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This is why I’ve been gone for so long...


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Ok guys. It’s time to get real. I know there hasn’t been a post on this topic for quite some time. I have spoken to a few of you through PM about this, but like weight issues after surgery, a lot of people develop addiction transfer. The main reason I haven’t been here very often is that I’m one of those people. I’m very ashamed of myself and sick over it. But I think I need to let you all know what’s been happening with me.

I started drinking wine, 6 months post op, back in 2017, the day I found out that my father was dying. I had been estranged from my family for about 9 months prior to that first drink after my WLS, and it hadn’t even crossed my mind to have a drink before that day. I used to be a drinker before WLS, but it was controlled. On rare occasions, I’d get drunk, but it really wasn’t bad. I’m not going to get into the reasons that I hadn’t been in touch with my family. But I had been completely sober from the day I started my pre op diet until that day...which also happened to be Harper’s 1st birthday :(  If I could go back in time and stop myself from taking that drink, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Taking that first drink was the absolute worst thing I could have done. 

When covid hit, and I no longer had Harper here every day, I didn’t have any excuses to not drink during the day. I had started using alcohol to cope with EVERYTHING after that. Dealing with my mother, drink. Problems with the kids, drink. Problems with my bipolar disorder, drink. Stress, depression, PTSD, drink. You get the point. About a year-year and a half ago, my PCP took me off of my bipolar med, because he thought it might be causing the neuropathy I had been experiencing. We tried other meds, but I knew from past experience they wouldn’t work. That’s when it got completely out of control. I started drinking excessive amounts of wine daily. I was buying 5 liter boxes of wine and drinking them in 3 days. I was blacking out 3-4 times a week, and woke up the next morning not remembering a thing from the night before. I would have bruises from head to toe from falling down every time I blacked out. My poor husband started staying awake all night to make sure I didn’t get out of bed and fall down the stairs. 

Then it happened. I met my daughter and Harper at his other grandmother’s house so I could watch him swim in her pool. They always keep a ton of wine and liquor in their house, so I figured, why not have a couple of drinks. I got completely hammered in front of Harper, and the rest of them. Once my husband told me what I had done, I was destroyed inside that Harper had seen me like that. The next morning, I called my PCP and made an appointment. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. My family knew but I had never told any of my doctors. I got to her office, and I said the words...I’m an alcoholic. Then I cried. 

She prescribed a medication called naltrexone. She told me to take one pill per day, and to take it one hour before my first drink of the day. We came up with a weaning schedule. Then we set up an appointment for me to start addiction counseling. I had my first appointment with the counselor last Tuesday, and my first appointment with the psychiatrist the next day. He prescribed 2 anxiety meds, starting weaning me off the Xanax as well, and gave a med to help with nightmares. Today is the first day sober. The naltrexone is taking away the cravings, and the other meds seem to be helping as well. I will most likely be taking the naltrexone for the rest of my life. I will be going to counseling once a week, taking a drug test, etc. 

I know this has been a long read, and if you’re still with me, I really appreciate that. Needless to say, along with drinking goes very bad food choices. And we all know what very bad food choices do to our weight. So I’ve gone from 140 in January to 180 as of this morning. I’ve stopped weighing and measuring my food, I’ve been eating way too many carbs...way too much food. I feel like giving up. I’m terrified that I won’t be able to stay sober, and that I’m gonna keep gaining because of it. I stopped coming here 1) Because I’ve been so ashamed of myself, and 2) Because I have been taking from you all and not giving back, because I had nothing left to give, and I didn’t want to keep doing that. You all have been so good to me over the past (almost) 5 years, and it wasn’t right of me to do that. 

So that’s it...I pray that you all can try to understand, and I hope you can forgive me for being absent for so long. I love you guys. 

~Trish 

Edited by Nana Trish
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41 minutes ago, tracyringo said:

Love you , Hugs.

Love you too! ❤️❤️❤️

xoxo :wub:

I probably shouldn’t have posted this under both topics, idk why I did. But thank you for responding to both :)

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Thank you, it couldnt have been easy to bare your personal sufferance publically. 

Cross addiction is a very BIG health compoment when considering  gastric bypass surgery. Sure, the surgery itself does what its designed for to do, im living proof of that fact.  However cross addiction I knew it to be a high risk factor back in 2007 but nobody brought the topic up during presurgery.  So nor did I thinking perhaps it was me over reacting. 

Now here we are, many of us, fighting for our lives to return to us. Prescription drugs, narcotics, booze you name it substituting for FOOD. 

When I mentioned my concerns and was told to just make sure your cross addiction was a positive one for exam ple, painting, gardening or wood working training or working in and of itself. Makes sense I suppose. It's a tricky issue.

Well fast forward from 2007 to 2020,  its been plaguing me/us for about the last 10 years.  It's been a very real struggle for me. And the lows have been brutual. 

I remember once an alcoholic saying when I asked him how he did it and his honest and stark reply struck, at me, he replied with a deep conviction "I can never ever under any circumstance, allow myself to ever consume alcohol again in my life". I knew he ws right. 'was right.  

For myself the past ten years have been a battle, truly one day, at a time, remembering not only his words but the look in his eyes and convicted demeanor when he said it. It left me feeling his pain and undoubtably the pain caused those nearest and dearest  to him. 

I'm not sure what could and should be done pre-surgery on this very real and$ known medical  issue. It is a serious conversation on a professional level needing to happen.

What ever caused me to over eat lives within me, it's never left, but_ it needs to be outted and slain once and for all. Only then will my inner peace return. 

 

Your not alone

Edited by Wusang
Grammar and spelling
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I dont recall them talking about this in 2017 either.  I do however remember hearing about it on the forum.  I myself wasnt having issues after the sleeve but since having this revision to bypass that has changed.  I was, up until a week to 10 days ago, doing a few shots of alcohol several times a week.  I had to take a step back and try to understand what in the world is going on.  I will tell you I dont care to much about food anymore.  Nothing sounds good to eat and it doesnt feel the same with the bypass.  I know that I have an addictive personality and that I need to find other outlets that are good for me.  I dont know what though. 

@Nana Trish thanks for reaching out to me last week.  I know I needed that reinforcement before things got out of hand.

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22 minutes ago, tracyringo said:

I dont recall them talking about this in 2017 either.  I do however remember hearing about it on the forum.  I myself wasnt having issues after the sleeve but since having this revision to bypass that has changed.  I was, up until a week to 10 days ago, doing a few shots of alcohol several times a week.  I had to take a step back and try to understand what in the world is going on.  I will tell you I dont care to much about food anymore.  Nothing sounds good to eat and it doesnt feel the same with the bypass.  I know that I have an addictive personality and that I need to find other outlets that are good for me.  I dont know what though. 

@Nana Trish thanks for reaching out to me last week.  I know I needed that reinforcement before things got out of hand.

@tracyringo,

If anything I said helped you in any way, I’m so thankful. I’ve been struggling for months over whether or not to come to you guys and share my story. I knew there wouldn’t be any judgement, but when you are trying to face it yourself, and trying to get up the courage to tell just one person outside of the very few that know, it’s very daunting to admit it publicly. If my words can save another person from going through this hell, it’s all worth it ❤️ I’m here if you need me, my friend ❤️

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4 hours ago, Wusang said:

Thank you, it couldnt have been easy to bare your personal sufferance publically. 

Cross addiction is a very BIG health compoment when considering  gastric bypass surgery. Sure, the surgery itself does what its designed for to do, im living proof of that fact.  However cross addiction I knew it to be a high risk factor back in 2007 but nobody brought the topic up during presurgery.  So nor did I thinking perhaps it was me over reacting. 

Now here we are, many of us, fighting for our lives to return to us. Prescription drugs, narcotics, booze you name it substituting for FOOD. 

When I mentioned my concerns and was told to just make sure your cross addiction was a positive one for exam ple, painting, gardening or wood working training or working in and of itself. Makes sense I suppose. It's a tricky issue.

Well fast forward from 2007 to 2020,  its been plaguing me/us for about the last 10 years.  It's been a very real struggle for me. And the lows have been brutual. 

I remember once an alcoholic saying when I asked him how he did it and his honest and stark reply struck, at me, he replied with a deep conviction "I can never ever under any circumstance, allow myself to ever consume alcohol again in my life". I knew he ws right. 'was right.  

For myself the past ten years have been a battle, truly one day, at a time, remembering not only his words but the look in his eyes and convicted demeanor when he said it. It left me feeling his pain and undoubtably the pain caused those nearest and dearest  to him. 

I'm not sure what could and should be done pre-surgery on this very real and$ known medical  issue. It is a serious conversation on a professional level needing to happen.

What ever caused me to over eat lives within me, it's never left, but_ it needs to be outted and slain once and for all. Only then will my inner peace return. 

 

Your not alone

First of all, thank you so very much for saying those words...You’re not alone. Even though I know this, I really needed to hear it today. 

Alcoholism is a demon that I have seen spread through my family, haunting my memories, since I was a young child. Grandfathers on both sides of my family, several aunts and uncles, and my father. Looking back at my life now, after finally coming to terms with becoming an alcoholic myself, I believe I became a “functioning” alcoholic in my late 20’s. The “functioning” part ended maybe 18 months ago. Prior to that, I thought I was in control. I see now that I never was. I took my first real drink at age 13. A regret I will have to live with for the rest of my life. 

My WLS surgeon questioned me about my drinking habits prior to surgery, and of course I lied to him about it. As I’ve lied to every other doctor I’ve ever had about it. I don’t make it a habit to lie. There are only 2 things I’ve ever lied about in my life. The first being WLS, and the second being my alcohol consumption. I believe that if I had been honest with my surgeon, he would have sent me to the program I am in now prior to the surgery, and would have gotten much more in-depth about the cross addiction. Let’s face it, if we lie, we really can’t blame the doctor. And most of us that end up having WLS have addictive personalities to begin with. So it makes perfect sense that this would be the natural progression in my life. Your concerns should have been taken VERY seriously at the time you brought them up, however, and you were done a great disservice by not being heard. Telling someone to “choose a healthy cross transfer” is equal to saying “lose the weight by yourself”. If you’re already struggling with alcohol, you really won’t have much of a choice which addiction you’ll end up with next. But the hold that food had on me pre op was never as strong as the hold alcohol has on me now.

I truly believe what that man said to you about not ever being able to take another drink again, ever...that’s how I’m going to have to live the rest of my life. He was right. I can never be a social drinker. And right now, I can’t even look at a bottle of wine. But I am taking it one HOUR at a time right now. Hopefully at some point, it will be one day at a time. Then maybe someday it will get a little easier? But I know it will never go away.

Knowing first hand what you’ve been going through, my heart breaks for you. And I’m truly sorry you’ve been struggling with this too. It definitely was not easy to disclose this publicly. In fact it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, next to admitting it to myself, my family, and my PCP.

I didn’t check out your stats before I sent this response, so I’m not sure how long you have been a part of the forum. I don’t believe we have ever spoken here before. I really want to thank you for speaking out about this, and for taking the time to show such care and concern for a fellow WLS’er. You have no clue how much it means to me. And just so you know, you’re not alone, either. Thank you ❤️

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  • 2 weeks later...

I always appreciate anyone who is honest about alcohol and weight loss surgery.  I have had challenges on and off over nine years' post op as well.  Blacking out is very easy for those of us who suffer from reactive hypoglycemia; in fact its almost a guarantee!  I started issues with addiction transfer about five years ago after a two month hospitalization near-death experience with salmonella poisoning that found its way to my bypassed pouch.  I had a hysterectomy less than a month later for anemia related issues.  I spent the better part of three months accumulating a whopper of a pity party.  I took a job waitressing at a local restaurant/bar and going into the bar for a few drinks after work quickly snowballed into a transfer addiction.  I spent the next 18 months denying my problem until I got a DUI when I was blacked out 3.5 years ago.  The issues a DUI causes have been a real challenge.  It curtailed the drinking and driving for good, obviously, but I have had issues where I have decided I could be a normal drinker again.  Every attempt has failed, whether 6, 12 or 18 months pass.  For me, the best plan is to abstain from alcohol for life.  Yesterday was 10 weeks since my last drink.  Thankfully my body is strong and my mind is clear, because I am scheduled for a complete reversal due to my barrage of health issues in 10 days.  My intent is to abstain from alcohol for life.  Good luck on your journey as well.  As I work to get a book started on my experiences, my journey with alcohol will be included!

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7 hours ago, DanelleD said:

I always appreciate anyone who is honest about alcohol and weight loss surgery.  I have had challenges on and off over nine years' post op as well.  Blacking out is very easy for those of us who suffer from reactive hypoglycemia; in fact its almost a guarantee!  I started issues with addiction transfer about five years ago after a two month hospitalization near-death experience with salmonella poisoning that found its way to my bypassed pouch.  I had a hysterectomy less than a month later for anemia related issues.  I spent the better part of three months accumulating a whopper of a pity party.  I took a job waitressing at a local restaurant/bar and going into the bar for a few drinks after work quickly snowballed into a transfer addiction.  I spent the next 18 months denying my problem until I got a DUI when I was blacked out 3.5 years ago.  The issues a DUI causes have been a real challenge.  It curtailed the drinking and driving for good, obviously, but I have had issues where I have decided I could be a normal drinker again.  Every attempt has failed, whether 6, 12 or 18 months pass.  For me, the best plan is to abstain from alcohol for life.  Yesterday was 10 weeks since my last drink.  Thankfully my body is strong and my mind is clear, because I am scheduled for a complete reversal due to my barrage of health issues in 10 days.  My intent is to abstain from alcohol for life.  Good luck on your journey as well.  As I work to get a book started on my experiences, my journey with alcohol will be included!

You found my post before I found yours in another thread and replied to you, lol :) 

Im so sorry to hear that you’ve been through all of that. Reading your post, everything in it was all too familiar. I’ve been hesitating on coming back here to tell everyone what’s going on out of shame from the drinking, as well as the regain. But everyone here has been a huge support to me since 2015, and gotten me through some pretty rough times. So I decided I was ready, and I’m glad I told the group what was happening to me. It’s getting easier to talk about as the days go by, and I find the more I discuss it, the better I feel. 

Congratulations on being 10 weeks sober!! I’m only 15 days so far, but feeling a little stronger every day. I’m so sorry to hear that you need a reversal of your WLS. I’m sure that you’re glad you’ve gotten the drinking under control before hand. I’m praying that I didn’t do any long term damage to my pouch from the enormous amount of wine I’ve been drinking for the past couple of years...and not to mention my liver, pancreas, etc. If you write that book, I’ll be first in line to buy it ❤️ It’s so good to know I’m not alone in this. Not that I’d ever want anyone else to suffer like I have, but it’s just good to know that I’m not alone. Prayers and good luck to you for continued sobriety and the best of luck with your surgery!

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