Wow! Great discussion, observations and sharing of experiences. That’s what we’re all about. That’s why we are here. We understand each other (like others can’t). We relate in a way that can save a life from despair, loneliness and ruin.
I totally get what Chris M. said that it’s not about how long I can go without a drink, it’s all about what happens to me when I do drink. I am simply powerless over alcohol. The only real power I have over alcohol is to not take that first drink. If I do, then I’m off to the races and out of control. Life becomes unmanageable really quickly.
Marie asked about out patient and other types of treatment available. There are many types of treatment available, both in-patient and out-patient. Each treatment center is going to have a different approach to recovery. Some are clinical based, some are spiritual based (emphasis on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous), some are religious, some are … you can almost fill in the blank. As for finding one that works for you, I’d suggest going to a couple of AA meetings in your area, find the people in those meetings who are happy, joyous and free and ask them what worked for them.
I, too, never lost a job or got a DUI, even though I drove drunk nearly every day for 15 or so years. It’s only a miracle and a whole lot of luck that I didn’t. God knows I deserved many! It was my drinking and powerlessness that led to understand that I am an alcoholic, not the consequences (or, lack of same, in some cases) of my drinking.
This alcoholism thing really is cunning, baffling and powerful. And, Marie, it’s like the introduction to the second batch of stories in the back of the Big Book of AA says, these were the stories of people who hadn’t yet hit rock bottom, although they could see that bottom from where they were. As the book says, “They stopped in time”. The decision to stop is yours. If you need help with that, we can show you a way that works. We are here for you to support you in what ever way we can.
The obsession and urges to stop drinking can and do go away when embracing the first simple principles found in AA. The program then teaches you the skills necessary to learn to live life again without alcohol. Remember, alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful. Our self-will is not enough. It’s always waiting there for us. Just when we think we’re in control, we find out quickly that we are not.
Keep posting. Keep coming back, because this stuff works. Hope to see and hear from you on Wednesday and reading your posts here!! Tom G.