There are a variety of reasons:
- Age, Gender, Race or Ethnicity.
- Physical condition (weight, fitness level, etc).
- Amount of food eaten before drinking alcohol.
- How quickly they drink the alcohol.
- Use of other drugs, legal (prescription medicines) or illegal (marijuana etc.)
- Family history of alcohol problems.
The current mainstream scientific and medical view is that alcoholism is a disease. Although some debate on this topic still occurs — my personal experience validates the disease model.
The first time I tried alcohol, I was about 13. I remember accepting an offer of one beer. The rest is fuzzy because I blacked out. The next memory I had was feeling terrible the next day. My mom told me I had been throwing-up all night. My plan — I need to drink more often, because it was clear that I didn’t have any “practice”. I never saw adults vomiting after they drank, so certainly, after a few more…
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When someone finishes 100 days sober, they often sign up for the 180 day challenge. When they get to day 180, the re-up for 365. I send out a copy of the new pledge, and ask you to edit to suit your particular situation. Here’s what Sooz (day 196) sent me for her 365 day challenge:
I’ve done 180 days, and I’m ready for more. My life has improved in so many ways, and I know that if I remain sober, it’ll just keep getting better. I am no longer dealing with problems by drinking as it only makes them worse. I can’t blackout and embarrass myself if I don’t drink! I can’t have a hangover if I don’t buy any spirits. I can’t make my memory worse if I stick to soft drinks. People are getting used to me drinking so social pressure is not an excuse.
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I tried to drink just one, maybe two. My wife was at a big meeting and I was able to come home early. I thought I would have one – had my self convinced. I had 3 bourbons by the time she came home. Then more. I did not have a bad day or any triggers. I was just like a kid home alone to do whatever. I did cook a great dinner though…
Now I am hung over with a big, all morning meeting today. I know I will do fine at the meeting, an no one will be the wiser. But, once again, I am disappointed with myself and hiding the amount of drinking and the stress I am causing myself and my body. I really need to avoid official rehab. I need to be stronger. Suggestions are very welcome.