Drink

#1
As my ID states, I'm an alcoholic.

I've always drank during my years in the TA and to be honest I really looked forward to having a beer. For many years it was fine, I was always functioning in the morning, having a laugh going through the post beer PXR's.

But then began the slide, mild at first but slowly turned to doing CFT's wondering why I'd got new female's numbers on my phone (black out), unable to control my drinking during functions, waking up in barracks wondering how I got back. Failing breath tests, failing to produce work.

Did I think I had a problem??? No, I'd pass the CFT, I'd do one of the hardest runs in the world after starting on the bog throwing up, while the remainder of the team was on the start line. Unable weekends cause I was shattered - poor sleep patterns, working hard(/& late) at civvie job, irregular eating habbits - all beer related. I didn't drink a bottle of cider before going on the ranges, I didn't take a flask of whisky on weekends, I didn't start drinking as soon as training finished. In fact I was an ideal MATT 6 soldier until I took that first drink.

On MATT6, yes it does talk about beer but did I listen, as I've just stated this was just another boring lecture. Recommended daily allowance??? they're all set by someone who's never drunk (or I thought so), when they've collated all the figures their highly likely to be wrong - I mean when asked how much have you had to drink are you going to tell the truth???? I never did, only at AA meetings did I start admitting the real amount.

Although I've posted this on the TA forum it's not to imply TA have a drink problem. The majority of forces I've met at AA are either regular or ex-reg reservists, if I could recruit many of them into my unit we'd have the most most experienced unit in the TA.

My recovery: I'm only new into AA but the process started a few years ago, chats with the badge/welfare officer/AO. Yeah I began to accept I had a problem. MATT6 again, ignored again of course. Moderating drink (<4 beers) and then failing a breath test - oh I'm being victimised now.

I had to hit my rock bottom (I'd go into details but this ain't that much of an anon site), which I did and found my way to AA. I'd tried SSAFA which was located at my TAC but they seemed more interested in housing ex-regs. Also tried the local Alkie/Drug place via NHS, yeah we worked out triggers that made me drink but I couldn't make them go away until she left me.
AA works for me, oddly it only seems to be certain TA/Reg/exReg cap badges that attend AA, maybe it's just the CSS corps that have drink problems but I think not.

Soz waffled a bit there. Although the army policy is Excessive alcohol consumption is not to be tolerated; drunkenness is a military offence. but it also goes onto say Help will be offered to those willing
to reform, but those who do not respond to rehabilitation will be
considered for discharge.
. Which I suppose in TA terms, as the army will not supply rehab, etc, means you can't fail the service test (sic).
Saying that individuals do supply help and advice, mentioned a few earlier. Listening to advice from a Reg at AA, I understand the Army will provide you transport to AA meetings. Yeah I know they will be few and far between on annual camp etc but you should find one. Maybe speak to your padre, I found this a great help after I started going spirtiual via the AA programme.

Lastly camps(/weekends), it is very difficult to find something to do when your knocked off. Obivously the traditional evening entertainment is a no go, laptop plus TV card/internet dongle a great help, running erm no ... unlit country roads, etc. Oddly I recieved a lot of support from some moderate/heavy drinkers, they helped me pass a lot of time, why??? I have my own ideas.

It would be a fool that says I'm a one off and the army doesn't have drink problems. Put me on a 48hr (dry) exercise and I'll start spotting the alkies by their behaviour. Help is out there, would appreciate any other views on where to get it though.
 
#2
Keep the faith, mate; I hope it all works out for you.
 
#3
Still getting used to coincidences that keep happening, but after I made that post I opened up an AA book and read:

Source of Strength said:
When WW2 broke out, our AA dependance on a Higher Power had it's first major test. AA's entered service and were scattered all over the world.

Would they be able to take discipline, stand up under fire, and endure the monotony and misery of war? (Just like TA then!) Would the kind of dependance they had learned in AA carry them through?

Well, it did. They had fewer alcoholic lapses or emotional binges than AA's safe at home did. They were just as capable of endurance and valour as any other soldiers. Whether in Alaska or on the Salerno beachhead, their dependance upon a Higher Power worked.

Far from being a weakness, this dependance was their chief source of strength
Probably a bit OTT for the morning ... but the military link etc.
 
#4
Brave first post there mate, I dont know if your new to this site or are a regular poster using a new ID, either way, welcome aboard. Having lived with someone who is "Alcohol Dependant" for many years I can see where your coming from.

Good luck matey.
 
#5
Thing is, if I had all the money I'd spent on drink, I'd spend it on drink.
 
#6
good luck mate, have lived with some one for many years with these problems!

chin up and crack on... its a new world for you make the most of it
 
#9
Good luck mate.
As said previously it takes courage - and you've shown that.
 
#10
Drinking is for winners.

It also means that I'm allowed to nail fat heffers when leathered.

Keep up the good work, more munters for me ;)
 
#12
#13
Had a mate who was in the Marines early 80's. Based in Cyprus. Told me a story of how he felt knackered all the time so went to see the doctor. Told him how he felt, doctor asked him how much he drank - oh average he replied. OK says Doctor what is that ?

Well we knock off, have a beer or two, sort out our kit, shower another beer then evening meal another beer then off to town. Few beers and maybe bottles of wine. Back to camp, few beers and game of cards.

It was average to him as all his mates drank the same. Many of my weekends seemed that the training revolved round the bar opening. It's all too easy to drink too much too often
 
#15
Drinking isn't compulsory. If you tell your mates you've packed it in, they should support you by not putting pressure on you to drink, and you shouldn't be excluded from social events or a night out.

Despite what you read on this website, everyone in the army does not spend all their time throwing drink down their neck at the maximum rate.
There are plenty of moderate drinkers, and more than a few non drinkers.

I wouldn't deny that a lot of drinking still goes on. But the culture is changing, much the same way it did with smoking.

Good luck.
 
#16
stevers said:
Drinking isn't compulsory. If you tell your mates you've packed it in, they should support you by not putting pressure on you to drink, and you shouldn't be excluded from social events or a night out.

Despite what you read on this website, everyone in the army does not spend all their time throwing drink down their neck at the maximum rate.
There are plenty of moderate drinkers, and more than a few non drinkers.

I wouldn't deny that a lot of drinking still goes on. But the culture is changing, much the same way it did with smoking.

Good luck.
The reverse is true, everyone (reg/TA) has been very supportive, within reason of course.

If you ever see the AA UK Armed forces leaflet it does contain a true storey about a Mil Doctor who did try to take the MOD to court over HIS drinking to get a full pension - on the grounds he was healthy when he started and an alkie when he left, it got thrown out.

Although from the USA Armed Forces doc and not the UK (arrrgh no hope for me eh???)

"Since joining AA I've been commissioned and have gone in five years from 1st lieutenant to Captain to selection to major. I've had the usual succession of overseas and stateside duty tours each one a little better than the last. I've been awarded at least one medal for meritorious ahcievement or service at every assignment. I never got any in the seven preceding years as a practising military drunk"
 
#18
AA_TA,
Good luck to you,When my dad died 10 years ago,I hit the bottlle hard & I only wised up when,looking in the mirror,my nose was starting to go that red,swollen look.
 
#20
Bravo_Bravo said:
Thing is, if I had all the money I'd spent on drink, I'd spend it on drink.
money spent on drink is simply not worth thinking about.
 

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