I was reading another Blogger’s post yesterday and he mentioned something about withdrawal and/or alcohol poisoning. It is my experience that withdrawal is a result of both long term alcohol abuse and alcohol poisoning. Excessive and severe drinkers build up a tolerance to alcohol over time. This means they can/do/need to drink more to achieve the same effects they used to get from light drinking ‘back in the day’, I became an acute alcoholic over a 15 year period and I’ve been to nine in-patient treatment centers. Nothing worked until I finally had enough. My body can’t stand it anymore and the psychological trauma of going through the DTs is just too brutal.
For me – back in the day – when I first realized that I could USE alcohol to my benefit, i.e.; to calm down, I’d be pretty drunk after two bottles of wine or approximately 8 drinks. As the years wore on, my dependence on alcohol developed and my drinking escalated from two bottles a day to around six bottles a day. In turn, my hangovers escalated into withdrawal, which worsened and became more drawn out over time until at the end – withdrawal would last for a week. I was leaning over my bed to throw up and had to crawl to the bathroom. I couldn’t stand up in the shower, I couldn’t keep water down and I couldn’t remember things. I blacked out.
For those of you who don’t know – blacking out is akin to fainting. The main difference is that someone in a blackout can wake up anywhere, anytime. It’s pretty scary stuff because they have NO idea where they’ve been, what they’ve said, who they’ve encountered, or what they’ve done.
If I were to offer any advice to the novice drinker who might wonder if s/he is developing a habit of drinking – monitor your SELF when you drink. Pay attention to how you’re feeling about alcohol. Some questions for you to think on:
- Do you get pissed off when you can’t have more? (This was a big one for me)
2) Do you feel affronted when someone has the nerve to bring up your drinking?
3) Is drinking more important than other stuff like exercise? Eating? Sex? Time with kids/family/partner?
If you answered yes to any of these – you may try to see if you can moderate or quit for a substantial period of time. Maybe a month or more. If that idea alone causes you distress, it might be time for you to evaluate your relationship with alcohol and drinking. Because if you’ve got a relationship with alcohol, you’ve also got a problem.