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 Post subject: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:20 pm
Posts: 156
I apologize, as this will be long. And self-indulgent. I never really thought I would be writing one of these posts though, so I'm giving myself a pass. I'll make headings so at least you can skip the really boring parts.

My name is Ed, and I am a bedwetter.
How I found thesinclairmethod.com

I think I knew there was trouble when I was 14 years old and I had my first (unsupervised) drink. I had managed to procure two 40 oz. bottles of King Cobra from my 15 year old cousin by way of her tattooed 18 year old boyfriend. I brought them to my friend Earl's house and we sat in the living room on a California summer afternoon, each with our bottle of malt liquor beading sweat and each with one of his parents nice tumblers. I finished my glass and the heat compelled me to have another. Earl is, to this day, a temperamental guy, and got a little bored with the process halfway through glass number one. "This stuff gives me gas." He said, but I didn't really pay that much attention. I remember clearly that first time that I felt the euphoria that comes from sipping down clear brown liquid. While finishing my bottle, the summer doldrums had all but disappeared and the world had opened up to show me it's thousands of opportunities. Earl was taking too long, so I let him finish his lukewarm glass, but helped myself to the rest of his reserves. With my paralyzing self-doubt and fear erased (and no more booze in the house) there was no choice but for us to go out in search of the women that didn't know yet how fun we could be.

It's remarkable how closely my life since has followed that template. If I'm finished with mine, I'll grab the drink in your hand, but you'll keep me around because of the craziness that I get us into. There always comes a point in the night when the mood changes, I get the crazy eye, chain smoke whatever I can coerce out of people and zombie-walk my way through hours of blacked out rampaging. I've lost good friends forever because of the rampaging, but my wife and enough friends have stuck with me that the good somehow always outweighed the bad, and I would have zombie-walked my way right into alcoholic cirrhosis at the age of 55, and nobody would have been surprised.

The first time I pissed myself was the night before my wedding. When I woke up, I was very confused about what had been spilled on me. It was obviously embarrassing, but it only happened twice that first year. It's not a huge problem if it happens twice a year, right? Then more like 4 times the second year. The first time I wet the bed with my wife in it, I convinced her that I had knocked over a glass of water. The second time I did it without any water nearby. She was absolutely furious. How do you find a man attractive if you can't respect him? How do you respect a bedwetter?

The fights got worse and I white knuckled my way through a bunch of hair-brained schemes to keep my consumption at sub-nocturnal-urination levels. Sometimes they worked and a stretch of 3 months without an incident would buy me another 3 months of absolute excess. My wife kept my secret for the most part, but there were time when it got out… Like when I pissed my bed in a room full of my colleagues on a ski trip. The silence of a group of your friends, whose only topic of conversation is sucked out of their mouths by your appearance... is palpable.

But the good outweighed the bad. I was a shining star at my local pub. People laughed raucously at the stories that the kid getting his PhD from such and such better-than-ivy-league school would tell. My wife and I came to a truce. She stayed out of my way on the weekends, and I stayed out of hers. I slept on the couch almost every Friday and Saturday (and some Sundays) so that on a good bender when I pissed myself before the blankets were dry from the night before, at least she could sleep through the night. If you can't have a husband that's sober enough to f*ck you, at least you can have one that will leave you the f*ck alone. Weekdays remained mostly normal, with me drinking only enough to take care of the shakes and maybe just quiet the screaming bottle and that ever pesky paralyzing self-doubt. Some weeks were better and I could white knuckle my way through an AF day or two. Sometimes though, the weekend started on Wednesday, and that was really starting to make the long-term prospects of being in a serious relationship with another human being... bleak.

In early 2012 my wife made a reasonable request that shook me. She asked me to start wearing diapers to bed when I drank. She didn't do it out of anger, she did it out of desperation, and she meant it sincerely. I couldn't help but consider it. I have tried and failed so so so many times to just keep the drinking at "don't piss yourself" levels, that I knew just trying harder wouldn't do any good. So my two options were to either go back to AA and be born again, or order some diapers. Then a stroke of genius and I googled "medication nocturnal enuresis." I didn't know though, how I'd explain it to my Doctor. They tend to frown on being enablers who want to help drunks not piss themselves... I imagine. So I googled "medication alcoholism" and found this site.

Hesster, Heavy Fuel, UKblonde and the rest of the "too good to be true" crew.
My foray into TSM and nal

I have never read Sinclair's book... and I remain extremely wary of anyone promising an addict of any kind a fix to his or her problems. I'm a scientist for a living though, and I dug into the published studies on naltrexone. I was amazed to find that the sh*t actually WORKS. And it works on alcoholic rats who have no societal pressure to quit. No placebo effect. No addicted brain willing to pretend that a cure is working so that it doesn't get sent to AA.

I read the stories in the cured section and they seemed too good to be true. UKblonde saw an effect immediately. Heavy Fuel had been drinking for half a lifetime and was improving. And most importantly for me, Hesster, a fellow academic, fellow bedwetter, and fellow black out rampager was turning his life around. I hemmed and hawed before making one of the best decisions of my life and buying a "trial size" 20 pills.

My units didn't plummet the first time I swallowed my new kerosene flavored sidekick. But something was noticeably different. Where I used to accelerate, pouring stronger and stronger drinks; each one less coke and more vodka until they were almost clear, instead I was keeping a more even keel. Pretty soon on a weeknight, one bottle of wine was all I wanted, rather than all I could keep myself to. There were some weekend spikes because if you drink, it turns out you will get drunk, no matter how much you're enjoying it. But there were also some weekend valleys. Some Saturdays, I wasn't the drunkest person at the party. I learned that a lot of other people don't get blackout drunk...

Most importantly, in this early phase, I learned that alcohol makes some people sleepy, rather than giving them energy, like it had for me for all these years. In spite of everything, I never before fully believed, never fully understood that I was biologically different until a pill came along that made me more like normal. I drank more often during this phase, though less per session. I still loved the taste of wine, I still loved the taste of scotch, I still needed to relax, I still had crippling self-doubt, and now without real danger of going absolutely wild, why not drink every day? I know some people have what they call nal-overs, but my hangovers actually got better. Looking back, it's clear that I was just lessening my physical dependence on alcohol. The shakes and the cold sweats were diminishing, and my near psychotic anxiety was going with it.

The new normal
My long summer plateau

I wish I could claim that the first day I took nal, I left heavy drinking and bedwetting in the past. It didn't happen that way. As it turns out, even if you don't love it, drink enough liquor and you'll get sauced. When I got used to being able to drink as much as I wanted, just being out with my friends for a long time could lead to overindulgence and an "incident." It probably only happened 3 times all summer, which, by 2011 standards would have been a miracle, but my initial honeymoon phase had showed me a glimpse of a world filled with self-respect and dignity. I trudged along for months, getting along with my wife just fine, drinking almost every night, or at least 4 days a week, and settling in to an almost acceptable new normal. I was still hung over on Mondays, but completely functional. If it weren't for the occasional "incident," I might have stopped trying right here and been perfectly happy.

Taking the reins and crossing the finish line
Using strategies rather than self-denial

I've never been great at telling myself no, and that's clearly part of my problem. Even when there wasn't such a strong impulse to drink, I found myself overindulging. So I tried not telling myself no. I started a policy of drinking a glass of wine when I wanted a whiskey, a beer when I wanted a wine, and a Miller 64 when I wanted a beer. Miller 64 is almost water. It's hard, on nal, to get drunk on Miller 64. So if I'm going out drinking all night with friends on Friday, it's 64 only. When I want a whiskey at home at night, it's a glass of wine. And these days, whiskey is really just saved for special occasions.

You can probably tell how big of a deal that last sentence is to me. For me, whiskey is liquid golden kryptonite. A bottle only had two servings at best in my drinking days. Worst, a half full bottle, hidden at the back of my closet could call out to me so loud that it drowned out all other sounds.

So weekends without hangovers gave way to AF Mondays, and then Tuesdays, and then I thought... Let's see what it's like if I quit drinking all week. Tuesdays are clear. Wednesdays are clearer. Thursdays I am a razor. Fridays I almost don't want a drink because I don't want to dull my senses.

My final corner was turned when I instituted a policy of sober weekdays and found myself liking it. After stringing a few of these together, something strange and completely unexpected happened. An ancient feeling came bubbling up. The "old me." The introspective and calm me that I hadn't been in touch with since 2001.

Recently, my wife took the old me to a whiskey lounge, just on a whim. Nal 1 hr before of course. I had one amazing 16 year old Caol Ila. Heavens. My wife asked what I was having next, but I didn't really feel like having another... especially at 15 dollars a pour. Kryptonite has become too expensive to get drunk on. She offered to let me buy a bottle of my kryptonite of choice to have at the house: Lagavulin 16. I'm definitely going to do it, but I just haven't gotten around to it. That was weeks ago. I'll get around to it soon.... Probably next time we go to Costco for coffee.

I'll never be normal
But things have changed

Two weeks ago, I sat surrounded by my old drinking buddies, at a baseball game. My second beer was getting warm because I wasn't drinking it fast enough. Way back at Earl's house in the early 90's, that second 40 of King Cobra didn't get warm. I am better than back to the old me. I haven't bummed an American Spirit off anyone since new year's eve. Rather than finding a life that’s good enough, I now expect greatness from myself. All I wanted from nal was to stop pissing the bed. I never thought it would cure me. I was surprised to hear myself ask my wife Do you think I am cured?" I was even more surprised to hear the loving woman who put up with being pissed on and yelled at, and have her life constantly rocked by alcohol, say YES.

"Cured" to me doesn't mean that I'm magically a new person, I don't have to be vigilant, or I'll never overindulge again. I have had a 20 year relationship with alcohol that is still evolving. If I stop taking my nal, I am sure I'll be back to my old self in no time. "Cured" means I can trust myself with alcohol. I have a trip planned for New Year's Eve in Las Vegas, and I am looking forward to the shows. "Cured" means that for the first time in a long time, alcohol is something I use to enhance my life, rather than my reason for living.

_________________
Former out of control, literally fall-down and piss-yourself Black Label fiend. First dose of Nal 3/29/2012. Transformation became undeniable on 5/18/2013. The bottle used to scream my name, but now it has shut up.


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 Post subject: Re: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:29 pm
Posts: 574
Location: Midwest USA
Generic -- congratulations on great work and a great, informative post! I've been gone from the board -- and TSM -- for awhile, but starting back up. I'll explain on my own thread. But your success gives me hope as I restart.

Tiller

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 Post subject: Re: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:59 pm
Posts: 4
I read your post without skipping a word and all I can say is........f***ing WOW!

That is an absolutely incredible story. Thank you so much for your candor.

I just started NAL and I hope my life can have the transformation yours did.

Thank you!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:03 pm
Posts: 26
You said you're a scientist for a living; are you sure you're not a writer for a living???

Bravo! Inspiring story and very good read that I will return to again and again in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:40 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:29 am
Posts: 420
Yay, Generic, well done!

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Pre TSM 50u/w Started 24/06/11
50mg 12-16-19-24
25mg 28-17-18-15-13-10-7
25/12.5mg 8-7-8-6-6-10-6
12.5mg 6-5-4-etc
2-3u/session 2-3/week since Sept 2011


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 Post subject: Re: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 11:24 am
Posts: 5
Great post...thanks for sharing!!


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 Post subject: Re: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:39 am
Posts: 14
Awesome story as always. Inspiring for those of us just starting this journey. Congratulations!


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 Post subject: Re: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:53 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:05 pm
Posts: 325
Thanks for the summary Generic, It really wasn't very long. Congrats and I hope t be where you are some day. Keek

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Pre-TSM
20-25, 2 AF
then 10-16 3,4 AF
9/6/2015
wk 1-5AF so far


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 Post subject: Re: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:15 am
Posts: 101
Location: Scotland
Hi Generic

Just to echo above comments .. I've read your post several times now and its truly inspiring! I am delighted for you and thanks for your support! Very well done and thank you for writing so honestly!

Lorraine


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 Post subject: Re: Generic's Odyssey. Cured? Looks like it.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:26 pm
Posts: 176
Location: Northwest U.S.
Hi Ed,

I hope you'll continue to check in and update us on your story.

As someone still in the earliest stages of TSM, it made me cry, hopeful tears.

So happy for you and thank you for sharing this amazing journey with such honesty and clarity.

_________________
Pre-TSM: 70-105/week. Back after a 4-year hiatus. Started back on TSM Feb. 2017.

Now...

May 2017: average 14-20 (per week)


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