To Those It May Concern...
This is in fact an exact copy of an answer I put in someone else's topic, but I felt it 'good' enough to be posted as a separate entry...
First a joke:
You know what they call an alcoholic who ran out of booze?
A man with a drinking problem...
Okay. I started drinking when I was fourteen. Heavily. That was in 1975. It lasted until I quit on the 19th of January 2000.
As of my 16th year -when I started working- I was drunk every night. EVERY night. And not from consuming 2 beers. On "good" nights I consumed between one and two crates of beer. Yes, that's between 24 and 48 beers.
On "slower" nights, I stayed below a crate.
Of course, there were longer periods I didn't drink, because of lack of funding. Longer periods means up to two weeks. Lack of funding means I lost yet another job for showing up late and that I had ran out of credit on the tab in the different pubs I went.
Didn't consume that much distillates, though I could stand 'em pretty well too. Pretty well means two bottles of Sake (unburned) over dinner at the local Chinese restaurant. Then drive to the coast on my Honda 750 at 120mph to go party. That kind of foolish business.
I swear there must have been nights I could distil my urine into 40% proof alcohol...
But in the end, it got too much. Black outs. Shakes. And not being able to pay for it any longer.
And hangovers. Believe it or not, but for almost 24 years of being drunk, I never had a hangover. I had weeks that I asked the bartender to make me a couple of sandwiches to go to work, but I never felt sick. Exhausted at times, yes, but never sick.
That started in 1998/99... Severe hangovers, sickness with throwing up also.
So I decided to quit. And I couldn't.
So I went to see a doctor and he recommended an implant called Antabuse. The implant is sitting just under the skin at the height of the appendix and reacts to the slightest bit of alcohol. It makes you feel extremely nauseous, to the point of throwing up extremely.
I took the implant and didn't drink for 8 months. No withdrawal symptoms to speak of, luckily. At least, not that I noticed.
But after eight months I got a new job, and with my first pay I was back in the pub. A woman I dearly love (Gina) has this small Café in Antwerp, so I went and paid her a visit, you know...
The next day I went back to wash down my hangover.
And while I was staring at my second Hoegaarden (local blond beer) I was thinking to myself what the hell I was doing and if I really was going to let eight months of sobriety go down the drain...
So I downed my beer in one long swill (hey, I paid for it) and ordered an Ice Tea. Lipton. From a can.
And I've never been drunk since.
I do still have the occasional beer. Very rarely. But somehow that stint of eight months of sobriety changed something inside of me. That urge to drink is gone.
Sometimes, I still feel it. When I walk along a pub and smell that mixture of stale beer and cigarettes. I get some kind of flashback, which reminds me of the comfortable feeling of getting drunk with friends.
Comfortable my ***.
I got other priorities since. Life in general, for example...
I had it pretty easy, for some reason. There's people who struggle with it all their lives.
I just wanted to add my story to show that it can be different as well... : )