Search for Addiction Treatment Centers Near You Forums Alcohol Abuse Hi everyone, I’m new, a few questions.

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    So here is my story:

    I’m 23, I started drinking, and binge drinking, with friends in one of my friends basements when I was 16. I grew up in a suburban Midwest city of 25,000ish with not much to do, so when we were bored, going to a school sporting event, dance, etc, we drank.

    I got into college, and anywhere from 1-3 to sometimes 4 nights a week we’d be out somewhere, a bar, a house party, wherever. When I drink, I drink a lot. I don’t sit on the couch watching the game with my buddies and just have 1 or 2, I’ll have 8 and get drunk. That’s just how we all were. At one point my junior year summer of college, I got drunk 40 days in a row. We had season tickets to Brewer’s baseball games and, if there was a game (6 to 7 days a week, so basically daily), we tailgated. If you’re not familiar with tailgating, it’s basically cooking up brats and burgers and drinking before the game. After the game it would be 10PM, we’d go out to the bars. We always had some reason to go out drinking, and it was always a social reason, so I never thought twice.

    After graduation, I moved to Chicago as I got a corporate position, and took a job bartending on weekends (I bartended all through college). Our bar closed at 1 or 2 depending on the night, but bars are open until 4-5AM there, so the staff always ended up going out. I found myself drinking 3 nights a week again, and when I left the position to return to grad school this past December, I had 2 months before I started classes in early February.

    With the months off, I first had Christmas parties, and my friends threw me a welcome home party. Then came New Years. I left on Jan. 3rd and took a two week vacation to Aspen, CO to snowboard. In Aspen, after the lifts close, they have this tradition called Apres Ski (After Ski), where it’s happy hour and everyone gets drunk, then everyone naps, wakes up and goes out all night. After Apsen, I continued my vacation with two weeks in Vegas. I went to clubs and pretty much drank all day every day. The week I got home, the Packers were in the NFC Championship vs the Bears, and then the Superbowl came. Parties all week. Basically, I had been drinking nearly every day for about 3 months straight, and mixed with the year in Chicago, was drinking pretty heavily overall for awhile. Way more than I usually did.

    So, a few days before I start classes, I take one of the breaks from booze I had always taken with ease in the past. 3 weeks, a month, 2 months. I was an athlete in both high school and college, and when the season would start I would just give up alcohol to detox, drop some weight and return to my usual great shape.

    Except this time was different. My hands had this constant slight shake to them when I would try to write. I got headaches, threw up, would sweat at night, and got a fever. I couldn’t sleep well, my heart rate was always high, I swear my heart was beating out of my chest. My mind would race, it was hard to really think things out. I have a photographic memory, and I couldn’t clear my mind on a regular basis to use it. I work with numbers, and my short term memory was noticeably off in remembering calculations.

    I panicked. I called my cousin who is a pediatrician. I told him everything, and since he knew I never EVER got hang overs my entire life, was concerned because I was showing signs of mild-moderate alcohol withdrawal. After a week I was OK, and didn’t drink for two months. I had lingering headaches, but besides that I pretty much forgot about it, slept normal again, etc.

    My sister got married in Hawaii in mid April and we were there for two weeks. I, and everyone in the wedding party, was pretty much partying the whole time. We drank every day. When I got home three weeks ago, the day after, on came the symptoms again. This time they were worse, and a lot harder to handle. All the symptoms I mentioned, plus I swear I was seeing stuff late at night, which made the insomnia even worse. In a week and a half I was sleeping normal again, and its been three weeks as of today and I feel great again, besides these damn headaches.

    Some useful information, my father left me and my family when I was young, and he died at 51 from liver cirrhosis (he was an alcoholic).

    When I factor all this in, genetics, these symptoms, my own research, I get worried. I have never had cravings for the alcohol, but when my cousin/doctor starts to use words like “be careful, your body is showing signs of alcohol dependence”, I go crazy. It has never been anything more than a social thing for me, and my problem has always been taking it too far, always having alcohol as part of the social equation. I wonder if this behavior has gotten me to the point of no return. I am afraid to ever binge drink again because I am wondering if my body, mind, whatever, can handle it. I refuse to ever go through those withdrawal symptoms again, twice was enough.

    Any suggestions or feedback? I have plans to not drink through May, June, and part of July when my birthday hits and I know there will be a party. Did I damage my body and mind with binge drinking to the point that maybe I should rethink this and give up alcohol for a very extended period of time, or maybe indefinitely? Or am I over thinking this whole thing and those symptoms were my body tell me to take it easy?

    I don’t know, just looking for answers, I googled a lot of things looking for them and this site kept popping up. A real life answer rather than an article to read sounds like a better idea to me, any feedback is appreciated.

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