Alcoholism

Overcoming Alcoholism All By Yourself – Is it Possible?

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Sections:

* The major problem with quitting drinking on your own

* Establishing a baseline of sobriety

* Transitioning to long term recovery and healthy living

* Reaching out to help others but still “on your own”

* Establishing a solid foundation of recovery that is not dependent on social networking

The major problem with quitting drinking on your own

Now I have obviously written about how to stop drinking before and if you go back and read that article you will notice that one of the key elements that I push is that you need to ask for help. This sort of implies that you cannot quit drinking on your own and that you need help in order to do so. But is this really true?

As I progress in my recovery, I get to watch other people recover and I also observe my own journey through sobriety. What I am noticing is that depending on other people to maintain your own recovery is not necessarily a healthy thing. I see many, many people relapse who are depending on the social aspect of traditional recovery programs to keep them sober.

At the same time, I have basically formed my own path in recovery and do not rely on group therapy or meetings in order to maintain my sobriety. In fact I have probably been to less than 5 AA meetings over the last 6 years.

Now the problem with quitting drinking on your own is that this is a thinking disease…..our mind is messed up and we our in a battle with ourselves to try and control our own drinking. Our mind created the problem of addiction and now we are trying to solve that problem with the same mind that created it.

I believe it was Einstein who first said that “you cannot solve a problem at the same level that it was created at.” You have to go up a level or two in order to really change your life if you are currently trapped in a cycle of addiction.

Now this does not mean that you cannot solve your problem without asking others for help and direction. However, it does indicate a few things:

1) You are not going to cure your drinking by sitting around and thinking about it. It takes more than that. It takes action.

2) You do not have to depend on other people for your sobriety, but you should not immediately discard any and all connections with others in recovery. There is still value in the idea of support, but not to the point of developing dependency. You can still interact with others in recovery without “needing” them for your continued success. More on this later.

3) You cannot solve your problem with compromise and moderation. If you make a commitment to yourself it has to be black and white. That means an abstinence based program. If you want to learn how to control your drinking then you will have to look elsewhere.

My recovery is somewhat unique in that I have very little social support in the traditional sense (such as daily meetings). I don’t call my sponsor very often and I don’t attend 12 step meetings. And the bottom line is that I am still growing in my recovery and living an awesome life, without depending on other people to help keep me sober. I have also observed this happening in other people that I know in recovery, and of course we share some similarities in our approach.

On the other hand, I am not a complete island and I do have connections with others in recovery. But, these are not dependencies.

So here are some of the details on “recovering on your own”:

Establishing a baseline of sobriety

Can you get sober and detox on your own? Yes and no.

Your first step in recovery is to get detoxed. You have to get clean from all drugs and alcohol before you can start on your path of recovery. I mentioned before that this is an abstinence based approach. The idea is that you are going to stay drug and alcohol free. There are other approaches but I have not had any success with them so if you want to learn to moderate you are on your own! My technique is to abstain entirely.

So can you stop drinking without any help at all and get sober? Yes it is possible, but you have to be careful. For one thing, realize that alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. This will depend on how physically addicted to alcohol you are and how long you’ve been drinking and so on. If you shake badly when you stop drinking suddenly then you probably need medical supervision for this leg of your journey.

If this is the case then do not try and taper yourself down from alcohol….instead, go check into a detox center. It will only take 3 to 5 days at the most and you can walk out of there being completely detoxed and drug free. If your goal is really to quit on your own then you can still do so, but you might need help in order to get through the medical portion of detox. There is no shame in going to rehab and you will not have to go to any groups or meetings while you are in detox. Get in, get sober, and get out.

Now obviously if you go home after a few days in a detox center and start drinking again, even just a little, then it was all for nothing and you will be right back on the roller coaster. Remember that this is an abstinence based plan. You are trying to establish a baseline of sobriety and that means you need to abstain from alcohol and other drugs.

Now if you really want to do this on your own then you need to take action during this first week or two of sobriety. Essentially you need to figure out how to live a new life without drinking. There are a number of things you should consider, such as:

1) Avoiding old hangouts where you drank or used drugs.

2) Avoiding certain people who you drank or used drugs with.

3) Establishing some new healthy routines of distraction, such as exercise, long walks each day, and so on.

4) Keeping busy and being responsible, for example by working a new job, or picking up your hours at an old job. Being reliable, dependable, and on time.

5) If you have any religious background, you might try reconnecting with that. This works for some people and not for others. It is just another option.

6) Find a method of meditation - this can be really broad and open. For example, I run long distances several times each week, and this is absolutely a meditative experience for me. You might sit on the couch and do breathing exercises. It really does not matter much, as long as you find something that works for you. A method of de-stressing your mind.

7) Finding a way to help others - this is especially helpful if the people you are helping are in recovery. Now this does not mean that you still cannot “quit on your own.” You can reach out without becoming dependent on others.

8) Forgive yourself and forgive others. This is a critical component, one that is basically borrowed right from a 12 step program. If you are constantly beating yourself up over your past and over your addiction, then it is difficult to move forward in recovery. Likewise, if you resent others in your past and hang on to massive anger towards them, then this will poison your efforts at recovery. The only way to move forward is to make peace with this idea and forgive others. There are many ways to do this but they deserve their own article.

Transitioning to long term recovery and healthy living

If you do all of those suggestions listed above, and do them every day for the first few months of your recovery, then you can slowly start to build a new life for yourself. Do not expect miracles at first and do not expect it to happen fast. It will come slowly over time. This is a good thing. If it happened over night then it would not be stable. You are building a long term, stable life in recovery. It takes time. It takes work. Expect this.

I personally believe that networking with others and helping others in recovery is a lot more important in early recovery than it is in long term sobriety. If you are going to help other people, then do it right off the bat when you first get sober. As you stay sober for longer, it becomes less critical as the focus shifts to personal growth.

The transition to long term recovery is about holistic growth. In the early stages of sobriety, your goal is simply to not drink each day. That is your daily goal. “I will make it through today without drinking or using drugs.” At first, that is enough. If you can conquer each day sober then you are doing good.

But after a while, that is no longer enough. Why? Because you start to take it for granted. Everyone will do this after a certain amount of time. Maybe it will take 90 days, or maybe it will take 9 years. But at some point, you will become used to not drinking and it will no longer be the miracle for you that it once was. It is at this point that you need to have something more in your recovery in order to keep you sober. That “something more” is holistic growth. It is personal growth. It is you, challenging yourself to keep growing as a person. Without this element, you will eventually relapse back to drinking.

Now for some people this “something else” is a reliance on a higher power and building a relationship with that higher power. If so then that is fine….realize that this is another possible path to a life of holistic growth. If you have a strong relationship with God then you will naturally push yourself to grow in a holistic manner. You will take better care of yourself, you will emphasize your talents in order to better serve God, and so on. You can reach the same success in recovery via different paths. You can push yourself to grow holistically and do great in recovery. You could also cultivate that relationship with a higher power and achieve the same results.

In particular, I would emphasize these things in your transition to long term recovery:

1) Holistic growth – look for multiple areas of your life in which you can grow. In other words, don’t neglect exercise and fitness. Also, consider relationships and emotional health too. Holistic means you are looking at the whole of your life. There are multiple areas in which you can become a better person. Find them and work on them.

2) Self esteem – if you can boost your “real” self esteem through accomplishing goals and taking good care of yourself, then this will help your recovery immensely. You will not relapse if you value yourself and your life highly enough.

3) Personal growth & learning - if you push yourself to grow further, make sure there is an emphasis on learning. Without this you will tend to stagnate. Always be learning….always be in “growth” mode.

Reaching out to help others but still “on your own”

You want to quit drinking on your own. Is it possible to interact with other people and still be independent?

Of course it is. You don’t have to go to 20 AA meetings each week and have a sponsor and become a sponsor yourself in order to stay sober. Some people will of course do that, and this is fine if that works for you. But just understand that you can have an awesome recovery by simply reaching out to just one or two other people on a regular basis. There is meaning in nearly any interaction. If you can help someone else consistently, then it will really enhance your recovery.

For example, I work in a detox center, and I also interact with readers here on the Spiritual River on a daily basis. Neither of these things involves the 12 step programs. I am interacting with others, helping them in some cases, and in other cases I am receiving help from them as well. These are “recovery related” interactions.

You need these interactions in order to be successful in recovery. You will not depend on them, and they will become less important the longer you stay sober. But I think early on, you need some interaction with others in recovery.

You don’t necessarily have to find them in 12 step programs, but you have to find these connections somewhere. Also, you do not need a lot of them. Quality over quantity in this case. You can still recover on your own without becoming dependent on meetings or a fellowship.

Establishing a solid foundation of recovery that is not dependent on social networking

So what is important in early recovery is establishing the foundation. This takes action.

Really it is all about action. If you want to quit drinking then you have to take massive action, and it also has to be sustainable action.

Take some of the suggestions from this article and apply them in your life. If you do so every single day then you are on the right track. Even then, some will relapse. It is a tough road. And, you are increasing the difficulty slightly by insisting that you quit drinking by yourself. But it can still be done, you just have to put in the footwork.

Remember that in order to get results you need to make a massive effort. If you just try “pretty hard” you are going to fail for sure. This requires a massive effort on your part. It will likely be the hardest thing you have ever done, actually. So make a commitment to yourself that you will not drink today, no matter what. You have to make that commitment over and over again, every single day. Then, you have to follow through with the suggestions and take action every day to make it happen. Sitting on the couch won’t cut it. Get active, do the work, and find some new healthy routines in your life. Push yourself to grow holistically and challenge yourself to do more and more each day. It is only through this momentum and this positive action that you can recover on your own.

Special note: discussion for this topic has been moved to the forums. It just takes a second to register. Thanks!

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  • http://www.recoveryprincess.com Madison

    Hi Patrick,

    This is a fantastic post. Thank you!
    I am always keen to read anything about sobriety DIY style. That is the way I have done it in the sense that I did not go to AA or Women for Sobriety. I agree that those who are newly sober do need to have some contact or relationship with others in recovery; I have definitely needed this myself. It helps to have people at hand that you can communicate with and who understand what you are experiencing.
    I also think you are spot on when you talk about learning and education and growth, I began studying again and it feels so good, it reminds you that there is a whole world out there and inspires you to be more than you were when drinking.
    The main things are to keep working on yourself, evaluate your progress, connect with others and exercise regularly. A good therapist can be a big help too.
    Thanks again for a great post. I will be linking to this for my readers.

  • Patrick

    Thank you Madison….you are a great example of creative recovery and someone who is motivated to set goals and change their life.

    Seems like we both lean towards the “more personal growth” and “less social networking” form of recovery. It is working for us and the results are outstanding. Thanks again for your comment.

  • Brett

    Hi Patrick.

    Your path in rocovery and mine seem to have led us to similar places.

    I think that for me, the approach you articulate in your writtings is really the only one that gives me the things i need, including the freedom to be true to myself without the pressures of those who see things a bit (or a lot) differently than I do.

    To say that I am no longer a 12 stepper would be a little misleading… because the pronciples and ideals outlined in the steps are indeed part of the fabric of my existence today.

    However… I do not say “I need to do a tenth step on that”, or ” I’ve really been working the 11 th step lately”

    I simply do not think in those terms anymore.

    I do not have a sponsor….

    I do have people i confide in and vent to though…. several of them.

    I carry a positive message but i do not actively seek out “sponsees”

    I rarely go to meetings anymore.

    My time is spent in ways that is more productive for me relative to my own well being.

    I am an excellent father now.
    I am an excellent emloyee with a career that was entirely out of reach when I was drinking.
    I am a student.
    I am in the best physical shape of my life (i ran a marathon in Dec of 07 and I now weight train 3 or 4 days a week)
    I eat and sleep properly.
    I have savings accounts set up for myself and both of my children.
    I am debt free.

    The list goes on and on really.

    But, I must admit….

    I have little in common with people in early recovery today and doubt that the way I live my life today would be a good model to pattern ones life after (at least not specifically) for most people in recovery i know.

    I had to establish my recovery with a typicall 12 step based approach and all the things that go with it before I could transition to a lifestyle catered more specifically to me as an individual.

    AA saved my life and set me free from the bondage i was living in… and paradoxically….. AA set me free from the bondage of AA as well.

    Try to explain that to a newcomer!

    lol

    I am convinced that for many in recovery traditional AA dogma is absolutely true. They require the structure and security that these beleifs provide.

    I am equally convinced that being true to yourself is the only way to be completely free.

    I really like your web-site Patrick.

    Thanks for all your hard work….

    and for people like you and me,

    the things you speak of,

    ring absolutely true.

  • Patrick

    Well thank you for the kind words, Brett….sounds like you are working a non traditional recovery as well. And it sounds like you have found a path of true freedom. Awesome stuff. Thanks for your comment….

  • http://sobering-thoughts.com Sigal Adini

    Great article as always.

  • mk

    Hi Patrick!

    Another great article thanks.

    I am just over 9 months sober and I utilized an online support group as my main recovery resource. I am grateful that I found that forum as I was provided the support and knowledge that helped shift my thinking enough to get myself out of the alcoholic rut and finally become conscious of where I was and what was happening to me. Without that resource and those people, I wouldn’t be sober today and/or able to move past my addiction.

    But now, at 9 months, I am craving to have more in my life but I am finding it a little difficult to move on. I think it has become a security blanket for me and I am a little scared to let go. I think I have become too dependent on this specific social networking resource and it is now holding me back from letting myself go to the next steps in my life… I go hang out there rather than doing other uncomfortable things that I know I NEED to do and that will help me grow.

    Thanks so much for writing and sharing those words above as you have helped me realize that I need to shake up my recovery program and take it to the next level.

  • Patrick

    @ MK – Very interesting position you are in and I can definitely relate a bit in some ways. I have always examined my recovery and where my dependencies were. This is why I keep pushing myself (and others) to pursue a holistic approach. I think we can build stronger recoveries by pushing ourselves to grow in new ways.

    I am not perfect at this holistic approach….there are areas that I could stand to challenge myself more in. But being aware of our weaknesses and targeting them like this will only make us stronger. Thanks for your comment…..

  • bill

    I really like the helpfull article. I have so many things in common with your experiance with booze. I lost my trucking company i started 30 tears ago. threw my wife out of my life. I just feal so alone, so shamed.

  • Patrick

    Hang in there Bill. If you don’t drink, I promise it gets better eventually. I know that sounds a bit lame and hollow but it is absolutely true, for any given alcoholic. Don’t drink and wait for the miracle.

    It will get better.

  • Laurie

    I just went through a 28 day recovery from alcohol addiction. My mom paid out of pocket for treatment. My mom died during my treatment. She was my best friend. I left treatment after 28 days and drank alcohol that same day and have been drinking ever since. I can’t seem to overcome the compulsion to drink. I attended my first AA meeting outside of treatment today and came home and drank. I don’t know how to stop this compulsive behavior. I need more help. I am desperate to stop drinking and desperate to continue drinking. How do I stop?

  • Debbie

    Laurie,
    It’s awful to lose a parent. I used my Dad’s death as an excuse to drink more. I miss him every day. He died an alcoholic and smoker at age 62 after multiple rehab treatments and even living at one for a year, he never had the will to quit drinking for good. I’ve decided not to drink for my health and the fact that I want to live. I have to young boys who need me to be here a long time. Because of alcohol, my asthma was out of control, I had bronchitis three times last year and pnemonia. The alcohol wreaks havoc on lungs. I finally woke up after having pnemonia and coughing up blood, and realized that if I kept drinking I might not live very long. For me, I had to get that sick to realize that I can’t drink ever again. When I see alcohol in the form of wine, beer, or anything anywhere, I try to think of it as “poison” because it was poisoning me and my life. I also am taking a low dose of an antidreppresant I got from my primary doctor which has helped me tremendously with my anxiety and shyness which is why I started drinking in the first place at age 15. You have to find your will to stop, or your reason to stop. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for help, but don’t get any drugs that you could get addicted to. Good luck.

  • Debbie

    I forgot to add a thank you to Patrick for your writings. They’ve given me the strength I needed to do this on my own. I didn’t feel comfortable going to AA meetings and following their steps. I’ve started exercising again working part-time, and even met with an old friend to see a movie. Thank you for taking time to write all your great information to share with people, it’s people like you that make this world a better place.

  • http://HowtoStopDrinkingonYourOwn Terence

    Great Article. I have been battling this disease as a binge drinker for too long now, and it’s time to quit. I am damaging myself and my family is tired of this struggle. Your article as awaken me to what I’ve known for quite some time now…I need to dedicate myself to stopping completely! And I will do so! I know it will be tough, but I truly what to get closer to GOD, live a better life, and set a better example for my kids. This personal hell I’m in is killing me. Thank you for writing this article.

  • J.C.

    I stopped drinking on Jan 3rd of 2010, so tomorrow will be my 40th day of sobriety. I have never been to an AA meeting or to rehab, but certainly thought about both, as I was unsure if I could do it on my own. I guess I began with an Holistic approach without setting out to do so. In December I began by saying the rosary every day, which strengthened my faith in God and while in that pursuit, my problem with drinking became ever more apparent to me, which gave me the desire and motivation to stop.

    At this point, I have shared with two close friends of my decision to stop drinking, mostly so I can be accountable to myself. I have also been working out 5-6 times a week since I stopped, while also trying to eat more healthly. My growth through learning reach an important level for me in December of 2009, as I finally graduated with the honors of cum laude with a BS in accounting after being shy of only 9 credit hours for over twenty-five years. Finishing my education was always something I had hoped to do, but never could manage while working full time hours. But in the fall of 2008 my work schedule was forcibly altered, reducing my hours and pay by half. Although I was dismayed by my employment status, I took the opportunity to go back to school. I was consumed with fear with my decision of returning, scared I would not be able to keep up with the younger generation, but to my surprise, I earned As in all my classes.

    It is reassuring after reading your article, I have seemingly been doing the correct things for my life. With Lent beginning next week on February 17th, I have an extra incentive to continue my sobriety which at the conclusion, Easter day will bring me to 90 days of sobriety. Nearly peanuts when compared to those who have acheived years of sobriety, but a benchmark I will be proud of.

    I don’t think about not drinking every day at this point, but some days the temptation and urge is greater than others. Besides the two friends I have told, one of whom is less than thrilled, since she drinks heavily, I don’t have a support group. If you have any suggestions for me in this area, without going to an AA meeting, I would greatly appreciate.

    May God bless you and thank you for the inspiration you have given to me and to others!

    JC

  • Jim

    I drank for 12 years, completely sober for 24 years, now back at it for about 2 and 1/2 years. I want to stop forever. Having a real tuff time. I know I have a problem, my habit controls my life.

  • http://www.stopdrinkingforever.com Khaiyong the ex-alcohlic

    Great post! I find that a combination of prevention (alcohol cravings) and dealing with cravings work best for my patients. They can also consider hollistic approaches or alternative therapies to cure their alcohol addiction.

    Cheers
    Khaiyong

  • Keith

    Hi i am a self employed salesman,I am good at what i do,99% never drink and drive,try hard not to drink so shakey that is all that calms me tornado in my mind but i control is roses out my mouth!!try to hold back but fall on my face i was drinkin vodca 1 qt to 1.75 i found that to be a bad combo with my personality,, now i only drink wine bout 1.5 qts nights was 3 fight this crap every day,,,say no drinkin have benn 11.00 oclock before but i doo good a week and damn i wake go to store and 9am i am drunk so mad at myself i hunt a tool to help every day guess its metric cuz sae dont fit,,,hehe,i have a good attitude and thank god every day for helpin me make a livin feel hopeless but powerful that i have not gave up,,afraid to give up control for three days for i have noone but myself my dog my finances would be afraid,,,gosh this isnt the letter i wanted to write but here is one heck of a run on sentance ,,i need a tool can you suggest one.im a very strong person parents died i lost my gripe and fell now 3 yrs i drank maybe 1 or none week hate drugs wont consider them any the wine gun is all i do ,,,tool tool!!!!!!!!i need a tool,not out of control,but rug gone from under my feet,feet in air,tough, im where road hit the tire kinda guy real!!throw that life line bro!!

    Keith

  • Frank

    Thanks for your great posts Patrick. I have long suspected that the root of my panic attacks, acid reflux and sleep apnea was caused by too much drinking. The doctors keep giving me xanax for the anxiety, been taking the pills for five years. At 43, I live a relatively healthy lifestyle of exercise and a healthy diet (lots of omega 3’s, no fried foods), and I don’t smoke. However, in the past year, I’ve suffered from sleep apnea episodes, accompanied by horrific acid reflux. In fact, that’s what woke me this morning at 4:30am. For the first time, I’m actually afraid that the effects of excessive drinking may be killing me. As if a demon comes and tries to put me out in my sleep, stopping my breathing. My gut feeling is its too much alcohol. For the first time in my life I am finally saying that I’d like to stop. Thank you Patrick and all the others here who bravely tell your stories. Happy holidays, peace and blessings.

  • ROBERTO G

    THANK YOU Patrick, I think this will work ,at least for a while. Let see what everyone else think about it.
    All my friends,Regarding a new website topic , I think that to keep posting in this site is very important ,since many people who are still suffering and are looking for help on line in their search engines are often directed to this website by their local DNS servers(that’s how I got here). Therefore, they too benefit from everyone’s post in this site plus all the wonderful information and suggestions here.!! I have a suggestion and nothing more than a suggestion for those who want to interact on line ,live, or face to face (for those who have video camera) Maybe yahoo messenger would be a tentative solution (free). Perhaps opening new yahoo accounts exclusively for this type of online support, and we can post in here everyone’s yahoo new e-mail accounts for this purpose, and we just add everyone’s emails address to our list of friends.That way when we rather to interact in a sort of a chat live discussion we can just see who of our known friends from this site are on line and invite them to chat.(I guess when getting a new yahoo account it would be a good idea to choose names that kinda matches the names we have been using in our posting here). Again this is just a suggestion I personally don’t think that it should replace the permanent posting in this site for which so many people find hope in their journey quitting drinking.I have. !! I kinda see it like ,whenever we need to talk to somebody because we are desperate when can just open our yahoo messenger , log in and check who is online, invite them and get live advice!!
    I really love this site ,and at least for today and today only I will keep reading and posting in this site. I have found hope here and I really think that many people desperate for help also find answers here,and as I mentioned before in other posts, Help come from different sources, I think this wonderful site is one of them…
    Good luck all my friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks Patrick again!!

  • Suzy

    Hello…

    It’s been awhile since I have been here. I fell off the wagon months ago after 75 days. I think this is most likely due to anxiety trigger from a meeting with an estranged Mother. I just could not deal with my rage so I canceled and drank instead. I felt really defeated and should not let someone get to me like that. I am a binge drinker and will drink until something ‘bad’ happens or I pass out. I am a usually a functional drinker and go to college part time and financially independent. Yet, the truth is…. I am dangerous and unpredictable emotional wreck on alcohol. I hate this so much. Its mind boggling how I can feel so strong and determined some days and others I am a little wounded girl that wants to escape. I haven’t hit bottom by the law, or family or job.. but I know I hate myself and have such shame afterwards. Plus, my daughter hurts for me. She is at college so the empty nest has been an ambivalent event. Just when I think I have silenced a few triggers, I either get new ones or the old ones come storming in. I have struggled with this dragon for 10 yrs. I have not been able to cope socially without alcohol, especially with men. Therapy hasn’t really helped and so far I’m too afraid to try AA. With alcohol a lot of times I could be entertainment, always doing some stunt for attention. I get bored easily. It has always been my crutch… I once was strong willed, adventurous and courageous. Now I am a wreck and have so much anxiety I stay ‘busy’ to the point of exhaustion. I have not figured how to moderate passions, or normal stuff the way others do. Another issue is that it’s so isolating in that my few close friends drink a lot and one even antagonizes me…. I tell him to stop… Also, my family is out of state, and now that I’ve told some the truth about my freakish binge drinking they judge me covertly and it makes me feel inferior. It’s hard for me to ask for help. Its really hard to admit to your problems when others act as if they have no problems and wear a mask. But you are still not accepted and treated differently. I just don’t want to be known as a lush or weak but they always ask how my dragon is. Same way with smoking cigarettes even if its two a day….… you are outcast here or there.. So one time I retorted to someone at work when they make lame comments about smoking.. So how’s it your fried food addiction going? People can be really shallow and judgmental and want to see you fail… I have read so many positive and interesting perceptions here which I really appreciate. I know life is too precious to just exist or survive your afflictions. My last serious relationship was with an alcoholic in denial and I’d eventually like to date again. My Dad is an alcoholic, my grandfather was a alcoholic both very functional and successful. I went to ACOA at 21 trying to stop the curse. Its so cunning and takes all of you. Is anyone else angry like this…any tips on how you handle your anger.? I am turning to God again, so I will pray for this group when I pray for myself. I am sober today.

  • theodora

    it feels weird that the moment i discovered the site and start to feel comfortable it moves and all the comments are gone!! no complaining though, honestly, and what led me to start commenting on the other one (Patrick’s advice), also works this time..As Ive mentioned before, Id tried to quit a couple times in the past and never succeeded, just because it was all up to me and my thoughts alone..So I totally agree, SOME interaction with people who go through the same is NECESSARY in my opinion, and I found that on this site and Im greatful to angela camus roberto phil nancy melvin and everyone else, cause their advice and experience really gave me strength hope and perspective..This kind of interaction to me is valuable, and this is the whole point of this post, because its not intrusive or demanding or judgmental since it lacks physical contact or scheduling, its just there to be accessed whenever someone needs it..I have tried AA meetings in the past and the physical aspect of it (meaning the sad or angry or devastated or any kind of look for that matter) or the crying or the yelling etc to me are too much to handle and can easilly throw me off track as I tend to empathize easily..So I just thought I should add this to what patrick is saying, some interaction is good especially in the initial period of abstinence cause we dont know everything and we shouldnt feel like we’re the only person alive who’s giving up drinking, but a lot of interaction or dependence on others can not only be unhelpful, but also destructive..Once more THANX to Patrick and everyone else from the original page, still not a single drink for m since new years and feeling great!! :)

  • MArk

    Thanks Patrick!! This will work for now.. That could also work Roberto! I myself already have that, as you said all of us should keep on visiting this site…this is were all it started…and it is really a great find for me..and sure everyone feels that way too..lets keep on helping each other..looking forward for more posts..

  • MArk

    Hi Suzy, just read your post..and welcome back..as angela said from the previous posts, the time we quit fighting is the time that we lose the war…so never give up…me myself thought that i was in control but the past 2 weekends the enemy won..but im not giving up…i suggest you visit this site on a regular basis..it really helps..remember that your family loves you, they are like that beacuse they care…they just dont know how to express it..plus try to change for yourself and not for others..you’ll be proud of yourself in time…we’re here for you..

  • Danny

    Thanks all for the encouragement…..I’m refraining day by day, but just started again so hopefully I can stay committed to my abstinancewith all of your good advice, encouragement and inspiration at your successes, and God’s help….I also found before that changing-up schedules and exercising wqs very helpful, but I’ve got flu sxs now and I’m just sippin’ some hot tea…please keep posting , this site is SO MUCH a sanctuary for me…

  • Cory

    Hi everyone – and thanks Patrick – this is so much easier now and I’m guessing we’ll get more posts and longer ones! I have not reached abstinence yet, but I am getting closer and closer and am feeling stronger. I am determined to not give up no matter what and I hope that those of you who are feeling like you are failing will see your successes and not your failures. I am comparing events now to last year and I know that I am way better and on the right track. Maybe it is a personality thing – I know people who can run and jump in a cold lake without feeling the water first and just start swimming – I need to go in slowly and then retreat, and then go a little deeper until I can ‘commit’ to submersion. Maybe giving up alcohol completely is the same kind of thing. I don’t know, but I do know that I am getting closer and closer. For those of you like me – don’t give up – and don’t beat yourself up – you will get there and remember “changing habits – changes lives”. For those of you who are successful – thank you so much for continuing to share your journeys and offer encouragement. It means so much to be constantly reminded that it is possible.

  • mark

    we’re all here for each other Danny..lets keep in touch…And Cory thanks for the update..proud of you..I’m in a similar situation…we just need to keep our guards up all the time..In my case i have the tendency to relax after feeling that I’m already in control of the enemy but that is the time I got attacked again..so lets keep our focus..visit this site and read the post of our friends and I’m sure we’ll be stronger..as i always say WE CAN DO IT!

  • Ellie

    Well I made it. I went to the Wedding and was actually the designated driver for 3 people. How ridiculous is that! I really had a drive to get to day 17, it was probably the only thing that kept me strong. I drove my boyfriend and 2 of my work drinkin buddies, picked them up from home and dropped them off at home…the whole bit. Of course there was a full open bar, but I have to say the initial temptation was not as difficult as I had imagined. All of my friends from work were there, and everyone was drinking and having a good time. I ordered a ginger ale on ice and sipped it with my friends, no one really asked what I was drinking so I didn’t have to explain, as I had previously worried. At one point my boyfriend, who drank too much, ironically, told me it was ok with him if I had a drink or two. I love him to death, but he is not a big drinker although he certainly splurged that night, but he has no clue what that statement really meant. We’ve been in a constant discussion about my drinking, how he feels like he can’t handle it anymore, how it bothers him, how he worries about me when I go out, etc, this consistant dialogue for 5 months, if not through out the 2 years we have been together, and now he’s telling me to drink. It’s bizarre. And he ended up drinking too much, I had to take care of him. Which is really not what he had ever done for me. I can hold my booze, I can’t even remember the last time I threw up from drinking, although I know that is only a symptom of my tolerance. Even when I did get sick I always gracefully went to the bathroom, puked, rinsed my mouth out with some water or mouthwash, and returned to my party, couch, the bed, without making a scene or anyone being none the wiser. So I spent our evening together after this wedding, helping him take his clothes off, giving him a trash can to puke in, changing the bag twice, and finally getting him to sleep. I don’t feel like I should be angry and resentful because I’m sure, I know I have awakened next to him not remembering how I got there, let alone how I behaved or acted, what I said. And not wanting to know…but it just seemed so strange to be in a reverse situation. Anyways I’m rambling. I have to say that I initially went into this to save my relationship with this guy, who truely is a wonderful person, my descriptions of him are not reflective of who he really is. But now I’m begining to feel that I’m stumbling on a path that is becoming more and more my own. I fiercely wanted to say, “I have 17days sober.” and now I get to say “I have 18 days sober.” When I did think about getting a drink at the wedding, just a glass of wine or maybe a Maker’s on the rocks…I knew that yeah I’d drink one maybe two drinks in front of my boyfriend, but I knew, as soon as he went to the restroom, or left the table, I’d run up to the bar and get a double neat and slam that shit. Then what? We’d be argueing the next day about it, how I was wasted and he knew that I had more than 2 drinks and I’d say, “you watched me, you saw what I drank.” It all seems so ugly now. The lying, hiding, denying the truth, not giving a shit what he thinks…he can fucking leave, I don’t care. All of these scenarios and memories of how I acted, what I said, and put him through, my callousness, being a fucking bitch…it all still floods in my mind. And it makes me so sorry and so sad. And I don’t want to dwell on it but I do feel like I should apologize but I’m only 18 days in and if I relapse or I dunno, is it too soon? Maybe I never have to apologize. Maybe my sobriety is apology enough.

  • Phil

    Theodora, I never really thought about comparing this site with an AA meeting, but now that I do, I agree that it is much easier for me to post on this site than attend AA meetings, and I get a lot of the same advantages. I can post on this site whenever I want (I am at lunch right now) and say whatever I want without wondering how it will be judged. I am sort of introverted and I have never been comfortable talking about myself to a room full of people. Doing that makes me anxious and I am trying to avoid feeling that way. I feel perfectly comfortable typing my thoughts.

    Danny, just remember that alcoholism is defined as a chronically relapsing disease. It sucks when we relapse, but the most important thing is to just keep on trying and try to learn from each relapse. Our ultimate goal is to never relapse again, but that takes a lot of patience and perseverance to get there. Don’t get down on yourself. The only way that you could blow it is if you give up trying.

  • ROBERTO G

    ELLIE, it feels great doesn’t!!!!After we overcome those fears to the first social events that we attend and overcome our compulsion for drinking!! This is just the beginning for for the success to come. Every time that we achieve stuff like this ,we certainly become stronger!! It becomes kinda like a habit to stay sober and to say “no” when we are tempted to drink. congratulations !!!!
    Mark, I agree with you , I tend to relax too much sometimes to. And sometimes have exposed myself to dangerous situations when I really shouldn’t.And I have paid the price ,not by actually drinking alcohol ,but by having emotional relapses which can easily lead me to drink again. When we are emotionally down and we don’t seek for help and support or at least talk to somebody else we could easily give up and drink again!!
    Suzy, don’t be discourage on your relapse after many days…!!! Resentment is poison for us who are dealing with addiction!! trust me I used to have a lot of it and I am still working on it. I don’t like the idea of forgiveness but it seems that there is no way around. We have to forgive others regardless of all the damaged they have caused to us, otherwise we will be always be suffering and emotionally attached to those people…WE HAVE TO LET THEM GO!!!!SO WE LET GO OF OURSELVES!!!!I used to resent a few people and this was just consuming me all the time , I asked for help and pretty much this was the advice it was given to me and it has worked. I still have homework to do ,but I am trying to step by step to take care of it.. And it’s always a good idea to start the forgiving deal with ourselves, if we feel that we resent to ourselves it’s time to heal, so we can be free from those ugly feelings that do nothing but to make us feel miserable!!!.
    Good Luck and Welcome aboard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    :)))))))))))))))))))))):):)::)):)):):):):):)

  • Angela

    Suzy, I laughed until I almost fell off my chair when you said about “so how’s your fried food addiction going?” OMG! So many times I have wanted to say that! I grew up in the midwest where, no matter what people personally thought about your choices, they minded their own business. Now I am living in a place where some towns have banned smoking in your own car as you drive through them- and if you smell like smoke, total strangers feel it is within their rights to share their thoughts on it. Anyway. Thanks for lightening my day!
    I too have similar problems with moderating passions and dealing with the normal stuff in a way that others do- I would venture to guess that all our family on this site have the same problems, we are just all at different landmarks on this path. Just please, please, please do not look at the “normal” people in the world and think that they have it together and you are a loser that can’t deal with life. People are the ultimate chameleons, we are so able to pretend that everything is ok and we can handle it when it is not. Why in entertainment the biggest industry in the world? Because we ALL, even people who don’t struggle with alcohol want to be able to pretend and/or forget. Remember, that you have the same capbilities as the person in the checkout next to you. You are the only person aware of the struggle within you unless you verbalize it to someone, same with that person in the checkout next to you, they may have just lost their husband, gambled away their rent, or got diagnose with cancer, we don’t know because we cannot read their minds. Same with us, nobody around us can read our minds, so our personal lives can stay just that. We are not walking around with a big Scarlet “A” (alcoholic) on our shirts. You are in the middle of the biggest war of your life, and you may lose a few battles, but that is your business, not the worlds. The only people who may hear about it -is us and we will not judge you for it. You are doing great my friend.
    Mark, keep up the good work!!!! Don’t sweat the battles, it is the war you want to win, so DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP!!! We have all fallen down, some just a few times, some many. But that doesn’t matter, the important thing is that you pick yourself up and keep on going. Life is hard enough without giving yourself shit for every mistake you make.
    Ellie!!! Yay!!! You did it! I know how hard and scary that first time out is, but now you were able to do something for your BF that he may not have ever expected- he was the one requiring babysitting, no you. The table was turned, what a great chance for you to learn something about yourself and for you two to grow in your relationship. You love him and now you have another layer in your relationship. Make sure that it enhances your love for each other, and binds you closer together. This kind of situation, because we are human, has the potential to become a seed for resentment, don’t let that happen.
    Thanks Patrick for setting us up with a new location. This site is my lifeline and I would be heartbroken and very much lost if I lost this new family I have.
    This site is the only place where I can post my deepest feelings and be completely honest. If I were in a group, face-to-face with people, I would be so busy watching their faces trying to gauge the responses to my revelations, that I would never feel able to open up, also I would be so distracted and shy that I would not be able to be honest with myself. That is what this is all about, honesty with yourself. We have that here. I will not take it for granted.
    Have a good day, love you all, Ang

  • Angela

    By the way, I am completely computer illiterate,, can someone give me directions for how to access this site without having to type in the whole http:/ thing? Thanks.

  • Patrick

    @ Angela – Just bookmark it! Push Ctrl+D on your keyboard and save it as a bookmark. This should work in just about any web browser….

  • Billy

    Some great posts that remind me of my situation:
    “Lately I feel that I have been taking sobriety for granted.” ROBERTO G

    Me too, I stopped checking in here after I went about 3 months w/o drinking, kinda felt sorry for you guys that were struggling so much – that was silly, now I’m back to struggling.

    “Telling someone and admitting it I know will help a lot, admitting it here on this site has helped, but I know admitting it to a loved one will help more, but I’m no ready yet. This is such a shameful and lonely disease..isn’t it?” Samantha –

    I know, that is me too – I just can’t take that damn step to admit how bad IT is – and how much I actually drink when I fall off the wagon. Not sure if it is because I’m embarrassed, I just can’t put myself out there to anyone (which is why I began drinking in the first place), or because deep down I don’t want to quit (I hope this is not the case, but my relapses are really making me question myself). Shameful and lonely sure is right Samantha.

    Anyone else have this problem? While my sober periods are great and long, when I drink I just get smashed and can’t stop for days at a time? I’ve had a drinking problem for years, but I may drink 3-4 on Monday, maybe average 4-7 until the weekend, then my real drinking would begin.

    Now that I somewhat stopped, I keep finding an excuse to drink “a few” about once a month – which ends up being a 3-4 day bender (embarrassed to say but those days I’m drinking 15-20 drinks a day). Then the guilt and the remorse. But you know, this is the best I have ever done – in 15 years I drank EVERY DAY – now I have drank 14 out of the last 142 days. My only concern is that while I really think I am headed in the right direction – when I do fall off I drink even more than I did before (or at least I get drunk all 3-4 days in a row) –

  • Angela

    Thanks Patrick!

    Billy, Don’t be ashamed, you are on this site, and that shows that deep down you really DO want to change your life. Be proud of those periods that you don’t drink, don’t focus all your emotions on the times that you do drink, that will only lead to self loathing and more drinking. Focus on the good, and yet, the drinking does need to be addressed, otherwise, why are you here, right? Focus your active thought processes on the drinking part, and focus your emotions on the periods of time that you don’t drink. Don’t know if that makes sense, but basically give yourself as many pats on the back as you can, don’t spend your time busting your own balls for your mistakes. When you look at the time you spend “off the wagon”, spend it deciding to gett back on and stay for a longer ride. Hang in there my friend, we ALL go through this, we have periods of time that we are doing so well, and then life throws us a curveball….and bam we are back drinking. No worries, don’t give up the fight. So you lost a few battles, you will not win the war if you wave the white flag. Keep fighting Billy, we are here with you. We are your family.

  • Billy

    Ellie: Powerful post, thanks for sharing. And really congratulations – I do not think I could have made it through a wedding after 17 days – that is a real accomplishment that tells you you’re really going to make it.

    I am not judging your boyfriend,cause i dont’ know him- but people who are not alcoholics just don’t understand us – how bad this damn thing affects us.

    I was on day 70 or so when my mother, who is a total social drinker (drinks mayeb 3 times a year)- kept trying to get me to have “a little” wine at Thanksgiving. Love her to death, but she just had no idea what “a little wine” would do to me. My whole focus if i had “a little wine” would have been how i would get more alcohol into my body w/o the family noticing – and like you, I am pretty good at it.

    Again though, congratulaitons.

  • Billy

    thank you so much Angela – I am trying and i really do know i’ll kick this in the end.

  • Danny

    Really wanting to go get some wine, really craving, even though I’m sick w/ a chest cold….I tell myself how much better I’ll feel with a few drinks! This is so tough

  • Suzy

    I am behind in my work today… but I just had to comment briefly that I was stumbling today and your positive feedback and honesty has really amazingly helped me. It’s like we are kindred spirits in these ways of sharing our mutual struggle and triumphs and plan of attack. Our reservoirs of honesty, spirituality, courage and soul searching are astounding. This group is like a big hug and so understanding. It’s heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time. Forgiveness is so hard for me. I too have been knocked down a lot by others and myself even, but I keep getting back up .. I do not feel so alone and scared as I did yesterday. My heart goes out to you all. thanks I just have to stay on this path…

  • angela

    Danny, I am so sorry you have a chest cold!, Hang in there with the craving. Take a bunch of vitamin c, if you have it, and drink lots of gatorade- pour it in a wine glass if you want, whatever it takes to get through this tough time… when you are sick, your defenses are low and it is easy to give in to the temptation. You can do it my friend.
    Suzy, you are right, this is a fmily and when we are having a hard time, or stumbled and fell, or even when we are triumphing, we have people who have been there themselves and know exactly what we are going through. I have so many times, been going through tough times and no computer availiable, but the past posts I have read, stick in my mind and it is like you all are here with me, giving me what I need at that moment. I, at this time in my life, NEED this site and all you so much…
    Thank you for your input and allowing me to be part of your lives….

  • camus

    Phil, yes I’m still training for an ultra marathon around Portland, OR. I’ve done many marathon’s, but this will be my first ultra (50K trail race). My first serious craving of alcohol has been after a long run, because my guard was down. I had forgotten that I used to drink beer after a long run. Luckily I got through it, and am reminded that we can’t always predict when or where we’re going to be tempted.

    Danny, Mark, Suzy, Billy, please don’t let discouragement take hold of you. Remember even those of us who have been sober for awhile now have had so many set backs, relapses etc. We understand all too well. Sometimes it’s not enough to keep trying. You have to change what you’re doing, like try out AA (it’s not going to hurt anything) or do something completely different with your evening that you’ll enjoy. AA helped me a lot initially. I only went a couple times, but just knowing that safety net was there gave me peace of mind. I knew I didn’t want to be as absorbed in recovery long term as they were, but initially is was a good thing.
    BTW, I do drink NA beer fairly regularly. It’s never triggered me to want real beer, so it really is different for everyone. Caliber is a really good one for those who like the stuff.
    Sharing with friends or loved ones is very difficult in the beginning of recovery. It really irritated me when my husband would attempt to suggest something to help. I wanted to say “you don’t have a **cking clue”, but I didn’t. I did tell him that I’m on this site for support from people that are going through and have went through the same thing. I told him it’s impossible for him to understand my drinking problem anymore than I can understand how he forgets that he poured himself a drink. I may forget where I hid the empty bottle of wine or liquor, but I would never ever forget that I poured myself a drink.
    Hang in there everyone, and don’t stop trying!

  • Billy

    Danny, I often have the same feeling when i get sick – I’m like “well, I’m goign to feel crappy anyway, might as well drink” – you and i both know we’re just lying to ourselves – Stick with it man, you can do it.

    Camus, thanks for the encouragement – and thanks for making me laugh this AM w/ this one that also describes me and my wife – “I may forget where I hid the empty bottle of wine or liquor, but I would never ever forget that I poured myself a drink.”

  • Melvin

    This is really my first serious attempt to stop drinking. I did stop for several weeks once to lose weight-I guess vanity in not all bad. I do feel like having a drink, but I am not clear if it is a true desire or the fact that I am addressing my issues on this site. 2011 has started out to be quite stressful-New water heater, both cars have broke down(transmission/fuel pump), and a speeding ticket. That’s life, but with that said, stress hasn’t made me victim to alcohol. Knock-on-wood, I guess this is my first series of tests.

    Patrick’s first article in the archive area above is excellent as it describes the creative means to recovery. As previously mentioned, I believe that my past drinking is a symptom of my overall place in life. I am going to make changes, which will lead to more control of my life as it pertains to exercise and creative growth. This site is the first step in helping me with the latter.

    I admire how Camus is focusing her engery into running. I am too traditionally athletic and running comes somewhat naturally for me (not 50 miles, however). This week I am going to once again get my ass moving in some type of linear motion.

    Theodora thank you for your insight into the AA experience. I am not afraid of AA nor would I avoid it, but for the reasons you mentioned I don’t think I am ready for it yet.

    When I quit this new years, I told my wife about the concerns with my drinking. My wife does not drink, but I felt this was necessary, because in the past she on occassion would encourage me to have a drink and relax. My drinking has not been a major problem as far as she was concerned, but my desire was she understand that I was trying to eliminate alcohol from my lifestyle. Anyway, that’s why I disclosed my intent to my spouse.

    Congrats Ellie. Thank you everyone for reading my words.

  • mark

    Thanks Camus, Angela and roberto for the words of encouragement. I will surely not quit. I’ll keep you guys posted. Have a great Wednesday! :)

  • Phil

    Camus, that is amazing that you are training for an ultra marathon in Portland. Keep me informed, okay? I talked to a friend that I do business with yesterday and he ran a 60 mile race in 24 hours this fall. The winner ran 145 miles in 24 hours. Unbelievable! Take care everybody!

  • Angela

    Camus, you are an amazing woman! I am so amazed at anyone who can do marathons! I am a couch potato, I hate to say, but lucky enough to have a high metabolism, so many people mistake me for a runner. But I never run, I do, however, help run the medical aid stations at a 100 mile trail run in Wyoming. Those runners are my babies. I love going there, seeing my pals again each year, hearing what they’ve been up to all year and then watching their progress as they go through the race. Keep it up, I am so proud of you and slightly envious. I need to do something more physical than walking on the beach. I can’t remember if it was Mark or who, that gave me that advice, to start working out. I have been pondering it, as my boyfriend works out regularly and I often wish I could go with him.
    Meanwhile, I did take the advice to get a “hobby” or something to distract my mind…I have been learning to play guitar… very frustrating, challenging, and enjoyable all at the same time… some days I wanna break the thing, and others I love it and can’t believe I am making music! I am learning to control my temper through this, and my impatience. It has been good for me, and has been a bonding time for my BF and I (except he’s been playing longer than me and is REALLY good, so I get frustrated and jealous sometimes, but I keep my mouth shut and keep trying) hahaha……
    I have to say, I love O’douls, and I am thankful it has not triggered the need for an alcoholic beer, I guess because when I started drinking, it was not so much for the drunkenness, but the flavor of beer. I have always loved the flavor, not the feeling. I would crack a beer at 8 am like most people would open a soda and then I would drink beer like soda all day. I can go to get togethers and drink a whole 6 pack of odouls, have a great time, and still be sober, I am the designated driver now and it is not a problem for me. I don’t resent my friends, because I am a caregiver, personality, I like taking care of them… I just used to also wanna be the “life of the party” so I would get drunk before the party and end up not able to take care of myself, much less anyone else.
    Friends, while I may sound like I am getting my shit together, I am struggling so terribly. I am not quite as low as last week, progress seems to be slow. Guitar really helps, but sometimes, I wish my life were over, and yet I will never never never do anything toward that end. I just feel like I am trapped in purgatory, I just keep on keeping on, but I feel little joy at this time. I cry a lot, for no reason. I am trying to be honest with you all because that means I am being honest with myself. Anyway, please think of me, and I will keep thinking of you…
    thanks for all your posts, I am greatly encouraged by them.

  • mark

    Hey Angela, Don’t ever think that way..though I know there are times that that feeling will hit especially at this stage, Like Camus and our other friends here..you are an amazing person. I could say that just by reading your post. I feel the energy, the hope .. and that helps me and im sure most of our friends here to lighten up the day. Just hang in there alright..your lucky that you have a great boyfriend, great friends and now a great companion in the for of your guitar. Hope you’ll be “Slash” of GNR someday! :) Hmmm, funny I never asked or looked for a non alcoholic beer..I’m not sure If we have one in this side of the world..I think I’ll simply like the taste w/o getting wasted..

  • Ellie

    I feel like maybe I’m not in the right mentality, but I am fixated on my next hurdle or obstacle that may trigger a temptation to drink. Anyone out there who is not drinking and bartends? I have several PT jobs and have avoided my bartending job since the New Year, but I do have a shift tomorrow. I feel like I am having a difficult time staying in the now, today, the moment. I’ve been drinking a lot of tea and coffee lately, coffee in the morn and tea in afternoon and night. I still kinda feel that I have that same hand to mouth, drinking habit, with different substances of course. I find it interesting that in our habit of drinking similar to food addiction is one that we have to continue the repetitive practice of hand to mouth to sustain our life. Is it normal to worry so much about each possible trigger? Should I be practicing just being positive? It’s really hard for me to do. I am hoping as each day passes it will get easier, but alcohol is still very much on my brain. If I’m cold from being outside I want a bourbon to warm me. When eatting dinner I think about wine, with friends I wanna have a beer. We do have NA beer at the bar but I’m afraid that the taste of it would, again make me want to have a real beer or shot. I feel like I’m constantly planning each moment of temptation and how I’ll handle it and it’s exhausting, honestly. I would like to just have one day where I didn’t even think about alcohol or drinking…but I guess I’m not there yet.

  • ROBERTO G

    ANGELA, Feeling down sometimes ,is part of the process in our recovery But, also part of life . Always remember that you are not alone!!! . As a matter of fact , feeling like that has not that much to do with our alcoholism. Life is tough itself for everyone in the planet,and it’s our job to deal with it.We are equipped for it!!(no wonder human have being around for quiet a while)
    I keep telling myself that everyday!!…Honestly sometimes I even feel that I will not make through the day. Specially when things don’t do as I plan them or as I want them. I am so selfish ,and besides that I am so used to a life where my will is all it matters, that today ,that I am sober things,like being flexible ,responsible, courteous , honest ,etc are CHALLENGES!or at least ABNORMAL THINGS!!!! But, I am making progress everyday, little by little,with all you guys help and the one above!!!there is no rush we have plenty of time!!The bigger picture here is to stay sober,because everything depends from that.
    It also has helping me a lot to not think about the future too much .So the anxiety won’t strike!!. Today I rather to just live the day ,just for today. There are a lot great things in life that I still can achieve but only sober ,without my sobriety none of those goals can ever be accomplished.
    The good new is that we have found a wonderful family here ,and by just keep checking in here often, we are making the difference in our lives….!! As you guys say in your posts: “we have to keep cheering up ourselves, and keep patting our shoulder very often”, we are warriors ,not cowards!! It takes a lot of courage and determination to quit drinking or to lower the intake we are drinking. if It wasn’t that hard why so many people rather to sink all the way, than do anything about it? Of course is hard!! ,but worth it!!!! We are saving our lives and in the process helping others who still are suffering and can’t find the exit!!!!!!!

    Good Luck all my friends!!!!!!!!!!1
    GOOD LUCK ALL MY FRIENDS!!!!!:):):):))::)

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi everyone. Have not posted lately but I do read posts everyday. Thank you one and all for sharing.
    Angela, I just wanted to recommend that you visit your family doctor for a check up. Hope you don’t feel I am over stepping here. Depression can be very serious and sometimes depression can be a symptom of of other issues thryoid, iron etc. Worth looking into. I wouldn’t sleep well if I didn’t say that to you and congrats on all the postive changes you are making!!
    Love you guys.

  • Anonymous

    Why start drinking again?

    Because I’m an alcoholic, and that’s what alcoholics do. My brain patterns will always lead me back to it, unless I change my thinking on a daily basis.

    It isn’t “normal” or “natural” for me to be sober. It’s a miracle and a blessing that I strung together any amount of time without a drink.

    My thought on relapse is it’s the “usual” thing for an alcoholic to do. If you’re an alcoholic like me, the odds are not in our favour.

    This disease is brutaly efficient at ruining lives. Alcohol is a cunning and baffling substance. Look out, because it wants to kill…sometimes quickly sometimes slowly. It will always win, if we let it.

    I don’t think anyone ever is cured of alcoholism. Sobriety is a state of remission from a terminal illness. If we stop working at recovery, it will creep back into our lives. Look around, it happens all the time.

    I don’t want to sound too negative here, but the success rate is low. Am I doing everything I can to stay sober? Is my sobriety the #1 priority in my life? Do I depend on a higher power to restore me to sanity? Do I reach out for help? These are important questions for me. I’ve seen many people relapse since I started my recovery. Ive seen some people die as well. I don’t want to die, so I won’t take a drink today.

  • Anonymous

    HOW TO START DRINKING AGAIN
    Start doubting you ability to stay sober.
    Deny your fears.
    Adamantly convince yourself that your never drink again.
    Decide being abstinent is all you need.
    Become overconfident about recovery.
    Avoid talking about your problems and recovery.
    Behave compulsively.
    Overreact to stressful situations.
    Start isolating yourself.
    Become preoccupied with one area of your life.
    Start having minor depressions.
    Live in the there and the then.
    Start idle daydreaming and wishful thinking.
    View your problems as unsolvable.
    Avoid having fun.
    Over-analyze yourself.
    Become irritated with others.
    Experience periods of confusion.
    Become easily angered.
    Begin doubting your are really an alcoholic.
    Eat irregularly.
    Progressively lose your daily routine.
    Experience long periods of deep depression.
    Live in the past or the future, not the now.
    Develop an “I don’t care attitude”.
    Openly reject help.
    Develop aches and pains.
    Feel powerless and helpless and have self pity.
    Feel sorry for yourself.
    Have fantasies about drinking.
    Completely lose confidence in yourself.
    Develop resentments and hang on to them.
    Become overwhelmed with frustration and tension.
    Become hungry, angry, lonely, and tired.
    Hang around with drinkers.
    Convince yourself you are cured.

  • Angela

    Roberto, thanks for the pep talk, that really helped me. I get so focused on the future and on things I cannot change. I need to live for today, get through today, and keep on doing the little things that give me even the minutest bit of joy. And, give myself pats on the back. Even for little stuff, like, today I got out of bed and took a shower. It will get better.
    Nancy thanks for the concern, but my thyroid is great. I get regular check ups and a yearly physical for my job. But I appreciate the input and I understand the need to verbalize your concern. I just have situational depression that will eventually let up, and I don’t want to take meds for it because I don’t like the side effects. Dry mouth, weird flavors, decreased sex drive and it is almost impossible to have the big O on them. I want to do this without pharmaceutical intervention, if possible.
    Ellie, you CAN do it! You made it this far. Just remember to watch the drunks at the bar and think about why you quit drinking in the first place. I know you can do it! I have faith in you. You are a strong woman!

  • JPVD

    hi all;

    Great to read these posts.. so many wonderful stories. Ellie, you made my day with your detailed and personal recount! Suzy, mark billy nancy robertog angela et al thank you for posting.

    I have just got caught up on this new site so can’t remember exactly who wrote what but i’ll throw in my unsolicited 2-cents anyways!

    I remember when i first stopped drinking i had a fixation with coffee/tea. I obsessed over different brands/brews/methods and often thought ‘what am i doing? spending all this time and money on a new vice?’ But hey, it wasn’t booze and it took my mind off the demon drink. i also loaded up on soft-drinks and filled my old beer fridge with hundreds of cans of different flavoured soda-pop. well, that was almost a year ago and i’ve left it mostly behind. i drink tea/coffee/soda normally and am in a much better place with my alcoholism.

    I also recommend running (especially long-distance running) as a means to recovery. Whilst Ultras are the domain of the fully-fit (anf fully-insane!) most anyone can manage a 1-hour 10k run once a week and a couple 3-k runs during the week. I like the meditative effect of the run; some real alone time to think and contemplate in the midst of ever-changing scenery. If not running, then extended walking is the same idea. I’ve run 3 marathons and never broke 4 hours; every single training run and race i ever did was run absolutely hung-over…sometimes still drunk. One aim of my new sobriety is a sub-4 hour marathon.

    I’m off tomorrow morning for my first training flight in gaining my student pilot’s license. All the money i’m saving from drinking is going towards this.

    last words from me is that i’m finding it easier and easier to move away from my drinking lifestyle and into a non-drinking one. Again, this is easy for me at the moment. 2 young kids, a non-drinking wife and a life in the burbs doesn’t exactly lend itself to big drinking sessions. I’m trying to use this time in my life to get the booze-monkey off my back if/when the good times change and i find myself maybe reaching for the bottle to get me through.

    good luck all.

    p.s. Angela, I like your words regarding ‘you are in the middle of the biggest war of your life’. Too often i become complacent about my non-drinking and i forget that 15 months ago i was crying at night because i knew alcohol was killing me and i was too weak to stop it. I must remember this.

  • theodora

    hi all..good to see some of us are doing great, just thought I should mention the idea of vitamin supplements (instead of pharmaceuticals), for example I take vitamin C 1000 mg daily (cause I didnt quit smoking), it could also be taken twice daily but early on in the day, also B1 (Thiamine) is very important in alcohol withdrawal, I get a B-complex daily which also has B6 and B12 (which are all beneficial for the nervous system) also early in the day, and Folic Acid, which is also depleted in cases of prolonged drinking..Other supplements that help are Niacin for blood sugar level regulation, and Magnesium in combination with Calcium (at least 3 hours apart), which also help in sleeping patterns that are usually messed up when u quit..Obviously these are just indicative, best is to have a blood test and then decide with a doctor what to get and how much of it..although my experience has shown that the worst that can happen is nothing changes, u cant get sick or experience side effects..Hope this helps somehow, keep strong and sober! :)

  • ROBERTO G

    JPVP, Great for you, I am glad that you are taking advantage of the good family you have to stay sober ,that inspires me to do the same. I have a non drinking wife,two wonderful kids. All I have to do is my homework which I have not really done in almost two years. Stop drinking is not enough to keep staying sober, I have to do more.(no wonder I have been close to the edge) Till now I haven’t. And I am paying the price sometimes by not finding complete happiness in my sobriety. I am sharing this for everyone to not do the same,I have experimented for you guys, don’t do the same like me, find your path, put action to it everyday ,and most important of all “grow” spiritually,physically, mentally. .Anyways,I just got to keep moving forward and catch up with my laziness , if I am to stay alive.I have been exercising for 2 weeks too, not running but at least I have been doing long walks every day!!!!!! Thanks for inspiring me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Phil

    Good posts Anonymous – and Roberto G, I am glad you are exercising. I have been a jogger/runner off and on ever since high school. I have never run more than 11 miles at a time, but I once got up to 8 miles a day, and I felt great. It is obvious to me that exercise is the best thing that I can do to feel good and have peace of mind and to not drink. Patrick’s emphasis on exercise on this site is one of the reasons that I was first drawn to it. Over the last two years I have been doing mostly long walks, but I hope to get back up to jogging/running soon – I don’t seem to have the spring in my legs that I used to. Running/walking is my form of meditation, and it is good to hear that others have had success with it too.

  • CO

    My first time writing… I have been struggling for a long time now w/ my drinking. I am too embarrassed to tell my doctor or seek help w/ professionals. Even if I did get help, I can’t miss anymore work for Dr. visits. I am on thin ice. I came across this web-site today and realized I am not the only out there going through it. But how do you stop? Can anyone answer this? This is day 1 for me, once again. I drank so much last night that I was so sick, I couldn’t go to work. I lied to my husband and to my work and said I had the stomach flu. I hide because I am ashamed. My husband knows the truth though, he sees it. I feel like the Meg Ryan movie, when a man loves a woman. Can anyone offer some encouraging words? I really could use some. I feel I am alone going through this.

  • Cory

    Hi CO – welcome to our family here! You have done the most important thing and that is to reach out for help. I don’t know if you started on this web-site or the “how to stop drinking’ web-site. If you didn’t start there, I would suggest you ‘google’ it and read all the advice from Patrick plus the 1000+ posts. You will hear your own story re-told by so many of us, and you will be encouraged and strengthened by everyones efforts. Do not be ashamed – be motivated to take ‘massive action’ – you can and will do it – and we are all here to listen and help – you are not alone!!

  • Melvin

    There is no shame in asking for help CO. It takes strength and courage to be honest with yourself. The fact that you have posted on this site is the first step in coming to terms with your drinking issues. As Cory mentioned, I too started reading the posts at the “how to stop drinking” web-site a couple weeks ago, and then started posting recently. The people here are very loving and empathetic to each other’s struggle, because most of us share similar experiences. God Bless.

  • Anonymous

    Anybody having problem with this site? Duplicate message alert!!

  • Phil

    On New Years Day, Dear Abby publishes the following resolutions. Interestingly, they were adapted by Abby’s mother from the original AA credo:

    JUST FOR TODAY: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once.

    I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

    JUST FOR TODAY: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

    JUST FOR TODAY: I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

    JUST FOR TODAY: I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

    JUST FOR TODAY: I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I’ll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

    Just for today, I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

    JUST FOR TODAY: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I’m a smoker, I’ll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully — if only just for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it’s only around the block.

    JUST FOR TODAY: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

  • Houston

    First time poster. Like most on here started drinking young (1st drink in 7th grade) and it really got worse after college. Longest I ever quit was 3 months back in 1996. Had so many Monday morning conversations with myself after drinking from 9am to 11pm on Sat and Sun about having to change and not being able to go on only to get through the day then fire up a beer at 6pm. Like many here I have a great family… a set of gorgeous twins, etc. Well today is going to be day 5 of sobriety and this site has been a big help. I decided I was just done with it….my health has gone downhill and my liver enzymes are up….I am tired of the anxiety and guilt…it so bad that it affecting my ability to make decisions because I have no confidence…done…I am not going to let this beast kill me….I am taking my life back. It is a daunting task no doubt….when I think of it I drink 360 out of 365 days per year of course not drinking is going to seem strange because it is…it is the exception right now.. but this isn’t a reason to hit the bottle again. Someone wrote long ago on this site that sobriety is almost like a magic potion that gives you back time, money and health and it truly does. The only question is how to get this potion in large quantities and make it stay. In just 4 days my head has cleared so much…I have concentration and motivation. The beast (that is what I call this addiction) is out there and I know he is pissed and trying to figure out a way to get me back to my old way. It so much reminds me of reading the bible when Christ was tempted in the desert. Wow a weekend coming up with football and no booze…what the hell am I going to do??? Well not drink…have doubts?…hell yeah only a fool would think they are invincible….past 4 days….no booze…lost 2 lbs…blood pressure down across the board…energy and concentration up…..wake up with eyes wide open and not trying to close. One day at time. Prayers for everyone.
    Think of booze as your significant other or best friend…isn’t that what it wants? He/she motivates you to bad health, gives you bad advice, and makes you feel worthless. He/she is there when you need them I will give he/she that but he/she gives you a drug in large quantities to make you feel better. He/she take your money, destroys your relationships and just want control of you. Isn’t time to divorce he/she? Tell them to get the hell out of our lives and take all their crap with them? We are all worth with it. Time to breakup.

  • Angela

    CO- Thank you for sharing your struggle with us. We are now your family, and we will support you and be thinking of you. We have all been where you are. You are standing 3 feet past a crossroads, you have decided which of the two “roads diverged” you want to take and now you are not sure how to go about traveling the rough terrain. Just remember, you are no longer alone. The minute you stepped onto this path, that we are on with you, you became one of us. We are here for you, we are your cheer squad and your teammates. As Melvin said, it is important to be honest with yourself. And this is a good place to practice the habit of honesty with yourself by sharing your struggles with us. You can tell us anything, not only in complete anonymity, but also without fear of judgement. We are on the same path that you are, and you can count on us to share our struggles and our triumphs with you. We all want the same thing. We all have the same goal. I have re- read the many posts over and over again and found great comfort knowing that I am not the only one in the world with my story. I have read my story many time in others’ posts. Cory is right, google for ideas, and read the past posts, do what you need to get through these first few days. As we have all learned it is a one day at a time war. One battle at a time. And please don’t flay yourself alive, if you should fall down on the way at some point; try not to but do remember that it is not how many battles we win that gives us victory in this war, it is the war itself we want to win. So allow us to be here for you, and you too Houston, and thank you for joining our group. “This day to be sober. This day alone. ” Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

  • Angela

    We only lose the war, when we give up the fight.

  • Mark

    Hello Co, Welcome to the family. You found this site for a reason. As Cory and Melvin said, you already made the first step and we are proud of you. It is not too late yet Co…I’m sure you don’t want to lose your husband and your work..I’m sure you want to live a longer, healthier and happier life…These are enough reasons to be motivated and As I always say, You can do it.
    Hi Houston, Thank you very much for posting and sharing. Well said…When I read your post I already know that you already know what to do…I hope that you can always keep your guards up because we all know that “the beast” will always be waiting for the perfect time to strike again…that is when we relax and become too confident that we’re in control. I’ve learned this many times and still trying to not to fall again..I wish you good luck…
    It’s the weekend again guys and another battle for most of us..Good luck..we can do it..God is on our side…Have a great weekend!! Keep in touch..

  • ROBERTO G

    Welcome aboard! CO,! We are glad you have made it to this site where you will certainly find answers. This is the link Cory was mentioning we were posting there just a few days ago,you will find a lot of answers there. spiritualriver.com/stop-drinking
    You have made a big step by just recognizing that you need help, Congrats!!:)): it takes a lot of effort and courage to admit that. We are a big family here who post on daily basics. We are not here to tell you to quit,only you can decide if quitting or cutting back your intake is the right thing to do for you.!! Basically we just share what alcohol has done to us, and we also share new ways to assure that at least for today and today only we are sober. You will find that when somebody who is struggling just like us and gives us advice,helps a lot for our recovery. You are not alone!!! We are here to help you as much as we have been helped.!!Welcome Aboard!!!!
    Phil, thanks for your great advice. At this point I am just doing long walks to, and it’s helping a lot with stress, and anxiety. There is no doubt that it needs massive action ,in order to get our stuff together!!!!!!
    I just needed to get up from the couch and take action, as I mentioned before I have been very lazy and is now or never, to start doing my homework. The abstinence part is taken care at least for today, but I also need to “grow” spiritually, physically, and mentally, Otherwise if I don’t change nothing, Nothing will change!!!!!!!
    Good Luck and Good night family!!! Hope everyone is doing really Great!!!!!!!!!!!
    :):))::):)):):):):)::))):):):)::)

  • ROBERTO G

    by the way everyone if by any chance you want to post a detail link from a website here, the server will reject your entire message and it will not be posted. I tried to post since last night ,and since I was pasting a link for the other page we used to post and direct people there ,I was not able to post at all. Hope no one else is having problems with…I am just giving you heads up!!!

  • camus

    Angela, I’m sorry for your struggles. I know it’s helped me to think of something you really want to do that’s slightly unobtainable at the moment, but with a bit of effort can become obtainable, and put all of your energy into this thing. It should be something you really want to do, not something you think you should do. Just the journey of getting somewhere or doing something exciting can be so exhilarating. BTW, my problem has never been “couch potato” but the inability to slow down or sit still. It can be very destructive hence why my dysfunctional drinking. I can’t do moderation with anything. I wish I could and I wish I could relax naturally. I took a yoga class with my husband and it drove me crazy because it was too slow. I miss alcohol for that reason, it helps me to slow down.
    CO, I relate to the “When a Man Loves a Woman” movie. I watched it before it started affecting my family, and thought of it frequently when it was at it’s worst. Not wanting to lose everything so wonderful in my life was my motivation. Reading the posts on this site and the articles is a big step in the right direction.
    PHIL, I love the Dear Abby post. I think I’ll post that on my frig.
    JPVD, I agree, it’s so easy to forget how badly alcohol affected us & we can get complacent quickly. When I’m feeling impatient & to my max annoyance with my kids, I find myself thinking “if I could just relax with a glass of wine, I would be so much more patient with them”. I have to remind myself of the times I sat them in front of the TV all day because I was too hungover to deal them or when I puked in front of them or passed out in front of them.
    I wish I could respond to everyone’s posts, but my 2 yr old is really needing my attention. Have a great weekend everybody.

  • Angela

    Thanks Camus! I have had some rough weeks lately, and the encouragement you guys give helps me so much. The minute I wake up or work slows down a little, I get on the computer and re and then reread your posts.

    Well, starting another weekend, for me that is a relief, I spend the weekends with my BF who doesn’t drink and we do activities that keep my mind off the whole thing. We are going camping, no alcohol in the cooler and no place to “pop over to” to buy some. We take our time, cooking over the fire, we listen to music, play guitar around the fire, very relaxing. I so enjoy it.

    Good luck you guys, have a great weekend!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    “We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves to be like other people.” Arther Schopenhawer. I am just preparing for a class I am teaching and came across this quote. I realize that is why I started drinking to be like other people and that is what I sometimes miss about drinking!!! When I was having fun or planning a good time I always felt alcohol would make it even better. I sometimes miss the excitement that would build and get me through the week if I had a party planned or some kind of social outing that involved alchol.

  • CO

    Thank you so much for writing back and making me feel comfortable and welcomed. I cried last night reading each post.

    Well today I am going to spend the day with my son and hubby. I always hang out w/ them, but the difference today is that I won’t have a beer or drink in my hand.

    I will return to this web-site and keep reading and will continue to pray. This is only day 3 for me and I am still very scared. Thanks again.

  • ROBERTO G

    CO,glad you are doing fine!!! It’s hard to cut it back or quit but remember is worth it!!!! We all struggle in our journey to completely quit,sometimes we fall ,but there is always help to get up,as long as me want!! We just come to a point when enough is enough!!!
    Good Luck ,hope you have a wonderful day with your family!!!!!!!
    Nancy you right that’s why we all drank in the first place, we just wanted to be accepted by others, And now that we are working hard to get better we have to make sure that the same thing won’t happened !!! People may look really happy drinking and having fun, but we don’t know what is really happening behind the stage!!!! Good Luck everyone!!!!
    Camus you really inspiring me , I am doing long walks now and it makes me feel better, thanks for all the great advice!!!!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Thanks Roberto. I feel less alone. Just knowing you identify with what I am saying. You are right we don’t know what goes on behind the stage!
    Congratulations CO. I hope you enjoyed your day with your son and hubby. So nice to live in the moment. I found that alcohol took that away.
    Thinking of you all, good night.

  • Melvin

    Hello everyone. I went out with my wife to our favorite burger/tavern place last night. I had it in my mind that I was going to have a glass of wine. My wife has been very neutral on this issue-neither supportive nor acting as an enabler, for which I am very grateful. However, she did find it a little amusing at how visibly nervous I had become when we were reviewing the menu. I actually asked the waitress to give us a minute when she asked us what we were drinking (talk about a funny look). Just being there has been historically linked to drinking for me, so this was quite a test. I really did not know if I was going to have alcohol until the very last second. Going there and not ordering a beer was much more challenging than I realized it would be, but I did it-I just had tea.

    One side note. I have really put on a few extra pounds over the holidays, and so as suggested I joined a gym this week(swimming and running). I have been offered a drink or two since new years. If I say “no thanks I stop drinking beer, because I am dieting” friends and family do not seem to judge me nearly as much as if I were to say I am trying to quit drinking. Oddly, people really do accept vanity as an excuse for abstaining from drinking. I usually get comments like “yeah, I need to do the same thing”..etc. Anyway, just fyi.

  • camus

    Awesome Melvin! That’s exactly what we need in the beginning to boost our confidence. Most people deal with a lot of self doubt when attempting to stop drinking. The next time should be a bit easier, because you know you can do it.

    I’m glad the long walks are working well for you Roberto. I know exercise is critical to keep my spirits up otherwise I get depressed. I tend to take exercise to excess also since I’m compulsive about everything, but I sure will take exercising compulsively rather than drinking.

    Sounds like a great weekend Angela. Hope everyone had a great sober weekend.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Feeling sorry for myself and not even sure why? I have been all of sudden mourning or feeling sad that I will never be able to drink again. I don’t know why but I have been remembering some of the fun times that I had with alcohol. I have no plans to drink I know that there were alot of bad times I am not stupid enough to think that I can ever drink again but some how it just hit me that I will never have any of those good times.I don’t know what the hell has triggered me nothing that I can think of…I just hate being different or maybe that I am missing out on something. I guess maybe I am but I know that the bad times were not worth any of the fun times. Maybe I miss just being able to forget all of my problems and just zone out I think that is it I just feel sad and lonely right now. thanks for listening sorry for being depressing I usually am just so happy that I don’t drink.

  • ROBERTO G

    I hear you Nancy, You are not alone!! I feel just like you described it. But makes me feel better to also remember that “to not drink today is my choice” “I am in control not somebody else” . In other words, knowing that I can drink again if I wanted to,kinda puts me in charge of my life. (Don’t get me wrong I am not encouraging anybody to drink again) It’s just that this type of Philosophy helps me ,to relax. And in a way is true,since Not drinking is my personal choice, and if tomorrow I drink again it will be also my personal choice,for which I will have to be fully responsible and deal with the consequences. I fully understand how you feel, sometimes the triggers come from anywhere, specially when you see other people having fun,and being in control. In the other hand things like ” Acceptance” is hard to accept, but I keep remembering that nothing has change out there, thing are still miserable for irresponsible people like me who likes to abuse alcohol. So most likely after a while , I will be as miserable as I was right before I quit. This is proven fact by thousand of drinker like me who after a while go back and drink again!!! you will hear the same story again and again!!!!!I don’t think is coincidence!!!
    Sometimes, I am negative myself. I have been sober for so many months and still I don’t have all my Sh**t together ,and I feel that by now I should. and that’s when I star feeling discourage. I have to fully accept that quitting drinking , or cut down drinking for people like me , is just a lifetime deal,It will never be something I can just fixed and move on , Unfortunately I have to keep growing if I want to survive this decease!!!. That’s why is so important to find a path that is easy and works for us, and “TAKE IT REALLY EASY”!!! there is no rush!!!there is no finish line!!!. Most important of all is ,that even if we fall from the wagon or whatever we want to call it, we get up and get back in track as soon as possible!!!. The more time we spend getting mess up and high with alcohol, the more difficult it will be to be back in track where we were before a slip!!!!!!!
    Good Luck all my friends!!!! Take it easy everyone just for today, tomorrow for what we know ,alcoholics are not alcoholics we may not be around anyways,so lets just take it easy for today!!!!
    Have a great weekend All:):):):))::):):):):):):):):):):)

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    I just did a search on mourning alcohol and I guess it is pretty normal. I was glad to hear this because I am feeling a little crazy, this feeling just came out of the blue for me. It is kind of like getting out of a bad relationship at first I was just so happy to be rid of it but then I realized it really was over and we would never be together again and I felt panicked. Anyway just feeling so emotional like all this stuff I have kept in for so long is coming out. Thanks for listening I just feel like I am not in control of thoughts and emotions thanks again it helps to know you guys are there for me.

  • tap out

    nancy thanks i flet i was the only one i think about it all the time i went to applebees it was like going to the dentist it use to be so fun now i had the sweats and panick like a underwater driver with a minute of air left i hopethis will pass this is b////t s///t we all have to feel this pain,

  • Claire

    Hi!

    Just to say ? anyone remember me ?

    kind’ve had a bad relapse…………

    want to pick up again & you were all just so ‘understanding/kind’

    Recognise that ………….. not forgiveable (by everyone who struggled well past the 4 month mark)…HEY.. it’s not funny, going thru all the s@@@ again……….. JUST hope? Anyone else knows failure at this level & the hope of getting thru again.

    Mega sick ‘cos I did so VERY WELL & then……..flunked.

    Love to all who remember me………… (SORRY I FAILED)

  • mark

    Hi Claire, Though I don’t remember you I just want to say that you’re not alone. I’m in the same situation, I was also doing good at the start but now sad to say that I failed too. I’m struggling. Claire, the important thing is for us not to give up..lets keep on trying..no one said that it’ll be easy ok? Hey Nancy, the way you described the “feeling” in 78 is perfect. Seems some of us are struggling, lets try to keep on fighting and visit this site for encouragement from our friends like roberto..

  • kjbp

    Hi all,

    Just found this site. well, not just, I’ve been reading it for the past two hours. I want to thank everyone for sharing their inspiration, pain, joys, and struggles as I adopt you as family. As many have said, I too, see myself throughout the posts. I have had my ups and downs with alcohlism. I truly thank God I received a DUI last spring, that I walked away unharmed (although humbled and emotionally bruised from it), that only a sign post was involved and that such caring people were there for me. It was my wake up call. While my husband has had no problem quiting all drinking and is more supportive thank I could have ever prayed for, it is definitely a battle for me. I’m an over-thinker, perfectionist and super intense in everything I do. Alcohol was a way to realx and slow down my little hyped up world. And certainly if was going to be a drinker, I was going to do it really well. I also want to really drink when not feeling. Just went through a root canal last week and got myself insanely intoxicated on Friday. There are so many comments on this post that I relate to, I could start a new site. I’m relieved to have found you all and will looking forward to keeping up with you as we move along our journey. So, to everyone, today is a new day, whether we have years, months, or days (day 3 again for me). Blessings!

  • Phil

    Hello everybody. Claire, I remember you. Over the past three months, I have had some relapses that lasted a week or two at a time. And they were really bad. They left me completely exhausted mentally and physically. Right now I am using those relapses to remind me how bad it gets when I drink. I just cannot do it anymore and have any kind of happiness in life

  • Claire

    Phil,

    Got to try & stay positive.I know how bad this feels to us now after so much good was happenning then POW! I wasn’t sure if I could do this again. It has become like a recurring nightmare that I thought gone and which has come back to haunt me. What on earth can we do except just try again & try our best not to get tripped up again. Good Luck & I recognise that the game of avoidance isn’t one that ends. It is an everyday ‘be aware’ until hopefully it becomes second nature & how long that will take, I have no idea. Just got to hope months turn into years this time round. The support of knowing we are all not alone is a true comfort in the darkest hours.

    BE WELL & HAPPY & we will all beat this eventually, DAY BY DAY.

  • Cory

    Hi everyone – so many inspirational posts lately! I hope that everyone here knows how important their messages are – whether they are “I’m xx days sober and this is how I am feeling, to “this is day one and I hope I can make it” and “I was doing well and now I have fallen”. For me, every single one of these messages is inspiring and gives all of us strength – so please don’t think that you have nothing to offer. I really think the strength is in the communicating – no matter what level we are at. If I can offer anything to these latest comments – I am trying to regain what used to be really important to me that I felt proud of doing before drinking got in the way. I used to be a pretty good athlete – so I am trying to replace the drinking ‘relationship’ with a healthier fitness relationship. Instead of looking forward to the glass of wine (or 6) in the evening, I am planning on fitness goals in the early morning – which I also look forward to – but I can’t do both. I guess it can be compared to the ‘rebound’ situation in a lost relationship – but I think a healthy rebound. Anyway, my thoughts for the day – I pray for all of you every single day (hope I haven’t offended any atheists).

  • kjbp

    Cory, et all…, I couldn’t agree more about all the messages. They were so inspiring for me to discover yesterday and revisit again this morning. I am currently reading a book by Sharon Hersh, “The Last Addiction” and it is relevant to all additions. There is a wonderful quote from her I just saw that I think can be found by really using this site for our recovery – “It is hard to believe tjhat redemption comes in addiction, light in darkness, wholeness in brokeness, and healing in woundedness – unless you have a story greater than your own to go by. I can know my story and face its reality, but if my story is all that I have, then I will get bogged down again in my determination to try again, do it better, and save myself. It’s the last addiction.” Yes, we can and will, gather strength from hearing from each other. Smiles for today!

  • Angela

    KJPB- OMG! That quote made me cry! I needed that so much! Thank you for sharing it… I am thinking that will be my screensaver. And thank you for joining our family. I am so thankful every day for the night I found this site- I was at work, hungover, hating myself and feeling that never-ending guilt that alcoholics -dry or sober- walk around with (although I am told that the longer you are sober the less you feel it). I felt so relieved to know I was not alone in this… I have had my ups and downs, but everyone here has been so supportive and non-judgemental that I can be honest with them and, consequently, myself. This site is so precious to me.
    Welcome!
    Claire, I read your posts and your first one said you were sorry you failed… NEVER THINK THAT! We all have times when we fall down on the rocky terrain of this path we have chosen, but you got back up and dusted yourself off and here you are…We are so happy you are here and trying. Remember, you only fail when you quit trying! We are here for you. You are not alone, never forget that. You too, Mark, you are part of our family, you are not alone, My thoughts will be with you.
    Cory, your comment about it being almost a rebound relationship when you substitute healthier pursuits for the place alcohol had in your life, you are right, you can’t have both. Well, maybe some people can, but apparently we all can’t ‘cuz we don’t know how to regulate it and be moderate in our drinking. Anyway, I have often thought the same thing, and have often been slightly jealous of people who have something like working out or running in their lives. I realized that I can pursue a relationship with the things I enjoy, rather than try something I have never had interest in, so I went camping this weekend, had an awesome bonfire, played my guitar by the fire, and went on two really fantastic hikes in the mountains. I had an awesome weekend and I didn’t think about my past “relationship” much at all. In fact, I was thinking, “I am glad I am not drunk, ‘cuz this hike would be pretty tough to do drunk, I could get really hurt.”
    Melvin, congrats! What a triumph! Your wife sounds like a gem, by the way. Sounds like she knows you well enough to not make a big deal out of your choice to not drink, she’s not being an enabler or supportive- which can sometimes make you feel self conscious about your choice to not drink. Sometimes well meaning as it may be, “helpful” attempts at supporting our choice to quit make us feel as if we
    are suddenly defined by alcohol- the use or not use of it. We are all trying desperately to get to know ourselves and who we would have been, without this “monkey on our back” defining us to our friends and family. Who we are now.
    Camus and Roberto- You both are always so encouraging and seem to always know the right thing to say. Thank you both for being here. And the comparison you made to a stage, Roberto, perfect! You are right, we only see center stage, we don’t know what is happening behind the curtain. The behind the scenes action is where it all happens. So, when we go anywhere and see people drinking, having a good time, we don’t know what the rest of their night may entail. They may go home and beat their dog, lose their wallet (that had their entire cashed paycheck in it-my brother did that) crash their car, end up in jail…..the list goes on forever huh?
    Nancy, I have been going through the same thing. I go through life so sad, as if my best friend died. We are mourning a friend… a not so healthy relationship. One that was sometimes so fun and gave us so many “good memories”, but in truth caused a lot of pain and heartache, and embarrassment for our friends and family.
    CO- I cry too, when I read the posts here. I see myself through these posts. But, while it is an eyeopening experience- truly humbling- it is also a very uplifting one because I realize that I am not the only one. I cry, I hate myself, I beat myself up so many times for the mistakes of the past, but at least I know that I am not the ONLY ONE. I have people that are where I am AND they care… for this reason I can go on another day, I take life a day at a time now. “For today and today only…” I think that was Roberto, but not 100% sure, whoever I am quoting, that has become my mantra.
    So, now I start my work week, and will be checking in on this site to remind myself to not only not drink, but why, and also, biggest of all, that I am NOT alone. So Thank you all…. I had a wonderful weekend, now I hope to have a wonderful week. Good luck to you all!

  • Roberto g

    Thank you Angela for such of inpiration!! This is the type of motivation and attitude we should have every day to ensure we that we stay sober for another day.welcome aboard all new comers!! If you guys are tire of suffering due to abusing alcohol and want to improve your life this is a great step. Many of us came to this site looking for answers and we have found them. Amazing as it may sound,when a problem drinker seeks for help the help and hope will come from an unexpected source. “another problem drinker”. Just by interact in this site and share thoughts and experiences we are making a difference in our life and in somebody’s else. In my personal case this site has helped me for the past 6 months to understand better my life, the decease,and most important of all to understand why sometimes I feel how I feel,and wha to do to cope with situations that could trigger me to drink again!! Thank you to you all my friends for that@@@@@@@

  • Judi

    Hey everyone,

    Found this site yesterday and it was at the time I decided I have enough of being beat up by Alcohol. I am married with two children, just became an “empty nester” with my daughter leaving for college this past fall. I have been a drinker off and on, but these past two years were the most instense. My huband has/is a regular drinker and I am wondering how difficult it is to stay sober when your spouse continues to drink. Yesterday, I told him, I am done, I had it. I believe if I can continue ( I am 48, I wont see 60). He is supportive, but how is this going to play out. I am scared because in the last two years, I tried to cut back, but having a regular partner who drinks nightly is rough. I am in otherwise healthwise great shape, can jog five miles, eat healthy etc. I think may have to spend my evenings elsewhere, if my husband can join me. Any thoughts from you guys is greatly appreciated. So far two days sober and counting…Thanks!

  • camus

    Claire, I do remember you and YOU DID NOT FAIL!!! This is life. Everyone has struggles in one form or another, everyone makes mistakes and hopefully most learn. You aren’t a failure unless you choose to stop learning and stop living. You are back trying and that’s what matters. The time you stopped was not a waste, but a lesson. You may not know what it is yet, but you will in time. I have also relapsed after a months sober, and feel stronger than ever because of it. I’m much more honest with myself this time around.

    Nancy, I also am going through a rough time lately. It doesn’t seem to relate to alcohol but have been really down, depressed, overwhelmed etc. I just came back from a beautiful weekend on the beach with girlfriends. My husband stayed home with the kids all weekend to give me this time. After a couple days at home, I’m already overwhelmed with work and the kids. I wonder since I can’t slow down without alcohol, if it’s taken it’s toll on me. KJPB, I drank for the same reasons, I am “hyped up” also. I can’t relax. I run a lot and that helps, but it still doesn’t slow me down, which I think everyone needs. I don’t know how to do that without drinking. I’ve been without alcohol for over 6 months now and haven’t learned how to do that. I just don’t have time with a 2 & 4 yr old and work.

    Judi, I’ll be honest. I would have a really tough time stopping drinking if my husband still drank every night. He didn’t drink in front of me at all in the beginning, but does once in awhile now. He likes an occasional drink. Easy access to alcohol was necessary for me to change, so we actually locked up the alcohol in the house. I know I could still go to the store easy enough, but not having it in front of me everyday was critical for me. At least if I have to get in the car and go to the store to get it, there’s more chances of me changing my mind along the way. I would either ask if your husband would stop drinking with you or stop drinking in front of you.
    Thanks everyone for being here.

  • Angela

    Judi- welcome to our family. I would have to agree with Camus, it would be so difficult to quit with a partner drinking on a regular basis in front of you. But do not despair or quit trying, all things are possible!!! You made a very important first step, making the decision to quit, recognizing a problem you want to fix, and then verbalizing it to not only yourself but also others. Thank you for sharing this with us. It is very hard to open yourself up to others, even anonymously. You have made it two nights though!!! Good work!!! Keep it up, I have faith that you can do it! Welcome to our group and always remember, you are not alone in this. When you are struggling, and your honey is tying one on, get on the internet, read our posts, share your stuggles with us. Whenever I am struggling, I get on this site and read, then reread, the posts. They really help, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry, but always I see myself in every post- we all have the same story….granted the details are different, but we all have the same story and we are all on the same path. So, Judi, never forget, you are no longer alone, we re here with you and for you. You are part of our family. Good luck, keep updating us and we will share our struggles and triumphs with you also.

    I am at work now, it is 11:45 pm my time, I will be watching the site if anyone is awake, i am bored and feeling- for some reason, slightly down . I was doing so well this am, after getting home from camping, now I am down, guess the adrenaline of the weekend is worn off and I am back to same ol same ol. Ang

  • JPVD

    ‘there is no finish line’ thanks for that robertog. Sometimes it gets me down to think wow i’ve got 40-50 years of non-drinking head of me..how will i ever do it? but them, the sun come up and another day sober and away we go. I just celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary.. wow where does the time go, eh? so ‘none for today’ is the mantra.

    I too am mourning alcohol, or more likely mourning the partying that alcohol used to bring.

    I was thinking the other day (i saw an ad for it) about home-brewing and got melancholy. I was all sad because i used to brew beer at home and felt sorry for myself because now i could never enjoy this hobby again.
    But I managed to cut through the b/s and remembered fully the catastrophe home-brewing was. it never turned out any good, but i would choke it down anyways; none of my college friends would touch it for love nor money!

    I also thought somehow it would save me money because i would have 5 gallons of beer (basically free) to get me through until the next batch was ready (about 4-5 weeks); well my friends the reality was i sat down and drank that 5 gallons of beer until i couldn’t function as any type of recognisable human-being…so much for Plan A!

    so while i mourn my good friend alcohol, i must try to remember the full picture and say good riddance.

    to be honest, i’m finding it easy to stay off the booze because i think in the back of my mind i’ve got a time-line of 1 year… what’s going to happen then? last time i managed 3 months (as planned) and though ‘well that’s not so bad, i can take-it or leave-it’ and then promptly returned to my taking-it everynight.

    well, NONE for TODAY! let’s just go from there, hey?

    good luck all. i enjoy all your posts.

    JP Van Damme

  • mark

    Hi friends! Enjoyed reading the recent posts. Welcome to the family Judi. As usual, great words from our friends. Wow Time really flies, weekend is just around the corner and another battle is on the works. This site never fails in giving me hope in overcoming the enemy and also when bored at work. :) Thanks everyone. Have a great Wednesday!

  • kjbp

    Good morning Mark, Claire, Camus, Judi, JPVD, Nancy, Roberto, Angela, Phil, Cory and all new friends. It is another morning, we’re here and finding support in each other. I agree, reading and re-reading these posts never fails to give me hope. They do make me cry, but then something written makes me laugh so hard (like the 5 gallons of bad beer, or never losing your drink but can’t find your bottle). All posts here leave me feeling cleansed and a bit calmer. In my “panic” of what to do with myself, I now have a place to sit down and “talk” with others who understand, especially that addiction is a very complex issue, and that as individuals we often don’t understand – if that makes any sense to anyone. It’s also a beautiful thing because each of us can sit and talk when we need to, not based on a meeting schedule. There’s no overtalking, there’s no trying to “fix” anyone (we’re not broken, we’re human). I think this enviroment helps us to be more comfortable with who we are, where we’ve been, what we are choosing to leave behind, and where we are choosing to make our lives better. I’ve moved from being scared of the future, to now starting to understand how exciting our new journey into our new life will be! I was telling my husband about this site and, while just having discovered it Monday, the tremendous “lift” I get from the glimpses we give each other into our lives. In a bit of a panic about a UA I had to take yesterday after a red wine relapse last Friday, but it is what it is. I did it. Can’t change it. Just learn from it and grow stronger and trust God with the future. So, for today only… It’s another beautiful day (don’t know what it’s like outside yet, but inside I’m going to make it “beautiful”) and we’re here for each other – GROUP HUG!

  • kjbp

    Oh, by the way, I just realized, I wanted to clarify that when I do read the postings and cry or laugh, I am doing this with you – not at you. I can so relate to 5 gallons of bad beer – my father-in-law makes wine we had named “Yikes!” – but I could put it away like no body’s business; losing a drink vs. losing a bottle – the same story of me and my husband-he could lose a drink, while I always knew where mine was, but could forget where I’d hid the bottle. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression, just completly relating to everything being spoken here. Hope everyone is living for each moment through today.

  • Mark

    No worries kjbp im sure our friends here are open minded :) I was reading your posts and I like your statement about changing from being scared about the future to being excited about our battle to quitting. Hope all of us are feeling that way and I hope all of us can succeed. As you said.. Group HUG!! :) Have a good one everyone!

  • angela

    I heard a very personal story from a friend that served in Afghanistan, and I am very emotional from the things he told me. All I can say is, we are fighting a war (this war on alcohol) that is personal and has many terrible and good outcomes- we are learning to be strong, to overcome. We are giving up the things that we once thought were important to us, and replacing them with other things. We ARE strong, we CAN do this! I don’t know if I will fall tomorrow, nobody knows that about themself… I know I have comrades “in arms” to help me up. That is all I need to know. The sadness is back with a different flavor. I am now aware that fighting this war, is worth the “casualties”, however, those “casualties” are not worth giving up the fight.
    I don’t know if this makes sense, or am a talking froma very tired heart/spirit?…
    Anyway, going to sleep now, to wake up and do it all again….rivers of poo in my job- fun stuff…
    I will take the poo, if it means one more sober day…:)

  • angela

    I truly thank you all for being here for me, I am so heavy of heart right now, and it helps to know you are all thinking of me and rooting me on…thank you and welcome kjbp- your are no longer alone- you may have moments of silence, as this site tends to slow down during certain times of the day, but keep on posting, we do honestly want to help you- and each other- to succeed.
    “…pity the man who falls and has no-one to help him up…”

  • kjbp

    Thanks Angela and Mark. You’ve both put a little *ping* in my heart (a good thing). Sweet dreams Angela, and just hose off the poo waders tonight, leave them outside the front door, and don’t worry about the poo and waders until tomorrow :)

  • tap out

    i feel really weak rigth now it seems like everything is pileing up i dont know how much more i can take before i cave hopefully i dont give in that would suck i wish everybody luck in this figth,,,,,,,

  • Cory

    Hey tap out. Don’t give in. The enemy wants you to feel weak and feel like you can’t do this. Kick him out – get mad – do whatever you need to. Try getting out for a walk – or get busy doing something to try and get your mind off it. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  • camus

    kjbp, post #94, very well said. I knew exactly what you meant about laughing and crying at posts. I do it all the time. We have to laugh. Often when people ask why I stopped drinking, I make it comical. It’s less uncomfortable.
    Tap out, remember that this weak time will pass and you will feel so much stronger on the other side. Remember all the reasons you stopped drinking. You may feel bad now, but not worse than when you were drinking. Stay focused. It’s not worth going back.

  • Ellie

    Hello all. I have managed to not have a drink so far this year. It’s really shocking that I have made it so far. I do feel better about myself, and things seem simplier. I try to stay busy for the most part, but the evenings alone are a trigger, still. The first two to three weeks I was staying in, away from my friends and family both. But I’ve really begun to feel very disconnected from everyone so I have begun to venture out with my best girlfriends. The first outting was relatively easy, my boyfriend went along and although we did meet at a bar, it was easy to not drink bc I did have his support. So anyway I went out two evenings later with just my girlfriends. We went to a restaurant and both of them were drinking, I had tea. I really felt everything was the same, but then they both seemed to turn on me. They railed into me about how my BF and I made them uncomfortable the other night, that we weren’t talking, etc…which in my perspective we were talking. It was a loud ass bar, during college bball game. So I just, you know, listened to them, I felt pretty s*@$y and it just put me off. So anyway to make a long story short my attempt to reconnect has left me feeling more disconnected. My friends are aware that I am not longer hittin the bottle and they do support that decision. But I’m feeling that maybe subconsciously they might think differently of me. Or am I being oversensitive? I have been friends with both of these women since high school, but I and we have spent all of the last 10 years drinking and partying together. I really think that my not drinking is making them uncomfortable and maybe they do not want to admit that…but how am I supposed to address that? I have other friends but everyone drinks and I don’t want to be the friend that everyone feels like they have to walk on egg shells around. But the idea of having to let go of all of my friends especially my close friends really depresses me. I know that part of being a drinker is associating with other drinkers. Can I be a nondrinker and still maintain my friendships? Very worrysome stuff here.

  • angela

    Tap out- don’t give up, never give up! And don’t ponder how difficult this task you have set for yourself seems. Take it day by day, make the decision one day at a time, to be sober this day. And always remember we are here, and you are not alone- It feels that way sometimes, but you are not, whenever it seems tough, go back and read some of the older postings and then read any with your name mentioned, it makes you feel less alone and overwhelmed. I will be thinking good thoughts and sending them your way, borrow your strength from knowing we are ALL thinking of you at your moment of weakness. Hang in there, YOU CAN DO THIS!!! I know you can!!!
    Ellie- first congrats!!!! You are doing great! second, don’t worry too much about what your friends think, there is nothing you can do to change it, so let it go. You are not being overly sensitive, I have found that my drinking pals have pretty much faded into the background, I don’t hear from them. They think I have become self righteous, but I haven’t said anything, except to order o’douls instead of miller lite. I really haven’t told anyone I quit except my boyfriend and my mom. They have noticed though, and they just kind of faded away. I remember when I was drinking and one of my friends would quit drinking and I would avoid her too, I didn’t want to hang around with a sober person. I think somewhere in the back of my head I knew I would look like an idiot to the sober people, because I drank till I was slobbering drunk.
    Anyway, now is a good time to build new habits, new hobbies and a new network of healthy influences in your life. It is sad to have the strained relationships with old friends, but you can’t let that change your focus on the goal. Whatever it takes, today to be sober….

    kjbp- sounds like medical-ese! poo waders- I wear them on a daily basis! hahaha…. oh yes the joys of poo, dripping off the bed… I slipped in poo 13 years ago and hurt my back (at work), but that is not the story I tell. of course, I say I was saving someone’s life, doing cpr, or maybe skiing in the alps – something… I have such a glamorous life LOL

    Having a great shift, will check in on the site before I go to bed in the am. Love and good thoughts to you all- may the force be with you…hehehe

  • JPVD

    hi all;

    had a poo day at work today, but at least i’m not wading in it, hey?

    made an incredibly bad error in judgement and got hauled over the coals by management… and things are not good at the moment for people to be making errors in judgement (as they told me repeatedly)

    anyways, usually i would hold out for quitting time and then hit happy hour and keep happy hour going at home until i got so happy i would cry myself to sleep in self-pity. but i’m a non-drinker so i just deal with it i guess.

    whatever; error in judgement, schmerror in schmudgement…at least i know i made the mistake clean and sober and don’t have to wonder if i was hungover or still drunk and that’s why…and i guess neither do my managers.

    and i’ll state the obvious here, but drinking buddies are only good for drinking with. I’m sure there are a few people reading this blog who know all too well that the more you drink, the worse your drinking buddies get. soon the only people who will drink with you are down and out losers; which sadly is exactly what you have become.

    i know i’m being simplistic here (good friends can be drinking buddies, but maybe you don;t know that yet…you’ll have to quit drinking to find out!) but that’s what i thought to myself when i decided to cut ties with my booze-buddies.

    stay clean, stay sober, and stay outta the poo

    JPVD.
    .

  • tap out

    cory,camus,angeal,thank you,

  • angela

    LOL!!! Thanks for that my friend! Hang in there with the work thing, you are so right tho about the knowing it was not alcohol or hangover that caused a boo boo at work, it was just the simple fact that you are human. Yes! I feel the same way…
    Gotta say, my sense of humor is slowly coming back! So at least I can laugh about the bowling ball poo—she’s crowning!!! Oh no, it’s twins!! Haha….Enjoying a little levity is good for the soul. So on that thought, gotta tell you my funny camping story: went to make breakfast, had these awesome sausages from Henry’s, apple and something, wrapped them in aluminum foil, put them in the coals, when we pulled them out, they WERE coals… so we take the last two that I had wrapped in aluminum foil and put in the cooler for later, stuck them in the coals, later smelled something funny, so pulled them out and sure as sh*t if I didn’t forget the plastic wrapper was still on them when I wrapped them in alum foil! Ruined a whole pack of sausages, no breakfast. So my BF decides, no worries, he will hunt up a rabbit for breakfast, so off he goes to hunt rabbit, walking around, scaring all the rabbits away by amusing himself by imitating Elmer Fudd— big studly, muscle bound italian, with a Ruger in his hands, giggling to himself saying, “be vewy vewy quiet, for I am hunting wabbit!” Thank goodness he didn’t get one, I don’t think I could have eaten the wascally wabbit….

  • angela

    And I know I made that mistake on my own, by the way, it wasn’t a hangover, or because I was drunk- I was simply absent minded…. It was my mistake, and I am proud to say I made it on my own. :)

  • kjbp

    Good morning! Doesn’t it feel great laugh at ourselves – especially when we can laugh at ourselves when we’ve goofed, knowing all the while that we could have made that same goof quite easily while drunk or hungover?! Tap, morning, sunshine? How ya doing? My thought for you today (this was posted well above but something we should remind ourselves daily) – “I will live for this day only. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime” (one day at a time, just said more eloquantly). Angela / JVPD – I see a product development/marketing idea in our future…Fashion Designer PooWaders! Angela, you’ve inspired me to climb in the attic and pull out all the old camping gear. Oh, and the sausages – that’s totally a KJBP move. Because I’m so silly, I would get even sillier when drinking (until I’d hit the floor unconscious). Last night I felt I had to explain to my husband (knowing he would ask) “Oh, yeah, the reason I put the opened sparkling water back in the cabinet rather than the fridge, is because I can’t drink it cold (root canal). And I was NOT drinking when I did it!” He laughs saying, “You know, there was a short time ago I would have wondered?!” He received a nice finger flick to his forehead!! Ellie/JVPD – sadly, friends do come and go. I eventually learned to be ok with that – sometimes those friends take too much energy from me that I need to put into my sobriety. In my case, like you Ellie, I did purposefully distance myself from people as I needed to figure out this addition in my own mind. So many people wanted to help, but it just wasn’t working for me until I cocooned myself with my husband and a very, very few, close people. Interestingly, someone who I had become acquaited with a few years back, reappeared in my life recently. She had experience with her ex’s addictions multiple stays in rehab. She doesn’t hold any judgements against me, always asks if it will make me uncomfortable if the small group has a drink, has put away all the liquor in her house, and supports me every step of my journey. Now she is my new BF – so exciting. Keep searching and you’ll find these people come into your life when you least expect it. I was just reminded of something as my husband headed out to work at the job he can barely tolerate… He said, “off to go to my character building class” referring to the daily office politics. Reminds me of a quote from Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life – this is for everyone on the post – “Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. You are always being tested. When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development. Every day is an important day, and every second day is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God (or your higher power). Love to all! Thanks for being here! sorry for the lenght… it’s like recovery journaling each morning, with each of us having an entry… very therapeutic.

  • tap out

    kjbp,thanks for for your words they mean alot.

  • theodora

    hi all, it feels good when the mood in here is upbeat and NOT because of booze..:) Just wanted to mention to Ellie..I have also been sober since new years, and in the beginning my main concern was my friends too..Angela’s advice was realy helpful, I wish u could have read it before we changed sites..In a nutshell, and after my own experience, first of all we tend to exagerate in our heads how awesome we were drunk and boring when sober..I dont know if my point comes across, but we are the same person as before we quit minus the making a fool of ourselves followed by regret and guilt the next day..So if someone doesnt wanna be around u like that there’s realy something wrong with them and the people they want to have around them! Thats the main point I wanted to make, I think everyone in here has already mentioned all the other reasons why u shouldnt be discouraged and just go on not drinking..Good luck!

    Just another point I felt the need to mention: I have been checking out sites similar to this one about quiting smoking weed (trying to figure out how to help my ex), and I see how different the attitude is compared to this one..pot smokers trying to quit seem like they have no interest in helping others or sharing advice, rather they keep on just talking about themselves and their own situation..I found this difference in mentality and choice of drug in each case really interesting..Any thoughts?
    Keep up the good work everyone, I stil thank the universe for this site every day! :)

  • Angela

    I gotta tell you guys how good it is to see my name mentioned on this site- it makes me feel like i DO exist, and i DO matter, and sometimes I even make a difference… I, sometimes, when life is tough, and things seem SO HARD, look for postings that have my name, so that I feel like I have connected and someone HEARD ME. I know that sounds a wee bit narcissistic, but there it is…
    We all need, at times, in this hard struggle we are in, to be a little “selfish”, worry only about ourselves and how the outside influences, be they people or things we remember, affect us. We need to filter what/who is in our lives- and if that means “cocooning” ourselves (kjbp) with loved ones only, by all means DO IT!!!! This is soooooo HARD sometimes, but it IS do-able!!
    I am overly emotional through this- maybe it’s menopause, maybe its just this whole not drinking thing but, I will tell you what, I have become a homebody, and I only spend time with people that make me feel good about myself, because I beat myself up more than anyone else, and I don’t need more beatings and judgement from others… Maybe that’s harsh, but I think, for us to overcome, we need to BECOME overcomers….

    WE CAN DO THIS!

    Theodora, good to hear from you- and thank you for the
    kind words- I am glad my words helped you, every time you post, I am helped- you have been so frank and I have relived my life through you, reminded of why I started this and why I will finish it- you inspire me to continue. Thanks so much- my friend, we are truly in this fight side by side.

    We are in the fight of our livers- oops, okay, LIVES (for once a typo that makes sense) and we can do this guys, we can do this.

  • Angela

    goin to bed, gnite guys

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Just wanted to thank you all for your posts. I don’t have much to say but have found the posts referring to friends reactions to us being sober really helpful. That part is a struggle for me at the moment so it is helpful to know that I am not alone. It is crazy when you think about it, nobody cares if I have changed my diet but seem to care if I have changed my drink, and to think I am the one who feels crazy!
    Take care everyone.

  • camus

    Ellie, I absolutely feel you maintain your same relationships with drinker friends. I stayed away until I felt a bit more confident and stronger. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but now it’s no big deal. I think both my friends and I were awkward in the beginning. I found out that alcohol was the main focus in our relationship because of me. They are not problem drinkers like I was. Initially, I still thought about the alcohol in the relationship, but now I don’t. It may be more difficult if they got sloppy drunk everytime we hung out, but they don’t.

  • kjbp

    Camus, good point! It may be that we, as individuals trying to change something about ourselves, unwittingly “think” more and elevate the situations with our friends or outings more, because to us it DOES require more thought and a higher level of self awareness. In the end we, as indiviudals, usually skate through the awkwardness. For me, I just have to approach each situation slowly. I even feel awkward if it’s a social setting in which there is zero alcohol and no one is drinking – no one drinking during in a social situation is completely foreign to me. Good luck Ellie! Wishing everyone a peaceful weekend. Be sure to take some “ME” time (even 15 mins.), reflect on this week and build excitement for the new week ahead.

  • Mark

    Hello Everyone! Some hilarious posts here! :) Hey TapOut, I know your a big fan of MMA..Like the athletes that compete here, they don’t give up that easily right? Hopefully you do the same! :) Hey Ellie, I also experienced that…but hopefully that’s just an initial reaction, if they’re really True friends..they’ll stick with you no matter what. Hey Guys, I’m trying a new business..it’s perfume making..got the materials I need already..and I hope this will keep me busy this weekend and also to avoid the thought of going out for a drink..Hope I’ll do good with this and also earn extra..:) wish me luck…Have a great weekend everyone..keep our guards up!!

  • Angela

    hey Mark! Good luck in that endeavor! Perfume! Awesome! Make one plumeria, and i will buy it! I had a great night at work, in spite of all the poo- although I must admit, less than the last two nights- I was so sore after work I treated myself to a really hot bath, and gave myself a foot rub.

    Gotta say, I came home and caught myself rummaging in the fridge for a beer…. bad habit popped up unexpectedly… I used to crack a fresh one the minute I got home from work… Anyone else having that issue? Took me by surprise, it’s been a little while, but boy, I really was confused for a minute as to where the heck my beer went, and then I remembered… wierd…

    Anyway, goin to sleep, gotta work again tonight…

  • Mark

    Thanks Angela! If this goes well I’ll just give you a bottle for free provided that sending it to you won’t be difficult. :) Happy weekend everyone!

  • Tania

    Hello everyone!
    My English is not quite perfect, it’s not my mother tongue, so I have to apologize for all the grammar and spelling errors in this comment. I’m not a heavy drinker, I don’t drink every day and I don’t drink a lot. I drink 1-2-3 times a week and I have 2-3 beers or half a liter of white wine. Well, I don’t recognize it as some urge yet, but sometimes I do feel craving. Sometimes I manage to control myself somehow, but not always. The morning after is the worst. I don’t have a headache or something, but I feel guilt. The irony of it all is that my boyfriend doesn’t drink at all. We go out, I have a beer and he has a water or fanta. My friends drink rarely… But, yet, I don’t feel like I’m ready to stop. It’s realy a hard decision to make. Often, I count the days and then I’m like: “Oh, I was good, I haven’t drink for five days, few beers won’t harm me”. I can not explain myself why I am doing this to my body, I became overweight, I’m only 25 and my weigh is 76 kilos, I’m just starting to feel sorry for myself, hate myself blahblahblah… Isn’t that pathetic?!

  • kjbp

    Hi Tania!

    Thank you for your post; it is delightful to hear from you. No need to apologize for your English – it was perfect! I just posted this week for the first time and know that everyone here is very loving, caring and supportive. I don’t think it’s pathetic at all to feel sorry for yourself and dislike yourself. I think it’s quite normal (at least that’s how I’ve felt many times through my recovery). The important thing, as everyone here will tell you, is you should feel really good about yourself, and give yourself a hug for posting and reaching out with your concerns. You’re beautiful for doing so! What helps me is to tell myself – don’t worry about yesterday, don’t worry about tomorrow, just focus on today – just today. Find beauty in today, put a little bit of heaven in your heart and never settle for less. Please keep writing. I would love to hear from you.

    Angela – funny how we are such creatures of habit and those habits can be so complicated. Congratulations for recognizing it. I hope I can be as strong. My husband will be out of town next Wednesday – Friday, only 3 days, but I’m nervous abouting trusting myself. I’m so greatful to have new friends here that I can call out to and distract my mind for a few minutes until the “moment” passes. Have you or anyone had dreams that involved alcohol? I’m dreaming like crazy. Never have before – or at least couldn’t remember them. But every night now. Until last night they’ve featured my old friend, Ms. Cabernet. Last night she didn’t make an appearance, but I was one cranky girl. Weird?! Wonder what tonight will be?

    Mark, what an amazing new hobby! I’m anxious to hear how it turns out. I never thought of doing something like that. Instead, I’ve been teaching myself the art of making (and eating) chocolates. This weekend I’m attempting to make Fleur de Sel caramels. If you are pleased with your perfume, I’d love to donate my time to help you design labels, choose colors, write copy, etc… It’s my background and I’m looking for fun projects to spend my time on. Good luck.

    Best to everyone for strength this weekend!

  • Cory

    Hi everyone. Sounds like a lot of positive things happening here. Welcome Tania. I wish that I could have had the same insight into my behaviour at your age. I wasn’t a heavy drinker yet either, but now looking back, the signs were all there and I wish I had paid attention. I think the struggle would have been easier AND I wouldn’t have done all the damage to my health that I am sure I have done.
    kjbp – I have been having strange dreams too – but not involving alcohol directly. I keep having a recurring dream that I am driving and my brakes won’t work. I keep pushing down on the brake pedal to try and find some way to stop. I think I am having this dream because I am so afraid of losing control and not having the power to stop. It is quite frightening!
    I wish you all a good weekend, and I pray that we all have the strength to carry our ‘cross’and see the rewards.

  • theodora

    hi tania..sounds to me like u haven’t reached “rock bottom” as we say so that u commit in quiting drinking..It doesnt sound nice to say I know, but most of us who decided to quit and meant it and followed through have had some realy bad recurring experiences because of drinking so we HAD to stop..The only reason why Im pointing this out is to say that you are LUCKY in a way, and u have the option to quit before u experience something really dangerous or hurtful..I wish I’d quit before I crashed the car (different cars) 6 times and almost killed someone (or myself)..and that’s just ONE reason..We all have different thresholds of how much we have to go through before we learn from our mistakes and decide to take action..But sometimes it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes and trust their opinion (Im stil working on that myself)..So if u feel that drinking is bad for u I suggest u quit now before it leads to something worst than just guilt the next day..And its gonna be way easier for u than some of the rest of us!

    PS: Weight issues should not be a motivator in quiting in my opinion, I actually lost a lot of weight when I was drinking heavily, and now that I quit I actually gained some since Ive replaced booze with food..Alcohol is bad in so many ways, least of it being its calories..Good luck! :)

  • Melvin

    Hello everyone,
    I just wanted to offer a few thoughts about my adopted nondrinking lifestyle. I understand what Patrick means when he mentions in his archive article about making drastic changes in his life to avoid using again. I now have more free time since it is not being spent numb. I do feel like a different person in some sense, because I occupy this time doing something else- at this point, working out and reading. I have resisted watching too much television, because instead for drinking, this could easily become the next great waste of time .

    This idea of change is a little scary to ponder, because if you are not drinking, you are already becoming someone else. In addition, I have to face myself honestly when I am sober…it doesn’t wait, especially when my mind is not preoccupied with work. The change for me is mainly an issue of refocusing my energy towards something different and more positive.

    I believe this relates directly to what has been mentioned above about our relationships with family and friends. It is a reality that we will change by not drinking, but it will be for the better. Most importantly, sobriety will increase our capacity to love and to be loved. True friends will understand and benefit from this change.

    I hope my thoughts help you, because they really help me formulate a process on this issue.

    To Roberto, Angela, Camus, kjbp, Theodora, JPVP, Mark, and everyone new; I read your post everday. They reinforce my resolve. Thanks again…

  • Angela

    Good insight Cory!! I have similar dreams. I think that loss of control is a big issue for me too.
    Theodora I know what you mean about the rock bottom and I agree that Tania is very lucky to have the insight into herself to nip a potential travesty in the bud before she wastes many years of her life as we all did. Tania, good job! Your insight into yourself and your personal tendency toward potential alcoholism is amazing and may have saved your life!!! I am so proud of you!

  • Tania

    Thank you all. To be honest, I didn’t expect all these comments and support. It feels very good and means a lot, honestly. I live in a small country and drinking here is something like a part of the culture. So, if you are wasted few times a week, noone considers you an alcoholic. Only if you have to drink as soon as you open your eyes, someone will notice that you actually have a problem. While I was in high school, I didn’t think that binge drinking is an issue at all. Now, I’m afraid. I want to have kids, I want to be healthy. I mean, I am healthy, but I need to lose weight and stop drinking in order to stay healthy. I decided to reduce it first, I’m afraid that I won’t reach the goal if I push myself too hard by saying “from now on you must not drink at all, never”. So, I don’t know. For now, doing fitness and changing my diet is a quite big motivation for me. After an hour in gym it seems much easier to say “no”. It’s just that I know that I did something good for my body and I just don’t want to spoil it all. Oh, I gorgot to write that I suffer from anxiety, sometimes I have terrible panic attacks. It’s probably the trigger. The beer helps me to relax, to sleep when I’m anxious. The good thing is that it doesn’t happen often.

  • JPVD

    I think it is important what patrick says about massive change.

    As for me, I am who I am now because I have been a drinker for many years, so to just stop drinking but keep doing the same things is not the solution (in my case).

    JPVD.
    .

  • Tania

    Well, I decided to take step by step. The first step for me was this confession. I haven’t told anyone about this and it really doesn’t matter. The important thing is that I finally found some courage to admit it to myself that I might have a problem. Oh, that’s a huge step for me. The next step should be taken tomorrow. As I said, I used to indulge myself by drinking a few beers after 5 days of “being good”. So, it’s been a five days since my last glass of wine. Tomorrow is the day, we’ll see if I’m able to control myself or not. I really don’t want to be this fragile little coward anymore, I want to change. I don’t want to cry because of the small things, I don’t want this panic anymore. I don’t want to make any more excuses and drink because I’m depressed, anxious or bored. It’s not how it’s supposed to be. And I don’t have a true reason to feel depressed, I’m just too weak and a big spoiled brat. I’m sorry if I’m overreacting, but I’m a bit frustraded.

  • Cory

    Tania

    It seems like your issue is a habit and not an addiction – I’m no expert – but if you only drink every 5 days, then I don’t think you are addicted.I think most of us here feel pretty free if we can go for 5 days without drinking. If I were you, I would feel relieved that your behaviour is a simple habit that can be changed – and stop it now before it becomes an addiction. In case anyone new reading this doesn’t know, there are at least 1000 excellent posts on this same ‘blog’ that you should have as a reference. The only way I know how to access them is to google “how to stop drinking”. The top of the page will direct you to click on a link to the latest discussion, but the previous posts are all there if you scroll down, which I highly recommend you to do.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    It is not how often you drink it is what happens to you when you drink or how alcohol effects you. My drinking pattern was to get wasted feel guilty sick and not drink for a few weeks or until I had a bad drunk. I am an alcoholic, because of my drinking pattern/style I thought I wasn’t a problem drinker because I didn’t drink every day or wasn’t an addict. However the addiction would kick in when I drank too much I didn’t know to stop I would black out sometimes but not always so please don’t think you aren’t an alcoholic because you don’t drink every day or can go days months or weeks without drinking. There were times that I was able to control my drinking I just never new which time that was. At first I thought I was getting off easy because in the beginning it was so easy for me to quit because I didn’t have the physical addiction but I tell you…it has been ten months and all of a sudden I am having a hard time and really struggling and I am not sure why? It feels harder for me right now for some reason. I wish I could figure it out I am eating right excercising taking a dance class, yoga class, I have a supportive husband and kids, nice home etc. It is such bullshit that I feel this way which is making me feel very guilty. I am so tired I apologize for my poor grammer, I have no excuse as english is my first and only language!!!

  • kjbp

    Good morning everyone. I’m so glad we have a place, our family, where we can all come to and put our poo on the table – no matter what our feelings are at the moment we write.

    I’ll be a little spritual here, but my belief (and I’ve heard this before), is that when we feel guilty, ashamed, fragile, doubtful, it is the enemy delighting in out misery and trying to pull us away from the beauty in our life. Trying to pull us down so we feel nbad enough to say “screw it; I know what will numb me to this feeling…” And ultimately I’ve fallen for it every single time. I’m just now accepting that idea/truth and realizing that God has given me so much (all those little things too) and has so much more planned for me, that I need to leave the little 1-eyed 1-horned flying-purple-people eater dancing in his own green goo. I’ve been desperately trying to figure things out for a year now, and still struggle with everything everyone is saying here.

    Right now I’m just moving slowly, doing things very purposefully, letting go of the guilt over the trainwreck I was making of life and am in awe that my life is still intact. That is the most amazing part for me and am just understanding that. I pray for strength every day to stay focused and open to the good things that seemed little before, but now are grand.

    I read something interesting this weekend describing addicition – “Alcohol became too important. By the end, it was the single most important relationship in life. Yes: this is a love story. It’s about passion, sensual pleasure, deep pulls, lust, fears, yearning hungers. It’s about needs so strong they’re crippling. It’s about saying good-bye to something you can’t fathom living without.” Hmmmm… this made me stop and pause…

    Strength for everyone today!

  • Melvin

    Nancy,

    I am the same type of drinker. It has been New Years since I have had a drink. I don’t have the physical craving for alcohol. However, there is a brief urge once in a while when I come home from work to have “a beer”. I don’t know if I could have just one beer, because one beer usually equates to six for me, and that’s just to get warmed up if it is a day off work. For me, it is like being really hungry while on a diet and going to a buffet for lunch. Yes, I guess it is possible to eat in moderation, but before you know it you’re stuffed. In some respects, it is easier for me to not drink at all than it is to limit my consumption.

    Is this a form of alcoholism? I don’t know, I guess maybe it is. It definitely fits the description of abuse. I have a twelve pack sitting on the floor in my garage that has been there for a week (my wife won it of course-of all times). I don’t feel any compulsion to drink it, but I do know better than to put it in the frig.

    What really bothers me the most is the obvious loss of self-control in limiting the amount I drink. That is what scares me and has driven me towards living alcohol free. Have I hit rock bottom? No, not even close, Thank God! However, the risks associated with this type of behavior are staring me in the face, and I am doing my best to rise to the occasion. Thanks to the insightful blogs on this site, I am learning from everyone’s mistakes (and achievements) as well as my own.

    Another test for many of us will be this coming weekend. My wife and I host the yearly Superbowl party. I have read the blogs above, and I am contemplating whether I can drink alcohol-free beer without problems. It may be the best thing to drink while everyone is slamming the real thing. I will be drinking my non-alcohol beer out of a glass :)

  • Tania

    Cory,
    Thank you for posting me. I saw those 1000 posts, that’s how I got here. There was a link at the bottom of the page. Well, I’m not sure if I’m a real addict, but recently I’ve started feeling that annoying craving. Also, I started making stupid excuses to have few drinks and I felt that it might become a problem. I got to the point where I realised that I will become an addict if I continue that way. The other thing that I noticed is that I can not stop drinking after one beer. I need more, I need 2, 3 or 4 beers sometimes. But I don’t drink until I black out. When I feel dizzy, I go to sleep. I don’t like to feel “legless” (I hope it’s not some archaic word). Also, I drink very late, sometimes I just need it to relax and sleep. That’s horrible. That’s why I don’t drink the liquor that has a high percentage of alcohol, I have insomnia after that. When I was younger, drinking was funny, but it’s not funny at all anymore. I want to stop until it’s not late.

    Nancy and Melvin,
    I met few people with similar problems. It is good that you don’t have an urge for drinking. I guess it will make this easier for you two. I don’t know if the word “alcoholic” is appropriate for the cases like yours, but I’m sure it is a kind of drinking problem. Good luck!

  • Tania

    I wanted to say that I want to stop until it’s too late. The negation in my mother tongue is specific, it confuses me when I use foreign languages.

  • Samantha

    Hi everyone its been a while since I posted and I wanted to check in and see how everyone was doing. I havent quit -yet, but heres the weird thing, I dont want to drink anymore. The last few times I drank I didnt want to I reluctantly went to the store to buy booze, I did it in case I changed my mind and wanted to drink. How stupid is that? When I poored a glass I didnt even want it, it actually sat for about 15 minutes before I reluctantly drank it. After the first sip I still didnt want it but continued and of course when I started to feel buzzed, then I wanted to drink. Has anyone else experienced this? Every day that goes by the less I want to drink and its not that Im trying, I really just dont want to. So why am I sort of forcing myself?

  • Cory

    Hi

    Nancy, thank you for your response. It was so ignorant of me to think that I know anything about addictions and to assume that everyone is like me. Tania, I hope you listen to the people who experience the same thing as you and follow their stories, because we are all struggling with this in different ways. I don’t think it matters whether we define the behaviour as ‘alcoholic’ or not, what matters is we don’t like what we are doing, it is destroying us and our relationships and we need/want to stop – that’s why I’m here on this web-site! Samantha, I have experienced the same as you and I think that is part of the process – at least for me. Bill Sheehan explained in a previous post that the ‘non-drinking you’ will take over the ‘drinking you’. It’s the alien/beast that doesn’t want you to stop – so keep up the fight – you are turning the corner. Good luck everyone.

  • camus

    I agree with Nancy, you don’t have to be a daily drinker to be an alcoholic. I was the same way, didn’t need to drink daily, frequently didn’t drink to excess, and it was easy to quit. The problem was, it was unpredictable and very difficult to stay sober long term along with not being able to stop once I started most the time. Cory, don’t feel bad by your post. I never thought I was an alcoholic for many years because I thought you had to drink everyday. Many years of my life I did drink everyday, but since it was easy to quit I still thought “I guess I’m not an alcoholic”. It’s not until this last year I realized that I’ve been an alcoholic my whole life, even in the good times.
    SAMANTHA, I went through what you speak of before I quit. I think it happened to me when I really wanted to stop drinking, was on this website and it took the glamour out of drinking. I would drink anything I would buy whether I wanted it or not.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    I hope I am not stating the obvious but only YOU can decide if you are an alcoholic. I did not mean to imply who is or is not. I just wanted to share my experience. For years people would tell me I didn’t have a problem even professionals and my family, not all of us fit into a box, none of us really do. I would just hate to see someone suffer because they didn’t present in the “typical” way. I could have saved myself endless suffering had I realized this. It is such a crazy crazy problem, even now I realize “alcoholic” is just a label the bottom line is I have a problem sometimes when I drink, however it was not always a problem but when I got into trouble it always involved alcohol. I am suffering now because I miss fitting in and doing what it seems everyone is doing…..silly I know that is why I took my first drink to fit in. So I think it is maybe my lack of self esteem, which is ironic since I teach self esteem!!!!!!!!!! Go figure but I really can’t think of another reason why I am struggling I have been journaling reading posts I even went to an AA meeting today. This will pass I know that, I am just wanting to move it along enought already!! It could also be that most of my friends drink but they having been drinking the whole time so why why why now is it so hard. Thanks everyone for listening and sharing from the bottom of my heart it does help me to feel less alone.

  • JPVD

    Melvin, I can relate to what you are saying. The hardest thing for me has been coming to terms that I am not a social drinker. My wife still believes that Ican have ‘just one’… I now know I drink to get drunk and so ‘just one’ is an absurd and abstract concept.

    Samantha; I remember tears in my eyes and *choking* down some hot and terrible red wine one time; I didn’t want it but I was a slave to it. It was so far away from the drinking I wanted to do…sophisticated, relaxing, calming, charming and an avenue to happiness. It is tough to give it up though; like a smelly security blanket or an old clunker that you have great memories with (by old clunker I mean ‘automobile’ and not ‘spouse’).

    As for me i have decided that i am an alcoholic. not my friends or doctors or some stupid intervention.
    I simply cannot control my drinking.

    JPVD.
    .

  • kjbp

    Wonderful, heartfelt posts (as always!). I went to recovery meeting last night and shared this web link with the others in the group. I told them of the supportive community here and hope they take a few minutes to explore. Also, I’ve been on a creative baking and chocolate making spree. Knowing my husbnad and I shouldn’t eat it all, somehow I just can’t stop myself from creating the darn goodies (I guess I’ve traded drinking for this and, fortunately other, less fattening, activities like hiking, dog agility, etc.) Funny story, I took fresh, homemade brownies to group last night. I told the counselor that I had brought them and she says “There’s nothing in them right?” laughing. I chuckle back, “Heck, noooo, oh course not.” I sat down and 10 mins later realized exactly what she meant. Doink! I was initially thinking, no there’s nothing in them – just 1-1/2 stick butter, 4 eggs, and 1,000 calories each! What a dork, she didn’t mean calories?! Oh well, delight in the little things…

    Samantha, Cory, Camus, Cory, Nancy, JVPD, Melvin – I relate to everything you’ve said. I didn’t start out thinking I had a problem or was an alcoholic. I drank for self-esteem reasons in college. I hated the taste of keg beer (I still gag at the thought now). As I grew older (not wiser) I became involved in non-profit work in which there was an abundance of social drinking situations, of which I “needed” to drink to feel comfortable, funny because I was in marketing and public relations – and everyone said I was great. Then corporate America came on the scene and I used alcohol to combat stress. I could still take or leave a drink, until one day I realized somewhere along the way my sophisticaed, charming vodka gimlet in the pretty martini glass had become the entire bottle. Even then I didn’t admit I was an alcoholic. Needless to say, I’ve missed the last 3 years of my life and I’ve just now started to admit to myself, and select others, that I am an alcoholic. Samantha and JPVD, you’ve said it perfectly. I, too, remember, just a few weeks ago, choking down a gulp of warm red wine. Blech, gag, the taste… But, something told me, ok, the next gulp will be better… Ok, the next… until, well you know. Nancy, I, too, have been anxious to have this recovery move along. The process/journey feels like it’s taking forever, but I think that is the entire point for me. To slow me down, learn how to deal with life on life’s terms, and knowing that alcohol is not/cannot be a part (even a fraction) of my life equation. I have to keep telling myself that everyday, and I trust that this equation will stick (less pressure as I was never good with equations in school). Also, I’m taking up a Pilates class today at noon. Good accountability for me as I very well can’t show up having been drinking and try to maintain my balance in front of a group. I think there might be some additional health benefits, too ;)

    Have a peace filled day!

  • mark

    Hi everyone! hope all are having a great week so far. Im catching up on the reading here. Tania, I’m glad you found this site..I’m proud of you because at this early age your realizing these things. When I was your age, I’ve done terrible and embarrassing things because of alcohol. I hope, with the help of this site, you’ll go on the right path. You’re newly found friends are just here for you. I can relate to the other posts here, this “war” will be never ending so lets keep our guards up all the time. When we relax that’s the time the enemy will attack. I’m thinking of the scene in TROY where the greeks (i think) were attacked with fire balls while they were sleeping. On the other hand, I had a clean weekend..thanks to this perfume making biz/hobby that I have started. I’m excited on the end product this coming weekend. I didnt know that there was an aging time for perfumes. :) and kjbp,I already have a logo but I would love to show it to you so I can get your insights/comments or suggestion on how to make it better. Thank you for your help! :) Have a great day everyone! God Bless!!

  • Melvin

    Mark name a scent for me.
    Call it, “Gonna get me some” by Mark!
    It will surely be a hit with da ladies :)
    ok, well I liked the name..he he

  • mark

    That’s a good one Melvin! :) Haha. I’ll consider that on my next batch. For now i need to perfect my mixes. :)

  • kjbp

    Melvin and Mark, you crack me up. It’s good to share the laughs! Mark, I just set up a yahoo account. I’d love to give feedback on your work (I always have an opinion, and my feelings don’t get hurt…) you can email me at b.kj78@yahoo.com. I’m working on a small business plan for gourmet pet treats. I’ll let you know what my “taste testers” think of the idea. Melvin, I’ve got a name in mind, but go for it! Anybody want samples for testing just let me know!! Or if you have any special pet dietary thoughts, I’d love to hear. I’m planning to focus on using locally produced raw materials.

  • Samantha

    I dont want to drink but I cant stop thinking about alcohol. I literally think about every waking moment! So annoying and frustrating!! I cringe at the thought of downing vodka so why dm I do it? I guess this is a phase and part of the process. I do NOT want to drink but there is something in me saying yes you do! Ugh go away…I dont want this anymore!

  • camus

    Samantha, it does get easier and you won’t think about it so much after awhile. As Nancy, JPVD, Roberto and others have said, there’s other challenges that come up after awhile especially when we aren’t prepared for it, but the intensity is much less with time. When I stopped drinking, I felt overwhelmed by how much thought and energy went into it. It consumed me and I was afraid that I would have to live like that. I didn’t and you won’t either. After awhile, when you stop thinking about it so much, not drinking becomes exhilarating. You go through a period of euphoria from this newfound sense of control and achievement. I think most people go through this, but not all. After awhile longer real life hits. The euphoria leaves and we are left with a regular life full of disappoinments and challenges. It’s difficult because we are so used to turning to the bottle to make us feel better. It’s a struggle, but life is. It’s supposed to be hard. Without those difficult times, we could never appreciate the wonderful times, the happiness. Without rain & cloudy days, we could not appreciate the sun. Anyhow, that’s my experience, and it has been worth all of the struggles to be sober.
    BTW, haven’t heard from Roberto lately. Are you doing ok?

  • angela

    Back at work. Had a great weekend with my sweetie- we went on a long hike and by the time we were done, we could have called each other “sweatie”. Feels great to get a good sweat on. I am such a couch potato, I could literally sit and watch TV for 3 days straight and not feel bad, but it seems the more we do, the more I enjoy it.
    I would have to agree that alcoholism comes in many different forms, none of us fit the “typical” Andy Capp definition of an alcoholic. We all have our own demons, but no matter what, we all are here because we recognize a need for reform in our current circumstances and decision making habits (r/t alcohol). We do, however, all share a story, a sad embarrassing story of how alcohol has affected us and those around us. This is where we begin, we don’t have to have the exact same prologue to be able to understand each other… and offer support. Here we are in the body of the story, we are all not only the leading characters, but the supporting characters too. Lets remember that we CAN not only WRITE the ending to our stories, but all that happens in the body of the story. Make it a novel, a saga, a romance or an adventure- but it is not fiction. K enuf stupid allegories….heehee
    Anyway, hoping to not have to deal with too much poo tonight, we will see. Check in with you all later… I am bummed cuz I left my computer at my “sweaties” house, so can only check in with you at work for the next couple days.
    Yeah, Camus, where’s Roberto? Roberto- hanging with Waldo?

  • Samantha

    Thanks Camus, it’s amazing how much I think about alcohol, drinking it, not drinking it, what happened when I drank it, stopping it, cutting back, should I have one, can I quit, etc.. It’s also weird how I don’t really want it & the last few times I drank, I just wasn’t into it, didn’t really want it. I guess at this point when I do drink, I’m really just doing it out of habit & the fact that it’s hard to let go of something that has been a part of my life for soooo long. It’s very reassuring to know it will get better with time. I guess I should be glad that I’m now really not wanting it, because not too long ago, I was always thinking about how to get my hands on it & when can I have my next drink, just so anxious & waiting, planning, etc… I too was wondering where Roberto is..?

  • mark

    Yeah, Where’s our friend Roberto? I hope he’s doing well and safe…

  • Tania

    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for all those supportive posts.
    It’s been 8 days since my last drink. It feels better now. I don’t have a problem during the day, actually I’ve never had. But, when the night comes, I feel that maybe I could… But,I change my mind soon. The last two nights were OK, I think I’m doing fine. Now, I’m experiencing some new problem. I don’t think about alcohol, but then I see someone drinking beer on a TV and it feels like I’m suffering. You know, it just reminds me on some beautiful moments with friends. It’s like I can’t imagine going out with girls and not have a drink.

    Samantha,
    I think it’s good that you are not “into it” anymore. Just, don’t forget how awful it was last time. I had that feeling. My beer tasted like poison, then my boyfriend tried it and said it’s perfectly normal. I guess it was my body sending me a message. But, I didn’t care, I justed wanted it to taste good and after the first beer the awful taste was gone. The funny thing is that the longer I’m sober, I’m becoming more aware that I really have a problem, I’m not denying it anymore, It’s pointless. Samantha, good luck, the crisis will be gone soon, just stay strong, you’re doing just fine.

  • kjbp

    Love the posts! I just can’t get over how I see myself in all of them. Thank you, each of you, for being honest with yourselfs and exposing your innermost emotions. It is so healing for me to read and I hope it’s healing for you, too. As Samantha said, it is funny about control. I used to think I could control my drinking – good grief I’m an adult, after all. My new found clarity has made me take delight in controlling my NOT drinking – little mind game.

    Angela, you beautifully described writing our life’s novel! Everyone here gets a special place in mine!

    Samantha, I’ve had the same thoughts, and even dreams. I believe it is part of the process and for me it has gotten easier. Smells would even set me off.

    Tania, I’m so happy you have 8 days behind you. I agree that alcohol is everywhere – glamorized all over TV, in magazines, front and center in the grocery store, always on sale, get a discount for the more you buy… it’s maddening. If only they would display picture of someone doing a faceplant, falling downs the stairs, broken glasses, squinty eyed, or hanging over a toilet or bending over behind a bush! (Of course, I’m not talking about me…) Feels so good that those days are behind me and I am so motivated to have them always be behind me, even though it hasn’t been that long.

    Roberto, hello?

    Good night everyone!

  • Tania

    kjbp, I live in Serbia. Most of the people that we live in some kind of dangerous country, full of murderers, terrorists and hooligans. Well, to tell you the true, it’s all rubbish. You won’t be killed by some hooligan here. No way! But, geting killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver – it happens every single day. The sad thing is that nobody seems to pay attention on that. The commercials about junk food and alcohol are all around, but you won’t see someone on TV talking about how dangerous those things are. Nobody cares, that’s it.

  • Tania

    And, of course, the men here are proud of their beer bellies, they think it’s sexy. :D It’s really hard not to drink in this enviroment. People worship beer, literally. There are songs about beers, jokes, the most popular event in a year is beer fest. I love going to beer fests, I have a feeling I’m losing an important part of life. I know I’m not supposed to feel this way, I hope it will get better by time. :(

  • kjbp

    Hi Tania,

    Hello in Serbia! Isn’t the internet amazing how it brings the world closer together? It is very interesting to hear about your culture’s like for beer. It is hard to stay away from thing like the beer festival. It is hard for me to live in the middle of USA’s Wine Country where everyone goes wine tasting from vineyard to vineyard all the time (every weekend, for vacation, special occasions, etc…) I know for me, and probably for a few others here, that I finally have had to stay my distance for now. I used to think I could handle and be around wine all the time, but it didn’t every last for me. I’ve recently had to admit to myself, that after a few attempts to stop drinking, that is the best for me right now. I do miss the social aspect, but I love the new way I feel even more. You might feel like you are losing an important part of life now, but I bet soon you will feel like you have gained a whole new beautiful life and love it!I give you, and everyone here, a big hug!

  • Stacey

    Hello Everyone! I have been up most of the night reading every single post here. I didn’t think it was possible to be able to relate to a group of people I don’t even know, but I do. I have just started my recovery, and am so excited to know you are all here. Thank you all so much for sharing your stories.

  • kjbp

    Hi Stacey,

    I hope you find reading the posts as cleansing as I did. “Cleansing” is the only way I know how to describe what reading these does for me. The first time I read everything I would cry, then laugh, than say oh…that’s me! I’m new into my recovery (again) and I am more than determined to make this one stick. Other attempts have stuck for a while (few weeks, then few months), each time I’ve learned something more about myself and life. Having found this site just recently, myself, is a really key tool in my new recovery tool box. I pray it becomes a key tool for you. Welcome!

    Good morning all, the weekend is upon us. Thought for the weekend, borrowed from the Dear Abby list: JUST FOR TODAY (or how about this weekend) “I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.” Make it a great one!

  • theodora

    one more thought for the weekend: non-alcoholic cocktails and alcohol-free beer are fun, taste fine, and look like actual drinks!!(to people u dont feel like explaining yourself to..) Have a great weekend everybody!! :)

  • Cory

    Hi everyone

    I had a bad night last night and am really fed up with myself. My trouble isn’t going out with friends and drinking because my friends hardly drink. I drink when I am alone at night. Samantha I can totally relate to how you are feeling. I don’t even want to drink anymore, but I almost force myself and I don’t know why. Today is the day I am jumping in the lake (figuratively – referring to getting my feet wet earlier!). Massive action and total abstinence as Patrick says. Good quote kjpb – reminds me of Roberto – if you are out there Roberto I miss you – your encouragement and !!!!:):):):)’s always made my day – hope you are o.k.

  • Mark

    Hi Guys! How I wish there were non alcoholic beers sold here in my country. Hey Cory, I know the feeling. I sometimes or should I say most of the time give in to the temptation but again we lose when we stop trying so lets get up and be stronger ayt? Another weekend, another battle…lets keep our guards up.. :)

  • Tania

    Oh, yeah, THE weekend. Tomorrow is the girls’ night out. It’ s gonna be intersting to see if I’m strong enough. Maybe I’ll have non-alcoholic beer, I don’t know. I can’t go out and drink water and I don’t like juice. There’s an alcohol-free beer in every pub, there must be (I hope so). I would like to be a person that will have one drink and need no more. Do you guys have a feeling that you will give up? I sometimes feel that I’m not strong enough for that kind of decision. Is it normal?! I don’t like this feeling. It’s been ten days without alcohol. I can’t remember the last time I resisted so long. My next goal is two weeks. I just have to stop drinking ’cause I’m bored or something, it’s the only way for me to avoid addiction.

  • Samantha

    Last nite I had 3 glasses of wine, didn’t finish the third. The whole time I was drinking, it just didn’t taste the same. I’m not sure why I drank when I really wasn’t enjoying it. It’s just not the same anymore. I think I just drank out of habit, but if I don’t really want to and it doesn’t taste the same and I don’t enjoy it anymore and I can’t finish my glass, I suppose I’m done. I’m at the point where I’m sort of forcing myself and thats just stupid. Well no more. I don’t want to drink and I’m not enjoying it anymore, so no more!!! I’m just not going to drink anymore, that’s it. I don’t want to, don’t enjoy it, so just don’t do it. Plain and simple huh, I wish it was. I’m disgusted so I’m not going to drink today. Maybe not even tomorrow, but I’m not going to think about the next day, it’s hard enough to just focus on one day. Sorry you had a bad nite Cory, I don’t go out with friends either, I also drink alone at nite. It’s starting to all look totally pathetic and stupid to me. I am not going to drink today. Take it one day at a time, that’s all you can do.

  • Stacey

    kjbp, thanks so much for the words of welcome and support. I need all the support I can get. It’s almost 5:30 pm, and I’m heading to the gym for a couple of hours. By the time I get back home, I’ll be too tired to think about drinking. My husband is being very supportive, he has hidden his whiskey. I hope to get to the point where he can have alcohol in the house and I won’t feel the urge to drink it. Having it in the house used to never be a problem, until about 4 years ago. I can go really long periods of time without drinking, but then when I do, I always overdo it and feel horrible and guilty the next day. I refuse to feel like that all my life. I have also put on a lot of weight, which has everything to do with the booze I drink at night. I’m not much of an eater–but get a couple drinks in me and all I want to do is binge on junk food. If you catch me during a sober streak, I nibble on fruits, veggies and fish. I only seem to have an uncontrollable appetite while drinking. So on Sunday, my husband is going to a superbowl party, and I’m going to stay home and work, do laundry, whatever I can to keep my mind off the booze. I feel so good on the days that I wake up without having gotten drunk the night before. Those are my absolute best days. I want all of my days to be those hangover-free days. I’m wishing all of you the best! One day at a time…

  • camus

    Most places around here have NA beer, but I was really disappointed to go to a brewery with friends only to find out they didn’t have any there. I ordered one of their homebrew rootbeers instead. It was so good and I’m pretty sure my friends were jealous.

    SAMANTHA & CORY, I think we keep drinking even when we are disgusted with it and don’t want it because we are afraid of something different. We want something different than what we’re going through, but there’s still a fear of the unknown…”what will I do without alcohol”. Also, the fear of pressure from yourself may be haunting you. I was afraid to stop because of the expectation I would have to be successful. I didn’t want to fail again, so had a difficult time starting in the first place. AA really helped me to get started. I only went to 2 meetings but knowing a person was there who I could call & there’s endless support was very helpful. It also showed me that I was serious this time and nothing was going to come in my way of sobriety. I didn’t go through any steps, but I told my story at AA and it was part of my cleansing process. I have no contact with them now, but would go back in a heart beat if I felt I needed to. I don’t like the idea of absorbing myself in sobriety, but it is helpful in the beginning. Now, I absorb myself in life.

  • Cory

    Thanks for your insight Camus – and Samantha, I feel the same – pathetic and stupid. It is ending now – I’m off to a yoga class!! Much better than a bottle of wine. I hope you are all doing well – good luck Stacey on super-bowl Sunday. Mark – what country are you from that doesn’t have de-alc. beer? Have a good weekend everyone

  • Angela

    Just when you think life is going great and you are making decent choices life comes crashing in… Freaking stinks! Poo abounds, and I don’t mean work poo, I mean life poo…. I am so bummed now -I just feel sometimes I can’t keep up with what life throws my way. I am feeling a wee bit battered. Not much else I can say right now. Wish I had uplifting things to say but can’t even come up with a sense of humor much less optimism. Talk to you all in the am or something

  • kjbp

    Oh, gosh, we need a group hug. Sounds like everyone has reached the end of their week, literally. I was racing around today, trying to keep myself busy. I just had my 2nd root canal in less than a month, yesterday and wasn’t feeling great, took the dog for a long walk today and rolled my ankle and did a face-plant in the middle of the street. Embarassing and painful… Then I paniced my husband. He came home from out of town and the door was locked and he couldn’t find me. He thought “oh crap, she’s done it again, drank herself silly and passed out on a Friday.” Glad to say I didn’t, but it was not easy. Now I’m so wired I don’t know if I can fall asleep.

    I so appreciate everyone’s feelings right now. They are all so familiar to me. Will say a bedtime prayer for everyone tonight and check in tomorrow.

  • Tania

    Hi guys,
    It’s really good to be reading all this. This year is the year I have to change. I’m a phd student and the alcohol was slowing me down during the last few months. I can’t help but to think that I could’ve done so much more if I was sober. I should’ve write my papers instead of drinking. I couldn’t wake up early and go to library. I became somehow indifferent to some important things. However, I decided, I’m gonna be drinking non-alcoholic beer tonight. I guess it won’t be a problem, I drink a coffee with no caffeine and I thought I could not stand it. At the moment, I’m thinking too much, I should go to gym, the treadmill is waiting for me. :)

  • Angela

    I went to the swap meet and bought some plants for “companionship” in my studio- got great prices, my place is really cozy now- feels like a home and is so comforting to be in…. I never realized how much plants can change the feel of a place- turn it from a place to a home… I have to say tho, I pointed out a fern that would be the perfect size for my studio, and paid $7 for it, then took the fern he had already wrapped without seeing it—- when I got home and unwrapped it, it was so big it took up all the walking space in my apartment!!! hehehe,,, needless to say, I have been moving furniture this am after work.. looks really cute now and got my mind off of my probs- alcohol included….

    I almost feel like they’re pets- I caught myself talking to them

    Even in my deepest moments of self doubt and self flagellation, I know I can share my feelings with you all without fear of judgement—thank ALL of you for that!

    Does anyone else feel almost like they have two personalities within? Just when I fell happy and hopeful, suddenly the dark Ang takes over and I am so sad and hell-bent on making myself pay for the mistakes of the past–WTH?!?!?!?

    Thanks for putting up with my ups and downs guys- only you would understand.

  • theodora

    hi all, hi angela, just wanted to say i agree..about the plants AND the split personality!!..Ive decided to try and see myself through the eyes of the people close to me who have faith in me and believe in me and love me whenever my dark side emerges (in your case u can even use me, cause your words have realy helped me to deal with quiting!)..Its hard but somehow effective..Im not expecting it to be a total cure though, cause the reason why this split happens sometimes is beyond our control..could be hormones, could be lack of sleep/food/water, could be anything, even as basic as that or even the weather being too cold or too hot! and also the brain needs to adapt to certain patterns as we’ve seen, so it needs time to adjust to a better self..The one thing that should make all of us hopeful is that addictive personalities can get used to anything..so i guess we should eventually get hooked on feeling better about ourselves!! and that we deserve a better life..hope this makes sense..

  • Tania

    Angela, I used to talk to my plants. My roomate and I went so far that we gave them some name. The name of the one was Troglavi Cmiljko (don’t even try to pronounce that). I think that almost everyone has two different personalities. Even when everything’s really OK, I’m a bit sad. It’s maybe not a sadness, it’s more like a fear. Many people feel that way. It’s a kind of modern man issue. I mean, we have alcohol problem, some people have other problems, it’s like we can never be completely happy. Maybe we can afford ourselves some things that our grandparents couldn’t, but this century is so stressful. For example, my father doesn’t understend what the word “anxiety” means. He’s like: “Sweetheart, you are so young, healthy, happy, smart and beautiful, how can you possibly feel that way?” Well, I don’t know, I was thinking about myself and concluded that I have big expactations. I push myself too hard, nothing can make me satisfied. When I achieve something, I’m not satisfied, I want more. In my case, it was a trigger for all those anxiety and alcohol problems. I should slow down and I don’t know how. It’s stronger than me, I want everything to be perfect, it caused even some problems with people around. Some of my friend tell me that I’m demanding and a bit conceited. I don’t like that. I apologize, this was off-topic, I know. :)

  • Angela

    Theodora, thanks for your words! You have helped me so much. It is so great that we can take turns leaning on each other here…. we don’t have to always succeed and always be strong in this group, we can open up and be truly humble and honest when we are struggling without fear of judgment. People can be so harsh, so it is very therapeutic and quite a relief to know that I have one place that I can be open and have no fear of hurt. Thank you so much Theodora!
    Tania- You are so amazing and such a good person. There are no worries about going off topic here, we all do it…we are here to support each other as we need it… if that means allowing each other to vent or go off on “rabbit trails” so be it. We are all on the same path, we just have our own ways of following it. So whatever you need to continue the fight—we will try to give it to you. We all support each other. That’s the beauty of this site. Also, I couldn’t help myself, I tried to pronounce it… I decided to name my biggest plant Troglavic, so that every time I look at it, I will think of you. :)

  • Mark

    Hi Everyone..Hope all had a great and clean weekend..Well not for me..got defeated by the enemy for 2 days..Sat and Sun..whew, I’m afraid that I wouldn’t stop again until something happens. I hope I can be stronger. Anyway, Well said Camus..that’s what I wrote in my diary today…that maybe the reason is fear of something..Cory I’m from manila and I really haven’t heard any bar having a non alcoholic beer, or maybe I wasn’t just asking..oh man I should stay out of this places because even I tell my self before I go that I can do it, I just forget about my commitment and drink all night. KJBP, I was able to bottle and sell some of my perfumes, and so far I’m getting positive feedback but guess what happened to the profit? I just spent it to buy alcohol…boo! I hate it..I hope I can be better and stronger : ( Have a good one friends…

  • kjbp

    It was a challenging weekend, wasn’t it? Maybe it’s the full moon that is coming this week? I managed to keep myself on track, but I’ve been off track so many times that I absolutley understand the pain and agony we put ourselves through, the questions we have, the sorrow, the tears. Then, I know someone hears us, the tears stop momentarily, we feel a wee bit stronger, we realize we are not superhuman and weren’t designed to be. And we get back on track. All of our questions are not answered, but we know we can come here and write what we are feeling, learn from each other (and from ourselves and what we say here) and share our hopes. This weekend I kept myself busy by making caramels (I am working on trying to develop the proper formula). I made Lavender Fleur de Sel, Smoked Sea Salt, and Smoked Paprika flavors. I made Lavender Macadamia Nut Brownies, too. Look out waistline! So I stopped on treats for my husband and I and made dog treats – Carob Dipped Party Chews and Carob Dipped Party Pretzels. The three of us took a hike both Saturday and Sunday, but not sure the hikes combatted the calorie intake…

    Tania, Angela, Theodora, Stacey, Cory, Camus, Samantha and Mark – Bless you all for looking here for hope and sanity this weekend. I also send blessings to all our friends here for strenth this week. Angela, I hope you talk to your plants! My husband caught me talking to my Beta fish, “Mr. Fish” yesterday :) The dog and cat were sleeping and Mr. Fish was watching me dip the caramels in chocolate by his bowl, so we started up a converstion :)

  • kjbp

    Oh, I just wanted to add something. This just came across in an email I received. No matter your beliefs in a Higher Power, for me this is very helpful.

    Philippians 4:9, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put in into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (NIV)

    Proverbs 14:30a, “A heart at peace gives life to the body…” (NIV)

    Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (NIV)

    My take-away from this is, we all are looking for peace. Peace with ourselves, peace with our actions (good and bad), peace with life, just peace. Just saying that helps calm me and make me less anxious.

    The email asks the question: “Is there an area where I will need to endure a temporary sting, and persevere through to come out on the other side?” I think asking this question about our recovery from alcohol (or any struggle) helps us to understand that we realize peace in our life.

    Thanks for letting me share!

  • Cory

    Hi everyone

    Mark, so sorry you had a bad weekend – but I have found that when I have fallen, I get so much madder at myself and even more determined, so I hope that you can use your ‘fall’ as strength to battle even harder.
    Theodora – I like your theory on addictive personalities and getting hooked on feeling better about ourselves – I’m going to latch onto that idea!
    I hope everyone else had a good weekend – for those of you out of the country – it was Superbowl Sunday yesterday and a big chance to ‘party’ drink and eat all day. I am not a football fan, but was at a Superbowl party and boy did I get an eye-opener. I wasn’t drinking so saw the room from a different light than I usually do – most of the people were under control, but two of the women – who had their teenage children at the same party were so drunk they could hardly stand up. They were loud – dropping the f bomb every second word and their families had to drag them out to get them home. Their teenagers were so obviously embarrassed and I felt so sorry for them. I am going to remember that vision whenever I think of putting a bottle to my lips again – I don’t want to do that to my family. Have a good day everyone and remember – we can’t get drunk if we don’t drink!

  • Angela

    Nice work Cory!! Superbowl weekend is a tough one! It is interesting, being the sober one isn’t it? Gives you a new perspective on the whole thing.
    Mark, Cory is right. Use this as an opportunity to pick yourself up and fight even harder. Don’t spend the week feeling guilty or berating your
    self. Use this as an opportunity to learn about yourself and become stronger because of what you learn about yourself.. We spend so much time beating ourselves up that we cause our strengths that we do have to weaken. Don’t let this happen to you. It will lead to a self fulfilling prophecy. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on that horse again. You can do this! We are here for you!

    We only lose when we give up fighting.

  • Mark

    Thank you Cory and Angela. Your words inspire me. It’s great to have friends listening and being there for you with out any judgment. I’ll never give up. I’ll keep you guys posted..Thanks again and enjoy the rest of the day.

  • Melvin

    Hello everyone,

    Our big Super Bowl party was last night. Many more people came than was expected, but all was good. I failed very mildly with having two beers (really-only two). I promised myself zero beers so I was somewhat disappointed. However, the victory is that the drinking was controlled and with food. With that said, I failed miserably at limiting my calorie intake.

    Cory you are right with having a different perspective on the party. It is strange being on the receiving end of conversations that go into a rave type discussion, where you are left nodding your head to pacify the inebriated person. At parties, I am usually that person! The experience of not being buzzed at a gathering with friends is really new to me.

    Everyone, it may be a while before I blog again. I have had two beers in a month’s time and feeling pretty strong. I am going to click in, read the blogs and review Patrick’s articles when I am feeling week. It is time for me to continue the refocusing my energy towards other positive changes and taking time away from this site is part of the process.

    One quick note about the positive changes experience from not drinking the last month. I am not depressed! I go to this sight call fitday.com where I log my calorie intake, exercise, moods, and keep a ledger. Objectively, my moods have been better. I am motivated to workout. I am losing weight. I think more clearly. I am not nearly as moody- I don’t go to extreme when my kids/wife/dog piss me off (yeah, they still do that).

    Thank you kjbp, Mark, Angela, Cory, Tania, Roberto and everyone else not mentioned. You stories have really become part of my story, and it has made me stronger. I will check in on occassion and keep you in my prayers. Thanks again.

  • Tania

    Angela, thanks for all nice words. Troglavic sounds very intersting, I had to check it, there really is last name “Troglavic”. Well, “troglavi” is the one that has tree heads. :D Our neighbour gave us a plant and it was dying, it had only one leaf. But, we were nice and caring to our new “roomate” and “he” was better after a while. Once we noticed that “he” got his third leaf, we called him “Troglavi” (tri = 3, glava = head). Oh, it’s even hard for me to pronounce that. Finally, it became a beautiful plant, healthy and gorgeus.

    Mark, I guess there must be hot in Manila and it’s hard to resist some ice-cold beer. The temptation must be huge. And we know how it goes, it’s hard to have just one drink. It’s hard for me to resist and I’m freezing here. I just can’t imagine summer without beer. I know it’s gonna be hard, I know that sometimes the weakness is too strong (what an oxymoron!), but it’s all normal. I see that you are dissapointed, it’s really OK, but this is just the beginning, it must get better. Once, my friend compared the struggles in life with the video games. The hardest obstacles are always at the and of the level. When you deal with that, you’re on the next level. Good luck!

  • Samantha

    Mark, you are from Manila, Im very close to you. I know there are bars everywhere and tourists going there to get drunk every weekend, its the same where I am. So I know how hard it is for you being in that environment. I use to go out every weekend and get totally sloshed now I just drink at home alone when my husband works at nite sometimes day. My body has developed an intolerance for alcohol, I break out in a rash now, it burns my throat going down, I cant handle more than 2 sometimes 1. Plus I dont even want to, I dont enjoy it at all anymore. I think eventually we will all reach a point of enough is enough whether its because you become mad at yourself each time, you got into some kind of trouble, hit rock bottom, health issues.. Etc or like myself, just tired of it and turned off- well that and the fact my body has developed an intolerance for alcohol, eventually there is going to be something that will make you stop and I think it will just come one day without all the planning and trying so hard, at least thats what Im starting to think.

  • JPVD

    the longer i don’t drink, the more i do things without alcohol then the more it becomes normal. I’m fighting years and years of an acquired and seemingly in-grained habit, but it is working.

    I used to climb the walls when 5 o’clock rolled around but now it just comes and goes like 2 o’clock, and turns into 7:30 then 10 then time for bed.

    I’m trying to make massive change as well. Doing things quite different from my drinking life. I try to get up at 5, have a dip in the ocean and then home for breakfast. When i was on the booze i would stumble out of bed 5 minutes before i had to drive to work and skip breakfast (and usually lunch too).

    I’m back running in the morning as well, and finally started meditating… Now I’m downloading yoga instructions on my ipod…WOW! I’m not saying that anyone should do the same, but for me it is such a departure from my alcohol lifestyle.

    For me I’m trying to create a new habitual lifestyle of early mornings and self-awareness of my body… at the moment when i get home from a light run and a dip, the last thing i want to do is plough poisin into me.

    good luck all… wherever you may be in this world.

    JPVD.
    .

  • Angela

    I went four-wheeling in my jeep last weekend and all the lessons my Dad ingrained in my head while tooling around the mountains of Montana came back to me. The biggest one was, “Always get in the habit of doing the right thing, even when the path is not difficult, because when the time comes and the path is rocky and dangerous, the habit to do the right thing will be there and may save your life. You could save your life and whoever is in the truck with you out of sheer force of habit.”

    Anyway, had a great weekend, back to the grindstone now. Hope you all had a great week. Troglavi says Hi Tania. :)

    JPVD you are an inspiration!

  • Mark

    Hello everyone! Hope all is well. Melvin, great work…baby steps and we’ll get there ayt? keep in touch. Tania, yes It is really not advisable to set a limit if you want to quit. Quit means 0. I even set an alarm on my phone to remind me but that doesn’t work even.There are just some people who knows the word control and I’m not one of them. Thank you for your words, It gives me the feeling that we can still fight another day. Samantha where you from? Yeah sometimes you can’t resist temptation in this environment.Thank you for your words too and I hope that day will be very soon as I’m tired of sometimes telling myself “5 days of work…you deserve to relax and unwind..alcohol) JPVD and Angela, Keep up the good work. Thank you for sharing your moments of success. Have a good one friends! <3

  • Tania

    Hello guys,
    I think I reached the new level. The things are more clear to me at this moment. Last two days I felt like I could live like this forever, but I’m also aware that it’s not gonna be that easy, but I’m glad that I finally started seeing how the things work. It all started because of my obsessive compulsive disorder, that’s what caused my anxiety and anxiety caused alcohol problem. I should find the way to relax. JPVD found some ways to enjoy life. I should do the same. When I study, my whole life is about it. When I’m trying to lose weight, I count the calories all day long. When I’m working out, I do it every single day for two hours. Now, I don’t want to count days with no alcohol. I want to live normal. It’s so simple, if I don’t drink, I’m gonna be OK. If I have 6 beers tomorrow, I won’t be OK and the fact that I didn’t drink for 2 weels won’t do any better. So, if I make some mistake, I will just move on. It’s important to change and if I continue counting calories, days without drink, the number of the pages I read today, I won’t get any farther. I talked to some girl in the gym today. She was talking that her ideal weight is 50 kilos and that she wants to make it by April. She was also talking about some diet with no carbs (something like Atkins diet) and that she’s not gonna stop all that unless she dies. I felt really sick after that conversation. I don’t want to be like her, I need to stop being control freak and live a life. The all other problems will be gone as soon as I change. As long as I keep saying that I must lose weight, that I must stop drinking, I’m not going to do anything. I’ll get frustraded at one moment and get totally wasted. Am I right? I didn’t discover something new (LOL), I just realised what some things mean. :D

  • kjbp

    Good morning! Thanks for all the posts; they are all so meaningful. I think of you all every day and it makes me happy to know I have friends around the world that are on my time and I’m on yours.

    JPVD, I just took a yoga class this week. My first one. I got there just in time to be the last one to have a partner – so I had to run up front and partner with the teacher! Nothing like jumping in feet first! In the end I did really love it and think it will help with my new lifetsyle of trying to slow down, not obsess, and stop trying to be perfect.

    Tania, I feel the exact same as you are describing. It is a matter of realizing what you already know. That happens to me all the time. I think you realize these kinds of things when the timing is right for you. Thank goodness we stay open to this realization. It is key to our recovery. I also stopped counting. Someone here had mentioned that before and it works for me. I just counted today, and I said “is that all, it feels longer” and then said “stop counting, why count, it doesn’t matter, it’s not a race, it’s a lifestyle choice, it’s not a matter of those with the most days win, I win because I’m just plain not drinking because I choose not to.”

    Melvin, Samantha, Angela, Mark and Cory, great to hear from you too.

    Blessings to all today/tonight.

  • Stacey

    Hi All, thanks to all of you, kjbp and Cory–I made it through the weekend with flying colors. How in the world did I manage to stay sober? I thought about all of you guys here, and realized that if you guys could do it, so could I. I am now almost 2 weeks sober, and it feels so good to be free of the headaches, the screwed up sleeping schedules, the constant excuses for why I don’t go anywhere or make it to appointments. Sunday ended up not being the struggle I thought it would be. I stayed focused and really got busy doing a zillion things I’ve needed to catch up on for a while now. Staying busy is working for now. I also crunched the numbers and reveled in how much I’ve saved in the last 2 weeks by not buying booze! Its a great feeling! Thank you all!

  • Stacey

    I also wanted to say to kjbp–the scriptures you posted are totally relevant to all of our struggles. I’m not a particularly religious person, but have been working at getting in touch with my spirituality. Every word of encouragement, whether its a Biblical scripture or an inspiring quote, I love and need it all!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi. Everyone sharing this with you because I don’t know who I can tell. My daughter who is 18 years old bright, healthy, outgoing etc. Had her wisdom teeth out and has had manic reaction and is in the hospital very sick. I am scared I can’t eat or sleep I am so worried for her. The doctors say she will get better but it is so hard to beleive when I see her so sick my heart is breaking I feel like I am going to die.
    Just so you know the last thing I thought to do was drink. I can’t even imagine that last week I was obsessing over it. I know that alcohol would not help me or my daughter. I would do anything to make her well I can’t stop thinking of her alone at the hospital. I am her mom I should be able to take her pain away. Any comments will help even just to say you care or are thinking of me. It is so horrible because if this was a physical problem, cancer broken leg etc. I would have cassaroles at my door stop but I haven’t told a lot of people because they would not understand. There is still such a stigma when it comes to mental health problems.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Just wanted to add the hardest and most shocking part is she was totalling healthy before this. They think it was some kind of reaction? Has anyone heard of this or experienced seeing someone they love go through this.

  • angela

    I am so sorry to hear that Nancy. It will clear up but it may take time. You don’t have to share the details with anyone, it really is none of their business, but take advantage of whatever support through this hard time you can get. Was the mania a reaction to the sedation they may have given her or the meds she went home on?

  • angela

    I have seen people, many times, have episodes of mania or complete breaks from reality related to meds they have been prescribed, all we can do is wait till they clear from the system. Hang in there Nancy.

  • camus

    Hi Nancy, so sorry to hear about your daughter. Have you heard it called a paradoxical reaction? Usually that’s the opposite effect the medication is supposed to have i.e. a sedation med might make them agitated, kind of like they’re on speed. I hope she gets better soon.

    JPVD, I assume you don’t live on the Oregon coast. It’s a bit chilly right now. Running is my focus as well. It’s not for everyone, but for me it gives me not only fitness, but peace, meditation, spirituality, and love for the outdoors and nature. Now, if I don’t go for a few days, I get agitated and tired.

    Angela, Tania, Stacey, Melvin, Mark, kjbp, & Samantha, glad you are all doing well. There’s a lot of discovery going on here, and it’s wonderful to hear.

  • camus

    and Cory too.

  • kjbp

    Nancy, I’m so glad you wrote here. My heart has grown octopus arms and they are all wrapped around you and your daughter. I’m praying it is only a reaction to the anesthesia or pain medication she has been exposed to. I remember waking up and wigging out twice after oral surgeries. Something about the mouth, claustrophobia, what just happended to me… It’s all very scray. Please let us know how she and you are doing today. Write us anytime you need an extra squeeze on that hug!

    Stacey, thank you for your kind words. I love to continually learn (and boy don’t we know there is so much learning opportunity in this place in our life!). I’ll continue to share “words of wisdom” that touch me with the hope they touch someone, if not at this moment, at another when it is needed.

    Ok, words of wisdom for today… Don’t wait to feel powerful or confident. Move ahead in your weakness, doing the right thing in spite of your fears and feelings. This is how you grow spiritually and how your character develops.

    All – I’m finding great words of wisdom from each of you and the thoughts and feelings you share. As Camus said, there’s amazing discovery going on here!

  • Cory

    Nancy

    I am so sorry to hear about your daughter – there is nothing more difficult in life than having a sick child – my 18 year old was diagnosed with cancer last year and had a tumour removed. She is ‘clear’ so far but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t worry about it. I remember when she was in the hospital thinking ‘how does someone cope with this – it was just too hard. But we cope and we get through it and everything will be o.k. Your daughter is being well taken care of and you are an incredibly strong person – I will pray for you and your daughter and I hope your burden feels lighter. Keep us posted because we care

  • Angela

    You guys are so great!!!! Reading your encouragement to Nancy made me feel so good! I am reminded how lucky we all are to have each other. Cory thanks you for sharing about your daughter, and kjpb your words are so encouraging, and camus you are always an inspiration. I get tears in my eyes as I am reminded that we are all in this fight together and yet our stories are so different, and yet so same. We all have stories. We all have been through so much life. Nancy, I am thinking of you and your daughter and hope you are ok. Cory is right, you are a strong person, and I too will pray for your burden to be lighter. Cory, amazing words of encouragement!

    You guys are ALL so awesome!!!

  • Ellie

    Nancy,
    I do realize there is a stigma attached to consumers of mental illness. My bother is severly bipolar and is currently being hospitalized, against his will by the courts for attacking my mother during a bout of mania mixed with other drugs he was taking at the time. Although he is apologetic for his actions, he has very little insight or relfection regarding the impact his actions have on the rest of our family, as he is waiting for his 60 days to run out. In regards to your daughter, she is fortunate to have a mother who cares so deeply. I am always hopeful whenever my brother is in the hospital because I know that he is safe and will atleast recieve treatment momentarily. Hope, I believe, is they only thing any of us can rely and adhere to especially when experiencing any moments in which we cannot control. You and your daughter will be in my thoughts. I always visit my brother whenever I can and although he usually refuses visits, and that is hurtful, atleast I know he knew I tried and care. I certainly recommend that you visit your daughter, if she will allow it and remain hopeful that she will recover as we all are.

  • Melvin

    Nancy, as I stated above, I wasn’t going to post for a while, but I had to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Cory. My own daughter has had a few surgeries in the last couple years, and it breaks my heart to see her suffer. When it comes to our kids, we would do just about anything for them to avoid harm including taking on the pain ourselves. Please post the progress of your daughter has she gets well. Yet another reason to stop drinking alcohol is so we are “really there” for our love ones when they need us the most.

  • Tania

    Nancy,
    I hope your daughter’s doing fine. I wish you both a lot of strenght and faith, that’s all that you need (although it’s not that as simple as it seems). I have psychological problem, it’s a kind of mental disorder (phobia, anxiety, sometimes even depression), it’s not similar to bipolar disorder, but I might understand how it feels. It’s just so difficult when you can’t control your mind, you just feel helpless and that’s why it’s sometime more difficult than physical illness. The support is the most important thing and I’m convinced that she will get it from you. I have a dentinst in family, I could ask her if she expirienced that kind of problem with some of her patients… If it helps!? If the medication was a trigger, I think that it’s not gonna be the same intensity and duration like in cases of ordinary mania. I’m truly convinced that she will get better soon and wish both of you all the best.

  • Tania

    And, yeah, about the stigma when it comes to mental problem. Many people have some kind of mental problem, but it’s still something like a taboo. The problem is in education. People should learn more about it and understand that it can happen to anyone. It’s sad to see that it’s a 21st century and people still have that need to judge someone even if they don’t understand what that person’s going through. That’s why I haven’t told anyone about my alcohol problem, I only told my boyfriend cause he saw what was going on. I know that my friends are relly good, caring pesons and believe they wouldn’t judge me, but I can’t tell anyone, I’m scared. It’s really nice that we have this virtual place, it’s nice to know that there’s someone who understands you and feels exactly the same. Thank you all.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    I have tears of graditude from all of yours posts. When I posted what was happening with my daughter I had no expectations just desperation and you guys have amazed me with your love and support and words of encouragement. I am trying really hard to stay strong for my daughter and my family this is about her not me and I can’t help her if I dont eat, sleep, etc. It is so hard to do when my heart is so heavy with grief. The doctors tell me she will get better it just seems hard to belief when it seems she is in so many pieces. I am so proud of her she is trying so hard to make sense of what is happening to her. She knows that she was well before and can’t grasp this. She is afraid of medicine so it is a fight everytime to get her to take it. She wants to let her body take care of itself. I understand why she would think that but she needs medicine to get well. She is still in the hospital and I and wants to come home, she is not well enough yet and it breaks my heart to leave her there.
    Thanks again. And if it helps anyone I don’t want a drink. Well now that I mentioned it…..just trying to be funny. Alcohol makes everything worse, for those of you struggling I am praying for you. Thanks again this site is a huge part of my on going support and sobriety.
    love Nancy

  • Angela

    Nancy, you are an amazing woman!

  • kjbp

    Thinking of everyone as we head into the weekend. Another something I just read ;) – Keep your eyes on love, Experience it, and Offer it, too.

    Praying for strength for each of you. And for you, Nancy, your daughter and your family.

  • Samantha

    Nancy, I’m sorry you are going through a difficult time but you have to believe your daughter will be okay. Reading your posts, you are such a strong women, if that were me, drinking is probably all I’d think about to get me through. I have realized alcohol does make everything worse and it makes the tough times even harder to deal with. Stay strong, you’re one of my inspirations on here. I’m doing ok, alcohol doesn’t do much for me anymore except make me break out in a bad rash so I’m better at abstaining from it. Have a nice weekend everyone, a nice sober, clean and clear weekend!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi friends. My daughter Francesca seems to be doing a little better today. I am almost afraid to say that because I don’t want to wake up and go back to the hospital and have my heart crushed but she does seem to be pulling through, she is still talking very fast and not herself but she seems a little less tortured. They increased her medications last night and she finally slept. It was scary to see her so drugged this morning but later in the afternoon seemed less medicated. I am trying not to go to the scary places in my head and just take it one day at a time. I am so full of shit it is hard just to get through each moment. I have to believe that she will be well. Thank you for all your thoughts and kind words.
    Forever grateful,
    Nancy

  • smokey

    i finally have had enough of this stupid battle with myself. i am alsways so embarressed after i get drunk and end up saying some garbage, and i dont even rmember..someone always tells me byut what about all those times when nobody said anything

    i read through all these posts hungover…funny how people post and then drop off. as someguy said a few posts back dont kid yourself the chances of an alcoholic actually quitting drinkign are not good.

    i (A) dont want to quit drinking (B), i want to quit being stupid (C) but i am only really stupid when i drink so A+B=C. i don;t want to take away A, so i guess i better get rid of B

  • theodora

    hi all..Nancy, I still can’t grasp what ur going through, Im so proud of you for dealing with this clear-headed and Im sure it will be over soon..Im still not sure if I ever wanna have kids cause I dont think Id be able to handle something like that the way u have..Just wanted to say how much I admire u for ur patience and strength and I wish for u and ur daughter a great future after this is over..and Im sure it will be one! :)

  • Tania

    Hello! Another weekend’s here.
    Theodora, don’t be so hard on yourself. I don’t have kids yet, but I’m sure that the kids give you some special energy and strenght, so you would definitely be able to handle anything for them. So, don’t doubt yourself, you’re just as strong as any other person. You must believe in that. :)

    Nancy,
    It’s really hard to say anything that is kinda appropriate. Like someone already said, it’s unbelievable how you manage to deal with it. It’s really important that you found the way to stay as calm as you can. You will be a great support for your girl. It’s so good for her to see you positive and faithful. I would like my mom to be more like you, but she’s such an alarmist. If she was in your place, she would be totally distraught. I’m glad that Francesca’s doing better.

    And she has a beautiful name.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Thank you Tania. Her name means “Freedom”. She has always loved her name. I knew I would name my little girl Francesca even before I was pregnant. I loved the meaning we used to call her Frankie when she was little. Right now that is all I want for her is to be free from all of this. Tania I too am an alarmist my mind is taking me to some pretty scary places. People on here are saying I am strong I don’t feel like I am. So maybe I will be and just live up to your opinions!
    Theodora you are stonger then you think and if one day you decide to be a mother you will surprise yoursef and your instincts would kick in.
    My main goal right now is to br strong for Francesca and let her know this is not her fault and that she will get better.
    I can’t tell you how much everyone of you mean to me. even though we haven’t met in person you are apart of my life and support system.
    Smokey sounds like you are starting to realize things and have some tough decisions to make. I quit drinking April 4 2010 not drinking has made me a better person. I have to rely on me, it can be scary at times, like riding a wave but when I look back I am proud of the choices I have made. Good luck to you.

  • Tania

    Nancy,
    It’s normal that you’re fragile at the moment and that you have some dark thoughts. But, I believe that you’re not big alramist. When I have a flu, my mother calls me 20 times a day (I’m not exaggerating). It’s normal that you’re scared, it’s just something that came unexpected, but, unfortunetly, it just happens and you will not lose your faith and strenght. I don’t know why, but I’m convinced that your girl will get better soon. Don’t ask me how I got that feeling, I’m not supersticious, I’m not religious, but I have faith. Like I said, it’s important for her to know that it’s something that can happen to anyone. Love and support can make miracles (and I don’t think I’m naive ’cause I feel that way). She’s so young, there’s a lot of happiness in her future.

    Theodora,
    I hope you didn’t get me wrong. I didn’t mean to suggest you to have kids, it would be a bit rude. I only wanted to tell you that you shouldn’t doubt yourself if you decide to have kids, that’s all. :)))

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Thanks Tania. I appreciate your postive thoughts, it means more than I can put into words.

  • theodora

    hi tania..dont worry, I didnt think u were rude in any way! I get what ur saying, I can see how having kids changes everything including the ways we handle things compared to the past..but right now, Im trying to figure out if i want that for my future or not..I never thought Id be able to quit drinking, and since Ive accomplished it all my thoughts have been directed to other parts of my life, including the possibility of kids..so your comment is valuable as is any input i get for this subject from any source! :)

  • sherry

    Wow..I googled “how to stop drinking’ just as many of you did and am thankful to have found this site..I have started reading from the beginning, and, two hours later, I must get ready for church. I will share my story later when I have more time. Just wanted you all to know that this site is just what I need, and I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

  • Danny

    Hang in there Nancy…..
    2 Smokey, I’m one of those people who post and then disappear…..I’m having Such a hard time quitting drinking, just can’t seem to put it all together….I’ll go one, two, three or a couple times even four days without drinking, but usually am still having something (alot) nearly every day in the last 2 months of “really trying”…I live alone most of the time and I drink alone at night, or if I have my kids or my parents in town like this last weekend (my birthday) I’ll hide the vodka and I can’t believe I drank a whole bottle yesterday! well, half of a 1.75 liter bottle; poured it out this morning, but still been dwelling on that bottle of wine in the fridge…I WANT TO STOP THIS! I Do feel better with a good night’s sleep, I HATE being in conflict with my own Christian morality, there is NO WAY I want my children to be Anything like this! Like Patrick and so many have described it, I have no self-esteem, confidence, patience, my dad says I’m being mean and I know this is going to kill me if I don’t stop! This poison Doesn’t make me feel good, it just makes me not feeel and I want my life back…Mark’s story, JPVD’s story, Samantha’s story, Camus’ story but I’m not being successful like you guys! I’m NOT exercising and have really put on the weight in the last year…I’m thinking if I just concentrate Not on “not drinking” but instead on my diet/exercise and getting in shape for my 30 yr high school reunion in 4 months, maybe it will take some of the pressure off…this is Day 1 again, please encourage me guys, I want to get a couple weeks sober under my belt for the first time in probably 15 years…I don’t want to quit quitting!

  • Pattyook a drink and have had problems ever since.

    Hello,
    Well let me start by stating that I am an alcoholic. I had bypass operation in 2004, and one year after that I drank my first martini on a business trip. My life hasn’t been the same since. I learned that my surgery helped in the addiction, which made me drunker quicker, but also sobered me up faster as well. I just stopped drinking on Thursday, after a habit of putting aaway two bottles of anything in my house a week, whether it was gin, brandy, or scotch. If was in the house, I drank it. I hated the feeling of intoxication, but would go right back to it because it tasted good. At least that’s what I kept telling myself.
    My husband – the great enabler – would just buy it for me, knowing I was in deep trouble. All I had to do was ask. I talked with him numerous times in the past, practically begging him to not buy it, even if I got angry, but he’d do it anyway. It was easier for him, than to deal with the emotional turmoil that would follow. I knew I was in trouble when he started bringing bottles home, after I had not had anything in the house for a few days. It was as if he didn’t know how else to make me happy.
    Well, anyway, last week I drank a bottle of gin w/ tonic(in three days)a bottle of wine,and was about to get another from the store, when it finally hit me that I was truly trying to kill myself. My self worth was down to zer0, and I was tired. I wasn’t sleeping well, and worst yet, my side didn’t ache. I know enough to know my liver reacts when I drink too much, and it seems like it’s been a good six months since I felt any pain. I repeat – I’ve been drinking every day for the last 6-12 months.
    Since stopping on Thursday, I’ve begun taking B12, B Complex, Milk Thistle, Calcium w/ D and Magnesium, and vitamin C. I’m making protein shakes, eating yogurt smoothies, and drinking water and juice like crazy. I’ve actually been able to sleep at night again without
    having to take melatonin. I keep telling myself that I was able to stop smoking 10 years ago once I realized how it was affecting my body, so I should be able to do this, right? I know better. This is a different addiction. It’s hitting me in different ways, and it’s clearly my journey, because I can’t trust my husband to help me, and we’ve had conseling on this subject. I’m really relying on God this time,and trying find people who can relate – not so much to the drinking,but to the addictive lifestyle I lead that brought me here.
    I’m an alcoholic, and I am working towards more than sobriety. I am prayerfully striving to to rely more on God in all areas of my life.
    Thanks for listening. I’d liked to come again and share if it’s okay.

  • Danny

    Welcome Pattytook…..congrats on your decision and early success in refrainingand pursuing a nonaddictive lifestyle! This is a great site, and after posting the above #214 I’d like to apologize to everyone here; I’ve gone back to reading alot of the older posts, and Patrick’s excellent articles on How to Quit Addictions and realized once again that my problem has been in “lack of surrender” and wallowing in self-pity which, as Patrick points out very well, must be a point to be met before recovery success can begin. As Patrick said, in his “6 Points” article, usully the alcoholic can only reach past the Extent of his/her denial to reach an Absolute surrender point after several failures at remaining sober based on “superficial” acknowledgment of the power of the addiction disease, and the need for Massive Change! I’m gearing-up for that Today, and am marking Valentine’s Day 2011 as the New Day of my life, when as Patrick has said Alcohol Cannot be permitted in my life NO MATTER WHAT; it’s the no matter what priority which I have to surrender to, which has beeen a little hard for me b/c I haven’t seemed to have Lost enough (by God’s grace) to hurt enough, but my LONG history of heavy abuse deserves…..I will be praying tonight for His power to persevere, eyes to see, and enough steady resolve and growth into my new Free life to be and stay free, for my own self, my own health, God, and my little children…
    Pattytook, go back and read the wonderful posts here, and Patrick’s articles, and welcome..there’s a lot of love and mutual struggle as well as sucess and education here

  • JPVD

    Wow nancy, that is a long time to be strong..April 4th 2010. Amazing; and making it through such a tough time without resorting to that false friend alcohol.

    Danny, you sound like you are committed enough… i found that quitting is ever-ongoing, many relapses for me, each one farther apart than the last and another lesson learned.

    I am so busy with my massive change that i truly have no time for drinking. not that i’m ‘keeping busy’ but finally i’m able to try to fulfill my true potential because i’m not half-pissed on the couch in front of the telly. i just finished bottling about 10 pounds of tomatoes and must get to bed for my morning meditation/swim/run. I always think “a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest.”; so get in motion danny!

    I want to share something that i just noticed this evening; a hidden bonus for quitting drinking.

    I was making dinner and realised that for quite a while now we have been eating hot and fresh food AS A FAMILY. mom, dad, 2 kids at the table with freshly prepared food from the kitchen. Early enough to enjoy a bit of ice-cream after and a story or two before putting the kiddies to bed. I have a lot of time in the evening to watch interesting movies, catch-up on some study, or.. bottle tomatoes!

    Why this is interesting to me is because when i was drinking it was microwaved leftovers for the kids (they would shout ‘DINNNEEES’ when the microwave bell rang) and i would usually be too busy pouring myself wine to sit-down with them. When i did sit-down i would drink wine and watch them eat…wondering (hoping) they would go to bed soon so i could truly get pissed. Then i would start cooking very late for me and my wife, drinking like a fish. 9/10 i would ruin it and then not care because i was drunk. it would be so late then i would do nothing but watch WHATEVER WAS ON television.

    Anyways, what i want people reading this to know is that i never realised my drinking was causing any problem in this regard. I was oblivious to this slow destruction of family values…if you would have asked me a year ago i would have said there was no problems with our family dinner pattern…but my poor kids would have some pretty sad memories of an impatient and increasingly drunk father blathering on about their microwaved meal.

    please give sobriety a try; there may be positive effects that you have never dreamed of.

    JPVD.
    .

  • Sharon

    I’m trying to focus on this ~ does this activity help me fulfill one of God’s purposes for my life ~ I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • Angela

    Danny, Smokey and Pattytook a drink- I (and all on this post) well know the humiliation and low self esteem you are feeling. It is easy to get in that cycle of trying then failing then beating yourself up so much that the only way to stop the phrases of self hate running through your head is to get drunk and stay drunk. Then, when you sober up and hear what you have been up to from your friends and/or family, you feel worse and start the process all over. This is something you have to stop by way of interrupting the voices in your head. Relearn how to talk to yourself about yourself. It starts in little ways. the first of which is to first: decide to not drink. second: keep telling yourself you CAN do this third: if you should stumble, and drink, start over again with the first step. and always remember to not beat yourself up for falling down. This is where we come in. You do not have to do this alone. We all have been there and we have all fallen down one time or another. You do not have to be always successful and never fall down to post on this site. That’s the beauty of this is that we are honest with ourselves here, by telling our stories. I myself have posted here about my failings, and have received so much help and balm to my soul, that it gave me the strength to try again.
    This is a tough path that we have chosen but it will one day not seem quite so hard. You are at a point in your lives that we have all been at…. You can do this!!
    Welcome to our family!!!

  • Angela

    JPVD, I am so happy for you having family meals consistently again! I started my son’s life that way, home cooked meals for the first 7-8 years, then, started this terrible alcoholic lifestyle, and haven’t done that since. I wish I could go back but I can’t. He’s 20 now and I am trying to get him to come here to visit- if he ever does, I will cook him a meal and sit down, sober, with him to enjoy it. I am so happy for you that you can do this with your family. I missed out and so did my son because of me.
    Tania, Troglavi wishes you Happy Valentine’s Day.

    To all of you thanks! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Tania

    Thank you. Say hello to Troglavi. Serbs are Orthodox Christians, and we didn’t celebrate Valentine’s day in the past. In last few years it’s been very popular here, mostly because we love celebrating. My boyfriend and I had a simple dinner and I had some wine. Now, I feel… I don’t know, it’s like I don’t regret, I wanted that, it’s like I wanted to prove myself something, but I don’t know what. I don’t know if I’m making excuses like “oh, it’s Valentine’s day” or it’s just that I wanted to be like any normal girl who can live normally and have some drinks once in a while. What do you think about that? Is that a sign of weakness or what? And I don’t feel good these days. It seems that our government is about to fall… And when I watch the news I’m so scared when I see what’s going on in Egypt, Tunis or Greece. We’ve been there before, we know what it’s like and I’m scared it’s gonna happen again. I mean it’s not gonna be another war, the war, anyway, didn’t take place in Serbia, it was in Bosnia. I’m afraid of another economical crisis and it makes me sick. I mean, when you’re trying to make yourself better, to improve your life and you see it’s all for nothing… You just want to escape somewhere. That’s why we have this enormous “brain drain”. And… To be honest, I don’t want to go anywhere, I love living here. But it’s just useless to stay here, I deserve more. I just don’t know what to do. My bf mentioned once that he wants to work abroad, but now he found some job. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do and I’m pretty anxious at the moment. What would you do?

  • SusanK

    Me too..Like many others, have been gone for quite a few weeks and many gin bottle’s have gone by…. I thought I had it all “under control” Was celebrating not too long ago for my easy abstinence…. Tomorrow I start again… Keep me in your prayers and any words of wisdom are MUCH appreciated…. thanks to you all

  • camus

    Tania, don’t forget what brought you here with us. It wasn’t that you were a “normal”drinker and could control it. Often, after we stop for a few days, weeks or even months, we forgot what brought us here, how low we were because of alcohol. We start thinking “maybe it was situational”, “maybe it will be different this time”. Sometimes it is for awhile. The last time I stopped (because I was pregnant), I started drinking a little after I had my baby. I never craved it much, and thought I was a different person with alcohol. My husband did too. After a year of pretty controlled drinking, I started going back to my “old ways”. It’s very sneaky, so be careful. Only you really know if it’s worth exploring different ways to drink, but most people that have come to the point to reach out to others won’t be successful at this long term. You have to figure that out yourself. Also Tania, remember that alcohol is a depressant, so if you have so much depressing stuff going on in your life, the last thing that will make you feel better is alcohol.

    To all of you who just feel like it’s too hard, or you can’t do it, or your disgusted in your weakness, or it’s pointless because you keep failing etc etc. Just remember that I probably had 100 failed attempts before really feeling like this one’s going to stick (7 months). Every attempt you learn something new, and believe me, it is so worth it. Over time, you’ll stop thinking about it so much and not drinking will be a way of life. I just went wine tasting in Sonoma Valley with some friends. I was able to enjoy it more than I would have ever before. For me, it was always about the drinking, but it wasn’t this time. It was about the beauty and having a wonderful time with friends. There’s a whole new life out there for you. It’s amazing! Do whatever it takes and you will be rewarded.

  • theodora

    hi all..camus u couldnt have said it better..tania, i live in greece and things have been bad for a while now..Having been both drunk and sober in the middle of an economic crisis and having so much confusion about my future prospects and my country’s, I can safely say that whether things are bad or going well around u, it’s always better when there’s no drinking involved..There’s a stronger will to live and work in making life better when we’re not trying to get over a hangover..and the world will always be disapointing in many ways, why make it worst on ourselves by abusing a depressant i still find it hard to understand..And I also agree with camus that without drinking u tend to make the most out of a pleasant situation as well..

    I will always be greatful about this site and the people here, I could never have done it without u, thank u all so much!

  • Angela

    Tania- so your BF found a job abroad? What are your options? Is there a possibility of going with? Wow, no wonder you are anxious! Hang in there, you will do the right thing, you are a smart and very strong girl!

  • Tania

    Thank you all. I guess that Camus has a point. It’s like I want to change, but not completely. I shouldn’t question my priorities. I don’t know how I couldn’t say “no”. My bf doesn’t think that alcohol is my problem, he thinks it’s something else. I’m confused. I mean, it’s always something else, it’s never “just” an alcohol. But if I have a drink to forget about that, it becomes a problem. So, here I am, in a circle again. But, of course, I’m not losing faith, I have to change.
    Theodora, I’m sorry I mentioned Greece and touched a painful subject for you. I hope it will get better. I haven’t been in Greece for two years, guess I’ll come this summer. Last year and the year after I went with some friends and couldn’ choose where to go. This year – no way. I’ll go alone if I have to.
    Angela, I could go with he if he decides to take off… But, honestly, I don’t want to. And, my options are not good abroad. I could hardly find something with my degree, since I’ve studied Serbian language and literature. Now, I’m phd student and can’t go anywhere and do anything. People from Serbia often go to Germany. Maybe I could learn the language and try to find some Slavic department in Austria or Germany. I don’t know. Thank you very much for those kind words in the last sentence.

  • Angela

    Theodora, I must have been thinking of you without realizing it because when I tried to type in http://www.facebook.com, I typed in http://www.theodora.com!!! hahaha
    Still laughing at myself!
    I can’t even imagine what you are going through in your part of the world, if I could wave my magic wand and fix it I would… I am so sorry you are living through this…have hope, and continue to be the amazing woman that you are. I have no words, as they are probly not enough, I know not what I speak of as I have never been in that situation. You and Tania’s lives are so different from mine, I would be foolish to try to give advice. You are a truly amazing woman, I have been struck by this many times reading your posts–you too Tania! You are both so strong and have been tested in ways I never have. I feel truly blessed to be able to know you both.

  • Angela

    Parick I will understand if you have to delete the first paragraph, as it contains the FB address. Hopefully, the last paragraph will be allowed to stand. I hope I haven’t broken any rules.

  • jeremy

    Hello. My name is Jeremy.. I have suffered from depression for much of my life. I am now 29 and drink very heavily to cope with the depression and my anxiety issues concerning social settings. I currently work as a bar-tender and make very good money. But Im afraid that I need some drastic changes. Im not really sure where to begin. I know that with the rate at which i live, my life will be cut short. I have been suicidal in the past and have have-heartidly tried to kill myself three times. The last time was about a year and a half ago. It was by far my most serious attempt and I have a huge scar on my left wrist that is a constant reminder of my volatility. I am not currently suicidal but do often have little flashes of insight where I say, Fuck it! Maybe that is the answer. I dont know. Im sure this all is very by the book for someone in my position that suffers from a mental illness and self medicates with alcohol. So, I guess my question is. Where do I begin?
    sincerely
    Jeremy

  • jeremy

    I just read my post and realized that I probably did not give enough back story concerning my drinking habits.. I drink daily. Some times I start in the afternoon and sometimes I can wait till later in the evening. Sometimes I will only have a couple good beers and sometimes ill have more like 12 drinks. Yesterday i got off at four and started drinking shift drinks. It quickly turned into a night of driving around drunk to different bars for some beers and shots.. I totaled it up this morning and figure I had around 14 drinks throughout the evening.. I just bought a car and recently got my license back (not a d.u.i). I feel incredibly stupid for having driven around town like that.
    I guess I have been drinking like this for nine years or so. I have not always drank so heavily but I have certainly been on this routine for atleast the past four years or so. Being a bar-tender certainly does not help things. I recently got a second job and work some night shifts now.. I drink behind the bar and usually have a few after I get off to unwind.
    Drinking has definitely negatively affected my life. A girl that I have been in love with for the better part of my life gave me a second chance about a year and a half ago. I can see now that my drinking played into the relationships demise. I sometimes wonder if I am alone because of drinking all together. Whether I hold it to be more important than a relationship, and therefore, do not let a woman get close to me in order to protect my habits.
    I have quit in the past. Me and a friend will sometimes place a heavy wager on who can go longer without drinking. The last time i made it a month with a one night slip somewhere in the middle. But its that same old story. You quit for a while and then think you got it under control. So you reward yourself with a good I.P.A., and before you know it, youre getting drunk again every night. It’s really vicious cycle.
    I do realize I have a problem. And I really do wish I could just control drinking as opposed to quit. I do have a great appreciation for a good beer or glass of whiskey. But Im afraid its gone to far for me to be able to just have a beer a day.
    Ill stop my rambling now.
    Sincerely
    Jeremy

  • Tania

    Hi Jeremy,
    I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression, but I haven’t been in some deep depression as you have. I think that your drinking problem is similar to mine. If I understood you, you don’t drink because you have some physical addiction. You’re different type of an addict, because the alcohol helps you make through life?! In that case, life without alcohol is just the first step. This sounds like a stupid phrase, but you have to find some things worth living for. You need to set goals. Everytime I feel depressed or anxious I remind myself of the things that make life beautiful. When I go outside and have panic attack or agrophobia, I try to remember the time when I used to walk normally, when I enjoyed every step, when I was just happy to be alive, healthy, in love or something. I really don’t know when and how it became so complicated. But, I know that I have to find out how I changed and try to deal with it. That’s something you need to do too. You must figure out when and how this feeling started torturing you. I had my sessions with a shrink. I mean, th therapist can help you, but can not change you. You’re the one who has to change and that’s the hardest part. I mean, if you break a leg, the doctor will fix you, but how to fix one’s mind?! That’s something else and that’s a big struggle, but you have to keep on trying ’cause there’s a lot of things that you haven’t expirienced yet and deep inside you probably want to expirience that. Just, explore yourself, stay with us, talk to us. Maybe someone’s story will inspire you.

    Best wishes, Jeremy, keep on posting, don’t give up on yourself, please.

  • Tania

    Angela, is it the adress of some page or your fb profile?

  • kjbp

    Ooops – I started to write and was then distracted. I appreciate that I was able to read the posts the past few days. Welcome to those who are now part of our family and I know you will be touched by the community that happens here.

    I just “graduated” this week from my mandatory program to fulfill an obligation to the courts as a result of my DUI. I feel relieved about that, but also, not quite right. Hard to explain, but maybe someone understands. Maybe it’s now I’m moving to the next phase of recovery where I am soley accountable to myself, rather than having the “threat” of the law over myself and God. UGH, that was just a “duh moment” revelation! Helping to write this down and “talk” to you is a blessing.

    I have a problem with anxiety, depression and perfectionism (I think I’ve said this before) so I have to find a fine-line balance in all of this since now it is building my relationship with God and family and friends that will keep me moving on this journey.

    So many have posted in the last few days, I’d list you, but don’t want to leave any one person out. To all of you Big Bear Hugs! Nancy, how are you?

    Love to all,
    k

  • Angela

    Tania, I had made a joke that I must have been thinking about Theodora because when I went to type in the address to the site I was going to, I put the 3 w’s and theodora’s name the dot com, instead of the FB address. Still laughing at myself! But because it had an address to a web site, it is still in moderation and not being posted to this site. Oh well…. the next paragraph was to you and Theodora:

    I can’t even imagine what you are going through in your part of the world, if I could wave my magic wand and fix it I would… I am so sorry you are living through this…have hope, and continue to be the amazing woman that you are. I have no words, as they are probly not enough, I know not what I speak of as I have never been in that situation. You and Tania’s lives are so different from mine, I would be foolish to try to give advice. You are a truly amazing woman, I have been struck by this many times reading your posts–you too Tania! You are both so strong and have been tested in ways I never have. I feel truly blessed to be able to know you both.

  • Tania

    Angela, thanks for support. I was complainig mostly because I’m dissapointed. I just want some things to change and they don’t. Living in this part of Europe has the advantages, really. We don’t have problems with natural disasters (except forest fires in summer time), there’s a fertile soil, people have good genes, strength, intelligence. There’s not a lot of problems with homelessness or hunger (in fact, obessity seems to be a bigger problem). But, the fact that there is no justice, that you find corruption everywhere, that nobody wants to really change something, do something… Oh, that’s depressive! Just talking, talking and talking, nobody wants to make some effort, but to find some shortcut (illegal, of course). Most of the people just live with that. I can’t. I can’t read the newspapers, ’cause I’m sick of all that. You can get a degree just buy paying few thousands of euros, isn’t that sick?! I’m very emotional, it all affects me a lot, I have a feeling that all I have done was for nothing. I was working so hard, improving my skills, after all, that’s how it’s supposed to be. But, when you realise that nobody cares and that you’ve been a fool to believe that it actually could mean something… Oh, you get bitter and depressive. So, you try to find the way to get through. That’s how I became anxious. Probably, that’s why I started drinking. It helped me to relax, to sleep. As I said, my father still doesn’t get why I have these problems. I guess that he just accepted things the way they are. I can’t. Of course, you can give some advices if you want to, I really don’t mind. Maybe I’m limited by my point of view and don’t understand some things. I have to thank you again.
    The weekend’s coming, I wish you all to be strong. Every time we stay strong, we make a big thing for ourselves. I feel very happy and proud every time I stay sober for the weekend. It gives me some extra energy to continue this struggle.

  • theodora

    hi all..angela thank u for ur thoughts! Tania painted a pretty accurate picture of whats going on over here..Living in this part of the world has its many advantages, like any other place, but also some unique disadvantages..What I wanted to point out however, at least in my experience, is that people here mostly are social drinkers, which means they have a couple glasses of wine or beer with dinner or even lunch and its no big deal..In my case, I adopted the lifestyle of “drink till u pass out” from my last boyfriend, who’s from the states..and from what he was telling me its pretty common where he’s from..And after living like that for a while I noticed that, as with every trend from the US, greeks are also catching up, we usually copy what americans do 5-10 years late!..I dont like stereotyping people, let alone countries, and Id love to hear ur thoughts on that..Till then stay strong and make the most of your life!! :)

  • kjbp

    Hi Tania and Theodora, I agree with Angela and what she says about how difficult it is to understand what you must be going through in life and the emotions you face every day. My husband and I are reading a really good book called “A Purpose Driven Life.” It is designed for you to read one reflection each day. He reads it in the morning and I read it at night. Yesterday’s reflection was about being “Transformed by Trouble”. It speaks to the hard times and challenges we face in the world and in our own worlds and how life is a series of problems. Every time we solve one, there is another problem waiting to take its place. It is these times that our character is being built. It says there is a plan for our lives and these challenging and difficult situations help define our character. It is a slow process, but like Tania said, it is those troubles like staying sober that give us energy to keep going (and have built a piece of our character!!) The chapter talks about world struggles, too. If anyone would like I can see about getting copies of this book for whoever would want one. I’ve found it truly an amazing piece of work in helping to define ‘what is my purpose in life.’

  • Stacey

    Hi All,
    at nearly 3 weeks sober, I find its getting to be more difficult, instead of easier. I am using sheer will-power to get by. I just hit the gym every time I think about drinking. So far it has worked. The rest of the time, I just work.
    I wanted to respond to Theodora–I lived in Europe for many years, primarily France and Italy. It is true the there is way more heavy drinking in the US in general. The French and Italians have one or two glasses of wine with dinner. Here in the US, we have several bottles of wine with dinner. Especially in my city, where most people rely on mass transit and don’t own cars; you just jump in a cab and never have to worry about killing yourself or others with your car. It gets easier and easier to overdo it. Very heavy drinking is totally socially acceptable in the US, as long as you don’t step over any social boundaries.
    I have found that no one I know is untouched by alcohol or drug addiction.
    Anyway–thanks all for the discussions. I am still taking it one day at a time and it is NOT easy.

  • Angela

    I am having a hard time guys. Had a death in the family, n first thing I wanted was a drink. I woke up crying, can’t seem to stop- thought I had it under control this morning but now I am a mess. Having runs up and down memory lane without meaning to. Can’t stop thinking about all the life I had with her… and now I won’t have any new memories… it’s killing me how suddenly someone I took for granted would always be there, is suddenly NOT…there are no do overs, I can’t make up lost time

  • camus

    So sorry to hear of your loss ANGELA. It’s difficult to make sense of something so painful. As hard as it is to feel or see right now, I believe that there is always something to be learned from even the most difficult situations and tragedies. All I know for sure is alcohol will make it worse. It will not only make yourself feel worse, it will be a disservice to your loved one. We have to feel the pain, be in it and one with it in order to get through the other side. Alcohol won’t allow us to ever get to the other side of the pain, because it distorts things, it doesn’t tell the truth and you won’t be able to find your peace. There’s no way to speed up your grief. It’s part of the agonies of life. I also believe that going through painful times helps us to love more completely and unconditionally. Hang in there Angela.

  • camus

    STACEY, the U.S. is excessive about everything. 44oz sodas, all you can eat buffets, jumbo size everything. There’s very little moderation here with anything. 3-4 weeks into not drinking was always the hardest for me too. It gets easier after 2-3 more weeks in my opinion. At this point, try not to think about it so much. I know it’s hard, but you just don’t want to dwell on it. I keep an imaginary box that holds all the reasons why I can’t drink, both past reasons, and what I would stand to lose if I was to go back to drinking. There’s a lot of really heavy stuff in this box. I always know it’s there, but I never open it unless I’m really tempted or my inside voice is saying “you could have just one, no one would know”. Then I open up the box & remember all the reasons why “having just one” won’t work for me & not a risk I’m willing to take. But to think about all that heavy stuff all the time can weigh you down and be counterproductive and even lead you to drink. Hope this helps.

  • theodora

    Angela Im so sorry for your loss..Its the unexpected things in life that Im dreading since I quit, hoping that none of them will be a trigger for me to go back..But camus is right, grief is a process u need to deal with, and alcohol will not make it better in any way, especially since the whole idea of drinking is not the same that it once was for none of us anymore..Whenever I had to deal with a death of someone I loved I prefered being able to remember everything about them and trying to hold on to those memories..and there’s no way of knowing how long this wil last, so coping with it by drinking from the start could be really risky..I agree with camus in that there’s something to learn in every tragedy, if not about life at least for ourselves and the ways we choose to deal with them..I hope your pain eases soon..

    Stacey the first weeks are really the hardest..I havent had a drink since new years (my friends think Im a hero), and Im still uncertain about the future, but for right now in my head drinking is not an option, and thats the only advice i could give that has worked for me..No matter what I dont consider drinking as an option any more..I gave up on the idea of controlled drinking on my trial period between xmas and new years, and it really makes life easier somehow knowing what NOT to do..so u come up with different ways to deal, which is a new experience..If i can do it anyone can trust me!! have a great weekend everyone!! :)

  • Angela

    thanks guys

  • kjbp

    Angela, you are with me right now – in my heart. Love you!

  • Tania

    Angela, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Camus and Angela explained it perfectly, it’s all a process. I mean, there’s no way that you can accept the death of someone you love, not now, it will never be possible to accept things like that. There’s a thousand of reasons why not to drink at this very moment, but the most important thing is that there are people that need you, people that want you to be happy and healthy. I know that the most important thing is to help yourself, but we often don’t think about ourselves, our future and health when we want to drink. So, you must think about people in your family who love you and need your support. And, you know that we are all here to support you. So, if you feel that you have to drink, just come here, don’t hesitate.

  • Tania

    Camus, I couldn’t believe about those jumbo sizes until I saw that movie – “Supersize me”. It was a shock for me, but it’s also a warning what will happen hear unless we take care, ’cause the fast food, take out food etc. is becoming more and more popular. When I realised that I became a bit overweight, I decided to cook every day. I haven’t ordered the food this year and I think it’s a big change in my life. I was ordering Chinese and Italian food earlier. Maybe it’s not fat food, but it is jumbo size and, you, at first you can’t eat it, but after a while it becomes OK. Just like alcohol. The first time you drink you get terribly drunk after one beer. After some time you can drink 5 and feel like you could have some more. So, I guess that there’s a lot of people addicted to food in USA. But, the country with the highest percent of obese people is Australia, if I’m right. And, about those jumbo sizes, the most intersting thing that I’ve heard that there are 5 liter plastic bottles of beer in Russia (it’s approximately 170 oz). I can’t even imagine that. So, when you decide to change you sometimes must tear yourself away your background, it’s always difficult.

  • Leslie

    Hello everybody,

    I posted a few times a while ago, and now I’m back. I really enjoy reading all the different posts…I especially appreciate the women on here that share their stories and triumphs. I think it’s harder for a woman to admit she has a problem with alcohol than a man, like somehow it is just worse/more socially unacceptable for a woman. So, Angela, Nancy, Stacey, Theodora, etc. you all make a difference. And the article by Patrick is very inspiring and helpful.

    I know I want to stop drinking but I’m scared because nothing feels different today from the times I tried before. I don’t know what would make it work this time. It’s been a LONG time since my drinking was under control..like 8 months. I haven’t gone more than a week without drinking during that time. So, I feel like I have no perspective, I’m like a kid using training wheels becuase I can barely remember what it feels like to not drink. I mean, I can remember but can’t FEEL it.

    So, tips and feedback would be appreciated. Thanks for reading. And I look forward to posting how many days sober I have (trying not to jinx myself lol).

  • theodora

    hi all..angela I hope u feel better..xx

    I was watching a movie yesterday, and even though overall it was too cheesy and romantic for me to get affected, I found myself crying spontaneously for a couple of minutes when i heard this quote..its a girl talking to her boyfriend after he admits he had been addicted to drugs:

    “Most junkies, you know, even if they never use again, it doesn’t matter. It’s too late. They’re just gone, you know, permanent zombies. But then there’s junkies where all the horrible places they’ve been, all the horrible shit they’ve done, the fact that they come back from it makes them better people than if they’d never used in the first place.”

    And its funny cause that’s exactly what I was about to say to Leslie..cause she said she doesnt even remember what it was like before she started drinking..I didnt either, and Im sure most of us didnt..And even if we did Im pretty sure it would be wrong and distorted by all that drinking..But the point is not to become who we were before, I dont think thats possible, and maybe what this quote’s saying is right, maybe when we’re through with the addiction we’re gonna be better people than if we’d never use..I sound like a self-help book I know, but I wanna believe this, and even if its not true I’ll make it!! good luck leslie, take care everyone! :)

  • Angela

    Leslie, welcome back… I am not the best person for any uplifting support right now, I am an emotional wreck…but I am so happy to see you back here with us….
    tania, theordora, camus..all… thank you for your thoughts and encouragement…. you all mean so much to me…
    tough times

  • Tania

    Theodora, does anyone call you Thea or something like that? It’s a very common nick for Theodora here. And you could recommend us that movie. It’s sometimes very relaxing to watch something like that, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter if it’s too romantic or naive. Are you English teacher or something? I noticed that your English is far better than mine.
    Leslie, I feel that it’s a change you can’t understand unless you start doing something about it. My bf explained me that even if I don’ drink for five years that it doesn’t mean I’m not an alcoholic anymore and that it can all change one time I have a drink. It doesn’t sound optimistic, really. His point is that I should be able to have just one drink and not feel craving for some more. It sounds impossible. So, since it doesn’t work for me I stick to my plan and don’t drink at all. I’m not sure if he’s right, but it does make sense.

  • theodora

    hi all..angela it was good hearing from u, be patient and strong! xx

    tania, thea in greek means “aunt” so no, nobody calls me that and noone will until I get a niece or a nephew!! dora is a far more popular nickname but noone calls me that either,Ive kept theodora and noone seems to mind! Im not an english teacher but Ive had english lessons since I was 4, and both my degrees are from american and british schools (Ive studied psychology, never used any degree in the real world, and obviously didnt help me too much either!!) The movie’s called Feast of Love, based on a novel by Charles Baxter, which was a bestseller..

    I agree with ur boyfriend, and my goal is to be able to feel balanced, secure and confident so Im able to have one or 2 drinks in the future without negative consequences..Living in extremes, whether its too much drinking or none at all is clearly a sign of a weakness that hasnt been addressed, and I dont wanna live like that forever..Somewhere in the middle is what we should be aiming for..

    My main concern right now is that my ex is moving back from the states, and he’s the one who got me hooked on drinking in the first place..he also smokes pot daily along with drinking, and he has no intention of quiting..He’s a couple years younger than me, so I can see why he’d think that, like I never thought I’d wanna quit before this year..So he’s coming back, and Im dreading it, I know he probably thinks Im lame for not drinking or doing drugs anymore, but thats not a lifestyle I wanna go back to..althought Im not even sure what the lifestyle without it is..Any thoughts are welcome..Thank u all, have a great day :))

  • nick

    Today will be my first day sober, about 2 years ago(right after I turned 21) i started drinking around 6-10 beers a day after work and had all kinds of bad things happen, and most were my fault… I felt like crap all the time, but to me i felt like I needed to drink as soon as I got out of work, and sometimes even on lunch break. I was able to stop drinking constantly after a few problems, eventually it just got out of hand. It was hard, but I was able to go to just ocationally (once a week or so) drinking, but I always got drunk, and i still would just drink until i passed out, even if i knew i’d had enough. i felt like if i stopped drinking that i would feel like shit, so the drunker i got the more i would drink… I thought this was okay, and it was for a while, but the last few times ive drank, by the time i realized i’d had too much the damage was done. I have a bad temper, but hardly get mad when I’m sober. when I drink, just about anything can piss me off and once I’m pissed while drinking I have no control, I turn into a completely different person. Last night the same thing happened, I was having a good time and something got spilled, someone got upset, and I flipped, refused to listen to anyone, and spent the night by myself. I ended up getting on facebook and being a total jerk to my girlfriend, so everyone thinks i was just being an asshole, but I could not calm down and It didnt feel like me typing everything… it was like someone else or an alter ego came out. I am tired of feeling like an idiot and pissing everyone off, I am tired of feeling like theres this little angry version of me that comes out when I drink and causes my friends to not want to be around me. If I can’t moderate my drinking myself, then I need to quit entirely. This will be very hard, as i play in a band, and we’re always playing at bars, so it will be a major thing to overcome the temptation, but if I want to make a career out of being a musician, this is something I’ll have to over come, as being a musician that does not play bars (at least around here) will never work for me. It will be very hard to turn down the free drinks, and to explain to other bands that I am friends with that I do not want to drink, as i always was the first one to start. This puts me in a weird situation as i cannot really distance myself from people I used to drink with, I would have to quit playing music which would be a worse move and would probably drive me to drink again.

    My point of this ramble is i am enjoying reading this site so far and I can tell it will be a valuable resource while I keep myself sober. It’s already helped me to feel like I can do this, I know it will be hard, but it will be worth it.

  • theodora

    hi nick..just wanted to say that Ive met a bunch of bands, and I also got friends who are in bands, and none of them drink as much as I used to..at least not the ones who have actually made it..so all i got to say is dont relate being in a band with drinking so much in your head..other than that any advice I could give has already been said..I can assure u it is possible to not drink, I did it and I never thought I could, and its also possible to keep hanging out with the same people and just keep on living ur life..minus the drink..good luck!!:)

  • Anonymous

    Hey you all,

    Thank you for your responses. Angela, you’ve proven yourself very strong, so just hold on to that. I hope you are faring better. Memories never stop being bittersweet.

    Theodora, Re: being a better person: I want to move on and grow, and being “who I once was” (whatever that means) is impossible. Heraclitus is paraphrased as saying “You can never step into the same river twice,” (change is the only constant), or also (more confusingly) “On those stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters flow.” I know memories are distorted, with or without drinking, which reinforces how important it is to be in the present.
    I hope I am/will be a better person after abuse, but I don’t think of drinking/drug abuse as a means to an end (being a stronger person through it), this is just something that is there in all of us.
    But like your quote said (which I liked thank you), many people don’t come back from that zombie state. Drugs really do destroy character. So much of our “identity” is shaped by memories/perceptions, habits, motivations/desires, that I think if you have an addiction, it molds onto our identity, (IT BECOMES YOUR IDENTITY) like vines to a tree. This is because in being addicted (or just having no moderation) you don’t know what to desire. I stepped into this “river” young, and every step since, for good or bad, has been different than the one before. This is one great interpretation of the quote from the Internet Enyclopedia of Philosophy:

    “The sentence says that different waters flow in rivers staying the same. In other words, though the waters are always changing, the rivers stay the same. Indeed, it must be precisely because the waters are always changing that there are rivers at all, rather than lakes or ponds. The message is that rivers can stay the same over time even though, or indeed because, the waters change. The point, then, is not that everything is changing, but that the fact that some things change makes possible the continued existence of other things.”

    So much in life requires clear-mindedness, balance, sobriety. Identity (depending on def.) is just a concept, where your states are fixed, more or less (in that you feel you know how you “would be” in all hypothetical situations), but this doesn’t leave any room for surprises. Reminds me of another quote, “It’s a great thing to realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself,” (American Beauty). In this same vein, I bet most people in recovery have surprised themselves. Now, bare with my musings (hey, I blame this damn site for having ‘spiritual’ in its title) but this means that we have more “identity” when we are in the throes of an addiction because it is then we know how we are going to react, our actions are reliable. I don’t know if this speaks to anyone, but some motivation for quitting has been learning who I am, discovering myself, and my identity.. Identity is overrated, if not just an illusion. Placing our ideas of ourselves onto every Thing can lead to the first addiction of WANTING ceaselessly.
    So, to try to make sense, I think ‘character’ is a better way to describe people’s searching- Instead of “learning who i AM,” through quitting (as if my soul existed a priori) I’d be building up my character (consistent w/ impermanence). And building character suggests change, accumulation, progress. Also, I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, read, etc. a person claim little responsibility through “identity”: I can’t help it, it’s who I am, I can’t change; Character’s more moral, it’s less selfish.
    I am still confused by what IS constant, what is ‘the river’, ‘the Dao’, ‘the will’ which is inherently paradoxical?

    (and theodora you didn’t mention ‘identity’ it wasn’t an argument against your statement, it just got me thinking.. i know you’re all thinkers, that’s what gets us into this mess…cause drinking/drugs quiets the mind..but it does this by killing it, basically; ‘what nourishes me, destroys me’..another contradiction..AAHHH..
    oh and nick? i’m right there with ya, good post)

    These are just ideas, I have to work on doing, that is the only way I can change for the better, now THAT I know. See ya. 1 day Sober! What… an accomplishment. //Chelsea handler reference/

  • Tania

    Theodora, I didn’t know that “thea” means aunt, it’s intersting, is “theo” uncle or god then? Or both? LOL
    Well, I met some doctors that drink and smoke heavily, sleep for 3 hours or so. But, they are not bad doctors, they just don’t take care of themselves. I’m sure that you would be a great psychologist, your insight about human behavior and acts is very good, if you face some problems, it doesn’t mean that your skills are not good enough. Oh, now I’m acting like a psychologist, but it’s a part of my future profession. I should become a teacher, and somehow, I just should make kids deal with their demons. And we all have the similar issues they do.
    Nick, it’s good to have you here. Just hang in there. I think that you understand some things yourself, but you’re very young and maybe you should not be worried about your identity, it’s something that will change. The most important thing for us is to start seeing some things clearly. You have a point when you say that we’re all making our lives very complicated due to overthinking probably. You’re 23, it’s impossible to be “who you once were”. I’m 25 and can’t imagine myself now being the person I was at your age. People change a lot in twenties. And, I heard many times that twenties are the worst period of life, and mostly because we all try to find some “identity”. I don’t know if it’s true.

  • Tania

    Theodora, I’m stupid. Thea is “tia” in Spanish, or “tetka” in Serbian. God is “theos”. I’m losing my mind. LOL

  • kjbp

    Gosh girls (and guys), I was just reading this and hope you find it as thought-provoking as I did… “Every temptation is an opportunity to do good. On the path to spiritual maturity, even temptation becomes a stumbling block when you realize that it is as much an occasion to do the right thing as it is to do the wrong thing. Temptation simply provides the choice.” Ahh choices…??!! Good gosh??!!

  • theodora

    haha tania, ur not losing it, thea is aunt (spelled theia), theios is uncle, and theos is god..they’re written differently..so theodora basically means a gift from god..Which brings me to what I wanted to say about temptation that kjbp mentioned..Im not religious at all, and even though Im all for doing good and avoiding hurting people, Im also all for the pleasures in life and not making martyrs of ourselves..I think christian doctrines can be damaging if followed too literally, and Im sure all of us know what is right and whats wrong without having to be dictated by anyone…I cant explain this any better right now but I hope it doesnt sound judging or insulting the faith of anyone..I think the best way is to let everyone be helped the way they prefer-as long as its not hurting anyone else..

    About identity and character that Anonymous mentioned..I love the way u talked about it, as character being in a constant state as opposed to identity being fixed..Unfortunately though, especially as we grow older, fixed parts of our identity become more obvious (at least to me, from myself and the people around me) and more resistant to change..So my point is, even though it might be something fixed (or not, its up to anyone’s opinion) it might be better to think of ourselves in terms of our characters so we can be more hopeful and creative about ourselves in the present..

    Oh and tania..if u find the 20s hard to deal, wait till your 30s!! Just kidding, I’ll be 33 in a couple weeks, and both decades have given me equal amounts of joy and pain..Life’s hard and fun at any age..:))

  • SusanK

    kjbp ~ I love piece about temptations/choice! Thanks!

  • Stacey

    LESLIE,

    Your post from Feb 20th really got to me. I really feel for you right now. You are at the place that I was almost 5 weeks ago. I was so afraid to quit, but simply said “no more”, and have been sober ever since. If I can do it, you can do it. I understand what its like to be afraid to quit and afraid not to quit. You wonder what your life will be without alcohol, but afraid what will happen if you keep drinking. I think we have all been to that place where we can’t remember life before we started drinking. It will come back to you–who you were/who you are without alcohol. I didn’t feel any different this time that I stopped drinking either. I have had many “rock bottoms”, and I’ve always gone back to the booze. This time, its not different, but it IS sticking. I’m still sober–for the longest time ever. I have had a few really difficult days, but I’m still sober. I just get busy doing stuff, and I get over the urge. I just don’t let my mind or body be idle. I’ve joined an intense workout program at my gym, took some more work, and call up my friends to go for coffee instead of drinks. Its working. Having a good support system is important. My husband is there for me, 100%. I’m pretty lucky. Also, think about your health. Think about how great it will be to prolong your life, to keep yourself healthier and happier without the horrible effects of excessive alcohol. Maybe that could also be some motivation for you.

    Good luck and my thoughts are with you! Hope to hear from you again soon!

  • Stacey

    CAMUS, thank you so much for the box analogy. Its a good one. I have always kept replaying the reasons to not drink in my head, but you’ve given me an idea to write them down on scraps of paper and literally put them in a box. When I feel weak, I will pull out a random slip of paper and read it out loud “my reason for not drinking is…”. This will put something tangible in my hands that I can feel responsible to. Thank you!

    ANGELA, all I can say is hang in there! You can and will get through this. I have experienced deaths in my family recently, and it always feels impossible to get through–but we ultimately do. We can choose to get through it soberly, which is the better way to do it. Alcohol just makes it worse, plain and simple. Be strong and know that you are not alone!

  • Leslie

    Hello,
    The post by anonymous was actually me, ha, I didn’t mean to but was on my college’s computer and didn’t even think to put my name in. Stacey, thank you for your post, hopefully we become sober together, and I can be where you are soon. I like what you said about how this time quitting wasn’t any different, but it stuck this time. That makes me very hopeful. This will be my fourth night sober, and I am FINALLY starting to feel better physically and mentally. I’ve hardly done anything these past few nights, but was unable to sleep, so I slept through alarms and missed school. Yikes. But, like I said, I think I’m finally rested and detoxed enough to fight the good fight. Goodnight.

  • JPVD

    Nick;
    You first say how you get drunk and bad things happen; your example is as recent as the night before where ‘everyone thought [you] were being an asshole’ and you were ‘being a jerk’ to your girlfriend. yet later you ruminate that it will be hard for you to stop drinking because your friends expect you to (and that you are the instigator).

    Have you ever thought that maybe your friends are tired of you getting drunk?

    I am not one to make judgements here, i’m a typical ignorant drunk who thought i was ‘mr. suave goodtime’ but in reality was ‘el slobbo the pisshead’.

    anyways, good luck with quitting. it seems the deck is stacked against you, but maybe someday it won;t be abd you can get the monkey off your back.

    JPVD.
    .

  • Angela

    I wanted to say something really amazing, but I find the words are gone. All I can say is thank you for you words and thoughts. You guys are amazing, and I live to read your posts. I keep thinking of things to say, but I realize as I read that you all have covered it so well. I am pretty much stuck in a great big ditch and just when I think I can climb out, I fall back in. I was doing so well and made it through the death- but then when I thought I was ok, I found myself drunk and feeling sorry for myself- going through boxes in my apt by myself with a case of miller lite, trying to find pics of Jean….
    Anyway, I have fallen down, and am picking myself back up and dusting myself off and continuing on… this is what we have to do… I am not going- I refuse! – to beat myself up and make this harder on myself than it needs to be. The more we (as alcoholics) beat ourselves up, the more we hate ourselves, the more we want to numb that feeling, the more we drink, the more we beat ourselves up…… the cycle keeps going, and going.

    I hope this post makes sense, I have been so emotional, and sad that I sometimes think my judgement is skewed. My point is, I AM going to break that cycle…

  • camus

    Angela, you hang in there, and I’m so glad you’re still here, still sludging forward. Sometimes, that’s the best you can do. It will get easier once again. I promise.

    Nick, it is very difficult being around people sober who have always drank with. It’s awkward at first but gets much easier at time. I belong to a “drinking club with a running problem”. We run, drink beer etc. There’s a lot of partying. I didn’t do it after I stopped drinking initially, until I felt stronger, but my closest friends and even my husband are part of this group. I now go regularly. I’m around alcohol all the time and even went wine tasting with some friends. It takes time to not have the overwhelming cravings, but you can continue your lifestyle without drinking. It’s very difficult at first and you may need to take a break from it initially. Good luck to you.

  • JPVD

    Angela;

    It’s just a relapse triggered by a monumental personal event. don’t feel guilt; just forget it and get on with your non-drinking life. there is no ‘GAME OVER: You Lose’ just because you slipped.

    Camus, a long time a go (when i was a younger man and a big drinker) I went for a few runs with my local Harriers…and I always remembered this older guy who drank Ginger Beer. Mostly (at this Hash House) everyone was having a few beers but i was looking to get drunk and it was obvious i was the only one. I moved away but I never forgot that man drinking that non-alcoholic drink; just as normal as could be, with no hassle and still having a good time. Soi here I am, back in my old neighbourhood but scared to rejoin this ‘drinking club with a running problem’…but the reality os that i’ll be that older man drinking the ginger beer!

    Maybe sometimes our bravery goes unnoticed by ourselves, but is certainly noted by those in need. Just having the guts to bartend sober, or go wine-tasting without tasting yourself, or just running with a running club without partaking in the booze… these are great things that people need to see.

    The world isn’t just for the drinkers to have fun!

  • Mark

    Hello friends! How is everyone doing? I hope all is well. I missed everyone.. I’ve been away for sometime..I was a little busy and also too confident on my self that I’m doing good..but guess what? Most of the time our “enemy” won the battle AGAIN. I know almost all of us are “a work in progress” so I will try again. I will visit this site again on a regular basis to reconnect with you guys and get inspiration. I see that we have new members of our family…Welcome to all of you! I’m working on my second batch of my personally mixed perfumes…I’ll start working out…Make good use of my new work schedule..Be sincere with my prayers…Make wise decisions and Do good on dating this great woman I met…I guess with these and with some help from above I’ll be on my way to the right path again. Good luck to us all! Thank you!! God Bless and have a good one! :)

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi everyone just thought I would give you an update on my daughter. She has been now for a week. She is on medication. She is still not back to her normal self but she has made a huge improvement. At this point they feel that it was a manic episode brought on by the tylenol 3’s and that she will continue to get better and back to herself. She is angry and just wants her life back. I have never been so tired and just want my life back too. I don’t feel like myself either and have never been so tired and stressed in my life. If I was drinking it would dull this pain but I am glad that I am not as it would add to the problems and it would only be temporary and then at some point I would have to deal with reality. I have been reading everyone’s post just to tired to form a sentence or thought.

  • Angela

    Nancy, I am so glad your daughter is on the road to recuperation. Hang in there, it takes time. I am glad you were able to weather this storm without drinking, Lord knows it is hard to do. I know from personal experience…. I am so proud of you!!! You are doing great even when you feel so down.
    Mark, no worries about having a few lost battles, it is the war we want to win. I lost a few battles last week, but I am NOT giving up. I am in this thing to win. So are you my friend, so are you. I am so glad we can fight this together. Keep posting and keep fighting the good fight.
    To all…. thank you for your encouraging words and thoughts…it has been difficult, but little by little I feel a little better and more human. Losing someone is hard, you feel numb inside, then angry, going through the whole process is draining. EK Ross was right, you get through one phase then can easily back up and start right over. I am trying to do this one day at a time. Thank you all.

  • Mark

    Thanks Angela! We only lose the war when we give up. Nancy and Angela I hope and I’m sure things will be better soon. Just have faith. My favorite motto is ” God doesn’t give us problems we can’t solve”. We’re all here for you guys…we are family…Keep in touch..Good night and God Bless!

  • Tash

    I haven’t been on here for a while. The last time I was on here, was probably last year. Anyway, time has passed and a lot has happened. I am trying to work out how to deal with my brother. He is extremely self destructive and selfish. He was so drunk on the weekend he fell down a cliff looking for his mates. They had left him in the car because he was drunk. He got up walked around and fell down the cliff. He has now got a fractured neck and back. He was still drunk in the hospital when we turned up 4 hours later. My mum is beside herself. He is 44, living at home (due to drinking), has two children who he sees between his ex and him. They are fine, my Mum is brilliant. How can we get him to realise he is a danger to himself. A little advice would be appreciated. No, this isn’t the first time he has been a danger to himself. Crashed his car and has back problems because of it (lost his licence for two years). I want him to stop drinking. From what I’ve read on this site, it is bloody hard. I will put my hand up to drinking too much at times, but at home, stay home and not upsetting other people, ie. his friends and family. His friends are fast losing patience with him. He is a good person minus the booze.

  • cory

    Hi everyone. I have been out of town for the past few weeks so haven’t been posting. I was in Mexico and am so overwhelmed/dumbfounded by what I have seen. The poverty and living conditions and hard work just to get by was so disturbing, but the peple were so joyful and happy. In my town anyone who is ‘suffering’ i.e. lost their job, illness, just not happy is pretty much on drugs, drinking, miserable and expects that life ‘owes them something’. I see myself in these people and am so ashamed because really I have so much compared to the people in Mexico, and yet I make excuses for myself to zone out and take no responsibility for my life. I am making a broad statement here but I think we would be much better off if we just buckled down, accepted what life has put on our plate without making excuses for bad behaviour and do what it takes to lead a good life. The only thing that is stopping us in our own excuses. I hope I haven’t offended anyone, but having been involved in this stopping drinking process for several months now and not making a lot of progress,and seeing people who have every excuse to drink, but instead are disciplined, happy and sober, I really think we need a message that says just quit it – no excuses no sympathy – just quit it.

  • Angela

    Tash- I wish there were another answer to give you, but until your brother realizes it for himself, he will not quit drinking. You cannot make the decision for him. The only thing you can do is encourage your mum to no longer be an enabler. You both need to NEVER do anything that makes it possible for him to drink, or afford drink. In other words, WHY is he living with your mum? Harsh words, I know, but as an alcoholic, I have learned that it is hard to find money to buy drink when you have bills and rent to pay, but much easier when family pays your bills. When I go on a bender, I am the only one to blame, noone buys me drink but me.
    Cory, I understand where you are coming from. I live so close to the border and have daily interactions with Mexican nationals. You are so right, many have nothing and yet they choose to be sober and enjoy what they have. It absolutely floors me how happy and content they are with what little they have. And yet, you have to always remember that we alcoholics do not choose to drink because of what we do or do not have, it is more an emotional/psychological issue. Please do no be so harsh with yourself or those of us on this page, we have past issues that we are suppressing or “treating” that have nothing to do with what we own or don’t own. You haven’t offended me, you have just alarmed me- I worry that somewhere down the road you will be harsher on yourself than you need to be and quite possibly spiral out of control because of this thought process. We are all struggling, this is not an easy process, be kind to yourself and to those around you.

  • Tania

    I was away for a while and I’ll be away for some more, because I have to go to Hungary tomorrow. I came just to wish you all the best during this week, I hope you’re all doing fine.

  • Samantha

    Ok last nite I drank while on medication, stupid I know and I don’t really remember what happened. I drove to a dinner party at my in laws and at first I felt ok, but after about an hour I just felt sick and extremely drunk and drugged out. I do remember going to the bathroom and throwing up and then needing to lease asap. I don’t know if anyone noticed, but my mother in law did ask me if I was ok. As I was driving I remember struggling to see the road. I feel so horrible today, I could have killed myself mixing the booze with my meeds or in a car accident. The worst part about it is I had my child in the car with me. I hate myself and although we made it home safe, I sit here trying to recap the nite and Im now extremely depressed and I don’t even want to get out of bed, I wish I could sleep the day away and forget how stupid and irresponsible I was. I’ve been drinking daily, getting drunk daily for 11 months now and at one point I was doing better, one or 2 glasses of wine maybe just 2 or 3 times a week, but in the last month, I have been out of control, drinking before noon. I never did this before, but the more I drink, the more anxiety I get and it seems like only having another drink will cure it. Like today, after what I did last nite I feel just downing some vodka will be my only cure to my anxiety and depression over what happened last nite. I only hope that no one at that dinner party realized how bad I was before I took off…but who am I kidding, alcoholics never think anyone knows how bad they are. I was doing so good and then I don’t know, I started drinking in the morning and now I’m drunk everyday and I can’t stop, I’m spinning out of control. I drink again the next day cause I’m depressed and mad at myself for doing it the day before. I feel so low. I need to stop this for my health, for my kids, their safety, but my self esteem has gotten so low, I can’t seem to pick myself up. I can’t sleep at nite even though I’m exhausted. Can anyone offer words of advice or encouragement?

  • Phil

    I haven’t been on here for awhile because the last two months I have been very busy with work. Unfortunately there was quite a few nights that I went back to drinking as a way to relax. One day after rereading several of Patrick’s articles, I decided that for me “massive action” or “overwhelming force” as I have also seen it called could best be achieved by my by going to AA on a daily basis. I have been to 16 meetings in 16 days and have not had a single craving. I am even thinking about doing this for 90 days and also working the steps through writing. I know this is a “how to do it on your own” site, but I think it really helps to have those meetings in early recovery. I am also doing a walk/jog for 1.5 hours right after work, so really with the exercise combined with the meeting every night most of my time that I used to spend drinking is now filled with recovery.

  • Tash

    Hi Angela, thanks for your feedback. Harsh is good. Need to know expectations. Going to a counselling session tonight for the first time with my Mum about living with an alcoholic.

  • Angela

    Tash that’s good news! I will be thinking about you and your mum! Good luck with this. I really hope it helps!

    Samantha, your story sounds so familiar it makes me want to cry. (as I do so many times reading the posts on this page) Hang in there, the first thing you need to do is chose to not drink for one day- always think one day at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with thinking of it as a lifetime change, think one day at a time. Yes you made some very bad decisions, but you cannot fall into the habitual cycle of beating the hell out of yourself because it just leads to drinking more, then feeling bad, then drinking more, then feeling bad…..see what I mean? Try hard to break that cycle, be good to yourself, forgive yourself and every time you chose to not drink, give yourself some well needed pats on the back. This is a tough road but you are not alone my friend, we are all here for you and will be rooting for you. Hang in there, you CAN DO THIS!!!!!

    Phil good to here from you, sounds like you have found a good combo for yourself. I was doing more exercise and it was really helping and I was feeling so good then I started the couch potato thing again when Jean died and I need to get back into the exercise, I miss it. There is something about the burn that hurts so good! How sadistic does that sound? hehe

  • theodora

    hi all..Ive been reading posts daily, but didnt have anything to say..Still sober since new year’s, my ex who we used to drink and pass out together is back, but I still wont drink, and i think somehow he drinks less too so Im gonna keep it up..

    Samantha, all I got to say hoping it helps and not the opposite, is that only by being sober will your mood get better..Ever since I quit, my mood swings have become significantly less tense, my depression is not triggered, and all emotions overall are easier to handle..I know it sounds hard, and it is, but only when u quit will u be able to get out of the vicious cycle of depression, guilt and embarrasment..they’re all caused by booze, and I would never have known if I hadnt quit..All i can say is that it IS possible to not drink AND feel way better that u ever felt through drinking..U just got to be patient the first few days or couple weeks..But the reward is really worth it, please believe me..And u can do it, have no doubts about that, anyone who has never expected it either!

    sending all my love to all of u, angela, tania everyone :))

  • camus

    Samantha, it took me putting my little kids in an unsafe situation for me to stop once and for all. I cried everyday, multiple times a day because I was so disgusted in myself for risking my kids safety. I vowed at that time that I would do whatever it took to never drink again. I went to AA meetings briefly (but very helpful in the beginning). I knew everyday which AA meetings had childcare provided in case i was feeling weak, I had somewhere to go. I didn’t utilize AA much in my recovery, but it sure is nice to have someone to call any second of the day if you need someone to talk to. I usually think of myself as never drinking again or being a nondrinker, but if I get overwhelmed at the thought or am feeling tempted, I’ll go back to the “one day at a time” tactic. I used the disgust I had for myself to carry me through to quit. After a little time went by without drinking, I started to realize that I am a good wife and mother and person. I also realized how incredibly happy and lucky I am. When us problem drinkers drink, we not only are miserable when we drink, but also between the drinks because we’re depressed, no energy and are miserable to be around.
    PHIL, good for you! Your dedication to be a healthier, better person is admirable.
    JPVD, I thought you sounded like a “hasher”. I was so embarrassed for so long after I stopped drinking because I realized even at this club, people usually don’t drink to get drunk. There were more times than I could remember that I was falling down drunk, showed up drunk and could barely run, either drive drunk or get a ride home. I was the drunk of the hash. I now laugh with them of my drunken days and others have taken on my role. And I sit back with my rootbeer or water and feel strong, refreshed and HAPPY!

  • Angela

    Well spoken Theodora and Camus! You guys are so good at putting your thoughts to words. Gonna have a quiet night preparing for the weekend, got to work all weekend. Was able to be with my BF for the last couple days, tonight we are barbequeing chicken and veggies, then gonna cuddle up and watch Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, till we fall asleep. I am feeling so much more human now. Thanks for all your encouragement and kind words. I am making progress every day. Talk to you all on Monday…

  • Samantha

    Camus, i remember reading your posts about taking your kids for a walk. I realize that I must forgive myself when I had too much to drink and was so irresponsible. When I dwell on it, I just want to drink again, yes Angela, I know what you mean. The past month I’ve been stuck in that vicious cycle, day after day…but today I feel I can break it, if just for one day. I realize that it may take many months or even years of trying to quit drinking, failing and trying again before I succeed. For those of you who are going through this too, you can’t hate yourself for failing, just get up and move on and try again. I’m done being mad and disappointed with myself for drinking again, life goes on no matter what so I have to get over it and move on otherwise, I’ll just keep drinking day after day. I feel ok right now, yes I’m depressed over my drinking problem and the fact that it’s so much harder than I ever expected to quit, but I don’t want to get drunk. I hope I wake up tomorrow feeling better. I’ll give myself a pat on the back for not going to bed drunk. I feel sick physically, but I know if I don’t drink just for today, I will feel a little better tomorrow. Thank you everyone for the kind words, you all really the only people I turn to and I appreciate it so much, especially Camus because I think you were once where I am having little ones to care for. It’s the weekend and I hope everyone does good, I’m gonna try real hard to stay dry if I don’t make it, I’ll try again the next day instead of beating myself up. I think my problem before was I didn’t have real motivation, yes I wanted to quit, but still in the back of my mind, I wasn’t 100 percent.

  • Samantha

    And Theodora yes, I know that once I’m sober my mood will get better, I just have to try and wait for that. I know it will take time. Thank you too..

  • Angela

    Samantha, I will be thinking about you. I hope things go well with you. It is really a hard thing to know about yourself to know that you raised your child as a drunk mother. My son will be 21 next month, and I struggle with the guilt and self reprisal of knowing that while I may have given him a good first 7 years, I raised him the rest of the way as a drunk mother. I gave him the unstable household that any drunk gives their children. I drove drunk with him in the car man times, could have killed him, and I brought a string of drunken one night stands and asshole boyfriends- one of whom was physically abusive to him- into our home—-HOME, where a child should feel safe… I am now watching him struggle with alcohol and going to jail for drunk driving. Last year, he went to jail Christmas Eve and I had to make the tough decision to let him sit there and think about his life, and maybe make some tough decisions himself. I too, drank and drove with my son in the car… I have many regrets, as do all on this site…. I tell you these things because I hope you will not do as I did, and continue the path you are on, because it may lead to your kid’s having tough choices in the future. I beat myself up daily for the way I raised my son. I cannot help but realize that the way I raised that boy has led him to the difficult life he lives now- and that makes me hate myself all the more. He spent New Year’s in jail and his birthday in treatment…seems to be doing better, but the scars I caused will always be there. Just some food for thought, my friend….

  • Stacey

    Hi All,
    I see that there have been some struggles this week. You have all touched my lives so deeply, and give me so much encouragement to keep going.

    I am praying and keeping good thoughts for all of you. I was so touched by Samantha’s admission of driving while drunk, and the stories that the rest of you chose to share. It keeps so much about why I’m choosing to stay sober in perspective, and hopefully some of the things I share equally benefit all of you.

    My prayer for all of you is to first and foremost STAY SAFE! Put yourself at the mercy of others if you slip, and always let someone else drive you home!

    Peace and love to all of you.

  • justin

    im 30 years old and i started drinking beer around age 15. one of my friends dads had a beer fridge in his garage so it was easy acess for us. by age 17 i was blackout drinking about 3 times a week and i wound up going to my first detox. i was sober about 6 months. then i was back on the booze. i grew up with a very abusive alcoholic step father who used to beat my mother and then knock me around daily. but even though i saw all these things, i decided to try a drink anyway, and unfortunately i liked the way it made me feel. so i drank as much as i could get my hands on to stay numb. at age 19 i got a girl pregnant due to being drunk and and unable to think responsibly and my drinking got worse. she had one of those moms who liked to by their kids booze and let them throw parties. well at about 19 and a half i was drinking a 24 case of beer a day. i tried on my own a few times to get sober and id go maybe a month at times. but i always fell back,, and it always seemed like every time i slipped and went back to drinking id drink even more than the last time. at age 23 i went to treatment 3 different times in that year never lasting more than a few weeks. now im 30 with a wife 4 kids and home with a decent job but im drinking about a liter a day and i fear for my health. i want to quit more than anything but im not able to do anykind of treatment due to my personal circumstances. so im gonna try cold turky. ive done do it before but im abit nervous about withdrawal this time, as i do drink more now than i did then. does anyone know of anything non prescription that could help with this.

  • Angela

    Justin, if you try cold turkey remember to keep many forms of sugar available to you- for you brain cells. Juices, candy, whatever… don’t worry about gaining weight, just keep a continuous source of carb intake for your brain- to avoid seizures…. Also, many over the counter vitamins- b complex, a multivitamin, an antioxident (ACAI is a good one, pill form) Omega 3 (big time) and a few others- do research online before you go cold turkey, it could keep you from DTs and seizure activity….. Also, make sure that one person knows you are doing this just in case, they will need to check in with you (by phone is fine) on regular intervals every 12 hours the first 2 days then every 4-6 hours for about 4 days, if possible. Make sure it is someone that will support you the way you need to, but will not judge you if you mess up and drink. This is a tough one, hard to find friends that can help you with this. I remember posting the first time here, I was about to go cold turkey, but was afraid of the DTs (withdrawals). I received so much support and personal testimonials, that I really felt like, “if they can and have done this, so can I”. Let me tell you this: YOU can do it!!! I will be thinking of you. I am so glad you found us… we are ALL here for you. This is a tough road but WE ARE STRONG! We can do this together!!!! Don’t give up, no matter what. If you feel weakened, re-read the previous posts, that will help. I did that, I read and re-read and cried and re-read so many times. I went through some crazy symptoms, and posted about them and found that I wasn’t the only one, so that made me feel better. I could not have done it without these guys. Every time I posted something, I had feedback from a personal point of view- we are here and will share what we have been through to help you. And, by the way, we are all struggling with the same thing, we have – none of us ARRIVED- we are still on the same path, so we all realize still how hard this is. I will always (and have) tell on myself when I f**k up and drink, because the only way for us to all help each other is to be honest with each other – which in the long run, equates to us being honest with ourselves.
    We are all on the same page and the same path… we have been through so much together….

    Welcome Justin to our family- we are all comrades in arms in this fight…count on us, as we will count on you…

  • alkoholic

    please help me i want to stop but i am drunk now. please stop me

  • justin

    thank you for your response Angela you have given me lots of encouragement, yesterday was day 1 and i made it, so here i am on my second day and im hanging on, my heads pounding and i feel like im on fire, but it seems bearable at the moment. ive got some multivitamins i started yesterday and some omega fish oil pills, ill have to go out and get some b complex though. i appreciate your repsonse and all of your suggestions. up until yesterday i felt like i was alone with this problem. it helps alot to read all the posts on here and see all of your struggles as well. for the people on here who are asking for help, to see that helps me know im not alone with my misery and for the people on here who have gained their sobriety and are giving others like me encouragement really helps for me to see theres a light at the end of the tunnel, and know there may be hope for me. so thank you so much, unfortunately my wife only buys sugar free juice but i found a stash of sweet tarts, so im going to go chug down some water and suck on some tarts.

  • Angela

    Justin, Sweet tarts and spree were my saviors, I sucked them all the time. Hang in there, I will be thinking of you… Just remember, one day at a time, don’t overwhelm yourself, just think “today I will be sober.” And after awhile you will start noticing the things that you never realized you were missing out on because of alcohol… taking pleasure in the small things, expecially with a wife and children, there are so many small, yet amazing moments to be had…

  • Samantha

    Thanks to all for the encouragement. I woke up yesterday wanting to throw up and I had anxiety, I was trying to get ready to go somewhere and I was struggling trying to just put mascara on cause my hands were so shaky, I couldn’t do it. I finally took a Xanax by noon, then I was ok. I drank veggie juice, lots of water, detox tea and took vitamin c, b, milk thistle..today I woke up feeling better, day 2 like you Justin. I’m hoping if I stay sober again today, then tomorrow I’ll feel better than today and so on. I do want a glass of wine before bed to help me sleep, but I know it will be a bottle and then I’ll wake up feeling bad again and kill the progress I made in that one day getting over being shaky, plus, I feel pain in my liver and kidney area and I need to heal. Justin if you fear for your health that’s a good reason to stop, we’re really hurting ourselves, actually killing ourselves and that’s what scaring me most to quit right now. You can’t survive if your kidneys and liver fail. I hate to put it so bluntly, but I don’t want to die..

  • justin

    well ive made it 48 hours and i have no desire for a drink right now, which makes me happy. ive still got a killer headache and ive got awful hot flashes, i was on fire most of the day and then all of a sudden im freezing. now im just going to need to find something to do with myself. i know boredom can be dangerous for people with addiction. ive always drank to pass the time, so i dont know what to do. i here you samantha i dont want to die either. ive been on high blood pressure meds for about 5 years now and im only 30, and ive got lots of pain in my back and sides(kindeys). health is important to me of course but booze always seems to bring out the worst in me. i didnt think much of getting in trouble when i was younger, but now that im older and have a family i try to be the best person i can be despite my drinking and i try to raise my kids christian and lead by example. they r still young enough that ive been able to hide my problem from them. but with me my drinking is unpredictable. maybe 6 out of 10 times im a fun and happy drunk. and then the 7th time i commit grand theft auto and steel a 40 ton mack truck. ive come close to losing my house and my family. so i think tomorrow im going to wake up and make my vow for the day to no matter what stay sober. and maybe ill even take a jog or something, depends on how i feel i guess. so hang in there samantha if i can make it another day i know you can. ive been a fiend with virtually nonexsistant will power my whole life. so good luck falling alseep tonight, you should try some melatonin, its supposed to work pretty good to help you fall sleep.

  • JPVD

    Justin and Samantha (and anyone else in the first days of quitting): Deciding to quit was the hard part, and now you are on your way. 1 hour turns into 24, into 48 and soon you’ll have your first saturday night dry etc.

    I sweated it out my first few days, thought people were breaking into the house, literally gripped the wheel WHITE-KNUCKLE driving past booze-shops.. but here I am…doing better every day many months later.

    You are very brave. It is easy to succumb; why not, booze isn;t illegal and you are adults.. but you have chosen to fight and to better yourselves. Even if it is with white-knuckles, fight! You will win, it does get better/easier.

    JPVD.
    .

  • theodora

    hi all..just wanted to say something about sleep..I always used to drink and pass out, never thought I could fall asleep without drinking..and it was hard for maybe the first month or month and a half since I quit, cant remember right now, Id have nightmares or get up real early in the morning..But I want to assure you that after a while, and I guess its different for everyone, could be less could be more, sleep is so much better sober than ever experienced drunk..I still find it hard to believe how much calmer and restorative sleep feels when sober..So please be patient, the rewards of quiting might not all show immediately but they are way more than u’d imagined, and way better than u expect!! good luck to all, my thoughts are always with all of you on this site and I’ll always be grateful for all of you :))

  • justin

    ok everyone its day 3, i only slept maybe an hour last night, really bad insomnia. but despite feeling fuzzy from being tired i actually feel pretty good. im thinking im through the worst of it,, atleaste i hope i am. so now its just working on will power and changing my daily habits. i think i might actually start getting into an excersice routine as of today to help keep my mind off of things. lots and lots of things to change. so thank you to all of you for your comments and all of your support. ZZZZZzzzzzz

  • Angela

    Good job guys!!! Samantha and Justin- so proud of you!! Keep it up!

  • camus

    Go Justin! Just keep remembering that it keeps getting easier. You won’t be so preoccupied with thinking about drinking & will learn to fill your life with more positive things. Good work!

  • Samantha

    I cant believe I was sober all weekend!

  • Samantha

    I had trouble sleeping too Justin but I feel ok. Just think how bad and tired we would feel if we drank, how much worse it would be..

  • justin

    thanks camus.. good for you samantha im very excited for you. making it through the weekend was tough for me, because ive always drank the most on the weekends. i think ill sleep good tonight, im exhausted. but im very excited to be ending day 3 and still hanging strong. ive got to say though, i dont know if its just me or if we all feel this way, but 3 days is feeling like 3 weeks. tomorrow will be my real test, my wife will be at work and my kids will be at school, so ill be home alone for the first time since ive stopped.

  • Samantha

    The weekend was tough for me as well since my drinking starts earlier in the day. Sundays are usually the hardest cause my husband works all day and night then its on for me, but not this time, I spent the day drinking tons of water and detox tea, no coffee or soda, my goal was to try to flush my system so thats how I got through the day. Alcohol will still be our system even after 3 days dry because we drank so much everyday. Maybe tomorrow you can focus on flushing your system instead of poising it and make thaj your day like I did? Oh ya, I ended my night by putting epsom salts in a hot bath for 20 mins I heard that flushes toxins and boy was I sweating and all throught the night so I guess I was pretty toxic, my bed probably smells like vodka.. Lol. Think of it as a sauna. I read somewhere saunas are used in the detox process. Just a suggestion to help you get through the day…

  • justin

    good afternoon everyone. thank you for all of your suggestions samantha. its funny that you mentioned the hot bath idea, because i was going to do that last night, but unfortunately for me all of my children decided to takes showers and baths and i got zero hot water. but on the flip side, im feeling really good today. being its a monday im starting a new diet and workout routine. i had a month sober once before in the past and i know working out helped alot. i tried to go for a jog last night and about 6 minutes in i thought i was gonna have a heart attack. so needless to say my body isnt to happy, but now im finally in the mind set to change that. im probably in the best mood ive been in for a very very long time. i hope everyone here is doing good as well.

  • justin

    today is my 6th day. ive almost made it a week. im feeling good, still not sleeping well, but thatll fix itself in time i guess. in the past couple of days lots of things seem to be changing for the better. ive gotten sober, and i just found out i should be going back to work in the next week or so. ive been laid off since september do to the economy. so im very excited. being laid off caused my drinking to go out of control. im not one who can sit at home. im very self destructive and left alone just forget it. i started excercising and in all im just very happy with life, which is very strange for me. usually my wife does everything with the kids, like taking them to the park or just out in gereral, because im either drunk or feeling sick. today i actually feel like going out and taking my daughter to the park. ive always suffered from social anxiety and i always thought drinking made it better, but the booze actually made it so much worse, that when i was sober for any amount of time i couldnt deal at all. i didnt even want to walk out to my mail box. 6 days not drinking and i actually want to leave the house. im still very shy, but since being laid off of work ive been inside almost the whole time. i dont even talk to my neighbors. and now all of the sudden i wake up today, and i wanna go out and do things. reading all of your posts on here has giving me a new out look on life and just given me the power to want to do something with my life. so i just wanted to say thanx to everyone, and i notice there hasnt been any postings on here in a couple of days so i hope all of you are doing well too.

  • Samantha

    Im doing good too. I feel alot better physically and emotionally, the pain in my back and side is going away and my anxiety and depression has subsided confirming to me that it was all due to drinking and not that I need to drink to help it, I need to quit to cure it. Sleeping better but still not that good but at least I dont wake up dead tired cause I drank and didnt sleep good. I dont wake up sweating anymore and my face isnt red anymore. Overall everything is getting better isnt it Justin? Where is everyone?

  • justin

    samantha,, im glad to hear youre feeling better and still staying sober. i agree overall everything is getting much better. itll take some time to get where we wanna be but atleaste we are going in the right direction. im glad you made a post, i havent seen anyone else on here in awhile. ive got to tell you. anytime i was sober for any amount of time, like after waking up in the morning, my anxiety was through the roof, and i felt absolutely fine after a couple of drinks. from all the reading up ive done, it looks like anxiety is a huge side effect of alcohol. my days are still up and down. i wake up exstatic that i made it another day, and i physically am starting to feel much better, but sometimes throughout the day i suddenly feel down and depressed and crave a drink. and that scares the hell out of me because last time i was sober for a month and i was positive that was it and i was done drinking. so ill just keep on pushing on. and checking in on here. im not sure where everyone else is but ill keep posting to help give you support. last time i think i failed becasue i tried to do this all alone, so im not gonna try to project or think about tomorrow im just going to put all my energy into making it through today. so hang in there and when you feel like your hitting a snag remember you not alone.

  • theodora

    hi all…justin, samantha, its great to hear you’re keeping it up..Just wanted to say that personally, any time in the past I tried to quit I failed, and ended up drinking way more than ever before..What made the difference this time is definitely this site, and all the people here, knowing that Im not alone, that other people have been where I was, and trying to get to what we aspire to be together..

    I will always thank the universe for this site, my thoughts are with all of you daily, no matter whos posting and whos not, and Im sure everyone is doing great while away!! :))

  • Phil

    There are some good, positive posts on here since I was here last. Justin, glad to hear that you are going back to work. Unemployment can be a real ordeal for somebody with a drinking problem. I have been there. Justin and Samantha, the anxiety thing is a vicious cycle when we drink. While drinking, it can be relieved for awhile, but when the alcohol wears off, the anxiety can be really tough. Over time, the anxiety basically disappear if I stay sober, although I still have some uncomfortable moments now and then, maybe I always will. Same thing with sleep. I am in my fourth week without a drink, and although my sleep is okay, I am still waking up briefly several times a night. At least I haven’t had a drinking dream in a couple of weeks (this can be weird too). Like dreaming that all of a sudden you have a beer in each hand and you don”t know how they got there. I am certain that all of these things get better over time and by doing positive things in life, and getting back those feelings of happiness and self-worth that basically disappear when drinking is a main part of our lives. Theodora, I am so glad that this site has helped you and that you have found that communicating with others who have the same problem is a real key to your sobriety. Take care.

  • justin

    theodora, i agree this site has helped me alot, i havent talked to many people yet but just reading the posts and the encouragement that i have gotten from some of you has made it easier. and like you, the last time i failed at being sober i started to drink much more than i did before, and that was already alot. i had an incident about a month ago that was alcohol related, and my wife almost didnt let me come back home. my 2 oldest children were very upset by this, so i promised them that was it, nomore drinking. and 3 days later i was drunk again. after today i will have a week sober, and the day before i stopped my youngest son called me out(hes only 9) and he said dad you said you werent gonna drink anymore. that really bothered me. so i told him id quit and keep my promise this time. the last thing i want to do is let down my children. so im gonna keep coming on here, and when im having good days and succeeding ill tell you all about it, and on days i may be struggling ill come on here and tell you about that as well, because its to hard to do this alone. people that arent addicts dont understand, so its hard for me to find support out in my everyday life.

  • justin

    phil, yeah being home for 6 months was a huge down fall for me. ive never had an urge to drink while working(which is driving)but as soon as i got home, before i even had dinner or got changed id start my drinking. being home and laid off, i started drinking as soon as the last of my kids got on the bus to go to school. so i cant even tell you how excited to go back to work i am. i havent had any drinking dreams. but im a recovering drug addict as well, ive been clean from drugs for 7-8 years. and i still have dreams about that. sometimes i feel like i can even taste or smell it. ive awaken many times sweating and going crazy with cravings even years after being clean. those are the worst. as far as the anxiety im doing pretty good with that, its almost gone. still cant sleep through the night though. but im feeling great so far and i know itll only keep getting better. :}

  • Angela

    Justin and Samantha, so glad you are doing well! I have been having massive mood swings and anxiety- (all financially related) and I am so burned out on my job I almost started crying at work last night…. I am a mess again… just trying to stay afloat and the cravings keep coming….. Send some of that good karma my way if you can…

  • kjbp

    Justin and Samantha, welcome! Glad to see are both here. You’ve probably found site to be one of the best tools; I know I have. To all, one of the thing I read on here earlier this week, was about how complaicency can impact our recovery. I would have to agreee. It seems I get to my 90 mark and by brain whigs out, I drink, and here I am starting all over again. Although, I do know I learn so much each time a relapse has happened, that I can’t necessarily say that it’s all starting over again.

    What do we do? We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and put the bottle (s) down (after we pour out any remaining liquor – or in my case, recycle the bottle because I can easily polish off the entire thing). I’m back to rereading all the tools, taking nothing for granted in the recovery process and recognize this crap happens but it will get easier. I did have a huge anxiety attack after drinking, could sleep at all the first two night, and sweat like a little piggy. Fortunately all of those are subsiding, but the anxiety and heart racing can be a little scary.

    I was medicated for a while for anxiety and eventually had to quit work, which only made the drinking worse. But since I’ve been committed to becoming alcohol free, I’ve been to be off of the anxiety medication, but it Monday, it scared me how quickly it can come back when drinking. This is my third day (again) and the feeling is so much better. This feel-good feeling gets further cemented into my brain each relapse I’ve had. I’ve said this before, but this time was different and I plan to make it the last. Not worth it.

    Does anyone know, is their something about the 90-day mark that happens physically/chemically in your body that would cause relapses, or is it just complaicency? Appreciate your insight.

    Angela, good karma to you honey!!

  • theodora

    hi all..Id never heard of the 90-day relapse mark, and I did some research after kjbp mentioned it..about the physical/chemical part, all i could find is that depending on previous abuse the brain changes and depending on these changes it can be predicted (through brain scans which are not possible for most of us) if and how soon relapse would happen..This is all according to one research..And basically they suggest taking some sort of nerve building supplements or medication to reverse the damage and avoid relapse..Any other paper or article i found so far basically say that relapse is a major part of recovery and they make it sound unavoidable especially around day 90 for reasons I couldnt pinpoint..Maybe its cause alcohol is also stored in fat cells,among other things, and I guess untill all our drinking cells have been regenerated we’re still in danger..and it probably takes around 90 days??

    Right now Im on day 69..and I can only speak for today, but I feel strong and confident in my abstinence..But reading about the 90 day mark really freaked me out, so I would really appreciate it too if anyone knows anything either by personal experience or by reading about this..Thank you..

    angela I know you’re strong and able to resist any craving..remember, life’s problems will always be there, booze will not make them go away, it will just make u feel worst about yourself when u have to deal with them!! xx

  • jpvd

    Hi all;
    i’ve had trouble with the90 day mark as well. A lot of people on here (and reading this) will be trying very hard to keep a New Years promise to STOP DRINKING… well the 90 days for this is cominng very soon (march 30th?).

    So lets all help each other to get through 90 days and show everyone that it can be done, with support and mental fortitude.

    JPVD.
    .

  • Phil

    Interesting comments about the 90-day relapse thing. There is information out there about post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) that may mention something about certain periods of time where a person may feel especially irritable, tired etc. because of changes in a person’s mind or nervous system while not drinking. That information typically says that PAWS could trigger a relapse. Personally I doubt if I could tell whether I was experiencing PAWS or whether it was just a normal mood swing. I have heard many people in AA talk about relapses occurring after 30 or 90 days (which are milestone dates in AA). Maybe they have reached those achievements and all of a sudden the mind tricks of this patient disease take over and they become complacent, forget they can’t drink, or whatever. Achieving 90 days should give you a great deal of satisfaction. Celebrate that in a healthy and positive way and re-commit to another 90 days would be my advice.

  • annette

    Its really nice to read these success stories. I really hope to stop drinking my self. My husband and I drink everyother day if not every day. I know its been a problem for a while and have not gave it my all in trying to quit. But here latley we have stared drinking at around 1pm, when we never use to drink earlier than 3 or 4pm. Its getting out of control fast & I really want it to stop before it gets any worse. It hasnt caused us any problems yet, so I find it hard to make excuses to stop. Every time I get the feeling to drink, I do. I would like to know how to say NO, I dont need to drink, and actually stick to it. If any of you can share your stories of the first time not giving in, I would really a appreciate it. Thank you so much & good luck to everybody on this site.

  • justin

    angela, im sorry to hear about your rough times. i dont really know what advice i can give to you about your job, but as far as the cravings go, the stress youre dealing with now will just be that much more if you give in to them. so just hang tough and ill be sending you some good karma via telepathy. when i was in treatment years ago they told us about a 180 day curse. i cant remember exactly what was said about it because it was so long ago. but i do remember hearing something about chemical changes in the brain. ive not heard about the 90 days though. annette all i can say to you is, my wife and i drank every night and often during the day for years and thought nothing of it. it was just a way for us to be loose and have a good time. ive been drinking for 15 years, and for the past 8 have been in exes. ive drank 1.75 in a night. but for the past couple of years its been a liter of vodka everyday, and that was usually just at night after i got home from work. it wasnt like that when i first started, but after time my tolerance got more and more, so needed to drink more and more to get where i wanted to be. and eventually i needed to drink not to feel sick. so i can tell you things might seem fine now , and seem under control but its not hard at all to loose that control. and once you do its not an easy road at all to get back on track. i consider myself a good person, but when i drink that all goes out the window. ive been arrested for stupid drunken things ive lost my licence twice, which is not good at all considering i drive for a living. and ive come close to loosing my wife and kids. its not worth it. if you think you can stop then i recommend you do as soon as you can and try to find something else to fill your time. its all new to me but im learning that there most certaintly are ways to occupy my time that are much better than drinking.

  • Samantha

    I just looked it up & 1 liter is 33 ounces. I drank about half that everyday. It sounds pretty bad when I convert it to ounces. My problem is vodka, if I drink wine Im good with 1 or 2 glasses & I drink slow takes about an hr & a half to 2 hrs to finish 2 glasses, but vodka I can throw it back like a champ & cant stop. I feel sick & have anxiety the next morning, but more vodka cured that. The way the vicious cycle starts. You may think you dont have real problems now Annette, but this is a progressive disease, you start drinking earlier & earlier & next thing you know booze is for breakfast! Breaking the habit & breaking the cycle is what we are all trying tn do here. You are doing good Justin, you are so strong for someone who drank so much. Hang in there Angela, you are one of my big motivators here!

  • justin

    thanks samantha, ya a liter is deffinetly alot of alcohol. its still hard. i was craving yesterday pretty bad, but i found a 1 mile track thats only a few blocks from my house, and as soon as my wife got home i pretty much ran out the door. ive never gone running before except for a few minutes on a treadmiill but i figured id give it a try, i didnt really know what else to do. so i surprised my self and actually made it 3/4 of a mile running, then the last 1/4 just about cralwing. and then i did it again. and by the time i finished i wasnt even thinking about a drink. i find for me its just finding something to preoccupy my self with. i never realized before how boring my life is. and drinking was a way to beat the boredom. what makes it really though is theres a liquor store that was just built a year ago two blocks from my house, and my house is on a corner, so i can actually see the liquor store parking lot from my living room window. im not to sure theres much i can do about that.i usually keep my curtains shut. samantha i dont think ive ever had two glasses of anything last me 2 hours. ive always been a chugger be it beer, wine or hard alcohol. sometimes id get home from work around 8:30 pm and id have a liter done by 10pm. if i had a bottle of wine id probably kill it in 5 minutes and had my wife go to the store for another bottle. im very lucky to be where i am considering. i used to take life for granted. no more of that though. so happy trudging to all, its not easy but keep your head up and dont project, just focus on today and do whatever it takes.

  • Phil

    Congratulations Justin, you have just discovered the number one way to beat a craving and to relax yourself – EXERCISE. It also helps with appetite and sleep. And if you keep it up you will discover even more benefits. You are lucky to have a track near where you live.

  • justin

    yeah its weird. ive lived in the same town for almost 20 years, and i actually wound up buying my childhood home. i didnt even know there was a track right down the road. im loving it though. i started doing little excercises the day after i decided to quit drinking, nothing major just something hoping it would help to pump the toxins out of my system faster. back in my teens and early twenties i was a hardcore weight lifter, even when i was drinking i worked out. so i still have alot of my equipment, and im back to hitting the weights. everyone i talk to says how much they hate cardio, but ive got to tell you, the run i took yesterday was nirvana, i just kinda zoned out, then i had to soak in the tub for awhile though, cuz not alot of nirvana afterwards, my legs were killing me. but phil you are absolutley right exercise is the key, it doesnt have to be heavy weight lifting, it can be anything. its like a natural anti depressant, i dont feel 100% yet but this is the best ive felt in a long long time. for anyone out there who hasnt stopped yet im telling you if i can do it anyone can. i dont mean to blabber on and on, ive just been in the best moods lately, and im hoping this will help to give others some hope just like all of you have given me.

  • annette

    Thanks Justin and Samantha for replying. I think it might of came out a little wrong on what I wrote. I do know that drinking is problem. I just have not found the strength to say no, but I’m going to try really hard to get through this weekend without drinking, so hopefully Ill be back on monday saying I did it! I read somewhere that every time you give in, your giving in muscle is strengthened & every time you resist, you strengthen that muscle. Or somehting like that, so I’m hoping it gets easier over time. I had a reality check few months ago. My mom would drink a gallon of vodak in just a few days. She went from being a very functional alcoholic, to having some liver pain for two weeks. She ended up in the hospital with sirous of the liver. It was really scarry, I didnt know if she was going to come back out. But she has made it home, even though she has doctors appointment almost every day. They have had her on water pills, and she has lost 70 pounds. She is super skinny and very sick looking, but yet her belly is still very swollen. Its amazing how fast things got worse.

  • kjbp

    Hi all! The discussion has been so interesting around the subject of “90 days.” I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and input so much. I realize it’s probably different for everyone, but with some generalities.

    One of Patrick’s free EBooks (top right of the page here) talks about the different recovery techniques needed at the different date “markers”. For example, what we do during the first 30 days is different from what we need to do during the first 90 days, as is what we do during year 1, and so on. Basically, it is important that we don’t become complacent and that we continually work on our “spiritual” growth as humans (that is in our work lives, social lives, volunteer lives, etc…), otherwise it is too easy to get comfortable and relapse. Interesting article, I’ll have to read through them again and pinpoint exactly which one it is…

    Theodora, I didn’t mean to panic you, dear! I’m so proud of you for being on day 69 (70 now?)! Twenty more days puts you at the end of March, which is in line with JPVD’s comment on many people celebrating 90 days at the end of the month from their New Year’s Resolutions. Yeah to all!

    I’m so happy for everyone for this and all the milestone we make in each of our recovery steps. Thanks all for being here, and yes, not only are we here for ourselves and our sanity, but to support everyone in this journey.

    Blessings!

  • justin

    annette, hopefully by reading the stories of others on here can give you the strength you need to stop, drinking has caused so many terrible things and ruined so many of our lives. all i can do is try to share some of my experiences. the situation with your mom should scare you to death from having another drink. im terrified of what kind of damage ive done to my body. its deffinitly not easy to quit, craving can be very overwhelming. but like i said earlier, you need to pick a day and try not to project, just focus on that day and do whatever is neccesary to keep away from the bottle. dont ever think about tomorrow. then when tomorrow comes its your new today and focus on that. the first couple of days will be the hardest, the cravings made me wanna rip my skin off. but once you get past 2 or 3 days you start to feel better and it does get alittle easier. hopefully today can be your first day. good luck!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi guys. I will have to check out Patrick’s book. I am coming up to one year in April. So hard to believe. My daughter is back in the hospital this time she will be going to a hospital that works with teenagers. I am hopeful that she will get well. I have not picked up a drink during this time and I have to say this is the most difficult and chanllenging time in my life. I have dealt with the loss of my step-father, brother, uncle to pancreatic cancer but having a child with a life threatening illness is the worst. Somehow I am getting through this. I have reached out to many support groups and met parents going through similar situations so that does help to know we are not alone.
    Just like this site helped me to know I was not alone with my struggle with alcohol.
    Wishing you all the peace of mind that comes with living sober!

  • theodora

    good to hear from u nancy..you have been in my thoughts this whole time..I wish your daughter a speedy recovery and for you to keep being strong, your story is inspiring for all of us :))

  • justin

    hello guys, i hope all of you are doing well, im still sober im on day 10 its getting tough though. im not quite sure what to do. my wife has a drinking problem too and she refuses to quit, ive tried to talk to her when shes sober and rational and she tells me she has no desire to quit. the past few days shes been drinking like a fish. i try to leave the house as much as possible but i dont know what else to do. today i told her i was going to go to an aa meeting, and she gave me a hard time saying i was gonna cheat on her with a sober person. i keep asking her to quit but she wont. ive been stressing alot the past few days and ive been craving. i dont really know what to do. anyway, thats wuts going on for me as of now. i hope all of you are staying strong and enjoying life.

  • Samantha

    Justin congrats on the 10 days! I wish I can say I made it 10 days but I had wine over the weekend , but it made me sick and I threw it all up. Weird perhaps my body is telling me enough already with this nonsense. Alcohol makes me sick now, literally, I even break out in hives so its hard to drink anymore even if I try. I just hope I just need to heal and not that theres something wrong with me. Justin your wife has to want to quit and right now for whatever reason, she does not. Dont push her. I remember when my husband tried to ask me not to drink or tried to talk about my drinking, that only made me want to drink more. It would be great if you both could work on it together, but looks like you are gonna have to do it on your own. You are doing good, I was right there with you but I messed up. I dont feel so bad, its a new week and I have a new plan. Life goes on….

  • justin

    thanks samantha. im sorry to hear that you drank this weekend, but its no big deal as long as you get right back up and try again. it surely does look like your body is trying to tell you something. our bodies know whats best and do give us signs when it objects. i was craving really bad most of the day yesterday, but i took my kids out and tried to stay active throughout the day, last night was really hard though. once it got dark and the kids were ready for bed, i didnt really have much to do. i was literally pacing around my house. i wasnt sure i was gonna make it. but i woke up this morning, no hangover, no guilt. so im glad i stayed strong. but every day that my wife has a bottle in the house is another day i could slip. i told her our marriage isnt going to last is she doesnt stop, but she either doesnt care or just doesnt take me seriously. ive suffered from this addiction half of my life so i know how it is. i understand how shes thinking, but my understanding of what shes going through doesnt really matter when my sobriety is in jeopardy. she even told my son last night that she was going to the store and not to tell me. the biggest problem is that shes an irrational obnoxious drunk. if i try to leave the house she gets all accusational. she usually gets home from work around 4 everyday, and the other day she just didnt come home. no call no nothing quarter to 7 i finally get her to answer her cell, and she was so drunk she could barely talk, and then she decided to drive home. it sucks but i think ill have to leave her just so i can stay sober. if anyone else here has gone through this id love to hear how you dealt with it. anyway, i hope everyone else is staying strong. keep your heads up.

  • Phil

    Nancy, good to hear from you and I am glad you are making it through your struggle. Regarding Patrick’s book(s), I really believe that this website is tremendous in the amount of excellent information that Patrick has provided. Most of the articles (or ebooks) are fairly short but packed with good advice. Go to the main web page “Spiritual River” and click Archives for a complete listing. Tonight will be 30 days staying sober and going to an AA meeting every day. I need to think of some way to celebrate my 30-day chip. Justin, your situation with your wife is difficult. I have never been married, so I can’t really offer you any experience there. I will say, however, that in order to stay sober, sobriety/recovery will have to become your top priority. Take care.

  • Anonymous

    thanks phil, congratulations on your 30 days thats really awsome. im going to go trough patricks book. ive read a few things, but there is alot more for me to read. ive been giving aa some thought as of late. ive never been to interested in it before. i have gone to a few meetings in the past. but ive got a weird personality i always want to do everything on my own. but now im thinking of going to some meetings and trying to hook up with a sponsor. it would be nice to have some sober friends. besides coming on here and talking to you guys ive got pretty much zero support.i found a meeting list online and there are meetings in my town everyday at a few different places. as far as my situation with my wife goes. im just going to keep doing what ive been doing, and take my kids out and just stay as busy as i can. i married her for a reason and it would be a real shame if we split because she doesnt have the desire to stop. it seems like she resents me for getting sober. she says she likes me better when i drink, and im no fun sober. i asked her to atleaste hide her bottles but she keeps them in plain site, like shes trying to sabotage me. its just a sucky situation. anyway thanks for being there everyone, i always look forward to coming on here and reading what you guys have to say.

  • Phil

    Justin, I am sometimes a little hesitant talking about AA on this “do it on your own site”, but since in Patrick’s articles he encourages that you at least try daily meetings in very early recovery, I guess it is okay.

    I have tried AA a few times before. There were a few times that I didn’t think it was for me, and a few other times when I only went once a week, and I didn’t get the full benefit and I relapsed after only about a month. There is nothing weird about wanting to do it on your own. I am like that to the extreme, and most people in AA were like that until they hit a bottom and then finally understood that they couldn’t do it on their own.

    I hope I am not misquoting Patrick’s writings but I believe he said that daily AA meetings in early recovery provide a much needed distraction in a person’s life as well as focus. That has been true for me this time. I am really enjoying just going and listening – it gets me out of my own head and concentrating just on my own life. It allows me to be active in my recovery every night. The articles here say that massive change needs to take place. Daily meetings are one way for me to have massive change in my life. Like exercise, now I don’t even think about whether I want to do it, I just “suit and show up” as they say.

    I have found a “home group” that is fairly large – between 20 and 50 people every night. It is very diverse with newcomers as well as old timers, and it is large enough so that I can just disappear in the corner and listen if that is what I want to do. The differences for me this time are (1) I have committed to go every night for awhile, and (2) I have decided to keep it simple – I am not overthinking everything or inwardly criticizing things that I may not really agree with. You take what you need and leave the rest.

    Will there be some things about it that make you feel uncomfortable – probably – but I have found that by just relaxing, being tolerant with people’s views, and open minded, every night there are things said that show a lot of wisdom about life and how to live with alcoholism. I also never leave a meeting without having a few good laughs. You will find that alcoholics who have some long-term recovery have a great way of bringing humor to the meetings.

    Sponsorship is really a big deal in my meetings. I have not yet gotten a sponsor, and that is one of the big hurdles that I face next. My hesitancy about getting a sponsor is similar to how you feel the need to do it on your own. But I believe the sponsorship thing will take care of itself for me at some point. From your e-mail, it sounds like having a sponsor to call who is there to help you if you need it may be an appealing idea for you.

    Hope this gives you some insight.

  • justin

    thanks for the feed back phil. you deffinetly gave me some insight. like you said, id go to the meetings as a distraction. plus i do enjoy hearing other peoples horror stories, it gives me strength sometimes. but more than anything, i think it would be nice to meet other sober people that have been there and done that and know what im going through and how im feeling , from their personal past experiences. ive got some friends, they are all either in their late twenties or early 30s and none of them have an addiction. they all still go out to the bars, and thats how they like to hang out. they respect my decision to not go out with them, but they really dont understand it. i really think i just need to get through the next 2 weeks, and once i go back to work i think i should be fine. i work from before the sun rises till after it sets, and by the time i get home i just want to shower and then go to bed. right now my main problem is in the evenings when my wife comes home. ive got a place about 3 miles up the road from my house that does 7:30pm meetings. so i think itll be from the time she gets home ill go to the park and play some basket ball with my sons and then go home for dinner and then head off to the meeting. thats my plan so far.

  • annette

    So I made it throught the weekend. It was tough because I felt like I was thinking about drinking non stop, just because I had planned not to. It sounds like the anxiety is pretty normal, so hopefully that will get better soon. Justin, thankyou for the encouragement and I hope the situation with your wife gets better soon. Its hard to stay positive when people around you are not. But I bet your kids are really pround of you! Best of luck.

  • Anonymous

    thanks annette, good for you, making it through the weekend, thats a great start. the first few days are the worst. the first 3 days for me i couldnt think of anything but having a drink, i litterally wanted to cry at times and ive said it before, but craving a drink made me feel like i wanted to rip my skin right off my bones. here i am on day 11 and i can tell you the cravings dont so much go away but they get much easier to deal with. i mean i have my cravings mostly because its in my face every night, but even if it wasnt id still have a craving here and there. after the first few days youll be able to think of things other than just having another drink. so just hang in there and youll see, itll get better and youll start seeing how rewarding it can be to not drink. by not drinking ive been forced to find things to do with my time, and in doing so ive started working out so now im getting my health back, and ive been spending some of the best times with my kids. its well worth it. boredom is the enemy. and as far as the anxiety goes, a week of being sober and that should go away.

  • Samantha

    Sorry you arent getting the support you need from your wife Justin and worse shes drinking, you are pretty tough to stay sober with all that. My husband doesnt drink and frowns on my drinking so it should be easier for me you would think.. Drinking is a very individual and personal problem I think. Everyone has their own reasons why they drink and have to decide its a problem on their own and to quit on their own. Im 40 and had a drinking problem most of my life but even though over the years family and friends commented on it and I got a DUI, I didnt realize it until 5 months ago, thats when I discovered this site and although Im not sobep yet, its helpf alot. You need to concentrate on yourself and get better first before you can help your wife. Sounds a little selfish but you have to just think about you right now. Correct me if Im wrong or offend anyone pls. Annette, the anxiety will go away after we stop drinking. Mine did even though I drank this weekend but I didnt hold the liquor down so I almost feel like I didnt drink. I feel pretty good actually and I started a 7 day detox diet the other day to get me through this week and weekend, no alcohol or coffee, just tons of water, so far so good.

  • justin

    the anonymous post was me, sorry about that. thanks samanatha, despite my situation at home im hanging in there, im feeling really good physically except for my throat ive had gi problems for years, my throat and my intestinal tract are completely eroded and ive had major reflux for years. been on meds for a long time for it. my stomache feels much better but my throat is always really swollen. its annoying but besides that particular thing im feeling really good. i think ill remain strong even being around alcohol, because id be extremely disappointed with myself if i relapsed now, ive made good progress, and ive always relapsed, im tired of it. ive figured out my plan to stay sober when my wifes drinking. once i go back to work in a week or two, ill work until the evening, so my days are gonna be safe. and then from work i decided im going straight to the gym, and by the time im done working out and come home and eat dinner and all of that, i think ill be just fine. especially after a workout, im in health mode so i dont ever crave a drink right after a good workout. and then it would be about time for bed. and if thats not good enough ill go walk my dog at the park or something. its just all about keeping busy. like today im going to get my older kids on the bus for school, and then im going to drop my youngest off at preschool, and then im going down the road to a state park i have by my house and im going to go on a nice long hike. its exercise and its peaceful and relaxing. exercise isnt for everyone but ive got a plan. so hopefully it works.

  • Angela

    Justin thank you for the encouragement and karma! and congrats on passing the 2 week point! Nice, solid work my friend! Your words and your story are inspiration for me…. thank you for being so open with sharing….
    Annette, hang in there, I am so sorry to hear about your mom, quite the wake up call for you huh? but for the grace of god or karma, there go we?1 I just wanted to let you know, I may be silent a lot lately, but I am reading and thinking about all of you…
    thanks ALL for the thoughts, sorry I have been so silent lately…

  • Sally

    Hi there – I am a 55 year old female alcoholic who has once more decided that enough is enough – I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have been drinking a half a 5th of whiskey every night for way to long. I called in sick today – 2nd time in less than a week due to my drinking. I never call in sick. I am a professional and the breadwinner for my family. I found your site while surfing for some release from the angst I am going through. I consider this day1 of my release from hell – thank you all for your encouraging stories and words.

  • justin

    hey sally, welcome to the site. day 1 is a very tough day. but its a huge step, so congratulations for that. i just found this site about 2 weeks ago. ive been wanting to quit for what seems like forever. i woke up every morning telling myself, ok today is the day, im not going to drink anymore. and usually within an hour or two i was making love to my bottle. i had been drinking a litter of vodka everyday for years, and i was starting to feel negative effects on my body, but i couldnt seem to stop. i felt alot of self hatred, and constant anxiety. i wanted to be sober so bad, that everytime i caved and drank i was so pissed at my self and hated myself, the only way to feel better was to drown it out with another drink. needless to say, i woke up one day and was hating myself because of the so many stupid choices ive made while under the influence, and i was just tired of feeling weak. i had decided i was going to stop, but i was scared. treatment was just not an option for me due to my personal life and schedule. but i also knew about withdrawl. the withdrawl scared the hell out of me. so i searched the internet looking for natural ways to detox and i found this site. i posted a piece of my story on here and received so much support and imformation, that now ive got just about 2 weeks sober, and im enjoying my life. 2 weeks is just the begining so i cant imagine what 2 months will feel like. everyone on here that has time sober has been where you are right now, there is hope,just focus on today and dont think about tomorrow and before you know it youll have a few days, the first couple of days are the hardest, it does get easier. so good luck, keep you head up and keep coming on this site, theres alot of good people on here with some really good advise.

  • justin

    hey angela im glad to see you on here its been awhile. i hope you are doing good. thank you for your congratulations. if anything i say can inspire you, then thats awsome, thats why i post on here. im not ashamed to be honest with any of you, ill always share my experiences. ive struggled and done some really dumb things because of my drinking,and if by sharing my bad experiences and my struggles can help and give someone else the motivation to make it even one day without a drink then thats all that matters. the best way to help someone is to show them they arent alone in this. thats what you guys did for me.

  • Sally

    Thanks Justin – I do feel terrible both mentally and physically. I am going to force myself to a meeting right now – if I can stop crying long enough LOL..I appreciate your inspiring words, I will keep coming back and reading.

  • Samantha

    Hi Sally, I think I once posted what you did-sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have been trying to quit for 5 months and at one point I was doing good then the holidays came and I was on a rampage drinking vodka like my life depended on it everyday and waking up hating myself, sick and full of anxiety. Like you said Justin the only thing that made me feel better was downing more vodka. I needed to break that cycle and I did. Yes I did try to drink over the weekend but that didnt work out. Right now Im trying a 7 day detox thing to clean out my system who knows if it works but Im using it as a way to not drink like how Justin is exercising which is probably the best thing and I will start on that after my 7 days. My plan is to get clean and get a fresh start next week. Sally you need a plan, get going with it, get moving. If you fail one day, forgive yourself and try again. Whenever I failed Id hate myself and drank more, now I forgive myself and try again. Good luck. I hope all is ok Angela I miss your posts.

  • kjbp

    Just wanted to check in and say hi to everyone that has recently posted and welcome. Also a big hello to all those that are reading!! As I’ve been reading the new posts, I’ve been reliving life’s recovery journey, relapses and doing it all over again. Never give up! I’m on day 10 (again…) but keep inspired by connecting with everyone whether directly or indirectly… just knowing you are here and we share some things in common is inspiring.

    Phil, congratulations on 30+ days and your chip! You always bring such wisdom with your posts.

    Justin, you display tremendous courage despite the home situation; good, hard work on the 2 weeks.

    Samantha, our stories sound identical and I know we can beat this – we just keep trying – I’ve done (and am currently doing) a detox too.

    Angela, hope it’s a good poo day :) and I’m thinking about you. Any outdoor plans for this weekend? We almost went to the Brookings, Oregon, area this past weekend for an overnight hike – woke up Sunday to the Tsunami news. Geez!

    Sally, did you make it to a meeting last night? My feeling is, don’t worry and beat yourself up if you don’t. I found I wasn’t/am not a meeting person, that’s why this site is so helpful for me.

    Annette, how is your week going? Half-way through! Just take today for today.

    Nancy, so warmed by the news that your daughter is getting medical attention specific to her ages and needs, and that you are conquering each day.

    JPVD, Theodora how are you? I know you’re reading, even if not posting, so wanted you to know I’m thinking of you as well.

    Best to everyone!

  • Phil

    kjbp, that was a nice post. Yes, I did get my 30-day chip the other night. During the meeting, my mind was racing a little bit because the topic was pretty intense and I was really relating to it. Then when it came time for giving out chips I mistakenly went up to pick up a white chip (for one day). When I sat back down I realized what I did and apoligized and went back up for my yellow chip (30 days). I was a little embarrassed because I doubt if too many people mess up their chip ceremony. But the good part of it was that the chairperson was an attractive woman, and I got too hugs (Ha). There was a lot of laughs all around.

  • theodora

    hi all..kjbp it was so sweet of u to include everyone on ur post :)) felt really nice..

    it was my birthday yesterday, first one EVER in my entire life sober, I never thought Id live to see that day! it was fun i guess, as always I had a bunch of friends over, but i had this constant weird feeling like my body was there but I was missing..it felt like an out of body experience, and even though i have no idea how that feels, its the only words i can use to describe it..I cant say I was sad, but for sure i wasnt frantically ecstatic as i used to any other year..

    so there goes, my first sober birthday..a new experience..

    once again thank u all for being here, each post is an inspiration :))

  • Sally

    KJBP – I didn’t make a meeting, I felt too awful, just crawled into bed and did a lot of praying. Thanks for asking though. I am going to try to go to one tonight. I am not a meeting person either (I’ve tried AA in the past and I just don’t fit in – know what I mean?), but I figure initially it will give me something to do after I get home, rather than drink. By the way – day 10 sounds impossible to me right now – so you are my hero!

    Samantha – here’s my plan. I am going to follow the advice in the E-books I’ve read so far, I have signed up for two grad classes, bought some books, “Mindfulness and the 12 steps”, “12 Steps on Buddha’s Path”, and “A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps.” (Can you tell I’m a reader ?) I am also making a list of things that need to get done around the house – to keep me busy when I get home…that is my downfall, as soon as I walk in the door from work I pour that first drink, and they just keep on coming. Hang in there yourself, and good luck with the detox, I would be interested in hearing more once the fog in my brain clears.

    Theodora – HAPPY BIRTHDAY – mine is coming up – hopefully I can be sober for it just like you were. Now that will definitely be interesting. I can totally empathize with your “surreal” feelings – I am sure I will have the same.

    Phil – congrats on your 30 day chip – and isn’t it amazing how we can still embarrass ourselves even when we’re sober? That would be me! I hope someday I can say I have 30 days.

    Thank you to all – just knowing you are here got me through the day. I couldn’t wait to get home and logon. I was really nervous because, as usual, right around noon I started thinking about that first drink, reconsidering, etc…. Now I have a new outlet – logon and read your posts – get inspired to make it through one more day – and forget pouring that first drink. Thank you!!

  • Phil

    Theodora, happy belated birthday! I think I can relate to your feelings during your birthday, although it is hard to put into words. Maybe in the past, your comfort zone was to be drunk on your birthday. The alcohol dictated your emotions? By being sober it was sort of unfamiliar ground? And even though you didn’t feel sad, you didn’t feel that alcohol-induced exuberance, and it made your feel disconnected? (Or something like that.)It sounds like a meaningful experience to go through, and thanks for sharing that. It was interesting for me to take a stab at thinking about that.

    Great plan Sally. Coincidentally just yesterday I ordered two books that were on Patrick’s reading list. One is about Zen and the other is about Taoism. I am also a reader, and I really like having Recovery books to read. I keep several in my living room. Even when I don’t have much time, I pick them up and just read for a short time, like when I am cooking dinner or killing some time before work or before I go to bed. It helps getting in that positive mind set. I am looking forward to having a weekend when I am caught up and really diving in to them. I also really like how you have identified the need to fill up that time right when you get home. That first few minutes right after I get home from work can be tricky time for me also. Regarding my 30-day chip debacle, it felt good to do something harmlessly dumb and be sober and just laugh about it and have others laugh along. I also hope that you will get to that 30 days soon – it is a good feeling!

  • kjbp

    Good morning! So wonderful to connect and hear from everyone!!

    Theodora – happy, happy birthday. I’m so glad you can say you celebrated it sober!! My husband and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on March 1 and it was the first without any alcohol. It was nice to have a clear head. Granted I relapsed a few days later, but am back and on day 11 again and stronger than ever.

    Phil – Congrats on two chips! The up side – you were sober and could realize you should have the other chip and good for you for getting it right then rather than waiting until after the meeting. And Phil and Sally – I’m a reader too. Can’t get enough of the self help books right now. Let me know how you like the ones you have purchased. I find I’ll have two or three going at the same time – one in the bedroom, one in the living room, etc… each one offers a bit of something the others don’t. I also found that what I read in this arena also changes as my sobriety changes. Some readings were more meaningful and helpful in different ways at different times. I’d be curious if you feel this too. I will, some day, donate some of the them to help someone else (not yet!).

    Sally – I agree with you and Phil. The end of the day was like a ritual for me. First thing in the door (before I even changed from work clothes) I’d have had to vodka martinis. Then change into loungewear and have another. Then make dinner and have two more – ugh!! It never stopped until I hit the pillow (or the floor). It was largely a habit that grew to become a comfort, then grew from there… Don’t give up. I remember saying to my dad recently how overcoming this has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done and he reminded me that those things that are harder to achieve are far more precious (or something like that…). I also now always remind myself – today is today. I’m in marketing and forcasting and planning is so inherent in me that I really struggle with taking things moment by moment, day by day. Also let me know how you like “A Woman’s Way through the 12 Steps.” Sounds interesting.

    My husband left for work today in a funk. He’s not having a great time at work (not even a bad time) and his stress is awful. Fortunately he was able to stop drinking – just stop, plain and simple. But his mood definately impacts me because I want to fix it for him and I can’t (I think it’s a female thing??) Normally he’d leave and I’d pop open the wine. Today, I jumped on here, said my ohmmmm, and realized the only one I can, and need, to fix is me. That’s the only way I can help him right now. Ok, I’ll stop… Ohmmmmmm.

    Take care today everyone!!

  • Sally

    Hi everyone! This is my 3rd day and I’ve turned into the wicked witch from hell!! I’m tired and cranky and looking for a fight. It helps to go back and read where you were on the first few days…I see a lot of me in your writing. My new mantra is “I choose life!!”. For I know if I start drinking again – at the rate I was – I will probably be dead soon. Please keep writing and sharing – I need your words and inspiration! And my thoughts are with all of you in your struggles – we can do this – we can become happy, content, and fulfilled – healed and whole.

  • Jo

    This is all very interesting a lot hope being shared here looking forward to taking some and giving some.

  • Samantha

    Sally thats to be expected. Whenever I stop drinking especially after daily heavy drinking its like PMS times 1000. You will feel better the longer you keep alcohol out of your system those feelings start to go away especially the anxiety. I used to wake up with anxiety ane either depressed or aggravated and I thought I had to drink to cure that but it was never ending because I would stay drunk to avoid the anxiety and bad feelings. I now realize that alcohol is not the cure for that but rather the cause of it. Its Friday here and unfortunately becaus Im a problem drinker I cant unwind with a glass of wine. I think for me thats what upsets me is the fact I have no self control and I have to come to terms with the fact that because I cant just have one drink, I cant drink at all. Good luck everyone staying dry this weekeo. I keep imagining how good I will feel Monday morning if I make it!

  • Samantha

    Typos! Im at work using my phone..

  • justin

    i had a great day yesterday. i was nervous yesterday morning, but i made it throught the day. my first sober st patties day ever. i was alittle nervous in the morning because i didnt know what to do , ive always drank tons on st patties day. but i made it, and i feel great. i hope everyone else had a great day as well and i hope youre all hanging in there.

  • Phil

    Just wanted to drop in to say hello, and it is good to see that everybody is doing okay, even though it is really tough to get past those jittery, anxious and nervous moments. Those feelings are expected. It is not easy, but it is so healthy to live through them and to go another day without drinking.

    Way to go Justin! kbjp, I thought it was interesting what you said about how you have the tendency to constantly plan things. I actually have a college degree in Planning, and I want everything to be organized and to follow a process. So one thing I am dealing with is to just try to let life happen, and not try to control things that I can’t control. I think that is a key part of the serenity that is so important to sobriety. I will share your Ohmmm.

  • Sally

    Samantha – thanks for the encouraging words. You are right – today was much better! I can’t agree more with you on your comment about not being able to have just one – I fantasized about that every day – it sucks, but that’s just the way we are wired. Hang in there.
    Justin – congrats on making it through St. Paddy’s day – you are doing AMAZING – keep it up – you should be so proud of yourself and how far you have come.
    Have a wonderful weekend – keep busy. I am enjoying my “new” free time – seems I have lots now. LOL

  • justin

    thanks sally, im really glad to see you are doing good. yep im still hanging in there, im feeling great actually. ive still got my cravings but they are getting less everyday. i joined a local gym, so i spend lots of time there. i take my boys out to play basket ball everyday when they get home from school. but my evenings are still tough. i start going back to work next moday, so im like a kid on christmas. ive started a mock schedule thatll keep me as busy as possible thoughout my days, and once i start my job ill be able to fit that nicley in,, and then i think ill be home free. i used to stay up all night after work and drink. but with this new schedule, ill have to be in bed no later than 9pm and some days i work until 8. so just one more week and i think im set. it looks like everyone is doing well, im glad to see that. keep up the good work guys.

  • theodora

    day 78 (Im counting)..starting to freak out a bit..used to always make plans to go out, it was one of the things that was part of my routine, where to go what to wear who to go out with..and it was fun spending time at bars and clubs, meeting new people all the time, being fun and having fun out..of course at the end of the night Id always end up doing something Id regret the next day, or not remembering anything and having people tell me what it was..but at least before that Id have something to look forward to..now its hard for me to make plans, there’s not anything else my friends do but go out and drink, so that part of my life has gone and Im finding it hard to replace it with something else..Im happy for not drinking, but there’s some voids that have appeared in my life that I find hard to fill..Of course I work, read, watch movies, work out, talk with my friends and go out eating, but still a huge part of what my reality has been for the past 20 years is gone..obviously Im not married or have kids, Im single right now, which means its even harder for me to meet new people (and a bar is the last place Id wanna meet a potential boyfriend)…Im not missing the actual going out part, cause Id always mess up, rather the anticipation of going out..if it makes any sense..

    just wanted to share these thoughts, and maybe hopefully someone will suggest something helpful, even though the reality remains..

    hope i didnt depress anyone, take care everyone :))

  • kjbp

    Hi Theodora!

    I’ve read you post several times and wanted to respond, if only to say, I don’t have any helpful advice. As I read what you wrote, I realized I have the opposite problem – I miss coming home from work, getting into comfy clothes, pouring a martini or glass of wine and unwinding. It feels like I have a huge void in my routine. However my “glass” to unwind always turned into “glasses”…

    As you’ve said, the reality is what it is, so somehow we have to find a way to accept our new reality. It can be the anticipation of a very excitng, new journey; but I understand it also feel a little scary as it is a change, and change/the unknown can often troublesome.

    Know I’m thinking of you this weekend and hope you’ll be more at ease and comfortable with the change.

    Best!

  • Sally

    Hi Theodora – ditto what kjbp said. You have been on my mind all day. I can however send you a big smile and a hug :] oh – and if you haven’t done so already, make a “bucket” list and start crossing them off:]

  • theodora

    thank u kjbp, sally for taking the time to show me some support :)) its really helpful knowing someone’s out there encouraging me..my life is so different than what it used to be, i miss my boyfriend who drinks a lot and wouldnt stop offering me drinks, i miss going out with my friends, I miss being able to relax my mind from the constant thinking, there’s a lot Im missing..and it makes me question my decision..cause if we take out of life all the things that make us happy whats left? and is it worth it in the long run, being unable to enjoy things like that right now?

    wish u all a great and relaxing sunday :))

  • JPVD

    Hi all.

    Theodora, you may be referring to the ‘perceived benefits’ of drinking. While you remember fondly all thos things that make you happy about drinking, please remember the 6 smashed cars (as you mentioned earlier) that went with them. Personally I am very lucky as all the environmental variables in my life are helping me to quit; 2 young kids, ‘settled’ suburban lifestyle, a non-drunk wife, a job that doesn;t require alcohol-based socializing, etc. I would NEVER have been able to quit at any stage earlier in my life, so good luck Theodora (and all others in a similar situation).

    I too miss the ‘unwinding’ after work; in winter, the cozy clothes and red-wine. In summer the beach gear and cold cold beer. Trouble is i always unwound so much after work i was an unspun mess.

    I’m going through a strange time right now. The thought of alcohol, and even the advertising, makes me ill. I am trying very hard not to be that horrible animal, the ‘patronising recovering alcoholic’. I can’t seem to understand WHY in the world anyone would want to drink, let alone get so pissed they would not remember anything. Yet this was (is) my life for 20 years.

    I’m still having trouble with my wife coming to terms with the extent of my problem. She decided she wanted a drink last week after a difficult day with the kids, but couldn’t find her ‘special birthday wine’ from a few months ago. (i will remind the reader that i chugged it from the bottle hiding in the toilet about 12 hours after she got it) I told her, ‘well that wine is probably gone’, booze doesn’t last in this house’. And she replied, ‘well, that was my special wine’. And I just looked at her and said, ‘what did you want me to do?’. She didn;t say anything, but actions speak louder than words. What does she think? I’ve cracked the cooking sherry one terrible evening because i needed a nightcap; am i going to leave 3 bottles of vintage red just sitting around?

    Justin, i’m thinking of you. a routine was very helpful for me; especially as now my new healthy routine is becoming so ingrained that any alcohol intake will mess it up, and cause loads of problems. If anything we cannot enable ourselves to be alcoholics; lets keep making it difficult to drink!

    JPVD.
    .

  • Sally

    Theodora – I can only speak from my perspective, but YES life is better without alcohol in it – I know because I have tried both. I love to drink – it makes me happy and it makes my mind slow down – the past week without alcohol my mind has been in overdrive and I hate it. I can’t sleep worth shit and when I wake up I feel drugged and tired. (When I was younger I used to go to the Islands once a year, for a weekend, and drop acid just to unwind my brain). I am dreading when the emotions start coming and I will have to deal with life on life’s terms…but in the long run I know that it will all work out. I am worried that my marriage will dissolve because now that I am sober I will see how I should have left him years ago. I am scared about the anxiety, panic, and loneliness that will come with sobriety, but I also know that I will live longer (maybe) and be able to catch a few more sunrises without that dreaded feeling I had when I was drinking. I know that “this too shall pass” if I just hang in there.

    And even though you are questioning your decision right now, maybe you need to reflect back to where I am now (in the first week) and why you decided to do what you are doing. Obviously you knew you couldn’t continue on the path you were on. You need to try and make new friends, I know this is easier said than done, but I believe it is possible. I am very shy, especially when sober, but my plan is to start doing things on my “bucket” list. Take an art class, maybe a yoga class, go to the theatre and see some plays, check out the Buddhist temple in a town near me, do things that I have always wanted to do, but never done because alcohol controlled my life. I am so ready to get off that merry-go-round.

    Don’t give up…there is beauty in sobriety…hard as that may sound. Concentrate on the little things, like waking up without regrets (or a hangover), actually tasting and enjoying that first cup of coffee, being able to enjoy the sunshine and the clarity of the day. Knowing that you don’t need to apologize to anyone but yourself for things you do. Look around you at all the people out there who don’t drink and notice their smiles.

    You are doing great!! You are just in a slump – find something that makes you smile/happy and do it. I am pulling for you and sending good karma your way. I firmly believe it will all work out. Don’t go back to the way things were in your life – it wasn’t working and that is why you made a decision to change – why we all did.

  • Sally

    JPVD – loved your comment about the 3 bottles of vintage red – gave me my laugh for the day – I am still laughing…sounds just like me. HELLO – of course I drank it you fool, it was there wasn’t it!! What idiot thinks wine taste better aged LOL!!!! Have a great day!

  • theodora

    thank u jpvd..thats something my best friend would remind me (the 6 cars), to give me some perspective..you’re probably right about the ‘perceived benefits’..using drinking as a way to avoid whats wrong only leads to actually having to face it when quitting..I guess right now Im lacking in patience and creativity regarding my new lifestyle..but everyone’s advice and thoughts in here always give me strength and insight..
    Im so grateful for all of u amazing people in here :))

  • theodora

    sally, i felt ur post on my skin, it made me wanna cry..your words have so much power, i hope a bit of it rubs off on me! thank u!! it also made me realize that quitting is hard no matter where u are at life..single, married, kids/no kids.. maybe Im just tired and exhausted and Im avoiding doing what u suggest, actually going out and starting new things, cause quitting was hard enough in itself..I hope soon Im able to follow ur advice..
    thank u, i will always come back and read your post! :))

  • justin

    theodora, hang in there. youve been doing great. i envy what you have accomplished. i cant even imagine what its like to have 78 sober days. its the disease of alcoholism that makes you have the thoughts you have about drinking. im sure if you keep being strong they will to pass just like in the begining when the craving were so tough. i talked to someone i know who has been sober for 12 years and he told me he still to this day gets a bad craving out of the blue. its gonna happen. everyone on here is the same in this. im gonna crave and everyone else is gonna crave and have thoughts of going back. of course drinking was fun. it was until we had that one sip to much and couldnt remember what we did that night. or until we thought we were gonna die from drinking so much. or until we lost our licence, or woke up hung over in a holding cell. its not worth it. and a week from now when youre still going strong, your gonna be glad you didnt slip up and have to start all over again. you can do it. life is so much better sober. hang in there.

  • Stacey

    Hi all,
    I’ve been so busy with work and my new fitness program, and didn’t realize that 2 weeks have passed since dropping in. I am on my eighth sober week, and finding that its getting easier to not drink. I have discovered that I actually enjoy being sober. There is so much more to do and focus on when alcohol is out of the picture. I have taken on more work and really love having more money in my pocket. I’ve come to find out that all of the problems and issues I was trying to drink away are ask much easier to work through as a sober, clearheaded person. I am truly enjoying my life for the first time in a long time. Thanks again to all for sharing. And thanks for listening!

  • Tania

    Hi guys,
    Just wanted to say that I didn’t stop reading these posts, it’s just that there are moments that I don’t know what to write. When I feel weak, your posts help me find some strenght. Have a great week and take care. :)))

  • kjbp

    Tania (and all friends),
    I understand exactly what you are saying and often feel the same way. And I believe it’s okay to write just that – “Hi, I read, but don’t know what to say.” It makes me feel better just to say “Hi”. And I know it makes me feel better when someone just says “Hi” to me.

    Hi Tania!!

    Love,
    k

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Theodora. I can relate to the void, it was almost like having to mourn the loss of that part of my life. I have noticed because we are going through a crisis as a family with my daughter being sick that if I was still drinking I would be doing a lot of it right now. Alcohol took me to the place of no pain, it was like alcohol allowed me not to feel I could numb out. Getting through this drug free is painful but I am doing it. When I feel sad I cry when I am angry I scream, I take my dog for a walk, I reach out to people and sometimes I pull the covers over my head and say why me, why my daughter. Yes, I miss the quick fix of alcohol right now, yet I know I would pay later. By doing this sober I am able to be there for my family advocate for my daughter with a clear head knowing that I am doing the best for her and my family. I said to my husband the other night I wish I could just get drunk and forget everything, but the truth is I would not forget I would just end up crying over it but do it in a drunken state.
    I am glad I am sober and so proud of all of you for doing the best you can. I too check this site and often don’t comment because I just don’t have much to say or don’t feel like I can explain myself very well. I hate writing I prefer to talk and talk and talk some more.
    Thanks for being there for me.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Just wanted to add that when I state that I wish I could just get drunk and forget everything. I like to remind myself that I could do that if I wanted to!!! I have made the decision not to, that reminds I have the power and the choice.

  • theodora

    hi everyone, and thanx for ur support..I guess whenever Im bored I start questioning my decision and its sort of harder to handle than before (drinking was a great way to not be bored!)..nancy the way ur handling ur daugther’s situation makes u a role model!! Im so proud of u!! And of all of u guys staying sober, when I realize now how easy it is to become complacent or bored or whatever and go back to drinking..my thoughts are always with all of u, take care and good luck! :))

    PS: any thoughts I had about going back to drinking (in my mind it will be under control this time..LOL) vanished when I re-read about Korsakoff’s syndrome..just wiki it whenever u feel like a drink, it might work! :))

  • Phil

    Theodora, I heard somebody say the other day that “boredom was freedom.” I sort of like that idea.

  • Leslie

    Hey,

    I’m still here, I haven’t gone off the edge- or at least not more than before. I have cut back quite a bit. Things could be worse. It is not easy to fight a dependency problem along with an underlying disorder. I will try to post more, I know it can only help.

    Angela, how are you doing with your loss? You’ve been in my thoughts; that vivid image you painted of looking through your pictures on the floor to catch a moment of her (and drinking) resonates with me, it was beautifully sad. I was there not too long ago.

    I hate swaying between staunchly believing I should stop drinking and “letting it slide”, so to speak. The dissonance is more horrible than anything. Anyways, I’ll be fighting as long as I’m living (that was meant to sound empowered lol).

    Leslie

  • Sally

    Hi everyone –

    I am on day 10 and hanging in there. I find as the days go by I too am becoming complacent/reconsidering my decision. I know this is the right thing to do – quitting, but I find that inner voice cropping up more telling me that my drinking wasn’t so bad..which I know is NOT true. I find myself saying “O.K. if you make it 30 days, then you can take a day off and drink” and I know that will just lead me back into where I was. If not right away, sooner or later.

    I think it is the weather – I live in the north country and I am tired of the snow/ice/gray skies. I sure wish some warm weather and the sun would show itself, if just for one day. Everyone I talk to is depressed and miserable. Work is toxic with the political environment and the government threatening to take away part of my pay and benefits. I know I should meditate more, but all I can do when I get home is curl up on the couch and watch t.v…need to break this cycle and get motivated, but it’s soooo hard.

    Sorry…this is kind of depressing. I am smiling – I am happy that it is early morning and I have clarity. I will get off my pity pot and be thankful for all that I have. “This too shall pass”. Hope you are all doing well. I think of you daily and appreciate all of your posts…keep them coming.

  • theodora

    hi everyone..sally, all i have been doing for the past week is watching movies curled up on the couch, here too the weather has been bad, today is the first day i actually saw a bit of sun! so yeah, thinking about going back to drinking had to come up..but i decided not to, and instead Im gonna quit smoking too! LOL from one addiction to the next, I dont think I’ll ever know what to do with myself if i dont drink or smoke! one step at a time though, first i have to actually quit and THEN see what to do with myself!

    about something JPVD had mentioned, which i totally relate to: booze in advertising..i have long been sick of advertising (used to work in a couple), and after quitting i find myself sometimes even enraged..also about alcohol in movies, which have been the method of my brainwash in my teens, all those movies glamorizing booze and smoking and drugs..hard to reprogram any brain that has been exposed to all that from a very young age i see now in all my friends and myself..

    each great reading your posts, hope ur all well! :))

  • justin

    hey sally, way to go on your 10 days, thats really awsome. this weather is surely a downer. we keep getting teased over here on the jersey shore. one day its 75 degrees out and the next its in the 40’s. its been grey and rainy the past two days. makes it hard to get out. ive been pretty much doing just like theodora, watching movies to pass the time. and i feel exactly the same about the alcohol ads. even just driving past a liquor store makes me angry. i know its not right but i look at the people in the parking lot and feel disgusted, even though i was there only 3 weeks ago. finally becoming free from the booze has made me hate it even more than when i so badly wanted to quit. ive been more isolated lately than usual. i cut all contact with most of my friends. they all drink. ive been going to the gym 6 days a week and thought id be able to meet some healthy sober people there,, buuuut, since i go at 4:30am im pretty much alone in the gym, so .. so much for that idea,. but i am going back to work this monday coming up, so im very excited. anyway im glad everyone seems to be holding strong. keep up the good work guys.

  • Sally

    Well…against my better judgment (what little I have) Thursday night I accepted a co-workers plea to stop off at the bar on the way home. Needless to say the usual happened. I had too many and thank God I made it home without hurting myself or anyone else. I felt physically and mentally awful the next day (what did I expect). But after reading several earlier posts I decided not to beat myself up, just start all over again. It’s funny, my husband asked me what happened and I really couldn’t say. Just sounded like a good idea at the time considering the week I had had? Pretty lame!

    Justin and Theodora you are right – alcohol is everywhere – in the movies, all around – there is a party store on every corner in this town. On the way home I pulled into one and just sat there. I don’t know why but I didn’t go inside and buy a bottle – which would have been the norm. Considering all the times I have drank and then driven it is a miracle I have never gotten a DUI or hurt someone.

    But I am still proud of myself for making it 10 days. It has been too many years since I logged that much time sober. And I will continue my fight against this stronghold. I am a good person and I deserve a good life – we all do. I just need to take it one day at a time and not worry about 10, or 30, or whatever. I hope that I can reach that stage where I get angry just thinking about it. Maybe that is what I need to do – funnel rage at the grip that alcohol has on me. Get angry when my mind starts to convince me that it is o.k. to drink, because for me I know it isn’t.

    But enough lamenting. I am happy and alert today. I am grateful that every day is a new beginning, a chance to start over and make something of my life. I am looking forward to seeing all my children and my family for a big feast on Sunday. I LOVE to cook and I am making dinner. My daughter and her husband and my new granddaughter Amelia are coming over. I picked up my other daughter from college yesterday; my father who is 88 is planning on coming into town. Life is good when you let it be. Bless all of you and keep up the fight.

  • Sally

    Hey Justin – in case you read this before Monday, I hope you have a GREAT first day back at work and I hope your first week goes well!!

  • justin

    thank you sally, yep tomorrow is the big day, im excited. i cant believe ive been home for 6 months. it was only supposed to be a short lay of of a month or so, but the economy hasnt been treating people well these days. dont worry about your slip up, you made it 10 days so atleaste you know its possible to do it. just pick yourself up and start over again. i slipped up everytime i ever tried to get sober. my problem was that once i fell of the wagon i stayed off the wagon. as long as you get right back on and try again you have no reason to feel down about it. its normal we all slipp up at first. thats just the way the disease works. ive got over 3 weeks now and i could very well slip up as well. we just need to keep ourselves busy and preoccupied and always remember to focus on today and not tomorrow. projecting is the biggest reason for failure. people get to ahead of them selves and think about a week from now or a years from now and they get tripped up. just focus on staying sober today, and when tomorrow comes thats when you worry about it. you seem like you want this so i know youll do it.

  • kevin

    hi, justin iam in to working out as well i have a bad drinking problem i will beat the beast this time i have know choice i made a promise that i cant break no matter what so i just have to face i am nondrinker for the rest of my life i can live with that i am so happy for my knew life i start back to work next monday i was layoff two but found a new job its great i get up at 400am to work out as well i am in to power lifting /bodybuilding big time plus i like mma/boxing.i just wanted to say whats up and hi to everyone hope everybody doing great

  • theodora

    hi all.. hope everyone’s doing good.. well the 90 day mark is coming up, and I also quit smoking 4 days ago.. And Im sure that all the work and thinking I did when I quit booze really helped me with the smoking, which is 100 times harder in my opinion..Im still not sure what the benefits are, for the time being my body and my mind are stil trying to adjust to functioning smoke-free..which is unexpectedly hard and really terrifying in terms of how long it will last..Now that I no longer smoke or drink I honestly dont know what kind of person I will be, or if I ever have fun again in my life..It feels like I will feel forever deprived and depressed and isolated and different from everyone..

    Anyway, we’ll see how it goes, if it doesnt work I can always go back to either one or both!

    Hope I hear from u guys soon! :))

  • Kjbp

    Hi all! Hi Theodora! I’m so excited for you and 90 days. Celebrate with an “all about me” night – hot bath with lavender bath salts, some deep breathing, and a dish of your favorite ice cream with a chocolate brownie. You deserve it for both 90 days of sobriety and giving up smoking! Will check with you in a few hours dear.

  • Sally

    Hey Theodora – congrats on quitting smoking – it would take me 90 years to consider quitting smoking LOL. Good luck – you can do it – and you will still be a lovely person. Follow Kjbp’s advice – I may just do that myself. And way to go on the 90 days – you are now my hero!! Someday…for me…

  • elise

    Hi all. Fourteen years ago, I ‘rescued’ my sister. She had an awesome career and huge group of friends. Unfortunately, her ‘awesome’ husband had an affair and left her, and she got addicted to cocaine, alcohol..you name it. She hit bottom…I picked her up from the streets and moved her in with my family. She didn’t want inpatient therapy so after I got off work every day, i took her to CA. When she got her 30 day pendant, we wanted to celebrate, so we went to florida for a family vacay…my husband, kids, mom, etc. Some people from our condo asked us to go out that night. My son was teething, so I refused to go, as no one else could soothe him. She told me how disappointed she was in me and left. The next morning I had to identify her at the hospital. She had been walking home from her night out, and was hit by an 18 yr old drunk driver. She never woke up and died 3 days later. I beat myself up for not being able to ‘buck up and have a drink with her’ and been with her, and gotten her home.

    Flash forward…I am now an alcoholic. I am a stay at home mom. I was a vice president of a bank, and left it after my husband lost his engineering job due to a plant shutdown (economy). He couldn’t deal with being a stay at home dad, although my salary could have sustained us. We now live in a completely different state than either of our families or friends. He has a great job. We have a great home. Our kids are totally healthy…we have a 2 and 3 year old. I have always struggled with my weight (I have never really been overweight, but to be normal, I basically have to eat less than 800 calories a day). Bottom line…I have learned that if I drink, it takes away the feelings of hunger. I have actually searched for ‘weight loss and alcoholism’…looking for others like me. I drink because a) I am completely bored and don’t feel like doing anything if I don’t b) 100 calories of beer makes me feel more energetic and satisfied than 100 calories of celery.
    I am doing the couch to 5K thing…in my fourth week…and I love the way exercise, and running makes me feel, BUT when I get hungry, I just feel like the beer gives me more satisfaction than an apple. My husband is 10 yrs younger than me and I just feel such the need to try to look great. I know I have lots of issues here…I am a christian, and that again, makes me feel like a failure…like God should be enough. I have a great family, i get to stay home with my kids, we are monetarily secure,yet I am so depressed and just feel like I am nothing most days. I feel like I am just okay at everything I do…being a mom, or whatever. I know we need to put ourselves into something we are good at in order to quit drinking, but I just don’t feel like I am really good at anything…jack of all trades and master of none. I am so tormented and feel like such a failure on so many levels.

  • Kjbp

    Hi Elsie. I was very touched by you life story; thank you for sharing. I hope you found some sense of relief and peace by putting it down ” on paper”. You are right when you say you have a lot to be grateful for, and yet it can be overwhelming. I don’t know if this suggestion would be helpful, but rather than focusing on everything you have to feel grateful for, choose one for the moment and find satisfaction in a few things that are top of mind just for the moment about why you are grateful. Doesn’t have to be your whole list of reasons at that moment; you can always “resume” your list later in the day.

    Being a chrstian is a wonderful thing. I am too, and also agree that guilt can be a powerful thing. It was for me in the beginning recovery – but I was told and know it true, we are harder on ourselves. God has already forgiven us and once we can embrace this in our christian belief, our true healing and baby recovery steps are already underway. I’m sure you also have tremendous guilt about your sister and I wish you continued healing here.

    Elise, hope my ramblings lift you a bit today. Keep communicating with us as writing is supposed to be therapeutic. Also i am curious about your couch to 5k progress. I downloaded this app for my iPhone and thought I’d try it. Sadly I can walk faster than I can jog!

    Have a peaceful day!

  • theodora

    hi elise..about weight loss and drinking..I agree with u, I have been my skinniest and most energetic when I was drinking..I felt great, but since ur looking up stuff online, why dont u look up what ur organs go through when u feed them booze instead of nutrients..U may be looking great on the outside (at least I feel pretty only when I look skinny..some people dont agree but who cares), but ur insides are rotting and aging..Bottom line, yeah since I quit I gained maybe a couple kilos..And since I quit smoking last week, maybe one more? Im dreading gaining weight, and that was the only reason I wouldnt give up smoking or drinking..But its a twisted distorted way of thinking (Im sure u realize that), and part of the reason I was drinking was to calm my head from all the weight-related thinking all day! so its a cycle and it needs to be addressed SOBER in my opinion..Also I believe that since u have enough control to maintain ur calorie intake below 800 (or any sort of control over what u eat), its a part of ur character that’s there whether u drink or not..U wont stop caring or start gaining weight once u quit drinking, it will just be different and harder in the start until u get used to ur new routine! I could go on forever talking about weight issues, so Im just gonna stop, hope it helps, my thought continuity is a bit messed up since I quit smoking so I hope I make sense! and I was really sorry to hear about ur sister :((

  • Sally

    Welcome Elise – thanks for sharing. I’m sorry about your sister, but you have to remind yourself that it was not your fault. What happened to her was a tragic accident, nothing more. We alcoholics really like to beat ourselves up. And yes, boredom is my problem as well. I find that when I have too much time on my hands I can justify drinking very easily…and I am coming up on a week off, so right now I am very nervous. But what I am trying to do is put together a list of all the projects I have been putting off, letters that I meant to write, but never did, household stuff, and I am hoping this will keep me motivated, give me some small satisfaction of accomplishment, and keep me from picking up a drink. There is nothing wrong with being a jack of all trades – actually not many people can say that. So you should be proud of all that you can do. Be good to yourself – find the little things in life that motivate you and hang in there. Good luck.

  • Samantha

    Hi all, I’m still here trying to quit or at least cut back. I don’t drink vodka anymore and I don’t drink in the morning (bleh how did I ever do that) and if I do drink I limit myself and only in the evenings. I realized I need to just take it one day at a time instead of making all these plans. I know its going to take some time and trying and failing repeatedly is part of the process, its really hard to break this habit, I realize this now. I’m better today than I was before with my drinking, but still I should be drinking at all. Elise, I remember a time when I would joke that I’m on a beer diet. I was always choosing booze over food and I was so thin, thought I looked great and felt great. Eventually it is going to catch up with you and you will feel tired and awful because your liver and kidneys wont be able to keep uq anymore, trust me, thats where I am now. I’m always tired even if I get 8 hrs because my drinking especially drinking and not eating has compromised my health. Alcohol doesn’t give you energy, food does and maybe it’s just the high from it you mistake it for. I think putting alcohol in your body with no food is so much more damaging. I’m sure your husband loves you as you are and you should think about your health before your looks because if you’re healthy you will look and feel good. I need to take my own advice. The weekend is almost here I want to go through it sober. Wish me luck..

  • Michelle

    I’m not sure if I’m an alcoholic. It does run in my family; my grandma on my mother’s side died from failed organs due to alcoholism, and my dad drinks a few stiff drinks every night of the week (but does not think he’s an alcoholic).

    I had my first drink when I was 16, but only drank a few times in high school all together. In college, I didn’t drink often. I would get drunk at parties here and there, maybe once every month or two, but I never drank more than everyone else. I blacked out maybe once or twice. I never had a problem drinking in moderation until I was 22, summer of 2006. I moved out for the first time and drank every night for two months strait. I dramatically gained weight. I ended up having to move back home at the end of the summer because my dad thought my grades in school would suffer from trying to pay rent on my own while being a student.

    Moving back at home I went back to drinking very moderately. I drank sometimes, once every couple weeks. I did very well in school, I exercised regularly and got in great shape.

    After graduating college, my dad started to get into fits and yell at me (usually after he’d been drinking), and kicked me out because I was a financial burden and could obviously take care of myself now that I had a degree. I ended up moving out with my boyfriend of one year. We knew we were taking a risk on our relationship, but it ended up working out great. We’re still together and it’s been 3 years.

    I’m still living with him and still in the same place, but I hate my job. I feel very inadequate and have no motivation. I get off work at 5 and all my friends and boyfriend work until 9 or 10. I found myself alone in the evenings a lot. So… I started drinking alone. I always frowned on anyone who drank alone, assuming that it was a clear sign of alcoholism. But, there I was, having a little party by myself, with my wine and hilarious youtube videos for hours. I drink 3-4 drinks a night, about twice a week… mostly wine but sometimes vodka mixed drinks. I hardly binge drink. I never have hangovers, but I always sleep in.

    I also drink when I hang out with family and certain friends. I just feel like I have to with them. When I visit my dad, he literally gets offended and pokes fun at me if I just want hot tea with dinner.

    Of course I gaining weight again, I’m back to the weight I was that summer of 2006…. I’m feeling very insecure about it, and I know it’s all because of drinking. I am a very healthy person with eating and exercising, but whenever I have a few I always eat garbage.

    I’m really tired of this. I never look forward to it. When I don’t want to drink, I stop. But I always feel obligated when I’m with friends or family. I want to stop because I want to feel good, be healthy, energized, not be fat, or get broken veins or early wrinkles.

    I’m not sure if I have a problem, or if I’m just a pansy that doesn’t know how to say what they want/don’t want. What do you think?? Do I have a real problem?

  • Charles

    I need to quit drinking all together. when I think back on my life, I can trace just about every single major problem that I have ever had beck to alcohol. In some way, shape or form, it was involved.

    It is the underlying reason as to why my relationships fail. It is the reason as to why I isolate myself from friends and family and it is the reason for my depressed state of mind.

    It’s just so hard because alcohol doesn’t judge. It doesn’t question and it is always there for you despite the circumstances. It will never abandon us like others have done throughout our lives. The funny thing is, alcohol is the reason as to why those who have abandoned us have done so to begin with.

    I quit smoking about eight weeks ago. i gave up caffeine all together and I exercise every morning. I run a mile, ride my bike five miles and then hit the Bow Flex. I eat fresh fruits and vegetables all day at work and i am hitting the vitamins hard.

    Everyday when I leave work,I start to get an anxious feeling..knowing that I am going home to an empty house. Each day, I tell myself that this is the day I won’t stop at the bar on the way home….But I do in order to avoid the loneliness. I know that the people who frequent the place are not my true friends…neither is alcohol, but it beats sitting at home alone.

    Its just discouraging because I do well all day long. And then I start drinking…and then I order a pizza instead of cooking something healthy….either that or I just don’t eat at all.

    Instead of hitting the heavy bag, I sit on the couch and watch net flix. Instead for taking the dog for a walk, I play X-box..all while getting drunk. If the phone rings, I don’t answer it because I know that I will be slurring. As a result, I isolate myself further.

    i usually fall asleep (pass out) around ten. I am up again at two in the morning and can’t go back to sleep. I know that it is too late to have another drink, so i have a few hours to sit with myself thinking back on everything….and it sucks.

    I need to find a positive routine after work…one that does not start with a stop at the bar before all else.

    My doctor suggested that I take a sleep medication and try to sleep until it is time to get ready for work…and then do my exercise routing after work.

    I don’t know, but I need to change because this isn’t working for me anymore.

  • theodora

    day 1 after day 90!! thanx everyone for making it happen for me :)) I wish u all good luck and lots of strength..
    And day 6 of quitting smoking!
    my thoughts are with all of u, always grateful..

  • Sally

    Michelle – the way I see it is if YOU think you have a problem, then you probably do. One of my favorite sayings these days is “to thine own self be true”. You’re the one who has to look in the mirror every morning.

    Charles – I had the same problem as you – good and healthy all day (if you can call walking around with a hangover and fuzzy brain healthy) then drink the minute I got home. It is all about changing your routine and change is hard! But if you want it bad enough it can be done…one day at a time… sometimes one hour/minute at a time. Just do it – and it will happen…and don’t give up if you fail…just pick yourself up and keep trying. If you haven’t already, check out AA and instead of hitting the bar hit a meeting. Good luck!

  • Sally

    Theodora – CONGRATULATIONS – your are my hero. AMAZING!! You go girl!

  • Patricia

    Wow, reading everyone’s story is very helpful to me. I can see the wide variety of situations people have arrived her with, and yet they are all so much the same.

    My family has a history of alcoholism but I never had (except the fact that I was in a family with alcoholism). Three years ago my father died of cancer. I had recently begun seeing a man from another country who I was really falling for. But he was not into attachments and so part of the week I would see him, part of the week I would be alone with myself. Part of the week I would turn to beer and numb my grief. Part of the week I would lay in my boyfriend’s arms and feel comforted.

    I began to have one drink before I would go see him though because I think I did not want my grief and anxiety to come through. About 18 months later my sister was diagnosed with end stage liver disease; she had hep c and was also an alcoholic. She very quickly went from not feeling so well to dead. At the same time my boyfriend moved across the country. And so my grief was overwhelming; I had not many friends around, and I was left so alone. I began to drink strong drinks, vodka with lime juice. It would be *one* drink, but a strong one. I would go overboard and then back off the amount. But I just felt so lonesome, and so filled with grief. Alcohol made me feel better for just a little while.

    Another problem I had was a back injury from work. No painkiller would help the pain. But alcohol would. Sometimes if the pain was very bad, only that would help. And so I was out of work, lost two close family members, lost the close companionship of my boyfriend, (all this on the tail of other big losses in the years before; plus continuous intense stress).

    The past few days I began to think I should stop with my *1-2* drinks every night. My boyfriend told me he didn’t like how I was when I was drunk. (well he says drunk, but I would say buzzed, although there were times when I was drunk).
    My son has complained how I have acted. (being *annoying*)
    I have goals I want to achieve, and this will get in my way, I know. Because being tired at night, and not with it will not allow me to get ahead the way I want to.

    There is a part of me that does not feel guilty about all this. I have had a lot to deal with and not a lot of support. I have had intense grief over losing my sister; intense guilt (as Elsie mentioned) and because of my work injury I have had to stop doing the physical things that helped me cope.
    And there is a part of me that can see how *my* behavior is affecting people I love and affecting my real and true ability to cope.

    Tonight I did not have a drink. I felt that mental craving for it. The need to go numb; how good it feels. But I am trying to remember the not good parts: the waking in the middle of the night, the heavy sleep breathing, the tiredness too early in the evening, the way I go within myself and use alcohol to cope with that, the slurring with talking, the way I don’t eat right even though I intend to, the financial cost, the way my sister died from drinking, the way it is probably adding to my stress and sadness during the day.

    If I use alcohol to numb out in the evening, then I won’t be motivated to change the behaviors that keep me lonesome, and stagnant in my life. As someone said: change is hard. It is sooo darn hard.
    It is starting to be spring and so I hope I can continue this change. I like the suggestions on this site about creating new habits. I hope to do that.
    Thanks for everyone’s posts and thanks to anyone who reads this.

  • kjbp

    Hi Patricia,

    I’m so happy you wrote tonight and estatic that you have chosen to go down a path of change and that you did not drink tonight. I’m sorry for the pain (both physical and emtional) that you are experiencing. Please know that we all here are your friends and we are a great place to come to at any time, whether you are feeling a craving, lonely, sad; we’re all here for each other.

    I’ve been reading a book by Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D. and Keith W. Sehnert, M.D. about Orthomolecular Medicine/Biochemistry and fighting alcoholism through nutrition. It’s quite fascinating and discusses how our blood sugar levels get whacked out by our drinking which puts us into a vicious cycle for dealing with physical and emotional pain because the only thing that will make us feel better is that blood sugar rush we get from alcohol. I realized my intense cravings lately and the correlation between them and sugar/carbohydrates I’ve been craving and eating.

    This book outlines this and suggests cutting out all refined sugars (cookies, candy, icecream, pasta, soda), white flour, caffine and smoking. I could go on because I find it so fascinating and gives me some healthy, new alternatives and a new focus/routine. If you want more info, I can find a link to send you. It a seven week plan to cleanse your body then heal it, which make you more able to deal with the emotional challenges plus puts your body chemistry back in sync so it can deal with physical pain.

    Again welcome and I look forward to hearing from you again.

    Charles, welcome, as well. I’m glad you also contact the site and hope you have had a calm weekend.

    Hi to all!!!

    Hi everyone. Hope o

  • kjbp

    Theodora,

    Congratulations, girl, on 90+ days!

  • JPVD

    Hi all;

    well 90 days came and went. had a little urge out of freakin nowhere but managed to stave it off with the ‘none for today’ mantra. I suffer from the internal dialogue of ‘so, are you NEVER going to drink sgain? what about all those good times coming up?’ etc etc. well, i just decided to not have any AT THE MOMENT and voila that moment was 5 days ago.

    Charles, wow you sure have some willpower. However you say that you want to quit drinking, and loneliness makes it hard; but if you found someone interesting (and weren’t so lonely) would you still want to quit drinking?

    You work out, run, and cycle…why not train for a triathlon? Join a tri-club, do some reading after work about it, or whatever. I have no idea about your financial situation or if you live in New York, New Delhi, or Pneumonia but I think if you re-read your post you wouldsee that your major weakness is breaking the after-work funk.

    Well you may call yourself Charles, and maybe your friends call you Charley, but to me you are Chuck: Chuck Norris. And Chuck Norris isn’t dependent on alcohol; alcohol is dependent on Chuck Norris! So come on Chuck and bash that needy booze on the head, you don;t need no hangers-on keeping you weighted down.

    good luck all. Yesterday at work i had allergies and therefore red-puffy eyes, flushed face and generally looked like hell and more than a little like i was (usually) hung-over. BUT my friends i had no shame and guilt and was able to just get on with it and curse the fresh-cut grass, NOT feel embarressed and think i need to hide and feel bad and blame myself.

    JPVD.
    .

  • Sally

    CONGRATULATIONS JPVD!! 90 days is a MAJOR accomplishment. Keep going…

    Thought for the day, “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic…If we have admitted we are alcoholics we must have no reservations of any kind nor any lurking notion that some day we will be immune to alcohol. What sort of thinking dominates an alcoholic who repeats time after time the desperate experiment of that first drink? Parallel with sound reasoning, there inevitably runs some insane trivial excuse for taking that first drink. There is little thought of what the terrific consequences may be.” Twenty-Four Hours a Day – one day at a time. And NEVER give up trying!

    Thank you all – for being here – and inspiring me the way you do:]

  • kjbp

    JPVD – Congratulations to you as well! Enjoyed your cursing of spring allergies. They do seem to have hit early this year, but the green is so glorious right now and all the orchards are in bloom. Maybe it’s the unfuzzy head that is allowing me to notice!

    Sally love your thought for the day.

    Take care everyone!

  • Patricia

    Hi kjbp
    Thank you for your kind words. I did drink one night this week and then I reminded myself later of the negative effects I was feeling and so since then I have not resorted to that, even though I am feeling poorly, in the emotional mental sense. I am having an odd mis-communication with my boyfriend who lives across the country and this adds to my bad feelings. Because he is so far away it is hard to work these things out.

    I am also wondering if I am just a negative sad person; or have become one. And this self concept takes on a life of its own within myself. This is the sort of thing that would lead me to have a drink at night so I could just be numb to the feelings. But instead I am feeling the bad feelings.

    I would be interested in the nutritional information. It’s interesting that after I stopped with the nightly drink, I have this sugar craving. It makes sense though.

    Anyway, I am going to put the effort today into getting outside and outside of myself. Do some cleaning. Do some studying (and hope that I can concentrate).
    Thanks again, your words are appreciated,
    Patricia

  • Sally

    O.K…so I feel like I am posting way too much on here, but I attribute that to being a “newbie” and trying to find my way – so please forgive me if I am offending anyone – or posting too much. Anyway I just had a really long day (translation -just an easy excuse to drink), and I decided to buy some alcohol on the way home, since I threw everything out last time I quit….I mean I am on vacation this week, and I have been good for the past 7 days!!!…Yada Yada Yada….

    So here is my new strategy (obviously to make me feel better), since I am struggling with the “forever and the rest of my life” story. Instead of looking at how many days I have “made it” without alcohol, I am going to look at the big picture. Since I found Spiritual River I have gone 18 out of 22 days without alcohol…that’s good right? Not perfect, but good! At least for me, considering the past two years…of drinking almost daily, except for an occasional day off –aren’t you the proud one Sal!!

    And I know that “dabbling” in alcohol is not a good thing to do…’cause it can lead me right back into where I was – and don’t want to be…but I soooo envy all of you who just passed the 90 day mark, and Justin I haven’t read a post from you in a while, so I really hope you have not given up.. just busy with your job and life…. And I am in awe of all of you – you truly are my hero’s – because right now I don’t feel like I can ever reach the level that you are on.

    And I guess bottom line…why is it whenever I have stress in my life I resort to alcohol to deal with it? Why can’t I learn to live life on life’s terms? I mean I pump myself up, buy all the books I can find, diet, exercise, make plans…and then I just walk in a daze being sober…finding it hard to function, hard to get motivated….I am great at telling all of you how to do it, give advice, but when it comes to me I seem to crumble at the least little thing…. I am such a fraud!! I feel like such a failure – I mean I really did think I could stop forever this time – and here I am again, giving in :[

    Anyway, I’m sorry for the long post – I am just venting…frustrated with myself…not really looking for any comments, advice, suggestions…I guess I am having a pity party online. LOL…never done that before…modern technology and all – isn’t it amazing!!…it just feels kind of good to know someone is out there reading/listening…I feel so alone! Isn’t that funny – I’m married with 4 kids and I feel so alone most of the time.

    Guess I want all of you to be so proud of me, to say “Hey Sal – way to go on making it 90 days”… or maybe what I really want is for my family to do that? Though that will never happen – because as long as I maintain and handle everything I don’t have a problem, or at least in their minds I don’t? Lord knows I have tried to fuck up enough so some would take over…but that never happened.

    I am so tired of carrying everyone’s problems on my back…my husband (who hasn’t worked in over two years), my brother and sister who are sucking my dad and me dry of his/our finances, my kids (who are in college, or out and need financial help), my elderly parent/husbands parent who are struggling, )… I am 55 years old and have worked since I was 13 – I soooo want to retire and call it a day. When does it become” my time”? It seems like all I do is take care everyone else. When do I get to take care of me?

    WOW!! How is that for a major pity party or what? …I just read what I wrote….sorry but it felt good…I promise not to post again until I have 30 days :] And I will probably regret this tomorrow – c’le-vie…I Love you guys..and you are an inspiration! Keep on keeping on…

  • theodora

    hi all..

    sally, the way u mention all of the problems in your life, and talking about wanting to retire, sounds a lot like your thinking is stil affected by alcohol..In my opinion, u should focus first on not drinking -at all, for a while- and then u’ll see u have a better way of viewing life’s problems, and getting solutions..Im not sure how or after how long this happens, it just does, and everything seems easier than before, and it also becomes easier having to deal with everything..

    The reason why I say this is cause I went to an AA meeting the other day as a volunteer, and there were many cases of people whos drinkign problem got worst after they retired..so if ur retirement is coming up I think it’d be better to deal with the drinking problem before u reach that, cause later it could be way harder to..Thats just my opinion after what I heard in there, it doesnt mean its always like that..Good luck!

    I was amazed by how many people have been sober for thousands of days!! I was trying to do the math and see how many years they were talking about!! But they still consider themselves alcoholics, or ex-alcoholics..Im not sure I agree with that, its a long discussion, just had to mention it..

    Still sober, still not smoking, wishing the best to all of u! And by the way, I think smoking was messing with my head even more than booze..Or my head was clearer now Im sober and quitting smoking had a biogger effect..Either way, if ur still smoking please consider quitting, its way easier than alcohol and it makes life so much easier!! any tips please ask in case I can help! :))

  • JPVD

    Sally;

    Anyone with any serious non-drinking time behind them got there the same way you are starting. The hardest part was the first step; the first night without the ‘comfort’ of booze.

    Don’t wait 30 days to write; write every day for 30 days if that helps…just do WHATEVER IT TAKES to break alcohol’s hold on you. It does not fight fair so don’t let it win by feeling bad that you need to blog so much or only have X amount of days in a row.

    good luck all

    JPVD.
    .

  • mycooperman

    I have been drinking so much for so long that I am lost. I am 52, and dying from alcoholism and I know it. And like so many people have responded, I don’t care if I live or not. I can hardly work anymore cause I gotta drink all the time…its the devil. I have so much hatred, lost my partner, lost so many friends..just me and the cat now. I hide it all so well…only 1 person knows how bad it is…I’m such a con act. I have no money, or not enough for rehab, and I am so scared. Where do I even start????

  • justin

    hey there sally, im still checking in ive just been working crazy hours since ive gone back to work. this past monday i didnt get home till 1 am. so far im still sober just over 5 weeks so far. been having a hard time though. its weird. i was doing great before i started working again, and i was positive once work started id be in the clear, but now im craving more than ever. every night when i get home i want a drink so bad, i was sure i was gonna cave yesterday, but somehow and im not quite sure how,, i did manage to stay sober. im just not sure where the cravings are coming from. i just know that if i do give in im srewed because i dont think i have it in me to just pick myself up and start again. im abit scared right now. the cravings get so bad i start hating myself. i no longer know what to do with myself, i still go to the gym and try to keep busy when im not working but it doesnt seem to help at all. i feel like at any moment im just gonna say screw it and go get a bottle. i think the only thing stopping me so far is the thought that ill have to say hey guys im back at day one, and ive been so proud of my self the past 5 weeks i dont think i could deal with that. this disease really sucks. i know its just a cycle and if i can ride it out long enough ill be all right , but its kicking my ass. so anyway i hope you all are hanging in there and doing good, im in no position to give any encouragement right now, but just hang in there all that are struggling and ill try and do the same..

  • Dave

    Hi All,
    I believe that by some Divine Intervention, I found this site. I sit here in my home office, very successful and very much wanting to end it all. How ironic. I’ve felt like my hamster Ginger, as a kid, watching him go round and round on his wheel, but mine has been on the alcohol wheel leading to self-imposed DEATH. Patrick and Bill….Thankyou more than you could ever know. This DEMON will not win. We are created for greatness! Clear the deck and declare FREEDOM. Our lives are meant for LIFE and empowering others…and to LIVE with PASSION…not an alcoholic HAZE of SEWER SHIT. We can and will prevail…it’s very simple as Bill says…a decision away…I start today. Prayers for all of you…As i pray for all of your Journeys to FREEDOM !!!

  • mycooperman

    Dave, I know what you mean about wanting to end it all. Sometimes it seems so unbearable. I’m sitting here right now with a beer, and all I want to do is go throw it away…I just can’t. I am hoping prayers, and the will to change will make the difference. Prayers to you, to me, and everyone on here. I know I need some serious prayers…..

  • mycooperman

    Justin, good for you to make it 5 weeks. I am praying for 5 minutes…so pat yourself on the back. Hang with it man. I am parying for ya dude!!

  • Dave

    mycooperman and all,
    I just woke up after an all day/evening bender. Vodka is my poison of choice. Yesterday, I had a fishing (my only hobby/passion) trip planned for a month. I began sipping at that wretched bottle while preparing a ham sandwich for my lunch box. Before I realized it, the sun was up, beautiful and perfect cloudless day, and all I could do was sip away and look outside, sipping away, letting precious time and perfect God-given treasures slip away! Thank Him that I did not attempt to drive. It’s insane…I am 51 years old, been with some sort of alcoholic beverage in my hand daily since college freakin 30 years ago!!! I am a highly successful, highly functional ALCOHOLIC and so FN sick of it that I want to explode and go away. I stink and smell rancid…what comes out of me in every way is disgusting and a disgrace. I have everything to live for yet I watch myself wither away. A couple of days ago, after reading these posts for hours, I took Bill/Patricks advise and exercised and drank some apple juice (although I love cranberry juice, it reminds me of mixing it with vodka, I’ve never mixed anything with apple juice so it was a better choice) I savored this ice-cold apple juice by taking a mouthful and rubbing my tongue vigorously against the roof of my mouth to scrub the alcohol in my system away and it was so delicious and refreshing I can’t put into words…I am starting to do the same with ice water with the same incredible sensations and results…I am going to begin now with drinking sparkling water and lemon as I think Bill does in one of his posts…
    I know this may sound insane, but I’m on a slow quest to detoxify my system…I am active in my local church and greet and shake hands with over one hundred people on Sundays. In order to not reek of alcohol, I start early Sunday morning (it is now 1:30 am!) by taking 2 capsules of Activated Charcoal and a tablespoon of Bentonite. (these are generally regarded as safe to your internal organs and absorb and neutralize the toxins in your system…do your own research!!! Much safer than the paint thinner that you are ingesting in mass quantities that is for sure! You can purchase online or at your local Vitamin Cottage type of retail outlet) At the same time, I drink almost a gallon of water over a period of 4-5 hours. I take another tablespoon of Bentonite during this period as well. I piss like a race horse consequently as one could imagine. I also take 2 hot showers to sweat and also scrub myself with one of those FU-FU scrubbers and highly scented AXE for men body shampoos. Then I am constantly chewing on a Tic-Tac or some sort of breath mint like that’s going to mask 30 years of alcohol imbedded in my system… FN crazy isn’t it ????????????
    My brothers and sisters, please realize this is no “panacea” for our addiction. It’s a temporary way that I hide it while I attempt to recover from this illness before I lose it all. It’s just really fucked up. I love Bill’s description of that little MF in a twilight zone episode trying to rip the wing off an airplane while in flight….I remember watching that in my younger years scared as shit….and wanting to kick the shit out of that little MF…..I will kick the shit out of this as well…Done Deal. Sorry for my bad French. If you are a church-going person, I’ll be greeting you this morning with a smile on my face…Blessings and my prayers for all your recoveries…..gotta go take a shower now………………..

  • justin

    5 weeks down the drain. who the hell was i to give advise to anyone. today sure as hell wont be day 1 cuz i had to get a drink first thing just to ease the hangover. its sad that 37 days is the longest ive been sober in almost 15 years. and now its back to the bottle. i really do hate myself. anyway, ill try to start over tomorrow, but im really week so we shall see how that goes. i hope everyone else is hanging in there. keep up the good work guys.

  • Sally

    Hi everyone,
    JPVD once told me (not in so many words – but wise ones none the less) that it doesn’t matter how many days in a row you have, what’s important is that every day is a new opportunity to try again to get it right. Just take it one day at a time and quit counting!!
    And if you screw up today, don’t kick yourself, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again tomorrow. My dad always says “yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, but today is the “present”, a gift from God, use it wisely.” Best wishes for a sober tomorrow:]

    p.s. Justin I quit counting – so should you – I’m praying for you – all of you!

  • Samantha

    Justin, 5 weeks is not down the drain, 5 weeks sober is a great accomplishment! I can’t even do 5 days. I haven’t posted cause I don’t know what to say, I’m stilling drinking, one glass sometimes 2, but I’m not getting out of control anymore. I’m just trying not to think so much about it, if I have a drink, one or no more than 2, but if I go a day without drinking, even better. It’s easy to feel discouraged and like a failure when you relapse, but think about the positive, 37 days is great and just think how much your body has healed in that time. I’m not having a drink tonight. I keep trying. Sally is right, it’s best to quit counting. I ask myself who am I to give advice, but I think I need to take my own advice. I’m trying so hard and instead of hating myself after I drank like I did before, I think about how much better I am, that way I don’t drink to excess cause I’m mad at myself. I know all too well about having to have a drink first thing to get over a binge the day before and if I’m hating myself, that just starts the vicious cycle. I know I’m saying I’m still drinking, but one drink or 2, I’ve come a long way from where I was before. If that’s the best I can do for now, it’s better than downing vodka morning to night. I’m not going to give up. I admire those who have gone a month or more. I’m just trying not to go overboard.. Sigh…. At least I’m sober tonight.

  • Julie

    I have a problem. I can’t believe I just typed those words, but it is the truth. I had four drinks last night for no reason at all. It is 5 am and I am awake feeling guilty. I drink 2-4 drinks almost every night and I’m not even sure why. I have had “the talk” with myself and promised I would slow down or quit, but here it is another guilty morning.
    I have read posts on this site before, but this is the first time posting and admitting to a problem. I am a mother and setting such a poor exaample for my teen. I just feel so disconnected even when I am involved in something.

  • justin

    its monday, and im gonna try and start fresh. i feel terrible physically and mentally. i binged all weekend. i drank almost 3 pints of vodka yesterday. id usually be rapping up at the gym by now but here i am still sitting at home. i go to work in an hour and ill try to hit the gym after work and get back on track. i hate being weak. i cant believe i slipped and as usual i had to do it all out. couldnt just be a drink or 2. thanks for the support guys. it wasnt easy for me to come on here and admit i slipped. im gonna try to stop counting maybe that will help to make it easier.

  • mycooperman

    Justin, try just for today to get through. As you, I tried to work today, but couldn’t….had that 1 beer in the frig, that went to 2-3-4. I am not going to have ANY beer in my frig tomorrow morning and I am gonna make it 1 day. Just 1 day….Hang in there…and you too Samantha, Dave and Julie. We all need to just keep writing and reading about our challenges and become a great support group. We all want to change…its a HORRIBLE disease we are fighting guys!!!! God bless us all and hopefully HE will hear our prayers and agonies.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi Everyone. Just thought I would say hi. April 4 was one year sober for me! My daughter is doing so much better almost back to herself on most days. She is still in the hospital but comes home on most days and came home last weekend over night and then she will be discharged next week. So glad that I got sober before this happened so that I could be there for her and not make it about poor me! It has been hard but I have been very proactive about getting support and education for her and our family. I feel like a grown up for the first time in my life!
    Thinking of you all and wishing you the freedom that sobriety brings to your life, that for me is the best part about being sober, and I guess the pride that I feel in knowing I can handle whatever life throws me. Being sober doesn’t mean I am free from pain it just means I go threw it not around it or under it or floating past it I have to face it and endure it and be present for it. And God it sure hurts sometimes but not as much as I hurt myself when I was drinking. I said to my husband the other day I sometimes wish I could have a drink and “let my hair down” but then I remembered what that sometimes looked like….hand cuffs, puking, apologizing, not showing up for work, being a poor role model for my kids, not wanting to show my face…..you get the picture!!!!

  • justin

    alright i think im good now, 2 days back on track. lets try this thing again shall we. thanks for the encouragment guys. i hope everyone is doing ok.

  • Samantha

    I went to bed sober again last night, really after a. few days of this you start to feel so much better. I did miss having wine last night and wanted it the second I came home from work and walked in the door out of habit, but the longer I held out the less the craving was. Breaking thd habit is what I need to do.

  • mycooperman

    Samantha and Justin…good for you both!! Hoping to follow in your steps real soon. Tomorrow would be great!!! I agree that I think it is a large “habit.” There are times I don’t even want a beer, but going into a convenience store just leads me to the beer area, ya know. Gotta break bad habits!!!!

  • Dan

    Thank you, you really speak to me. Thank you so so much

  • Gerry

    Hi,
    My name is Gerry and just stumbled upon this site last night while trying not to drink. I drink two bottles of red wine every night to sleep (for 5 years). I hate that alcohol has taken hold of me in this fashion. If I quit cold turkey, could I face medical issues? What are alternatives to aide sleep? Sleep aides do not work for me (OTC or prescribed). Thanks

  • Patrick

    @ Gerry – I would not recommend that you just stop cold turkey. That can be dangerous. Try to get into a drug rehab or medical detox. That really is the safest way to do it. Good luck.

  • theodora

    hi all, hope everyone’s doing ok..Just wanted to ask Patrick or anyone who might know..As some of u know, I havent had a drink since new years, and I quit smoking 3 weeks ago, cold turkey, after almost 20 years..And I know Patrick also quit after quitting alcohol..And I was just wondering if it’s equally dangerous to quit smoking cold turkey as it is to quit booze if u have been heavily addicted for years..Im not worried so much about the physical cravings, its been 3 weeks so Im somehow past that, but more about my mental state..Im asking cause I just read what u told gerry..Please Patrick if u have anything to say to help out Id really appreciate it! :)

  • Gerry

    Theodora,

    IMHO quitting smoking is a lot safeer than detox from alcohol. My brother quit drinking and smoking in one day. Although it was because of a new relationship. He said he had no cravings after 3 days. Amazing to me and I hope the best for him. He’s been clean over 6 months
    Patrick
    Thanks for your recommendations. When I dont drink I start shaking. Its very embarrassing. I’ve tried B vitamins with minimal impact. I guess I’ll look for a facility.

  • Samantha

    Gerry, when I stop drinking I only get shaky I come off a bad binge, then I feel I need more alcohol to calm me, but that’s just the never ending cycle we are in. If you can stop just a few days it won’t be as bad, but I think it’s probably best you do get help if you’re shaking is that bad, you may need medical supervision to help. The vitamin b doesn’t do much for me either, but I take it every day along with c complex, milk thistle, etc.. The shakes and anxiety aren’t as bad when you don’t drink to excess. I’ve had days where it was bad but I tried other things to calm me and after a few days of not drinking, it got better. Last time I went overboard I poured some Epsom salts in a hot bath and soaked for 15 minutes that’s all I could bear, I was sweating a lot and really drained, I know I was releasing a lot of toxins from me and after all I could do was lay down and rest, it took a lot out of me and trust me you won’t to drink after that, but like how Dave says about detoxing and taking activated charcoal, do your own research. Fruits and vegetables will help you too. There’s a lot of info to help get you through this on the internet, I have tried so many things find what helps. Good luck.

  • justin

    gerry, i always get the shakes when i try to stop. i havent found any kind of vitamins or anything else for that matter that help with it. just time.. usually in a week or so they go away for me. as far as quiting cold turkey, theres so much info out there that says how dangerous it is. i persoanlly have done it 3 times and i havent experienced seizers or dt’s but im sure thats just luck, being that ive been drinking a litter of either vodka or whiskey daily for around 10 years. after a week sober i usually start to feel really good and after 2 weeks i feel great. my problem is that after about 4 weeks my cravings come back seven fold and i cave. this past time i had 37 days sober. i slipped up and have slipped a few time since in a very short period. but whats different than before is that now everyday i try to start fresh. in the past i always said screw it once i slipped up and drank twice as much as before. im deffinetly disappointed with myself, but im gonna keep trying. good luck its not easy but its possible.

  • JPVD

    hope everyone is doing well.

    It is strange for me to remember when i quit smoking: i thought i could NEVER go for even a few hours without a smoke, especially with a beer in hand (back in the days when you could smoke in the bar). But I finally did quit (after many many relapses and various tactics) and that was 5-6 years ago and i couldn;t give a rats ass about cigarettes now and never even think about it. How something that was so important to me, something i was ADDICTED to can become such a non-event in my life is real inspiration to me that i can do the same with alcohol.

    It is important to me to have a life without booze, as i’m worried about when my situation changes (i’m in a really good place in my life at the moment) that i do not return to alcohol. I get so much strength from others (like Nancy) who quit drinking and then had to suffer through personal turmoil. Good for you! I don;t want to be a ‘dry drunk’ who pops the cork whenever things get tough. As well, people were talking about how retirees become alcoholics, and a lot of people drink more when work or other constraints are lifted. I remember looking at buying a campervan a few years back to go travelling around and every single brochure showed the camp-table set with a bottle of wine and the entertaining was always swilling beers etc. I mean, once in a while, but every night for the rest of your life?

    If anyone is interested, well it is happening with me, this change away from the immediate dependence of the numbing effects of alcohol. Justin, take heart. I have been ‘quitting’ for almost 2 years (or more?) but i AM getting better and better. For the record I am 109 days sober, but really i’m much more than that. I’m 5 days drunk in 6 months, 15 in a year, and 30 in 2 years. This is an incredible change from the previous 2 years (or 10) where i was absolutely pissed EVERY NIGHT.

    Every time i relapse i learn and adapt and i have yet to relapse twice for the same reason; soon i hope to run out of reasons to relapse! Already i look back on my short time sober and i realsie the many times when i had a tough day, or tough situation, or a good day, or a small reason to celebrate and DIDN’T involve alcohol. The amazingthing is that i didn;t have to remind myself NOT to drink…I just didn’t think of it. Amazing when you consider i used to look for(and find) any reason, and i mean ANY reason, to drink. I did not drink to celebrate, i would celebrate to drink.

    ok, hope everyone is doing well. Please remember that what we are doing is an incredibly difficult and brave thing to do. It is a monumental mountain to climb, but every step is as helpful and satisfying as the last and the next…and if you slip and relapse you do not slide all the way down to the bottom! Just get up and keep stepping from where you left off.

    JPVD.
    .

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Thanks JPVD, that means a lot to me.
    Nancy

  • kevin

    i posted number 381 to justin not a hi or anything i think thats rude and uncool i was just being nice and try to fit in so this will be my last posted

  • justin

    kevin, i apologize for not repsonding to your last post. i didnt see it. i wasnt trying to be rude. if you have a problem then you shouldnt stop posting on here, thats the only way to get help. iv been really busy working and having my own hard times, so you werent ignored intentionally. anyway i hope all are well. i cant say i am ive been sober the last couple of days but im teetering right now. ive been telling myself all day just for today just for today, but im not feeling to strong right now. i am still eating right and working out so atleaste ive stuck with that. but i cant seem to get more than 2 days sober. what a bummer.

  • Sally

    Kevin – we are all struggling…and just because someone doesn’t post, doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you and your trials and tribulations – it may mean that they are struggling too…and what they are going thru is more important than responding to you…(at least for them)… so don’t lose heart..keep trying to do the right thing…and hang in there…and keep posting…
    And Justin – have heart – I am in the same space as you – 2 days max… and this being a holiday weekend…well forget my stamina…I keep saying…tomorrow…but then I give in….
    Justin – would you be interested in working with me on my sobriety? I don’t know why – but I feel connected to you somehow?? …so how about after tonight we call it quits together (strength in numbers – 2 is a number LOL) – tonight being Thursday, April 21, 2011 – starting tomorrow we quit together and hold each other accountable each day on this website? What do you think? You gave me inspiration to begin with –are your willing to give me inspiration to continue? I believe in you – believe in yourself..believe in me……..what do you think??

  • justin

    hey sally, yes i would be interested in working with you. im glad i could give you some inspiration. i thought i was finally there and gonna be sober for the rest of my life, so i was trying so hard to help others, but i fell again. so im still climbing. i went from 5 weeks to 2 days but im not gonna give up. i slipped tonight, but ill try again tomorrow. ive never had anyone for support before o maybe that will make the difference.

  • justin

    hey my cooperman, im sorry i didnt repspong to you posts. i did read what you said and thank you for your support. i was just in a bad place a t the time and didnt respond. i do appologize. i hope all is well..

  • Sally

    Justin – o.k. here’s the challenge – after tonight we quit drinking (Are you ready for that?) … one day at a time…we log on and keep in touch with each other…we hold each other accountable for our actions…no judgment. We take it one day at a time…we express our feelings…we give each other support…what do you think? It’s a start…

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Kevin I totally get where you are coming from it is hard not to take things personally. I posted that I am sober one year and no congrats. I think what happens is people start to form bonds and don`t mean to leave people out. I too sometimes feel like not posting any more just because I don`t feel like I have much to say but don`t give up people really do care and this site did at one time contribute to my sobriety. I just wish everyone the best. And kevin don`t give up people really do care, you can get well.

  • kevin

    thanks nancy,justin i am sorry for getting pissed about it its been a nasty week of stuff keep going wrong again sorry.sally i agree.

  • JPVD

    hey all, a lot of times just posting on here is a tremendous first step for many people trying to come to terms with the first part of dealing with alcohol addiction: admitting you have a problem.

    Kevin (and anyone else who has posted but not gotten a response) i totally read your message and was interested in any further posts you had about how your attention to personal fitness growth would help you fight the booze. I can gaurantee that hundreds (maybe more?) of people read these posts and NEVER post/respond. I truly believe we are helping a lot of lurkers out there with some real issues with alcohol.

    IF it matters to anyone who has posted or is considering posting; I READ EVERY MESSAGE AND CONSIDER IT. That includes you Nancy One-Year. When you posted your achievement it really affected me because we both quit drinking at the same time last year, however you made it through and i have relapsed many many times.

    anyways, good luck all.

    JPVD.
    .

  • Sally

    O.K. Day1 – my head is throbbing big time (plus I have a nasty cold and feel even worse) – but I am going to do this! Last night was really bad – I fell down the steps and put two big holes in the wall – how is that for a constant reminder of how bad I have become! But today is a new day – my mantra for the day “I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me”. For all of you out there who want to quit – today is the day! One day at a time…join me…

  • Anonymous

    JPVD, thanks for posting. I have become one of those that reads every message and reflect on it – what it might mean to the one posting, what it might mean to others, and what it means to me. I’ve been quiet for a bit as I am in a very reflective mode right now. And I agree, every post does matter (even if we sometimes feel like we are just writing to see our thoughts down on “paper”.)

    Nancy, I’m so, so happy for you and you accomplishment, despite personal challenges. This has all made you so strong and you should be so proud of yourself, as I’m sure your family is. Keep taking things one day at a time on your way to a lifetime of sober memories. I’m looking forward to the day when I can have more memories of being sober than of what I did while drunk, or worse yet what I don’t remember doing while I was drunk! Ah… I’m getting there, though. As JPVD said, I’ve been diligently focusing on becoming 100% alcohol free and have relapsed many times…

    The spring finally arriving has really helped me. I see things as greener, more colorful, have more energy and a more positive “can beat this” attitude. I’ve also been following a program from Health Recovery Center that places its healing on alcoholism as a disease of disruption to our biochemistry. It focuses on nutrition and an orthomolecular model of addiction treatment.

    The program has worked tremendously for me (previously I’ve done the counseling, group and one-on-one therapy out the ying yang and I’m sure they helped, but didn’t get me over the mountain top to the other side). Since I’ve been altering my diet and buiding back the good chemicals in my body (all destroyed by alcohol), I now have so much clarity, my symptoms associated with alcoholism: cravings, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, etc., have all but disappeared and when I do feel any of them surfacing, I feel much more stable and able to cope. I don’t have the body aches, stiffness, a LOT less headaches, my skin is a normal color (not grayish), the bloating and puffiness is gone and I can remember things!

    So I just keep plugging along and checking in on this site is one of my daily rituals, so everyone keep posting!

    Hi to everyone that is new in the last couple of weeks, including Kevin. Please keep us in your lives. Hi to those who may be just reading for now. And hi to all those I’ve communicated with in the past.

    I’ve also come to the conclusion that in our “instant gratification” world we are used to, healing from alcoholism cannot be achieved instantly – took me long enough to understand that :)

    Have a blessed Good Friday and Easter Sunday, all.

    Love,
    kjbp

  • theodora

    hi all..
    hi kjbp..I was reading about the orthomolecular model, and Im glad its been working for you..I wanted to ask u for a favor if u dont mind..If u could write down a typical day on this diet..also what foods are definite no-nos..And maybe what vitamins/supplements you’ve been taking..I realize its different for everyone but Im curious to see what has actually worked for you..From what I see u must have eliminated carbs and sugar, eating mostly protein fruits and vegs?
    I hope u find the time to let us know more about it..Thank u!

  • kjbp

    Hi Theodora,

    I’d be happy to send you more information. If you want to email me directly my yahoo address is: b.kj78@yahoo.com. You’re right about the protein, fruits and veggies. I have virtually no cravings for sugar (which I never used to have until I stopped drinking, then I became a sugar and carbohydrate nut). Nor do I have cravings for junk food (I LOVE french fries). Whenever I eat anything like that I fill sick and bloated. I’m pretty good about sticking to the right food and making sure I eat something every 3-4 hours as I see it working. Also, I’ve been able to stop taking the medication the doctor had me on for shaking, depression and alcohol cravings. It’s really very interesting and my husband is so delighted this is going well. The days and nights are the torture they used to be and I don’t have the “highs and lows” like I did before.

    Great to hear from you and hope you are doing well!

  • justin

    so i just read some new posts, about how some of us havent responded to them,, and then i went back and read through past posts. i see there are quite a few that i previously didnt notice. if i dont respond please dont take it personally im not the kind of person to just blow off someone. ive got a family and a full time job, and on top of that im struggling with my own failures. sometimes i just miss some of your posts. im very happy for you nancy. and kevin i already apologized, i came on here to find support and get help, and even though ive fallen and have to start over i still want to be there for others. ive been abit depressed as of late i guess. i really thought i had it this time, i feel like a fool. i too read sometimes and dont respond simply because i dont know what to say. i feel like who am i to give advice when im sitting here drinking from my bottle. just know that that if you guys post something and we dont respond right away its not that we are trying to be assholes we are just going thru our share of problems too.

  • Angela

    Kevin, please don’t be so hard on Justin. We all have lives that we are trying to live in addition to keeping up the fight to remain sober. The thing you need to remember, is that only YOU are responsible for YOUR sobriety. We are all here as partners and supporters of each other, but honestly, in the long run this is a PERSONAL battle we are fighting… We are here for you… we will feel your pain, and absolutely TOTALLY empathize, as we have all been where you are today… but in the long run it is all about you…and me…and Justin…and Theodora…KJPB…jpvd…anonymous…
    Please, Kevin, don’t use Justin as an excuse to continue on the path you are currently on…you CAN do this!!! You would not be on this site if you didn’t want help…read everyone’s testimonials…
    If you fall down we will help you up…but only if you allow us to…you are not a helpless victim here…you make your own decisions…we all write the final chapters of our own autobiographies…

  • kevin

    hi to every one i did say i was sorry to justin for takeing it bad its been a crazy week but itwill get better it cant rain all the time////…

  • justin

    things will get better kevin. i dont know what your personal situation is, but ive had some long stretches where it seemed like nothing was going right. but things did get better. just hang in there. hey sally how did you do yesterday? im sad to say i did slip, but im gonna make today my day 1. i have things to do today so ill keep busy. the hardest time for me is in the pm. not as much to do. tonight im gonna watch the ten commandments my wife hates it but its one of my all time favs. the only problem with this is that ill be sitting on the couch for 4 plus hours and thats when i like to drink the most. but im just gonna focus on today so i think i can do it. i hope everyone else is doing good.

  • Sally

    Justin – I am doing good – day2 and I am feeling stronger already. Working on my humility and letting go of my ego and pity parties. Hang in there and keep trying – I am drinking alot of water with lemon. Angela you are right – this is a personal battle – it is all up to us individually. Best wishes to all of you – you are in my thoughts.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    I was going to say Happy Easter because we are celebrating Easter this weekend in Canada! Last Easter I was very drunk and thought I was going to die and my family would find me on the bathroom floor hugging the toilet bowl, not very pretty!! Don`t feel bad Kevin I remember a few times thinking I was done, it is part of the alcohol personality I think where we take things too personally we all understand!!!! We are like a big family on this site no one is perfect but we do are best and just ask for what you need. I too read posts and might be very moved but then get distracted or can`t think of what to say but I am thinking of you and wishing you peace and happiness.
    I am feeling a little anxious lately not sure why but it is such an uncomfortable feeling I want to jump out of my skin. It could be because my daughter is home even though she is doing so well I still worry, but I am hopeful. thanks for giving me a place to just vent.I already feel less anxious.
    Sally I drink lemon and hot water instead of tea sometimes I helps me too.

  • kevin

    thanks nancy and happy easter i wish your daughter the best recovery.justin ihope you can pull it back together your not missing out on nothing last nigth my wife and i went to dinner and the bar was full of drunk people it was sad thats the way i use to be now it make me sick i never want to look like that again its kinda makes me feel scummy that i was a drunk not to long a ago.. thats over now thank god …happy easter to every one ….

  • Sally

    Happy Easter Nancy, Justin, Kevin, Theodora, jpvd, Angela, kjbp and everyone else. May your day be blessed with sobriety – if just for today! The sun is out here – it feels good!

  • justin

    sorry guys, im drunk again. i just cant seem to get back on track. happy easter.

  • Samantha

    I was sober Saturday night after binge drinking Friday. I had trouble sleeping, no shakes, I just couldn’t seem to get relaxed and sleepy even though mentally and physically I was dead tired. I kept telling mysel I wasn’t going to get drunk on Easter since I was drunk every other holiday before that starting on Thanksgiving and I’m talking the drunk where you start fights and wake up not knowing what the heck happened. I did okay at first, went to church in the morning then lunch with the family, then took a nap. I woke up at 5 feeling more groggy and just plain crappy SO I did the inevitable, I downed som straight vodka too much too quick. I felt fine at first then boom, it hit me hard, I fought with my husband and I have absolutely no idea what it was about, but I’m pretty sure I caused it. I feel like hell today and called in sick, I rarely do this, I usually just get up and go. I need to stop this. No drinking today, no, no, NO! I was starting to hate myself and wanting a drink again, but I’m not gonna do it. I’ve been drinking wine a glass or 2 every other day, but last nite with vodka I could easily start that daily habit. Does anyone know what it is about vodka?… Let’s all try again or keep trying. Good luck all. Justin you and all of you, you’re not alone.

  • Anonymous

    It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

  • Anonymous

    Samantha;
    Do you still keep alcohol in the house?

  • Sally

    Justin, Samantha – “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on”. I am pulling for you – you have done it before, you can do it again…starting is the hardest part…keep reminding yourself of how nice it felt to wake up sober and enjoy life with clarity and without regret. Smile :]

  • Angela

    Do you ever feel like you are spinning your wheels in mud, in the pouring rain, while driving a low riding car with bald tires? That’s how this feels but at least I know I am not the only one in this rut…I am not alone…

  • XXX

    Why the anonymous posts? At least give a fake name. How can we feel safe here?

  • Patrick

    Hey everyone, this is Patrick, the site administrator.

    These long comment threads are getting tricky to manage so I added a forum.

    It just takes a 30 seconds to register and there is no annoying image verification or anything. There is a thread already started to continue discussion from this page.

    I may eventually move all commenting into the forums so I would encourage everyone to check out the new forums right now!

    Thanks everyone!