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Addiction & Recovery Message Board


Addiction & Recovery Board Index


I can understand that it must seem unfair that you are struggling with this problem so early in what we hope will be a long life.

The good news is that you seem to be past the stage of pre-contemplation (or denial) and are at a point where you are at least ambivalent about your willingness to change. Ambivalence means you are "weighing" the positives and negatives of your behavior.

I personally think it is important to understand that addiction is a brain illness. This is no longer just something we say, the science is clear: the reward system of the brain is "hijacked" by the alcohol and is producing a desire to continue drinking that overwhelms your inhibitory mechanisms.

That won't help you get sober, but it may help you understand that you are, unfortunately, genetically and biologically predisposed to alcoholism. It is unlikely you will ever be able to drink "socially." Your choices are to:

a) try to reduce the harm alcohol is causing by drinking less, drinking less often, and/or avoiding dangerous activities while you are drinking (like driving!)
b) become a non-drinker.
c) do nothing until you suffer more serious consequences, which will happen - as you know.

Most cigarette smokers try to quit 8 to 10 times before they are successful. Losing weight, exercising regularly, eating right, quitting smoking - all of these are difficult for almost anyone. Changing behavior is not easy, particularly when you experience cravings, fatigue, loneliness, depression etc.

My suggestion is that you at least acknowledge to yourself that you have this problem, and commit to reducing the immediate harm it is causing to the extent you are able.

When you are ready to take another step, you really should consider detox under the supervision of a physician. Alcohol withdrawal is very, very dangerous.

If AA is not for you, there are self-help books and other kinds of support that you might be able to access to help you remain abstinent long enough for the cravings to reduce in frequency and intensity and, more important, you begin to experience some of the positive aspects of sobriety. This becomes self-reinforcing, if you know what I mean.

I hope this post is helpful. I know there are lots of folks here who are in the same spot and many who have been where you are now. Stay in touch!





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