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 Post subject: FINALLY STARTED! Wow...is this me?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:51 am
Posts: 9
Hi there!

I wasn't sure whether to post this in the "New" forum, since I already posted there, but I figure I'd officially start the journey over here.

So, after a week and a half of having my prescription, I finally bit the bullet and started TSM last night. I thought I'd want to get started straight after picking up my prescription, but I didn't. I totally balked. It was like standing at the end of a high dive trying to force yourself to jump, for over a week. In fact, I'd had one of my worst drunks I've had in quite some time in the week after picking up the Naltrexone. It's as if my unconscious mind knew what I was planning to do, and decided it was going to hoover up all the booze it could before I took the joy out of it. I woke up with an absolutely hellish hangover that took me 5 advil and 3 Gravol to get over, and I shunned alcohol for at least 4 days. Over the next few days, I had one single beer apres snowboarding, and one drink with a friend, and that was it. However, I knew that "moderating out of fear," was not going to be a good long term strategy. So last night, I finally decided to take the Naltrexone and drink.

The moment had come: It was Friday night, I didn't have to work the next day, my husband was coming home after working away from home all week, and we like drinking together. All in all, I thought, a perfect time to start the Naltrexone, because I could let 'er rip, if I so choose (i.e, not "try" to moderate.) So, I took half a pill at about 5:30. I couldn't go straight to the liquor store, as I was waiting to bid on a super sweet Cuisinart 16 cup food processor on Ebay; so I had to stay home until the auction was over--which I'm happy to say, I won! Woot!

I digress: After that, I went to the store, bought a cheap 6 pack of Bowen Island IPA, came home, and the hour was up. I knocked on my friends door who lives on the property, gave him the vodka he asked me to pick up, and we sat down to do some drinking and jawing, as is one of my favorite things to do--settin' drinkin' jawin' and smokin'. I am not Southern, so I don't know why I'm 'splainin' it that way, it just seems an appropriate way to describe the experience ;).

I had talked quite a bit about TSM in the last 6 months to my friend, so I told him I was about to embark on my first Naltrexone drink. "Bottoms up," I said, as I cracked the beer, took a sip and...drum roll please...wait for it...and... nothing. Nothing: No buzz, no warm fuzzy feeling, no, "Ahhhhhh" feeling; nothing, nada, zilch. I held my can of beer at arms length, and looked at like an alien creature. "Hmm," I said. "This is weird." My friend asked me how it was weird, and I told him, "It's just...there's no hit, and no immediate buzz, and it also tastes strangely flat." (As for it tasting flat, after my husband came home, I asked him to taste my beer. He said that it did taste kind of flat, and that I should test my taste buds on his Imperial IPA. I took a sip, and it too, tasted flat. So, I know it was the Naltrexone. Sort of a bummer, because of course, I love the taste of Imperial IPA.) After which, we carried on drinking and yakking. I was enjoying that, as per usual. I cracked my second beer, and it was the same experience. "This is really weird. I'm on my second beer, and I don't feel anything, still." I told my friend. "Normally, I'd have a warm fuzzy feeling by now, and I don't." We carried on some more, and by the time I was through my third beer, I was finally feeling something. I made note of that.

On this went for a bit. My husband arrived, and came out and joined us for a drink. I cracked a fourth, and I was feeling a tiny bit boozy at this point. It was a little like I normally feel at that point of drinking, but blunted-- I made note of that. My friend went to bed, and my husband and I adjourned to the garage to hang out and throw some darts. I had a fifth beer, and noted that I was feeling a bit tipsy. We went inside to watch the X-files with our kid. By this time, I was feeling hungry, so I started making myself a snack. I drank maybe half or more of the last beer, until I realized that I wasn't really interested in drinking the rest of it, so I left it. Just like that. Goodbye, beer. It was that easy to just stop.

I told my husband about the experience, and he said, "You know, that's how it is for me; I really enjoy drinking, but when I feel myself getting to tipsy, or slightly out of control, I just stop. It isn't a struggle." Huh, I thought, while looking at this man I've been married to for 12 years like he also might be from an alien planet. So, I thought, this is what normal drinkers are like. They feel themselves getting too tipsy...and they stop; they don't have this devilish urge to keep on drinking. Huh!

In any case: Wow, what an extremely interesting experience. I still don't know quite what to make of it. In all honesty, if it never got any better than this, I'd be happy. I'd be pretty stoked if I could go to a party, have 4 1/2 to 5 beers, and walk a-way...!
I still got a bit of a buzz, I still got part of what I like out of it, and I was able to stop effortlessly when I realized I didn't want it anymore. That in itself, is practically miraculous.

The most intriguing part of all, was that I actually felt like I was in touch with this dim part of myself, which realized that what I was really enjoying in these occasions that I associate so heavily with alcohol, was the talking, the laughing, the camaraderie, and the wild spontaneity--you know, the "fun." Suddenly, the "fun" I associated with the alcohol, was refocused on those things, and not the drinking. The drinking suddenly became secondary to the experience, and not the primary focus. It was subtle, but I noticed it.

Unfortunately, I didn't start my drink tracker last night, so I'll have to do so retroactively. We are having a potluck tonight, so it will be another perfect TSM opportunity, as social drinking is my Achilles heel (I originally mis-typed "Achilles Heal," and I almost left it that way!) I will attempt to track my drinks tonight, and perhaps I should keep a journal?

This is a rather wild experience; I feel like a scientist and I am my own test subject. I like this part. it suits my intellectually curious personality far better than the dreary, depressing, anti-intellectual environs of the established alcoholism support groups (at least, this was my experience. If it wasn't yours, please don't take it personally.)

Anyway, I'm glad to be here, and glad to be on this journey. I started off feeling really ambivalent and scared, but now I feel really positive about this.

Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: FINALLY STARTED! Wow...is this me?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
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Very cool, Gillian! Sounds like a successful launch so far!


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 Post subject: Re: FINALLY STARTED! Wow...is this me?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:51 am
Posts: 9
Hey there, JoeSixPac--

Thankyou! However, I have had a strange setback feeling tonight, and I'm hoping someone such as yourself can help me put it in perspective.

Tonight was our potluck. I was busy in the kitchen for most of the day, and about 4:40Pm give or take, I thought, "I should take a naltrexone, I'll probably want a glass of wine pretty soon. So, I took a naltrexone at that time. My good friend arrived and offered me a glass. I told her that I was going to wait a while, so I prepped and cooked until the hour had at least passed. I poured the wine, and expected it to be the same experience that I had the night before with the beer--the "meh" feeling and the lack of taste. Nope, it tasted the same, felt the same, etc., as it had prior to the naltrexone. I got a bit of a rush, flush, et all, from the wine as I'm used to.

In fact, I've had way to much wine, and I'm wondering...what the heck happened? At first, I dreaded that the naltrexone would dull this feeling, and now that I've experienced it's effects, I want that back! Grrrr.

I've read enough of the forums to know, that ups and downs are to be expected. However, after the dramatic experience of the first night, I was really surprised that night number two felt like old times. I'm a little deflated, but I'll hang in there because I know from reading here, that's it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Anyway, signing out for now.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: FINALLY STARTED! Wow...is this me?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
Posts: 1620
Yeah, there's frequently the initial effect that changes as you go on. Nal is still working behind the scenes, but your conscious experience of drinking may change. It may be that you will have better luck with beer overall, but let it ride and see what your experience with it is down the road a bit. If it's that time of the month for you, you may need to boost your dose, as falling progesterone levels can make Nal less effective and can be an issue for some.


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 Post subject: Re: FINALLY STARTED! Wow...is this me?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:51 am
Posts: 9
Hey there JoeSixPac--

Ok, I'll try not to get too down about it. I know from my reading these forums, that it is a bit of a roller coaster for a while, so I'll try to roll with the punches, but I gotta tell ya--I'm tired of waking up hungover with the alcohol blues. I felt so positive after my first experience on the Naltrexone, that when it didn't seem to slow me down last night, it was pretty disappointing. I woke up at 5:00am, than 6am, fell back asleep at 7am, and slept till 11, and I was supposed to go up the ski hill with my kid for the last day of the season, and while I wasn't totally hungover, I was feeling pretty tired and much less than fresh. I am tired of missing out on things because I feel like crap from the night before.

As per your last suggestion, I am past that in my life at this point. I'm 47 and had an early menopause. I was lifting serious weights in the gym for a few years, and my cycle just slowed to a halt and then never came back.

In regard to the wine, I did read somewhere on these forums where someone was saying that they noticed a difference when they drank wine; the naltrexone seems to have a less noticeable effect, for some reason. Since many people here are almost exclusively wine drinkers, I'm assuming that TSM will still work if you drink wine, it's just strange that there would be a difference. Is there something in the chemical make up of wine that interacts differently with the Naltrexone?

So, I guess I'll just have to try and be gentle on myself and trust this process. I haven't started tracking my drinks--I'm not sure how you're supposed to be doing that when you're enjoying yourself socially (!), but I'll try and use the app discretely, maybe? It would also help if I didn't pour more in my glass when it is only half to a quarter full! However, I imagine that drink tracking helps you see that the process is really working, even when it appears that it isn't.

Cheers,

Gillian :)


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 Post subject: Re: FINALLY STARTED! Wow...is this me?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
Posts: 1620
It seems to vary from one to the other person, some do fine with spirits and it's a weakness for others. Generally, stronger drink anesthetizes the frontal area of the brain, which generates the "Stop" signal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibR4zCH-_qQ

So wine is going to hit you about twice as fast as beer. Some have found that they do better staying away from red wine, some do better staying away from white wine. There doesn't seem to be any best approach that fits everyone, like sticking with beer throughout TSM. For the most part, you should drink what you're used to drinking. But you may have to go to extra pains to slow things down if you're going to be drinking wine. It's still kind of early to settle on a strategy though, so experiment and see what works best for you.


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 Post subject: Re: FINALLY STARTED! Wow...is this me?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:51 am
Posts: 9
Thanks Joe. I really, really appreciate your helpful responses. Now I'll be a little more prepared for this if I choose to drink wine or spirits again.

Another thing I remembered, is that I took a whole pill this time. I had been meaning to take a half again, but I just spaced it and took a whole--and that didn't even do the trick. Well, no sense in trying to overthink it, I guess. I'll just try to be mindful next time. In fact, I was talking it over with my husband, (who is very interested in the mechanisms of this method having a bio science degree) and he said to me, "You just started this. Maybe it's best not to over analyze--Just stick with it and don't worry about outcomes for a while." Smart husband! However, it's tough advice to follow, as I've had a lifetime of feeling like a "failure" when I wake up feeling like crap.

Well, today will be a non-drinking day, so I'm going to get some exercise, and hopefully that will help lift the blues.

Cheers, and thanks again, JoeSixpack :)


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 Post subject: Re: FINALLY STARTED! Wow...is this me?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
Posts: 1620
You're welcome! I totally agree with your husband, you're very early days yet. A couple of other things that can bump a drinking session up higher than you would think - One is a prior AF day. Another is a social drinking, as it's a different environment than usual.

Keep letting us know how you're doing, we'll stay tuned.

There's also a community over at http://optionssavelives.freeforums.net/ that you might want to check out if you're interested. It can be a bit more lively over there.


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