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  #1  
Old 05-16-2019, 04:19 PM
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dgtatum dgtatum is offline
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Default dgtatum Quits Drinking

So this will be a bit personal, but I wanted to share this journey here as I feel like a board full of young, well paid professionals will probably be a good spot for this. Maybe some can identify. Anyway this isn't really about my drinking even though I probably have a bit too much from time to time and definitely drink more than the recommended amounts we all see in the healthcare literature. I am a 2-3 beers 4 or 5 nights a week guy and there are times with friends and family and at various events where I may drink all day and have 7-10. This is to say that stopping drinking will definitely improve my health and well being also, but I have a different purpose in mind.

I have shared on the board in the past that I am also a part time pastor at a local church. I have personally counseled 2 alcoholics through their path to sobriety. Both are still sober and flourishing in their new lives. I have also had a huge failure in my ministry involving alcohol. a member of our church who was sober, but hiding the fact that he had ever been an alcoholic from the church and who had several relapses according to his friends and family saw me drinking with a friend at a local restaurant before I saw him there. He pulled up beside us and ordered a drink as well. I did not order another drink, but the damage was done. 2 months later he was in the hospital dealing with liver failure which he died from a month later.

My wife's father also died from his alcoholism and she has taken drinking breaks several times, but has always started drinking socially and with me at home again. She tends to drink more than me when she does drink and I have recently had to examine my role in her drinking due to introspection from another event 3 weeks ago.

3 weeks ago my friend from Nashville came to visit me on a Saturday. We met 2 of our other friends for a round of golf an dinner that night before he left on Sunday. He told me he had not drank in 2 weeks due to being on a keto diet, but he was giving himself a cheat day. The 4 of us drank a couple of 6 packs at the golf course and we had another couple drinks each at dinner. When we got home it was around 10:30 and the next day was Easter so I retired for the evening and my friend went to our guest room for bed too. The next night my wife asked if we had drank the 2 bottles of wine she had bought because they were both gone. I of course told her we hadn't because we hadn't. She loses stuff a lot so I thought she might have walked out of the store without them or set them somewhere weird in the house and they would turn up. Fast forward to Tuesday evening and I wake up to several messages from my friend's wife asking me to call as soon as I get up. I call her and find out my friend has developed serious alcoholism over the last 2 years while living in Nashville. He has gotten to the point where he was drinking entire 5th's of vodka in a night and hiding them in the garage and closets from her so she wouldn't know how much he was drinking. The night in question he had been sober for about a week after a huge blowup 2 weeks after he spent the night at our house and was supposed to go to an AA meeting while she met her sister for dinner. When she called to check on how the meeting was going he was slurring his speech and she drove home to find him passed out on there deck with a floor burn down the right side of his face from the fall he took to get there.

That Tuesday they went to see his therapist and he agreed to enter an inpatient rehab facility because he could not stop drinking on his own. I talked to him for about 5 minutes before he left and he was crying which I have never seen him do. This has obviously led to some introspection on my art and my role in this. As a pastor I know scripture tells me I am to not be a stumbling block to anyone. I always knew this for the members of our church, but why do that if I am not doing the same for my very close family and friends, the people who I love deeply and have been around most of my life? Today I resolved that I will no longer be a stumbling block for anyone. If I am around when there is drinking, there will at least be one sober person for anyone who might be feeling that social pressure and need an out. I will also stand by my friends and family who struggle with drinking as well. On top of that I will be a designated driver for anyone who is partaking responsibly without a problem.

Anyway I want to share here for some accountability and also some encouragement as drinking has been a big part of my life up to this moment and this will be a difficult road for the first year.

Daniel
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2019, 04:51 PM
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BG5150 BG5150 is offline
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I wish you well in your endeavor. However, I think you are putting too much pressure on yourself.

It's one thing to not drink around someone you know is an alcoholic and cannot help themselves. It's another to stop drinking yourself because you might run into someone like that.

Be careful to not develop any resentments. After a while, it could be: "Stupid people and their drinking problems. Why can't I have a drink if I want one..."

Are you not going to allow yourself a glass of wine at family dinner?

Again, I'm supportive of your decision, I just want to make sure you do it for the right reasons.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:53 PM
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Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is offline
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You got it!


FWIW, my grandfather had an alcohol problem as well. It stemmed more from depression and grief (lost two sons; one in Vietnam, another through tragic accident) and a lack of coping skills wrt the latter.


And if I heard (ok, read) you right, you're going all-in. Becoming a T-Totaller and not taking any more alcoholic beverages. If I got that part wrong, then I suggest you reconsider given that there will always be people watching (if you're doing this in "public" view) and you'll send the wrong message if people find out you do so "quietly."


Even more so as a pastor.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:13 PM
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Daniel,

You related a couple of instances where you seem to think you played a role in someone else's alcoholic drinking. What they did was their business. Nothing there was your fault. It is very important that you understand this. You are not responsible for their problem drinking.

I think it is perfectly fine for you to quit drinking altogether for the reasons you gave. Maybe this is something God wants you to do to help others in the ways you described.
Check your motives on this that you're not doing it out of a sense of guilt, because there's nothing for you to feel guilty about.

You are not responsible for someone else's drinking problems, but I totally get the stumbling block issue. That's a fine reason all by itself if you decide to abstain.

It's also fine if you choose to not go all in on abstaining.

Disclosure: I am an alcoholic. Anniversary of my last drink 6/27/1983.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:56 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgtatum View Post
So this will be a bit personal, but I wanted to share this journey here as I feel like a board full of young, well paid professionals will probably be a good spot for this. Maybe some can identify. Anyway this isn't really about my drinking even though I probably have a bit too much from time to time and definitely drink more than the recommended amounts we all see in the healthcare literature. I am a 2-3 beers 4 or 5 nights a week guy and there are times with friends and family and at various events where I may drink all day and have 7-10. This is to say that stopping drinking will definitely improve my health and well being also, but I have a different purpose in mind.

....

Daniel
Gonna stop you right there. Your plans to help others are all great, and you might feel good for doing them.
But, do it for yourself. You'll feel A LOT better just by not drinking.

The benefits are being able to do all those other sober-guy things that you mention.
But they should not be your burdens. Have your Uber/Lyft app available.



So, when should I pick up all your unused alcohol?






Asking for a friend.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:35 PM
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Buy really expensive stuff, so your inner actuary kicks in and you don't drink much of it.

Beer can be $8 a bottle if you want. Hell, I had one the other night that was $45. Sky's the limit on wine and scotch.

As for keto, whiskey is your friend. Although keto should be a side effect, not a goal.

Good on you for thinking about others though.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dgtatum View Post
...as drinking has been a big part of my life up to this moment and this will be a difficult road for the first year.

Daniel
Wow. You sound cursed. Or your people are cursed. Or maybe you just get out more than me and mine.

Anyway, thank you for trying to do the right thing.

And good luck on your journey.
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:14 AM
tommie frazier tommie frazier is offline
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admirable that you would want to stop in case your drinking happens to encourage others with trouble handling alcohol to drink with you. But that's putting a lot on yourself.

I just hope that you view your own history with it, consider it seriously, and then in the event you revert to having a drink consider if that reversion is a true "stumble" or merely a "cheat day" like folks on ordinary diets are on.

Quitting is cool and all. Alcohol isn't good for you in general. But some isn't awful for you unless...Be good to yourself in how you handle this quitting. I doubt you regret quitting.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ElDucky View Post
Buy really expensive stuff, so your inner actuary kicks in and you don't drink much of it.

Beer can be $8 a bottle if you want. Hell, I had one the other night that was $45. Sky's the limit on wine and scotch.

As for keto, whiskey is your friend. Although keto should be a side effect, not a goal.

Good on you for thinking about others though.
Ketogenic diets dramatically increase the effects of alcohol.

You have to be very, very cateful. I speak from experience.

You really do not want to be on one if you are an alcoholic. Too much can wrong if you fall off the wagon.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by yoyo View Post
Disclosure: I am an alcoholic. Anniversary of my last drink 6/27/1983.
Keep it up, my friend.
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