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Alcohol

Negligent-Discharge said:
Why is it Alcoholics Anonymous when you have to stand up and say "Hi, I'm Davey"?
AA can be useful to some people although when I attended a meeting I could not get a grasp of it, all respect to those whom it has been succesful for however imho it's more of a social gathering than actually helping. To be honest I found that some people attending were somewhat disillusioned into feeling extremely low self esteem. I have posted about this before. One woman stood up and introduced herself and said she had not had a drink for 9 months, but still used the term "I'm an alcoholic!"
I questioned her about this in front of everyone, as after 9 months I would say you have pretty much cracked it, after all you would not say to someone if you had not had a cig for 9 month's "I'm a smoker".
The only reply I seemed to get which told me alot of the mindset was, You are always an alcoholic!!! I thought that was a pretty negative outlook on the whole thing. I do agree that by admitting you have a problem is the first step to sorting a problem, however I see little distance in attaching a label to yourself, especially if it is not warranted anymore. I just seemed to get the impression that the whole ethos seemed to keep people down and feeling a bit crap about themselves, and at a time when addicted or habitually taking a depressant anyway.
 
12-step programmes such as those of AA, NA, CoDA etc are useful when people initially acknowledge the existence of a problem and that they are determined to fix it. Whilst I've never been to an AA or NA meeting myself I know people who have and a lot of people seem to have a Damascene-type conversion when there.

There's a great deal of support to be had from these organisations and - despite their anonymous nature (much like t'interweb) - that people can be so open and honest here on ARRSE (despite the risk of being ribbed remorselessly for it) should be applauded.
 
Some AA stuff also spouts on about.

1. It is genetic thing and for example

“If your Dad was one your more likely to become one”

BUT

2. It’s a disease just like cancer?

So which is it?

I think it’s a habit that becomes an addiction that then leads to dependency, which can be broken.
 
Ursus.Maritimus said:
12-step programmes such as those of AA, NA, CoDA etc are useful when people initially acknowledge the existence of a problem and that they are determined to fix it. Whilst I've never been to an AA or NA meeting myself I know people who have and a lot of people seem to have a Damascene-type conversion when there.

There's a great deal of support to be had from these organisations and - despite their anonymous nature (much like t'interweb) - that people can be so open and honest here on ARRSE (despite the risk of being ribbed remorselessly for it) should be applauded.

I agree that such organisations do offer valuable help to people, and that like anything you only get out of something what you put in, perhaps my initial inquisition did not do me any favours in my opinions of the meetings effectiveness. However it does not do anyone any favours if you continually have to say that you are an alcoholic,especially if you don't actually touch the stuff anymore. Thats akin to walking round and saying "yeah im a right dick and have forked my life up" Would it not be a better plan to just say something along the lines of "yeah I drink too much and Im here to try and sort out my sketch, does anyone have any experiences or advice that might help me please" .
I just found that it was a bit of a negative approach, especially and pardon the pun that it takes alot of bottle to tell anyone that you have/ or think you have a problem in the first instance.
 

bovvy

LE
Rapierman said:
I agree that such organisations do offer valuable help to people, and that like anything you only get out of something what you put in, perhaps my initial inquisition did not do me any favours in my opinions of the meetings effectiveness. However it does not do anyone any favours if you continually have to say that you are an alcoholic,especially if you don't actually touch the stuff anymore. Thats akin to walking round and saying "yeah im a right dick and have forked my life up" Would it not be a better plan to just say something along the lines of "yeah I drink too much and Im here to try and sort out my sketch, does anyone have any experiences or advice that might help me please" .
I just found that it was a bit of a negative approach, especially and pardon the pun that it takes alot of bottle to tell anyone that you have/ or think you have a problem in the first instance.

That's a question that I'd like to try to answer, but, as someone who struggles to collect my thoughts and to summarise the reasons, it won't be easy. But, honestly, it's anything but negative. Those who are dependent on alcohol feel ashamed and dread admitting the extent of their problem. They might imagine that an AA meeting is full of dirty, park-bench, meths-drinkers. Instead, they find a room full of happy, well-dressed, articulate, successful, sober people, who all admit to being "alcoholics". Having told you that they had lost everything through their drinking, they will then explain how following the 12-step program and attending meetings enables them to be happy, joyous and free. A common theme which is present in alcoholics' life-stories is that, as children and teenagers, before taking a first drink, they never felt "normal". They felt uneasy and didn't "fit in" and seemed to have "a hole in their soul". They found that their first drink released them from these awkward, uncomfortable feelings. Another theme among these alcoholics is being perfectionists who were unable to live up to their own (unrealistic) high standards. Some members say they notice that one of their children exhibits some of this awkwardness. Having started attending AA, some alcoholics find that the difficult feelings they experience (that no-one else ever seems to understand) are shared and articulated by other members.

It is difficult to stop drinking and even more difficult to stay off it. Alcohol has been a necessary crutch. If taken away, one is left with all the difficult feelings ...... "dry-drunk" or "white-knuckling". That is why AA can be helpful. Among other things, it teaches one to banish resentments and allow gratitude to flourish. This change of attitude arms one against the self-pity which leads to drinking.

Many of those attending AA say they are very glad to be "alcoholics" because they have a program that enables them to live a good life.

I tried to find some online answers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-step_program

http://www.brighteyecounselling.co.uk/alcohol-drugs/cure-for-alcoholism/
(there's a discussion in the comments)

http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=28583

EDIT: Having just read though the above, I hope it doesn't sound too evangelical. On a personal note, my drinking was only a couple of hours of an evening and didn't cause me losses. When I first stopped drinking, I had no intention of returning to AA, But, after stopping for 8 months, I got involved. My involvement is now very minimal, as it is apparent to me that that autistic difficulties (mainly executive dysfunction) continue to be my main problem, having affected every minute of every day of my life. But I certainly have no desire to pick up a drink.
 
bovvy said:
Rapierman said:
I agree that such organisations do offer valuable help to people, and that like anything you only get out of something what you put in, perhaps my initial inquisition did not do me any favours in my opinions of the meetings effectiveness. However it does not do anyone any favours if you continually have to say that you are an alcoholic,especially if you don't actually touch the stuff anymore. Thats akin to walking round and saying "yeah im a right dick and have forked my life up" Would it not be a better plan to just say something along the lines of "yeah I drink too much and Im here to try and sort out my sketch, does anyone have any experiences or advice that might help me please" .
I just found that it was a bit of a negative approach, especially and pardon the pun that it takes alot of bottle to tell anyone that you have/ or think you have a problem in the first instance.

That's a question that I'd like to try to answer, but, as someone who struggles to collect my thoughts and to summarise the reasons, it won't be easy. But, honestly, it's anything but negative. Those who are dependent on alcohol feel ashamed and dread admitting the extent of their problem. They might imagine that an AA meeting is full of dirty, park-bench, meths-drinkers. Instead, they find a room full of happy, well-dressed, articulate, successful, sober people, who all admit to being "alcoholics". Having told you that they had lost everything through their drinking, they will then explain how following the 12-step program and attending meetings enables them to be happy, joyous and free. A common theme which is present in alcoholics' life-stories is that, as children and teenagers, before taking a first drink, they never felt "normal". They felt uneasy and didn't "fit in" and seemed to have "a hole in their soul". They found that their first drink released them from these awkward, uncomfortable feelings. Another theme among these alcoholics is being perfectionists who were unable to live up to their own (unrealistic) high standards. Some members say they notice that one of their children exhibits some of this awkwardness. Having started attending AA, some alcoholics find that the difficult feelings they experience (that no-one else ever seems to understand) are shared and articulated by other members.

It is difficult to stop drinking and even more difficult to stay off it. Alcohol has been a necessary crutch. If taken away, one is left with all the difficult feelings ...... "dry-drunk" or "white-knuckling". That is why AA can be helpful. Among other things, it teaches one to banish resentments and allow gratitude to flourish. This change of attitude arms one against the self-pity which leads to drinking.

Many of those attending AA say they are very glad to be "alcoholics" because they have a program that enables them to live a good life.

I tried to find some online answers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-step_program

http://www.brighteyecounselling.co.uk/alcohol-drugs/cure-for-alcoholism/
(there's a discussion in the comments)

http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=28583

EDIT: Having just read though the above, I hope it doesn't sound too evangelical. On a personal note, my drinking was only a couple of hours of an evening and didn't cause me losses. When I first stopped drinking, I had no intention of returning to AA, But, after stopping for 8 months, I got involved. My involvement is now very minimal, as it is apparent to me that that autistic difficulties (mainly executive dysfunction) continue to be my main problem, having affected every minute of every day of my life. But I certainly have no desire to pick up a drink.



Excellent reply from what I see as the "other side of the fence" of rehabilitation. I cannot as I have said see many faults in the AA approach and if that suits somebody that is absolutely fine. I did find your post slightly evangelical in it's approach, however that is partly due to the basis of the program (I am not having a dig here ok) It was started by an american devout christian in iirc the early 1930s ??? Kind of swap one spirit for another so to speak lol.
However what it does do for someone who needs to adhere to structure and positive values in their life, offers a model and way of thinking to do so.
I do however oppose to the old arguments of genetic alcoholism which is something the AA does suggest, as much as I do to people being genetic homosexuals. It is a matter of personal choice, albeit drink can take over a body chemically where as I'm not sure that being an uphill gardener does !!!!
Alcohol is some seriously bad stuff if abused, the word "moderation" always springs up ,but in the UK now if you consume just 7 1/2 units in a session you are a binge drinker, it's the latest scare along with Chlamydia and all that. 7 1/2 units is only about 2 and a half pints of Stella. So according to some of the scaremongery half the drinking population if they consume that equivalent are no better than all the people in the videos of "booze britain".
If You have a problem you undoubtably will know it yourself and hopefully before the world falls out your arrse. There are many place to seek help and advice. On here is a start but locally there are many people and agencies offering help, including the AA.

Remember though your units, not pints halves shots or swigs. They are old hat now so the government (plus NHS etc) recognise a unit of alcohol as

1/2 Pint Normal strength Bitter, Cider or Lager (4 % abv range)

1 Glass of Wine (125ml)

1 Normal measure of spirits (40 % abv ,25ml measure)



So now if you think of that as a few tipples after work, say 3 pints and a double scotch before you dash that is going to be 8 units matey, you binge drinker you!!!!!!!!!!!!
The point I am making is if you have a problem with alcohol follow it up, do tell people if you feel you are able but do not fall into the trap as many I have known where they think due to media hype and recent publicity that they are anywhere close to being the shaking convulsing person I became if I was without any alcohol in my brief periods of semi sobriety.
Sometimes people I have known think that they are verging on a problem when all that they have done is overdone it somewhat, it is a poison afterall, you feel shit because the body does not want you to kill it off. Take a few days off the soup, eat well drink water and it will repair itself.
The body does get chemically addicted but in the majority of cases it tends to be more habitual and especially in the army (forces), it is a culture, I always called it Her Majesty's Professional Drinking Club.
 

bovvy

LE
I was just looking at an Arrse Crawl thread. 8O
I nearly went on one once, in June 2006, when I still drank.
I was thinking to myself whether there'd be any call for an Arrse Dry Crawl, for us what don't drink. :? :roll:
Wouldn't really work, would it?
It's not as if we could take loads of pills, either. :roll:
I don't miss alcohol at all .......

........ except went I get that very rare urge to go on a pub-crawl.
 
Just thought I'd add a little bit more.

I've always thought I drank far too much but I like it so couldn't really bother myself to curb it and was going to try and knock it on the swede for a while at the beginning of Feb but Sainsbury's buggered that up with an offer(see my last post on this a page or so ago.)
After that, I did have a go and apart from a couple of reunion type do's and the Army v Navy this year, I'm quite chuffed with myself. The first three days were like giving up smoking. I could think of nothing else and wanted a drink all the time.
I was 13 and 1/2 stone at the start of Feb and now I'm 12 dead(ish). I can't do physical stuff at the moment and that's just with stopping gargling the nectar and eating properly. No doing 5 bags of crisps at a time, Chinese/Indians but a little bit of what you like every so often. Apart from the Army v Navy game where I had chips and fishcakes at the ground and an Indian about midnight.... and lost count of the units from about 11am till the Indian. Had a bucket the next day for a 'hair of the dog' (firm believer in that remedy) Now back to being sensible till I feel like not being!
Until the 7th Feb, not a day had gone by for 4 yrs where I didn't have a sniffle and kick the 'arris out of it. I liked it, and still do! Just good to know that I control 'it' instead of the other way round. If only it was that simples for everybody.
 
Haven't read the whole thread so sorry if this has been covered, and I know this is the naafi but still.
Im not good with words and sh1t but..
From a nippers POV, having an alkie father can be one of the scariest things imaginable.

My dad's been sober for nearly 6 years, I'm 17 in july so for my teenage life he's been clean but I remember as a kid seeing him slumped in an easy chair in front of the telly with empty castle cans littered around him, he lost his job, almost lost his wife, was in a car crash (thankfully the 4x4 he hit going through a red hit the front right side of the car, if it was a second later it could have killed him) and I honestly don't know if that's the only close call, there could be many times he was nearly hit.

It sounds soppy but growing up a kid's dad is like an idol, it's terrifying knowing something is wrong, that more sh1ts going to happen but you don't know what and not being able to talk about it because you don't know how.

My dad drank because both his parents drank heavily, my mother has told me stories about them which make me naar, the thing is, it was so easy for him just to have another drink, then another, and he didn't realize how it was affecting me and my sister, she's even younger than me.
I know how difficult it is for him to stay sober, but I respect that he's hanging in there, I think it's mainly for us to be honest.

Yeah like I said I suck with words and that isn't very well structured but this is something that affected me, and is the reason I wont touch alcohol, I've had 4 half glasses of wine in the past 2 years and I'm not planning on anymore.

To everyone who thinks they have a problem, and who has a family who is affected, do it for them, AA really helped my dad and by doing that helped us.
Alcoholism doesn't just affect the drinker..
 

bovvy

LE
For those in the UK, the phone number for Alcoholics Anonymous is:

IF ALCOHOL IS COSTING YOU MORE THAN MONEY
call us today in complete confidence
0845 769 7555

And I understand Al-Anon and Alateen can be a lifeline for the family and friends of those with a problem with alcohol:

http://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/contact
 
is anyone still reading this? I looked it up, having recalled it from three years ago. My drinking has caused problems at home, and I am now endeavouring to cut it out in the evenings when I am on my own , not go to the pub for the sake if it, and only party when there is a reunion or something.....I avoided one of those today at Whitehall.
 
I click on the 'new posts' button, so I read it if you replied to it recently ;)

Dunno about anyone else, I'm a functional alcoholic. I have a great job, a properly good looking girlfriend and a generally decent life, but I'm still drinking waaaaay more than I should. However I managed to cut it down to 'every other day', and the amounts are lower than usual for alcoholics. That said, I'm still kicking back about a weekly allowance in a single night as a combination of lager and cider. I'm just doing it 3-4 times a week rather than 7.

Sleep tight.
 
Not trying to turn the post - but I know that theres more than just drinkers leaving the forces. I've been out for nearly 10 years, for the last 2 I've worked in a homeless hostel. Drinkers galore in here, several of them are ex forces. I've been through a support group myself, but they didn't use the 12 step program, you went through it, but it was more of an open floor session. When I lived in London, I was going pretty much every week and I quite enjoyed it, good crowd, supportive and always welcoming. I moved up north about 2 years ago and went to a group which did follow the 12 step program and I really found it hard to settle in, which lead to me not going any more. I'm lucky that my problems haven't come back and I do feel confident about things. I know I can go back anytime if things get worse. The advice I've given to some of my residents is to try a few groups, find the one which works for you. It migth not be the closest, but if you feel that you're able to walk through the door anytime and say what's bothering you, I find it helps in everyday life.
For Formerly's comments - Well done, every other day is a bloody good start and everything has to start somewhere. One bit of advice I would fcuking beg people to listen too.....
If you EVER go to the docs and you get any sort of meds to help you stop drinking, they'll probably be some sort of suppresant, FOR FCUKS SAKE DO NOT DRINK WITH THEM. We had a lad in the hostel, 25, fit as a fiddle, good footie player & clever lad. But he had a suppresant to stop him drinking and he got pi$$ed whilst taking it. One Sunday afternoon his mum came over to see him with his dad, another staff member went upstairs to his room, he was dead on the bed.
The nurse said any type of suppresant including valium, mixed with alcohol can shut your respiratory system down, bit of 2 plus 2 equals 9 thing.
 
wow, poor chap, thats hard core. I found, when in civvy street ("only" soldiered part time, the 'RA couldnt tell though, doubt the 3rd Shock Army would have bothered to ask either) that when things were going great, and I did do very well, that party time seemed to be the order of the day....then it became a regular thing, so instead of special occasions, it became every second day or so, almost fighting for my right to party, as the song say......now, I spend the week on my own, and sometimes weeks on my own. I work odd hours, have business in Australia of all places, which quite often involves staying up late for interminable three hour conference calls.....then its time for a whiskey or five...

Or, I'll be quite happy, not in drinking mode/zone, a pal will call, we will have an 8-11pm sesh and instead of going to bed after 5/6 pints, then its the temptations to listen to some sounds with the creature as company, and hit the sack late, for want of any boss in the morning (the boss is me) and then the next day, a slow start, followed by a semi liquid lunch, followed by an afternoon of espresso, followed by any old excuse to get hammered in the evening....the long and the short of all of that, is that it will take me two days to recover. So, three days after being hammered, I am ready to start again.....sometimes I did, sometimes I didnt. Not at the moment I am pleased to say.

If there is one thing I am learning its that none of it is worth it....the temporary buzz is fools gold. But keeping a mahoosive watching brief on it. Total abstinence may be the answer for some. I dont think I have let it get so bad that that is the only answer....it wasnt for my old man for example. Then again, I could be kidding myself. Tonight, two and a half before closing time with a good book by the fire in the local boozer, then nothing at home....But another two years heading in the direction I was going would have meant quit or die I reckon.
 
This year has been a game of two halves for me with regard to booze.

First half - utter shit. Due to a variety of circumstances I found myself boozing easily 4 or 5 nights a week; sitting in the house with my housemate (who's a closet alkie if I'm honest) getting battered on wine, gin, beer (whatever I'd remembered to buy on my way home from work). Not helped by a massively stressful Jan-May work wise and then an equally stressful May - Jul personally. I alone was managing to get through a litre or so of wine and 4 or 5 large G&Ts of an evening - driving to work next day probably wasn't the best idea as I have to get up at 0615 and I live 30 miles from where I work, so lifts in with the boys became common. Put on a fair amount of weight and managed to develop real crushing stomach pain (gastritis I think but I can't remember).

Jul onwards - pretty bloody good actually! Went for my annual medical mid-Jul and my Doc chivvied me into doing something about my (increasing) weight. Gave up booze mid-Jul to end Sep and lost 9 and a bit kgs. Have massively limited my intake since the start of Oct and have dropped a further 4kgs. Sleeping much better, generally feeling more alert and "with it", gym sessions & runs now a lot easier. The big benefit now is not rolling out of my bed in the mornings and feeling like I've been run over by a road roller.
 

natotattie

War Hero
wow, poor chap, thats hard core. I found, when in civvy street ("only" soldiered part time, the 'RA couldnt tell though, doubt the 3rd Shock Army would have bothered to ask either) that when things were going great, and I did do very well, that party time seemed to be the order of the day....then it became a regular thing, so instead of special occasions, it became every second day or so, almost fighting for my right to party, as the song say......now, I spend the week on my own, and sometimes weeks on my own. I work odd hours, have business in Australia of all places, which quite often involves staying up late for interminable three hour conference calls.....then its time for a whiskey or five...

Or, I'll be quite happy, not in drinking mode/zone, a pal will call, we will have an 8-11pm sesh and instead of going to bed after 5/6 pints, then its the temptations to listen to some sounds with the creature as company, and hit the sack late, for want of any boss in the morning (the boss is me) and then the next day, a slow start, followed by a semi liquid lunch, followed by an afternoon of espresso, followed by any old excuse to get hammered in the evening....the long and the short of all of that, is that it will take me two days to recover. So, three days after being hammered, I am ready to start again.....sometimes I did, sometimes I didnt. Not at the moment I am pleased to say.

If there is one thing I am learning its that none of it is worth it....the temporary buzz is fools gold. But keeping a mahoosive watching brief on it. Total abstinence may be the answer for some. I dont think I have let it get so bad that that is the only answer....it wasnt for my old man for example. Then again, I could be kidding myself. Tonight, two and a half before closing time with a good book by the fire in the local boozer, then nothing at home....But another two years heading in the direction I was going would have meant quit or die I reckon.

Buz Aldrin has spent longer playing on the surface of the moon than you have spent in uniform BUT he doesn't state his address as "The Moon".

"when in civvy street" - what a cunt, an alcoholic cunt.
 
It was about two miles from RAF Croughton to the Red Lion Inn in Evenley. After one of the lads took this newby there for half a Phipps in 1964, I was strictly a full pint man, 6-7 a night, 6-7 nights a week, back to the barracks on on duty the following morning with no ill aftereffects.

When I was posted away from the land of real ale to the land of ice cold "beer" I lost interest. I'm now down to 6-7 pints annually unless my neighbour has brewed a batch of home grown.

But Lamb's Navy and Pepsi is a treat and I do have a single malt from time to time.
 
Hello ****, still being a **** ten years later, you utter spastic?
He was last on here in 2011. Don't expect a fast reply to your witty retort.

Good to see that this hasn't been playing on your mind for 9 years, though.
 
Zombie threads are lush. Nothing like scratching at the scabs of old wounds to foment a humorous meltdown.
 

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