Transfer addictions post WLS....
9 year post-wls now. Highest weight 287, current 167. (I did my bounce at 155, been between 168 - 172 for about 6 years now, no effort, just natural.)
I'm 55, had a r-n-y at 46. I had been a social drinker my entire adult life, meaning I'd go to parties 3 or 4 times a year and get tipsy. Like 4 or 5 drinks, 3 or 4 times a year, and not drink ANYTHING for weeks (or months) in between.
Within a year or two after my surgery, once I had hit my max weight loss, I found a local pub, and what had once been a 3 or 4 times a year thing has become a 3 or 4 times a week thing.
Have any of you dealt with this?
I have not experienced it with alcohol, but I have with shopping. I found myself shopping "because it was on sale" and getting the rush when I could find something in a small size that fit me. I have tons of clothes with tags still on them and I would hide deliveries from my husband so I wouldn't get another "more clothes?!" look. I finally had to come to terms that I was really spending money we didn't have. I had to remove myself from any "groups" on Facebook that would encourage or tempt me to buy clothes. I put into a strict budget and I have to justify a purchase to my husband so I talk about it. I also started to talk to my therapist about it and distancing is the best thing. In the case of alcohol, is there a meeting you can go to to help identify triggers to help combat the urge?
Yes and no. There were times when I used alcohol to self medicate myself, for pain, and stress, depression and anxiety. My drinking was out of control at times. Before RNY I was a social drinker, that drank only once in a while, and often I would baby one drink for the whole evening, often not even finishing it.
I dealt with a lot of abdominal pain, inside type pain, and IBS type severe cramps. I had a few surgeries to correct hernias. They would fix one, and something else would pop-out. My biggest issue was when I had the first drink for the day. It seldom ended with just one. Unless I had it late, drank it and went to bed. I even had a saying "I can be hungry or drunk, today I chose drunk." That was because almost daily any dense foods would cause a severe cramps and pain. Alcohol would help, relaxed the guts and allow the food to pass. Pain medication I could take did not fix the problem. They stopped my guts from contracting and once the pain meds stopped working, the pain was back, sometimes worse than before My other option was a liquid diet, and liquid diet really never eliminated the hunger. There were weeks or months that I hurt all the time.
Eventually I decided I didn't want to be an alcoholic, went to my doc and requested he fixed whatever is wrong with me.
Then there was a very stressful time that caused severe anxiety and increased IBS pain. And I started drinking again. Fortunately I realized that I don't want to be an alcoholic and went back to my doctors and asked for help with anxiety, and with my pain due to my spine stenosis, and my SI joints pain. My family doctor changed my medications for anxiety, and my pain management doctor is helping me deal with pain in my back, hips and sciatica (injections) plus i get acupuncture, massages and chiro adjustments. I know my body and I know alcohol may help temporary, but long term, it would cause more damage. I also deal with arthritis pain, and unfortunately, there is no cure or real treatment for that. Fortunately I realized that my arthritis pain gets worse when I drank often. So I stopped. Plus the only pain medication I can use is with tylenol, and my liver (or any liver) can't handle alcohol and tylenol at the same time.
When on vacation, I had a drink or 2 if I really want to, and last year when we traveled, I indulged in some Irish and Scottish beer when we were there. But once we got back home, I seldom want any.
BTW: I used to be married to an alcoholic. After 3 years together, I asked for a divorce. I have a good job (but stressful) good driving record, and a great guy at home. Drinking could affect all of that very badly. I am almost 12 years post op, and 2 major regains I had were when I was drinking alcohol.
Best for me is to stay away from alcohol. Thankfully i never really got dependent on it, and when I stopped, i only had some minor withdraw symptoms (because I was drinking very often)
I don't miss it. My partner likes to have a drink once in a while, but even he doesn't drink often. We have a few bottles of alcohol a home, and it doesn't bother me.
Hala. RNY 5/14/2008; Happy At Goal =HAG
"I can eat or do anything I want to - as long as I am willing to deal with the consequences"
"Failure is not falling down, It is not getting up once you fell... So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again...."