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Yes, I Have a Drinking Problem

October 1, 2014

I will readily admit that I have a compulsive personality, but the time has come for me to admit I’m struggling with an addiction. There was a time when I’d come home from work and down several martinis before dinner. Mrs. Chatterbox told me she thought I was developing a problem, but that ended when we agreed she should stop mixing martinis and handing me one when I arrived home from work. These days I rarely drink liquor, maybe a margarita when we dine out at a Mexican restaurant. No, my addiction isn’t alcohol related.


Likewise, I’m not addicted to any particular food. There was a time when I was a meat-o-holic and could down animal flesh like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but those days went the way of the dinosaurs. And like George Costanza, I once worshipped the Dark Master—chocolate, but I’ve learned to consume it in (moderate) moderation. My dependence is for something far simpler—water!


You might think I’m joking, but I’m not. When Mrs. Chatterbox and I retire to our upstairs bedroom to watch TV, I consume vast quantities of water. It didn’t help when our son CJ gifted us a small refrigerator for our bedroom a few years ago, providing me with an endless supply of icy cold H2O. And as everyone knows, what goes in must come out. There’s my problem.


I’ve been telling myself that reaching for a frosty tumbler of water is better than grabbing handfuls of cookies or potato chips but those things, while bad, don’t make you run to the bathroom five or six times a night. I’m at that age where prostate issues are common, but I don’t climb out of bed merely feeling like I need to empty my bladder—I reeaaalllly need to. Making matters worse, I’m conditioning my bladder to wake me over a few crummy drops, as though my bladder was the size of a peanut. It’s a good thing we don’t currently have a dog because we’d both be marking neighborhood territory and competing for the same trees and fire hydrants.


These last few days I’ve cut out all liquids after six pm. At first, I continued to wake every hour, out of habit. Now I only wake once, but the wet dreams I’m experiencing are astonishingly vivid and driving me crazy. Mrs. Chatterbox has heard my moans and mistaken them for signs of arousal; in truth, I’m fantasizing about icy brooks framed by snow, gushing waterfalls, melting glaciers, and in one questionable dream that might be an indication of a psychosis—a canteen spilling its contents onto parched desert sand. I wake with dehydrated lips, feeling like Jimmy Stewart in Flight of the Phoenix.


I’m now consuming water earlier in the day, hoping to dilute my evening fixation. But when it comes to curing my problem, I feel like I’m swimming against the tide. Tide? Ocean? The seven seas? Excuse me while I take a pee break. 






It sounds like you need to start hitting the alcohol again! I am kidding... sort of. Water is good for you. Probably even better than alcohol (don't quote me on that). Have you just considered a catheter?
By: Katy Anders on October 1, 2014
Ever had a fasting blood sugar test? Thirst like you're describing is typical of diabetes.
By: Mike M on October 1, 2014
it is amazing how our bodies can train US into having to get up to use the bathroom. :)
By: TexWisGirl on October 1, 2014
I was thinking along the same line as Mike M. regarding DIABETES. Have your peewee valve checked too... it can weaken and begin to leak.
By: Daniel LaFrance on October 1, 2014
you could have a lot worse addictions- but do have your blood work done in case of diabetes. Cheers!
By: Kathe W. on October 1, 2014
Actually, I am a diabetic, but my blood sugar is currently under control. Since I don't wake up thirsty, I figure this is all in my head. When I mentioned this to my doctor he said the solution was simple--stop drinking water after six pm.
By: Chubby Chatterbox on October 1, 2014
Like the others, the first thing I thought of was Diabetes -- that was what happened to me...
By: The Broad on October 1, 2014
TMI! Go back to martinis.
By: mindy on October 1, 2014
Personally, older folks have a problem staying hydrated. So I think that if you are thirsty, you should just drink as much as you need. I know my parents have landed in the hospital for being dehydrated. So yeah, drink drink drink. It's good for you and your kidneys can process the toxins out of your body.
By: Michael Offutt on October 1, 2014
Okay, so I used to have the same problem, up all night going to the bathroom, but very thirsty if I didn't drink. What I found works well is drinking TONS of water in the morning, and drinking regularly after that until dinner, then stoping, except for a few small sips. I am not as thirsty at night since I really focused on hydrating througout the morning.
By: Kinley Dane on October 1, 2014
And of course you have visited your doctor to discuss your thirst?
By: Tabor on October 1, 2014
Been checked for diabetes lately? Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on October 1, 2014
I see that I'm not the first to think of diabetes. In any event, inordinate thirst is something to go to a doctor for, so PLEASE do. We would miss you. Do you remember the kind in the movie "Airplane" who had a drinking problem--he would throw water in his face everytime he tried to drink.
By: Snowbrush on October 1, 2014
" I am a diabetic, but my blood sugar is currently under control." I really must remember to read first and comment later instead of the other way around. Anyway, I would still very much like for you get a check-up.
By: Snowbrush on October 1, 2014
I always get up several times a night to pee - and have ever since I was a small child. Doesn't seem to matter what I drink before bed. VERY annoying!
By: The Bug on October 1, 2014
It's bad waking and not being able to go. I drink tons of water to keep kidney stones away! Great post.
By: Cranky on October 1, 2014
My first thought was just like most everyone else's. I'd check with a doctor to eliminate any health problems that might need attention.
By: Akansas Patti on October 1, 2014
Well, you don't seem to have a drinking problem so much as a peeing problem...
By: Val on October 1, 2014
I know the feeling. I could do better at the drinking time.
By: red on October 1, 2014
The only beverages I drink (other than an occasional alcoholic drink) are coffee and water. If I don't drink enough water, I tend to get constipated, so I always have to remind myself to drink enough. Sometimes I get so busy during the day that I forget to drink enough. Then I try to make up for it in the evening...and that's when it happens that I have to get up during the night. I've read that if you walk around for a bit before settling into bed, it helps liquids in your body to "settle" into your bladder, so to speak, and if you then pee before going to sleep, it will keep your bladder empty for longer.
By: Pixel Peeper on October 1, 2014
I hate to pour on the advice -- you seem to be overflowing with it -- but perhaps it would help if you flushed the bedroom refrigerator.
By: tom sightings on October 1, 2014
I'm going to impart some information. Those of us who are on the plump side need that hydration to rid our bodies of the toxins that build up. I know it is an up and down experience with the bathroom calls during the night but your lipids and cholesterol will thank you if you continue to "piddle" the bad stuff away. Sweet Man and I take turns all night long, we just call it the Loo Shuffle. Drink up, it's good for you
By: omalinda on October 1, 2014
It would be a good idea to consult a doctor. On an unrelated note is it really a state law in Oregon that an attendant has to pump your gas? It was kinda awkward when I had to fill up there.
By: PT Dilloway on October 2, 2014
TV in the bedroom, fridge in the bedroom, sounds like you just need a portable loo so you do not have to walk to far. Or a large tube/pipe which extended between the bed and the toilet............ :)
By: John on October 2, 2014
Drink a lot in the morning to wake up, and some through the day, and eventually your body will adjust. As to your dreams, well,i am not qualified to say a word about those.
By: mimi on October 2, 2014
Well, more information than I really wanted, so I won't share. Although... Some nights...
By: Mitchell is Moving on October 2, 2014
My once iron bladder now struggles to make it through the night, particularly if I've had alcohol - I usually make it to the toilet!
By: Bryan Jones on October 2, 2014
Yeah you might find the doc can help. But on the other hand, they might just find something to fuss about. I think you are doing the right thing cutting out after 6 pm, and you'll probably get used to it in time.
By: Jenny Woolf on October 2, 2014
Yeah. IMAGINE peeing potato chips. I don't have a drinking problem. Hmm, now that I think of it, my brother is coming for a visit on Sunday. Okay, on Sunday night, I will have a drinking problem. And we may even have chips.
By: Al Penwasser on October 2, 2014
Ah well.. water, as long as you don't feel you are CRAVING it, is good for you.. despite the wake up calls. Craving ice water (emphasis on the ice) is another thing and could be indicative of anemia.
By: Hilary on October 2, 2014
I have type 2 diabetes and take water pills for highblood pressure, so I have to go to the bathroom a lot..I make sure to empty myself early and no liquids after 6 pm or I will be awake all night long, just a matter of training oneself to relieve oneself early and NO liquids after 6 pm, it works!
By: mary on October 2, 2014
If you're gonna have an addiction, that's probably a good one to have. Definitely one of the cheaper ones, too.
By: Scott Park on October 2, 2014
An empty cat litter jug makes for a great pee-jug to keep around the bed--or even your easy chair in the living room, for that matter. Of course, you would not have to have it empty at first, but leaving the cat litter in makes it much harder to empty. Well, at least that is what I have heard.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on October 3, 2014

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