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I hope that all who visit or have visited this board are doing well. On occasion I read things here in MF that remind me how grateful I am that the "compulsion to drink" has been lifted. I have learned "better" ways to cope. I watch Dr. Phil and also see many examples where people have become addicted to alcohol or medications to cope with life. I did not know "how to turn down the heat" under my emotional "pressure cooker" and felt I had to "vent" the pressure in certain ways so I did not "explode." By learning about my anger at life and how to deal with that, I found solutions to some of the problems, but that did not occur while I was still drinking. Now, some 32 years later, I can look back with more appreciation for those people in AA and elsewhere who taught me new "tools" to use. And I accomplished far more than I had expected to with less problems. My hopes and goals back them were not good for me, and until I could change the focus, I caused most of my own misery.

I hope you will share if you have problems or questions that people here might answer for you.

Sincerely, gapfan
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I hope that all who visit or have visited this board are doing well.

gapfan and any one else--

I go up and down about drinking. I might not have a drink for weeks.
Then I might buy some wine and for a few nights I might drink too much. How do I know it is too much? Because once the first glass of wine is downed, the amount I continue to drink seems to be beyond my control.

Once I begin, I guess I don't rationally stop. I stop because it's time to go to bed. Not becouse I feel I've had 'enough'.

I guess I would like 'better ways to cope' (gapfan). How do you all find and enforce for yourself these 'better ways'? I am not going to AA meetings for whatever reasons; I just wonder how you do what you do?

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How do I know it is too much? CTKaren

One way to define a "problem" is to determine if it causes a problem. From the brief description in your post, there does not seem to be a real problem (yet) but there may be in the future. For example, if after drinking you decide to go out and drive, as to "get home" from a party. That can be a problem. Someone offered that the difference between a problem drinker and a social drinker is the response to the question "Would you like another drink?" The social drinker might reply; "No thank you, I am beginning to feel the last one." The problem drinker might reply; "Yes, please, I am beginning to feel the last one." Once I had one drink, I did not wish to stop.

One reason for AA meetings is that is where the people who have successfully stopped drinking gather. We discuss things which tempt us to return to drinking alcohol, and perhaps why. As alcohol becomes a problem (and it may not be obvious to the drinker), it becomes time to make some decisions about it. That is the starting point, when the person makes a decision to do something about a problem. (For some death comes first unfortunately.) For me, I decided the potential problems were too serious not to take action, so attended AA and learned what could happen and how to avoid those problems. Through a "day at a time" approach (just don't take a drink today, no matter what!) I learned that I could function, and improved as sobriety lengthened.

I maintain sobriety on a daily basis, reading and remembering that I have an addiction and taking cautions to avoid "temptations" to return to the old ways and old thinking. A "simple but not easy" approach, just don't drink alcoholic beverages or use mind altering drugs. The benefits are primarily for myself.

Good luck and a hug, if acceptable, gapfan
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Hi Karen

I have found now that the greatest high is reality, something I tried to avoid for some time.

Good luck and take care

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Thanks gabfan and mrgoo--

I agree about reality--and in my world I am better off just not to buy the wine in the first place---it's just like trying to diet but filling the shelves with tasty salty junk food.

If I don't buy wine, I don't drink it. I like how expansive things seem without the alcohol---and not drinking certainly boosts one's energy and mood, and seems to add hours to the day!


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