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Vaping increases the quality of my life
Old 25th August 2019
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by coso View Post
Have you stumbled across the Mighty vaporizer? Not cheap but it allows the user to set an exact temperature - see attached.

Thanks, that looks informative.

It certainly appears true that excessive temperature has a distinctly adverse effect on oils, which is why having one's device set properly seems so important.
Old 25th August 2019
  #62
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A very recent article in the regular press: https://www.washingtonpost.com/healt...be4_story.html
Old 25th August 2019
  #63
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swing View Post
A very recent article in the regular press: https://www.washingtonpost.com/healt...be4_story.html
I was in hospital earlier this year with a similar condition not quite as severe and was only vaping at the time, no smoking.

I'll take my chances as a light smoker these days. I do not trust vaping at all.
Old 25th August 2019
  #64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swing View Post
A very recent article in the regular press: https://www.washingtonpost.com/healt...be4_story.html
Thanks for posting that. I just read it this a.m.

I think we clearly don't know enough about the whole process. But I thought the thinking of the docs in the case of the near-death in the story was instructive: they seemed to be leaning to the notion that there was something new introduced into the unfortunate young man's vaping routine just before his sudden and near-catastrophic illness, perhaps an impurity or toxic material related to the refinement process. Very interestingly, the possible vector for his very sudden illness [after vaping without apparent incident for a couple of years] seemed to be not some black market product but a branded, supposedly mainstream commercial product.

Until someone has done some good epidemiological work on this rash of apparently very serious abreactions/illnesses, it probably pays to be wary.

Certainly we should be wary of black market/unbranded product -- but perhaps more even more generally, based on the story of the young man in the WaPo article, whose docs and family suspect a specific branded, commercial product (which he began using shortly before his now mostly-reversed rapid decline).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonwhistle View Post
I was in hospital earlier this year with a similar condition not quite as severe and was only vaping at the time, no smoking.

I'll take my chances as a light smoker these days. I do not trust vaping at all.
Thanks for sharing your unfortunate experience.

Best wishes on your continuing recovery!

Last edited by theblue1; 25th August 2019 at 07:27 PM..
Old 26th August 2019
  #65
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JoeyM's Avatar
I'm certain some people will have bad reactions if only at the level rare people are allergic to the common chemicals let alone unknown. There'a already going to be a percentage.

My purpose of starting this topic is to old smokers similar to myself who feel a lot better switching from tobacco to a formula with literally 3,997 less toxic and many times cancer-causing chemicals.

400,000 people in the US die every year due to smoking and smoking-related illnesses. How many vape deaths in the time we've had eCigs? Probably more deaths from kids eating Tide Pods from the laundry room.

What is the likelihood there are lawyers salivating right now because there's a new Alpaca to fleece? I'm sure they're saying "turn up the bad news".
Old 26th August 2019
  #66
Lives for gear
Propiganda and media are always going to sway some puplic opinion. That is controlled by whoever has the cash. Big companies have the cash to put whatever they want out there, influence vote, and in general do what they want with the public. It took a long time to expose that Cigs are bad, Football is bad, Drinking is bad. I still watch football even though I know the players are going to suffer later in life. In Nebraska the Cornhuskers are like religion.

All life can't be perfect. Risk is what makes some things worth while. But we can educate and learn to make our own decisions and let people live life that is enjoyable. If you are not hurting other people let people do what they want.

Big companies are hurting many people, we don't do enough about. Focus on that rather than an individual who wants to vape.

The problem is the world is becoming a small interelated place. A person smoking effects a non smokers health cost. This is what makes many mad. Get over it. Almost everybody does somethign wastful or unhealthy.

My take is that big companies are doing much more harm than indeviduals choices.

Do we want big brother or not? I don't. Live and let die.
Old 29th August 2019
  #67
This Rolling Stone investigatory piece [below] -- like other on-point analyses -- notes that while vaping of tobacco and cannabis products has been going on for around several decades, the rash of severe lung distress cases we are reading about now is a relatively recent phenomenon, most of it appearing in the last year.

The article focuses pretty much exclusively on cannabis products and the widespread problem of counterfeit-branded product, noting that some black market/pop-up (gray market) dispensaries and, uh, independent vendors actually buy EMPTY counterfeit packing which they then fill with their own home-distilled product. Frequent readers of consumer sites like Weedmaps have likely noticed complaints in the user reviews of certain cartridge products of everything from defective cartridges, harsh or unpleasant vapor, to what many apprise to be inferior, counterfeit product.

(One experienced user of my acquaintance said he bought a 'branded' cart at a since-closed, fly-by-nite (pop-up?) dispensary for a bargain price that, he claimed, tasted exactly like the heavy, chemical perfume used in gas station public restrooms. He said he immediately put it aside and hasn't used it since. "Live and learn," he said.)

(Unlike nicotine, which is water soluble, cannabis oil requires solvents or sophisticated distillation processes, meaning sloppily produced product may well have solvents, in addition to the possible presence of already existing impurities like insecticides.)

Rolling Stone Magazine:
Counterfeit Weed Vape Cartridges Are Everywhere — and They’re Making People Sick
Old 29th August 2019
  #68
By the way, the experienced user referenced above has since put away his unused, distilled cannabis vape product (the last cart of which he said had been bothering him, anyway, even before he started reading up on the mini-epidemic of lung distress) and has moved for the time being to only vaping raw, dry flower in a 'dry flower oven' (AKA dry flower tank, dry flower 'atomizer') attachment for his 510 battery. He says he is also avoiding overheating the flower to a point of burning by only using short bursts, not leaving the pen 'on' for any longer than it takes to draw some vapor directly from the heated flower, usually no more than 5-7 seconds. (Pen batteries vary greatly, of course. A vape pen with adjustable voltage is widely recommended to keep temperatures low. Many pens turn themselves off after something like 10 seconds to avoid overheating the element and container.)

I'm including this link strictly for example [I have no familiarity with the products or the reviewer]:

https://vaping360.com/best-vape-tank...erb-atomizers/
Old 5th September 2019
  #69
More news -- primarily on the cannabis side of things -- but, indirectly, potentially good news for nicotine vapers who'd been worried by the mysterious rash of sudden illnesses.

Researchers looking for potential contaminants/toxic materials in cannabis vape products have found that a harmless-sounding oil called vitamin E acetate has been found in a high preponderance of samples sent in to health agencies by lung distress victims...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/healt...?noredirect=on
Old 7th September 2019
  #70
This article from cannabis consumer journal, Leafly, seems responsibly written and seems to give valuable insight into why 'sudden lung distress' syndrome has suddenly appeared after many over a decade of cannabis vaping, tracing the emergence late last year of vitamin E oil (tocopheryl acetate) as an increasingly widely-used cutting ingredient. An associated article notes the number of diluent (cutting agent) suppliers that have suddenly pulled stock or gone dark altogether in the wake of the crisis.

Vape Pen Lung Disease: Here’s What You Need to Know

While contaminants and impurities may still be a concern for nicotine vape users, most evidence in the current 'outbreak' seems to finger cannabis vape products. It's worth noting that nicotine products are largely water soluble. But THC oil is, of course, an oil. And that requires a different approach.


Apparently the presumably mostly self-trained 'technicians' of the cannabis vape sector assumed something as 'innocent' as vitamin E oil would be a good substance to cut cannabis oil with for vaping. Apparently they were wrong. REAL wrong. They didn't intend to do harm. But people are sick and some have died.

Another example of why science is probably best pursued by trained scientists, particularly where money and health are involved.


Meanwhile, the apparent safety record of naturally grown and conventionally smoked cannabis remains surprisingly high. But that doesn't stop the wouldbe moralists from concocting their own imaginary 'science'... a fact-check from Politifact: Does marijuana lead to violence? (Check out the long list of debunked materials from a wide variety of sources in the sidebar at the right of the fact-check. Clearly a lot of money is pumped into the drug paranoia 'industry.' Kinda makes a cynical guy wonder just where it's coming from. It's almost like SOME folks make huge profits because some substances are illegal -- and they apparently really want to keep it that way.)
Old 10th September 2019
  #71
Gear Head
 
coso's Avatar
 

British vapers are safe, claim health experts after deaths in US: Outbreak of respiratory disease in the US, where five people have died, is blamed on lax controls and illicit fluid - https://www.theguardian.com/society/...n--uk-are-safe

Old 10th September 2019
  #72
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candyflip's Avatar
Now and again I will vape pure hemp flower for the CBD benefits, and the teeny bit of THC. Rarely vaping above 400°F. The hemp flower is independently tested and comes packaged with the lab reports, all sent legally in the mail. I wouldn't touch those pre-packaged carts or oils with a 10ft pole.

Old 11th September 2019
  #73
Quote:
Originally Posted by candyflip View Post
Now and again I will vape pure hemp flower for the CBD benefits, and the teeny bit of THC. Rarely vaping above 400°F. The hemp flower is independently tested and comes packaged with the lab reports, all sent legally in the mail. I wouldn't touch those pre-packaged carts or oils with a 10ft pole.

Of course, we don't have much science (that I've seen, anyhow) on vaping dry flower (as opposed to extracted and refined oil, with or without additives/cuts/diluents) but at least we know that no one has added vitamin E oil or other cuts/diluents. And people have been burning it for just about ever. (It's worth noting that vaporizing of dry flower occurs at relatively low temperature; this article seems helpful: https://keytocannabis.com/blogs/cann...-vaporizer-pen )

It's also well worth noting that before the end of 2018 when vitamin E oil began being used widely as a diluent, we didn't seem to have anything like this wave of lung distress/disorder afflictions, despite the fact that both nicotine and cannabis products had been being vaped for years.

Also, worth remembering that indoor grown cannabis has a better 'reputation' in large part because of the presumption it is grown without insecticides or herbicides.


I suspect many folks may also find themselves back with bongs or other water pipes and 'God's own herb.' After all, we do know that smoking it, despite the presumed potential damage from smoking, seems to have a pretty good track record.

By using a good bong with 'centrifugal' (velocity) filtration (curves and bends that collect particulate matter), one can filter out that particulate matter that might otherwise get sucked into the lungs. If one doesn't think there's a lot of particles and non-smoke/vapor in pot smoke, contemplate if you will, what happens if you don't clean your bong regularly:



All that gunk in the irregularly cleaned bong above did NOT go in someone's lungs. (But you don't want it flaking off and doing it later, which is why it really pays to clean your glass pipe regularly!)

Hint (not) from Heloise: to clean a glass bong or waterpipe with unreachable areas, it's probably best to avoid potentially toxic 'industrial' style cleaners -- particularly since they are often not even as effective as the very clean, 'natural' method of using a relatively small amount of rock salt (Kosher or Sea salt, the big chunky kind) with an equally small amount of rubbing (Isopropyl) alcohol. (Salt does not dissolve rapidly in alcohol, but cannabis oil does, meaning you get the 'combined' action of alcohol loosening the gunk and the salt abrading it away.)

The easiest way is often to block the openings, and with a couple ounces of the mixture in the pipe, gently shake it back and forth (do NOT hit it on hard things as you do this; voice of experience) letting the slushy salt-alcohol admixture 'slosh' back and forth across areas where gunk collects. Rinse out the alcohol and salt when done. Once such a pipe has been thoroughly cleaned by this method, even a large pipe can be thoroughly cleaned daily in a minute or two.

As long as we're doing the DIY info thing here, this article looks helpful, too: How to Smoke Weed Without Coughing

Last edited by theblue1; 11th September 2019 at 05:50 PM..
Old 11th September 2019
  #74
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12tone's Avatar
 

Man, this vaping outbreak is weird...it's all speculation at this point, nobody is saying anything definitive. It's so widespread and so all of a sudden.

Trump just weighed in, which is never a good sign.
Old 12th September 2019
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Man, this vaping outbreak is weird...it's all speculation at this point, nobody is saying anything definitive. It's so widespread and so all of a sudden.

Trump just weighed in, which is never a good sign.
Leafly has done some good reporting on this. This is from a different article than the one linked above:
Quote:
What Could Taint the Carts?
Consumers have used disposable vaporizer cartridges with standard additives—propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil—for many years. That alone gives regulators pause. Earlier this month, officials at the US Food and Drug Administration proposed adding propylene glycol as a respiratory toxicant to its list of “Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents in Tobacco Products.” FDA officials have also proposed regulating all e-cigarette ingredients by 2022.

A new type of additive started showing up in vape carts in late 2018.
Past lab tests have also caught pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and synthetic cannabinoids in illicit-market cannabis vape carts. Yet we’ve never had clusters of life-threatening lung injuries like we’re seeing this summer.

We don’t know what precipitated the current health crisis. But we do know people used illicit cannabis vape carts last year without ending up in the hospital. So it makes sense to ask: What’s changed recently in the street vape cart market?

The cannabis oil extracted from plant material doesn’t go straight into a THC vape cartridge. Cutting agents, also known as diluents, are liquids that chemists mix with the cannabis extract to create a consistent viscosity within the cart. Diluents also allow unlicensed manufacturers to stretch their supplies of THC oil.

In legal state-regulated markets, vape carts undergo mandatory lab testing to insure potency and purity. But in the illegal markets, anything goes. As a result, some consumers of illicit carts have learned how to spot watery oil cut with traditional propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, or MCT oil. Without the assurance of lab testing, vapers often judge the THC potency of a cart by looking at the thickness of the oil in the chamber. Thick oil has become a proxy for purity. Thin oil is a red flag.

Cart makers in the illegal markets know this. Some have responded by adding new cutting agents designed to mask the dilution. Instead of thinning oil, these new substances thicken it.

Proprietary Formulas, Untested on Lungs
“No one knows what this stuff is made of, and [the manufacturer’s] own safety sheets say, ‘Don’t use this with high temperatures,’” said Peter Hackett, the owner of Air Vapor Systems of Concord, CA. Hackett’s company supplies diluents to cannabis cart manufacturers nationwide. “It’s fraught with problems—this sort of thickening agent. If you’re going to take some solution that thickens up solutions, what the heck do you think it’s going to do to your lungs?”

“We don’t sell a thickening agent because of this issue,” Hackett told Leafly.
Old 12th September 2019
  #76
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Leafly has done some good reporting on this. This is from a different article than the one linked above:
Thanks for that.

The article implies THC vape carts specifically are the source of the problem. Whereas, MSM reporting won't go that far, but the vitamin E link has been mentioned. The administration just announced they'll ban kiddie flavors for E-cigs, as if that's the solution...

It's up to 450 suspected cases and 6 deaths so far. It seems to be expanding.

It still seems weird to me, only that it's so widespread, as the outbreak has hit 33 states. I hope there's not some sort of deliberate nefarious action that's been committed.
Old 12th September 2019
  #77
Well, it seems as most of the problem is with contemporary cannabis oil product, from what I've seen from following this issue. (A close friend had been suspecting contaminants were a problem in the grey market for some time [since he got a cart that tasted exactly like that heavy industrial deodorizer they use in freeway gas station restrooms; but it was cheap!] and he started suspecting what his usual hay fever was being multiplied by something.) It mostly seems to be from black/grey market product, but at least one person who became very ill had supposedly only used legal product from a licensed shop.

As the second Leafly article notes, some folks were already concerned by the 'regular' stuff we knew was in cannabis vape products. (And perhaps nicotine? Isn't propylene glycol in some nicotine vape product?) But this vitamin E (and more?) diluent trend started with trade advertising last fall and spread quickly because it produced such 'satisfactory' results in the look of the product. And, apparently, it didn't take too long for those chickens to come home to rest. Leafly noted in a prior article that a number of diluent makers have either pulled all their product, issued warnings and disclaimers, or, in one or two cases, disappeared altogether.

Where money can be made from cutting corners, some people are going to see how far they can cut those corners before things go really wrong, I'm afraid.
Old 14th October 2019
  #78
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Derp's Avatar
The first generation of e-cigs were expensive and terrible. I decided not to buy a carton of cigs and spend a few bucks on e-cigs and juice and all that. It sucked, but I didn't have cigarette money, so I made do. I kept using it less and less frequently until one day, it had dawned on me that I hadn't smoked a cigarette in half a year and hadn't used the e-cig in like a month or so. So yeah, e-cigs helped me to quit smoking by accident. I've put on a ton of weight though, so now I'm wondering which would have killed me first: the cigarettes, or this obesity. Oh, the folly of being alive!
Old 14th October 2019
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
The first generation of e-cigs were expensive and terrible. I decided not to buy a carton of cigs and spend a few bucks on e-cigs and juice and all that. It sucked, but I didn't have cigarette money, so I made do. I kept using it less and less frequently until one day, it had dawned on me that I hadn't smoked a cigarette in half a year and hadn't used the e-cig in like a month or so. So yeah, e-cigs helped me to quit smoking by accident. I've put on a ton of weight though, so now I'm wondering which would have killed me first: the cigarettes, or this obesity. Oh, the folly of being alive!
I was surprised to find I barely lost any weight when I quit drinking. Which was kind of shocking, since I'd been drinking about two six packs of beer a day for a year or two...
Old 15th October 2019
  #80
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cjack2020's Avatar
I’ve been smoking for about 14 years. Successfully quit for two back in 2010 but got hooked again somehow. I’ve tried the gum and also vaping but they just make me want cigs. Every time I get close to the end of a pack I tell myself I’m done. Then I lose self-control and rush to the store like clockwork.

I really need to stop before it’s too late.
Old 15th October 2019
  #81
Gear Addict
 
candyflip's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I was surprised to find I barely lost any weight when I quit drinking. Which was kind of shocking, since I'd been drinking about two six packs of beer a day for a year or two...
Congrats on quitting. Did you cold turkey? Any withdrawal effects?
Old 15th October 2019
  #82
Quote:
Originally Posted by candyflip View Post
Congrats on quitting. Did you cold turkey? Any withdrawal effects?
I'd been rolling it around in my head for a while. I drank enthusiastically just about every day for most of twenty years... well, maybe not so enthusiastically at the end -- but still plenty of it. By then I'd mostly stopped going out -- because having been through a number of roadside sobriety checks (I was an irresponsible drunk though I never got in a serious accident or arrested -- though I did come home drunk one night and, getting my motorcycle up on the center stand, managed to lose my balance and let the handlebar make a silver-dollar sized dimple in my neighbor's truck; it was long enough ago that the body work only cost $45).

So I was sitting on the couch, watching my second Cheers rerun of the evening and when I got up to get my next beer, I realized it was my 12th of the day... and my second Cheers rerun... and, you know, that ol' 'I didn't think life was gonna be like this' feeling washed over me. The next morning I quit the first of my two morning beers halfway through. I felt crappy, as I imagined one might feel at the start of some serious liver dysfunction. Also, my looks were starting to go. (I was 43, my looks went anyhow, but at least I don't have all the broken capillaries across my nose anymore.)

It's been more than 25 years now. It's not 'easy' for everyone, of course. (Indeed, like most recovering alcoholics, I spent some time thinking about booze, myself, and booze, my upbringing in the hard drinking 50s and 60s, and all the stupid crap I'd pulled, the friendships and GFs I'd undoubtedly put through hell -- but I also 'missed' the hard-partying guy who threw loud, crazy parties and had wild adventures.

But by the time I quit, the fun was largely done... I was lucky enough to recognize that getting old drunk just didn't sound so good. (I did do one, very un-programmy thing: I told myself I was only quitting for '25 years' [yeah, I know, I'm off the hook now] -- but I also thought, Geez, I don't like being a used up drunk in my 40s, what would that be like in my SIXTIES? And, now that I'm almost out of my sixties, it's easy to imagine what it would be like to be an old drunk. Definitely, not good. For me, anyhow.)

The important thing when trying to quit anything we've become habituated to is to NOT beat yourself up (adding to possibly already wounded self-esteem) if it's not easy to quit and stay quit. It's a process.

A lot of folks do well in AA or another 12 step-infused program. If I thought I was at risk of drinking again, I'd certainly consider the program. It helps a lot of folks, can help give them tools for building a sober life.

Me, I mostly just wanted to move beyond drinking -- and having been around ex-addicts who couldn't stop talking about their addiction, I kind of felt like sitting around talking about drinking was not that appealing. That said, that's probably a misapprehension of typical meetings on my part. I suspect that what people talk about is more sober living. But, anyway, we each have our own path and at least mine didn't lead back to the bottle.


PS... withdrawal effects... hmm... I had a substantial 'case' of tremens (shaky, shaky hands) when I quit. The shaking took years to go away, I swear. I don't know how tightly connected it was, but sometime in the last decade, I realized my hands had largely stopped shaking.
Old 15th October 2019
  #83
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candyflip's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'd been rolling it around in my head for a while. I drank enthusiastically just about every day for most of twenty years... well, maybe not so enthusiastically at the end -- but still plenty of it. By then I'd mostly stopped going out -- because having been through a number of roadside sobriety checks (I was an irresponsible drunk though I never got in a serious accident or arrested -- though I did come home drunk one night and, getting my motorcycle up on the center stand, managed to lose my balance and let the handlebar make a silver-dollar sized dimple in my neighbor's truck; it was long enough ago that the body work only cost $45).

So I was sitting on the couch, watching my second Cheers rerun of the evening and when I got up to get my next beer, I realized it was my 12th of the day... and my second Cheers rerun... and, you know, that ol' 'I didn't think life was gonna be like this' feeling washed over me. The next morning I quit the first of my two morning beers halfway through. I felt crappy, as I imagined one might feel at the start of some serious liver dysfunction. Also, my looks were starting to go. (I was 43, my looks went anyhow, but at least I don't have all the broken capillaries across my nose anymore.)

It's been more than 25 years now. It's not 'easy' for everyone, of course. (Indeed, like most recovering alcoholics, I spent some time thinking about booze, myself, and booze, my upbringing in the hard drinking 50s and 60s, and all the stupid crap I'd pulled, the friendships and GFs I'd undoubtedly put through hell -- but I also 'missed' the hard-partying guy who threw loud, crazy parties and had wild adventures.

But by the time I quit, the fun was largely done... I was lucky enough to recognize that getting old drunk just didn't sound so good. (I did do one, very un-programmy thing: I told myself I was only quitting for '25 years' [yeah, I know, I'm off the hook now] -- but I also thought, Geez, I don't like being a used up drunk in my 40s, what would that be like in my SIXTIES? And, now that I'm almost out of my sixties, it's easy to imagine what it would be like to be an old drunk. Definitely, not good. For me, anyhow.)

The important thing when trying to quit anything we've become habituated to is to NOT beat yourself up (adding to possibly already wounded self-esteem) if it's not easy to quit and stay quit. It's a process.

A lot of folks do well in AA or another 12 step-infused program. If I thought I was at risk of drinking again, I'd certainly consider the program. It helps a lot of folks, can help give them tools for building a sober life.

Me, I mostly just wanted to move beyond drinking -- and having been around ex-addicts who couldn't stop talking about their addiction, I kind of felt like sitting around talking about drinking was not that appealing. That said, that's probably a misapprehension of typical meetings on my part. I suspect that what people talk about is more sober living. But, anyway, we each have our own path and at least mine didn't lead back to the bottle.
Good for you, and thank you for sharing!
Old 16th October 2019
  #84
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JoeyM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'd been rolling it around in my head for a while. I drank enthusiastically just about every day for most of twenty years... well, maybe not so enthusiastically at the end -- but still plenty of it. By then I'd mostly stopped going out -- because having been through a number of roadside sobriety checks (I was an irresponsible drunk though I never got in a serious accident or arrested -- though I did come home drunk one night and, getting my motorcycle up on the center stand, managed to lose my balance and let the handlebar make a silver-dollar sized dimple in my neighbor's truck; it was long enough ago that the body work only cost $45).

So I was sitting on the couch, watching my second Cheers rerun of the evening and when I got up to get my next beer, I realized it was my 12th of the day... and my second Cheers rerun... and, you know, that ol' 'I didn't think life was gonna be like this' feeling washed over me. The next morning I quit the first of my two morning beers halfway through. I felt crappy, as I imagined one might feel at the start of some serious liver dysfunction. Also, my looks were starting to go. (I was 43, my looks went anyhow, but at least I don't have all the broken capillaries across my nose anymore.)

It's been more than 25 years now. It's not 'easy' for everyone, of course. (Indeed, like most recovering alcoholics, I spent some time thinking about booze, myself, and booze, my upbringing in the hard drinking 50s and 60s, and all the stupid crap I'd pulled, the friendships and GFs I'd undoubtedly put through hell -- but I also 'missed' the hard-partying guy who threw loud, crazy parties and had wild adventures.

But by the time I quit, the fun was largely done... I was lucky enough to recognize that getting old drunk just didn't sound so good. (I did do one, very un-programmy thing: I told myself I was only quitting for '25 years' [yeah, I know, I'm off the hook now] -- but I also thought, Geez, I don't like being a used up drunk in my 40s, what would that be like in my SIXTIES? And, now that I'm almost out of my sixties, it's easy to imagine what it would be like to be an old drunk. Definitely, not good. For me, anyhow.)

The important thing when trying to quit anything we've become habituated to is to NOT beat yourself up (adding to possibly already wounded self-esteem) if it's not easy to quit and stay quit. It's a process.

A lot of folks do well in AA or another 12 step-infused program. If I thought I was at risk of drinking again, I'd certainly consider the program. It helps a lot of folks, can help give them tools for building a sober life.

Me, I mostly just wanted to move beyond drinking -- and having been around ex-addicts who couldn't stop talking about their addiction, I kind of felt like sitting around talking about drinking was not that appealing. That said, that's probably a misapprehension of typical meetings on my part. I suspect that what people talk about is more sober living. But, anyway, we each have our own path and at least mine didn't lead back to the bottle.


PS... withdrawal effects... hmm... I had a substantial 'case' of tremens (shaky, shaky hands) when I quit. The shaking took years to go away, I swear. I don't know how tightly connected it was, but sometime in the last decade, I realized my hands had largely stopped shaking.
I sure identify with the heavy drinking part. We had a neighbor dying of colon cancer in the 80's and one of his bucket list was a nice bar in the basement. So me and his most alcoholic son drank 300 fifths of Jack in a 365-night year and wrapped the empty bottles around a top ledge wrapping around the drinking area. Looked Pro. Then I started drinking and playing in bands. Good times, bad times, you know I had my share...

A decade ago I realized my drinking days were largely over and had it down to 4 times a year after realizing something: when I drank, three days later I really really wanted to drink. That's the point my brain was trying to re-balance. And if I got past 3 or 4 days it was easy to cease if I wanted to.

Then I noticed something neat: if I hadn't drank in a while and I had one big sip of beer, three days later I still had an intense desire to drink! It was as bad a depression as major drinking.

Alcoholism runs in my family although most don't drink. But any time I had a drink it was like a carnival ride and all that mattered was the next drink, the next drink, like I was on a ride out of my control. On the booze there was no ability to stop, until I'd drank my fill.

One of the strangest things that ever happened to me was 6 1/2 years ago, I went over to a neighbor's and was 1/4 into a beer, a large gulp. Then and there it was like an 80's video game high score, like the game said to me "You have reached the summit of Alcoholic Mountain, Congratulations!
And I never had the desire to drink since then.
Old 16th October 2019
  #85
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyM View Post
I sure identify with the heavy drinking part. We had a neighbor dying of colon cancer in the 80's and one of his bucket list was a nice bar in the basement. So me and his most alcoholic son drank 300 fifths of Jack in a 365-night year and wrapped the empty bottles around a top ledge wrapping around the drinking area. Looked Pro. Then I started drinking and playing in bands. Good times, bad times, you know I had my share...

A decade ago I realized my drinking days were largely over and had it down to 4 times a year after realizing something: when I drank, three days later I really really wanted to drink. That's the point my brain was trying to re-balance. And if I got past 3 or 4 days it was easy to cease if I wanted to.

Then I noticed something neat: if I hadn't drank in a while and I had one big sip of beer, three days later I still had an intense desire to drink! It was as bad a depression as major drinking.

Alcoholism runs in my family although most don't drink. But any time I had a drink it was like a carnival ride and all that mattered was the next drink, the next drink, like I was on a ride out of my control. On the booze there was no ability to stop, until I'd drank my fill.

One of the strangest things that ever happened to me was 6 1/2 years ago, I went over to a neighbor's and was 1/4 into a beer, a large gulp. Then and there it was like an 80's video game high score, like the game said to me "You have reached the summit of Alcoholic Mountain, Congratulations!
And I never had the desire to drink since then.
Different paths to a similar 'satori'...

It's funny what confronting someone else's impending demise can do to you when you're young and think you don't give a F. Back in the 70s, I fell into helping out a neighbor of mine who was clocking out from a bad smoking habit. He still smoked, pretty much right to the end. It's hazy (I suspect I went out and got drunk or stayed home and got drunk, but got drunk, for sure) but I did his final 'life check.' When I helped the landlord clean out his flat later, I found his last pack of Chesterfields and kept them, smoking a few and then shoving it in a drawer someplace, I think.
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