and friends loved me and wanted me to stop. But it just wasn't cute anymore. Four Loko's and vodka had turned me into someone I wasn't before I turned 21. Once old enough to buy alcohol, I always overindulged. Daily drinking made me sad all the time for no reason, suspicious, paranoid, anxious and ultimately angry. I would lash out at my significant other at the smallest provocation. I drank to curb my anxiety, and although it worked in the short-term it only made it so much worse when I wasn't drinking throughout the day.

I think the worst consequence of my habitual drinking was that no one wanted to come to my house because everyone knew I was an angry, anti-social, shut-in drunk. Every time Grey would bring his friends over I would barely speak to them or I would look pissed off and hide out in the back bedroom. Eventually most all of his friends just completely stopped coming over at all. He was embarrassed to even take me out because he knew I'd just get plastered and start acting like a b*tch for no reason. He and his friends couldn't leave a pack of beer lying around for too long or I'd drink all of it. Grey realized the relationship wasn't going anywhere good and started looking elsewhere, at other girls. Why wouldn't he? Cliche though it may be, I truly wasn't the girl he fell in love with. Oh, and I cheated on him when I was drunk, right after our Rainbow wedding. I don't like to mention that. It just had to stop.
snideprime4 years ago
So now you're cured after a week or so of not drinking, and one party where you didn't get drunk. If you went to a few meetings and actually LISTENED, you'd hear that just about everyone there had at one time (for some, that's many times) thought the same thing. "Yeah, I'll just control it and I can drink."
It's easy!" Sad to say, this is not an instructable on how to "conquer" alcoholism, it's an instructable on how to stay a practicing alcoholic. Just remember, like the poster before said, that the Jesus they talk about is big on second chances. So is A.A. And third chances. And fourth. I know I needed many.
gnossos (author)  snideprime4 years ago
If you'd actually even read the title of the step, you'd know that I was in my initial mania of trying to fix all I'd broken. I DO NOT consider myself 'cured'; I simply decided to change a thought pattern that had become harmful. I'm still working on it and am no saint, by far. My point in this was partially as a personal reference for myself and maybe for another to at least not feel alone.
clupoli1 year ago
Good job recognizing that you're dealing with broader issues than alcohol! Most people don't ever catch on to that, especially not in their early 20s.
jolshefsky4 years ago
I always worried alcoholism was in my blood from my father's family, so I was very aware of alcohol throughout my life, and whether it was formal or not, I always had some kind of "system".

System #1 was to just drink. I was slowly building a tolerance, but it wasn't that bad ... perhaps a few binges a year. The time between each "worst hangover of my life" kept doubling: 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, a year, 2 years ... I thought I was out of the woods. But then I just stopped getting hangovers and just kind of felt yucky and unproductive all the time.

System #2 was to occasionally purge -- to quit alcohol entirely for some arbitrary period of time. The idea was to reset my tolerance so I didn't need so much anymore. It was easy to quit, but I disliked the aspect where I couldn't drink with my friends.

System #3 was to drink exactly 7 drinks in a week. It worked for about 2 years. I'd even give myself "buy days" -- a special party or a wedding for instance -- where I'd not count. I also started monitoring with a database (a geeky pursuit) and keep track of how much actual alcohol (based volume and on the ABV% (alcohol-by-volume) of the beers and wines I had, and the proof of liquors).

The last time I succeeded at 7 drinks was the first week of September. Since then I've averaged about 20 each week; between about 6 ounces and 20 ounces of grain alcohol (which is, in legal drinks parlance, 11 to 38 proper drinks.)

Thanksgiving I got plastered at my friend's house and was "that guy", generally making an ass of myself, making other people uncomfortable, and continuing to function for a few hours after blacking out. Then Tuesday I had a glass of wine before a movie, and went out afterword to finally realize that "one drink" now always means "six". I realized my brain-body-alcohol system was broken, and on December 1 I quit drinking altogether, forever. I gave myself one option: I may taste (i.e. a sip) of alcohol only if it is something extremely special and unique. I think I'll miss that.

But that's System #4, so I'm fully aware that there's always a way I let alcohol abuse sneak back into my life. My own bet is that I'll "try" one drink a week, work my way up to 7, and repeat System #4 sometime in a couple years and eventually get to the same point of failure. Hopefully this isn't true.

Regardless, I forgive myself a lot and take my friend's advice when he quit smoking: you quit for right now; if you falter, you forgive yourself and get back up and quit for right now again. Someday I might even go the AA route (I don't have so much of an issue with Jesus: I'm atheistic because I don't believe in religions.)

My point in writing all this is to say, use whatever system works for you now. But recognize the boundary conditions -- heck, even set them in writing beforehand so you'll have a promise to yourself. I wish you luck (and given that many binge drinkers at college age suddenly quit in their 20's, it's likely that you'll succeed.) But if you find yourself binging twice in one month, try a new system.
snoyes4 years ago
Congratulations! And if you do "relapse", now there's a nice instructable, authored by someone you know well, to remind you of what you can be. Also remember that Jesus they talked about at the AA meetings is really big into second chances.
gnossos (author)  snoyes4 years ago
Yeah, honestly that was kind of my main point in publishing this.
@snideprime and @snoyes, Did you ever stop to think that she may not believe in your jesus?? I for one am an athiest and If I ever became an alcoholic I would seek another form of treatment simply because I do no't believe in teh existence of a higher power. This is a good I'ble telling her experience and what worked for her, just because you had different results doesn't make it any less of a good thing. What I get from this is that she probably wasn't a full blown alcoholic, just a bit outta control with her drinking and needed a reality check.
ChrysN4 years ago
Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your experience.
lemonie4 years ago

I'm drunk, and this reads like you were, were when you wrote it?

L

http://www.drunkard.com/