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I've been through some battles in my life but that was a toughie. It's maybe four months now since stopping and boy how good does it feel! Now I'm not in the slightest bit tempted and can quite happily be with folk who are tipping it down and not feel threatened in the slightest.

Alchohol abuse is one of those subjects that is kept pretty quiet but the effects are friggin' awful, before you know it the stuff has crept up, taken ahold and you're living your life around it, it's screwing big time with your mental and physical health, your relationships, work and perception of life:

I'm one of the lucky ones, I had the discipline to take it on and win, there those who don't have the same strength and it;s more than sad....I've seen them and you just want to pick 'em up and give them a huge hug and carry them through it.


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Well done and a great achievement, Chris![:D]

You have every right and privilege to feel justly proud of your achievement.

How much were you drinking Chris?

And how did it effect you?

Perhaps your graphic answers will assist others who probably have a problem but ignore the realities and shrug it off by saying the hackneyed old phrase, "Oh I'm just a social drinker; the odd glass of wine........"

One of the great temptations in France as wine is central to the old style social life.

However, I've seen the effects in Southern Spain: an enclave of retired and early retired bank managers and similar type living above Estapona, a few years ago when Larius gin (one of the best cocktail gins BTW) was circa £ 1.20 per litre and 45% strength, too and very drinkable vino was .30 pence a bottle and money back on the empties, too!

Chris, I am sure that all your friends and admirers here will wish you every health and happiness hereafter and success with your new projects, which will flow from a re-invigorated you!

Best wishes


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Well done Chris but don't be too sure, it can come round and bite you from behind. I know someone who was dry for over 20 years then thought he was ok to have a pint and quickly he was back to square one. I also know many who succumbed quicker than that. It's a recurrent condition so be on your guard.
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Congrats Chris on winning your battle against drug addiction though, as you will know, you can never be cured. But luck has nothing to do with it - "merely" discipline and determination. There, but for the grace of ....................

John and

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Well done Chris its a long road to travel and seems neverending sometimes. I've seen the devistation alcohol does to people and those around them. My father was an alcoholic and now my brother is dying from alcohol related illnesses. Over the past ten years he has gone from a good looking and fit fella, holding down a good job, to a wreck being at deaths door twice, liver and heart disease, pancreas worn out, nervous system has gone down the drain so he's got numbness in legs and feet so can hardly walk, struggles to pick things up due to numbness in fingers. He has lost his wife and children and home , now lives in a tiny flat. Has no hope for the future cos he knows he might not be here tomorrow. I'm sure you're not that far down the line but this is what happens worst scenario. Its very sad because alcoholism is a disease that needs the individuals personal help to cure, and sometimes they just can't do it.

So the very best of luck to you chris and if you are as determined as you seem to be, then you will come out the other end. And i send you a huge hug, you deserve it.


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27 years ago I was drinking the better part of a bottle of scotch a day, sometimes a whole bottle a day plus pints if - which was most days - I went to the pub.  Lots of reasons to have been drinking at that time but I come from a family of drinkers who worked in the catering trade and I was a policeman at a time when the pub culture ruled.

And then one day I thought - sod this for a game of soldiers, how much is it costing me and what is it doing to me?  It coincided with being diagnosed with my blood condition and the original diagnosis was sclerosis of the liver, outlook - well, there wasn't one.  I was also told that if I kept drinking at the rate I was, I had no more that two years to live.  Jenny and I had just started seeing each other then and she told me after one evening event at Uni that she had never seen anybody drink so much and remain walking and talking.

So I stopped and didn't have a drink for three years while my blood condition settled down and I got on with life.

Now I drink very occasionally.  I have one good friend and a neighbour with whom I may have a glass of whisky or whiskey - one is Irish - but to be honest, I now don't like the taste of it.  If I have wine at lunch time, I water it and only have one glass anyway.  I may have a glass in the evening but usually can't finish it.  I still buy wine and have a reasonable cellar for Jenny and for our friends, buts that's the limit of it.

I don't mind if other people want to drink around me but don't like to see people over indulge.  We have a French friend here who has decided to ignore his doctor and is literally drinking himself to death and I can't bear to be in his company when he's drunk which now, is most of the time.  I feel bad about that but it's the collateral fall out, the fact his 10 years old daughter has had to get him to hospital several times to have his alcohol related injuries treated and fished him out of the pool earlier this year cos he was so pissed he fell in and couldn't get out.

I think it's 'there but for something or other go I'.  

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To Meg (and Chris) - you do need ongoing support when you're doing something as difficult as this. There are english-speaking AA groups in France and while I'm not keen on the ethos of the AA they are very good at giving support. And your doctor too as you might need help to sleep or calm down. As far as eating - when you're drinking half the problem is that you're not eating healthily and your body suffers. So just regular meals with lots of the proverbial fruit and veg. and vitamin B can't hurt. Unfortunately I've had a lot of experience of this condition so know that it's not an easy one to control. As John says, there's no cure. Tony you are lucky to be able to drink occasionally which I try to do now. So it can happen to any of us, but for the grace of......whoever you depend on. 
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Years ago it was explained to me that a person had a problem if they felt that they should take one drink every day ......  Well if that was the case then nearly everybody I knew ... and worked with ...had a drink problem as a couple of pints to wash down the cheese rolls WAS  lunch ...every day ....Then in the evening waiting for the train ...the station bar.... or...  on the train the buffet car  provided  more ...I worked with guys who if they could not get their liquid lunch were as miserable as hell during the afternoon ....but  not one of us would say we were heavy drinkers !...It was what we were used to then ...and millions of people  will be doing and saying the same thing now ...... I salute you Chris ....and you have got me thinking .........I love my wine ......but just perhaps  ...too much ...
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Got the diet well sorted before i stopped, so eating loads of good stuff. Went to pharmacy today and she gave me a vit b complex, which she told me would help. (and a free bar of soap...........[blink] ) Other than that i am taking high dose vit c, multi vits, herbal chill pills and using donormyl at night. I'll go to doc if i feel i need stronger stuff. Just seeing how it goes for now.

Now where's a cup of tea smiley instead of the beer? [:)]

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How much was I drinking GS? 3.5 to 4 litres of 5% beer in the evenings followed by between one and two bottles of 12% white wine. I never drank during the day nor touched spirits. I drank to stop my mind working and to get me someplace else. Coupled with intense work pressures, long hours; seven day weeks, stress and depression it was a bomb ticking away which finally went bang on 5th July:

I was sat in the garden; perhaps 40m from here and I'd simply become tired of life and fighting. I had a razor sharp little knife with me and had tapped up the main artery in my wrist...I remember watching the artery throbbing away, the feelings of extreme calm and peace knowing that all the crap would soon be over as my life ebbed away. I'd made sure I had plenty of beer to give myself a decent sendoff too! I don't recall much after that but the farmers found me or were looking for me for some reason and I spent the next four weeks in a psychiatric hospital....soooo I am now a confirmed nutter (got a certificate too![:D]) with loadsa chainsaws!

The first three or four days were spent having tests and stuff; diagnosis was along the lines of extreme mental 'fatigue' (that's simplifying it) alchohol dependency; not alchoholism (which I knew anyway) and associated depression. The head shrink told me I didn't realise how ill I was and just to trust them and let them do their work, fair enough....but boy was it tough to hand over control to strangers.It's probably one of the best things that's ever happened to me, the care was fantastic.

Soooo, I lost alot; my family, my work, soon my house but have gained heaps more...I'm moving to a dream house in a few weeks (thanks to Dad); have got some seriously solid people next to me (the hangers on have predictably disappeared) and the future is bright and what I want it to be.

PatF...I hear you, but luckily I hadn't got that far...the next stage was the really serious stuff:

Geordie Girl....you've suffered too, it is tough for family members and close friends to endure what your brother has gone through too...what a sad story. The people who I thought would be there cleared out very quickly; it hurt alot at the time but they have actually made the process alot easier. It sounds like you;ve stuck around for him.

Tony F....boy that was heavy; glad you got yourself out of it....do you consider yourself to be an alchoholic?

Moggy...Good on ya!

The whole subject of recovery and reconstructing ones life is a heavy and long one; like I said, I'm one of the lucky ones, I have a strong character, strong discipline and would swim the Atlantic if it meant achieving objectives. The physical side of things should be taken seriously, physically the body needs to be properly nourished (diet is crucial imho) and loads of water drunk...I personally workout alot now, and sleep deeply and well. Changing habitual behaviour and bodyclock is important: I see a shrink (he's more of a nutter than I am[blink]) regularly and listen hard to those who know better than I do: I don't panic about time or income at all...there's no point.

Being 110% truthful... is vital, there's no shame in being ill.

One of the best things is the peace and quiet I've gained and the ability to reshape life in anyway I want to...it's kinda exciting...I'm gonna carve totems and eagles and tab through mountains now!





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Just want to send a message of support.  You know you are one of my fav persons on the forum before you disappeared.

I love my drink too and probably drink more than is good for me but, so far, it's still 2 or 3 glasses of wine a day and I can always not have a drink on a day or evening when I need to drive.  Probably do need to watch it, though.  It's all so seductive, don't you think?

Anyway, want you to know I'm thinking of you and, if you're not too far away and are still working, perhaps I'll send you a design of our stairs that you could construct for us?

In any case, look after yourself and be assured that there are loads of people on the forum who wish you well.

All the very best

Your friend and wellwisher

Sweet 17

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Yes Chris, I'm an alcoholic and I treat it like another dis-ease, like the other things I have.

Regardless of what your shrinky guy said, if you were that dependant on alcohol, in the US and UK you would certainly be classed as an alcoholic, no shame in that, it's an illness and should be regarded as that.

I'm lucky in that all the chemical crap I have to take has effected my taste buds and whilst I like savoury things, wine and spirits do nothing for me.  And as for beer, it's fermented and that causes me even more problems.  The odd pression in the market on Sunday and the odd glass of vin rose similarly but apart from that, I can live without it completely.

You hang on in there - I've been where you were and when I stopped drinking and was first diagnosed with the leukaemia thing, I thought about finishing it all but I was a single parent and Jenny was just in my life so she showed me a better way.  Three university degrees later and a relatively successful and fulfilling life later, I look back and don't recognise that person, but for sure he couldn't be the person living in 24 now.

And diet is important - I'd suggest for anybody coming off alcohol, ditch the red meat for a while, fish and chicken only, can find all sorts of new things to do with them.

But things are already getting better for you and will continue to do so, stand up, look the crap in the eye and get on with your life now.  You have talents most of us envy and you can't deny the world that.

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Chris, Tony, you are big men; with brass ones!

It takes some level of sheer guts to firstly tough out these sorts of problems and then have the sheer strength of character and integrity to openly admit your previous problems in an open forum such as thiis!

For strength to you both!

I totally echo sweet 17's comments: you have many friends on this forum who are behind you all the way.

Chris, we respect you immensely for your craft skills and I personally, wish you every happiness and success in the new house and your own now, more focused and inspired future!

Tony: you have been through hell and have come back. That takes some determination, focus and sheer guts.

Every happiness to you and yours.

Your lucid and clear postings have always been valued on this forum.

I know St.Cyprien, since a friend used to keep his boat there and Mrs GS and I used to go to Argeles a bit. Lovely part of France to be.

Best wishes to both you guys: we are all behind you.

Bonne Courage !


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[quote user="Chris Head"]

How much was I drinking GS? 3.5 to 4 litres of 5% beer in the evenings followed by between one and two bottles of 12% white wine. I never drank during the day nor touched spirits. I drank to stop my mind working and to get me someplace else. Coupled with intense work pressures, long hours; seven day weeks, stress and depression it was a bomb ticking away which finally went bang on 5th July:


Crikey that touched a nerve.

My alcohol induced bomb (well WW1 bullet actually) went off on the 10th of July taking my left eye with it, I wasn't drinking a fraction of what you were but given enough time.........

My accident was caused by boredom and childish curiosity/stupidity lubricated by alcohol.

The most frightening thing for me was that some people close to me had thought that it may have been a suicide attempt, I am so glad that I was able to convince them otherwise, but what if it had killed me? - that thought was all I needed to give up drinking for 2 months during which time I have had 5 operations.

I have recently started drinking again in moderation, I hope that I have the strength of character to keep it within a reasonable limit, if not at least I now know that I can give up which I had never been able to do before, in fact I am now more confident in my ability to live without drink than my ability to live with it, which I suppose is a good thing.

In the past I had wondered if some of your postings were alcohol fuelled but I take my hat off to you for this one, it must have taken some doing.

Good luck to you

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Meg...keep on goin' gal! One of the things that freaked me out having left hospital was the physical state of my brain and the weakness of my body, despite what I thought. I eat alot of what Tony talks about; anything to feed the brain. I've cut out fat and most dairy products apart from yoghurt and skimmed milk in Horlicks (it helps sleep!)The docs told me it could take several months for the body to re adjust: I work out alot now; not because I want to look like Rocky but because it gives me mental strength and confidence: I remember the first few exercises I did in hospital, I think I managed 20 odd abs(sit ups) and perhaps 15 press ups before it hurt, now I have a (self imposed) programme and average 6000 abs a week and around 1500 press ups along with other stuff: Skipping was the scary bit, which was when I knew my brain had been damaged. I couldn't balance properly so started to skip blindfolded which has worked a treat... with patience. It took about 8 weeks to drop from 91 to 78 kilos which feels good, a good body is not the primary objective but it helps to regain confidence which in turn helps to try and regain some trust in humankind which isn't great at the mo.

Sleep patterns are cool now; by 2130 I'm ready to sleep and come 0500 I'm usually up having slept deeply...I still marvel at the feeling of energy at that time of the day, and it lasts all day. Previously I would have to sleep for an hour or so after lunch to get through the rest of the day.

Sweet17...I know now why you chose that username! What a lovely message. Thankyou. Yeah it's a seductive feeling once the alchohol envelopes you, it sounds like you don't have much of a problem to me though...but if you're worried then your instincts are right.

I'd love to help you out but unfortunately some of my crucial equipment and all of my dried timber was removed when I was in hospital, but everything for a reason eh? So it's back to square one!

J.R....The post is intended to touch nerves...how on earth did you end up with a WW1 round (.303?)taking out an eye? Yes in the past some of my postings were alchohol fuelled...p1ssed would be more accurate.

Gluestick....another lovely message, you have a generous spirit. Tonys experiences sort of put stuff into perspective don't they? Clearly he's a gained strength from adversity; I get alot from folk like you Tony...keep banging away!

As for posting this stuff in public, it's not important to me who thinks what of me; if it causes someone to stop and think and take a forward step then great!

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Well, here you go then, if it's not important to you I'll say it anyway. I've been on the receiving end of what I now understand were obviously some of your alcohol-fuelled rants, and FWIW I did think you were a complete and absolute t***er. Sober, you talk a lot of sense!  I have total admiration for what you've said on this thread, and wish you every success on the road you're now following. Bon courage!
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Thanks Mr H.  You've done some fab work, keep on going.

Really been quite shocked by how tough the last few days have been. I was prepared for not having a drink, and for it to be hard. But not all the other stuff that came with it. I have been exercising twice a day for over a month, but the last few days its been physically impossible. And as for my poor brain! Scary stuff. Just reinforces the fact that i needed to stop. Day 4 is feeling a bit better.....[:)] Hint for the ladies, don't give up the booze on PMT week!

Some of the posts on here of others experiences are tough reading, but motivating nonetheless.

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Just thought i'd pop in and give meg and chris a slap on the back for managing another alcohol free day. Well done and keep it up.Just rang my brother in UK and he is well on the way. His day starts at about 4.am when he has his first drink. I feel like i have deserted him  as i was always the one to pick up the pieces when he was ill. I found him twice in a heap on the floor drifting into n alcohol induced coma. Got him to hospital in time both times but what happens now, I'm not there. He will be found dead. As i said earlier he lives on his own and the only friends he has are the people he's met in detox or rehab- other drinkers.

I'm not an expert but apparently your brain needs vitamin B12 to function properly, which in turn produces a coating around your nervous system. Alcohol destroys B12 so that means your nervous system isn't working so then you get the numbness , starts in your feet and hands eventually you can end up in a wheel chair. My brother walks with sticks.I know neither of you are any where near my brothers position but please , don't weaken (cos its easy to do) and don't have a drink today. I'm sure there are lots of others on here watching your progress and wishing you well.

I'm not very good at explaing properly about this numbness but to put it easier-- last week he ran a bath and tested the temperature with his foot. It felt ok but then he sat down in the water, remember its his legs and hands that are numb. Can you imagine the scalding he got on his backside. And i'm not being flippant here, this is what alcohol can do to your body.

Ok lecture over, just feel a bit better knowing i'm not the only one out there coping with alcohol illness.

I don't drink by the way.seen too much of what it can do.

cheers liz.

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We had a close relative who drank a lot all his life, after his parents died (he was in his fifties by this time and with a failed marriage behind him) we saw little of him.He was talented, had owned his own business and home and been good company, but too often in the pub.

In the early hours of the morning 10 years ago the police knocked on the door, he had been discovered dead in his lodgings, it was June, it was an attic room and no one had seen him for three weeks.He had been working as a storeman by this time. He couldn't be formally identified, however weeks later the Coroner decided to give a verdict of Death by natural causes so there could be some closure (there were a few odd circumstances)

At least with your contact that will not be your brothers fate, Geordie Girl.

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Thanks russethouse, but thats the whole problem, i'm not there to keep an eye on him anymore. We put off moving to France for 5 years because of my brothers illness, as he has no-one but me and i love him to bits. He still lives in the NE but my children and grandchildren are in west sussex.We did have him living with us in sussex for a time but he decided to go back home to his roots. He knew he was dying.But how long do you put your life on hold for a man who is slowly killing himself. We have been here only six months and i have visited him twice in that time. He will not come here because of his medications etc.I ring him twice a day but as his memory is completly shot now due to the alcohol he cant remember even the previous phone call and thinks i haven't rang him for weeks, and that i've forgotten him. But hey he's my brother (as the song goes) His doctors and social workers can contact me, so yes, I will get the dreaded phone call one day.

This is why i would encourage any-one with a drink problem to please try and stop. You know who you are and there is help out there.

Cheers liz

P>S> Have just re-read this post and its a bit morbid. Sorry but its just good to get things off your chest sometimes.I am a happy person living a lovely life here, its just that i've got an alcoholic brother who i can't see as much as i would like.


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Such a sad situation for your brother, geordiegirl. You are a loyal sister. I know I dread hearing that another member of my family has succumbed, I know the vulnerable ones. Another message for Meg and Chris - when you're feeling physically better try to find a new hobby or pleasant activity to fill the time, and take your mind off the subject of drinking. Also consider making big changes to your daily routine. Admiration for both of you and willing you on to keep on trying.
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