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Anyone Over 50 Here?

Partners, families, children and friends - they all get affected by your drinking.
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kateS
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Anyone Over 50 Here?

Post by kateS » 25 Jul 2011 22:05

I am just over 50 and have spent all my adulthood from 25 onward drinking. Anyone else out there around this age? It seems there are a lot of younger ones on line.
I dont feel old at all - but its scary when you realise your fellow alcoholics are 20 years behind you - I feel sorry for them because I didnt think I was too bad at their age but that doesnt stop me feeling desparate for myself -I realise I have used up a lot of my chances and am heading towards 'dusty death'. Anybody out there? Have we caused too much irreparable damage? Is there any good news? OR are us 50+ gonners? K
Last edited by kateS on 26 Jul 2011 04:23, edited 4 times in total.

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BAM
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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by BAM » 25 Jul 2011 22:23

Yes, I am 50 and one month. Turning 50 was one of the reasons I finally decided to sort my drinking problem out.

BAM xx

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smudge
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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by smudge » 25 Jul 2011 22:29

I'm a little bit older than you KateS. I have been sober for a fair length of time now, and I'm still very worried about my memory and spoken vocabulary. I suspect I've done some permanent damage to my brain. What scares me the most is developing early-onset dementia.
"I would rather be a non-drinker with the occasional desire to drink, than a drinker with the constant desire to quit."

Learn from other's mistakes, you won't live long enough to make them all by yourself.

I'm not a doctor!

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powellct
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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by powellct » 25 Jul 2011 22:39

Hey Smudge...

I'm nudging 50 if that counts......
Smudge, are you still worring about Wernicke-Korsakoff?
x
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kateS
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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by kateS » 25 Jul 2011 22:42

Memory loss and speech problems are very common even amongst non drinkers as time goes by and if you have stopped drinking Smudge you are doing the very best for yourself to halt the or stabilise the process.
Last edited by kateS on 26 Jul 2011 04:14, edited 1 time in total.

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smudge
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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by smudge » 25 Jul 2011 23:01

I don't know what's wrong with me to be honest. Some of the problems I had with memory in the first 3 or 4 months of sobriety have improved to some extent. But I feel that memories of my life as it is now are very disjointed. Things I have done just in the last few days feel as though they were done years ago. The memories are vague, not sharp and not detailed. And my spoken vocabulary is really bad sometimes - it does vary from day to day though. Some days I'm plagued by that "tip-of-the-tongue" problem where a word I know that I know just won't come to mind at all. Other times it is even worse in a way. I talk about something and the wrong word comes out. I don't mean that I say "apple" when I mean "pear". Instead I might say "chair" instead of "pear" (for example). The words I come out with might rhyme with what I want to say or the first letter is the same, but the word I want and the word I come out with aren't remotely alike.

I also feel that my intellect has diminished enormously. I can't structure my thoughts to decide how a problem needs to be tackled. My thoughts are often jumbled and chaotic.
"I would rather be a non-drinker with the occasional desire to drink, than a drinker with the constant desire to quit."

Learn from other's mistakes, you won't live long enough to make them all by yourself.

I'm not a doctor!

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BAM
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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by BAM » 25 Jul 2011 23:10

Smudge, I would not worry. I am sure it is just the effects of our bodies adjusting to not drinking. Your post could have been written by me. My memory and balance have both been appalling since I stopped drinking 3 months ago. I am sure things will improve at some point.

BAM xx

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by caroline95 » 27 Jul 2011 22:11

I'm 52 and started drinking when I was 16 years old.I knew from around the age of 25 that I drank more than I should, but you think you're invincible when you're young, don't you?I did, anyway, I was a bit of a fitness fanatic in those days too - running, badminton and swimming were a major part of my life, and seemed to offset the damage I was doing to my body.I used to make all kinds of deals with myself - a 5 mile run would deserve the reward of a bottle of wine, thirty laps of the local swimming pool, an hour on the badminton court...you get the picture.

Fast-forward 25 years and I'm not physically able to run, swim or play badminton any more.That's quite hard for me to admit, and if I could turn the clock back, obviously I would, hindsight is a wonderful thing.But the way I look at it now is, I'm incredibly lucky to still be relatively healthy, still have a roof over my head, and am fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, where I can walk for miles along the beach any time I choose.The thing about getting older for me is adapting, and making the best of what I have.

This thread seems to have struck a chord with me, I didn't mean to say so much, but it all came spilling out and I'm quite glad it did, I think it's done me some good.At the risk of boring you all into a coma, I'd just like to finish with a post from a BE member called Lesley that I wrote down in my notebook ages ago.

"I am skinnier, happier and healthier than I can ever remember being.Stay with it...it just feels so damn good.I am 59, have lost 38lbs and walked my way to fitness.Every day, I applaud the day I gave up the booze'.

I want to reach 59 and feel like that, if I'm lucky enough to live that long.As goals go, it's a good one!

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by Enfin » 28 Jul 2011 16:55

Hi Kate,

I'm not not quite 50, 45, but feeling like 80.....

Noticed your joining date 2010, so wondering how you're going right now ?

Me too I starting drinking alcoholicaly from a young age (12) so it's a good 30+yrs of damage and it's showing up in very bad ways now. There's no escape from that.

I have extensive liver damage, major brain damage, osteoporosis, neuropathy, the list goes gone. I'm not joking, but yet a 20yr old, like I was, would not believe this.

It catches up with you big time, sooner than we'd like, but our bodies can only take so much abuse I guess, and mine has had a lot - other drugs included.

So what do we do ? We suck it up, accept our sentence ( like I have to ) not live in regret, see the promise of tomorrow, and get on with it.

No matter our challenges, there is this moment to decide, and we are all too wise to not know. No one is coming to rescue you now, so your best gift is to leave something behind.

Aging bodies, illness and sufferances is the way of life. You did not choose to be an alcoholic, but it is just so. Nothing stopping you from changing what you can now.

You can't go back and undoe things, you can only move forward, and we all can.

Keep talking, it's nice to meet you <:)>
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ( Nelson Mandela )

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by rousser » 28 Jul 2011 19:18

Do not worry about your age. You are doing something very positive just by coming here and acknowledging that you need to do something, and I commend you for it. I wish my 52-year old wife would address her drinking problem - she is still in complete denial, notwithstanding the agony that she puts our 12 year old daughter and myself through. I am now on the verge of leaving her, taking our daughter with me and removing ourselves from the harm she causes. Even though we both love her very much and we are abandoning hope, there is now no alternative.

Stop drinking and save your life. It is very much worth living!

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by enoughisenough » 28 Jul 2011 21:16

I am and so many of the thoughts here apply and the length of time that drink was fun and young, I often wonder if it is not this belief that keeps us drinking?

EiE x
Yesterday I was clever, I wanted to change the world. Today I am wiser and am changing myself ~ Rumi

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by Enfin » 29 Jul 2011 14:56

Hi,

Rousser - you're right - it's never too late to change no matter what our age. For some of us however it takes years, if not decades, to accept we have lost the power of choice over alcohol. But you cannot change what you do not acknowledge hey.
I'm sorry your wife is still so very stuck. Has she been drinking for a long time ? Has her alcoholism crept up slowly or can you pinpoint a time that pushed her over the edge ?
I understand your deep concern for your daughter. I have kids of similar ages. But does your wife function well as a mother/housekeeper/wife nevertheless ?

I am the alcoholic in my family, but speaking from your side of the fence I would not hesitate to leave to protect your daughter and yourself if things are really bad. Some of us need to really hit rock bottom before we realize the damage we are doing to others, and ourselves. It is almost impossible for a sober person to save an alcoholic and you will drive yourself into an early grave in trying. Do what's best for you and your daughter.

Enoughisenough - drinking for me stopped being "young and fun" many many years ago. Now it is purely a physical addiction - I drink only to avoid withdrawals. There is no buzz, I never feel drunk, just bodily appeased, similar to a heroin addict I imagine.

But yes, I remember the "young and fun" beginnings of this addiction. Wow, what a life I lived !. No desire to recreate those times though. I'm at peace with my age.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ( Nelson Mandela )

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kateS
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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by kateS » 30 Jul 2011 20:52

Hi all - nice to hear there are some other people about who are old enough to know better! It somehow seems more shameful to be unable to drink sensibly when you are not a young wild thing.
I have found this site has helped me very much Enfin, because without it I would definitely be sitting quietly in a corner drinking more.
You are right EIE it is difficult to think about having a good time without a drink because its been ingrained for decades in our brains that everyone has fun when you drink - but the older you get the less pleasant it becomes, and the hangovers are horrendous.Its something very hard to unlearn. But as you said Ragnar if we've decided to try and contain our habit then we've stopped slipping down the slope and the damage can be halted. So many people carry on regardless and I feel for you in that respect Rousser.One day your wife might ask for help and you sound like someone who would give it.. And hey Caroline give the sport a go again - something gentle to start with and move up to the hard stuff. I still play sport - we are not too old - ( I think its the only thing that keeps me sane sometimes).
Didnt intend to start a new topic - it just popped up as one but glad I did in the end. Lets live lots longer yet! K x And you sound pretty sharp still to me smudge ;)

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by renasci » 31 Jul 2011 13:18

Hello other oldies - and younger ones who just feel old :lol:

I'm well into my 50's (- I hope anyone over 60 or 70 or even 80 isn't put off from contributing to this thread too :D ) Yes, old enough to know better. Yes, it looks pretty sad when an oldie has had too much. At least when you're young people might just think its a phase you're going through but over 50 and its a bit of a long phase. My parents haven't seen me drunk in many many years thank goodness - otherwise they might be wondering when I was going to come through this phase :? .

In my mind I feel more like a 5 year old a lot of the time - only without the energy! Maybe I can be like a grown up one day :D

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by Enfin » 31 Jul 2011 14:36

Hi everyone,

Alcoholism is not particular to any age, it can happen to anyone at any stage of their lives.
Thing is it creeps up slowly, over many years usually.

Everyone drinks at 20yrs ! but some of us have the addiction gene already within us and we keep on going, needing more and more to maintain it and we don't even realise what's happening. Perhaps in some quiet corner of our mind we do, but mostly not.

Personally I don't find any difference between an alcoholic teenager to a 60yr old - if you've got the bug, then you've got it, no matter what age it starts at.

AA is not my thing but I had to go to a meeting whilst in rehab and the lady who spoke had a profound effect on me. She had never drunk in her life, but at 65 after her husband died she decided to have a little sherry in the evening. Within a year it was 5 bottles.
Did she expect that ? no ! Did it take her another 5 yrs to stop ? yes !

I have profound respect for anyone our age who has the courage to stop and see a brighter future - especially for long term abusers like me.

It's easy to lecture a 20yr old, but impossible for an someone over 50.

So courage to all of us on this thread. I'm with you.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ( Nelson Mandela )

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by renasci » 31 Jul 2011 14:58

Nice post thanks Enfin, you're quite right of course - it can happen at any age. :D

I got into some terrible states at 20 and could easily do the same now. It didn't really creep up on me slowly, it was obvious back then I had a problem. Its been a life time problem for me too :?
It's easy to lecture a 20yr old, but impossible for an someone over 50.
another good thing about not being 20 anymore :lol: (::)

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by WillInKalifornia » 02 Aug 2011 23:50

55 and still alive! I thought I had this alcohol thing all figured out... Churchill drank every day and lived to 90. I stayed sober during the day and worked, then got stewed every evening safely in front of the TV. Thought (and hoped) it would never end.

Then I was off work for a couple months with a work comp injury... A couple pints every day with lunch in addition to my evening tipple. All of a sudden, strange symptoms... Anorexia in the evening and nausea for hours if I forced myself to eat. Foul smells in my bedding... Was it ammonia? I don't know, but Yikes! Like coming around a bend in the road of life and seeing the "end of the line, all change" sign off in the distance.

As a medical professional I knew my drinking days were numbered, but I couldn't afford a substance abuse detox/absence at work, or on my medical record (US health insurance will blacklist you 10 years for this!); so a long slow taper down was my best option.

Feeling much better now and down to 1 light beer before bed since I began my taper in April. Less than a month till I make the leap to zero. I thank God every night he/(she?) has made this easy for me, and pray this will not come back to haunt me in the future.

Strangely, life has become suddenly sweeter... I cherish every day and live it to the fullest. No one really knows when health will fail and this changes everything once one realizes this.
Ice is forming on the tips of my wings... Unheeded warnings, I thought I'd thought of everything. (Pink Floyd, Learning to Fly)

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by powellct » 03 Aug 2011 07:32

Enfin wrote:Perhaps in some quiet corner of our mind we do, but mostly not.
Time to start really looking at that quiet bit. Its a b@stard hard journey, but it can be done with the right mental attitude - AA was awful for me.
WillInKalifornia wrote:Strangely, life has become suddenly sweeter...
Much nicer. Still crap at times, but at least the crapness isn't viewed through a fug of alcohol.

Col.
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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by renasci » 03 Aug 2011 11:46

Have we caused too much irreparable damage? Is there any good news? OR are us 50+ gonners? K
Hi Kate, referring to your original post which Cowboy has just reminded me of, I have no regrets about being a drinker. I honestly don't know how things would have turned out if I hadn't been one - they may have turned out worse - who knows?
On the plus side, I think it has taught me gratitude for what I have, a little more humility than I might have had, I try harder to see another's point of view and am less quick to judge . Like many here, I have an interest in nutrition which I'm sure is something to do with being a drinker and hopefully will be helpful in making the rest of my life (however much there is or isn't left!) a little more healthy.

I could go on and on talking endlessly about being a drinker over 50 - but I'll try and think of others feelings here - and spare you an endless and meandering post :lol:

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Re: anyone over 50 here?

Post by enoughisenough » 03 Aug 2011 16:58

Hey all

Us 50 plus are NOT gonners! it is never too late to be who you want to be and indeed work /career wise 50 plus has the most to offer and I dont see why it should be any diferent in our contribution to the world of alcoholic support :)
I reckon the fact we are still here despite a range of destructive behaviours,attributes to our wonderful strength and the wisdom we have collected along the way - mind you it may also be due to the fact that I cant remember half of my life and therefore think I 'm only half the age I am :oops: :mrgreen:

EiE
Yesterday I was clever, I wanted to change the world. Today I am wiser and am changing myself ~ Rumi

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