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Old 02-09-2019, 09:59 AM #1
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Trig Itís time to seek help...

So, Iíve developed a dependence on alcohol over the past 2 years.

Last year I firmly progressed into daily drinking starting early in the day until I went to bed. Although I have taken breaks the longest I went without alcohol all last year was 6 weeks. On the whole it was just the occasional break of a few days or maybe a week.

Iíve probally been drinking 70-100 units of alcohol a week on average.

Iíve been convinced I can deal with it myself and the short breaks always supported this notion in my mind but ultimately Iíve not been able to achieve abstinence long term. My psychiatrist is aware to an extent and did offer me a referral to the substance misuse clinic but I never took up his offer.

Recently my withdrawal symptoms have been increasing. Most the time Iíve just had night sweats or maybe some trouble sleeping but laterally Iíve been getting nausea too. However my most recent attempt the past 2 days has resulted in significant anxiety. Itís complicated by the fact Iíve weaned off my antipsychotic and do have an anxiety disorder but it canít be coincidence.

Im worried about DTs although Iím sure itís unlikely but you read stories on reddit with people whoíve drank for less time and experienced it. Regardless I think my lack of coping with cravings and recent increase in withdrawal symptoms all points to the fact I should get help in achieving abstinence.

Plus I have high cholesterol and have had elevated liver function for years even before drinking was an issue. I dread to think what the change has been since my last checkup last year.

Iíve bought some beer today and am feeling more with it now. Iím going to call my GP on Monday and see what he says. I could call my pdoc for the referral but thatíll take longer and Iíll can get some immediate advice from my GP in the meantime.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:28 AM #2
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Default Re: Itís time to seek help...

I'm so sorry, Loial Struggling with addiction is certainly hard. You're definitely not alone on this. Please don't give up. I know it's hard. Good on you for talking to your GP! Be proud of yourself for that. It's good that you're finally acknowledging you need help. Remember that there's nothing to be ashamed of. It's perfectly normal. I hope you'll be able to get the help you need and deserve. Giving up alcohol is not easy, but I'm sure you can do it. You seem very strong. I'd suggest to talk to your Pdoc as well as soon as you can. You can do this! You're strong, I know that. I believe it. Take it one step at the time. Don't give up trying. Take baby steps. I hope you'll feel better soon. Remember that you're stronger than you think. You've got this. Remember that we're here for you. Feel free to vent here as much as tou want. We'll listen to what you have to say. We care about you. Keep writing here if it helps. I'm here for you as well if you need it. Feel free to PM me anytime. Let me know if I can do something to help you. Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. Sending many hugs to you
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:13 AM #3
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Default Re: Itís time to seek help...

Thanks Mickey.

I know I have the strength deep down but issues with substances have been rife with me over the past 10 years and stem long before that. I guess it all started with binge drinking and heavy cannabis use at high school. I then progressed onto experimenting with drugs, particularly stimulants whilst at university. That ultimately resulted in possible schizophrenia or long-term drug-induced psychosis. The dury is still out. Iíve been addicted to nicotine since my mental health problems flared up and I was addicted to stimulants too for a year. I guess I just have an addictive personality, or rather a lack of impulse control.

I really do want to get on top of this soon. Nip it in the bud whilst Iím still realively young. (I am 31). I guess my biggest problem is that I still enjoy alcohol. I feel some guilt and worry about consequences but I still do. I hate that I might have to give it up for life but that seems to be my lot.

I suppose substances have always provided relief for me in many ways. I just need to find something else to offer fulfilment but itís hard forgetting many of the many positive experiences Iíve had on various things. Alcohol is perhaps just the latest in an attempt to fill a void that has long been empty. If that makes sense.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:04 PM #4
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Default Re: Itís time to seek help...

It will take time, Loial, so try not to feel too discouraged. I'm glad you're reaching out for help. That means that you do want to get better. No need to feel guilty about enjoying alcohol. Alcohol is meant to be enjoyed after all. The problem arrives when it becomes an addiction. Like you've already said, you just need to find another outlet for your fullfilment. I'm so sorry, please don't give up. Remember that we're here for you. Sending many hugs to you
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:29 AM #5
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Default Re: Itís time to seek help...

Itís good that you want to stop and there is nothing wrong with needing help. Definitely try the clinic. Iím not sure what part of the UK youíre from, but if itís Turning Point or similiar you can refer yourself without a GP or pdoc, just something to consider especially if you struggle to get a GP appointment. The sooner the better right?

So my experience of going to such a place was helpful. You get allocated a keyworker who you see weekly, they work with you to try to reduce drinking safely. You will also learn itís not always safe to just stop straight away but they will talk through that with you. As well as my individual sessions with my keyworker I had a group once a week to go to which was working towards a detox. They did blood tests, and I had an assessment with a nurse to discuss whether I needed a medical detox or not. Ultimately it turned out I didnít but itís better to be on the safe side.

Iím going to be six months sober on Wednesday and while it hasnít always been easy and there are times when I miss it, and really badly want a drink, itís been totally worth it.

If youíd like to chat more about anything then please feel free, and Iím happy to pm too if youíd prefer.

Good luck
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:55 AM #6
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Default Re: Itís time to seek help...

I am an alcoholic in recovery and have been sober for 6 years. I urge you to go inpatient somewhere for medical detox. Alcohol w/d is one of the only substances that can kill you while quitting it. Amy Winehouse died because of it. It doesnt matter how much or how long you have been drinking. The physical effects of w/d are lethal. I use AA and stopped on my own which was brutal and stupid. I thought I would die. And the only reason I believe I did not have seizures was because I was on Lamictal for bipolar. I would love to share with you something more nuanced about quitting but right now my concern is a safe medical detox for you.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:36 AM #7
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Default Re: Itís time to seek help...

Thanks for the support folks. It means a lot.

Iíve just had a call back from my GP and I have an appointment for tomorrow morning. Weíll see where that leads me.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:29 AM #8
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Default Re: Itís time to seek help...

Just back from my appointment with the GP. They have referred me on which they said will take about 2 weeks.

They said that they thought given my history I shouldnít stop suddenly. Suggested trying to cut back by a can of beer every few days until my referral comes through. Iím not sure if I can manage that... when I start drinking Iíll generally keep drinking whatís in the house.

They also gave me the number for a local charity that helps with alcohol and drug addictions. I had a look on their website and they do drop-in appointments 7 days a week. Iíll look into doing that soon.

At least things are moving forward. I really want this to work. I just hope I have the will power. On one level I most definitely want to quit but the allure of alcohol can be strong... I think I need to accept I canít moderate my drinking. That has been my downfall over the past two years. I guess thatís what happens when youíre addicted.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:35 AM #9
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Default Re: Itís time to seek help...

Good for you for reaching out to your GP and making the appointment. I firmly agree with the position of just do not stop drinking suddenly. I've had 2 withdrawal seizures, and the DT's, as well as almost dying in a medical supervised withdrawal. At the level you're drinking it's nothing to mess around with.



I hope you're able to get professional help with detox and treatment. Self help groups can be a good source of support too, once you've detoxed. There's AA, which has the advantage of being just about everywhere. But if they're not your cup of tea, then there's also SMART recovery, an Secular Organization for Sobriety (SOS).


Remember to just take it one day, or one minute at a time.


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Old 02-12-2019, 07:56 AM #10
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Default Re: Itís time to seek help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimage View Post
Good for you for reaching out to your GP and making the appointment. I firmly agree with the position of just do not stop drinking suddenly. I've had 2 withdrawal seizures, and the DT's, as well as almost dying in a medical supervised withdrawal. At the level you're drinking it's nothing to mess around with.



I hope you're able to get professional help with detox and treatment. Self help groups can be a good source of support too, once you've detoxed. There's AA, which has the advantage of being just about everywhere. But if they're not your cup of tea, then there's also SMART recovery, an Secular Organization for Sobriety (SOS).


Remember to just take it one day, or one minute at a time.


splitimage
Wow that sounds scary. Iím glad youíve managed to come through all of that ok.

Yes I think youíre right. Just one day at a time.

Iím not sure about self-help groups yet, as you say I need to take the initial steps to detox safely first. I suspect Iíll get info about those as part of treatment I get. Not sure how Iíd feel about those, what with my anxiety and all but certainly something Iíll consider.

Iíll keep you guys updated as I hear more.
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