Discussion > Bender

I have a friend that had not drank for 2 years. When he does drink, he has a history of not stopping for days. This last New Years, according to him, life was good and so he decided to have a single drink that turned into 4 days of drinking. He can't even remember what he did! He ended up checing himself into a hospital for detox as he was shaking. He swears up and down that nothing was bothering him emotionally before this drunken bender and in fact was loving life and hence thought he could have just one. If I can believe him, there was no emotional trapped helpless feeling that precipitated his behavior. Personally I wonder if in his drunken emotional state he fell back on his AA thinking and felt he was a failure and decided since he already started he might as well keep going.

Any thoughts?

February 2, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteranon

Thanks for writing. There are at least a couple of possible explanations for what you describe. Some people are badly stressed by success or even "loving life" as you put it. I described just such a case in my first book, "The Heart of Addiction" (in the chapter "Puzzling Cases"). But it's also common for people to be out of touch with deeper factors in their emotional lives, then have these explode into an unexpected binge. I've known a number of people who seem to be doing fine yet have a growing inner frustration about having to be so nice, or polite, or "appropriate" in their relationships or behavior. All of that frustration emerges in the binge, as they finally break out of this self-imposed trap. Of course, there are other possibilities too. But in any case, for anyone with a history of such binges, it is very likely that there is much more to them than a simple conscious decision to keep drinking once he started.

February 3, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLance Dodes, M.D.