Social Question

Symbeline's avatar

What would you say to me if I admitted to having a drinking problem?

Asked by Symbeline (29576 points ) July 6th, 2010

Tell me that Fluther isn’t AA, (Edited because i thought it was triple A, and it ain’t lawlz.) that I need to get help? Would you make fun of me, belittle me, not take me seriously, show sympathy, offer advice or try to help, give me some phone numbers? Tell me to stop feeling for myself? Share your own experience? Walk off, or buy me a beer? What would you do if someone you slightly knew just came up to you and said that, what kind of reaction do you think you would have?

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41 Answers

Blondesjon's avatar

Welcome to the club.

Symbeline's avatar

@Blondesjon Thanks. I’m quite aware I’m not alone. :)

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’d listen first. I’d let you tell me why you believe you have a problem and then I would ask you what you would like to do from here. If you wanted help, I’d do everything in my power to help. If you just wanted to vent, I’d listen. I’d recommend getting help if you really believed you had a problem and I’d try to get the information for AA or other support groups for you.

josie's avatar

I would say that when I got out of the service, I probably had a developing drinking problem. So I quit for about two years. Now, I drink a little wine now and then, but never more than two glasses in an evening if at all. I would tell you to try the same thing.

MissA's avatar

What a shame…cheers!

Cruiser's avatar

There is nothing I cannot tell you that you do not already know or haven’t been told! Just remember there are a lot of people who do care.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

^ ^ ^ what @Cruiser said.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I would buy you a “Shirley Temple” double cherries. I’ve done that before other people that decide they needed to stop drinking alcohol.

SuperMouse's avatar

I would tell you I am a friend of Bill W. My best advice is to at least give the program a try, but if you believe you are powerless over your problem and you life has become unmanageable, do what you have to do to stay sober. You can do it, one day at a time. I do not go to meetings myself, but I have a strong support system and I am sober about two and half years.

Symbeline's avatar

@Seaofclouds I don’t know the technicalities of what makes alcoholism what it is, but a long story short, I know for a fact it’s a problem. My life seems to have changed so much since a year ago. It’s like nothing matters, or anything could happen, as long as I got booze to drink lol.

@Cruiser I know this, but a little reminder is always nice, thanks. :)

I know there’s help out there, and other people who go through this, but the problem is that I don’t seem to give a rat’s ass and won’t look for it, but on another side, somehow, this needs to stop haha. There must be some psychological factor in there, but alas I can’t find it.

@SuperMouse I seem to be the happiest when I’m drunk, or when I’m looking forward to it. How would one convince themselves through truth that this isn’t the case?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Symbeline If someone got the information together for you, like meeting dates, times, and locations, do you think you would go to a meeting? I’d be willing to get the information for you if you wanted it. Just curious, but is there anything in particular that may have happened to change things for you in the past year? If you are concerned about it, I would recommend talking to your doctor and seeing if they could make recommendations for you.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I would share my experience, strength, and hope found in working the 12 Steps of A.A. That’s a simple sentence, but there’s a lot of information it covers up.

A lot of really good information can be found at aa.org

I will say that I’m happy to help any way I can. Simply, PM me.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Symbeline I honestly cannot answer that question. I am a very weepy drunk and I cannot drink without the need to get drunk. Initially the pain went away, but it wasn’t long before it felt worse than it ever did when I was sober. When I drink, I want to do it every day. I realized that these things made for an awful combination that was impacting all aspects of my life. I really had no choice but to quit, for my own sanity and for the people I love. I have family members who have the kind of relationship with alcohol that you describe, but I really cannot relate to it.

zenele's avatar

I’d say you are in excellent company – in terms of support and experience.

I’d also say that fluther will always accept you as you are, in any condition, sober or not, so long as you never write lawlz again.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Symbeline I’ve been there. For me it’s situational, I suspect it may be for you also. There are methods for stopping that don’t involve the religious crap, if that’s the way you want to go. In my case, the antidepressants limit how much I can drink; two or three and I’m out. big ((hugs)) and you can say lawls, or anything else you want to me, anytime. Cry on my shoulders anytime you like – they’re large and waterproof.

Arisztid's avatar

I would offer support to you and provide you with resources when you decide to quit. I am not an addict or alcoholic myself but I have had quite a few friends who have been, and some have died due to it. I would offer you an ear and some advice I may have from what I have learned working in the medical field (and in the mental health field to a limited degree) combined with what I have learned from my friends.

I have had atheist friends who go to AA or AN and have it work for them. Others do it via other means, few escape addiction alone.

The thing about alcohol and drugs is that it is a progressive disease. What gets you high/drunk enough today is not going to get you there for long.

Addicts and alcoholics need more and more to get the same job done, eventually falling to the point where their lives revolve around obtaining their drug of choice.

There is a catch 22 to drugs and alcohol: if you are using it to escape pain in your life, the pain is going to be there when you are not drunk or high.

I do not know if you are an alcoholic yet but, since you are beginning to question, maybe that means that it is time to start questioning it yourself.

ninjacolin's avatar

I would say.. get very involved in quitting. The more you focus on anti-alcoholic behavior, the faster you will accomplish anti-alcoholic behavior. see @josie‘s advice.

tinyfaery's avatar

I would respond with one simple question: What are you going to do about it?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

NA and AA have online chats where people reach out and share.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Symbeline I would do everything I could to help you and to listen to you for as long as you wanted. If you are geographically close to me in southern Alberta, I’d go with you to any kind of help you were open to seeking. Of course, I only “know you” from fluther but I would help you to handle this problem and to regain control of your life.

I take membership in our community seriously and I’ll do what I can for any of you, without criticism or passing judgment. You know how to reach me if you want my help.

anartist's avatar

I’d say, do what ya gotta do, but if you go there, you are rejecting the idea of all forms of drink and socializing related to drink and forevermore drink will be seen as a PROBLEM in great big lights and not just a peccadillo here and there. Doctors will be grilling you . . .etc. If you can simply play with yourself enough to put alcohol down for periods just because you feel like it, don’t go labelling yourself to the world. It is hard to peel the label off.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I would tell you that my best friend became and alcoholic and killed himself one night, while drunk.

truecomedian's avatar

I think the AA program is one step better than nothing for the defintion of an alcholic that is givin in the big book. I have issues with the spirtual guidelines that you have to accept in order to get help from the program. I would like to think that its just a group of people that decided for themselves they had a drinking problem, god knows I have had problems from drinking. But being a problem drinker doesnt always mean that, that’s your problem. It says in the big book “that it’s just a symptom” or something like that. See I’m crazy so everything I do is going to be in a crazy way, including drinking. I’ve gotten less crazy, and my drinking has gotten less crazy. The AA program has it’s pros and cons, but if you decide for yourself that you have a drinking problem and need help, try AA, just be careful, there are some unsavory characters in the rooms.

tranquilsea's avatar

For the year following my mother’s death I drank too much. I realized this after I started looking forward to having a couple of glasses of wine at night. I’d never been much of a drinker up until that point. I stopped. I don’t have an addictive personality so stopping for me was fairly easy. I know it is much harder for others.

AA really helped my hubby’s dad who was a raging drunk. He was 17 years sober before he died. He had 17 years to mend his relationships with his sons and create relationships with his grandchildren.

unused_bagels's avatar

I’d say good job, because a lot of people with serious problems aren’t mature enough to admit them, either because they’re afraid that admitting it makes it true, or they don’t know it’s a problem.

Consider yourself cyber-applauded. You’ve made the first step (I know it’s cliche, but it’s true)

gemiwing's avatar

I would ask you how it was going. Drinking/addiction issues are pretty heavy in the communities I’m part of so it’s a big deal, but it isn’t a big deal- does that make sense?

It wouldn’t change the entirety of how I view you, yet it would open new roads of growth that is a privilege to be able to witness.

I would also ask if you wanted help, and if so, I would find a way to give it.

I also wouldn’t blow sunshine up your ass about it. It’s a tough road and a long one- either way you go it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Either you keep abusing yourself and deteriorate, or you knuckle down and figure out what’s wrong. Neither one is easy but one lets you look at yourself in the mirror without feeling disgusted at what’s reflected there.

downtide's avatar

I would listen, but as I have no experience of alcoholism or the treatment for it, I wouldn’t be able to offer any actual advice. I would hope that you could find some support though.

Symbeline's avatar

Thanks for all your answers. For the people I didn’t reply to yet, or for those I was doing so with, I’ll do so a little later, just so you know I’m not a total ingrate and ignoring yall lol.

liminal's avatar

“What a vulnerable thing to share. I admire the courage it must have taken. Thank you.” Then I would ask you “Whats leading you to share?”

Then from there who knows where the conversation would go.

Symbeline's avatar

@Seaofclouds I don’t even have a doctor lol. But yeah I thought about it a lot, I mean something needs to have happened for this to have..er, happened. However, both my parents were alcoholics, does this work in genetics? O_o
As for meetings and things, I might go, but if I were you I wouldn’t spend too much time looking for it, because I might not go, and I’m very capable of doing it myself. I know booze is ruining me slowly but surely, but I think my problem is motivation to do anything about it more than anything else. I suppose making this question is a small start though.

@hawaii_jake I’d love to hear your experience any time you might want to go into detail with it, if you have time sometime. (Through a PM or wtv.) Listening to other people can help a lot. (Maybe it helps the person talking, too?)

@SuperMouse Thanks for sharing anyways though. I’m curious though, if you wanna share, how did you start to fear for your sanity? (I know there are different forms of alcoholics, at least so it seems.)

@zenele That seemed pretty heartwarming to me. :) (And I’m not all drunk yet I swear. And I won’t say law..that word again.) But seriously, thanks. :)

@Arsiztid Yeah, I think I’m at that point. No matter how much I drink it doesn’t seem to do what it first did, but even that lack is still better than anything else, which is ass sad. XD I have no idea what I’m trying to escape, but if I have a survival instinct, it knows I’m escaping something and it ain’t happy about it. XD

@tinyfaery I don’t know. I don’t really feel that I want to do anything about it, or that doing anything about it is worth it. But since I made a question, and some people in my real life have noticed it and I didn’t try to hide it, maybe subconsciously or something I want to. Lol. XD At least some of this has to mean something. Or at least I hope so anyways. XD

Thanks @Dr_Lawrence I hope you mean it, because I might very well bother you about it. :D But no, I really appreciate it, not tryna be funny. :)

@anartist I don’t quite get it…can you please elaborate?

@truecomedian Thanks for the warning. I didn’t know any of this about the AA. Are they that religious? I’m not looking for things like that right now. :/

@unused_bagels Thanks. Some people in real life know too, my two best friends and..uh…my boos at work. Lmao. XD But I never mentioned any of this to them, they just found out (And evade the subject.) so maybe I’m getting too much credit. XD I usually drink on my own at home, but things get out, and now I have a roommate so it makes it all worse.

@gemiwing I think you’re right, all this is going to be quite some ordeal. I think my main problem is deciding whether I care or not. Of course I’m not asking any of you to care for me, but if I have to question myself on whether or not I care, it does get scary…sometimes. But thanks, I love your answer. :)

@liminal I was drunk when I made this question, and I’m getting there yet again. I would have never wrote this while sober. I can’t seem to call up the courage to do so, even online.
When I remmebered this morning that I wrote this, I was like, OMFG. You people give me too much credit, but I appreciate it.

Anyways thanks yall. I’ll be honest with you, every night when I got to bed all messed up I sincerely hope that I’ll die and won’t wake up ever haha, so I probably won’t take any of your advice or listen to you. I know it’s worth listening to, very much so, but somehow I know I won’t. But this wanting to die shit is bullshit, deep inside I mean, because I figure if I really wanted to I wouldn’t be saying it to anyone, right? Or not? I denno. XD
On the other hand I’m surprised by how positive everything in here was, and I swear I’m not doing this for attention or any bullshit like that, but it does help a bit, maybe a lot in the long run?
But it just feels nice to puke it all out, whether it makes any sense or not.

liminal's avatar

@Symbeline‘s real life people: stop evading the subject ;)

@Symbeline Thank you for your transparency, even online transparency counts.

anartist's avatar

@Symbeline what I mean is if you can get control of it yourself or maybe with a friend, rather than ask a doctor or therapist for help or join AA, try to do that first.

Sometimes medical/therapy records can be accessed by potential employers [especially if clearance needed], it is possible medical/therapy records can be accessed by a court of law [imagine a lawsuit from hell]. They cannot be erased or deep-sixed if you get control of your own problem.

The premise behind AA is discretion, but there’s a lot you have to sell yourself on to get with that program; among them “belief in a higher power” and that you are “helpless in your struggle against alcohol” and that there is no turning back, it is life-long abstinence.

It is your choice. If you need help, go for it. Just remember the price.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Symbeline There are people that believe there is a genetic link in regards to alcholism. They say that if your parents were alcholics, you are more likely to have drinking problems. I don’t consider it wasting my time to help someone out. I really don’t mind getting the information for you. Whether you use it or not is up to you, but I enjoy helping people.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Symbeline I was spending entirely too much time in an alcohol induced depression (pretty much every night), and that was starting to bleed over into other parts of my life. I just could not do it anymore. It really felt like I was losing control of my entire life.

Arisztid's avatar

@Symbeline I would be sad if you did not wake up after a sleep but that is wholly selfish because you are a good friend to me.

It sounds trite but it is true: the first step to fixing a problem is recognizing you have one.

I would suggest that you look within yourself to find out what is troubling you enough to for you to drink to escape. It might be something traumatic, it might be the just plain doldrums of life. Alcohol is giving you something you feel you need, a relief from something you have to face when sober. It could be as @Seaofclouds said: some people have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.

Even if you do not take any advice we have given at this time, it is going to be rattling around in your brainpain for future contemplation.

I, too, do not consider it a waste of time… call on me for a shoulder, someone to rant to, or someone to dig up resources for you. I am also not going to pull any judgmental crap on you.

bob_'s avatar

I’d offer my support, which I guess is limited to the moral kind.

I’d offer to hold you gently in my arms, but that’s kind of difficult ‘cause of the distance and all.

But, seriously, if I can do something, let me know and I’ve got your back.

truecomedian's avatar

@symbeline
Yeah it’s sort of a religion, it’s got all the things a religion has, except it tries to say it doesn’t. AA can be really chill if you play it right. Just find the people that are just looking for help with drinking, you can find a sanity in the simplicity of like minded people, and not people that are looking to control or powertrip over you because of how much time they have. Just tell yourself it’s just a group of people looking for help with drinking. And watch out for the 13 steppers, the guys that prey on newcomers. And just for the record, I would buy you a beer.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Symbeline See if there are any “Smart Recovery” groups in your area. They work in a similar way to AA but without the religious trappings. They use proven behavioral methods and stress that recovery is your achievement, rather than helplessly surrendering yourself to a sponsor and “higher power”.

breedmitch's avatar

I’d say stop drinking for a while without any outside assistance. Then see how it goes. I think the important thing is to learn when are good times to drink and when are bad. I’m not convinced that AA isn’t just replacing one addiction with another.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@breedmitch Good point. Religiosity for alcohol, not sure how good a tradeoff that is.

augustlan's avatar

I would tell you I love you. {hugs}

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