I'm going to share some stuff on here about my experiences of addiction. Writing things down seems to help me. Maybe I'll get some helpful feedback or be able to help someone else too.
I'm a functioning addict and have been for quite some time, I suppose. My first referral to alcohol services actually came on the back of a mental health assessment for CBT. I went through a questionnaire which included my drinking habits. At the end of the questionnaire the lady doing the assessment said, "well we can't treat you because you're classed as alcohol dependant." This came as quite a shock.
I did engage with alcohol services but I lied about drug use (I was using cocaine every weekend). I quit drinking spirits/wine and drank nothing stronger than beer. I was down to maybe 30 units a week. But it crept back up to 70-80 units plus. I didn't do anything for a couple of years. It was affecting my marriage, work, my mental health. It was affecting everything really. My cocaine use was increasing. I was spending too much. I was starting to get physical withdrawal. I felt worse in the mornings if I didn't drink the night before (a reverse hangover I called it). I was wrestles and kind of itchy due to cocaine withdrawal and spent all week thinking/worrying about my habit.
I finally bit the bullet and went to my G. P. for a referral. Admitted the whole thing. It was incredibly difficult to do. The first session I went to I broke down in. I could feel the tears coming and I had to just let them. When I left I had to sit in the car for 10 minutes before I could compose myself enough to drive. I spent the rest of the day just lying on my bed crying thinking, "how the *** has it come to this?"
Anyway I carried on with a couple if counselling services (one for drugs and one for alcohol) and got some degree of control back. That was about a year ago. I've cut down to 20 units most weeks. The cocaine use is down to about a quarter of what it used to be. But I have behavioural/habitual issues which are proving difficult to break. Im having CBT via a charity called Addaction at the moment. At my session yesterday I set myself a goal to have a sober/clean weekend this weekend. And I got through last night! I did some Thought Records which my therapist gave me. I tried to replace the, "treat" of alcohol and cocaine with the treat of a take away and some sugary drinks. It wasn't easy but it wasn't too hard either. I still have tonight and Sunday to get through but I feel quite confident.
Hopefully I'll get back on here with some positive news at the end of the weekend.
Bye for now.
Hi, it really is difficult to face up to these kind of issues plus its a bit of a taboo to say the least so extremely difficult knowing who you can and can't reach out to. I guess its about looking at the stark reality about what these addictions stop you from doing in life how do they hold you back, why do you want to change? Agree with replacing yes totally, think of other things you could do with the money! Meh, I'm not very good at just saying if you want to vent message me been there myself its really not easy at all as you already know just friend request me if you want to.
Thanks Here4achat. I think that's why I've chosen to post on a forum. I can say what I want in relative anonymity. If people want to judge they are judging to my avatar and not to my face. I didn't know I could friend request. I'll look into that. Thanks again for the feedback.
yeah exactly, I don't really care too much about judgement but unfortunately it does happen and its something that needs to be talked about as its a huge part of life for people that use. Its hard to find other mood changers but it is possible I've just been doing an emotional coping skills course which has helped a lot :)
Great to read this! They say that reading another's story of addiction can help you with your own. I've always believed peer group support to be the best thing in that regard.
It's great to read that you're progressing so well. Congratulations, mate. I have my own similar kind of story.
I was referred to MH services after several bouts of depression over the years (something that I now know was attributable to my ASC). My GP at the time said 'Enough with the pills. Let's get you properly assessed.' At the time, I didn't drink much. Pretty much at normal levels. It wasn't a problem. But at my first MH appointment, I was asked if I drank. I said yes.... and the next thing I knew, I was being referred on to alcohol services. I was told 'We'll stop your drinking first, then deal with the mental health problems once you're sober.' I couldn't believe it! Anyway, I went along to a group and found myself with people who had serious problems - way, way above anything I'd encountered before. I might drink two, sometimes three bottles of wine a week. And here I found myself with people drinking that quantity a day - and more.
Cut a long story short, though. Once it was assessed as a problem for me - it became a problem for me. In the last 6 years especially, it's escalated to the point where I was probably - at my worst - on 80 or 100+ units a week, and I found it hard to go days without anything. I've stopped, relapsed, cut back, relapsed, stopped, relapsed.... the way it goes. A couple of weeks back, I really hit the skids, went into blackout, ended up posting something on here that got a lot of people very worried. Since then - and with the huge support I get from the people on these forums - I've pulled it together again. I didn't drink at all last week. Last night, I 'treated' myself to a bottle of wine. I really wish I hadn't, because I feel crap this morning. Not hangover, but guilt and remorse. So... I'm going to go along with you and go for sobriety for the rest of the weekend.
I know the struggles, mate. I've never tried other drugs, but most of the recovering alcoholics I know have said that alcohol was the hardest to kick. Sounds to me like you're doing a great job. You'll get there. You can beat this. So can I.
All the best in recovery from a fellow traveller!
I know exactly what you mean about it becoming more of a problem once someone actually tells you, "you've got a problem." Having said that it's got me more focused. I actually feel incredibly lucky. I go to an addiction centre that treats all forms of addiction. I've seen people literally doubled over in pain and throwing up from heroin addiction in there. And no doubt some of the people are in hostels or on the streets due to it. It makes me feel a bit guilty sometimes for having what I consider to be quite a petty problem and not being able to deal with it myself, but at the same time I'm thinking, "if these people can get through it then so can I."
Anyway, it's very encouraging to have some feedback so quickly on here.
Thanks again and take care.
Absolutely agree. There shouldn't be a stigma in asking for help but unfortunately there is. I would be terrified of talking to my employer about drug addiction. I think I'd just be sacked and end up in a worse situation.
I went to addiction centres for a long time. Like being on this forum, it was just good to mix with others on my wavelength. Not feel judged, etc.
I, too, felt guilty for not really having what I regarded as a 'problem' in comparison to some of them. But the last few years have made me realise how easily it can take hold - especially when there's a lot of emotional stress involved. I got bad back in 2014, when my ex-partner was living with me. I simply couldn't cope with the arrangement and was a top-up drinker pretty much for 18 months. Then she left and I had a few months' reprieve. And then my mother became seriously ill and I took over her care for her final months. Then, I was drinking just to cope, and after she passed away it got bad again. It's taken me some time to wrestle it back under control - but then I have something like the other week, when something in my head just goes 'BAM'.
I've heard some remarkable stories of recovery. I know someone who drank heavily for decades - 3 bottles of vodka a day at worst - plus other drugs. He's been clean now for 8 years and is one of the most serene, centred guys I know. And I think the same. I've never gotten to that stage... but who knows what might happen if I carry on?
I'm not into AA or anything... but it's a day at a time!
Just a quick update. Partial success over the weekend. No cocaine at all. Sober Friday and Saturday. I did cave in and have a few beers on Sunday but I think that's the lesser of two evils in my case. I feel positive about it. Let's see what next weekend brings!
I got bad after my Mum died too. Got it into my head that the antidepressants I was on stopped me grieving so stopped taking them. Ended up having an episode involving a bottle of rum and didn't go back to work for a fair while.
Like you say though there's always someone to look to for inspiration. I've got back into reading books now and that's helped too.
Partial success is better than failure! Well done, mate. I admit that I caved in on Saturday and also had a few beers in the evening. A few yesterday, too - but not huge. 4 cans of 6%.
The main thing is you stayed off the other stuff, and you feel positive. Recovery's never a straight road. When I got wrecked and blacked out the other weekend, I posted something that caused some worries. It was partly to do with my impending return to work after 2 weeks off and having to confront someone who'd given me a hard time on social media. It's never easy working with someone you can't get on with.
Anyway... in case you're interested... here's a link to that thread. You might find it worth looking at.
Goodnight, and Good Luck
It's not something I'm proud of. Like I said, though - recovery's never a straight road.
All the best,