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Checking In - January 2018

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BarrelChested

Ah, well, I just got a series of drunken texts from the girl. Apparently dating someone nine years younger (not typically my style -- I tend to date closer to my age) is "too old" -- I should be dating someone 19 years younger that's "not messed up." Ah, and I'm [apparently] amazing and deserve someone normal. I'm just... I just hate fscking alcoholics. I hate booze. I hate every fscking thing it's taken from me. I watched it kill a parent. I personally COMPLETELY FSCKING TRASHED 10-15 years of my life down a goddamned bottle -- nevermind the $17,000 I blew on a DWI. And now, tonight, a sweet, artsy, quirky girl has just left my life because she feels wrenching guilt about her addiction and runs away from everything -- good and bad -- to hide in her euphoric bubble against the world (naturally, she doesn't realize this). I'm really, really sad. Booze sucks. Don't tell yourself otherwise. It's equally as bad as religion (this, to me, is the ultimate evil and social harm). Over the past few months, I've been thinking about the Temperance Movement. I get it. I don't agree with the approach... but I "get it." I "sealed the deal," tonight: I wrote, "You just want this to end. I don't know why.... and you'll probably never tell me. But, fine, I'll make it permanent: if you want to date me, get on Nal and go to therapy." Annnnnd, my friends, THAT is how you hammer-in the last nails into a coffin. You don't politely tap-in the last wedges of reality -- you drive them in with the delicacy of Thor's hammer. It... wasn't great. And in her defense, she didn't have the resume of most of the girls I've dated (lawyers, computer scientists, data scientists, teachers and ballerinas)... but she was definitely not cast from a form. Above all, I like genuine people... and she is that. But, you know... it's been so long since I've known love... that... that I have a different understanding of it, now. It's not about intellect or shared interests or sexual chemistry -- those are requisite but not sufficient conditions. A big part of love is suspension of disbelief and a share commitment to maintaining a friendship and shared view of "us against them." Oh well. I probably have it all wrong -- as if one settling a pillow by her head should say... "that is not what I meant; that is not it at all." So, friends, I'm back to being a pair of ragged claws.

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StuckinLA

Damn, @BarrelChested, so sorry man. I have a bagful of platitudes but none would do any good even to type out. Just, sorry.

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empyr3al

@BarrelChested, I'd say that's the alcoholic feeling shame.  Those phrases are commonly said by people with shame, insecurity, lack of self confidence and a whole gammut of different things in psychology.  It's a trap many of us fall into.  My ex would say the same due to her weight and my aka good looks by contrast as I'm a stereotypical ideally proportioned, balanced face, intelligent type of person.  There are a litany of reasons why she felt a lack of self confidence.  From her being adopted, weight too having a bother with severe autism.  In alcoholism we often call it "the poor me's", but that usually follows after the fact of acceptance of step 1.  Sometimes I look back at it and all I really would have needed to do was reassure her when she would hint at it.  I filled a need for her, and she for me.  Things pass.  In general I find a distaste for people that continually look for reassurance likely because I look for it as well.  They are the needy types.  Self disgust is a demon, but in the same way overdone pride is as well.  Sorry it didn't work out and I respect the fact you made a firm decision instead of avoidance.  Don't look too much into justifying your decision after you made it.

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Jetsman32

@BarrelChested sorry to hear this news. Hopefully the nail you drove in says something to her. I remember those days when I "was" her. Waking up in a fog of anxiety, dreading to get out of bed to find out what I did or said the night before. It was terrifying. I never put hands on my wife but I did have some blackout nights where I said some extremely hurtful things or embarrassed the hell out of her in front of people she cared about.  I even got so piss drunk at at a very upscale Christmas party that I almost lost my job. My wife was in tears the next morning. So I understand where she is coming from 100%. She feels shame and is scared to talk to you, let alone look you in the eye. I'm sure now that you are on the right track you will meet someone that will be the right fit for you and can bring you happiness.

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Molly78

The press in the UK is full of concern about GPs prescribing addictive meds.  Interestingly the list has ADs at no.3 after benzos & Z-drugs!  Doesn't say which ones, SSRIs & SNRIs are difficult to come off but not technically "addictive".  Still, accuracy never has got in the way of doctor-bashing in the UK press.  Oddly, opioids come below ADs!  I'm sure this list can't be in order of concern.

Pregabalin & gabapentin conclude the list.  We had a lot of discussion about gaba on the forum recently.  I was using it for sleep but managed to come off it without the problems some people have had.  I guess all of these issues are to some degree individual.

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StuckinLA

Well almost the last day to check-in for January :D 

Hope all's well out there, folks. Things are much the same here, and that's more or less good. Started reeling in the shopping since the early part of the year, and the post-holiday spending hangover seems to have abated. Again, good.

Though the shenanigans with typewriters is ongoing. Went out and bought one a couple weeks ago because I'd accepted that the one still in the shop up in Berkeley was gone forever. So I went to a shop and had one fixed up, got it home last week and hated - I mean hated - the typeface. It was like this huge Courier looking thing. Took it back and swapped it for a different one of the same make and should pick that up this week. Already started to second guess the color of it, the body is gray and the keys are this kinda chocolate/maroon. Hmmm, but anyway I'll be stuck with it for a while. Then finally got a hold of that shop in Berkeley, and turns out they actually *hadn't* shipped it yet. So they sent it out and it should be here in a few days. Which means I will have f**king three now, four if you count the decorative nonoperational one, and this is simply getting out of hand.

Anyway that's about it. Job applications and teaching and reading and going to try to get some writing done this month. Have a good one, everybody!

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Molly78

Just discovered I am overdosing on caffeine and thereby sabotaging my attempts to reduce down on bac!  I generally have a strong coffee in the morning plus a can of Red Bull at lunchtime, sometimes additional coffees/Red Bulls as needed.  Started noticing I was slightly anxious all the time.  Did some research on caffeine, fairly certain I have become more sensitive over time because of my age maybe?

Did the detox this week - day one couldn't stop yawning, mild headache all day, sleep even worse than usual (apparently for some reason stopping stimulants makes your sleep worse temporarily) quite jittery, chewing my lips all day.  Classic withdrawal symptoms which confirms my self-diagnosis!

I shall miss coffee.  Can't see the point in decaff - I used to like the slight "high" from caffeine.  Now to develop my taste in different types of tea.  Yes, I know it's not caffeine - free, but small dose compared to coffee.  I like plain chocolate as well, but I think I will be able to tolerate small doses.

"Another avenue of pleasure closed to me" (Blackadder quote)

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MJM

Hello all, seems a bit quiet in here! I haven't exactly helped, having been more interested in daily life than acknowledging my alcoholism.

So here I am! I'm still sober, it's been about six weeks now. 150mg Bac p/d seems to be the right amount for me, because for almost all of that time the last thing I have felt like doing is drinking.

We had people over last weekend for drinks and of course they were all drinking. I was eyeing off the glass of red wine one of them was drinking, thinking that I wouldn't mind one of those.

It was a difficult situation because I wanted to run and hide (ie go to the bedroom and read a book!) but it would have been pretty rude to do so. Instead I got stuck into the food on the table (most of them were more interested in the alcohol) and that helped.

My wife's drinking has calmed down a bit. Because I have not drunk for a while, the focus is now on her drinking. When she turns nasty after having a few, I feel stronger now and hold my ground. It is still not any fun, but I don't give in like a meek puppy to her drunken vitriol anymore.

I just hope she can stop drinking. It is doing so much damage to our marrage and to our kids. She just can't seem to see that at the moment. I am at the point where I want to lay it on the line and tell her exactly that.

I have been exercising on an exercise bike 4-5 times a week for 30min, doing 3-6 'intervals' and it helps a lot with my mood. Even tried meditating for the first time in ages! Can't say it made a huge difference but I remember from before that the benefit comes from doing it regularly.

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StuckinLA

Hey @MJM congrats on the 6 weeks! That's huge. Glad your wife is slowing down a little, hope that continues and she's not as nasty as often. Keep working on you and I wish you all the best.

 

Guess we're still on January.... yeah, it's that quiet but I haven't been around much either. Things are still things here, same old same old.

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Otter

My wife is back in Scotland with my son.  My mother in law is in a bad state, having broken her hip last weekend.  She's got Alzheimers and has lost most of her body fat. She's just a skeleton.  She was more or less ok a year ago and came for the summer, fell and broke her arm and had to be flown home.  Since then she's lost probably 80 or 90 llbs.  There's nothing left of her. She's delusional and quite agressive. She can't walk either.  

I just wonder how long she's going to last. Seems this type of condition causes a steep decline once it takes hold.

It's been 9 years my wife has been on baclofen now. She's had maybe three or four big relapses over the last couple of years lasting from a day to three or four days and then recovered.  I think the cause is not alcohol use at all. I'm pretty sure now that she has a serious neurological condition caused in part by her stroke and in part by diet, and also genetics.  Her mother seems to have the same physiology and the same behavioural problems and she has no history of alcohol use or abuse.  She's never had any issues with alcohol.  It's got to do with brain impairment on the right side. I found an article on the link between neurology and anxiety and depression and it said that right side brain impairment is linked to anxiety and left side impairment is linked to depression. I'll try to find the article but my wife had brain damage on the right side, resulting in mild paralysis of the left side of her body, some speech impairment and deep-seated anxiety, which is what she has always said causes her drinking. 

 

It's interesting to look back over the past several years and see how she's been able to get on top of this illness. At one time she would not even have been able to go outside the house from one month to the next and now she's back in the UK doing business and supporting her mother.  All down to this treatment.  It was, in the end, the combination of baclofen and campral which topped off her treatment. On baclofen alone, she still had a problem with anger, particularly in the morning.  With the Campral, she's much calmer.

 

It's such a shame, though, that so few people in the medical research and treatment field really give a damn about this at all.  So many people could be helped, and here we are 10 years after Ameisen published his book and the whole medical profession, medical academia and government are blind to this.  

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Jetsman32

Hi all- I hope everyone is doing well! @Molly78 I am surprised to hear that you are overdosing on caffeine. I consider myself to be an advanced caffeine addict. I typically drink 4-5 cups of black coffee each day plus on average 6 diet cokes. I'll even have a diet coke right before bed and sleep like a baby. I have to tell you that detox sounds like hell but glad you are handling it so well. I know that if I don't have coffee or a diet coke within 1 hour of waking up I get a headache that just won't quit.

@MJM congrats on the sober time! You are doing great. Trying not to drink is challenging on it's own, but with you dealing with a spouse with a similar issue I can't imagine the difficulty. That makes your sober time that much more special!

@Otter I agree with you wholeheartedly about the medical community not recognizing or taking advantage of baclofen as a treatment for alcoholism. I was the first baclofen patient for my psychiatrist (I was already indifferent when I went to her) and it took a lot to convince her that I had found a treatment that worked. I went to her with the sole intent of getting a prescription and she later told me that all of her peers thought she was crazy for prescribing me baclofen and supporting my treatment. Even after she saw me for over a year and knew that it worked, she still told me that she would not be adding it to her treatment plans for other patients. The entire medical community is so ingrained in AA that it's sickening. If alcoholism is truly a "disease"than how in the world does asking people to forgive you and going to meetings act as treatment? Imagine telling a cancer patient that all they need to do is the 12 steps to get well! A disease needs to be treated medically and  from a pharmaceutical perspective. I pray that eventually this fact will catch on. 

 On a semi-related point, my friends and I were tossing around some hypothetical the other day and the question posed was why are different diseases treated totally differently by the medical community and the government. As an example, heroin addicts can go to a methadone clinic and get treated for free. Why isn't that the same for diabetes or cancer? Makes you think......

As for me, all is well and I am content. Settling into the new job. I don't make as much as I did before, in fact quite a bit less but there is a nice upside for commission which I plan to take advantage of.  The worst part is that my company does not offer health insurance so we have been paying for a very basic family plan out of pocket that only covers doctor visits and generic prescriptions (still costs me $600 per month). The great news on this is that my wife, who works retail found out that she is being promoted into a manager role in two weeks so she will go to full-time status and be able to get company benefits whic his simply awesome for us. As far as my taper goes, thanks to some awesome people on this forum that have sent me extra bac, I have gone slowly and am now down to 130 per day from 240. I've been at this level for a few weeks now and will start to go down again next week. Surprisingly, I still have no urge to drink.

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