Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Drinking...

I feel like it's getting out of control. I do it every day. legalbeagle03/12/18
If you've identified it as a problem, then it is. Have you jd4hire03/12/18
no it hasn't impacted my career or family. i still make it t legalbeagle03/12/18
I went through this. I stopped working overtime and the issu triplesix03/12/18
You sound fine. trickydick03/12/18
Besides the obvious answers, (Go to rehab, go to AA, etc.), anothernjlawyer03/12/18
Good advice just above. Also, working out has been found to dogdaypm03/12/18
Source on working out reducing alcohol cravings? I only drin khazaddum03/12/18
Not a search I want to have captured at the moment. Just go dogdaypm03/12/18
I went ten years of three stiff drinks a night working while nowhereman03/12/18
Congrats on moving to a less stressful gig. Also, "Welcom dogdaypm03/12/18
What nowhereman said. Get out if you can. I went in hous defectoantesto03/12/18
I agree with the posters who suggest working out; however, I jeffm03/12/18
If you think it might be a problem, it's a problem. If you quillan03/12/18
I used to drink too much - like 40-60 drinks per week. It wa hankstamper03/12/18
I think we’ve all be in a similar situation to you. Whethe mcacollector03/21/18
I use to drink a lot, and then I stopped spending so much ti trollfeeder03/21/18
legalbeagle (Mar 12, 2018 - 11:03 am)

I feel like it's getting out of control. I do it every day. To the point where I'm tipsy or even drunk. I have gone only 4 straight days without drinking...once, in the past year. work is incredibly stressful and I don't know how to cope. I feel disgusted with myself. it doesn't help that my partner does as well.

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jd4hire (Mar 12, 2018 - 11:06 am)

If you've identified it as a problem, then it is. Have you hit rock bottom? Done any terribly embarrassing things that have impacted you, your career, or those you care about?

Not sure if you fall into the - you're an alcoholic and need to stop everything or I really need to get this under control. If you're on the fence, most likely an alcoholic. If so, you should go to AA (or some other group) and work on getting clean.

A new work environment may be a good starting point.

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legalbeagle (Mar 12, 2018 - 11:29 am)

no it hasn't impacted my career or family. i still make it to work (although most times late) but I make all my court appearances, depositions etc. i do wake up hungover from time to time, nothing crazy, but it just doesn't feel good.

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triplesix (Mar 12, 2018 - 11:22 am)

I went through this. I stopped working overtime and the issue went away. I prefer to spend my time on hobbies and social activities now that I have time and energy for both.

Telling someone to stop drinking outright plain doesn't work. You need to figure why you are doing it and I bet it has a lot to do with overworking. So unless you stop overworking or do it in a way that doesn't stress you out, this wont go away.

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trickydick (Mar 12, 2018 - 12:01 pm)

You sound fine.

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anothernjlawyer (Mar 12, 2018 - 12:02 pm)

Besides the obvious answers, (Go to rehab, go to AA, etc.), try bringing a gym bag to the office and, at night, going straight to the gym instead of going home or to the bar. A hard workout can work wonders on stress / wellbeing, and if you're lifting weights, you aren't drinking.

Good luck.

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dogdaypm (Mar 12, 2018 - 12:14 pm)

Good advice just above. Also, working out has been found to decrease the cravings for alcohol. Alternate weights with cardio so you're doing something every evening.

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khazaddum (Mar 12, 2018 - 12:41 pm)

Source on working out reducing alcohol cravings? I only drink now after a workout. I smoke less now that I run though.

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dogdaypm (Mar 12, 2018 - 1:18 pm)

Not a search I want to have captured at the moment. Just google exercise cravings and endorphins.

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nowhereman (Mar 12, 2018 - 1:39 pm)

I went ten years of three stiff drinks a night working while working in private practice. I could probably count on my hands the nights I went to sleep without being slightly buzzed. I moved in-house not too long ago, and while I still drink for social reasons, more and more I find myself going to bed after reading a book for half hour. Since my stress level has decreased, the need to drink to relax decreased too.

Its amazing what stress will do to you. My advice, get out. I did not think I could, but after my mental and physical health deteriorated a bit, I got the hell out of private practice. Its been a blessing all around. Life is too short to live 0.6 hours at a time.

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dogdaypm (Mar 12, 2018 - 1:53 pm)

Congrats on moving to a less stressful gig.

Also, "Welcome!".

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defectoantesto (Mar 12, 2018 - 2:04 pm)

What nowhereman said. Get out if you can.

I went in house about 18 months ago after 5+ years in litigation. There is still some stress, but nowhere near litigation practice levels. By the end I was being offered anti-depressants by my doctor and drinking daily. Not necessarily problem drinking, but it still felt like too much/too often. My wife started commenting on it a lot, too, which I guess is kind of a sign that things are getting out of hand.

Anyway going from that to a normal job with normal other people is mind blowingly refreshing. I still drink but not every night, usually just some wine with dinner a couple times per week. Probably some whisky or whatever on the weekends. I have realized that my heavier drinking and depression was really a response to an unhappy career situation that just sapped me of energy, joy, free time, and all the other things that make life worthwhile.

Unfortunately stories like mine and nowhereman’s are common in the legal profession. I consider myself very fortunate to have escaped before things got worse.

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jeffm (Mar 12, 2018 - 1:53 pm)

I agree with the posters who suggest working out; however, I think cardio-based workouts would be better than weight-lifting if one of the primary purposes is to reduce your excessive drinking. Anyone can drink and push some weights. Drinking is not as compatible with running - at least not for me. (Nor is over-eating, which is a plus, too.)

Whatever you do, you just need a constructive activity that isn't compatible with drinking.

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quillan (Mar 12, 2018 - 2:35 pm)

If you think it might be a problem, it's a problem. If you are employed at a firm, you may have an EAP that is available for a few free sessions with a counselor. The counselor can do a substance use assessment and provide local resources. Also, every state has a Lawyer Assistance Program. Some also provide no-cost access to EAPs. Also, in many places there are AA meetings for lawyers or professionals. If you are thinking about this issue a lot, there is no harm in attending a meeting and sharing your thoughts. You might get some good feedback, or you might decide it's not for you. Either way, it's only an hour of your time. As someone who has been there and spent a lot of time trying to figure out if drinking or too much high-stress work was the problem, I wish you luck. By the way, in my case it turned out to be both.

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hankstamper (Mar 12, 2018 - 5:41 pm)

I used to drink too much - like 40-60 drinks per week. It was because I was miserable - married to a horrible, horrible person, and the stress of starting a new firm and not making any money. I never missed a court date or made a big mistake, but I was hungover the majority of every week.

Now I am happy and drink much less (about 20 drinks per week). Great wife, and business is doing well. I don't see my drinking as a problem now - just something I enjoy in the evenings.

You need to make some changes to have less stress in your life, then your drinking will decrease. That's my take. Your unhappiness and stress is making you drink. Don't blame the alcohol - it is a symptom of your unhappiness, not the cause of your unhappiness. Quit the job, or find a new mate, or do whatever it takes to be happier.

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mcacollector (Mar 21, 2018 - 2:40 pm)

I think we’ve all be in a similar situation to you. Whether it is drinking a little every night, or binge drinking on weekends (that used to be, and sometimes still is, me) you are dealing with a lack of constructive outlet for the stress in your life. I wouldn’t necessarily say you’re an alcoholic, but continuing this behavior might lead to it.

For me, drinking always sucked me in as a way to feel better, but it just usually made me feel worse. I still drink, even binge drink, every once in a while, but it isn’t as bad as it was. Someone said once “don’t drink to feel better, only drink to feel even better..” I think that is a great quote. Plus, the only thing worse than being hungover is being hungover at work!

I think what has helped me through stress has been exercising and focusing on a healthy diet/ weight loss. I try to do 30 min- 1 hour of just straight cardio a day (especially m-f). Then, I go home and cook/ order a healthy meal. Trying to lose weight/ get fit has been a deterrent for me with regard to drinking because no matter what I drink I always feel obese the next day.

My best advice is to try to find an outlet for your stress that is constructive instead of destructive.

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trollfeeder (Mar 21, 2018 - 8:23 pm)

I use to drink a lot, and then I stopped spending so much time with alcoholics.

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