I’ve been a binge drinker for 30 years resulting in DUI problems. I’ve always been sent to Alcoholics Anonymous for treatment. When I insisted I didn’t have cravings, withdrawal, and increased tolerance I was told I was in denial and afraid to work the program. Thus no treatment unless I was ready to say I am powerless etc.etc. Thus no treatment and continuous binge drinking, 2-3 times a month.
I’m sorry to hear about your experience and lack of support when you are reaching out. Sometimes people get very stuck in a pattern and are unable to see that every person is unique. It sounds like you don’t fit into the traditional mold of AA and have therefore not been helped.
Individual counseling is the best treatment for your particular problem. A counselor can help you sort through your triggers for drinking and your reasons for drinking a large amount at once. He/she can help you answer questions such as: What seems to be happening in the 24 hours before I binge drink? Not only what is happening situationally or relationally, but what is happening in your thought processes. Maybe you become overwhelmed with stress or sadness and begin to drink in order to escape the hurt or stress. Maybe you have worked really hard all week and drink as a way to reward yourself because you feel you deserve it. Maybe you are feeling anxious in a social situation and drink to relieve your anxiety. There are numerous possibilities for what triggers you to drink. Talking them through with a trained and licensed professional can be very enlightening.
Also, why do you binge instead of stopping after a couple of drinks? This is another question you will need to work through. What do you feel once you start drinking?
Finally, what negative effects is this producing in your life and what is your motivation level for changing your drinking patterns? What new habits can you implement and what safeguards can you put in place to keep this from happening again?
As you can see, there is a lot to work through. AA may not be the best avenue for getting these answers. They can be a wonderful support group and accountability group, but not necessarily the best for gaining a deep perspective on your individual situation. Look for counseling centers or churches in your area who may provide the service you need.
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.