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British Liver Trust
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Scared, confused and would just like help for alcoholism

Hi everyone

I have been a drinker since my teen years, but very heavy drinker for at least 4/5 years, every day.

The past year since my husband left has been worse.

I also suffer severe aniexty (since my teens) and take trazadone and Valium (only 5mg a day). However my trazdone has recently been increased.

I wonder if I could get advice on where to start my recovery ?

Also I have noticed that my memory is getting worse. Don’t know if it’s just the booze, the meds or my stressful job 😔

I am worried sick I won’t ever get back to normal.

Thank you so much for advice ❤️

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Hi Julz77

You really must get off the booze. It's so easy to turn to it in times of crisis and kid yourself it solves the problems and eases the pain but honestly it doesn't all it does is create more problems both for yourself and those around you. Your health for starters. Alcohol will only fuel your anxiety ... it clouds your rational thinking. You are damaging your liver so badly that if you don't give up, it could at worst kill you, at best you could end up on the transplant list. I suggest you see your GP explain honestly about your drinking and get some blood tests done to see what condition your liver is in right now. You know if it's minimal and you quit drinking, your liver can recover. Also talk to the GP about councelling to help you give up. You really do need to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Exercise is a great stress buster. The weather is fabulous ... why not walk a few miles each day ... you'll be amazed how far you can get in an hour. It clears away the cobwebs and you are doing your body so much good. So the time you would spend drinking why not spend it excising and drink plenty of water instead.

Hope that helps to get you started. Let me know how you get on. Good luck

L x🌞

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Thank you Laura, really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

I had two sets of blood tests done in the last 9 months and both been fine, and a ultrasound of my liver and gallbladder which is also fine. However I know these don’t always show a true picture.

I poured away all the booze in my house last night. Don’t know if I should go cold turkey or not.

I am just so utterly ashamed, but I know I need to confess to the GP. Just find it crippling to get out the house.

And yes you are right I should get out the house and exercise. I used to cycle 17 miles a day and gym 4 days a week but this alcoholism seems to have crept over me.

Thank you so much again ❤️

J xx

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You're heading in the right direction ... well done. See how going cold turkey goes. If you have problems seek professional help and councelling through your GP. Don't feel ashamed theres no need. Alcohol grips thousands of people every year from all walks of life. Just get well and keep up the good work and keep to regular appointments with your GP, so he knows you are serious about giving up and looking after yourself. I'm convinced they care more about you if they can see you care about yourself too.

Lx 🌞

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Thank you again Laura. I need to do it as it’s to exhausting to try to keep my life together with booze in it.

J x

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You've got your head screwed on honey.... you're more than halfway there 😃 xx

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Please go to your GP. You need Vitamin B and Thiamine which they can prescribe. Keep strong.

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Thanks Cobwebs, will they help with withdrawals ?

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Yes and no. Withdrawal can lead to fits and can be dangerous. But the vitamins also help with any nerve damage that you might not have developed! I have mild nerve damage but it should be reversible. A long road, isn’t it? Only found this forum a few days ago! 🤓

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I didn’t even know about nerve damage 🤦‍♀️ But I best not start googling it! Have u been sober long ? This road seems very long but I know I need to do it. Tired of being scared all the time 😔. But thank you for the advice !!

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I get tingly feet and hands so my GP suggested it could be nerve damage. She just said to keep up with the vitamins! Ah, sober! I am not very good at that. I have relapses on a far too regular basis. But I have now discovered Tesco cava and San Miguel lager which are non-alcoholic, taste great and I don’t feel left out at parties. Cheaper than the alcohol versions and much lower in calories. Win win!!

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That sounds like I party a lot! I don’t. I am a home Bird!

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They sound like great alternatives. My relaxation has always been a glass (or bottle or two) of something sparkling in the bath. And a beer in the garden when Sunny, so I better get myself to Tesco !

I don’t get the tingling but I do feel that I’m getting confused a lot, and I know it’s impacting on my children as some days I don’t want to go anywhere. Not even shopping. And hiding my alcohol in teacups. It’s too much now

Hadn’t even thought of non alcoholic stuff !! Great

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How old are your children? Mine are 27, 26 and 14. All boys. They have seen the ups and downs!! Only the youngest is still at home. He queries the fact that I drink non-alcoholic stuff. But having a glass of fizz means I can still be a grown-up!

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My youngest is 10 and oldest 18. They have seen the hangovers and ‘funny drunk mum’. Which isn’t really funny.

I’m really worried about my work now as I’ve submitted my sickline and heard nothing. Which is unusual. So have another level of worry now. Sometimes think it would be easier to go on the sick !

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I’m not funny when I am drunk! But I am in real life. I am self-employed and lost quite a bit of work due to my inability to meet deadlines. I don’t get hangovers, or rarely, anyway. 🤓

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Hi Cobwebs and Julz.

Can I just ask how your kids are? Living with a parent who drinks can be more stressful for the children than you may think. You both seem like bright people and may like to visit the NACOA website. I wish someone had suggested it to me while my alcoholic husband was sick and dying 8 years ago. I had to be incredibly strong to get them through it and they were so brave I'm so proud of them. But my son now 25 who never needed councelling, found himself a local bereavement councellor as recently as last Christmas around the time of his father's birthday. He's fine again now but we just can't tell how deeply it can impact them.

xx

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Hiya Laura

To be honest I hid so much from them. I think !! I don’t get fall over drunk, just can’t seem to make it through the days off without a glass in hand. I function mostly. But I am acutely aware that I can be a moody tit and do feel like I am apologising loads no adays.

The worst was when I was caring for my mum when she was dying of cancer. I was with her 5 days a weeks and when I came home I would lying on the sofa drinking wine and crying. The guilt of that is pretty bad !

I spoke to my 18 yr old (who is a successful youth footie coach and always says to me ‘mum I’ve only seen you passed about 10 times in my life) but I am adamant he won’t have this relationship with alcohol !

My 10 yr old is more sensitive. She asked me to do dry January , to raise money for cancer, I lasted 4 days 😔. She didn’t know tho as I hid the drinking and told her best to not ask me how I was doing or I might end up have a vino ! ( all in a joking fashion... I hid behind humour too much!)

All in all they seem well rounded and happy, but I am aware thru the course of my work how hidden there pain can be.

On the GP front, called this morning and they said no appointments until 18th June !!! So have to now call again in the morn for an emergency appointment... but sooooo craving a glass of wine. Trying everything to distract myself.

Have a Solicitors apt later regarding my divorce and that ain’t helping !

Thanks again everyone. Just talking here is helping 🙏

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Bless your heart. You obviously know what you have to do and you are facing it and admit it won't be easy. Don't try to fight it on your own if you feel you can't, there is help out there. My husband was detoxed in hospital twice then a 1 to 1 councellor came to him once a week and he was dry for 3 months but he was so ill by then he wasn't going to survive. You have much more time on your side and determination so please do keep talking to us and professionals to get you through it all. Remember drinking is NOT going to help only hinder you. Do you have someone who can go with you to the solicitors and gp appointments? A second pair of eyes and ears is always a great support.

Xx

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Thank you Laura, I’m definitely going to put heart and soul into it. But kinda scared of the road ahead. However I dont want to ruin my children’s lives, so that’s the motivation. I just hope I can !

I haven’t spoken to any friends about my situ yet, only facing up to it myself.

But have my note pad for solicitor, and hopefully will remember!

Also just bought the 0.05% low alcohol cava don’t know if it’s a good idea or not?!?

But trying to break the habit of a glass is feeling hard !!!

Thanks again.! ❤️

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Hi

Go to your GP so s/he knows hat you are doing. They may give you something to help. Also counselling might be a good idea even if you have to wait for it.

I use an online site called Soberistas . They are a fantastic group of mainly women giving up/ who have given up They totally understand cravings etc and can give loads of support. Free trial then I think £14 for 3 months or £39 for a year. You were probably spending more than that a week. I look forward to seeing you there 😉

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Thanks for that I’ll have a look !

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My son had counselling when he was about 11. I was always with him and made sure he knew to tell the absolute truth regardless of how bad it might make me look. My older two were my appropriate adults when I had a detox. We do talk about it. Losing the love of my life in 2012 knocked me for 6. I had to stay strong for the boys. It was so hard. But we talk a lot now. My boys are my life.

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Wonderful. Well done ... huge respect to you 👍

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I don’t deserve anyone’s respect, seriously. I can only do my best which isn’t quite good enough.....

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You're changing your drinking habits and looking out for your boys .... don't do yourself down

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Some nice people on here! Thank you. 🤓

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Loss is so very very hard. And it sounds like your children are a credit to you 😊

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I like to think so. They took over their dad’s business when he died and they make me very proud. And they are incredible with my little one. They might ‘only’ be half-brothers but they adore him. He will be working with them over half term and in the summer. A lot of outdoorsy work so suits them all.

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Hi

So far as alcohol goes, perhaps take yourself out of situations where drinking is expected i.e. some work functions can all too easily turn into booze filled sessions. Fine for some but if you are dependant, then they become the perfect excuse that ‘It’s expected’. You have taken the first big step in recognising there’s a problem, the rest will follow providing you stay mindful of the issues that got you here in the first place. The trick is to learn how to live your life without alcohol. It’s difficult if not impossible for someone who is dependant to become just a social drinker and if you stay in the company of heavy drinkers it doesn’t bode well.

My advice would be to put some distance between yourself and what I would call the dinking circle of friends, to many of them will be ‘one can’t hurt you school of thought’. Look for and join in activities that don’t involve alcohol. I have a wonderful partner who helps me to stay on the straight and narrow. Take time out and get things sorted before it’s too late. At the end of the day, there will be no one else to blame if things go from bad to worse.

D

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That’s D for the message :-)

Fortunately none of my friends are heavy drinkers, in fact it used to be the joke that I was never seen without a glass in my hand.

I decided today that regardless of how I’ll i feel tomorrow I am going to go for a cycle or to gym.

Hopefully I will get a GP appointment for the Vitamin B and thiamine mentioned before as I am now crapping it that I’m going to have a withdrawal seizure in my sleep and die (yippee another sleepless night ahead)

Thanks again tho

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Oh and as for my first day of no booze... well I got the alcohol free cava - lovely. Then my neighbour offered me a glass of wine in the garden and I said yes as I was too embarrassed to say no.... numpty. In the end I had two glasses. But that’s the least I have had in MONTHS !

Think I need to ‘grow a set’ and start telling people I’m giving up ... or embarrasemt will kill me

Thank u everyone who took time out their day to talk to me ❤️🙏

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Hello Julz,

Welcome, I see you've had a great response to your post already. That's really good as you'll find a lot of help, support and advice here. You are in great company. I noticed that you joined this group last October. Did you intend to write something back then, or were you just reading up on other posts before you decided to write? It doesn't matter, I'm just glad you've posted anyway,

I truly believe that understanding the alcohol mind-set, and what is going on is really important in trying to understand how we've come to where we are now. How this all comes about can become lost over time. But I firmly believe that in order to change, we have to look back and see how and when it all started in the first place. This is about understand and treating the cause and not just addressing the symptom.

There are many reasons why a person turns to alcohol and goes on to develop a drink problem. It’s never a conscience decision, a person doesn’t just wake up one morning and say to themselves, “I know what I’m going to do, I’m going to see if I can’t develop an alcohol problem”. But having said that, there is something going on with our subconscious without us realising it.

The alcohol seeds are very much planted in our subconscious when we are in our late teens and early twenties. These are the years when we know everything, we are invincible and young, we just want to have fun and go out partying. It’s about having friends laughing and feeling good. Later on in your lives certain situations can happen which affect us all deeply. If our brains are able to process and accept these situations then the problems can be processed and resolved. It is when we can’t deal or handle a situation that we just store it and try and struggle on. But because this issue hasn’t been dealt with it will always come back to haunt us over and over again. The use of alcohol in these situation is quite common as it becomes a form of self-medication. We are subconsciously trying to give us that feel good factor we enjoyed from our past. Alcohol is of course a depressant, so now a vicious cycle and downward spiral begins as more alcohol is taken to lift the gloom. The actual cause of the problem can become forgotten through the drunken mist of time. This is why some people can’t remember why they started drinking in the first place.

The cause of the actual problem can be a traumatic event, a sudden death of a love one. Or just something that’s happened that wasn’t your fault, where you are what I call a “victim of circumstance”. If the problem can’t be dealt with or resolved, it may well be a case of just drawing a line in the sand, and moving on. Even by just drawing a line in the sand, is a form of process in dealing with the issue.

Alcohol is often the secondary cause of the problem. Once the main cause of the problem has been dealt with then the second problem of addiction can then be treated. These two issues would be best resolved at the same time. This is why some support groups can be very beneficial, as these group sessions are about opening up and quit often facing ones demons and tribulations.

I have put together my own website covering a lot of the medical consequences associated alcohol-related liver disease and I hope you find this useful: taep.co.uk

I hope I haven’t bored you with this lengthy reply. It goes without saying, like what Laura009 has said, you need to get off the booze. You can do this. Speaking out on here was the first step in putting this right and putting this all behind you. The process has now begun.

Good Luck, I wish you well.

Richard

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Thank you for the information Richard,

Yes I am overwhelmed by the positive response and support.

I did join back in Oct when I knew in my heart I had a problem, but was too scared to speak.

Reading others stories and info though was a wake up call to me. A badly needed one.

I am currently trying to change habits by changing my routines which is very hard and I know it won’t happen over night.

However lying awake each night terrified of a/ liver disease b/leaving my kids c/never being free is too exhausting!!

I can’t thank everyone enough !

J x

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Seizures ever happen ? And what meds should I advise a friend to take?

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Hi everyone again,

Just wondered (and I know I’m brand new at this having only been 24 booze free)

But what kind of side effects should I expect ?

I have read a bit online but hearing from the ‘horses mouths’ would be great !

Thanks as always xx

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If you mean stopping drinking You might have headaches and disturbed sleep and night sweats. As the booze leaves your system you might feel incredibly tired or emotional. Later you will have a very big appetite esp for sweet things. Once you’ve got past the worst you will have loads of energy, you will feel brighter and physically you will look at lot better. Brighter eyes and skin - promise! It is worth it even if there are no underlying health worries.

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Thanks Isabelle!

Been having the headaches (was worried about all kinds of brain tumours!) and tears, and just utterly exhausted.

Sleep has been ok due to meds. But I do have ‘the fear’ and anxiety thru the roof.

Have a lot of personal admin to deal with which I would rather hide from but I expect I should get on with it and stop moaning !

X

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Hi Julz. How are you getting on?

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Hi Laura

Thanks for thinking of me 😊

It’s been a tough week, emotional is not even the word ! And headaches, sore muscles and exhausted ! Weirdly the cravings haven’t been too bad, until yesterday when I got some bad news about my dad’s health.

My instinct was to go and buy a bottle of wine... but instead (so annoyed with myself !!) I opened a cider that my son had brought home from a party .. and stared at it .... and stared ... cried ... stared ... had two gulps and poured it down the sink ... then cried more. 😒

However in times passed I would of been at least 2 bottles of wine down within a few hours ... and I haven’t really had an overwhelming urge to run out and get the Chardonnay in ...

it’s really hard to find new ways of dealing with a shock. It feels like a learned behaviour to reach for the glass.

However I have reconnected with an old friend this week, which has really helped. Was honest with her about my situ and she has been round most days to distract me or take me dog walking etc.

But the emotional side of things has been hell. In tears in Tesco... walking home from school.. making the tea...

Going to visit my dad tomo so it will be a huge test. I associated the house both with happy times, but also when my mum was dying and I was drinking wine like water to mask the pain.

So keep your fingers crossed for me!

I hope you are doing well and are having a restful weekend xx

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Oh you are going through a tough time. What you really need is another outlet for when times are hard like losing your Mum, divorce and now your Dad being unwell. As you are finding out turning to drink is not the answer it's only a very temporary fix masking reality. Losing my husband to alcohol abuse 8 years ago and my Mum to cancer 3 years ago was all very traumatic but it never crossed my mind to turn to booze in fact quite the opposite ... I wouldn't want to live the last 4 years of his life and die the quite undignified and horrible death that my husband did. I used all my anger, strength, sadness and grief to concentrate on getting myself and kids through it and to be where we are today. Something which never would have happened if I'd drank my way through the tough times.

I'm glad you are getting support from a friend and hope that continues til you have built up your strength and confidence to realise that you CAN face life without drink and a far better life it will be without it.

Good luck again

xx

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Hi Laura

You really have been through so much too. What strength you must have! I think I have it somewhere in me too just need to bring it to the surface and to silence the wee demon saying ‘aw you’ll feel better after a drink’ ... although it’s getting quieter.

One thing I have noticed is how much alcohol appears in tv shows! Everyone seems to have a glass in hand at some point...

I have been reading so much on this site when I do get a craving, and the pain the alcohol causes is so very very sad to so many.

I have been talking to my son a lot as he is now 18 and to be honest I am impressed at his and his friends attitude to booze. I hope it’s a change in culture ! They quite often go out and go for food (Nando’s etc) and don’t drink. When I was 18 I was working in a club in Greece and drinking daily !

I think this next while will be the rest for me. I’m off to the hospital to see Dad (same one where I spent about 11 months with Mum during her treatments etc ) so loads of triggers. But I want to be 100% present, not hungover and terrified.

I can’t tell you how much a support this site and your messages have been.

I hope it’s sunny where you are !

I’m off to have a brew outside and do a bit of mindfulness (my daughter downloaded me an app ❤️ Wee star )

Xx

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Well done Julz keep it up you are doing so well and have a good positive attitude. I'm so pleased the support you are getting from here is helping. Beautiful sunny weekend, we are spending it on the east coast near Cromer where we have a caravan so plenty of fresh air and dog walks 🐶🐕🐾🐾🐾🐾 xx

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That sounds blissful Laura. The perfect place to spend a weekend of remembering xx

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Hi Julz. Been thinking about you. How have you been during the week ?

Xxx

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Hi Laura

Sorry I’m only just getting back to you. It’s been a pretty awful couple of weeks.

My dad has been very poorly so I’ve been with him looking after him and not had much time running between home and his home.

I spectacularly fell off the wagon one night, was so disappointed in myself . But on day 13 again of nothing.

Also found out my job may not be funded again for next year ! Talk about stress ! Haha

I hope you and the children have been well xx

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Hi Julz.

Lovely to hear from you again.

Life is full of trials and tribulations ups and downs. On those awful down days when youre thinking ' I just need a drink to make me feel better' just try to remember it won't. Initially it might take the edge off it but it's damaging your body. It's never going to put the wrongs right or solve problems. You have to be strong, face the problems life throws at you and deal with them, which will be much easier with a clear head not clouded by the effects of booze.

Very well done for getting straight back on the wagon after your little fall. 13 days sober again is excellent. Keep it up I know you can do it !

Love and hugs

Laura xx

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Hi Julz, just thought I'd say hello and ask how you were getting along. I do hope that horrible little gremlin that normally sit's on your shoulder whispering and tormenting you, has decided to give up and go away.

It's been 18 days since you last posted anything, so I just wanted to make sure you are alright.

Regards

Richard.

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Hi Richard thank you for your message.

I have had a really hard few weeks due to my father being ill. But only let the gremlin in once... 13 days sober again now.

In it for the long haul!

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Julz, I'm sorry to hear about your father and sadly relapses do happen. It's not very nice afterwards as you'll feel like you've failed. It's okay, don't go beating yourself up. Life as you know is full of ups and downs, it's how we cope during the downward times that's important. I think you need to have something in your life that will act as a safety buffer. Is there anyone you can call instead? Picking up the phone is far better than picking up the bottle. I know that some AA groups have sponsors, but a lot of people are turned off by the AA's spiritual approach and think that there's nowhere else to turn, and just give up.

I think you need a plan "B" in your life Julz, Plan "A" would be reaching for that bottle. Plan "B" would be the alternative response to the situation. It's just a mind thing, that having another plan of action available to you, may help get rid of that horrible monster that sits on your shoulder. (I always think that monster looks a bit like that one on the telly, that money monster that eats all the money on the "Go Compare" advert. Instead of eating money, this little devil is always nagging you to have that one little drink).

Good Luck Julz, hang on in there. You can do this.

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What amazing support and encouragement the forum members are giving. Thank you everyone.

We hope you are doing ok Julz77

Warm wishes from all at the Trust

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I am overwhelmed by the support that I have ❤️

This forum, I truly believe, saves lives 😊

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