I'm a functional alcoholic. Because of this I've created all sorts of systems to drink. I've never had any trouble with the law, graduated college and got a masters and make good money now. My wife and I are in the happiest marriage I've seen two people have. One of our few problems is my drinking.
At 20 I went to AA and started trying to get in front of what I recognized was a problem, long story short, inretrospect I didn't have a shot back then as alcohol and drugs were used to deal with cronic depression, insomnia, anxiety, and emotional issues from a pretty sad childhood (many people have had it worse than me, but growing upwasn't that enjoyable)
I always said that at 28 I would quit drinking cold turkey and imagined that I'd be old enough such that the bar scene would be naturally unappealing. I'm 30 now with 2 kids and the birth of each of those kids were each going to be a new beginning as well. I've made strides. In 2005 I quit hard drugs. In 2008 I largely quit marijuana, save for the couple of times I got too drunk to really stop myself, but the last time was about a year back. I used to be high or drunk every day and for most of the day…the college setting allowed for it to be that I was just a party guy. And every year since 2005 I've become more and more sober. Last year I had two stretches where I made it 2 months and 4 months sober and when I was off the wagon I generally drank at about a once per week rate.
My problem is that I get too drunk when I drink, and I hate sobering up…I think it's more painful for me than it is for your average person to have alcohol subside in your system. I'm also a happy drunk and really don't get too crazy. I never drive…no run ins with the law. And while I get embarassingly drunk to the point of stumbling and being overall sloppy, there are lots of people who generally enjoy my drunk persona. Now, these are obviously things I've used to rationalize my 10 years of not fully getting sober. I acknowledge them not as an excuse but just true statements that I've had to stop using as evidence that I don't have a problem.
For 2014the last time I drank was Jan 2nd until 2 nights ago. As part of a pattern, I made it a few months sober (with maybe only one or two days that I legitimately craved a drink). And I was happy too, still am for the most part. Ive spent a lot time working on meditation for sleep, therapy for my childhood, and overall self improvement to be a happy person. So, now I no longer use alcohol as a medicine and I am free from medicines in general. In other words, none of my old excuses work on me any more.
BUT my wife (who's mormon to add an interesting wrinkle to my journey) left town while one of my old drinking buddies (and one of my best friends…take a bullet for eacother type of guy) came to town. I met up with him probably about 50/50 that I was going to drink, and drank 11 drinks on my way to a nice drunk level and took a cab home around midnight while his night continued on. I woke up and went to work still buzzing a little, but we were let go early for good friday and then I came home and found a sizable checkin the mail (I can't make this up, completely unexpected check from my old employer), I didn't like my hangover so I chose to drink it away at lunch, and then had about one drink per hour until going to bed at 8:30PM. My plan was that what my wife doesn't know won't hurt her, but when i saw my family today I knew that keeping a secret would not be the way to recovery so I confessed. My wife's heart breaks a little eachbecause I've broken a lot of promises, but I really feel close to being alcohol free. Is that crazy to feel like I'm close while I'm still hungover?
I have 100% confidence that I can make it another 3 months again. There's a wedding in 2 weeks that I'm a little scared of (I'm going solo and its accross the country with a bunch of alcoholics) but I've done events like that before and stayed sober and with this mess up I will still remember the cycle freshly such that I should make it. But in 3 months I'm going to seek out a loophole and I'm going to want my happy life AND alcohol. Has anybody out there shared this experience, and is there a strategy for it?
Also, any words of encouragement. I feel like I've made it so far but according to AA, I've failed and I'm back to zero.
I thought writing this might help, as a reminder when I start thinking I can cheat on abstinence. But I'm 100% committed to an alcohol-free lifestyle. I'm even to the point that I enjoy it more than being drunk…which I never thought I'd say, but I can't seem to get past the 3-4 month mark. Help if you've been there.