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  • donna.dierker
    Erik's Story:

    I came to MM on Monday morning, April 19, 1999. The previous Sunday had been like too many others. I thought it was a normal Sunday but in fact I had been drinking since noon. The very last thing I remember was opening the BBQ to light it to cook Sunday dinner. It was a gas BBQ so lighting it was a no-brainer. Apparently I cooked chicken for dinner, but I burned the first side somewhat.

    My wife had been threatening to take the kids and leave for a while now, and I needed to find a way to tell her that I was going to do something about my drinking. I knew about AA, do not believe the disease theory, and have a hard time with the religious stuff. I vaguely remembered seeing something about moderation on a TV news program, so I searched the internet and pretty quickly found Moderation Management. I stopped by Barnes and Noble on the way in to work and picked up Moderate Drinking and immediately did a 30. Like I said, I needed to find a way to tell my wife that I was serious about doing something about my drinking.

    That initial 30 was the first time in about 20 years when I hadn't drunk myself to sleep most every night. It helped me realize that drinking was not a given. My drinking went up and down and I did a couple more 30's. I learned to use many tools include abstinent days, carefully measuring drinks, etc. The alcohol fog slowly cleared to the point that it became clear something else was amiss.

    After a particular outburst on a field-trip, our daughter's middle-school director suggested we educate ourselves about ADHD. During the intake process for our daughter my wife was filling out a questionnaire. As she read through it she started thinking "are we talking about A or about Erik?"

    That was in the Fall of 2003. I tried all the ADHD meds and hated all of them. I spent several years trying out some of the newer SSRI's since they also have an effect on ADHD. I hated those too. Finally, as I left her office for the last time, my doctor offered that some of her patients had had good luck with 5-HTP and GABA. She couldn't tell me how much or how often, so I had to experiment a bit. It wasn't until early 2009 when I upped my GABA to 750mg/day that my deep desire for alcohol went away.

    Old habits die hard and I still use my MM tools, though not in the emergency fire-fighting way I had to use them in the past. I always measure my drinks. I know exactly where 5 oz. is on my wine glass. I rarely drink distilled spirits any more but when I do I measure carefully. If I feel like it, and I'm at a location where it's appropriate, away from family and people who might be offended, I still let it all hang out. This is typically on my annual ski vacation with a bunch of other party-skiers. Afterwards I do a week's abstinence or so to get back in balance.

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    Last edited by mmadmin; 03-13-2021, 10:07 PM.