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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:02 PM
mwojewell
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Default Other important issues

"...And remember, this is an integrative system--all elements work synergistically to get you through the withdrawal, past your cravings, and on to a new and healthy lifestyle. It's also extremely important that you are ready in both body and spirit to make this transformation. Motivation is absolutely critical."

Roberta Jewell
My Way Out
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:03 PM
mwojewell
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Default Noteworth quote

This reminds me of a quote from a book that I once read:

~ "Something bad doesn't always happen everytime you drink. But when something bad DOES happen, drinking is usually involved."

That is one of my all-time favorite quotes. It has always stuck in my head and is so true!

***
nj3131
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:05 PM
mwojewell
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Default Observations about how we drink

I also appreciate your bringing this [issue of moderation versus abstinence] up. I think it's one of the most important ones we are all facing. We have all admitted we have a problem with alcohol (why else would we be here?) and we wonder which route is best for us to take. Here are just a few of my observations:

-- A period of abstinence, or successful moderate drinking, is no insurance against a relapse into alcoholic drinking. (Yes I have experienced this and seen it in others too.)

-- I think "normal" drinkers might occasionally over-indulge, but probably not with any regularity. I know that my m.o. is to drink until I pass out almost every time I drink, and I KNOW that's not normal.

-- I had a realization this week: my relationship with alcohol is volatile and abusive, just like some marriages. And sometimes, just like with marriages, the differences can't be solved. Then you know it's time to sever the relationship.

Anyway those are just a few random thoughts. I agree with the others when they say not to be too hard on yourself for slipping up, and it sounds like you did a great job staying sober for the wedding. The important thing is that you are still working on this, and learning more as you go. Your posts have been a great help to me since I've been reading the board, and I wish you the best.

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mikeupnorth
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:06 PM
mwojewell
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Default Morning rewards

Thank you so much for your help last night. I made it through, thanks to you all and to my wonderful buddy Ann, with whom I've developed a great relationship over the last few weeks! I dug in my heels, took a hot bath and SCRUBBED my body soft with my new loofah (vanity again, ha!) I must admit, however, I was shaking and scrubbing at the same time, it was really hard.
But I DID IT! I knew how bad I would feel this morning, how disappointed I would be with myself (and how I would disappoint you all), so I just stood my ground and told that demon to get lost.
I also started the Campral. I figure I need all the help I can get!
But this morning, the joy that I felt, waking up and knowing that I hadn't had a drink after all, feeling great, was the greatest high of all, much better than the buzz that I would have gotten with a drink or 6. How many times have I had that feeling, waking up and crying, knowing that I had once again screwed up and was going to pay for it dearly for a day or so? I felt so proud, so good, and I wanted to share it with you all. Thanks to you I feel that I'm getting a grip, analyzing the situation beforehand and being able to handle things so much differently than before. You all are literally saving my life, and I'm so thankful that I've found this site and all of you (and especially to you, RJ, for having the courage to research and then publish your book...).
Today I went out and bought a new pair of earrings. Don't even have the money to spare for that, but I did it anyway, cause I felt like I deserved it! And tonight, same time, same place, no cravings.
I'm really convinced that if we follow the program and keep talking to each other, and take it ONE DAY AT A TIME, we can stay on track and beat this sucker down.
So when the Cravings come, y'all just holler... hope I can be as big of a help to you as you all are being to me.
Hot damn! It's working!

***
USAnne
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:07 PM
mwojewell
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Default Filling time once occupied by drinking

What I'm doing is retrieving old "To Do Lists" and getting at least one of them done with my free time. When I really feel antsy I go out for a second walk, do some gardening, or exercise in the house. I'm trying to reinforce myself by keeping a: "done" list. Before I did only what was an emergency and was alway haunted by all those "undone" things.
Hope this helps.

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Thawing_Out
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:08 PM
mwojewell
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Default How do I start?

First of all, welcome. This is a great group of people who are very giving of their support and experiences, and I'm sure you'll find you've come to a great place.

I assume you did not order the pdf of the book but a hard copy so have not read it yet. If that is the case, then let me give you a very brief outline of what is included in the program. First, you will be taking a number of supplements. The purpose is twofold. As a heavy drinker you are most likely quite deficient in many of the most basic vitamins, minerals and amino acids. You need to start correcting these imbalances. As well, there are a number of studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of supplements such as kudzu and l-glutamine (see the research tab on the homepage of the site) in curbing the cravings for alcohol. See this thread for a list of the supplements recommended in the program. You may want to start gathering them now in preparation for starting the program. Make sure you read the entire thread. Also, purchase l-glutamine, as it has been added to the list since that thread. See the l-glutamine thread for more information on this.

On the medication front, the program recommends Topamax as the cornerstone drug to curb cravings. I would recommend you make an appointment to see your doctor now, as it may take a few weeks to get that scheduled. You should also read the research about the off-label use of this drug to curb alcohol cravings included on the site. Some of the people on this program (myself included) have opted not to go through their physician for Topa. That is strictly a personal decision. If you choose not to, there are a number of offshore sites where you can purchase it. It is not inexpensive, but certainly cheaper than a daily habit of a dozen beers. The 'Worldwide supplement, etc. resources' thread at the top of this section of the forum can point you to a number of sites for not only Topamax, but also the supplements.

Self-hypnosis is another tool we all find to be really effective and incredibly relaxing. You should order (and start using) the CDs from this site as soon as possible.

Finally, and personally one of the things I find to be most important, is exercise. If you aren't already, start exercising. It's amazing what those little endorphins do to curb cravings and just make you feel like a million bucks.

We're a motley crew...but quite loveable in our own quirky ways. I'm sure you'll get used to us.

***
HadEnough
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:09 PM
mwojewell
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Default A new cure for cravings

Funny, I was also having cravings last night between 4-6PM. I, too, would have started sipping at 4 and then have been surprised that by 7 the bottle was empty! Last night-my third night of absolutely NO alcohol-I just made myself an early dinner, and then I felt better. Sometimes I find that food really does help and I realize I start drinking because I feel hungry, my blood sugar is down, and a glass of wine really perks me up. Pea soup actually seemed to do the trick last night, maybe that's the miracle cure! HA! …

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mollysdream
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:10 PM
mwojewell
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Default Advice for week one

The little things that will make your life so much easier:

If you can, before you buy your pill sorter, lay out each group of pills so you can eyeball how big a pill-box you'll need (the primrose oil isn't small). I found buying the 7-day one that allowed you to pop out each day very helpful. I was able to take care of the whole week on Sunday, while I wasn't racing around getting ready for work (fuzzy-headed as usual), and then each morning just had to pop out that day and stick it in my bag.

Make sure you pour the All in One on the juice, not the other way around (I prefer V8, but orange is okay too) or the powder clumps on the bottom.

Before you start the hypnosis tape/cd, make sure to turn off the ringer on ALL of your phones. Night one I didn't think of it, and night 2 I forgot that just because I unplugged the wireless base, didn't mean I had turned off the ringer (grrr).

On a night where the hypnosis instruction is only sleep to sleep or subliminal, but you feel shaky in your resolve, go ahead and do track 2 (1 is pretty long if you don't have the time). On day 5, when my craving was really bad, and 25 Topa seemed like a placebo, and I knew my husband would be having wine w/ dinner, I did track 1 once, but could tell half an hour later that I would crack, so I went back and did it again, and came up from the track w/ firm resolve and great spirit.

Clearly all of us have decided (despite the fact that we "fess up" to each other here and use each other in a great & supportive way) that AA is not the program for us. That being said, find a real, someone in your life, who loves you, and whom you trust, to whom you can pat yourself on the back, and who will be proud of you - whether it's for one day, making it through a party, a job deadline, whatever. Why? Because, at least for me, the time I need to do that the most is the time when I'm feeling it starting to slip, and I know that once I affirm to someone I love & respect that I am being successful, it will help me keep my resolve (until the Topa kicks in)

Speaking of which....I don't think the Topa really has much impact @ 25. Would one of you veterans please comment. I'm on day 2 of 50, and still not noticing much effect. I'd be lost w/out the hypno cds.

Finally, what they say about the water is true (and I'm a big water drinker anyway). Drink tons of water, or green tea all day long - you'll probably be really thirsty.

GOOD LUCK!!!!

***
Icando
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:11 PM
mwojewell
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Default Supporting a partner

I hope you're still checking in for messages on this question. I think there are many ways in which you can help him, some of them directly, some of them indirectly. I do think, as has already been pointed out, that the most important first step is for you to understand the psyche and nature of the addiction. If you've never suffered through an addiction, it can be extraordinarily daunting to try and help someone live through breaking one.

For someone with an addiction, you spend your life planning around it. I exaggerate some for the sake of my point, but I'm sure others on this board will be sitting there nodding their head in agreement when I say...you wake up thinking about alcohol, you go to work thinking about alcohol, you have lunch thinking about alcohol, you think about alcohol as you mentally take inventory of your liquor cabinet on your drive home to make sure you've got enough for the evening, the first thing you do when you get home is pour yourself a drink, then another, then another waiting for 'magic click' to happen; you decline social invitations because you'd rather drink alone, and when you do go out, you have a few extra drinks beforehand so you can look like a normal drinker; you bury your liquor bottles in the recycling so you don't let the recycling people know how much you drink; you chew gum so people don't know how much you drink; you promise yourself every morning you're not going to drink as much, and then break that promise; on and on and on the list goes. We plan our lives around drinking. That's how important and how much our lives revolve around alcohol.

I'm not sure if it was on this board or in another conversation about something else, but someone likened alcoholism to being a little bit like a daily 'Sophie's Choice.' And, it is. For as agonizing as making that choice is, we make it every day, and every day hate ourselves for it.

And just know that nobody is beating themselves up more for their addiction than your husband is. None of us ever planned to become addicted, and all of us would give anything to be able to roll back time and take it all away.

If you can truly understand and sympathize with what that must feel like, then your compassion in helping him trying to deal with quitting will automatically be there.

This is a very personal and very private disease made even more so by the stigma put upon it by our society. So the fact that he wishes to try on his own is not unusual. As well, many people (like myself and others on this board) are not well suited to 12-step or in-patient kinds of programs. And until MWO, there frankly haven't really been many other options. I believe very strongly in this therapy. It attacks the root causes of the disease and provides a broad balance of support tools to help you overcome it.

Quitting drinking is fraught with both physical and emotional changes. It's a little like being sick, only on steroids. First, you have to deal with the physical withdrawal from alcohol, the symptoms of which can range from mild to severe. Thankfully that runs its course relatively quickly. But with that comes irritability, crabbiness and general anxiety. As any of our spouses or significant others can tell you, we are not the most fun people to be around during this period. I think what is most important is to treat your husband in the manner in which you know he most likes to be treated when he's feeling sick and anxious. Me, I'm a horrible sick person. I'm the kind that just wants to be left alone...don't coddle me...don't try to make me feel better...just leave me to my own devises. Everyone is different. I guess all I am trying to say, is don't make him feel like a patient unless he wants to feel like a patient. For me, the single biggest way my husband helped me was to stop drinking in the house, and just let everything feel as normal as apple pie. We didn't ignore it, we just didn't focus on it. I was already focused on it, and that was enough.

I hope this helped some. Best of luck to you and your husband, and please let us know how it's going.

***
HadEnough
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:12 PM
mwojewell
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Default Insights from an old timer

I read through all the messages and I find some other tidbits of information I'd like to share. Just for the record, I've been doing the program for almost a year. I started it with my friend from work. I learned about it from my doctor. I'm on 200mg of Topamax. I followed the program to the letter from the very first day I began. I listened like a maniac to the Hypnosis CD's in the beginning (the Subliminal ones played in my car and in my kitchen constantly), the Sleep ones by my bed in a boom box, and Clearing by the schedule I had in the book. I still listen occasionally to Hypnosis (track#2). It's fast and I love it! To Mary: I also worried about falling asleep sometimes, but I emailed the web site early on with that question. The answer I got was that if I could hear the count down (20, 19, 18, etc.), then I was NOT asleep, but hypnotised. To Deborah: At 3 weeks on Topamax, I don't remember if I had experienced weight loss, but I'm sure that at 5 weeks, I had! Oh Ya!!! And I knew that I couldn't go up to the 300mg that my co-worker was on. She had lost I think 18lbs which she loved, plus her overdrinking habits had totally stopped. (We used to get smashed every happy hour I'm embarrassed to say.) But, at 200mg for me, I experienced all the benefits of the program too and 10lbs weight loss was enough as I was already a thin person. So, my doctor suggested I not go higher even though I know most people should go to 300mg (literature says this from what I read). I also still take Kudzu (2 pills a day) by the way. I highly suggest no one leaves that out! I found mine at Super Supplements. That and the hypnosis probably had the biggest impact on my ability to change my drinking addiction. Not sure how it works, but I know it does!

***
Shawna
 


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