Hey, following on from a post in the questions thread and a few posts I've seen recently, I think we could do with an alcoholic's thead. It goes without saying but please show posters respect and if you're just here to make a smarky comment then take it elsewhere. Not sure if the mods can let people post anonymously in here/as a guest but if not and you wanna remain anonymous then drop me a PM and I'll post your comment in here. I've battled with alcohol for a few years now. I've managed to stop for a few months at a time but I'm not completely teetotal. I've cut down a lot considering I used to drink almost every day. I've been to AA and other meetings so I can shed some light on what they're like but ultimately, everyone's different and it's very rare that you'll find that the right solution for you straight away. For me, the best help I've had was a 9 week programme I went on a couple of years back. It was a group of about 12 of us, and I was in my early 20's at the time so I was a few years younger than the rest of the guys there. After the first couple of meetings, we kind of hijacked the programme and it became a weekly meeting of 10 sober alcoholics talking nonsense, which is exactly what I needed. The bonding of the group was incredible and I almost felt as though I'd be letting the other people down if I fell off the wagon. Others might find the more formal AA meetings better suited to them. Either way, just go. As daunting as it is, taking that first step is the hardest and most important thing you'll do. There's a shit load of free help available for you. There are more alcoholics out there than you'll realise. They're not all 9am brown paper bag drinkers either. And it's hard to describe what an alcoholic is. Whether it's a black and white term is debatable and I appreciate that some people don't want to label themselves with the term. - - - I think it's important to look at the benefits and positives that come with admitting you've got a drink problem and deciding to cut back or stop completely. FWIW, admitting you've got a problem is a huge step forward and not something to overlook. Your health, both physically and mentally, will improve in no time. A few weeks of cutting back or stopping and you'll feel like a different person. A couple of months off it and your anxiety/depression will drop drastically. You'll probably find yourself cutting back smoking too which helps and it sometimes goes hand in hand that you'll end up doing more excersise/running/biking/going to the gym. Stopping drinking will give you the biggest pay rise you'll ever get. When I used to drink heavily, there's no doubt that over half of my income would go directly or indirectly to alcohol. And that's before the times where I'd be spending more than I earned on booze. Whether it was the drink, taxis, food, or fines, alcohol is one of the most expensive hobbies you'll ever have. Stop drinking and you'll be loaded. You'll find yourself more confident, looking fresher, and generally being happier and more enthusiastic about life. In a bit of a vein way, I dated a few beautiful looking girls when I was in my early 20's, and realising at the height of my alcoholism that none of them would ever be interested in me anymore was one of the key reasons why I decided to take action. It might take others to lose a house, job, relationship or something else, but usually it's not just one trigger that makes people decide to tackle their problem. - - - I've lost relationships, jobs, friends, money, my dignity, and pretty much anything you can imagine through alcohol. It's not pretty. - - - If you've ever even so much as considered whether you have a drink problem then take some action now. Nip it in the bud before it gets out of control. Going back to an earlier point I made, it's extremely important to look at the positives that overcoming alcohol achieves. - Focus on the positives - Take that first step: Admit you have a problem - Seek advice and help: There's no shortage of it available - Talk about your problem: Here, with friends, family, or anonymously - it'll help you no end - Don't beat yourself up: Give yourself realistic targets - if you don't reach all of them then don't get down about it - Cut down: Going teetotal immediately can be dangerous and you might find yourself in a worse place if you fall back off the wagon - New hobbies: You'll have so much free time you won't know what to do with it. You'll find yourself with money to burn - - - Don't think you have to post an essay in here. Posts can be as short or long as you like. Questions, thoughts, advice, help and whatever else is welcome. Good luck, guys.