How to Stop Drinking

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Far too often, the traditional wisdom for how to stop drinking is plagued with useless relapse prevention tactics that try to pinpoint our problems and triggers in helping us to prevent relapse. My experience has shown this to be ineffective.

Better than tactics for recovery are strategies. Strategy is more useful because it is more encompassing and can affect larger areas of our lives, in such a way that we can affect massive change. Using tactics is more short term and leads to smaller, more incremental changes. In addiction recovery, we need massive change. We need to change everything. Strategies are the way to do that, because they give a broader sense of guidance for all of our actions and decisions.

* How to Stop Drinking – Visual Guide *

Strategy #1: Take massive action. If nothing changes, nothing changes. The scope of what you are trying to do (quitting drinking) is truly massive. You are trying to change your whole life. This takes a huge effort. Do not underestimate it. Go big or go home.

Strategy #2: Blast through your denial. See your drinking for the crutch that it really is. Honestly see how it controls you and dominates you, even though you “enjoy” it. Measure your time spent being “happy” while drinking, and notice that you are almost always miserable, but hanging on to happy memories of drinking.

Strategy #3: Seek professional help. Alcohol detox can be dangerous. There are huge benefits to inpatient treatment. Seeing a counselor or therapist can be a turning a point. Getting any form of help is action, which is always good.

Strategy #4: Build real self esteem. This is the strongest form of relapse prevention: if you truly value your life, you will not throw it away on a relapse. Take care of yourself. Push yourself to grow. Help others.

Strategy #5: Pursue holistic health. Recovery is about living healthier. Extend this in new directions to enhance your recovery from addiction. Quit smoking, start exercising, make nutritional changes. Seek emotional balance. Etc.

Strategy #6: Create a new life. You have surplus time and energy now that you are in recovery. How will you use this surplus? Find outlets that match your talents and strengths, while allowing you to help others and create real value in life. Experience growth.

Strategy #7: Seek balance as you progress. Watch out for extremism. Recovery is about living, not about recovery. Balance growth and acceptance. Stay active in pursuing new things. Stay open to growth opportunities.

Strategy #8: Push yourself to grow. Do not get lazy in recovery. Do not justify laziness with self acceptance. Do not close the door on self examination. If you stop growing, you relapse.

Strategy #9: Get physical. Fitness is huge in recovery. Most people disregard fitness due to inherent laziness. Push yourself to exercise regularly and reap huge benefits. Some recovery programs are based on exercise alone–that is how powerful it is.

Strategy #10: Embrace gratitude. If you are truly grateful, relapse is impossible. Gratitude is the mindset for learning and growth experiences. Practicing gratitude enhances recovery and leads to more learning and thus more growth.

Strategy #11: Avoid complacency. Our natural state is to be drinking. Therefore, we have to keep pushing in order to avoid reverting to our natural state. We can only do this through the push for personal growth. Seeking holistic health gives us a broad platform for growth experiences.

Strategy #12: Explore a new vision. Take action first, then reflect on how it has helped your recovery. Seek growth based on your strengths. See how you can use this to help others. Start becoming the person you were always meant to be.

Strategy #13: Discover your purpose. Your vision made real. Helping others in a profound way based on the personal growth you have experienced. Achieving dreams that you once thought were blocked forever by your drinking. True contentment and joy.

Stop drinking today….how many reasons do you need?

As a recovering alcoholic, I know that this is a difficult decision. Even though there were a million reasons for me to stop drinking, I had a million reasons why I should continue. These reasons of mine to continue drinking were because of something called perceived benefits.

The tricky thing is that there are some real benefits to drinking alcohol for most of the adult population. But for the true alcoholic, those benefits are largely illusory, and become less and less valid as their disease progresses.

In other words, an alcoholic might cling to the “benefits” of drinking, rationalizing that these are important reasons for them to continue to self medicate, but in reality those reasons are no longer valid, and they are just fooling themselves. This is called denial.

The perceived benefits of drinking

The perceived benefits of drinking will be a bit different for different people. Just to give you an idea, here is what I thought alcohol was doing for me:

1) Fixed my shyness – Before I started drinking, I was naturally shy and found it difficult to speak in groups larger than 2 or 3 people without any anxiety. Alcohol fixed this. The problem is that, even though alcohol fixed this, it was not a viable long-term solution to the anxiety problem. This is because my tolerance increased and I had to drink more and more in order to overcome my shyness. Eventually it stopped working altogether, and I would remain shy even in a complete blackout. But I stubbornly clung to the idea that I had to drink in order for this personality flaw to be corrected.

2) Celebration and passion for living - I believed that life was a party, and that you were not celebrating life unless you were living it up and getting wasted every day. Somehow I believed that the only way to live passionately was to drink heavily. These ideas were obviously from the “good old days” when drinking was still fun, and hanging onto this illusion was just another part of my denial.

3) Drinking = happy – I truly believed that the only way that I could be happy in this life was to be drunk. This was a twisted mindset. I really looked down on other people who didn’t drink and pitied them that they were not able to “get happy” like I was. The truth of the matter was that I was miserable for 99% of the time, and it was a rare moment when I could find the right level of toxicity where I could even claim to be “happy” in my drunken stupor.

So these were my main “benefits” of drinking. I call them perceived benefits because this is what I truly believed, but looking back we can see that I was in denial about my drinking and therefore I was only fooling myself. These benefits were illusions that I clung to; they were actually false 99 percent of the time.

The denial exists because alcohol used to work as described. At one time, these perceived benefits were real, and my life was not screwed up yet from excessive drinking. In other words, there were some good times that I had with drinking, and my mind stubbornly clung to those ideas. This is just one mechanism of denial. All of these perceived benefits became false as my alcoholism continued to progress, but my denial kept me from seeing the truth.

When you really analyze the perceived benefits of drinking, it almost looks like a belief system. I had established the idea firmly in my head that alcohol was wonderful and those who did not drink it were missing out in life in a big way. I really believed this. Not only that, but I believed it at a very deep level and it had become part of who I was.

So in spite of these perceived benefits, eventually we have to see the illusions for what they are and break through our denial. It is only then that we can have any hope at even caring about a reason to stop drinking in the first place.

But once we become the slightest bit open to the idea, the tide can turn, and we can start to get excited about a sober life again:

Reasons to stop drinking

We can separate the logical reasons to stop drinking into these broad categories:

1) Longevity of life

2) Quality of life

Pretty basic, right? Alcoholism can affect how long you live, and also the quality of your life. So let’s take them one at a time:

Quitting drinking and your lifespan

Obviously, if you are an alcoholic, then quitting drinking will greatly increase your potential lifespan. But by how much?

To answer that question, we have to look at some statistics. I’ll spare you the charts and data and summarize it for you: most alcoholics die about 15 to 20 years earlier than their peers.

Now the question is: “How much is 15 to 20 years of your life worth to you?” This question is actually fairly deep and complicated, because the answer can change so drastically depending on your state of mind.

For example, a miserable drunk will usually brush the question off entirely, waving his hand and saying “whatever. Take me right now if you want!” That is the miserable desperation of addiction talking. Now if we manage to sober this person up and get them involved with a creative new life in recovery, their answer will likely change quite a bit (I know mine did!). Life becomes precious in recovery.

And of course we are just talking about numbers and percentages here–you might be able to continue to drink and still live a very long time. But the odds are against you. It’s not just the direct effects of drinking that can kill you. For example, guess what the number one killer of recovering alcoholics is? Lung cancer. In other words, it’s not just the booze that will kill you….it’s the lifestyle that gets us in the end. Not to mention drunk drivings, accidents, slip-and-falls, alcohol poisoning, liver damage, and so on.

With alcoholic drinking, there are a million ways to die. Problems compound as the lifestyle becomes increasingly more dangerous. It’s a progressive disease, so the risks increase for both the direct effects of alcohol, as well as for “lifestyle deterioration.” In other words, as time goes on, our drinking takes us to new lows and to do things we said we would never do. All of this steadily increases the odds of our untimely demise. Luckily, there are a million ways to stop drinking as well.

Quitting drinking and the quality of your life

The discussion so far as focused on how long we will live if we drink alcoholically. But lets take a look at what it does to the quality of our life.

There are a number of ways that drinking impacts the quality of your life:

1) Overall health – Not only will heavy drinking reduce your lifespan, but it also has the potential to bring on any number of diseases, disorders, and ailments.

2) Alcoholics are more susceptible to other drugs – which can have devastating effects on your life as well. Many people pick up “new habits” while they are drunk.

3) Alcoholics are several times more likely to be cigarette smokers - which, combined with drinking, can really have devastating health consequences.

4) Risk of suicide – is determined by studies to be over 5,000 times greater in alcoholics than in that of the general public.

5) Social effects – Alcoholism negatively impacts divorce rates, domestic violence, job stability, and so on.

6) Mental effects – Alcoholism contributes to depression, anxiety, and in the long run can result in ever more serious mental conditions, some of which might eventually be permanent.

Is there a Stop drinking pill?

There is a medication called Campral that can help with cravings, but it is by no means a magic bullet. People who rely on the pill to “fix” their alcoholism are going to be very disappointed. There is no magic cure and you have to put forth a tremendous effort in order to get sober aside from simply taking a pill like this. But, it can be helpful, and so any alcoholic should consider talking with their doctor about medications like Campral that might be one piece of their recovery journey.

Stop drinking, lose weight?

Of course alcohol is empty calories, and those who get drunk every day tend to have other factors that contribute to heavy weight. Not only does the quality of nutrition drop, but most alcoholics are very inactive when it comes to exercise. Part of recovery, if you use a holistic approach (which is strongly advocated on this website!) is that you should be considering things such as nutrition and exercise as part of your recovery.

So simply quitting drinking is but one step in losing weight. The accompanying lifestyle changes are what will really kick your weight loss into high gear.

Stop drinking too much alcohol, or quit entirely?

Some people think that they might be able to regulate their drinking instead of quitting entirely. If this works for you, then that is great! Moderate your drinking. But an alcoholic is defined by their inability to do so. Eventually you may have to get honest with yourself and realize that you cannot control your drinking consistently.

Denial is the trap that you can control your drinking some of the time. If you hang on to those successes, but ignore the train wreck that is your life, then you are in denial.

If you can’t stop drinking now

If you try to stop drinking now but find that you cannot do it on your own, then ask for help. Call up a local treatment center and ask them what you need to do in order to get into treatment. They will lay out your options for you and help you to get funding so that you can get the help you need. Pretty much anyone who is persistent can find some resources to help them with their problem, it is just a matter of putting in the effort and the footwork that is necessary to get the ball rolling.

Stop binge drinking

If you are a binge drinker then you may be fooling yourself that you do not have a problem, when in reality you need to stop just as bad as anyone else. The binge drinker is a special kind of alcoholic, but they are still an alcoholic. They may go for long periods of time without drinking any alcohol at all, but when they do drink, they go on long binges and usually spin out of control completely. Just a different flavor of alcoholic, but one that still needs help in order to change their life.

Problem: an active alcoholic does not care about this stuff

So here is the real challenge: even when posed with a vast list such as this as to why a person should stop drinking, most active alcoholics could care less. The problem is that they are depressed, suffer low self esteem, and cannot bring themselves to care much about their own well being.

In other words, you could promise them the world if they would just quit drinking, and they will politely decline and go back to the bottle. They just don’t care.

Now I know this because I have been there before. And eventually I got to a place where I wanted to care, but I still could not bring myself to do it. I was stuck as a miserable drunk. I could not figure out how to stop drinking alcohol.

The breakthrough for me came when I decided to give sobriety a chance. Perhaps this was divine intervention. I had tried to achieve sobriety in the past but it had not worked, so I was extremely skeptical. But for some reason I was miserable and tired enough to give it another shot.

This is the balancing point. This is that tricky area of surrender that a drunk has to find their way to. It is a fine line. You are just miserable enough to want to stop drinking, but at the same time you are 2 seconds away from saying “screw it” and going to get another bottle.

This is why I think surrender to the disease of addiction might be divinely inspired. It almost seems impossible for an individual to find their way out of the alcoholic trap.

If you want to know how to stop drinking, here is my number one suggestion to you:

Ask for help.

Really. That’s it. Start with that, and things should start falling into place. It is possible to learn how to stop drinking on your own, but it is pretty tough.

May God bless everyone that has a desire to get sober today…..

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  • andy

    The biggest reason people should know is that alcohol is a neurotoxin. This by itself already outweighs any health benefits, which by the way can be obtained from other far healthier diet alternatives.

  • andy

    In case you are wondering, I too had my share of drink fests during my younger days, so I can tell you that alcohol is addictive. It creates a kind of thirst, just like the thirst for water. It wasn’t easy giving up this thirst, and we try to fool ourselves by justifying the “health benefits”. But in the end I found out the real dangers it was doing to my body, so I got scared and decided to quit it once and for all.

  • andy

    One good way is to associate more with friends, places and activities that don’t involve any alcohol. The magic here is that our brains can only be occupied with the present thought. By keeping it busy like this, it will have no idle time to think about the alcohol at all. Eventually, you will get mentally and physically stronger until you totally have no more interest in drinking anymore.

  • andy

    Finally, I have been involved much more with spiritual activities recently, and I agree with the author that divine intervention does help a lot by purifying and developing our thoughts, wisdom and actions so that we gain the innner strength and disciplne to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  • Patrick

    Interesting thoughts, Andy. I would agree that finding friends and activities that are “sober” is a good step in building a new life in recovery. I also agree that the spiritual component is important as well. Good luck to you in your recovery!

  • Bitty

    I want to quit,but I associate drinking with good times in my life when I had a social life, and now that I am in the house most of the time and bored with no close friends that make me reach for a drink

  • Patrick

    Hi there Bitty

    Traditional recovery might be a very good fit for you if you’re interested in being sober because there is such a heavy emphasis on social networking. Daily meetings are the prescription in 12 step fellowships and if you stick to the traditional “90 meetings in 90 days” then you will make new friends for sure.

    You know all the usual suggestions for people in your situation to get out there and get active and get involved but the bottom line is that you have to push yourself to DO IT. The cure is to move your body and get out and about and meet some new people. I’m sure you already know this but it’s a matter of doing it. Force yourself to do it and each day it will get easier. This is the power of momentum in recovery.

    Good luck to you Bitty!

  • MJ

    This article was so insightful. Like nothing I’ve ever read before. Already I feel very grateful to have found this site. Thank you. And thank you to Patrick. I can now see so clearly that the traditional route would be perfect for me, as I’m in Bitty’s position. Never thought I’d be here. Thank you all.

  • Patrick

    Hi MJ….glad to hear that you’ve made a decision in your life. Good luck on the follow through, as that is where all the action is at. Take care….

  • Patrick B

    Nicely written, having been sober for a little over 5 years by the Grace of God. Not only am I sober but the desire to drink has been lifted. Having been in for tune ups to make my body feel better (going into a rehab) I finally had enough. When I asked for help and meant it, great things started. Those who are just starting, remember your not going to get everything right, just because your sober! But don’t let that stop you.

  • Dencia

    Hi, I stop for a while and everything is ok, then I will have one drink thinking I can control it then it just gets out of hand. Is it possible just to stop cold turkey.. If your drinking to self medicate because of mental issues what do you do then?

  • Patrick

    Hi there Dencia

    Most would agree on 2 points here:

    1) Do NOT try to stop cold turkey. Seek a medical detox facility to quit drinking. Much, much safer that way. Cold turkey can be fatal.

    2) You should try to treat your mental illness along side of your alcoholism. If you don’t then one can lead you back to the other.

    Good luck to you….

    @ Patrick B – Congrats on 5 years, that is a huge accomplishment and I agree that no one is going to get everything perfect, taking action is better than waiting for perfection. You are right on the money with that one!

  • http://macko john

    want to give up drinking ,i only go out on weekends but drink far to much ,seem yo get blackouts a lot ,am in agreat relationship and due to get married next year .al ways making a fool of myself and flurting with women,and i am afraid if i dont do something now i will end up alone.and i love my wife to be .she dose not know about me being with other women.i need to do something.

  • Patrick

    Hi there John

    Yes you do need to do something, I would recommend treatment or at least 12 step meetings to try and get some sort of foundation of basic sobriety going. I talk a lot about creation and long term sobriety on this website but in the beginning you need to get somewhere safe and you need to dry out and you need support. Treatment works and it worked for me so I suggest you start there. It is not a magic bullet but if you want it bad enough then good things will happen.

    Don’t do it for your wife but do it for you. You are worth it. Go get some help. God bless…..

  • David

    I just woke up after 4 hours of sleep just to get to the liquor store when it opens at 8am. During those 4 hours of sleep my body somehow broke down half a liter of scotch whiskey. Now I am a quarter of the way done with my current bottle. And it’s a beautiful morning. One that I should be excited for. But I feel like I deserve a drink after a nights sleep. I know this is wrong. I think I am a functioning alcoholic. I don’t drink during work. But as soon as I get home it’s 4 double shots of scotch. Then I can relax and waste away watching tv and eating fattening foods while taking an average of 2 shots per hour from then on. It’s a cycle I want to break but it’s completely normal for me. Nothing bad has happened to me yet except for feeling like crap for the first half of every day. What should I do…..?

  • Patrick

    Hi there David

    If I were you I would look into getting some help for your problem. Have you ever tried to quit on your own? If not, try to cut down and then quit entirely. If you cannot do this then look into getting professional help for your drinking. It sounds like all the fun as long gone out of your drinking…why not make a change and enjoy life again?

  • David

    I really appreciate your response to my posting. I appologize that I was so blatant with what I said. I was feeling sorry for myself at the time which I seem to do more and more these days. I found your site out of random searching because I think I needed to get someones opinion of what life sober would be like. I am a person who lives his life on habit. I have a routine that I follow on a daily basis. This routine is on a downward spiral I believe. I am only 30 but I have been drinking steadily for 3 years now, every day. It is like a friend, along with my ciggarette habit that I have had since I was 15. I have never really dedicated myself to stop drinking on my own. Maybe a couple days out of a given year I don’t drink and honestly it scares me. The feeling of purity is foreign to me, and I don’t quite know what to do. I have an intense desire to be free of these vices. And yet it’s like an old friend who I miss. I have always had a problem with addictive substances. It seems to pass through generations. My father never was an alcoholic but my grandpa was. And he died of cancer. My life is good right now. I have a good job and a girlfriend who loves me but I she doesn’t realize how much I drink. The question is how do I go about convincing my brain that I should cut down or stop drinking for awhile? I think I could handle it if I had another opinion of what life is like being clean. Well I thank you again for even responding to me.

  • Cathy

    I found almost comforting reading about people who are currently stuggling with their alcohol addiction. I found David’s story so similar to mine that it was chilling. I’m sure my life would improve exponentially if I was able to get rid of my “toxic friend” who I call Gordy (after the name Fruity Gordo I saw on a cask of wine). However, eight o’clock rolls around and he’s there knocking on the door, asking to be let in. Why is Gordo male? Because only a man could make a woman make such stupid decisions that she knows are wrong for her. I also have problems letting go of things. I still mourn some poor bug I squashed in 1976. I look forewards to reading more comments from others. Bye.

  • http://f Annie

    I’m glad I found you site.. I’m more of a binge drinker, when ever i get into a social suituation I have good intentions of just having a “few” but before i know it I’ve totally swtiched and just turn into someone I don’t even know. I say stupid things and act in a way I hate, falling over etc – it happens nearly everytime i’m in a suituation and its been this way since I started experimenting with drink at 16.. I’m so embrassed of my actions, the cloud of guilt that hangs over me the next day is far worse than any hangover.. I have a lovely husband who just hates who I turn into when I’m drunk and so do I. I’m so over it and really really want to change. I feel the best bet is giving the drink away forever.. I really want some help.

  • Patrick

    Hi Annie

    Sounds like you need to ask for help, because you genuinely want to stop but obviously you are not successful in doing so.

    You might have to prove to yourself that you cannot stop on your own. Do this through experimentation. Try with all your might to stop drinking on your own. If you fail at this then you know it is time to seek help.

    Good luck….

  • Brandon

    My dad lost the job he had for 21 years, and we all know it was his alcoholism that caused this. I am 15, and my dad is doing cold turkey as i type this…he has the television on, and he isn’t watching it, he is very nervous and jittery, is there anything i can do to help other then watch him suffer like this?

  • http://f Annie

    I have tried to do it before and failed.. however this time I have sought some help from a support service as i really am determined to not ever drink again this time.. my whole family has these issues – but at the end of the day the buck stops with me and I need to break the cycle.. the way I see it – I have everything to gain by doing so and everything to loose if I don’t…

  • Patrick

    @ Brandon – If your dad is shaking violently you should take him to the emergency room. Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal. Try to get him to a treatment center.

    @ Annie – Good luck on your journey. Keep us posted as to your progress.

  • Brent

    Hey guys / girls. I’m glad I found this site – as I read through the posts I have to agree with Cathy in that so many people on here have the same life story as mine. David – you are an inspiration to us all for saying that you said. I hope all goes well with your recovery. Annie – reading your post was like reading what happens in my life when I drink. I go through two 1.75 ml of Tvasrski 100 proof vodka a week. Oh God I want to cut down & I am! I’ve had enough of acting like an idiot, saying things I shouldn’t be saying, & my relationship with my two teenage sons is slowly going downhill. They do not know I drink as much as I do & when we’ve had “family meetings” to talk about whatever, I have asked them (recently) if my drinking has been a problem. I am lucky to have 16 years worth of great relationships with them & they have always been honest with me. Every time I ask them this question they always tell me “no – we don’t have a problem with your drinking.” This is why I don’t think they know how much I do drink. And if their mom ever found out – I’d lose custody of them. She cheated on me & drew our divorce out for 4 years – all to get $1,000.00 a month in child support. But in the end – I got custody & she has to pay me support each month. So she does everything she can to try to get custody & has been on this rampage for 4 years. *sigh* I’m beginning to get “alcoholics nose” as well. Some days you can see three veins on the side of my nose – other days you can’t. I’ve attended an AA meeting & the stories I heard were…….wakening to say the least. I’m not to the point of pissing myself when I sleep, I’m not to the point of drinking in the morning to get going, I can / have quit a few days in a row & my body was SO much better for doing that. And just when I get to feeling good I think “hey – I do have this under control & one drink isn’t going to kill me.” I started drinking like this about the time of the divorce too. Before then – I was a 6 pack on a week end type of drinker. Over the past 4 years this has morphed into the amount I’m drinking today. I’ve not had any law trouble because of my drinking but I know that could only be a matter of time. I have woken up from a night of drinking feeling like crap & missing work. Then as I lie there on the couch feeling guilty & physically horrible it’s about noon before I make myself a drink & start drinking. I have a wonderful girlfriend who does know how much I drink & she is not happy with me. As far as women go in my life, aside from my mom, this girl is the best woman that has been in my life of 41 years. I cannot loose her…..I cannot loose the boys. I know I am to the point where alcohol has not overtaken me completely but it is close… close I can smell it & I’m hoping this will scare me strait….

    I will be on here checking other people’s posts so I wish you all the best & hope to hear from you all!

  • Travis

    Hello all. I just want to say that I can relate to each of your postings in some way, and I wish each of you all the very best in your individual journeys.

    I especially can relate to Brent in terms of his age and his custody situation being so similar to my own. Follow your gut… if you suspect you need to quit, you probably do. I also want to encourage Brandon to get some good advice from a counseling agency and be patient with him… I know what it is like to sit in front of the tv not really watching, just trying not to show my own nervousness.

    My situation is that I realized I had a problem at a relatively young age. I didn’t drink like normal people do from the very beginning. I had blackouts almost as soon as I started drinking. I thought this was normal and part of drinking at first, but soon gained some knowledge of alcoholism when my older brother went through treatment while I was still in high school.

    By age 22 I also found myself in treatment due primarily to some minor troubles with the law and the fact that I was severely depressed. I stayed sober for 13 years during which time I was married, had kids, secured a good job, had a couple promotions, and then after going through some of what Brent has experienced, I started in again- slowly at first but progressing to the point of drinking a twelve pack every night and more on weekends- much more.
    Depression, difficulties at work, difficulties at home and terrible feelings of guilt have come with it.

    I too still have a good job. I too still have my kids and a wonderful wife (I am remarried). I still wonder about those who REALLY hit bottom losing it all and wonder if I am really that bad. I learned in treatment twenty years ago that sometimes others can show us the bottom before we get there. We are the lucky ones at least in that respect and can learn from them. The foolish thing is that I did see where I was heading and then went back down that road again.

    I have been trying in earnest to quit again, but it is tough as you all know. I haven’t drank in a couple of days and I quit for a good two weeks prior to that. I don’t intend to drink today and I’ll worry about tomorrow when it gets here- the traditional one day at a time approach I guess.

    I just want someone else to know that I am out here struggling same as you to deal with this, overcome this, or whatever.

  • Kallie

    I am on here trying to find a magic cure for my drinking problem. I have been in and out of AA a few first mandated by court, the last 2 times on my own.

    I am trying to do this without going there. I think it really works for a lot of people, but I have issues with it. The last time I quit drinking I went to AA and quit for 4 months..the longest I’ve been sober in 15 years of alcoholism. I was thinking today that if I’d just stayed sober I’d be sober now for a year and a half.

    When I started drinking again..I really was dedicated to running so I was really good about sticking to my program and made sure to have a good 3 days a week with no alcohol. In the past 5 months or so…I got back into my old ways of getting totally blasted nearly everyday. My tolerance is through the roof. I am a small girl that now puts away 15-20 beers a night. Alcohol consumes owns me..I don’t even know who I am anymore. It takes precedence over me, my children, my life. I’m sick of it! I’m sick of obsessing every moment about when I can drink..and do I have enough beer at home. My post alcohol anxiety is sooo bad now..I itch all over..I see things..The worst thing is that my 16 year old daughter has now gotten an MIP and has come home many times totally wasted. She’s doomed between her Dad and I. I feel like I’m single and feel like I’m never going to be able to ever be able to date or be in a normal relationship.

    The main problem is that I really wasn’t happy when I was sober. I felt depressed, sick, tired, lethargic, and boring. I went back to drinking and man it was fun…for a while….I want to be sober..and be happy, fun, productive..I just want to be normal..Help

  • Patrick

    Hi there Kallie

    I think you already know that there is no magic cure. You are already close to the path that will get you there in my opinion. Sounds like you experienced some brief but significant periods of sobriety already.

    It seems like you know what works, at least in the short run. You can make a real effort, with or without AA, and probably duplicate your previous success. I think you can go beyond that as well and find long term sobriety.

    Using AA or any other fellowship is not necessarily a bad thing, especially in the early stages. My only problem with the 12 step program is that I think people get stuck in them sometimes and can find more growth by pushing themselves in other directions. But AA is better than nothing.

    And you have tasted some sobriety….you know what you have to do. Do it! If you have to go to treatment or detox or ask for help or whatever…do it! Do what it takes to start living a life of sobriety. If AA is not for you then find another path. It is up to you to do so.

    Do not feel trapped by alcohol. If you are willing to seek help then you can break free from this and you already know this. You have experienced it. So make a decision to do what it takes.

    OK pep talk over! Good luck to you…..

  • Dyan

    Wow..I just googled how to stop drinking…and I have been reading all the posts and I have to say Patrick at the end of your article when you spoke of it being a fine line. “You are just miserable enough to want to stop drinking, but at the same time you are 2 seconds away from saying “screw it” and going to get another bottle”…i broke down in tears…my story is very similar to others here…Im 43 married with two grown kids and have been drinking heavy for about 4yrs I would say…mostly every day…and it used to be a glass of wine here and a cooler there…now i can kill a bottle of wine in record time and most days i crack a beer the moment I get home from work…or make sure i stop at the store b4 I do get home…every time i try to stop I always find myself drinking again and feel very defeated…my husband drinks too…used to be him with the problem and now I take the spotlight so to speak or maybe we just take turns…usually when I want to stop…he will buy more alcohol…so when one wants to quit the other doesn’t and its a vicious circle…but clearly i drink more often than him…I always thought cold turkey was the only way to quit…and i never ever set a date to quit …this reading tonight has given me a lot to think about…Im so glad I found this site

  • Patrick

    Hi there Dyan

    It might be the case that one of you two has to get sober first. Perhaps treatment can be the small amount of separation that is needed to make it work. Hopefully the other person can get sober next.

    I have not seen many examples where people got sober together and made it stick. But one at a time, yes.

    Good luck to both of you…..

  • Tim

    Wow, I am so glad I found this site!

    I have been suffering with a drinking problem for 3 years now. I am only 21 and drink till i pass out almost every night. There is no in between for me, either I dont drink, or a drink to get blackout drunk. I have lost several jobs and many friends from my habit. I never drink by myself, but will always find someone to “chill with” It has killed the social life i once had, I now cant talk to anyone without being intoxicated, because of the picked up anxiety. Ive tried to quit before but every time I go a couple of days I start feeling so much better, and want to drink on this new high that im feeling. I used to be active with sports and running but now Im always too hungover to do anything. I literally feel powerless.
    Where can i find meeting around me, or someone who can help. Im too young to get alcohol shakes.

  • Pam

    Hi all, thank you so much!!!! I am also a binge drinker. I cant seem to be able to say NO!. I have a son 18 months old and in a committed relationship. When I drink i say and do really bad things, I have black outs and am embarrassed of who I become. The problem is that I do not see myself as an alcoholic. I drink to have fun and I later do not like who I become when drunk. I hate myself right now. What kind of a mother am I? what would my son say when she sees or hears the things I do when they embarrass even me? OH How I hate myself right now. I want to stop this behavior but finds it difficult to face the possible change in my social life…I am afraid to live the life of a loner as most of my friends drink. I have no idea why I have this behavioral change when drunk when everybody else seems to be doing just fine with alcohol??????????? I totally embarrass myself and am worried about my reputation that is diminishing ever time I go out drinking. I have stopped before for 2 years on my own but can’t seem to avoid getting trapped in this havoc behavior again.

  • Rich

    Thanks for your posting Patrick.I just recently stopped drinking.I made up my mind and stopped.It was not easy,I was drinking a pint of whiskey and close to a case of beer a day.I should have asked for help to get detoxed but felt ashamed.I slowly cut down my drinking over a three day period and then stopped.I felt terrible for about three more days,sweating shaking,had to force myself to eat.I could barely talk.I told people at work I had a cold.Yes I went to work I forced myself.I just kept telling myself that I didn’t have to drink and that every day would get better.

  • Rick

    Wow this is a neat site. My name is Rick and I am an alcoholic. Booze has taken me to places I never wanted to go. It put me in a bad marrage, got me in trouble with the law, made my body feel sicker than ever before or after. I am currently sober. I am finally starting to live. The secret for me, Is acceptance. I live with my sisters, really grateful to have them. I have a brother in law that lives with us. He was in recovery when I moved here. Though for the past few weeks, he started falling back. At first it worried me that being here would cause me to relapse again. instead, I get a grim reminder of my behaviors when I was sick, compulsivly drinking with the inability to stop. Keeps me sober. I used to attend AA, sometimes I will go to a meeting when I need to. But just realizing and accepting the fact that one drink will lead me back to where I was, keeps me sober. Strange things happen when I pick up the bottle. The whole world changes, I change, everything changes. One drink for me is like getting on the merry-go-round, you go round and round, dont know when it is going to stop, what direction I will be facing when it does stop, and when it does, I will normally fall down, (like the dizziness from the merry-go-round). anyway, I have bookmarked this site and will be around quite a bit.

  • mike

    hi everyone i haven’t darnk in over a year but the best part is that i dont even think of it anymore, i am an alcoholic, during my last drinking bouts i was consuming a liter of vodka and 130mg. of valium a day! i was a mess but i started following the 12 steps, not just going to meetings. Iv’e heard people say meeting makers make it, when really when i did that i just stayed in the meetings long enough for my internal condition to drive me out and drink again. for me following the 12 steps worked, and it just might work for you too, in fact im sure of it! if anyone wants to you can email me and i’ll gladly help you find a way out of the alcoholic prison you might be in. God bless you all, your in my prayers!

  • Kasimir

    Thank you.
    I have read all of the comments and I am overwhelmed….I thought that I was alone or going crazy in my mind. In a society where social alcohol intake is considered normal, i have for many years wanted to break out of that circle, but my thoughts were considered anti-social.
    I have related to many of you, some of your life patterns are so damn similar so I won’t bore you with my details. All i know is that I want to stop taking alcohol.
    It is slowly destroying who I am and I have to change my life routines or I know for sure that I will lose myself and those that I love.
    I can’t attend AA meetings because irony of ironies, I have to live in a country that is not English speaking. But life has given me good friends around me I want to admit to them that I need help.
    This is my first time I searched and I found this site. Can I please write in and ask for advice?
    I have found so much strength from ALL of your comments. It’s funny, I thought I was alone..But now I feel positive because of your life stories…It has given me the will to change : )
    Thank you. Everyone.
    x K

  • Brent

    Greetings again everyone! I am replying to my own post from 5/26. I have some good news – I have cut down from drinking two 1.75 liters of Tavarski 100 proof vodka to drinking about four glasses of wine each night. Hopefully, I can now cut that amount back as well. The key, I found, is to keep myself busy when I get home. You see – I never did the bat thing – too expensive. Guess my tightwad personality has paid off. Anyway, I would drink when I got home (only). This would include my house or my GF house. In addition, I found as long as I kept my mind / body occupied, the thought of alcohol never entered my mind. I also drank only @ nights because it is SO hard for me to get to sleep. Therefore, I save all my big chores (yard work, REALLY cleaning the house, laundry, etc) for when I get home. Even after all that, if I could not go to sleep I walked…..about two miles a night. By the time 10p rolled around, I was exhausted! There have been nights still, where I have to take a LEGAL & non-additive sleeping pill but I break it in half. The last thing I need is to switch addictions!

    So what has my scaling back my alcohol intake done for me? I no longer wake up feeling like crap. I have to be at work around 7a & in the past, I wasn’t productive until 12p or so. It really is a wonder to wake up & go through your day w/o feeling as if you had been hit by a truck. The shaking has stopped too. I did not have the DT’s however; my hands would shake @ any given moment making me look like I had Parkinson’s or something like that.

    I want to encourage you all to keep going – YOU…..CAN…..DO…..THIS! If anything, try this one simple little experiment:

    Keep your mind / body occupied & do not think about alcohol for one night. Do whatever you have to do to wear yourself out. Then go to bed. I promise you the next morning you will have had the BEST sleep you’ve had in a very long time. That feeling of waking up the next morning NOT feeling like dirt will really stick to you. And you’ll want more of that. And then everything snowballs (for the good) from there.

  • Patrick

    That sounds interesting Brent. I am glad you are making progress.

    Please come back and keep us posted on this long term. Most do not have much success with moderation but some do. If you find it works for you in the long run then please come let us know!

    If you ever want more help with the shift to quitting entirely, please let me know. Good luck!

  • Brent

    Thanks Patrick. I’m not doing the “moderation” thing permanently. All the research I’ve done said to never ‘cold turkey’ alcohol because of the affects of doing so. So this is why I have gone from the amount I did drink to what I drink now & my goal now is to stop all alcohol.

    BTW – went to my Dr. yesterday. Three months ago my blood pressure had been at 136 over 98. Since I have scaled down my drinking, as of yesterday, my blood pressure is 114 over 77. So if anything this will show what quitting drinking will do for you in just two months.

  • Patrick

    Yep the blood pressure straightening out is very common. Many people find that they can get off their BP meds eventually after they sober up.

    Good luck on your goal of complete abstinence. It was a life changer for me. Best thing I ever did…..

  • Rick

    Funny story about blood pressure and alcoholism. I was at the grocery store with my wife. (now my ex). the pharmacy there had a computerized BP meter there. so we both decided to check ours out. I hadnt had a drink in about 8 hours, so I was in withdraw. I put my arm in the machine and it diddnt even flash numbers, it said “call physician Immediatly” He he, it really wasnt too funny, but looking back on it though, I just went and bought another case of beer and thought nothing more of it. Just goes to show the insanity of this disease. Now I get my BP checked and it is normal Thank you God???

  • Rick

    By the way folks, I have done Cold Turkey a number of times and I will say it is dangerous. I did have a seizure once. I dont recommend it. DTs are no joke! If you are at the point that you are seeing or hearing things that are not there trying to get dry, I suggest going to the ER. Tell them you are trying to detox, they will give you a sedative that is not alcohol to bring you down. I have tried taking a few drinks to take the edge off but it always led me to drunk again, and even worse than before. Alcoholism is cunning, baffling and powerful! It wants you dead! Never forget that.

  • Reilly

    Hello, I’m sitting here watching the clock until the liqure store opens. I’ve convinced myself to buy half the amount I usually buy. I want to cut down to nothing in a week and maybe not have withdrawls. I’m sick of drinking and want badly to stop completly and get on with life. I’ve been drinking pretty heavily for 10 or 12 years. I lost my job and have no insurance so I can’t pay for detox. What are my other choices? Thanks

  • Patrick

    Hi there Reilly

    I am not going to tell you to do anything in your power to avoid drinking this morning. That is not a wise choice in my opinion, as alcohol withdrawal is very dangerous. So if you have to drink then you should drink. However, I think you can still take action today, even if you are drinking. Get up your courage and get on the phone and make some calls. Tell people you need help and you need to get into treatment of some sort. Ask them to direct you. If you cannot afford treatment, tell them your situation and ask them if there are alternatives or programs that might help you.

    If you can take these simple actions today and reach out and use the phone and try to get some help, it could make a huge difference and end up changing your life. Call a help line, call an AA number in the phone book, call a local treatment center, and so on. Call and ask questions and write down phone numbers and chase these leads until you have an action plan for how you can quit drinking.

    Don’t try to do it alone. Get some help. My 2 cents anyway. I am sure some would urge you not to drink today, but I think that is too risky if you do not have a way to get into detox somewhere.

  • Albert

    Hello Everybody and Thank you Patrick for Making this Post.
    I am too an alcoholic. I won’t go into details what drinking had done to me and my health. It’s terrible. I am afraid I had done permanent damage to some of my organs. I have not been getting wasted for past week. Meaning I only had very little to drink. I also don’t know where and how to seek help. Anyway, I thank you for this post. It does give me some hope. All the best to everybody.

  • Beth

    Hey everyone, I am 21 and can admit I definately do have a drinking problem. I started drinking heavily when I was 14, and since then I haven’t had a week where I wasn’t sober. In high school my friends realized I would get out of control and that I had a problem. Then when I went to college I only drank more, and I would consume half of a 1.75 bottle of fleishmans or captain. Just about every time I go out I black out, and lately I black out to the point where I dont remember anything at all. I have always been a social person, but because of all the anxiety I experienced every morning after drinking I now can’t be social without drinking. I know I need to change, but I would like some input on how to start being social again. Because all of my friends are pretty huge partiers that is all I have known, and lately I’m trying to distance myself from them. Do you think it is a good idea to stop hanging out wherever there will be drinking?….help me

  • Patrick

    @ Albert – Good luck Albert, do whatever you can to stay sober today.

    @ Beth – Yeah that is a tough situation. It is almost impossible to just stop hanging around all of your friends all at once. The way I did it was to go to long term treatment. There I made new friends of course but who in their right mind would walk away from their existing friendships? It is tough. I had to get miserable enough to walk away from all the friends in my life and make new ones in treatment.

    I think this is harder the younger you are.

  • jenna

    I am 23 years old, and I am currently engaged to a wonderful man. A man that is so fed up with my drinking, he has been questioning the wedding and his future with me. I am the sweetest, most loving and affectionate person when I am sober….and the exact opposite of those things when I drink. I think of it as Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde. Not all times, but most, I get loud and rude, I say disrespectful things, I do stupid things, and a few times I have been violent with my fiance. I rarely drink, we dont even keep alcohol in the house. But when we do go out and drink, it’s heavy, and even leads to other “activities”.
    So I would consider myself a binge drinker, I dont need alcohol everday, I dont crave it…I just dont know when to stop. And I’m tired of being “in the dog house”. So I’m looking for help/suggestions to determine how to fix my problem before I lose my fiance. I know I need to just eliminate alcohol from my life, but I need some encouragement and strength to do this for real. I have been told I have a “chemical imbalance” and that’s why I act so horrible when I drink. But what does that mean? And how do you really change your lifestyle when your partner isnt much help and still wants to go drink etc becasue they’re not the one with the problem. Do people “outgrow” the way they are when they drink? Will I ever be able to have just one glass of wine at dinner, or is it neccessary to keep away from alcohol completely?

  • Patrick

    Hi there Jenna

    I honestly don’t know if you are an alcoholic. Really I do not. But this is a telling statement you made right here: “I know I need to just eliminate alcohol from my life…”

    The true scope of the problem is probably much bigger than that. Not that your words are wrong necessarily, because they are not, but you need to take it a step further in my opinion. Elimination is not enough.

    You can experiment to your heart’s content with controlled drinking, but you need to be honest with yourself about it. Are you having fun with it? Or are you gritting your teeth, just waiting for an opportunity when you can really cut loose?

    I don’t think you will ever “outgrow” the way you behave while drunk. If you don’t like it, then you should stop getting drunk. If that is a serious challenge for you then you might be an alcoholic. If you are an alcoholic then my suggestion is complete abstinence.

    You probably need to take things slowly and figure out what is really going on. Do you need to drink in order to have fun? Can you go for, say, 30 days without any alcohol?

    Can you go for 30 days with a limit of 1 drink per day? Is that fun for you? Just questions that can help point to the truth for you……

  • Russ

    My name is Russ and I am an alcholic. I am 49 and own my own construction company. I am so glad I found this site. Thank you Patrick.
    I am and have been a daily drinker for my entire adult life. I can still have just a beer or two and stop but too often I cross the line and continue to drink util I am drunk. I hate who I become when I drink too much (the next day) Like Jenna above I become mean and extremely loud and obnoxious when I get drunk. I black out most of the time for at least some portion of the night. My father was a weekend drunk and I hated who he became on the weekends. This is the culture I have lived in my entire life. Fun = liquor that has always been me since high school. Having a drink after work, at dinner, with friends, any social occasion and I am drinking. There is a line that I cross and after that I am not going to stop even though when I go to the liquor cabinet I think you don’t need this I still do it, by that time am usually just taking a swig from the bottle. I have never drank at work or felt I NEEDED a drink during the day. I don’t drink before 5:00 on most weekends. I don’t get drunk every night but I do drink every night after work. My entire family on both sides have had drug and alchohol problems. My exwife is dying from liver and pancrease problems due to alchohol abuse, which is one of many reasons we got divorced. I have told myself for years and years I don’t have a problem as I could always see someone close to me who had much more of a problem that me. I only occasionally drink too much I say to myself, but in the last few years I end up on the dark side too often. This past weekend I worked all day painting with my partner of seven years. She had the help of her adult daughter and her daughter’s friend. After a long productive day we stopped off on the way home for something to eat and a pitcher of margaritas. I drank more than the others we were all having a great time. When we got home I was on a roll and made a round of cosmoplitians. I didn’t even notice I was the only one who drank all of mine and then had a refill. I behaved horribly and started to rant about who knows what and just babbled into the night getting stupider and meaner until everyone finally went to bed. I said some pretty nasty things about my partner whom I love dearly. She is fed up with my drinking, I am fed up. We have had this conversation before. If I can’t control the beast it will continue to consume not only me but everyone around me. Alcohol is not my friend……I did not drink yesterday. This is day 2

  • Patrick

    Well Russ it sounds like you know what you need to do. I would suggest a 30 day trial of complete abstinence and evaluate how that goes for you. If you don’t like who you are when you are sober then you can leave the door open for a return to drinking. But I would urge you to give yourself 30 days of continuous sobriety in order to really evaluate your life.

    You can have fun without drinking. I did not believe that when I was still drunk but it is true for anyone. Life becomes fun and interesting again if you give sobriety a chance. Give it 30 days at least, that is my suggestion.

  • Rae

    Patrick – Thank You for this site. I have been reading everyone’s comments – and it’s been very enlightening.

    I have been on anti-depressants for a long time, and they basically quit working so my doc wanted to switch me to something else.

    I have always known that alcohol is a depressant and yet I continued to drink the whole time.

    I have decided to not get on the new anti-depressants and to quit drinking. I don’t drink every day, but when I do drink, I drink a lot. I don’t remember the conversations I have, I drunk text ex-boyfriends (and I’m currently married), and then obviously the next day I’m not worth a darn doing anything productive and eating like crap.

    I’m scared to live my life without drinking – because everything I do evolves around it…like football/hockey games, birthdays/graduations/celebrations, just being stressed out from work – coming home to drink wine. I’m not sure how to “deal” without the alcohol…but reading the articles on this site will be a big help.

    I want to live a happy, healthy, active life without any drugs or alcohol.

  • Patrick

    Hi Rae

    Sounds like you are at a turning point in your life.

    Be careful with stopping the anti depressants. Most are not addictive and you can still be “clean and sober” even if you are taking them. I recommend that you talk to your doctor on this one.

    Also, those medications never, ever work if you are drinking with them. So maybe give them a chance while sober? Like I said, talk to your doc, and be honest about your drinking history. Just my 2 cents there.

    I understand your fear about facing life sober. You have to meet that fear head on and give sobriety a chance. It is hard but it gets much easier after you get your feet wet with it. Good luck!

  • http://HelloEverybody Albert


    I have posted a note couple of weeks ago. I did stop drinking almost 100% ever since. I have been waking up in the morning early and almost with no hangover. something I had not remembered in longest time. Thanks for this site, somehow it had giving me some strength. Good look to everybody, stay strong, I think it gets easier from day to another. At least for me. Again, thank you Patrick for this site.

    All the best to everybody.

  • Patrick

    God bless Albert. Thanks for your comment and good job on your success…..

  • Maria

    Wow! I read everyone’s comments and could have written half of them myself. I don’t every day, not even once a week, probably twice a month but when I do I drink until I blackout and have a hangover for days sometimes. I know that the answer is to quit completely. I think I am going to try to stop for 30 days and see how I feel after that. Good luck to everyone else and I am glad that I am not alone with this problem.

  • Steph

    Another day! Another promise to myself and my husband – I’ll quit. I’m embarassed to get help. I can’t let my job know I have an issue! I’m scared of losing my husband. I don’t know where to go from here. I guess all I can do is take it a day at a time.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Steph

    Good luck to you on your journey….yes, all of us are taking it a day at a time, whether we like it or not! Your job probably suspects an “issue” anyway….so you might want to go ahead and get some help now rather than later. Just a thought though…..good luck!

  • JPVD

    Thank you Patrick for this post.
    It is so good to see so many with the same issues as me.

    I always think about a guy named ‘Ace’. He was a small-town hero in my town. Always a fun party guy, lots of friends, married his sweetheart and went to work for the town. But slowly the party ended and he kept drinking anyways. He just kept drinking through his 30s, 40s, 50s and slowly lost everything and became the town drunk.

    I’m 37 and have been drinking heavily since 14. Maybe not ‘heavily’ at the start; but the intention was always to get drunk.
    I came from a small town where (I thought) all there was to do was to get drunk. First just Saturday night dances.

    Then in college it became a daily thing. Getting trashed at whatever bar had a special going. All specials were solely to get people drunk. I prided myself on my increasing tolerance.

    After college I worked in various countries, and began to consume a lot of alcohol, nightly. I ended up in England for a few years where I turned 30 and really began to put the booze away. I began to realise the party was ending but I couldn’t accept it. I looked for ‘party’ mates to justify my drinking. I ended up in relationships with alcoholics.

    I again moved countries and am now happily married with 1 kid and another due very soon. I have to accept the ‘drinking’ party is over.

    I am not a mean drunk, but am a thoughtless one. I have started to obsess about how, when and where to drink; and in the morning- why? Even the time spent googling for help is alcohol robbing me of ‘family’ party time. I should be at home putting the kid to bed and playing trivial pursuit with my wife.

    I stopped once before, for health issues. It was tough, but I went 10 weeks. After the initial first few days of sweats and cravings, things levelled out. I stopped thinking thinking thinking about drinking. It was wonderful to have a clear head and ideas. I messed up and thought i was ok and slowly creeped back into my 2 litres of red wine a night habit.

    My hands shake, my face is becoming red and puffy. Colleagues have noted ‘big night out last night?’ in relation to my alcohol breath in the morning. I am doing a Diploma course that requires homework at night: no way because after 5 it is drinking time. I was laying in bed hungover 1 sunday morning and my daughter got out of the yard and almost ran into the road. A stranger saved my child’s life while I was moaning in bed.

    I’m 37 and I refuse to become ‘Ace’. I’m not being arrogant here, but at this point in time, the one thing that stops me from being truly happy in regards to my life, wife, kids, friends, work and even meagre possessions is my inability to stop consuming alcohol.

    So why not? Just don’t drink tonight and see how tomorrow turns out.

    Thanks you all…sorry for the long post but it is very cathartic.

    I’ve bookmarked this site to see how we are all doing.

    good luck!

  • iaccepme

    Wow, this is a great blog, thank you Patrick. I’ve been trying for the last two weeks to cut down on my drink. First week lasted until the weekend, drank on Friday . I didn’t drink again until the following Friday, but I did black out, I only recently started to black out, which is scary to me. I skipped Sat and drank two beers on Sunday, haven’t drank since. After reading this whole blog. It put things into perspective for me, I haven’t really suffered severe withdraws like some of you have, it’s scary to know that it can happen to me, if I continue. By reading this blog I am convinced that I need to really quit all together now. I was going to just do weekends but, I realize thats not enough. I have been visiting another blog I’ve included the blog address, it’s very encouraging it has a 30 day plan similar to the 30 day plan Maria was talking about earlier on this blog. I recommend it, the more we ready about others and their experience, I believe it will be easier for us all. I’m sorry if this was long.

    I would love to continue on this blog, so we can all work together on quitting alcohol and it’s demons.

    I am 47 years old and have been drinking heavy for the last 6 + years. I’m ready to quit. My God bless you all in your journey, I will have you in my prayers. Please continue posting your feelings, your journey, accomplishments, etc…

  • Patrick

    Hi there Iaccepme

    Yes I would encourage you to give complete abstinence a chance. At the very least give it a 30 day trial to see if it works for you. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised with how quickly your life changes for the better. Sounds like you are on the journey to do this……

  • KLee

    I have been drinking almost daily after work ever since my divorce and it makes me feel good. My worries and stress go away and Im happy. I drink more and more and I know this is not good for my health. I try to stop and not buy alcohol but that only will last a day or two and then I feel I deserve a drink. I don’t want people to know that I have this problem. It hasn’t been a real problem yet but I dont want it to get worse and I want to stop. I crave the feeling it gives me after the first few shots of Vodka and redbull but I need to get healthy and I dont want to be an alcoholic. I have been drinking like this for about a year or so and Im going to try to stop again today. I just woke up with a slight headache from drinking a whole bottle last night. I think after that its a waste and I shouldnt have done it but I have this little voice telling me to do it! Otherwise I feel bored and lonely. Typing this I feel like an idiot because I can see that I have lost control of myself in a way and that is scary. I never in my life used to drink like this until now.

  • DL1919

    I am 60 and I can’t stop drinking. I really enjoy drinking alcohol even though it makes me feel badly the next day. I know it is bad for my health. I am very shy and AA is totally out of the question! I would need to get drunk to go to an AA meeting! Having a drink before a party so I would feel more comfortable is how it all started! Also, it’s really not a social issue – I only have a couple of drinks in public – most of my drinking is at home! (Husband also drinks heavily – and falls asleep.) Does anyone have any suggestions???

  • Sarah

    What an incredible site – a million thanks to you, Patrick, for starting this blog.

    I imagine that most find their way here by Googling “how to stop drinking” or something like that. I find pieces of myself in each and every posting – thanks to all of you for sharing your stories.

    I’m a 43 year old woman who appears young but feels old physically. I would like to jump off the merry-go-round of excessive drinking.

    I once was a budding professional and after college moved from Ohio to NYC. Alcohol quickly kicked my arse within 2 years of moving to the east coast. I went to AA meetings and got a year of sobriety under my belt. I met the man who would become my first husband in an AA meeting. He had been sober for 8 years. On our honeymoon in Aruba, he decided to drink. Our marriage deteriorated within several years, though in fact it was over within months after the honeymoon because he changed from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde seemingly overnight. I was the (annoyed) sober one, he was the drunk.

    Fast forward to a divorce in 2001. I moved to an apt. and then bought my own home. This began my era of “well-deserved” evening glasses of wine after work which quickly escalated to 1-2 bottles of wine per night. Somehow I was highly functional for the first few years and met the man of my dreams. We have so much in common. He enjoys a few beers or a glass of wine here and there, but doesn’t have a “problem”.

    My excellent corporate career in the city was cut short when my company downsized in 2006. I took all of my 401k retirement savings and invested in a home-based business, which was a recipe for disaster. I missed my old co-workers terribly and felt a lack of direction with the new business and began drinking even more. Even though it wasn’t a conscious decision on my part to numb my emotional pain, that is exactly what I was doing and continue to do.

    Predictably, my business failed so I had to find a new job in a new industry as a “dinosaur” at 40+. After months of searching I found a low-level version of what I used to do at HALF the salary I used to make. I drank more to compensate for my anxiety about finances.

    And that is where I find myself today… searching for an answer, Googling “how to quit drinking” and feeling quite inspired by everyone’s posts.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Sarah

    Thanks for reading here. Good luck to you on your journey….

  • Robin

    What a wonderful site. I’ve been having trouble with drinking off and on (mostly on) for about 15 years and finally quit in August….i can hear myself in nearly everyone’s story; and appreciate all that has been shared.

    The drinking habitually crept up on my until it was central to my life. I was “high functioning” so it was sort of easy to stay in denial and imagine I was in control. Yet, it nagged at my soul, inside, every every day or even minute, the shame, the knowing it was bad for me, the knowing it was bad for my soul, all the drinking.

    I’ve been attending AA and have found it helpful, my own inclinations plus that alcohol have made me very withdrawn. I’ve just gotten a sponsor so am only now starting to have AA contact outside meetings; yet I have found the common stories and socialization of just being around other people comforting.

    Also some of the structures, processes and slogans have been comforting in sorting out what is next for me. and that I don’t have to understand everything that has transpired in and around me over the last 15 years, my whole life really, RIGHT NOW. Just sort out the next right thing. I have a mind that can get kind of over active, so this one thing at a time structure has been comforting.

    Yet I do struggle with the notion of AA being the ONLY way; I have a strong spiritual life (getting stronger without alcohol :)) and love hiking, skiing, walking, kayaking, birding – things I set aside for too long for a drink :(. I want to build a program of long term sobriety that probably will include AA to an extent, but also is built on things that are innately “me” and bring me joy. I also like alot the bits I’ve read about taking action, lots of action. Thinking about drinking and thinking about stopping drinking have already consumed too much of my life.

    It’s really nice to have found this site. I appreciate alot the balance about AA; while trying to “think” about AA and my place in it I’ve mostly found either doctrine or hate-AA sites, neither of which was helpful.

    Thank you so much.

    Blessings, Robin

  • Patrick

    Hi there Robin – sounds like you are a deep thinker! Yes, I am very neutral when it comes to AA. If anything I would lean toward using it in early sobriety, and also pushing yourself to grow beyond the boundaries of traditional 12 step dogma as you progress into the later years. Maybe that is “cheating.” I’m not sure. I am still discovering recovery for myself, and learning new things every day.

    It sounds like you are seeking a healthy balance as well. God bless….

  • richard

    need some help with slowing down send me advise

  • Patrick

    @ Richard – trying to slow down on your own is tough. I have never done it successfully. I could only stop completely, and the only truly safe way to do that is in a medical detox facility.

    I always encourage rehab, because that is what worked for me. I also see it working for many others. The alternatives are too risky and unreliable in my opinion. Good luck!

  • Marie

    I have a question arising from this thread and from others here (and I have already posted my “story” on another thread here):

    I keep seeing mention of the concept of finding sober friends when in recovery.
    How does this fit in with someone who is still drinking and has not yet gone back into a recovery programme??

    I am a non-drinker. I did not know for the first few months of a friendship that a good friend was alcoholic, not until she fell off the wagon after 10 months dry. I had not known her before, when she was drinking.
    To what extent is my long-term friendship good for her?
    Should she not have ANY friends pre-recovery? is this the key to entering a recovery phase – that NOBODY, regardless of their status, who has been in her life at any time she has been drinking, should remain in her life when she enters recovery?
    In other words, I don’t want to jeopardise either her chances of being ready for recovery nor of the success of the actual programme. But I am a friend who is not particularly interested in alcohol and has a fairly active life that does not even include anything concerning alcohol. (sports; chatting with friends; dogwalking; visiting Care Homes with my dog)

    Is the concept that an alcoholic should break ALL ties in order to become clean??

  • Patrick

    Hi Marie

    That is a good question. Bottom line is that you can and should be an important friend and part of the support system for your alcoholic friend.

    Most people in recovery will need to find some of their support from other people in recovery. But I think it is equally important to have some “normies” in their life too…..people just like you, who are supportive but not in recovery.

    Many in early recovery will disagree with this idea, based on their constant need and push to relate to each other in meetings. In long term recovery the need to “relate” to other alcoholics becomes much less and important, and living a real life outside of recovery meetings becomes more important.

    Having “normal” friends is a very important part of long term sobriety. It is not all about “connecting” with other recovering alcoholics. People over-do that social aspect of recovery, in my opinion, and it can even detract from what they really need to do in order to stay sober.

    So you are an important friend to her! Do not discount the value of your friendship just because you are not in recovery…..

  • Kathe

    Hey guys,
    I came across this site like many of you did, searching on the internet for the solution to quit drinking, or find people who are also suffering with the same problem. I’m 27 and have recenlty returned from an amazing trip abroad in South America. I was there for 8 months, and loved the experience! I’ve been bouncing around between my parents house and NYC upon my return. I lived in NYC for the past 9 years before leaving on my trip. Since being back at my parent’s house, I have been drinking more heavily than ever. My dad is an alchololic and the both of us can easily kill 2 bottles of wine a night. I always was aware of my drinkings as alcoholism runs heavily on both sides of my family. I used to be able to control it for years in NY. But since returning and being here, I drink at least 4 drinks a night. I can kill a bottle of wine within an hour. I’ve had anxiety issues off and on and I’m realizing that I cannot conduct a normal meeting wthout feeling anxious. When I head into the city, I am so anxious meeting with people, that I think part of this is from drinking. However, my anxiety always subsides with a drink. I desperately do not want to fall into this cycle, and I see myself going down a bad bad path. I used to model and be in great shape, and I feel like alcohol is having such an affect on my body inside and out. I want to go back to South America and do the social work I planned on doing next year, but I’m afraid that I cannot do anything until I get a handle on my drinking. I do not remember the last day I had nothing to drink, maybe sometime in June? That is really sad to me. I’m afraid of what life is like being completely abstinent. I know that I’m drinking more because I’m bored rather than being busy in NY. However, I’m afraid of going down a cycle where even when I return to NY in 2 weeks, I will be so dependent, that I cannot go back to my old life. My drinking is making me completely dependent, and I’m so afraid of this. If anyone has any advice, it would be much appreciated.

  • Kathe

    The other thing I wanted to add, is that I truly undersatnd the relation of being inactive and not stimulated and drinking. I know that I’m drinking more out here at my parent’s house because I just have too much time on my hands. My fear and the reality I’m realizing is that I’m creating another problem in and of itself. I’m hoping it’s not too late, and that I have not gotten myself too deep in the hole.

  • Patrick

    @ Kathe – I think the idea of traveling might make early recovery even more challenging than it needs to be. To me it sounds like you might be the type of person who could really benefit from AA meetings. I rarely recommend that to just anyone on this website as I have found so many alternatives that seem to work well for me and for others. But when you told your story here it just made me think that meetings could be a powerful tool for you. I would urge you to at least give them a try because I think they will be one of the only things that can save you in the short run.

    Now if you stay sober for a few years, you may break away from meetings eventually, but right now I really think they would help you. I am of course talking about going to meetings every single day and becoming involved in the fellowship. If this is not an option for you, or you simply don’t like the idea, then I think you should still consider the idea of finding some serious social support when you return to NY.

  • Kathe

    Thanks for your advice Patrick. I am going to attend an AA meeting as soon as I return on Nov 1. I think so many of us need a positive social network that does not involve drinking, and its such a part of society, that it can be difficult to find. Especially for the growing amount of ppl who are unemployed, a sense of worthlessness begins to preside over us. I’m excited to learn what it’s like to have fun again being sober. I think it’s important to mention that depression is usually lurking in the shadow of alcoholism. I’m hoping to get a handle on my alcoholism before it progresses to the exent that it overshadows the depression, that partially aided in my incessant drinking. Thank you for this site. It’s so nice to talk to someone who understands.

  • Rob

    Wow I dont know where to start because all the stories sound like my own. I guess i drank to self medicate because i felt sorry for my self. I dont know why because I have a good job, house, and every thing I need. Over the past 2-3 years I have noticed my drinking getting out of control and every morning felt it and said I can quit doing this to my self then feel better a few days later and drink like a fish. Why, well I guess the chemical depenancy made it unbearable and I needed that drink. I urge you to talk to your doctor because I did and it has opened the light to me but I still drink heavy but I work on this every day. I know the fellings of guilt, what did i do now, paranoia, and worthlessness. This site is helpfull and plan to post more about myself in the future and hope this will help me see what I am doing to myself. Well I half to get ready for work and I feel good I only drank 3 beers lastnight and thats good concidering I usally drink 10-20 a night. Oh yea and dont quit cold turkey if you drink heavely because this can be very bad. You need to cut back before you quit unless you seek medical assistance.

  • Patrick

    Hang in there Rob, it sounds like you still need to make the leap to complete abstinence for a few weeks and get a grip on your problem. I think if you could do that, then you could really see a huge change in your life. Can you maybe ask for help, go to treatment, something like that? I think that would help you out immensely….

  • Halaloo

    well this might help
    when quitting drinking dont quit all at once
    trust me that doesnt work
    so pretend you have 3 drinks one night have 2 and half the next night
    and less and less
    and if you want more think to yourself
    should i or no
    and listen to you heart
    the nights when you dont have a drink reward yourself
    bring a girl over
    or just have friends over to reward yourself
    or even watch a movie
    and if you are going to bring your friends over and a girl make sure they say there not gonna drink
    tell them and maybe they will understand
    if you do want a drink out only a little in the cup and add more water or juice so it seems like alot
    and then drink yea you might not like it as much
    oh and also dont go out as much and dont buy and alcohol
    : )

  • Patrick

    @ Halaloo – Thanks for the suggestions, if those tricks work for people, that is great! By all means, learn to moderate.

    Me, I got to a point where I had tried all the tricks, and I could not control my drinking. I had to face the problem head on and take a hard look at abstinence.

    That proved to be the right path for me.

    But hey, whatever works for you, go with it! This site is about solutions, so if that works for Halaloo, then go with it…..

  • Zoe

    Interesting things being said here. I have had a problem with drinking for a while, but fairly recently (about 9 months ago) I started to increase my drinking due to a stressful situation at my job. Then about 2 weeks ago I stepped back and took a look and said to myself “this is rediculous – I need to stop this” and I did. Great! However 2 days later I suffered the most severe seizures that I was taken by ambulance to the ER and almost died. I think I would have, if it wasn’t at the hospital. I was almost intubated (tube in the throat) but regained my breathing. I turned blue (like in death)!! Now I am stopping, but am doing so by lowering my intake by small amounts each day. My husband is helping me to monitor this – we are both scared silly about the seizures. I’m wondering if anyone has done this, and how it’s worked for them. I’m choosing not to go to a doctor because we cannot afford the medical cost. We’re facing bankruptcy and homelessness as it is. Thanks for your help.

  • Patrick

    @ Zoe – yes, seizures are a very real threat when coming off of alcohol (as you well know). I have not yet come across someone who has successfully weaned off of booze….I know many who went cold turkey (too dangerous) and many who have gone to a medical detox (too expensive for your situation), but never anyone who has managed to taper down successfully. Of course, most do not really try. I would be interested to hear your results.

    I have heard it mentioned in the past somewhere that if you have someone else administer small amounts of booze to you it can be done. But even so it is still very dangerous, and you really should try to get a medical detox. Really that is the safest route to go.

    Good luck….

  • Jade


    Ive been struggling with alcohol for the past 3 years. Im 27 and after i had my son i became a stay at home mother in a new state. I met a group of friends who loved drinking, so thats where it all started and my was it fun! But soon i found myself drinking every night .. waiting for 6pm to come around and id have a glass of wine. That then becomes up to 2 bottles worth and i then go to bed and pass out. My husband does also drink each night, but not to the extent i do. I can easilly go nights without drinking, but i always fall off the bandwagon by “treating myself” to some wine becuase ive been so good. I hate the feeling of being drunk, ive been in some bad situations like an accident and driving with my child in the car. I dont wake up and think of drinking, its become such a nightly habit and one that i was out of my life, alcohol has done nothing but hurt friendships, make me feel unwell all day, make me irresponsible for my young child, hurt my relationship and create so many lies to try and hide what i am doing … so many lies and letting so many people down by not keeping to plans becuase i have “a headache”. My mum and my grandfather suffer from excessive drinking so i believe it is genetic. Im planning on buying myself a diary and when 6pm comes around, instead of going to the fridge, im going to write down how im feeling and remind myself how bad drinking has been for me and what a terrible hold it takes on your life. Wish me luck .. and a doctor once said something to me “wanting to give up is stage 1 of your recovery .. your already better acknowledging you have a problem and you want to stop” Now to get the confidence to start stage 2 of my recovery .. and stop drinking before one day i wake up and need a wine, not just waiting til 6pm …


    thank you so much. I appreciate you note

  • Jen

    I get so mad at everyone else who can drink “controllably”. I feel like I have been given the crappy hand when it comes to that. I get mad at both of my brother’s who drink just as much as I do and are alcoholics too, but they aren’t being made to quit. There wives just accept it and move on. I know my drinking has gotten worse. I can’t pass by the gas station on my way home without getting some beer and I usually drink the first one on the way so that I have a headstart. I sometimes can drink just 1 or 2 beers, but most often, I drink til they are all gone. That usually means 12. I will get a 22 oz beer with a 12 pack sometimes just so that it doesn’t look like I have started before I get home. In my mind, I am not going to be able to have fun anymore if I quit drinking. And, like most of you have said, it’s not fun now when I am drinking. It’s not what it used to be. I haven’t had any kind of DT’s from not drinking for a day or two, but I do think about it all the time when I am not drinking. Every morning I decide I should quit, then I get close to the gas station. I can’t afford to just check into treatment. I have a son and lots of bills to pay. I don’t want to go to AA because I don’t think it will work for me. I feel like it is a “religious” thing and I am not a spiritual person.

  • Patrick

    @ Jen – Those are valid concerns. It is harder to turn your life around and commit to treatment when you have a son. It is also harder to do when you are not open to the idea of a spiritual program that can help you, because that is what the substance abuse community is really based on right now. Spiritual programs.

    I pitch a different solution on this website, and that is holistic growth. You could also simplify that a bit and just call it personal growth. To me, that is a spiritual quest in itself. You don’t even have to necessarily pray and meditate in the traditional sense of the terms.

    For example, when I run (usually 4 times a week), this has a meditative quality to it that is actually superior to “straight” meditation in some ways.

    You can get sober without rehab, and without a support system (such as AA) but it is going to be a bit more challenging at first. Really, I think independent recovery is best when done in long term recovery, not in the early days. Just my 2 cents based on what I have experienced.

    Anyway good luck, you have to find a way to motivate yourself to take the plunge and get sober somehow…..

  • Jenni

    Very interesting site. I am going through a lot of the same feelings. I drink to feel good and wake up the next day feeling horrible and then do it all again that day. It is a never ending cycle and I can’t seem to get out of it. It has been almost 4 years for me and now I am starting to feel physical effects and am afraid I am killing myself slowly. I have a great family and 3 kids and no one knows I have this problem. Help!

  • Patrick

    Hi Jenni

    If no one knows that you have this problem, then maybe you should tell them in order to get some help.

    It will be hard to get professional help without letting your friends and family know what you are doing.

    Just a suggestion. If you can’t solve the problem on your own, then you are going to need to ask for help. And that means becoming vulnerable. This is a good thing! Try it.

    Good luck….

  • MH

    I am a problem drinker, age 29, from Indiana. I never used to drink up until my last years at college. It started (as it does most college students) with the bars, parties, etc. During my mid 20s it was the early post college graduate bar scene…Since then it has been a downward spiral to drinking every night. However, I am able to stop drinking when I MUST. I am very well-versed in what alcohol does to the brain (I work in addictions medicine, how ironic). When I have to stop, it’s usually because I am flying the next day (have bad anxiety about flying and alcohol the night before only makes it worse), or I have a huge presentation to give as part of my job…I only drink in the evenings (9pm or later)….Every morning I wake up and swear not to drink that evening, but every night that urge comes back!!! I need some tips to stop that evening urge…Usually if I can get past 9-11pm I am ok and will just go to bed. Any thoughts? I don’t want to go to AA because I am not a fan of it (it’s a long story, but working in addictions I know it’s not for everyone, including me. I attended a few meetings and quickly decided that it was not my cup of tea.) What about SMART Recovery? Does that help? And no, I am not about to go to Passages, Promises, Cirque Lodge, or any other expensive rehab center. I don’t need that. I do not suffer shakes, DTs, etc. in the morning. I just want some alternatives to AA that might help me stop me drinking…Thanks!!!

  • Patrick

    @ MH – I would go see a counselor or a therapist. That is your best bet. Things like SMART recovery are going to be somewhat similar to AA in structure and format, only much harder to find.

    Most recovery solutions are intensive and extreme, because the problem is intense and extreme. If your problem is not that intense, then I would recommend seeing a counselor or a therapist one on one. That is the ideal solution for you at this time, in my opinion. Good luck!

  • Ildar

    Hello All!

    My name is Ildar. I am 35 years old. I am an optimist, happy with my family, have a successful business and enjoy life in all aspects. But I have a serious problem – I am a heavy alcohol drinker. My drinking rate is average 2 liters of vodka per week for last 3 years. I drink only vodka since it is a pure spirit without strong smell, taste and color (which I dislike) and for me has less side effects. I enjoy my sobriety because that time I highly concentrated and can do on my peak performance but I also like alcohol drinking for the feelings of euphoria, relaxation and enhanced imagination power. But I am convinced that alcohol drinking is a bad road without happy end. Alcohol is a poison, neurotoxin and it will damage my brain slowly if I don’t solve this problem now by stopping drinking at all or cutting alcohol consumption to healthy limits. I hope that I am not an alcoholic yet since can easily quit drinking by myself without any withdrawal symptoms. Whole September I was absolutely dry without any drop of alcohol. During October I made five binge drinks (0.5 liters of vodka at night each) without drinking between them. At first week of November I was drinking everyday with rate of 0.5 liters of vodka per day and stopped drinking at Saturday night with plan to stay sober all next week to finish one of my business projects and restart drinking after this. So it was six days without alcohol at all when at Friday evening I have discovered the SpiritualRiver website by random search. All night until dawn I was reading carefully articles written by Patrick and comments to them. Thank you all! It was very knowledgeable for me and opened my eyes. I have understood that I am now in the very dangerous zone very close to the unreturning point and if I don’t change direction right now I will cross the red line and became an alcoholic very soon. It helped me to change my mind. I have made a decision to stop drinking alcohol at all for the six months period at least. I strongly believe that will achieve my goal with the help from God.
    Again thank you Patrick very much for this blog and articles. Thank all others for their comments.
    It’s Wednesday now and I have just finished my business project and I am not drinking (as I planed earlier), but writing this post.
    I know that major challenge during my abstinence will be termination of cravings for alcohol drinking. So I have developed my own method to deal with them. I will describe it here. The method stands on powerful psychotechnology. I am sure this method will work for me and maybe for you if YOU WILL TAKE ACTIONS applying it. Only YOU CAN do it for YOU, can’t YOU? And YOU CAN because YOU BELIEVE. Ask for medical help as soon as possible. Quit drinking safely with this help for detox and stay sober applying the recommended method.
    So the method itself.
    1. Right now download from the Internet and make orders for hard copies of the books written by Napoleon Hill, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Norman Vincent Peale. Hard copies will be needed since you will read them actively with marking sentences and paragraphs in the text. But don’t waste time waiting for hard copies. Put a small notebook and a pen on your table near you and start reading any e-book of the recommended authors right now. It will increase your motivation for success. MOTIVATION is a key factor. You are in the combat where motivation is a weapon. Remember that your subconscious mind strongly motivated to make you drinking alcohol since was programmed to it by all of your previous years of heavy drinking.
    2. During this reading you will start discover new interesting and exciting opportunities and will be surprised why you didn’t see them earlier because they always were there just before your eyes. But you didn’t see them because you didn’t look at them. For example, there are a lot of things all around the room in which you are sitting now. But you can see only few of them at any moment of time, those on which you are focusing your eyes. So reading the right books will create the right focused mind vision.
    3. Keep on reading and sometimes you will feel flashes of unexpected ideas, thoughts and insights. Don’t lose them! Take your notebook and make notes immediately! If you will not catch the flash at that time you will forget it. This flashes are not ordinary things, they are unique and inspired by God directly for you. Maybe you are skeptical now and don’t believe but you will understand it later when you will begin experience the flashes by yourself. This flashes will help you to set your own goals and develop plans for actions to achieve them. When you have the plan take actions. Don’t procrastinate! Any delay decreases your excitement and enthusiasm. Force yourself to start. This starting impulse creates the momentum which will help you to keep moving. The progress will strengthen your motivation for success.
    4. When craving for alcohol attacks you don’t waste time in this unstable situation, allowing your subconscious mind to increase its power for making you drinking. You must terminate the craving immediately getting your mind away from this fixation. As soon as possible start reading the book (always bring it with yourself) especially the chapters most important for you tuning up your conscious mind on successful life full with achievements of your goals where is no place for alcohol drinking at all.
    5. Doing so you will be also reprogramming your subconscious mind slowly line by line replacing wrong code containing drinking commands with correct one. Your subconscious mind functions like digital computer executing installed program. But YOU are the programmer and it’s YOU have programmed it for alcohol drinking before and only YOU CAN change this program now. Remember YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE! Create your own strong short imperative sentences for yourself. Example: DON’T TOUCH THE BOTTLE! Print this commands on a card. Reread, repeat and remember them. Stick them into your mind! Stick them into your heart! Energize them by heart! Fuel them! Flash! Flame! Blast! WOW! JUST DO IT! COOD LUCK!

  • April

    I started drinking heavily 5 years ago. I maintain my job and go to work every morning feeling terrible. By 2:00 or so, I am feeling better and the itch that started in the morning to quit drinking…is no longer there. My husband and I drink together, every night, every weekend. We have 2 beautiful children and have overcome very hard times and achieved much success. I am 28 and I feel my body aching from the alcohol. My kidneys feel sore and today, the first time I called in sick in years due to late night drinking. my heart is beating irregular. This Summer, I went on a 3 day drinking binge, (wine is my drink of choice, bottle after bottle or if I know people will be over, box after box ) On the 3rd day I woke up and my heart would beat hard (as it normally does when I am hungover) then really soft, 2 beats here then nothing all to follow with 5 hard beats. My heart was going haywire with irregular beats. My husband and I panicked and so he drove me to the hospital. They did an ekg and the dr told me I had “holiday heart” from drinking so much over the last 3 days. He asked if I had a problem drinking, and I shook my head no, feeling embarrassed and guilt, feeling like a loser. I have found that my life is lost in the bottle. It is such a habit that I will tell my husband not to mention alcohol to me tonight that I am going to try to quit and although we throw out our pinkies and promise to one another that alcohol will not mentioned, instinctively when we are off work…. celebration mode kicks in and I or my husband say we will pick up wine to go with our dinner. I am tired of hangovers, of not exercising, of wasting my weekends hanging out on the couch watching tv because of my massive drinking binge the night prior… I miss my kids, I miss playing with them at the park. I miss showing them I am a fun mommy and that they are more important then my wine. I want to have stories to share with my co-workers about my weekends, instead I am ashamed to tell them the truth, I just got drunk again… So instead every weekend is the same to them…. “Oh I just cleaned house, lots of laundry.” My husband and I are so ready to quit…. I need to be there for my kids again. I need to feel healthy again. I need to feel happy again. I need to feel proud again. This site is such a relief.. I think with all that you have shared , I will now have a better chance in my efforts to quit. I know I am not alone and it feels like I can breathe. Thank you

  • RL

    Dear Patrick,
    First and foremost let me thank you for this website and the trouble you take going thru each and every post and offering some very practical and sencible advise.
    I would like to keep mine short, i started drinking at the age of 24 and have decided to stop now at 39, it has been three days since i have had any alchohol at all. My support has been my loving wife and our Local church group. I feel fine as of now but i know a time would come when i would get that ” feeling ” again. I have asked the Lord for help and i am sure he want let me down.
    Please keep me in your prayers

    God bless you all

  • Mark

    I am so glad i found this site I have not read all of them. The beginning was great! I too, drank for many years and stopped cold turkey 31 days ago. I feel great, lost 10 lbs already, and will never look back. I quit 2 times ,one time for 3 years and one for 2 years. But went back again , due to stress and deaths in family, Mom and dad. I relized a month ago when i added up the money i spent and i felt like crap in am, I said to myself i have finnally hit rock bottom. Got behind on bills etc. I said this is it for you demons your out of here forever and i truly mean it this time they wont get the best of me any more. I WAS IN DENIAL as stated in the beginning of this page. So for ever one, i wish you all the best in your new life. mine has changed already

  • Patrick

    God bless, Mark. Sounds like you are ready for real change in your life. Way to go!

  • Mark

    Hi Patrick, Yes, Im ready and have already started. This site makes me feel good. and I feel that I know all of the people that write on it, I guess because we all have the same problem and all are trying so hard to do what you have done. Congrats on you 8th year Patrick of sobreity. Thanks for writing to me

  • jessica

    i am 40 years old an have been drinking heavily for 3 years. Off and on. I can go for days/weeks without it but once i get it in my head that im gonna do it, im doing it morning noon and night for 3 days straight. I have drank at work and have been caught many times and almost fired. Thank god they love me and the job I do, but I dont have anymore chances with them > If i ever got fired for this, I would be devastated, as I love my job. I am seeing a councellor, but I still get the urge and I cannot talk myself out of it, so as a result, I dont trust myself at all that it wont happen again.

  • Robby (Fake name)

    What used to happen after a full 2 weeks of heavy drinking, now happens after 1 or 2 nights of drinking: my eyelids become dry and the skin starts to flake, I get a rash on my arms and neck, one eye gets smaller than the other, my stomach gets bloated, and I can tell Im bleeding internally (I can taste it and see my nose is red)…. which makes me sneeze all day. My tongue doesnt work as well so Im slurring words even when Im sober. I must have something that can be diagnosed by the Doctor but I dont even want to hear what he’ll say.


    I drink and drive alot, even tho I fell asleep drunk and crashed in to the side of a bridge and almost fell off a few years ago. Being a notable musician, Ive created a culture of drinking for my business partners and family and friends. Also for 90% of any social place I go, I “pre-drink” — about half a 750ml bottle. Even at my music shows I promote– rendering me not able to network and run my business. Its not even fun any more…

    Am I alone on this one:?

  • Robby (Fake name)

    ps . Ive been getting hammered for 13 years now every weekend which gradually reached almost everyday in the last one year…. and because of these visible signs of ugliness I get hammed 2 – 3 times a week..

    Can I ask for some feedback here?

  • JPVD

    Hi Robby;
    I don’t know if this is the same, but I started to get ‘Rosacia’ really bad. Although they say that alcohol does not CAUSE the condition, alcohol certainly contributes to it.

    I found out about rosacia dueto the conditions you described, and when i started to get ‘ocular rosacia’ did i truly freak out and quit drinking.

    In some ways you are lucky Robby fake-name; you have noticeable negative physical attributes caused by alcohol consumption. Lucky because once you stop, the conditions will lessen, and probably go away after a while.

    Some people on here have purely psychological conditions; very difficult to assess any positive attributes from not-drinking.

    Good luck mate, you are not alone here.
    Many musicians have pulled it together after a career of drink and drugs, haven’t they? AC/DC, the Stones!, and wasn’t Frank Zappa sober as a judge?

  • JPVD

    Hang in there April.

    There is no denial in you, or your husband.
    Nothing better than coming back from the sidelines of life to be with your kids, your family, your work even!
    Everything is clear, and decisions seem far easier.

    My two cents on quitting drinking:
    -be preared for the ‘boredom’.
    drinking was a hobby, take it away and it seems like you have nothing to do… but now you have time (and money!) to finally do those things you wanted to do but were drunk. Before you decide to fully quit, think of something to occupy your ‘drinking’ time.

    -be honest with your partner
    if you don’t tell them you want to stop drinking, then you really don’t want to stop

    – break ‘drinking’ habits.
    If you drank wine while cooking dinner: eat take-out for a few weeks. If you feel compelled to buy beer at a gas station on the way home, change your route. If you find yourself wanting to drink at social functions, don’t go.

    Alcohol is not your friend. It wants to destroy you, your career, your relationships, your family and then take your life. It has thousands of years of experience in doing so and if you need to pull out the big guns to fight it; then do so!

    Good luck!

  • Patrick

    Thanks so much for your comments, JPVD. Very helpful stuff, love all of your suggestions and thoughts.

  • Mark

    well, it has been 41 days of no drinking and i feel great and have money in my pocket at the end of the week. does not seem long to some people i know but it is a great achievement to me and im going to keep it up forever i hope. I really dont even think about the drink, i keep busy at my job and at home. The holidays are coming with parties etc that i have been invited to and i am going with my wife. this will be the true test, but i dont care, I WILL WATCH EVERYONE GET DRUNK and say i wont wake up with a hangover they will feel like crap not me. . Everyone, good luck to all of you, and all the best, Happy Sober Holidays!!! I have taken the first step , and Patrick has done GREAT!! so can you.!!!

  • Al

    Hi everyone,

    I have read a lot of your stories and can relate to everything written. My problem is I can not be a social drinker. When I drink, I drink to get wasted. I have somewhat control and can go days without a drink, but when I do on a weekend I have to get wasted. Is it possible to scale back this “binge” drinking to just social drinking or is my best bet to try and quit drinking alcohol period???

  • Mark

    Hi Al,

    Even though I don’t know you, nor anyone on this site, I feel that I do know all of you. Do to our same problem. I too can not be a social drinker, I can’t just have 1 or 2 beers , I need to keep drinking till they are gone and hopfully I had enough in the fridge. Regarding your question for me I had to go cold turkey, but i was worried about the dt’s etc. but not one bad thing happened to me. Not sick at all and i drank 7 days a week at least for the last 2 years after parents died. No hard stuff just beer. I finally sat down and added up the cost of the junk and i almost passed out. Between the beer and and lottery over $1500.00 month. S i said to myself I have finally hit rock bottom and the next day I started my journey to be sober and don’t miss it at all. Good luck to you. Keep busy and dont think about the drink

  • George

    I came across your web page not quite by accident but because I want change in my life. I find it hard to give up drinking, And I cant seem to get over it on my own. I have tried every new year but even that doesn’t last. I know Im killing myself but I cant stop. I know my story doesn’t stand out from the rest but it’s me.

  • Smokey

    What I find frustrating is all the help and social acceptance of someone trying to stop smoking; but anyone who decides they need the same help and support to quit drinking feels like an outsider or a loser.

    I quit smoking and no-one ever questioned it, but when i try to stop drinking people are always telling me ‘come one, one beer won’t kill you.” The reality is that it might.

  • Patrick

    @ Smokey – absolutely true. I would agree that addiction in general is stigmatized. And a lot of people who drink will want you to keep drinking in order to justify their own behavior….

  • Steven

    My name is Steven and I am an alcoholic. I quit drinking five years ago this December 27. I called and joined AA on that date and went to a meeting once a week for three months. I have not been to a meeting in a couple of years as I do not feel the need to. The year after I quit I actually made a u-turn to go through a RIDE spot check a second time to tell the officers I had quit ! I found it difficult at first as I was drinking a minimum of 12 beers per day. About six months after quitting I had lost weight to the point that I weighed the same as when I was a teenager. I sincerely believe that quitting gave me my life back and energized my outlook on life.


    Hmmm, let’s see… I am 36 year old female who has been drinking since i was about 13. I can honestly say that in all of those years, the longest i have gone with out a drink was 3 months and in the 3 months i had a drink hear and there. I have had 2 D.U.I and totaled a car in the process.. i have lost relationships as well… I have told my self at least a thousand times that i would quit (probobly because i was hung over or my girl friend was mad at me for somthing i did when i was drunk and didnt remember).. So i would not drink for about a day and a half or untill i was feeling better or i was forgiven because i would always say that i would not drink so much from now on and that always seemed to make things better for the moment untill i did it again.. (same pattern every time)… So i find my self today with a new career, a new woman that i love more than anything is this world and i am an alcoholic.. I heard the same familiar sound in her voice the other day (a conversation i have had many times) but this time it was different… It hurt my heart.. I need to change my life once in for all to keep the mos important thing that means the most to me.. with me.. I am doing this for me.. So as of today.. i have not had one drink in 4 days and this is tha hardest thing i have ever had to do… i am going cold turkey.. I think to my self.. well i usually drink liquore so why dont i just drink beer.. ?? or i know i can drink just one tonight because i have been 4 days!! that is the longest i have gone with out 1 drop in 10 years… So… any suggestions?

  • Patrick

    @ RWARD – don’t drink no matter what. If you take a drink you will be off to the races again.

    With a history like that, I would strongly suggest inpatient rehab. Just my 2 cents of course, I am sure some would disagree with that. But it worked for me when I was not able to stop on my own and I also see it working for others.

    If you choose not to go to rehab, then really, the list of suggestions is like 2 miles long. And frankly it is just too overwhelming. Simplify the process and get professional help. Good luck….

  • jonny

    I can go for days or even months without a drink. If iget really angry, or yelled at work I never talk to anybody about it. I have been to rehab and went through it very well, that or aa has really helped me. I am going on 28 have two great kids a very pretty girlfriend. i love them very much. I really want my life back befor the drinking, any comments.

  • bob

    Hi. Heres my dilema… I’m a successful 35 yr. old male married with 2 kids and 1 on the way. I’ve been drinking mainly beer socially since I was 18. I had to have a total hip replacement last summer due to necrosis – a bone killing condition due to alchohol. I am fit, but who knew that sucking down beers could cause this!? Now I am realizing that I cannot live without the drink. I am in management and I blame the stress for my drinking. I am realizing that it is affecting my family life as well as my job so I want to quit. Lately, every time I get a day off all I can do is plan my way of sucking down a bunch of beers and thinking of ways to justify to my wife. I’m a jerk to my kids lately and just need some help to get my life back on track. I can’t go to a rehab center because I am needed too much at work and it took me way to long to land the position that I have. Someone confidentially told me that people have smelled the scent on me in the mornings – (from the night before) and I thought that was a serious wake-up-call. Help! What do you suggest?

  • Mark

    Hi Bob, Im not Patrick ,Im Mark, and o boy your story is almost to the tee with mine, which is a few stories up from here. I too love my beer, and drank every night after work at home only, 7 days a week. I run a big cemetery and crematory and i drank to ease some of the things i go thru everyday.Then of chorse it became a bad habit.I started to think to myself my weight is going up and the bank is going down. behind on bills and wife and childred not happy with me at all. Everytime some one would come over i always had a beer in my hand. and tryed to justify it by my stress job. As Patrick said it was denial. I made my mind up to just quit Cold Turkey . It will be 60 days on Christmas Eve. I have not wanted it or thought about that demon at all. I feel great and lost 10 lbs already. If you ask what do you suggest I would say cold turkey, sounds hard but it can be done if you set your mind to it and stick to it. Life feels GREAT Sober!!. and try to keep yourself busy in the beginning to keep you mind off of beer. It worked for me. Best of luck to you and Merry Christmas

  • Harry

    My experience has been: alcohol has taken away a lot of the really good times I sought while drinking but could never hang onto because of my inability to control myself.

    It has been frustrating to be able to acheive many things in my life; loved ones, family, career, artistic pursuits…but in the end, lose most of them because of my bizarre reaction to consuming alcohol, in short, it makes me a a..hole. People scratch their heads and avoid me eventually. As life passes on, I see that the pattern was consistent…now at age 53 I have to wonder if I have the ability to accept life sober. The pain is huge. AA is something I just cannot do here in this town, those whining crybabies make me want to put a shotgun in my cranium and keep pumpin …:) sorry so dramatic..:)

    Anyhow, the fact is…drinking doesn’t make me happy. Its an illusion, albeit, a strong and effective one. Spiritual therapy seems to be the only solution.

    Peace, ya’ll.

  • JPVD

    hello again;
    i hope i’m not overwhelming readers by posting again… I just want to share my experience with quitting, like mark.
    I guess maybe because there are alot of people WANTING to quit, I hope they can get some inspiration by my little struggle.

    3-4 weeks so far. Life sober is amazing. I’m filling my free time and money by taking flying lessons.

    I slipped and had a bottle of wine last week; but amazingly it was a good thing!
    -the wine tasted pretty crap
    -i didn’t like being ‘drunk’ and unable to think properly
    – i woke up with a killer headache
    -i got nothing done the next day

    A good thing because thank god that experience was all negative; I can only imagine if it was a positive thing. Maybe I’ld be back on the booze again?

    OK, take care everyone. I seriously hope Bob and mark all the best to do this difficult thing and reclaim their lives.

  • Mark

    Hi everyone again,
    I love going to this site and reading all the post. As I said a few post up that I wrote It seens like I know everyone in this site i guess because we all have the same problem. But if we write back and forth to each other maybe we can all get through this hard stuggle together, and maybe next Christmas we will saying that we all had a SOBER year. We can do it!!!! The Holidays will be hard for all of us, but, I say to myself, it is only a day of the week with a NAME IN FRONT OF IT. Like people have said earlier, if you are quiting drinking it is best for you to stay away from those parties on holidays that will expose you to alcohol. I know that will be hard but i did it a month ago when there was a big family party and i was not ready to be exposed to the drink as of then, so I stayed home and wife went with daughter. I then went to a Christmas party a week ago and everyone was drinking and I brought my Dunkin Coffee. That was my first test and i passed, It was no problem, woke up the next morning and felt great while other people were hung over. We every body have a Very Merry Christmas and a Safe and SOBER New Years. Best of Luck to all of you.

  • Dottie

    Hello, I do not know if any of you can provide any insight on my problem., but I am going to give it try. Its my husband he admits he is an alohoic. I have not ask him to quit, I have ask that he not drink and drive and not drink and get so drunk he wets himself. I have begged him to get this under control , he is not willing to. So today I told him he needed to move out. Oh he agreed but he is still here. He is 66 yrs old has drank since he was about 14 yrs old. He says he needs help but!!!!I think he is to far gone. I told him if he sought help I would be supportive and stand by him, But really didn’t much of an answer. I am bet and do not know what to do any advise will be helpful at this point.

  • Nate and Peg

    Hello everyone,

    We are a couple and drink everyday. We are going to try and stop drinking and we are quite scared. It’s going on 8 years for me and ten for my wife. We have read most of this site and some others but haven’t come across any advice for couples. Drinking is much more fun when you have a partner in crime. We drink because it is fun and because there isn’t really much else to do. It seems everything we do involves a drink. Nobody begs us to stop but we feel it’s about time. The black outs are becoming quite annoying and it’s harder and harder to drink like we used too. We stopped smoking 4 months ago and now we just drink MORE! Help us…please. Thank you

  • chad dalton


  • Gary

    Tomorrow is day 1 for me. I’ve been drinking a pint of hard stuff a day for the last two years, usually after work on the way home. I’m tired of feeling crappy and being angry at everyone, especially at work. So, now, here it is, I’ve made the decision and am going for it cold turkey.

  • Nate and Peg

    Congrats Gary! We too are going to go cold turkey not “wild turkey”…before the full moon and all. At 6 pm today it will be one day for us. Has anyone noticed it’s easier to stop when you don’t feel so good?? Today we feel like crap because we hung one on last night with a box of wine and a bunch of beer. Mark! You are the man how does a couple months feel?? Chad must’ve pasted out as soon as he started typing…or it’s his TWO CENTS! hehehe Good luck everyone!

  • Rick

    I just turned 41 and have been drinking sinse I was 14. I am married with 3 children. I have tried several times to stop, but I always fail.I am going to try again. Please pray for me and my family.

  • diontrenoel

    god is a great help in time of all of our needs.

  • Kerri

    Hi, all. I first started to tackle this demon about two months ago. It was one of those subtle moments; I was trying to balance a glass of wine and my 10-yr old son came over to hug me and I couldn’t hug him back because my hand was full – of a wine glass, which lately has been permanently attached to my hand. He didn’t say anything, but gave the wine a dirty look. That night, I stumbled into bed drunk (when had 1-2 glasses become a bottle a night?) and I thought to myself… omg, my son is on his way to being the child of an alcoholic. I’ve been around alcoholism my whole life and even knowing better hasn’t been enough to get me to quit.

    I’ve had short periods of abstinence… a few weeks here and there over the last five years or so. I think, “I don’t miss it.” when I quit, and then that cunning Ego convinces me I’m in control and what the hey… I haven’t had a drink in a week or three, I deserve it.

    Well, I’m seeing a therapist now, tried AA, but really didn’t enjoy the meeting (and the permanent stench of smoke from the good old days…) and all the horror stories. I’M not one of those people (ha, ha). One or two social occasions and holidays and now I’ve graduated to binge drinking. Well, I’ve been home alone the last couple of nights and, after flushing a couple of bottles of wine down the drain, not missing the wine tonight. We’ll see where the next few weeks take me. I’m going for six weeks right now… that’s Valentine’s Day. (I read a fatty liver can heal itself in six weeks… I’d like to know my liver is getting better.)

    Namaste, friends

  • Kirsty

    Ive been in AA before and lasted almost a year but unfortunately the demon drink got a hold of me and took over. I grew up as a child of alcoholics and have always been terrified that I would become one. At first I thought because I was a social drinker I was ok, however the next day after remembering very little of the night before, drinkers guilt would set in and i’d feel terrible, wondering if i’d offended anyone or acted crazy. Then after a few days i’d feel its ok to have a drink now, it wasnt that bad and friends all tell me I had nothing to be worried about, but I always feel like I have. For the last year I’ve been drinking almost every night, Pinot Grigio my drink of choice, and every morning I wake up thinking thats it no more. As its the start of a new year Im desperately going to try quit, and find something else to fill this void, which I normally use alcohol for, so 2 days no drink so far, yay.

    Good Luck everyone, stay strong

  • Mary

    Well , It’s the new year and i am tired of the hangovers and the headaches , I am in a wonderful relationship and love my partner. I am an entertainer and find it difficult not to drink at my gigs. Sometimes my gigs bore me , so i have a drink, people always bye the band a drink, i am always the life of the party, i have tried to say NO to shooters and drinks. All my friends and fans drink excessively and whenever we’re together it’s drink till we fall down. 3 of our friends have been locked up .
    Anyway i am now gonna make a promise to myself and others . I am going cold turkey . It’s going to be hard . but i WILL do it .

    Any suggestions on how NOT to drink, when my life is in pubs and clubs.

  • John

    just a quick note here. patrick, i’m so thankful for your sight. i started reading it about a month ago when i had stopped drinking. i was moved to write tonight to nate and peg and mary. to nate and peg i just want to say that my wife and i quit together and have found the mutual support very helpful. we are on the the three month plan. the first week was pretty hard, but it didn’t take long for us both to realize how much money we were saving, how we had more energy and time, and how much easier it is to deal with the kids. to mary i wanted to respond by saying that i too have to deal with working in clubs and people drinking all around. so far so good for me. it is quite interesting to see people getting drunk and losing controle and realize that i was one of those. i think i’m playing much better too. i understand the being bored bit….but i think playing sober allows your mind to come up with new ideas and allows for a new approch to the songs. one month and 3 days and my wife and i are loving being sober. by the way, i’m 46, and had been drinking since i was 13. all the best to those reading this, give being sober a try.

  • dave

    i’m trying it again. (to stop drinking, that is) i’m 47 and have been at it for 33 years. any ideas? help

  • Patrick

    Try something different, something you have never done in the past. For example:

    * Long term treatment
    * Counseling or therapy
    * Working with others in recovery, even in early recovery

    Just some ideas. The question is “how is it going to be different this time?” If you don’t have an answer for that, you are probably not on the right path yet.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help and let someone else define your path for a while. That worked for me in early recovery quite well.

  • Richard

    i started drinking when I was 17 and was still drinking, I’m 34 now, a fifth of bourbon everyday until october of last year. I got tired of my drinking as i started feeling that I don’t know I was as a person anymore. When to the doctor and got admitted in a hospital for five days, did well for about a week after being discharged.But then fell again in the trap, started drinking again and had to go back to doctor the second time.As usual, though did better this time and stayed off the bottle for about a month, then took the fall again. Now this is my third time, and I have vowed not to touch the bottle again as I hate to go through the withdrawal symptoms.Besides, withdrawal symtoms I hate the kind of money I spent on my alcohol and going back to the hospital.My parents have been a great support. I really advise people to find someone who would give the unconditional love and support during the quitting phase. It helps a lot. Richard

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hello friends, it is so encouraging to read your stories and to realize that there are so many others out there who have struggled with alcohol issues in much the same way that I have. As of January 29 it will be one year since I stopped drinking. I had reached the point where I was drinking beer to nearly the passout point almost every night, exercising very poor judgment about many things, developing quite a stomach, and a super-red complexion, and generally feeling like crap most of the time . So, after a 35-year beer-drinking career, I woke up with a terrible headache and a sick stomach one morning and decided that I was done with it, forever. I wasn’t going to try (as I had done so many times before) to just “cut back”; that always made me all the more preoccupied with the subject– constantly setting and then revising and tweaking and amending the rules, the limits, on how much I would allow myself to drink. I needed and wanted to quit altogether. And I needed to make it simple. I am a lawyer by trade, and I have a tendency to want to “out-think” things. I knew I needed to avoid doing that here. So, in plain English, I just told myself, “I am really in a trap with this stuff. It’s all I think about for most of the day. I am angry that this little monster has this kind of grip on me. I deserve better than this. I deserve to get free from this trap, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I enjoyed life so much up until the time I had my first beer at age twenty. I know that life can be so good without alcohol, because I lived it for all those pre-beer years. I’m going to find that goodness again. I’m done poisoning myself. I’m just done.” There is so much to say, friends. But of all the aspects of this subject, the key, for me, was making it simple, intellectually simple, as in, “This stuff is screwing up my life. I need to be done with it. So, okay, I quit, right now. This problem is over. I am officially a non-drinker from this moment on; non-drinking will simply be part of who I am; okay, that was pretty simple.” That simplicity helped me to just get the whole subject of alcohol OFF THE TABLE, and that was the trick for me. I have many other thoughts to share, but for now I just want to tell you all that I have not touched a drop of alcohol since January 29, 2009, and that I no longer feel any desire to touch it, because I know that, for me, it’s truly a poison; I have no desire to put the stuff in my body– no more than I would have a desire to put, say, Liquid Plumber in my body. I feel no sense of deprivation; I feel only a wonderful freedom from the claws of that frickin’ little monster that had such a grip on me, and I love to remind the little s**t from time to time how much fun I’m having in my victory, and that he can just kiss my a**. The big surprise, though, is that life without alcohol is actually so much fun !! I really didn’t think it could be, but I’m having more fun now than I ever had when I drank, and I no longer have to worry about getting a DUI, AND it’s SO absolutely GREAT to wake up in the morning feeling good !! In fact, it’s wonderful to feel good ALL the time !! To all who may read these words, I believe in you, I have no doubt whatsoever that you can do what I did. If I can, trust me, I know YOU can !! Don’t try to out-think it, okay?!! Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be !! Just tell the monster that you’re gonna kick his butt, and that you’re gonna enjoy every minute of watching him flopping around, hoppin’ mad that you beat him, that you broke out of the cage he had you in and threw him in there instead. Everyone hang in there, and know that we all are cheering for one another. Thank you for listening, and enjoy the week !! Sincerely, Bill

  • Lauren

    I’m 28. I’ve been drinking since i was 14. Always thought of myself as a “social drinker” , less than 48 hours ago I was sitting in jail for the first time in my life. I was found passed out in my car on the side of the road, having no idea how i got there. Needless to say, I got a DUI. I have had thoughts over the last year or so to stop drinking, i can’t believe it took this for me to truely consider it. I can only say, thank goodness nobody was hurt. I’m very scared. I’m a very strong person, and i know this is going to be hard. Most people can avoid being around it as much as possible, for me… i’m a bartender and a bar manager. I have been for 8 years. i’m very scared. scared and i feel very alone.

  • Frankie

    I’m 28 too and I understand what your going through. I got a DWI about a year ago. I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t drink again. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very successful. Recently, I’ve been relapsing. Its such a vicious cycle. Its almost like clockwork. I can go a week or so without a drink but then I somehow get “bored” and go out to get totally wasted. I guess I thought I could handle drinking in “moderation” but obviously I just can’t drink. One drink leads to a dozen more and it just doesn’t stop. I’m sick of this addiction and what it makes me do. I feel so utterly helpless and guilty and want to stop drinking. S0, I’ve decided today is the first day on my new journey. I hope to fight this thing and change my life. I wish you all the best of luck in your struggle.

  • Carolyn

    This message is to Frankie. Coinsidently, today also is the day I’ve decided to stop drinking! The first day of my new journey. I’m afraid but have finally accepted that I must go through the pain to get to the pleasure of a booze free life again. It’s been 15 years of denial for me and I’m tired. Please say a prayer for me! I will pay for all of you. Now off to an AA meeting………….

  • Frankie

    You are in my prayers. It’s day two and I have faith we can beat this thing. It’s not gonna be easy , but one day at a time. Keep strong and fight the temptations. My subconcious seems to plague me with temptations all day, but I’ve realized I can’t listen to the madness. Lots a luck.

  • Lauren

    The bordom is my biggest fear. I have my daughter everyother week. When I have her it’s not an issue. I don’t even keep anything in the house. I wont drive with my daughter in the car with even one beer in me. But it’s the weeks when she is at her dad’s that scare me. My boyfriend lives 1200 miles away. I live alone. And like I said before I work at a bar. all my freinds hang out at the bar. Drinking is kinda my pasttime, my hobbie ( even though how pathetic it sounds) Where else do you even go to have fun with your friends where drinking is not the main focus?

  • Patrick

    Good discussion here.

    In my experience, the “fun” part comes as you do the things you need to do in order to stay sober. In other words, it will take care of itself. If you say “I need to go have fun while being sober today!” it will probably not happen.

    I had to start living life and doing positive and healthy things in recovery….such as exercising, eating out with friends or family, and connecting with other people in recovery. The fun just sort of came along for the ride without me actively seeking it out.

  • Frankie

    It does seem like drinking plays a big part of going out with friends. At least it does for me. Like you said its almost like a past time. I feel for you Lauren because you have to work around that scene. Its easier to just stay away from bars and people who drink. But, in your case its not that easy. And in reality, its everywhere. Drinking is everywhere. I’ve been trying to focus on doing more “constructive” things like working-out and reading. All we can do is follow our hearts and make things right in our life. I think the whole boredom aspect of sober life will pass. At least i hope so. We need to rediscover ourselves without alcohol. Keep me posted and keep to together :)

  • Carolyn

    Day two for me and I feel really really anxious, irritable, angry and like life is really really boring. I’m going to an AA meeting soon and hope it changes my outlook. I think I’m having really bad cravings and/or withdrawl symptoms and it’s not pleasant! I hope this feeling does not last for too long. I had a battle with the alcoholic person in my brain about getting some wine at the store after work but I won this battle. No wine! God help me……..I did not realize how addicted to alcohol I am!

  • Frankie

    Hey congrats on no vino! I know the feeling. It gets easier to deal with the cravings as time goes on. Day three and still sober. Not much of an accomplishment i guess, but hey it is for me. Just wanted to write a short something to let you all know I’m still here and going strong. Ok, good luck!

  • Carolyn

    Day three for me too. It actually seems harder today than the first two. Wicked thoughts of cheating. I’m even thinking of a date to have a slip as they call it………..Am I crazy? I hope I have what it takes!

    Congrats Frankie on Day 3 of your sobriety! You’re awsome! And so are the rest of you! Another AA meeting tonight.

  • Jadira

    Hey everyone! I want to say CONGRATS to Frankie, Carolyn, Lauren! Should be day 3/4 for you guys! Its a feat, one day at a time. As for me…Been there done that and always fail. But so what, here I go again. I loved what Bill Sheehan said earlier and I am even more motivated now than ever. I am a FANATIC of Intervention (the show on A&E), and when I see the ending and see the recovering addicts talk about how good they feel and how life is and how good it is too wake up and feel good. I always say ” I want that” I wish I can do that”, well now I know that I can and I will.

    I will hear every excuse of how “just one” isn’t going to hurt, BullS^%t! It will for me, because it will only lead to another and another….

    I QUIT!

  • Bill Sheehan

    Jadira, Carolyn, Frankie, Lauren, Richard, Dave and John, Patrick, and everyone, you have no idea how it helps me and inspires me to know that you guys all go through the same thing that I do. And to hear you confide that you sometimes have doubts about your ability to stick with your plan of not drinking, or that you have in fact goofed a little and knocked back a few, well, that only reminds us that we’re all subject to the good old human condition. As to goof-ups, I think we just have to say, “Hey, allright, I messed up, I’m human, it’s behind me, it’s yesterday’s news, and I’m starting from right now,” and just go on forward, no matter how badly we might have messed up. I realize that we’re all different, sure, but I really, really think it’s important to try and take any element of drama out of the equation, and go for the simple approach– I remember how I used to fret and sweat and wring my hands and think oh my gosh, this no-drinking thing is gonna kill me, I’ll never be able to do it, I just know I won’t… and assorted other negative thoughts. Finally I just decided to use an approach so simple that I had always assumed it was unrealistic to think it could actually work– to just make the big plan, to think in terms of one LIFE at a time, to simply say, this chapter of my life is closed, it’s done, the beast is going to die, I’m going to enjoy starving it to death, it no longer has me in its trap, I am free !! Have I made this all too complicated in the past ?? And that’s the funny thing, guys. With each new day you will savor that wonderful freedom, and it will totally snuff out any feeling of deprivation you might have feared, as you begin again to know the joys of living with a clear head, a clear mind, of feeling good all the time. And you begin to think of alcohol as a NON-issue. I always remind myself, “Do I feel deprived because I didn’t get to drink any Chlorox today? Of course not. And for me at least, alcohol is just as much a poison.” Everyone have a wonderful day, and let’s not forget what a gift each one is! -Bill

  • Carolyn

    Thank you Bill. I needed to hear that! I almost lost it this evening. I’m so lost and not feeling like myself and not sure what to do with myself. In fact, I donated blood today (not just to give a gift of life) but because I didn’t know where to go after work!! It killed a good hour or so of my time. LOL!
    Off to another AA meeting. Don’t feel like going but I’m going to go any way!
    Hang in there everyone and God Bless you all!

  • Aak

    Patrick, Carolyn, Bill, Frankie, Lauren:

    I stumbled upon this website as I was searching out ways to help keep me sober. I’m only 24, but for the last 6-7 years I’ve been drinking hard liquor every night to the point of black out and then pass out, barely being able to get up in the morning and get presentable for work. This wasn’t who I was, and this isn’t who I want to be…I want to nip this in the bud before it becomes a life-long habit and a potentially fatal problem (several people in my family have passed away from alcoholism).

    I know that my length of time battling this has not been as long as say 20+ years, for example, but my inspiration this time (I’ve tried many times to quit before) feels much more genuine. I just can’t take feeling awful and being totally non-functional every day unless I’m drinking. I want to learn how to have fun again with alcohol. I want to get my body and mind back into shape before the alcohol took over. I want to begin to be able to really LIVE again.

    Seeing your posts here is inspirational, and though I hardly ever post online, motivated me to share my thoughts as well as say THANK YOU for posting. Good luck to all…we are bigger, better, and stronger than the bottle.

  • John

    hey everybody, great posts all the way around, so encouraging. i’m almost a full two months sober and had a rough night tonight. normally i would have gone to a secluded bar and would drink away my pain and think that i was doing the right thing….i didn’t know where to go, and then i remembered that i had ordered a book for my wife for christmas and it had come in at barnes and noble. it was nice to go there and get a coffee and just sit and read, i know it sounds boring, but it wasn’t at all, and so much better than sitting in a dark bar listening to bad music and people talk bullshit. i also really wanted to encourage the young folks who are coming to this site. i wish i could have all the hours, days, weeks, months and years that i wasted in alcohol haze back. life is so short. a clear mind and a sober healthy body will reveal itself to you as being far far far from boredom. thanks to you all for writing, you have helped me through another sober day! all the best, john.

  • Aak

    thanks for your post John! i actually just went to my first meeting tonight, and it was really good. i’m looking forward to a life without being loaded all the time. i’ll check back in here tomorrow. all the best!

  • Frankie

    I gotta say I’m loving this post and everyone here. I was really in a funk today and figured I’d come check out this site again. Wow, its really amazing hearing your stories and your words of hope. Its been 5 days sober and typically weekends are the worst for me. So, the real test has come, but I’m confident I can get through. I wish everyone the best and please know that it feels great to know I’m not alone. Thanks :)

  • Bill Sheehan

    Carolyn, John, Aak, and all who stop by here from time to time, let’s all keep our heads up and our spirits (oops!) high as we head (oops!) into the weekend, knowing that we’re all sharing the same basic experience! For starters, pay particular attention to how GREAT it feels when you wake up tomorrow morning feeling good, with no pounding headache, no sick stomach! Then, decide on one little project or task that you’ll do, it doesn’t have to be anything major, but it may be something you might not otherwise have had the energy for, if you’d gotten blotto tonight and started tomorrow off feeling like total crap. For me, as a guitar player, it will likely be to begin writing a song– something I had sorry little enthusiasm to do this time last year. Or perhaps to take a thirty-minute walk (notice how good you start to feel about five minutes into it). My band has a gig tomorrow night at a local bar, and I will so very much enjoy and savor the amazing feeling of sipping my club soda with a twist of lime, as so many of those around me, as John mentioned, get obnoxious and talk bulls**t. And as I drive home around 1:00 a.m., I will welcome any policeman to pull me over, knowing that I can say, “No sir, I haven’t had a drop, and if you want me to blow into that little balloon, hey, bring it on !” (By the way, that’s a far cry from how things were for me this time last year !!) I NEVER thought I’d say this, but John’s observation about how cool it was to just chill at Barnes & Noble with a cup of coffee– it’s absolutely true !! And it doesn’t take long at all to figure out how much better that is than sitting in that bar, hunched over that drink, letting the beast control us, setting the stage for another lost day tomorrow. Honestly, it’s so great to be free !! Sometimes I’ll just hold my hand out in front of me and say, hey, in order for me to take a drink, I pretty much have to “will” this hand– which is attached to MY body and nobody else’s– to pick that drink up and hoist it to my lips, and by God, I have the right and the ability to choose NOT to let my hand operate in that fashion. I, and only I, am in control, it’s no mystery, it’s actually so simple, and it doesn’t have to be dramatic or involve a bunch of angst. We can just say, “No. That’s not who I am anymore. Screw you, beast.” MAKE it easy. You CAN !!!!!!! Well, everyone have a great weekend and thanks for your thoughts, they help us all!! If by chance the weekend doesn’t go so well and you happen to lapse, you will be welcomed back here next week with open arms, and we’ll all just help you brush yourself off and we’ll move on from there, there’s no need to worry! We are, after all, human beings, constant makers of mistakes, yet blessed with the ability to forgive and encourage. I know I sure as heck need that. Sincerely, Bill

  • Bill Sheehan

    P.S. Frankie, looks like you entered your comments as I was still babbling along with mine! Didn’t mean to exclude you (or anyone else certainly) in my salutation up there! Best to you for the weekend! You can do it, I know you can, and I’m betting there are a whole bunch of people right here who know you can too !! -Bill

  • Aak

    Bill, Frankie, John, Richard, Carolyn, Lauren, and everyone else:

    I just laughed the hardest I ever have in as long as I can remember. A coworker told me a joke, and instead of feeling annoyance, numbness, or just plain old hungover, and I actually felt the joy of waking up sober and feeling like I have a new lease on life. I went to my first AA meeting last night, and the support of all those I met there has made today significantly easier. I feel that, for the first time in many years, I am ready to take control of my own life rather than being controlled by addiction. And it’s your stories that I’ve read and your presence on these posts that has helped as well!

    I’m wishing everyone a great weekend and hoping you all stop by to post soon…

  • Carolyn

    I’m so sad! I almost made it to 5 complete days of no drinking! There was a work get-together yesterday and the people at AA suggested that I don’t go but I felt obligated to go and had good intentions of just having a soft drink or maybe one glass of wine. Turns out I had 3 glasses of wine and that wasn’t enough and I went to the store on the way home and got a bottle of wine. Fell asleep early and then today had to finish off the wine and just went out a little while ago to buy more booze (vodka) and I’m so ashamed of myself cause I really felt good being sober for almost five days! What is wrong with me??? They are so right…………I can’t just have one drink! I want to go back tomorrow to AA. I was supposed to go tonight but I have been drinking so I can’t and I’m really really depressed. Something strange has been happening to me this week. All these emotions have been pouring out of me and I can’t stop crying………..I’m also very angry……….but mostly I can’t stop crying! I feel like there is no hope for me and never ever pictured my life so pathetic like this.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Carolyn, hey there my friend! Everyone here still loves you! So you slipped and fell– okay, that’s nothing more than a little reminder of your humanity; it’s NOT the end of the world, and there is nothing wrong with you !! ANY of us could have slipped too! There is every reason for you to be hopeful! Look forward, dear, look ahead; do you see that perfectly clean slate? Give yourself another chance– and another, and yet another ! You deserve as many as you may need! With the greatest respect for AA and similar approaches, I am concerned that one’s preoccupation with something like alcohol may not so effectively be overcome by utilizing a program or method which, by definition, perpetuates a certain preoccupation with the stuff, requiring that we think about it all the time. I feel it may be worth considering, and simpler, to just pick a day now, the day that you’re going to make a little variation in the person that you are– you’re going to be a non-drinker. Make it merely a part of your personal identity. Don’t think of yourself as a lover of alcohol who is fighting tooth and nail every day to keep from falling– just recognize the simple fact that, for you, alcohol is a life-threatening poison, and that you are making a once-and-for-all decision not to drink this poison any more. It doesn’t have to be complicated; it doesn’t have to be dramatic; try your best to be casual about it– it’s nothing more than a common sense move to change that one facet of who you are– you’re simply now a non-drinker. Try not to let it be harder than it has to be, ’cause it’s really simple when you think about it. Think of yourself as just very matter-of-factly saying, “Oh, by the way, I’m a non-drinker now; no big deal, just a common-sense adjustment… so…. how ’bout those Cubbies?” Hey now Carolyn, you keep your chin up!! Every one of us is with you, cheering you on. You are NOT allowed to beat up on yourself, deal????!!! Now, be happy and have a great week !!! Sincerely, Bill

  • John

    i agree with you bill, nothing against aa in anyway, but for me, that simple decision not to drink anymore worked. drinking is just something i don’t do anymore. it worked to quit smoking too. i don’t want to sound like some super man. i’m human just like carolyn, i slipped and started smoking again, went down that path another 4 years before i quit again. i’m 5 years now without a puff. and a whopping almost 2 months without drinking. that is huge for me! scroll back and read some of bill’s messages and mine and others about how good it feels as time goes by and alcohol slips out of your life….your mind and body just like they are supposed to be….without alcohol. thinking thoughts you know are not fueled by drink. keep that support group around you carolyn, and read patricks words over on this blog, and like he says, ask for help and know that we are out there, all of us going through this. it is worth it for every day you are sober. a new day tomorrow!

  • Frankie

    Glad to say I made it through the weekend. Not too easy either cause at 5:30 saturday morning my drunken buddy was knocking on my door cause the bar had closed and he wanted to continue partying. It was tempting to have a liquid breakfast but i just offered him the couch to crash on and didn’t fall victim to circumstance. Normally that would have started me on a weekend binge. It was cool to relax over the weekend without getting wasted. Kinda just hungout and did some things in the yard to keep busy. Made a delicious spagetti and meatball dinner :). Was nice. I’m kinda nervous about what will happen this week though. My other half will be away working and I used to use it as an excuse to hit the bar scene. Its been a real struggle. Its funny. I noticed that I plan it in my mind “I’ll be free to do what i want.. lets drink hehe”.. I catch myself and I realize that its the same dialogue. Almost like I’m amp-ing myself up. I’ll keep you guys posted. Hope all is well with everyone.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Frankie, hang in there! You did great! It was really good of you to take your friend in, but seeing the condition he was in, honestly, weren’t you so glad that you have broken free from that god-awful trap? I hope you’ve been doing okay since then. Hello to all here! Here’s to living life with our heads on straight. Remember, “sober” does NOT mean drab and boring; sober means FREE– free from the poison that used to have such a grip on us, free to enjoy life to the fullest, feeling GOOD all the time!

  • Jimba

    Hi All, new guy here. Been trying for 4 months to stop. Went 6 days there without a drink but i had a relapse last night. Feel really sick today and angry with myself. Been in this situation many times before and i just wonder why i keep going round in this circle. Will start again today and see if i can find the strength to get to day 7.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hi Jimba, just know that you’re not alone in your struggle, and that all of us here understand exactly what you’re facing. Honestly, I think a lot of it is mental. Over the last several years I tried time after time to quit, each time dwelling moment-by-moment on the idea that I was being “deprived of” something, and that only served to make me all-the-more preoccupied with it, and it was just excruciating— the drama factor again. Last year about this time, I began to realize that I was making it too complicated. I had never felt “deprived” of alcohol for the first 20 years of my life. I only started drinking it, at age 20, out of curiosity and peer pressure, and I didn’t even like it at first. We all know how it gets a grip on you after a while, though. But that realization that alcohol surely wasn’t an essential element of life (as evidenced by those first 20 years where it flat-out wasn’t an issue), combined with the realization that it had slowly turned my life into a rollercoaster of drama and angst and guilt and shame and poor judgment, finally opened the door to my saying, “This is a friggin’ no-brainer; I’m done– permanently, for good, there will be no day-counting because this is forever, for the rest of my life, period, end of crisis, my problem is solved.” There was no drama, no gnashing of teeth, just a feeling of peace, and of triumph over that little alien that had gotten itself inside me all those years ago– knowing that his alien booty was about to be kicked, and that he was going to shrivel up and die as I no longer answered his demand for more drink (well, okay, maybe there’s a little drama there!!). His promises of happiness and good times via alcohol were just empty lies, calculated to strengthen his grip on me, and I was pissed. So, tomorrow it will be exactly one year since I told that little beast to screw off. He is dead. And I can hardly believe how much better my life is, free of his grip, knowing again what it is to REALLY feel good. So, Jimba, keep your head held high, and enjoy kicking the alien’s butt !! You can do it; keep it simple, and be happy!

  • Jimba

    Thanks Bill, just keep stopping and starting hope i kick it as its the hardest thing ive ever tried to do.

  • Jadira

    Hello All,
    Hope everyone is doing good and meeting their goals! I made the decision to beat the crap out of that little alcohol monster on 1/21/2010. The next day, I went to P.R. for the weekend. To my surprise…..not one slip. Plenty of thoughts (that lil monster creeping up), especially as I strolled through the several bars at the airport…. But I was successful. Today it is the last day of the month, went to a boxing show last night, and this morning, I am proud to say….I remain – clean and sober and I AM LOVING IT!!!! God Bless and Keep trucking. Ignore the urge and move onto something else….it gets easier and easier, day by day….Love 2 All!

  • Mary

    Hey ya all

    Keep up the good work , it’s difficult but also not so difficult . i’m an entertainer and i decided to break the habit of drinking with the habit of NOT drinking. I have felt wonderful , at times it was hard especially at the gigs, but i rather opted for a alcohol free beer . Just to get the taste , and i never drink beer. but it just helped me to get that thought away, then i was fine for the rest of the night. I reached my target of NOT drinking for 28 days. i had a drink on Saturday the normal Jamesons. I had two sips and wasn’t interested in finishing it , to my surprise !! ! And yesterday i was on the boat all day , where normally i’d be swaying with the boat . i had 1 drink the whole day . I drank appletiser and thats it ! was great .

    I think if i just stick to my “creating a habit NOT to drink then i’ll be ok” Lets see!!
    You guys might think otherwise but ya lets see .. i’m feeling so good for not drinking so long

  • Bill Sheehan

    Jadira and Mary, it’s wonderful that both of you had good news to report!! Jimba, are you getting along allright?

  • John

    right on mary. that is great that you are finding your way through the “night life”. i just got through one of the most intense gigs i ever have done. i was so glad that i was sober. not relying on whiskey to calm my nerves, knowing that it really just increased my anxiety. also i feel like i got to experience the music and the audience in true reality, i feel like i will have a stronger memory of it all too. that i have given all my heart to the band, the music, the audience…not a drop of it to alcohol. all the best to all!

  • Bill Sheehan

    Awesome, John !! Your account of the gig and how you felt about alcohol being a NON-factor is a great example of what eventually happens to us when we make the decision to stop drinking– there will be some occasion, some day, where we are really struck by the realization that WOW, it’s so much better without the alcohol! And then we begin to take pride in the fact that we’re controlling our own lives again, and re-gaining our sense of what it is to really feel good, and to basically feel good all the time! I’m one year alcohol-free now, and I’m also starting to notice that when I drive past any of the numerous God-foresaken hell-holes that I used to spend SO much time in, I now actually feel repulsed by them, and I feel so lucky to have broken free!

  • John

    thanks bill. been getting into making these seltzer water cranberry drinks with fresh limes on the rocks. it’s like a cocktail. and tonight my wife and i went to one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate st. valentines day. we had sparckling water in wine glasses. really beautiful to drink water like that. we were amazed at remembering times eating at that same place getting so loaded down with alcohol. tonight the bill was less than half what we usually used to spend there. we had energy and time to go see a movie, when usually we would be too drunk, and getting in some kind of fight….it was a great night, home now knowing that i will sleep like a baby, and not waking up with a head ache….it just keeps getting better. feeling life and all its complexities. raw. no filters. i’m digging it.

  • Randy

    I am definately quitting the bottle. I like all kinds of alcoholic drinks, from whiskey to beer. But its just not worth it. I think what has caused me to develop such a problem by the age of 26 is that I would drink all the time when we would party and not get sad or angry. I was just a happy little drunk. All the while building a tolerance. But now I am a wreck because I feel powerless and I drink toooo much. Mardi Gras just ended and I live in New Orleans, the alcoholics DREAM. If I can control myself in this city then I have some pretty good discipline. Wish me luck. I enjoy reading each and every post. Sounds like you guys are doing well and its making you happy. In two weeks I will write again and hopefully it will be good news.

  • MEG

    well i hate myself. why do i drink? over a month ago i got hammered up and my husband found my bottle and that was it. he wanted out. its hard to live with an alcoholic. i was doing so good (almost month) and i did it again. bought a bottle and he found it last night. he said this is it. he wants a divorce. why did i buy that bottle?????????i have kids and i love my husband and yet buying that bottle was more important? what is wrong with me. he’s right he would be better off without me, i’m a loser

  • Randy

    You gotta get ahold of yourself Meg. Noone ever said it was easy, but you need to try and understand why you told yourself it was ok to go and buy the bottle. There may be denial, or deep-seated issues that you need to confront. If you honestly want help you will ask for it. It took me a while to get enough courage to ask for help. Keep trying, just like it has been said earlier in this forum, you deserve as many chances that you need. Losing your family is what you should think of before you buy a bottle. Good luck and keep pressing on.

  • MEG

    I remember the exact day i became an alcoholic. I wish i had a time machine. My husband has been dealing with this for years. I have benders. Hide vodka, get hammered, go to bed. I never drink outside the house and i don’t drive. I pray he forgives me and im going to quit . Im tired of this life. Calling my dr. And going to try aa. I miss the old me. Healthy, not blotted…..He told me im not pretty anymore.That hurt

  • Cheri

    Hi there

    I am 30, I think I am a functional alcoholic and I want to stop. I have gained so much weight and look my worst, I have a little boy that I adore and I dont want him to see me drinking all the time & I am tired of wasting my money on alcohol. Please help.

  • MEG

    Cheri, im functional as well. Well this is my fifth day without a drink. I think its like quitting smoking. You think about it all the time. Its hard. The thing too is its a shameful subject. Nobody wants to let other people know(you know what i mean) im into school stuff and my kids stuff. I don’t go to bars or anything. Just do it at home. I called my insurance today and im going to see an addiction therapist. I also put a calendar on my fridge to check off each evening of being sober…Just try cheri, i actually thought yesterday how can i go all summer without a beer. 4th of july etc. I have been drinking so long i just can’t grasp not doing it any help folks?

  • Cheri

    Hi Meg

    Congratulations on 5 days sobriety! That is great. I decided that I will only drink every second day and then later on every third and so forth until I quit – not really working out. It is amazing how many reasons I can find to drink.

    I thought of putting $2 in a jar for every day I am sober and then use that money at the end of the month to spoil myself – either a facial or something. Don’t know if is much of an insentive though. The amazing thing is I quit completely when I was pregnant – then I reason if I could stop having a motivator (health of baby) then I can’t be an alcoholic. And also if I don’t get any withdrawal symptons I can’t be an alcoholic. I’m confused.

  • Taylor

    Drinking is never good to health and mind. Occasional drinking may not affect the people, but when it becomes a regular practice, it results in addiction. Addiction may cause to risk even the very life of the addict and lead to negative consequences in their life. So it is always better to seek the help of the rehab centers that can cure one’s addiction problem. For related information, visit,

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hello to all, just passin’ through and wanted to wish everyone a great weekend. As you can tell from some (okay, most) of my posts above, brevity is not my strong point, but as we go into the weekend, if there was just one thought I could express– briefly– to all of my friends here, one thought that might help someone in their effort to break free from the grip of booze, it would be this…
    all of us, myself definitely included, have a tendency to make things 1) more dramatic, and 2) more complicated, than they really have to be. I know, truly I know, that we are all different, and that what worked for me may not work for everyone, but after many unsuccessful attempts to either cut back or stop drinking (all characterized by a lot of teeth-gnashing and angst and over-analysis which only served to perpetuate my preoccupation with the stuff), what finally worked for me was almost ridiculously simple, and completely devoid of fanfare. And that was just to wake up one morning and say, “I’m free. I deserve a better life. This isn’t complicated, it isn’t complicated at all. Alcohol has had me trapped for so long. The little monster, the alien, is laughing at me because he thinks he’s buried himself inside me permanently, that I’m helpless to do anything about it, that I am doomed to forever feed his hunger. Well, like hell I’m helpless. Today I begin starving him. We’ll see who’s laughing at the end of the day, and a year from now. I am free. My problem is solved.” Friends, at the heart of it all was just TAKING THE ISSUE OFF THE TABLE. Too simple to be true? Well, I definitely would have thought so too– but it worked. Simply decide to take alcohol off the table as an issue in your life, for good, period. And once you have done that, there is no longer anything to be preoccupied about, no struggle to engage in; we’re not deprived of anything, we’re simply free !! And soon we begin to notice… we’re losing weight in healthy increments; our complexion improves; our lower back (i.e. abused kidney) pain fades away; we can get pulled over by a policeman and not have to worry about being sloppy; our wallets almost explode (it was incredible how much money I was spending on alcohol, not even realizing it; this week I bought myself a new guitar); we don’t feel so much like taking naps all the time; we can go to bed after being out on a weekend night knowing that we’ll wake up in the morning feeling fine, while so many of our friends will have splitting headaches and sick stomachs and lose the day trying to feel halfway decent again. To my great surprise, I have also found that my sense of humor is sharper, my guitar-playing skills are better, and—- the big one— I am having WAY more fun when I go out socially than I did before, just knowing that I’m FREE from the grip of alcohol and every bad thing that it wrought. So… the best thing I can suggest, friends, is… keep it simple, do it quietly. Surprise yourself. Declare your freedom. Love living again. Well, so much for my lame attempt at brevity… hahahahahaha!! Hey, everyone have a GREAT weekend!! Be happy, just to BE !! Sincerely, Bill

  • John

    its always great to read your words bill, and i am always encouraged and i think you are so right about keeping it simple. i just want to celebrate with you all my three months sober day today. i was thinking when i quit drinking that i would re-evaluate at the end of three months, well let me say that the last thing in the world i would want to do right now is to have a drink. it is such a relief not having to worry about where the next drink will be, if i have enough money, if i will be pulled over by the cops, etc…all the stuff bill was saying. i’m down in australia at the moment and i was walking on this path in a down pour of rain on the coast, breathing in the rich air, taking in the beauty of the ocean….and i realized that my thoughts are so much clearer, my outlook on life is so much more positive since i’ve quit….my sincere best wishes to meg and cheri and everyone else who comes along on this path of living sober.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Thank you, John. I too send sincerest best wishes to Cheri and Meg and Randy, Mary, Jadira and Jimba, and everyone who, as you said, comes along this path of living sober. I sense that John would agree that, often to our great surprise, we soon discover that living sober DOESN’T mean living “deprived.” It means living FREE ! If I might throw a suggestion out there, it would be to avoid counting days (though we all tend to mark time that way), but rather think of it in terms of having broken away from a deadly trap, having re-gained your life and your self-respect, having let the best “you” shine thru, if you will. Not drinking alcohol isn’t something to keep a scorecard on– it’s simply a part of who you ARE now, kind of like being left-handed, and there’s really no need to pre-occupy or dwell on how many days, weeks, months or years I have been a lefty, or wonder if I’ll still be a lefty tomorrow or next month– because I know I will ALWAYS be that way! Left-handedness simply isn’t on the table as an issue in my life. The same goes for not drinking. Let me modify the no-counting suggestion: we can count to “one”, but that’s as far as we need to count— one LIFETIME. Anyone reading this can do it, I am so sure you can. Everyone have a great week !! -Bill

  • Dave

    Great site! I’m giving quitting another try myself. You would think after 4 duis, losing 6 figures gambling , tons of drugs, gaining 40 lbs and all the other nonsense it would be a no brainer. I’m 42, been drinking since grade school and smoking also. Most I ever went was 125 days totally clean then I thought I could come back and try to moderate or “gain control”..Since then I got 2 dui’s, drug charge and more of the same crap in the last 3 years…Thought getting two duis and losing that cash and doing drugs was just bad luck. Bad decision…Just venting here and will be going for day 3 tomorrow. Good luck to all and god bless – Cigs are next!

  • Randy

    Bill you are da man.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the read! Dave try reading “The Easy Way to Quit Smoking” by Allen Carr….helped me quit and the title is as it says.

  • barry

    i need help. I’m not an alcoholic although i drink 4/5 times a week my problem is when i drink i have to drink loads and when i am drunk i cant stop myself from doing crazy things i.e drugs. i can go without a drink for long periods (sometimes a week or more) its just when i do i can’t control myself. after a binge i will allways tell myself that that was the last time and i’ll never do it again but a week or so later i fall back into the same old routine- get drunk then take drugs, mostly coke but sometimes mephadrone or extacy. im 34 years old and live with my girlfriend and 10 year old daughter both of whom i love very much and they love me. i am scared of losing them both if i continue behaving like this. the problem is all of my freinds go down the pub and my social life revolves around the pub (one of my best mates is the landlord). its just my freinds seem to be able to know when to call it a night. im sorry if my problems seem somewhat trivial compered to others but perhaps just writing this down has helped me in some way.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Barry, your problem isn’t trivial at all. There are probably scores of people on here who can relate to what you’ve been dealing with. I’m certainly no expert, but hopefully I can offer a thought or two that might help you. Sometimes I think latching on to just one concept, and really letting it settle into your consciousness, can lead to more improvement than trying to juggle an entire regimen of things all at once. Kind of like in golf, where a guy or gal is having a horrible time hitting a decent drive, and the club “pro”, rather then trying to re-design their entire swing, takes a look at it and suggests just one seemingly minor adjustment, and wham-o, suddenly they’re knocking the ball 220 yards off the tee, right down central! So, if I could suggest just one simple thing for you, in light of what you wrote above, it would be to think of your lady, and that precious little girl, and how they love you and need you, and how you would feel if something happened to one of them some night, perhaps an emergency of some kind, and you were unable to help or save them because you were messed up. Or if, because of the effects of the alcohol or drugs, you got into an accident and were killed, and that’s how you were taken away from them, how sad it would be. I’ll only add that in the one year since I stopped drinking, I have been absolutely blown away by how much fun I’m having, how much I’m enjoying each day, without alcohol, and believe me, I NEVER thought it would be this way. And I can still meet up with my drinkin’ friends and enjoy an evening out, except I just drink iced tea, or soda, or maybe a club soda with a lime, or a virgin bloody mary, and it works out FINE that way, and the best part is waking up the next morning….. feeling GOOD! I know it may be hard to believe, but once you experience it, I honestly think you’ll see. So… in the interest of fairness… you’ve been willing to experiment with alcohol and drugs, okay, well now, how ’bout you mark your calendar and agree to try the non-alcohol/non-drug approach for 30 consecutive days, starting tomorrow, and just see what happens? If after 30 days you’re absolutely friggin’ miserable, allright then, you can come back here and we can talk about it, and if you fall off the wagon, everyone here will still love you because we know how it is. Sounds like a no-risk guarantee to me… whaddya say?

  • barry

    thanks for your wise words. i totally see where you are comming from regarding my family i guess i’m a really lucky guy to have what i’ve got. i suppose when my pals ask me to come out for a drink i forget whats important in my life and what i need to do is try and focus on what really matters to me lie you said. so here we go the date today is 9 march and i am going to aim to be sober for 30 days! if its not being to nosey can i ask what you focused on when you gave up the drink? and by the way nice one on being clean for a year.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Thank you, Barry, and congratulations on your decision to do the 30-day trial !! Focus-wise, I would say, don’t think of it as 30 days of “deprivation”; think of it as 30 days of FREEDOM. I believe you will see a different and more likeable “you” emerge. Of course, it’s been there all along, only now you’ll be free to shine, free to have a positive impact on everyone around you– especially that lady, and that little girl, and when they need you it’s going to feel so good to know that you’re not impaired, and that you can be their go-to guy, the one person who will never let them down. Hey, good luck, man, and please check in with us periodically, ’cause we’re all behind you! -Bill

  • jim

    What to sAY?
    I think I’m doomed. I am an alcoholic/addict. Ok. no doubt about it! But i still think that i can smoke weed with no problems. Then every so often i get the great idea that i can handle a few drinks with my buds. So when i smoke, that’s it. I smoke, i eat i go home and go to bed. But when I drink, i drink, and drink and blackout, and smoke crack and hang out with strangers, not the nicest or cleanest people either. Something always happens when i drink, 8 weeks ago i ended up in jail with a domestic assault and a broken ankle. No idea how i broke my ankle. I’ve also jumped out of a moving taxi and the war stories go on. i am 28, i live with my fiance and 6 month old son. i love them both with all my heart. My woman is at her rope’s end and so i am. I’ve done na, ca and aa. AA worked for me at one time and i got clean and sober for 9 months. Now I am scarred to reach out, i just don’t feel comfortable in big groups or sharing in a meeting. I just drank two nights ago, lost 600 bucks because i went looking for the crack and the remorse and guilt are fresh in my mind. My gf’s pissed and i’m at a loss. What do i do before the pain and misery i feel now are forgotten in my mind and i go out and drink again. what do i do? I don’t want to put my fiance and son though this. Or my self. but i know the day will return in the near future where i”ll want to drink. Please help! seriously i feel like my life is just going to get worse. I think i’m almost ready to give up, this feeling of impending doom is getting worse and i think dying would be easier. Living my life just feels so damn hard. What do i do?

  • jim

    I forgot to mention that even though i feel so bad and am aware that really bad things happen to me nearly everytime i decide to drink, i still think that i like to drink. Isn’t that fu@#ed?

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hi Jim, I am just on my way to an outside appointment, but wanted to at least let you know that a whole bunch of people here can relate to your story, and your discouragement. I am like you– I’m not real comfortable in large groups or sharing in a meeting, or other structured approaches. At one time, I was totally consumed with the itch, the craving, for alcohol. It was the focal point around which I constructed my daily activities. And it never once did me any good, not once. Interestingly, right at the moment that I concluded it was a curse and a problem way too big and complicated to ever conquer, I decided to follow the advice I found in a book I had been reading— to adopt a new, and simple, mindset, and just say to myself, “I can’t drink and get away with it. So, I quit. Right now. For good. Case closed. My problem is solved.” Well, it worked, and I can still hardly believe it. It was so damn simple. It was like I had been assuming all along that stopping drinking would by definition have to involve large helpings of drama, pain and suffering, and that a person can’t succeed in stopping without going thru a guantlet of all those things. That little alien creature that lives for us to feed his thirst for alcohol definitely wants us to assume that quitting will be a long, painful, excrutiating process. But what a surprise HE got when I had the audacity to do something so incredibly simple– to just say, very casually, very quietly, “I quit. That chapter in my life is over now. Gee, that was easy.” And it’s been over a year since I touched the stuff. I think you can do the same thing. It’s only a problem if you let it be a problem, if you entertain it and keep letting it share the stage in your life. That little alien guy? Just say to him, “Screw you.” Think of your self as kicking his butt, and enjoying every minute of it. You’re so much stronger than he is. -Bill

  • Patrick

    Inspiring words, Bill. You are truly an asset to this website.

    But when I look back at my own recovery, I still see a lot of the drama in the early days that you talk about possibly avoiding.

    I agree with you that a person can avoid much of the struggle, by simply letting it all go. But I for one could not do that early on. I can remember being frustrated, and still pretty miserable at like 3 months sober. I held on, and things got better fast. But I think it is pretty normal to expect at least some struggle in early recovery.

    I know I had some. I could not avoid all drama.

    But you are definitely on to something with your ideas, and I think if I had known more, then I could have struggled much less.

    At any rate, your ideas about recovery are awesome. Thanks for sharing them so much!

  • Shane White

    Good day all,

    Like a great many of you, I have also decided that enough is enough, and as of 3/13/10 I have decided to quit. My main issue is that my entire friend group and their activities revolve around drinking, and in order to successfully quit I may have to distance myself from them. My main issue is that as of next year I will be entering college (I took a gap year) and from what I have heard is that college life essentially revolves around drinking, how do I avoid these temptations? I of course plan to take each day as it comes for the moment and hopefully this is enough, and this problem does not ruin me. This will be my second time trying to quit, my first lasting only 3 weeks.

  • tom

    I know I’m an addict. I’m not in denial or anything. Its been going on too long now. I’ve been drinking excessively for about 5 years now. Its screwing everything up. I call in to work at least 5-6 days a month sometimes after I’m suppose to be there. I’m lucky I haven’t gotten fired yet. I also get so hammered that I black-out, me and my girlfriend will get into a huge fight (nothing physical) and the next day I wont even remember the fight or what we were fighting about. I’m sick and tired of this lifestyle. I need to stop, I want to stop, but I cant. I have tried to get help at the rehab center here in town but that didn’t work for me. I went in and did the evaluation and they told me it would be a month and a half wait until they could “fit me in”, and said don’t drink prior to then …..hmm. If I could go a month and a half without drinking on my own then why would I need to go to rehab? Well they did tell me when there AA meetings were and I went to one (at the same place,during the wait), It just seemed like a lot of the people attending didn’t want to be there or they were only there for court. So what do I do? Where do I go? It seems easy to quit after a bad night because you feel like crap, but after a few days of not drinking and you start feeling good again is when the addiction is at its fullest.
    OK I’m going on too long about this but did anybody have the same problem, of course the drinking part but problems with the rehab or the AA part? I need help.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Patrick, thank you for your thoughts and perspective. Hopefully, all of us can pull something good and helpful from the wide range of thoughts and experiences shared here. Shane and Tom, good luck to both of you. Please stop by here periodically and let us know how it’s going, no matter what the news; you’re always among friends here. Sometimes when it seems so overwhelming to think about changing a behavior, the radical course of action is to very quietly just start engaging in the behavior you ultimately want to achieve– in our case, being a person who doesn’t consume alcohol. I think it’s actually possible to “trick” the little craving-monster by treating the subject as if it’s no big deal, declaring that it’s all really so simple, a no-brainer, if you will, as in, “Okay, I drink other stuff now, so… whoopee, what’s so complicated about that?” You can do it. Remember, alcohol isn’t going to be a problem unless YOUR arm hoists that glass up to YOUR mouth, and that’s totally within YOUR control– nobody can make you do that. Keep it simple, and be aware of the really good things that will begin to show themselves once you declare that you’re done, for life, and I mean really, seriously done for life. The good happens immediately, because you KNOW you’re never going to drink again– you’re free to be happy right NOW; the issue is GONE, your problem is solved. Take a whack at that mindset, guys. You just might surprise yourself. -Bill

  • JPVD

    I just wanted to ‘check in’ for anyone following these posts from people who say they are going to give up (me being one of them earlier).

    I have been on and off the booze for many months now…I was upset by my inability to control my ability to quit. About 6 weeks ago i realised (I actually added up the days) that i had been ‘off’ the drink much much more than i had been ‘on’. I had stopped drinking for 3 weeks, only to have a bender for a few days, then repeat.

    It was strangely uplifting; I was aware that i had made a first step in fighting my alcoholism by being ableto go for fairly extended periods without drinking. if i could only now find the strength to get through those ‘bender’ times then icould really become a non-drinker.

    I’m finding it easier and easier, and i have suffered through a real alcohol-craving scare (very tough day at work and then fight with the wife; usually means a few drinks) and came out the other side sober and better.

    Imust say that I might find it easier than others to give up. I’m 38 with 2 kids under 24 months old. my wife stopped drinking 3 years ago and my social-life revolves around my family now. Every time i drink it turns out to be a negative thing in someway (usually because i’m a lsoer hung-over dad). So I really feel foryou young people who are trying very hard to give-up at a time when alcohol seems to play such a large part of your life.


  • John

    its been a while since i checked in with this site…..good to read the words both troublesome and encouraging….life can be such a struggle, the fights, the losses, and we somehow think if we could just get away from it all….when really the trials are there to bring us to another place, a better place, a stronger place. our lives are so short, we see that when we see our kids grow and change so quickly.
    i finished out a tour with my band and managed not a drink one, and i have to tell you that it wasn’t all that easy being around people drinking and getting drunk on a daily basis. i was always of the frank sinatra philosophy of feeling sorry for those who didn’t drink. now i have to admit to thinking that i feel sorry for the drinkers….and i was just on that other side 4 months ago….these are tough times and i know it would be worse if i was drinking again. we have our house up for sale, and i’m seeing so much of what i worked so hard for slipping away. but i know for sure i’m doing something right by not drinking. where i may be losing in this world i know i’m gaining in another. its not easy, i’ve written here on this blog that it is easy….but its not…..but i know now it is worth it….the not drinking is a daily dose of good that is for sure….and the knowing that i’ve come through to the other side for this day is my deep breath….stay sober, stay humble.

  • Ruth

    I am 25 yrs single mum and also a christian i started drinking 2007 and it started as having fun but now its getting worse. I drink everyday is like i cant sleep without being tipsy. And when i am drunk i do stupid and disgusting things then the next day i feel very embarrased sometimes i dont even remember doing that. i really need help i have gained a lot of weight and i dont feel good about myself whats worse i have serious financial problems and when i have money the first thing i do is to buy booze even now i am at work but i am thinking about it. How do i stop this monster that i have created to leave me alone? i need my life back i need to be sober and leave a happy life. i am also concerned about my health most importantly my family and a child i have as young as he is i feel i am abusing him imotionally please assist me cause this is killing me i want to stop what do i do?

  • Ruth

    Hi Cheri

    Me and you looks like we are on the same spot i have also gained weight i feel ugly and not sexy and my boy as well he even knows the name of my booze and he is only 2 yrs that hurts me so bad. and money i am dead broke all the time and a little piece of money i get buy booze. and believe me that hurts me so bad. and now i found a new boyfriend i am afraid i am gonna loose him cause sometimes he complains about it. and i dont want to loose him

  • Tav

    Hi all. I got up this morning and decided that I needed to stop drinking for good. I have a rather long history with alcohol and the trouble that goes along with it. I have had periods of sobriety a year here a year there, which generally happened after getting in some sort of trouble. I always knew that I would go back though. Those periods of sobriety were a struggle for me because that little part of my brain still wanted to drink. I have been drinking pretty steadily now for the past 8 months. I keep vowing to not drink anymore, but I haven’t really meant it. I keep thinking that I can just have a few, but as soon as I have a buzz going I want more and more.

    I have a girlfriend that I love very much who has a daughter who I also love. If I am going to start a family I can’t do so while I am drinking. I have been through a lot of AA classes, but never felt like I belonged there. I knew that people could just say no and be done with it without a program. My father did it and so have many others. Finally giving into the fact that I am an Alcoholic and can not drink gives me hope. I think that losing hope is the worst thing for an alcoholic. Forgiving myself for my failures is like a huge weight being lifted off of my chest.

    Once again I am at day one, but this will be my last day one. Thanks to all who have posted and shared their wisdom. Will post again with my progress in a week.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Tav, Ruth, John, JPVD and everyone here:
    Just want to say hello, and wish you all the best as another weekend approaches. Remember we’re all in the same boat; I have found much strength in that realization. So many times I will notice that little itch developing, and I’ll feel tempted to get into that “poor-me-I-wanna-cop-a-buzz” mindset, and then I’ll think of you guys and girls, out there in your respective corners of the world, trying to make it through the day, just like me, facing down the same beast that I do; and it becomes easier, knowing we all share the same struggle, that I’m not alone, that we all care what happens to each other. Best to all of my friends here. -Bill

  • Josh

    Great website, I’m glad I found it. JPVD = you and I are in a very similar place. I’m 35 with 3 kids (stepson = 10, daughter = 3, son = 2). I love my family with all my heart, they are my daily inspiration. However, on the weekends instead of really spending quality time with them I end up spending quality time with a fridge full of cold ones. Friday night is usually a six pack, Saturday is at least a 12 pack + a few, and Sunday is usually a 12 pack. Come Monday I’m hung over, bloated, depressed and kick myself for squandering yet another weekend that I could have spent in a 1,000 better ways – mainly with my kids. Even though I drink at home so I’m with the kids, I’m not ‘with’ the kids. My memories of their growing up is fuzzy because of the buzz I chase down every weekend. How sad is that. So today I’m declaring that I will not drink a single drop of booze for 2 weeks. That’s going to be my first step. That’s 2 weekends with a clear head, spending quality time with my kids. What can be better than that? Plus I’m running my first 5k in two weeks, so the timing works out well.

    I don’t want to be the loser, drunk/hungover Dad anymore. Life is better than that, I’m better than that. Period. I’m not a college frat boy anymore, time to stop acting like one.

    I’ll be back to post about my success.


  • amar

    I am 58 years old i have a good job and a loving wife.I do not drink during the week but come Saturday I start during in the evening I drink so much that sometimes dont remeber what I did that night I sometimes do the same on Sunday.I am going to try to stop altogether wish me luck.
    I realize I do have a major problem

  • Jerry

    Im a 29 year old students that works the night shift.I have this problem that everytime that i get my days off i get the urge to drink.I start with one or two beers and the time i know it im already drunk been like this for a few years i lost alot , lost the best girl that anyone could ever had,all do to this drinking.Everytime that i drink i wake up the next day scare and confuse.I realy want to stop drinking i can’t do this anymore all my time flyis by when im drunk.So if u have any advise could u please let me know i will appreciate any little help.Thank you.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Josh, Amar and Jerry, and all, it’s amazing how each of your stories has one element or another that reminds me exactly of my own. One thing I see that they all have in common is the notion that, “Hey, dammit, this is bull, I am wasting my life with this drinking, missing out on so many great things, limiting myself so much, and I’m done with it now, D-O-N-E with it, and who says I have no power over this?? — well, I DO have power over it! NOBODY can make me take that drink, and besides, why in the hell would I want to, when I can see so clearly that it’s hurting me, and the ones who love me and depend on me, so badly???” Think of the urge to drink as that little alien creature, picture him smirking at you, so sure he’s got you trapped for good—- and then enjoy drop-kicking his butt into the next hemisphere!! You CAN do it !! He CAN’T beat you !! Everyone have a good week !!! -Bill

  • Josh

    Hey Bill, thanks for the post. I’m looking forward to posting an update Monday that goes something like “Wow, didn’t have a drink all weekend and let me tell you…I fell freakin’ great! Had a blast playing with the kids this weekend, finished a book, slept like a baby and got a ton of stuff done around the house. What a great life!”. It’ll happen for one reason only…I want it to and have the control.

  • jon

    i happened by this site after another morning of realizing that for so long, drinking has defined me as a person. god… i dont even know where to begin this saga. i think its really gotten out of control the past 10 years which, oddly enough, have also been the happiest 10 years of my life. I met my wife and we have 4 wonderful kids together. im not really sure when it got out of control. it went from drinking a little, to drinking a little more, to missing my daughters first birthday beacuse i was drunk. i wish there was some way i could take that back. ive wanted to stop for so long and have known im an addict for what feels like years now. im just afraid that its stronger than me. every time i make the resolve to quit, i find myself drinking again in less than a week. ive looked at AA and attempted to read the big book, which really didnt seem to connect with me. so, now im not sure where i am in life. im 38 this year and just tired. tired of drinking and tired of trying to fight this addiction. i feel like its winning and i just dont know what to do anymore..

  • Josh

    Hey Jon, sounds like you and I are in similar situations (although everyone’s situation is different in the end). Keep up the fight brother, I know that I am. Being the best Dad to my kids is simply just worth it…and I can’t be the best if I’m a drunk. That was the old me, that person no longer exists. I know that he will try and come back to life, and there will be times that’ll be tough for me to fight him back, but I will. It’s all about my kids. It’s all about my kids. Hang in there…lets fight together.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Sounds great, Josh !! We’ll be looking forward to your update !!

  • John

    hey josh and jon, just wanted to say i’m a dad too, i have a 4 year old and two teen age daughters. since i’ve quit drinking i have so much more energy and time to spend with them. the kids are such sponges, i know for a fact not having alcohol in the house is a positive statement to my daughters. they have witnessed my wife and i drinking at least a bottle of wine at dinner every day for years….i think now that we have stopped, the connection at dinner time is much more focused. keep it simple, and become one of those people who just don’t drink anymore… will be shocked as the months roll by how much more time, energy and money you will have….subtle moments with your kids that you would never have had if you were thinking about where your next drink will be and the time for it….i also feel like my mind is working better, the actual brain is functioning and firing in a better way….like bill says, you will always have friends here who will read your thoughts and be with you. read past comments, and patricks words, each day you are not drinking brings you closer to who you really are. all the best to you all and your kids and families.

  • Josh

    Thanks for sharing your success story John, that’s really what I need to hear! Guys who were in similar situations as I but have changed their lives for the better. One thing that scares me is, I feel guilty now about time ‘lost’ with my kids who are still young, imagine how I’d feel if I drank away their entire youths? Wow, that guilt would eat me alive. I’m glad I’m putting that lifestyle behind me now and not waiting a could decades to finally figure it out. I can see glimpses of my sober future…and I think I’m going to like it. But, one weekend at a time.

  • amar

    Every weekend I feel that it is not complete if I don’t drink on Saturday or that I cant have a good time at a party or when I am around other people if I don’t drink.I now realize that I am the one who thinks that I am having a good time when I drink and not the people I am with.

  • amar

    I feel that I can not have a good time with out drinking.When someone comes over or I am watching
    a sports event with friends I feel the need I need to have a drink.And I wakeup the next morning
    hoping I did not due something stupid.
    I recently heard a song by Randy Travis and could have been written about me.

    You’re hand was wrapped around the bottle

    You’re arm wrapped around her waist

    You were running that full throttle

    Big smile upon your face

    You were the life of the party

    But it was only in your mind

    I hate to be the one to tell you

    You didn’t have a good time


  • amar

    The weekend is coming up and I hope I can make without drinking.
    Every time I get together with friends or at a party I feel the need to to drink,and the morning after I hope I did not mess up.I heard a song by Randy Travis it could been written about me.
    Well I bet you don’t remember
    Knelling in that bathroom stall
    Praying for salvation
    And cursing alcohol
    And you went right back to drinking
    Like everything was fine
    But let’s be honest with each other
    You didn’t have a good time

  • Bill Sheehan

    Amar, it sounds like you are having a rough time of it right now. Try to hang in there, try to take a good deep breath and let yourself just be calm; you know you can do it, and we’re all rooting for you! -Bill

  • Tav

    Evening! Well it has been over a week now and I am proud to say I haven’t had a drink. Granted I have had my moments, but all I have to do is remind myself that drinking will never get me what I am looking for. Hopefully the longer I am away from drinking the easier it will be to continue to say no. So many positive things are happening with just 10 or so days away from it. I have had a very productive week and gotten more done this week than I did in a few weeks while drinking. My head is starting to clear up, so I guess I didn’t kill all my brain cells.

    Have a happy and healthy sober week!!!

  • Tom

    I’m a 24 year old graduate student getting my doctorate in molecular genetics. I’ve got a wonderful girlfriend of 3 years who I plan on marrying – my life is perfect on the surface. During the week, I don’t generally drink. If I do, it’s a few beers at a happy hour and that’s it. Drinking doesn’t interfere with my life, but the weekends roll around and it all goes to crap. I drink myself into oblivion, often downing 20 beers or so, treat my girlfriend like crap, and wake up every Saturday and Sunday feeling guilty and sick to my stomach because of how I treated her. I’ve tried to stop and have for a weekend or two here and there, but drinking has been such a large part of my and my friends’ social lives that it’s extremely difficult. Now I’ve realized that if I don’t stop, I’m going to lose the best thing that’s ever happened to me. This morning was the first time anyone told me “I think you have a drinking problem”, and it came from her. I am devastated. I can’t sleep, and all I can think about is how I hurt her. On top of all that, today is her birthday and I know she’s not happy. I’m embarrassed and don’t know what to do, but I know I need to stop drinking. Any and all help would be appreciated.

  • Josh

    Hey Tom….I am in no position to give advice, that’s for sure. But I will say that my drinking pattern is similar to yours, but I’m a decade older w/ a wife and kids. If you can get in front of this now, you will be so thankful by the time you have a family of your own. I spent this weekend stone sober, not a drop to drink. It was the best weekend, I accomplished a lot and spent some great time w/ my kids. I’m knocking booze way down on my priority list (it used to be #1 on the weekends). The only silver bullet I have found is myself, I keep telling myself that once I set my mind to something…I mean really set it…I’m usually successful at achieving it. Getting your doctorate in molecular genetics means that you have probably cleared a lot of tough hurdles over your 24 years, so I guess life has just presented you a new one (btw…life never runs out of hurdles for us, that’s for sure). Good luck in clearing it!

  • Chelsea

    I have such a problem!! My first and only love who I have been with for seven years and has always drank, not a lot at first and progressed over the years, I am just no realizing that he is an alcoholic. I always thought that he had some pretty strange friends. I had come to the point with him that I thought he just didn’t love me anymore. But once I sat back and started hanging out with him and his friends who drink regularly I noticed that he if around alcohol will just like those friend drink it on a daily basis as well. I already went through having a drug addiced step father and now fear that the love of my life is gone now. We live together currently but I just sit here and watch his true self fade away daily. I tried to drink and to do the thing I knew he liked to do, but I can’t do it I have to be resposible because of my two small children. I can’t make him quit and I know it, but I don’t know what to do to have the man I first fell in love wh back. Alcohol has taken him from me and I’m so stressed.

  • Paula

    I just don’t know. I can’t imagine my life with no alcohol. How did I get here? How can I get out of here. I thought that I had it under control. I rarely drink during the week. I live for drinking on the weekends. I hear myself in the stories on this site. I thought I was cool. I thought that I was ok. I don’t think I am……

  • Josh

    Paula…you’re apparently my long lost sister. Same drinking pattern here. Last weekend was my first stone sober weekend in a year, and it was awesome. I can feel my confidence and personality actually coming back, which is weird (cause I thought my drinking help w/ confidence and personality). I’m planning on having a sober weekend again this weekend, but one day at a time…and the weekend isn’t here yet.

  • Kim

    Hello all – well today is the first Friday in over three years that I am sober. Granted I may be still hungover from last night when I finally hit rock bottom. It was scarey but at 39 i found myself out of a home, unemployed, no money and truly don’t know my children anymore all because of my drinking. Last night I again got drunk did things that will take me awhile to fix but for once realized i needed help. I reached for my phone and instead of drunk texting i texted my best friend and told her I needed help. So today I am in another state with my dear friend and working through how to get my life back. I admitted to myself that I have a drinking problem and have aloud it to take away all the good in my life. I want my life back and will take it one step at a time. So this friday night i spend not in a bar but researching how to stop drinking. I have to admit it actually feels good not to be drunk! I look forward to waking up sober tomorrow morning. Thank you for this site – it truly helped to read others struggles and acheivements.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hey Kim, Josh, Paula, Chelsea, Tom, Tav and all,
    just a quick note to say hello, and how nice it is to know that, despite the wide variations in our respective backgrounds, ages, and stories, we all share a common struggle. So many dynamics, so many approaches to beating it. I always think to myself, what would I tell someone if they needed just one piece of advice, based on my own experience (35-year beer-guzzling career; tried scores of times, unsuccessfully, to “cut back”; spent most of my days wondering when I’d be able to get my hands on a brew; stopped cold turkey just over a year ago and don’t miss it at all)–and what if I only had a couple of minutes to render that advice, so it had to be really focused? Well, for what it’s worth, I’d probably say this: You know that craving, that itch, that eats away at your consciousness and screams incessantly for a drink? Think of it as a slimy little alien creature. And then, in your imagination, brandish a sword and cut him off at the knees. Then do something radical– at that moment, as you envision the creature withering and dying, declare victory! And I don’t mean declare that you’re “GOING TO” beat it– I mean declare that you HAVE beaten it (past tense !!), that the struggle is OVER, that you are free, RIGHT NOW, from the creature’s grasp, and that you now have your life back and can’t wait to revel in the joys of all those things that have been lost to the booze for so long !! And to top it all off, just to add another measure of thinking-outside-the-box, declare with absolute confidence that it was EASY, that it was the most simple, non-dramatic, decision that a person could ever make, and that you are FREE from the grip of alcohol for good, for the rest of your life. It’s not going to be something that you “do” or “don’t do”; it’s simply going to be a matter of who you ARE– someone who loves life, and feels so much gratitude for all the good things that are there for us every day, and is alert to opportunities to help others, even in the smallest and most quiet of ways, and in our specific context… someone who drinks lots of water, and cranberry juice, and maybe coffee, and tea. This is what worked for me, friends. I’m over a year free now, and I feel great every day, I think more clearly, I sleep way better, I have lost weight without even trying, my complexion is nicer, and I can honestly tell you, when I drive by some of the establishments I used to spend so much time in, I am actually repulsed; I am basically a new man. You can do this too, there’s absolutely no question about it, you can. Just pick your day, say bye-bye to that little beast, and be that new person. You will not regret it. Be willing to declare victory– right now. Be willing to believe that it will be easy. Best to all, Bill

  • JPVD

    Hi all. I have had a relapse and feel quite silly about it.

    As mentioned in the first section of this site is the idea of strategies for ‘massive change’ and not useless ‘relapse prevention techniques'; so true. I failed and sat night went out and got on the booze… no problems. Then sunday bought some beer for a bbq.

    Nothing extreme happened, but I let my wife, kids, job and myself down. My wife had to pick up the slack because i had a couple and was useless around the place. My kids didn’t get energetic funny daddy. My job suffered because i didn’t give the quality as usual. And I failed myself for obvious reasons.

    What sort of mindset does a man have when he constantly refuses to buy a breadmaker for his wife and a tonka toy for his kids because they are ‘too expensive’- but then readily plops the same amount down for a single weekend of alcohol?

    I’m getting there…

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hey there, JPVD, we admire your courage in coming back on here to admit that you didn’t do as well as you intended. I was going to say that we all forgive you, and encourage you to forgive yourself, but there’s really nothing to forgive, as you are a human being who is imperfect and sometimes messes up, just like the rest of us, and we’re all subject to that, we’re all made that way. For what it’s worth, I would just say, “Allright, that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but it’s SO “yesterday”, and it’s gone, and my slate is clean now, and from this moment forward I’m a non-drinker– I’m not going to worry about keeping track of how many days in a row I don’t drink, or nurse an ounce of regret over my recent lapse, because that is now going to be irrelevant, because being the non-drinker that I AM, RIGHT NOW, means that THE REST OF MY LIFE will be enjoyed without drinking, and thus there’s no need to look back, and no need to count days moving forward.” So, JPVD, everything is okay! Enjoy your family, and let them enjoy you !! -Bill

  • John

    good to read you all. i’ve come back to check in because i am extremely challenged right now. getting close to 5 months sober now and it really feels amazing, i’m so thankfull to not be drinking you wouldn’t believe it…..but at the present moment i am stuck in europe and can’t leave because of the volcanic cloud….staying with some dear friends and its so great to be spending time with them, but we are getting ready to have a bbq and i can see about 10 bottles of wine lined up….the stress of not knowing when i can get home to my family, on top of not having my usual routine of work to keep me busy, i feel like i could crack….i don’t want to, believe me i don’t, and it really helped to read your words again bill….and i think i will be fine….just wanted to vent. hopefully we will be able to get to some place and try to get some work done….and better yet a clear sky and a flight home.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Wow, hang in there, John !! That is quite a unique fix you’re in !! Try to remember that WHO YOU ARE (i.e. a non-drinker) isn’t going to be affected by the particular circumstances you’re in, and that it’s your several months of non-drinking that will now equip you with the clarity of mind to relax, avoid panicking, and just happily pass on that vino. Good luck to you, and get home safely– and soon, hopefully !! -Bill

  • Dave R

    I too am an addict. I was raised irish catholic and drinking was a huge part of my family. I always said I would stop when I had kids. Well I have two boys now and I have missed out on spending quality time because I was hungover. I have a caring wife and a great career. People at my job wouldnt believe that I even drank. Its funny because I cant picture my life without beer in it.
    After reading these stories I am ready to prove something to myself. I want to be a better father, husband, and just feel better in general. wish me luck. Dave R.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Dave, your thoughts are so appreciated, as you hit on something that rings such a familiar chord for many, if not most, of us here– “I can’t picture my life without beer in it.” That is EXACTLY what I thought too. And that is the one aspect of quitting that has surprised me the most– I never thought I’d be saying this, but holy s**t, after a 35-year Natty Light guzzling career, I am SO glad I got free of the stuff . It didn’t take long, after quitting, to notice that: I feel way better in general, way more energetic; I lost weight without trying to; I sleep a LOT better; I have tons more money in my wallet at any given time; my complexion is better; I feel great all the time; I don’t have to worry about getting pulled over on my way home from an evening out; I think more clearly; I don’t lose days sleeping or just barely functioning because I feel like crap from getting hammered the night before. I think what it took, for me, was to finally just sit myself down and say, “Hey, this stuff doesn’t do anything truly good or positive for you, Bill; it never did; it has only led to bad things; now, you need to show some maturity and just stop; does it really need to be any more complicated than that?” And then the decision became easy. A total no-brainer. I suggest that you look at it as an easy decision too– don’t try to out-think it, and don’t be afraid of what’s to come, because what’s to come is going to be only good stuff, you will soon see. Also, don’t count days; “you not drinking” is going to simply be something that “is”, a simple reality, and it no more needs to be kept track of than any other feature of your personal constitution, such a being left-handed, or having brown hair. I hope these thoughts might help at least a little. -Bill

  • JPVD

    Hi out there;
    I hope everyone who has been brave neough to at least get the courage to write their admittance (even anonomously) is doing well.
    John; did you make it home ok?
    I’m following Patrick’s advice about strategies for change; and become as Bill keeps saying, just a non-drinker…no biggie.
    I remember when i used to smoke and it consumed a great deal ofmy time/money. Quitting was hard, but now (and for the last many years since) I don’t even think about it. This is my goal for alcohol.

    I added up the money saved from not drinking in the last few weeks and bought my kid a Radio Flyer wagon. So much better to be able to pull the little tike around fresh and sober in the morning rather than being hung-over and grouchy with nothing for the kid to play with other than an empty beer carton!

    onwards and upwards


  • Bill Sheehan

    Well-said, JPVD !! Hope everyone is doing okay and has a nice weekend ! I am going to pick up a new supply of inexpensive bottled water later today. I’m finding that I get a very positive psychological boost just from the idea of keeping myself well-hydrated, and the water bottle just may serve to calm that fidgety tendency we all sometimes have to keep our hands occupied with something (and though I’ve never been a smoker, I hear that’s kind of a factor with cigarettes too– the fidget factor). After a couple of waters, I also find that the desire to drink ANYTHING just goes away… well… best to all, and remember, whether we succeed or fail in what we’re trying to do today, let’s just not stop trying. Bill

  • John

    hi everybody! yes. thankyou. i made it home just in time to go to my next gig. had my first sober birthday in 30+ years…amazing. i was thinking back to how many wasted birthdays i’ve had….trying to make the room stop spinnning…good job on the wagon jpvd, no pun intended! always great to read you bill. yeah, lots of water and juices….i’m finding out more and more the adventure of being sober. i go through these times when i think it isn’t that much different….then i realize it is truly a whole new world….a brave new world….god bless to all who are reading these comments and trying to stop drinking. hang in there. things will get better and better with each day of clarity. vintage pelligrino! 150 years old! a fine drink. think i’ll have one. cheers!

  • Bill Sheehan

    Great news, John !! Glad you got home safely, and hope the gig went well !! Thanks for your thoughts about your birthday too; all of us can’t help but be encouraged and inspired by them! Hoping that everyone here is doing okay. And though we do our very best to stay positive every day and appreciate the good things that being non-drinkers can bring to us, perhaps just a word about “messing up” is in order– I’m luck enough not to have messed up in over a year now, but it’s certainly possible that I could. I just want to remind anyone who may have messed up recently, and perhaps feels really discouraged about it, and maybe isn’t particularly crazy about coming here to talk about it, that being messup-free is NOT a prerequisite for participating here!! If you try to be a non-drinker, and you take a fall, and you try again, and fall again, no matter how many times, you are as welcome here as ever (each of us already knows that this could be us, perhaps this time next year)—– and you will find only support and encouragement here. If you messed up yesterday, then
    okay, surprise, surprise, you’re human, and that’s over and done and gone, and you start today, and if you are a non-drinker today, it doesn’t matter how many times you might have fallen, or how recently, because THIS becomes your day to become a non-drinker, for good. Imagine a musician, desirous of mastering a particular (and perhaps difficult) passage or riff… the desire is there, but consider how many times he or she will take a whack at it and goof it up, before finally getting it down perfectly. John can probably relate to that. And once that happens, should the enjoyment or merit of having finally mastered the passage somehow be diminished or diluted just because that ultimate success was preceded by HUNDREDS of failed attempts? No way. So perhaps we can all agree that failing isn’t the end of the world, it’s not cause to despair. And it’s definitely not a reason to stay away from here. If we fail, we don’t get excited; we just say, okay, if I have fallen today, then tomorrow is my day to succeed. Everyone have a great weekend !! And drink a bunch of water !!!! Best, Bill

  • Libby

    Hi all!! Yes, today is my first day of “not drinking” anymore. After a lot of mess ups in my life the past 14 years, I have finally realized that drinking is BAD, VERY BAD. No more denial!! Last night I almost had a severe car accident after that there was serious domestic violence and today I sit with a black eye and half my hair missing with a aching body that could well have been hit by nunerous trains. And worst of all… a messed up relationship and lots of regrets and heartache!! What to do?! Drinking has now finally destroyed my life the way it did with a lot of my family members!!! I guess selfpitty will not help this time, it’s seriously time for something more to be done!!! Guys and girls, I would appreciate any advice and encouragement cause I am not able to join a support group where I am at the moment. Hope to hear from you…

  • Bill Sheehan

    Libby, all of us here could have different perspectives and angles in giving advice to you, there’s so much to say, but we all have one thing in common— we’re concerned about you and we want you to be okay. It does sound like the alcohol factor really helped to “fuel” recent negative events in your life, and if you have come to the realization that it’s time to say “No More”, that’s a huge step toward turning your life around. Most of us here probably don’t have professional training in this subject matter, but still, we can speak from our often similar experiences and throw out ideas that worked for us and just might work for you too. If you can get thru today, without a drink, declare yourself a non-drinker, right now, and realize how horrible alcohol has been for you, then you can say, “Why would I waste another minute of my life craving that crap? Look what it’s done to me. I’m finished with my drinking career. It’s O-V-E-R !! I deserve better. I deserve to be the best I can be. I will no more feel inclined to drink alcohol than I would be inclined to drink paint thinner. I will not carry on a struggle, or have my willpower put to some awful test– no friggin’ way– alcohol has done nothing but bad and ruinous things for me, and I am now free of its clutches, right NOW, I am FREE !! I am a non-drinker!” Once you have done that, notice the good things that begin to happen in your life. Best to you, Libby !! We’re all rooting for you !! Please let us know how things are going!

  • Sandy

    Hi my name is Sandy, I have also decided to become a non-drinker, I have been trying to control my drinking for years now, I have lost most of my friends as they say I get aggressive when I drink, I can’t see it ofcourse. Over the years drinking has been the cause of numerous robbings due to me not being aware of my surroundings, a couple of muggings, being followed home and attempted rape, domestic violence even. I still have my family and my job and I know when I have a few sober days in a row that my general paranoia goes away and I start to feel naturally joyful again. Trouble is I always think I can handle just one or two beers and go home, I never do ofcourse just end up going from bar to bar thinking I am having a great time. I have to stop; drink seems to be trying to teach me a lesson, bad things happen when I drink, so how stupid do I have to be to carry on with it.
    Wish me luck the first few days are always easy, it’s when I get to a week or so I get weak and think I don’t have a problem anymore and I can handle it.
    Thanks for the site, good to get this down in writing.

  • steve clarke

    hope this will help.

  • Dave R

    Hey Guys. I wrote in 2 weeks ago about stopping drinking. On a recap I am 40 yrs old, 2 small kids ,and have been a steady beer drinker for 20 yrs. I would have 2 0r 3 on the nights that I worked and 10 – 12 on my nights off. My main reason to stop was the time I lost with my kids because I was hungover.
    With the support of my wife its been two weeks now Ive gone without beer. The first 3-4 days were brutal. I couldnt believe how bad I felt. What helped me was lots of hot baths and rest. The following days included an appetite for FOOD and irratible moods.
    My goal is to go thirty days and I dont know whats going to happen after that. This isnt easy. Just something like cooking on the grill can make you want to have a cold beer.
    This is just a note to say I tons of respect for those have have taken on this uphill battle and made it to the top. Thanks. Dave R.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Good for you, Dave !! Keep it up, man !! Believe it or not, there will come a time when you will forget what the stuff even tastes like !! You can do it !!
    Sandy, good luck to you too !! If this helps… try NOT to think of it as something that you either will “DO” or won’t “DO” (i.e. you either will have a drink or you won’t have a drink from minute to minute, day to day), but rather as someONE that you ARE (i.e. a non-drinker). I really think the mindset makes a difference. With the first approach, you tend to count the minutes, the hours, the days (and it goes slowly, of course), and there’s a tendency not to feel all that successful if you haven’t notched several months of non-drinking. But you can make that declaration of BEING a non-drinker any time, and it can be as true today, at this very moment, as it will be a year from now– it’s just who you ARE, it’s simple really. And then you can stop counting. There’s nothing to count– except maybe the one lifetime during which you will be a non-drinker, it will just be part of who you are, like being a music lover, a baseball fan– and we don’t mark time on those things, do we? Best to all, Bill

  • JPVD

    Hi again.
    Sandy and Libby, best of luck to you. you seem to be very strong people.

    Dave R. Iam in the same boat as you… 38 with 2 kids under 2. I have been trying to give up booze to allow more quality time with the kids and I must say it is certainly worth it!

    It is very difficult the first few days/weeks, but the little things add up. For me I never wanted to read stories to my little daughter (or rush through them) because I just wanted to have another drink and ‘relax’. Now I am the one who overloads the bedtime stories. Little things like that. My daughter used to find empty beer bottles and bring them to ‘daddy’. Not anymore.

    Beer and bbq is a tough one, but is it just a ‘habit’? I had/have trouble with these times too. Hard day at work? Beer. Big day getting the garden sorted? Beer. Football game? Beer. Sunday afternoon? Beer.
    I had developed some ‘sophisticated’ drinking habits.
    Campari and soda after 5. White wine while cooking; red while eating. Imported beer while barbecueing. Bottles of local beer with pizza, ice-cold Japanese beer in tall glasses from the freezer with sushi: BLAH BLAH. It was all just to get me drunk in the end.

    I’m writing this to just let anyone know who has develped these sorts of ‘social-boozing’ habits that I have been able to make changes in all the aforementioned cases (and more). I still crave alcohol now and then, but I certainly feel a lot more positive than I did when I truly admitted my problem and started this caper.
    anyways, good luck all. good to hear feedback and updates.


  • Bill Sheehan

    JPVD, your note really hit home !! I too did everything I could to create what I thought were “legit” occasions to drink (“the mail came early…? beer !!”) I honestly realize that quitting is hard, it truly is, and that many of my notes here may not acknowledge that fact. I remember the first couple of family gatherings or other social outings I attended after deciding to quit– how I dreaded the very concept of not popping the tops on several brewski’s for the entire duration of an event. But I think that may be why I eventually changed my approach so radically, and just hit it from the complete opposite direction– just taking the attitude that “I simply don’t want that crap any more, I DON’T WANT IT, and thus there will be no more struggle, this is MY body, and I’M in charge of it, and I’m sick and tired of being such a wimp and feeling sorry for myself, and fretting all the time about not being able to have my booze, and I am finished with that bull***t once and for all !!” Taking a situation that is traditionally seen as difficult/complex/dramatic/impossible, and just saying “hey, what’s so mysterious about this, I ABSOLUTELY have the power to take this problem off the table, it can only be a problem if I let it, and I hereby declare that it’s solved, right now, it’s done, and it will no longer occupy any of my time or attention, it’s so basic, so simple”— well, it takes some guts to say that, because if it doesn’t work out, you will probably feel a little embarrassed, but so what?? You just draw the line, start again from that brand new moment, make that declaration even more brashly, more confidently! Get mad at the little alien that thinks you’ll never escape his clutches, kick his butt so hard that he won’t know what hit him, but GET MAD!! Find the satisfaction in dominating HIM, instead of the reverse always having to be the norm !!
    Everyone have a good week !! Be happy, even if you fall, be happy !! -Bill

  • André vh

    Hi all… What a revelation! I’ve been reading your comments and hav seen the support u give each other too… And it’s amazing! Here I’m sitting at home with IBS, ok ok I know thee hee hee and feeling lank sorry for myself! Don’t get me wrong, I ‘m not depressed, just in need of some good tlc. That said I must say I, after reading your comments I’ve come to realise: I do have a problem with drinking! I might be able to justify It,s but still have a problem! Can u help pls?

  • Bill Sheehan

    Andre, just as a starting point, and realizing that I have no greater expertise in this area than anyone else, except that which was born of my own experience, I would say… make a declaration– “This stuff is for the birds! I only have a limited time on this earth, and look how this drinking is holding me back, robbing me every day of my ability to realize my potential, and turning me into someone who equates happiness and contentment with having a buzz on. This sucks. I’m done with it. I didn’t “need” alcohol for the first (-#-) years of my life; I was happy then, before I got introduced to the stuff, and by God, I can be happy NOW, without it. I’m done. End of story. Problem solved. Issue off the table.” Just give that a try, Andre, and do it with some ATTITUDE– be proud of yourself for having the guts to make that declaration; and savor the realization of how GREAT you’re going to feel, every day, and be amazed at how charming and fun and at ease you will be at social functions– I never thought that would happen, but it did !! Best to you and to all here !! -Bill

  • Mike

    I am an alcoholic. I have been attemping to hide my addiction from my family and friends. Yesterday, I drank to much and was found passed out on the sidewalk by my uncle who came over to visit. Needless to say, I was embarrassed and ashamed. Today, I am taking the steps to quit. I drink way to much on my days off of work. It needs to stop now.

    This is a good site. Thank you.

  • John

    its so great to read some new people on the site. i know for me, i googled “how to stop drinking” and found this site….so if your here, and reading this, than you know you want to quit drinking. reading patrick’s words really helped me out, i had already decided to quit, but reading his words made it make more sense to me. so much of what bill says here too is so great. keeping it simple and knowing within yourself that you are simply a person who doesn’t drink anymore. staying hydrated on delicious water and juices and slowly feeling your heart, head, mind and soul heal. clarity. better sleep, more energy, more money and most of all free from thinking about your next drink. as you read these words and others that have written in, your heart will change, you will sense that there are so many of us out there that have abused alcohol, drank way too much, and have turned away only to know a better life, a greater life…..a real LIFE. all the best to all of you as start your journey.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Thank you, John, your thoughts and perspective are so appreciated. And Mike, hang in there, my man !! I think all of us find it helpful to read what others have to say about something which is so significant an issue in all of our lives. I know it really helps me to drop by here from time to time, see what others have written, and perhaps leave an ever-so-brief observation or two……………………………. what? :o) And in expressing your thoughts, even though you may not realize it, you are very likely helping any number of folks who come here, in ways that you will never know. It may be people who occasionally post their thoughts, but it also may include people who just read the posts and choose to leave it at that. Either way, any words written with a sincere heart are sure to register with someone, sure to help that someone embark on a new and wonderful life of being a non-drinker, or to stay the course when doubts may have arisen, or to pick himself or herself up after a goof-up, realize that we’re all just human beings, with plently of imperfections, and to just shake it off and start fresh, no matter how many times we may fall– and I can see that there’s always a “no-beating-up-on-yourself” rule in effect here too !!! If you’re just deciding to begin that new life as a non-drinker, I would offer one observation, direct from my own experience, for what it’s worth: I always figured that “sober” would mean “boring.” That definitely has NOT been the case. If anything, it has meant “free”– free from the unceasing, gnawing preoccupation with drinking; free from the constant building and managing each day around the logistics of when I would be able to drink; free from the morning headaches and nausea and days wasted trying to feel halfway human again, only to start the cycle over; freedom to enjoy the physical and intellectual healing that my body and my mind soon underwent; freedom to be a better man than I had been for so many years. I know that the thought of never, ever having an alcoholic beverage again is pretty scary to us when we’ve been at it for so many years, but if you just TRUST that declaring yourself free from it is going to open the door to a new appreciation of life– a new you basically– you will be amazed at how quickly the positive changes come! Remember, there are lots of things that you don’t drink, simply because they’re poisonous to you——– charcoal lighter fluid, toilet water, Chlorox, you get the picture, it’s no mystery really. So just add alcohol to that list. Do it non-hysterically, matter-of-factly. No drama. No angst. You have the power. Look at it as a total no-brainer. You can do it. And then, enjoy your new life, your new-found freedom !! Best to all, Bill

  • Suki

    I have struggled for years with my drink problem. I am what is termed a functioning alcoholic. I am to everyone on the outside a success. Good career, wonderful husband, nice home, lovely daughter. I have also enjoyed excellent health all my life – in fact I cannot even remember the last time I had a cold – it must be 10 years ago or more. I eat very healthily, exercise regularly and intensively. BUT – I drink a bottle of wine every night to chill out. I am deep inside very sad, I had an unhappy childhood and have issues with my mother. She is ungrateful and critical and will never admit being in the wrong. In fact I have never heard the word sorry come out of her mouth. I have tried for years to please her to no avail. I have drank for over 30 years except when pregnant and breastfeeding. I have never slept in a gutter, had blackouts neither do I suffer with hangovers these days. However I know that I am slowly killing myself. I have had raised liver enzymes, have a dull ache in the liver area a good bit of the time. I have to cut down. I try and am good for say 3 days and then think – sod it – its Friday I have been good I will have a drink. If I could just have a bottle on a Friday and Saturday I would be happy with that. I really really want to conquer this but have tried hundreds of times and failed.

    I love Bill’s posts – they are so inspiring. I wish I could have that attitude.

  • sunflower

    Suki I understand your frustrations . It seems our lives are almost a mirror except that my drinking is much worse than yours. You could also call me a functioning alcoholic. People view me as an ambitious successful business woman, independant, well travelled, great mum, great provider and an all round good friend to have. I see myself very differently.I see myself as a weak person, as someone who is merely functioning rather than living every moment. I see my terrible addiction to alcohol dictating how my evening and weekends are planned.It consumes me. I drink a bottle of wine a day, increasing my units at the weekends. I also only stopped drinking when I was pregnant and also breastfeeding. I have backout ed at least four times this year. ..losing my phone, my bag, burning my hands while cooking, putting my son to bed without dinner…sleeping all day because I am too drunk, falling asleep at people’s barbeques.It’s shameful.My terrible adddiction has to stop.
    Its been three days that I have stopped drinking. Please, please wish me luck.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Suki and Sunflower, I wish I knew some kind of magical words or sure-fire method that would lift you up and get you through the challenges you’re facing. All of us here would do that for you in a heartbeat if we could. I think you have to reach a point at which you say to yourself, “This sucks. I’m done.” And I sense that both of you are at that point, which is good! Now, we all have a tendency to want to “out-think” these kinds of things (hoping that if we adopt the right method, or get with the right program, the answers will come), and it’s possible that we actually make things worse by doing that– in the sense that we thereby tend to perpetuate our pre-occupation (with alcohol, in this case) and also our moment-to-moment awareness (excrutiating, for sure) of not having our hands around a drink, and then we’re just likely to feel pretty miserable most of the time. It might be worth a try to pull off a “surprise attack” on our drinking problem—— but you have to be willing to try to abandon the conventional thinking on the subject, especially the part of it that says that alcohol has you so tightly in its clutches that it’s going to be next-to-impossible to break away, and that life will be miserable without drinking, and that you’ll never be able to have fun without being half-lit, and that every single day will be a battle to the death betwween you and the bottle, and that the problem of alcohol abuse/addiction is so incredibly complex that you can’t even hope to get your mind around it. Well, the surprise attack comes in the form of you copping an attitude and walking away from every conventional principle you’ve assumed previously to be true, and, oh-so-simply, just picture a table, perhaps a kitchen table, covered and cluttered with the questions and the heartache and the headaches and the regrets and all the other crap that alcohol has rained down on you for so long, and take both of your arms and make a big strong wide vigorous sweeping motion and just clear all of that debris off of there, and see it fly onto the floor, and now, declare that the issue is OFF THE TABLE, it’s no longer going to be a factor in your life, it’s not going to have its slimy little claws around your neck– you have defeated it———– not “you’re going to try to defeat it”——— you HAVE defeated it !!! It’s a done deal !! Right NOW, the problem is OVER !! Will life be perfect from here on? No. But life is going to be so much better, in so many ways, and I can’t wait for you to experience that !! You will soon lose your memory of alcohol, what it smells like, what it tastes like. Go ahead, clear that table right now, get the issue OFF THE TABLE. Be proud of yourself for doing it, too. Don’t be afraid! Be cocky about it, be confident! Kick some butt !! Don’t fear slipping up— you WON’T. And if you do……. :o)………….. screw it, just start over again, ’cause nobody here is gonna dog you out, we’re all in the same boat and we’re all subject to imperfection. Be happy! Your life is about to change and blossom! Hey, everyone have a good evening and weekend, and remember……… no drama, keep it simple, you CAN DO IT !! Best, Bill

  • Eric B

    I don’t know what scarier: the thought of continued drinking or trying to quit and failing one more time. I first went to an AA meeting almost 20 years ago. I spent a year trying but never cobbled together more than 90 days. Now, I have spent the last 3 years trying to put together 30 days and failed every time. I love the first week or so of sobriety, but then the damage I have caused myself become more apparent and the healing process becomes more uncomfortable to deal with. You’d think that would motivate me to stay quit, but instead I inevitably decide to drink again. The problem is my drinking has never spiraled out of control and has actually decreased over the years – but still far above what is healthy. I’ll keep trying, but I have my doubts as to success. Thanks for the inspirational site.

  • Camus

    I relate very much to Suki & Sunflower. I’ve had a drinking problem ever since I remember, but seem to keep it somewhat controlled for awhile, especially since having children. It was easy for me to stop while pregnant, but didn’t do so well breastfeeding. I can stop for awhile, but always start back up. I have a wonderful husband, children, career etc. Everything is wonderful in my life, except the guilt of drinking. I can go for a week and not drink, but always drink too much. I can drink a bottle of wine & not feel very buzzed, so often follow it up with beer or my husbands liquor. I used to drink everyday & a lot more. I think because I don’t drink as often I sometimes fake myself out that I have it somewhat controlled, but I don’t. I also have a dull ache over my liver area when I drink and sometimes several days after. I have severe hangovers that make me non functional the next day. I’m 40 years old with young children, and want to be as healthy as possible for them and for my own well being. I am so ready to be done with alcohol. It really is a poison to me.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hey guys, here’s another thought– kind of a practical one, I guess, that might help someone…
    (actually it’s two separate ideas…)
    1) Let’s say you have reason NOT to want to talk to someone on your cellphone. What’s the best way to make sure you don’t talk to them? Well, you could screen each incoming call, and when you see that it’s the person you’re trying to avoid, you can decide to ignore it (or perhaps you might for some reason decide to go ahead and answer the call anyway…) Now, on the other hand, you could simply turn the phone OFF—- a more radical, all-encompassing act—- and from that moment you definitely won’t be talking to the “to-be-avoided” person. Okay… now that’s a bit of a far-fetched illustration, I will admit, but try to parallel that to alcohol——- you can live moment-to-moment, day-to-day, in doubt and apprehension, wondering if you’ll succumb to the call of that little alien screaming for a drink………. OR………….. you can TURN OFF THE PHONE, CLEAR THE TABLE, RIGHT NOW, GET IT OFF THE TABLE !! Whether you’ve quit drinking for twenty seconds, or twenty years, you can still, with equal validity, declare, “I HAVE QUIT DRINKING! I AM A NON-DRINKER! I’M FREE!!!!” And now……… idea… number…
    2) Once you have made that declaration, start telling your family and friends about it, immediately !! Let’s face it, guys, the more people who are aware of it, the more likely you’re going to be to think twice before goofin’ up. A little guilt can be a good thing!
    So, that’s my two-cents-worth for today. Hoping everyone has had a good weekend! Oh, by the way, I went out with friends last night and had 3 club sodas, on ice, with Rose’s Lime Juice— extremely refreshing, different from yer average daily beverage, and kept my breath fresh and my head clear! This morning, I felt fantastic !! I felt sorry (NOT !!!!) for all the people I saw getting sloppy and setting themselves up for morning misery. That was me once. I can’t tell you how much better everything is now. I couldn’t imagine that it would be so, but it is !! Best to all, Bill

  • Steve

    Hello everyone, I find this website very helpful since I have decided to quit drinking after an embarrasing weekend of drunkeness. I had about 5 months of sobriety and decided to start drinking a “little.” Of course that did not work and her I am. I feel optimistic and think I can tackle this head on. I just need to follow advice like this web site has and find ways to stay busy on the weekends with something that is truly enjoyable for me. It is time to reivent myself! Thanks all.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Good luck to you, Steve !! I think all of us can relate to your temporary success, followed by a discouraging fall after deciding to start drinking “just a little.” I did that many times. I’d decide to set rules and limits, thinking surely that was reasonable and should do the trick: “Okay, I can have two beers a day, and that’s it. Well, wait, unless it’s a weekend and I’m going to a wedding reception or something like that, and then I can have four beers. But what if we go out someplace afterwards? Okay, two more, but then I won’t be allowed to have any beer for two days after that…” I think you get the picture. The attempt to cut back, or set rules, only served to make me all the more preoccupied with the subject of beer, and sharpened my craving for it. It was only when I stood up and said, “THIS SUCKS. I’M DONE”, that things finally turned around. I really, really think you have to make that decision to be DONE with it, and don’t be afraid of the word “forever.” Then, there’s no more fiddling around with rules, logistics, etc. You’re just done. You’re free! And don’t be afraid to get tough with yourself, you can take it! I have said to myself, many times (and quite recently too), when I’d be feeling that little itch and be tempted to dwell on the thought of “just one”… something like, “Hey, what’s the matter, is poor little Billy pouting cuz he can’t have his bottle? C’mon, you friggin’ whiney little wuss, grow up a little and deal with it– this stuff is bad news for you, it NEVER did anything truly worthwhile for you, and it has caused nothing but trouble and heartache in your life and the lives of those who love you. Is it really that complicated??? You didn’t need beer when you were a little kid, and you sure as hell don’t need it now either. So get yourself a bottled water or some iced tea with lemon, be proud of yourself for sticking to your decision, and let’s go, let’s move forward and leave that ‘poor me’ crap in the dust !!” Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself, and don’t be afraid to be a real bas******d (or a real b*****tch, as the case may be) to yourself, to dish out a healthy dose of tough-love !!!!
    Best to all, Bill

  • M.

    Hey everyone,

    Well, I’ve reached a new low in that I’ve alienated some new neighbors with an instance of unbridled terrible behavior, of which I have no memory of. Aside from the fact that I am absolutely horrified and appalled (and told them so while apologizing fervently), I’ve most assuredly killed a potential job offer and friendship in the process.

    While they claimed to have forgiven me, I know that would be pretty difficult to impossible given the extremity of my aggressive behavior. Apparently, as if a switch were thrown, I transformed from a jovial drinking partner into a raving, flippin’ monster, and I said some horrific things to some very nice people, while threatening one of them with bodily harm before I left. We were all drunk, but I’m the one that turned into Mr. Hyde. Fortunately, there was no physical violence.

    I like these people, and truly do not believe what I purportedly said. I also abhor violence, except when necessary in self defense. I strive in my life immensely to be a good guy that emanates lightness, care, respect, appreciation, honesty, and any number of other positive attributes.

    I do not know the person that did this, but somehow he came through me with a vengeance and wrath unparalleled (to my knowledge) in my life.
    I do not even remember being there, let alone my almost demonic behavior.

    While I understand to a degree that we might do foolish things when we drink, I cannot fathom where these actions came from. I do not believe these feelings actually reside in me, but rather, entered me because I “took out” my sentry of common sense—the frontal lobe—with an extreme amount of hard liquor. I don’t believe beer (my usual mainstay) would have (or ever has) caused such extreme behavior (although I have acted pretty stupid on occasion).

    We talked a couple of days later, with them asking me if I remembered my aggressive behavior that drunken night. I explained to them I did not, and apologized profusely and humbly begged their forgiveness, which they claimed to give based on my authentic level of remorse. They said they would call me about the job offer they had extended, but they have not, and I don’t blame them. I am embarrassed, depressed, appalled, and so very disappointed in myself. I’m sure our potentially great friendship and working relationship has been permanently torn asunder.

    I feel so alone, and I don’t know if this can be fixed, even if I succeed in fixing me. Thanks for listening; sorry this is so long.


  • how to quit drinking

    Determining the fact that you have a problem is half the battle…. but its also important to make sure that you have good support with you when you decide to give up! Thanks for the information on the page! ;)

  • jenny

    HI ALL …..


  • Concerned

    This has been so helpful to me to see everyone’s comments. As one poster mentioned- I came here through a Google search. I am fairly young, 25 years, and I don’t drink heavily very often…but sometimes I do. My mother is 53 (tomorrow) and she has had a problem with alcohol for many, MANY years. Some of my earliest memories involve discovering large glass bottles of cheap wine hidden around the house in odd locations such as under the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, etc. We have never spoken very openly and honestly about my concern for her although the subject has come up after I came home for school once and she was hiding in the closet, convinced we were being robbed..and I called my dad and we all spoke briefly about her drinking. I am concerned because I live alone and I buy wine to drink with dinner. I tell myself that it will only drink one glass (so that I am bright eyed and bushy tailed for work in the morning) but then I drink the whole bottle uncontrollably. This happens about once or twice a week and I don’t tell my fiance who lives apart from me and this makes me feel as if I cheated on him. I’m not sure what to do. I hide my drinking when I do it alone but when I try to meet up with friends, my friends want to binge drink at bars/parties. I want to stop for my self- respect, relationship with my partner, and my health. My mothers’ situation makes me feel helpless to this desire because she seems to be.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Jenny, and Concerned, and all recent posters: Please know that all of us here, ALL of us, are behind you, cheering you on. We are all so imperfect, we all have alcohol-related things that we’ve done that we’ve never told anyone about, and never will, because we feel so bad about having messed up so sensationally. But that’s what makes us alike, just being human, with bundles of flaws, boxes of guilt and shame, thinking we’ll never be able to overcome this thing that has such a hold on us. But there’s a certain beauty in the fact that we measure the passage of time in 24-hour increments. And tomorrow is a brand new day. And when we wake up and realize that we’ve been given another one to work with, we can find a lot of strength and encouragement in knowing that whatever we did yesterday, and in days long since passed, no matter how bad or mean or stupid it may have been, well, that’s all gone now, it’s strictly past-tense, it is no more. But today, this precious day, guaranteed to no one, is that awesome second chance, to pick ourselves up, be thankful for the chance to try again, let the past go– just let it GO !! — and rejoice in the clean slate that you are provided with every single morning. Resolve to write a new story, today. It occurred to me the other day that, after not drinking for well over a year now, maybe we tend to make too big a deal out of the whole issue. I have come to feel that not drinking, i.e. being a non-drinker, is really no big deal– that the drama and turmoil associated with trying to stop is maybe sort of self-imposed. So, just a suggestion: declare this new day to be a great one in your life– your first day as a non-drinker!! You can do it, just as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow morning, you can do it. You have just as much strength, just as many smarts, as anyone. You know you don’t need the stuff; now you have to say that you don’t WANT the stuff. Trust me, friends, if I did it, you can do it. Maybe the biggest key is this– DON’T BE AFRAID of what it might be like not to have alcohol anymore, because in a very short while, you’re going to see that not having alcohol anymore is NO BIG DEAL, really it’s not !! Best, Bill

  • jenny

    Hi Bill thankyou for your follow up to my post , i,m on 100 units a day just attended some help
    but making me feel so much worse i.e …………. adding up the units makes me drink more i feel .
    I think a weel off work would help me …………jenny xxx

  • jenny

    please explain to me how you got the strentgh to stop . jenny

  • Mark

    This is my first day without alcohol in about 6 months. My symptoms range from pretty mild to awful, usually in the middle…I’m going to the doctor today to see if he can help with the withdrawals. I’m going to quit no matter what. I just want some relief from the shakes nausea and restlessness.

  • jenny

    hi mark let me know if you succeed , strength and love to you , i just keep failing , but i guess tommorows another day , this beast has hold of me . jenny x

  • Drew

    I appreciate the informaation on this site and the user comments. I’m 37 an have been smoking and drinking since I was 14. I’m a binge drinker, so I assumed that because I can go a week without a drink that I didn’t have a problem. Here I am calling in sick to work (again) because my Memorial Day BBQ adventures have left me spun out with high anxiety, massive depression and even drew some blood due to poor balance. I do have a good friend in AA, and I’m debating calling him up to take me to a meeting, but I’m not sure if that’s the best method for me, but I won’t know until I try. I’m gettng really tired of feeling this depression and anxiety. The fun I have while drinking is not worth feeling like this. I’m pretty nervous, because I don’t know how to have a happy life outside of drinking, as all my events involve getting wasted. I feel like a better person drunk. I am funnier, I am more affectionate with friends and family, I don’t get angry or violent. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet to handle this, but I’m going to start by clocking today’s date and see how long I can go. If I fail, I’ll need to look at other options. Today is the day I can finally admit I’m an alcoholic. I wish you all the best on your recovery.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hi, Jenny, Mark, Drew and all. Shakes, nausea, restlessness, high anxiety, massive depression, headaches, exhaustion. I imagine those would be some of the symptoms we’d feel if we drank a few cocktails consisting of, how about, paint thinner and tonic…? Ridiculous concept, sure. But isn’t it weird how alcohol causes those same things, and yet we seem to have such a heck of a time staying away from it? I think it may be helpful to look at alcohol– and the prospect of drinking it– in much the same way we’d look at paint thinner– and the prospect of drinking IT !! Truly, not a lot of inner strength involved there, no particular courage, in fact nothing but the common-sense realization that it will hurt you bad, hold you down, rob you of your ability (and even your desire) to be the best that you can be. Life is so short, guys. For me, it helped to think of my 35-year history of beer guzzling as a “drinking career” from which it was now simply time to “retire.” I told myself, “It’s time to hang it up. I’m done with it now. I know that life holds so much more for me than this. And my time is running out.” And I had myself one last can of Natty Light– knowing it would be my last– tossed the empty can in the wastebasket, and said goodbye to alcohol for good. Almost ceremonial, I guess, but also very casual, very non-hysterical, very drama-free. Kinda like driving your old faithful clunker to the auto dealer that one last time, knowing you’ll be driving away with a newer set of wheels– you pat it on the hood, say, “Hey, it’s been real,” and let it go. Everyone have a good evening !! Best, Bill

  • Suzy

    Hello – thank you for your words that are comforting and help a lot. I have been down this road before. It’s the dreaded “day after”—when it feels really scary and degrading- I go searching the internet for inspiration and knowledge of how to quit drinking before it kills me. After a night of binge drinking, writing dark poetry, crying my guts out over wounds I can’t let go of, and other humiliating desparate acts. I wake up panicking over trying to remember what I actually did, who I called (oh God no, not the x BF), what I said, etc. This was me ALONE… When i am around others I become a freak while binge drinking or doing cocaine which i will do if in front of me + drunk. I am aggressive, bizarre, dangerous, daredevil,emotional wrecking ball. No class. Then start the morning with a drink. Then I get to work and pray I can function well enough and “hide it” . I berate myself, you sad , pathetic girl. No wonder no one loves you. You treat yourself like you hate yourself. So the inner struggle rages on… taboo drinking in the morning, unable to control my emotions, isolating myself, fear of never having peace and love, and being suicidal has drawn me here. I want to tell someone, so i tell you. Its hard to tell people that you know.

    So I stop for a week (at most) then con myself that I am ok and I can drink, just not
    Binge drink.. until the next meltdown. I want to detox…I don’t want to be this way. I want to love myself so I can have love one day in return. Real love– not dysfunctional, codependent/insecure love. Real Joy—that comes from clean living, free spirit and happy heart. I want help but it’s hard for me to be in a group setting right now. I went to a couple of AA meetings before… I feel like a phoney. i can’t speak… I want out of this prison.. I am going to start the fight. Thanks for inspiring me. Peace to you.

  • Patrick

    Suzy I think you sound like you already know what you need to do. Stop searching on the internet for your answer and just go live it….go ask for help, go check into rehab, go to a meeting, go take action of some sort. You are caught up in a cycle and you know that you are trapped, so you are very close to breaking free. Just have to make the decision. Just have to get up the guts and take the plunge.

    Sobriety is calling you….you are so close. Make the decision to change your life. Just drop the struggle and ask someone for help. If you really surrender, you won’t feel fake about it anymore….

    Good luck.

  • Sharon

    Gosh and I thought I was the only person who drank a bottle of wine on a nightly basis! It’s good to know I have friends out there :o)

    I too have reached the point where I know I have to stop drinking, to be quite honest I have known I needed to stop for some time now, but haven’t been able to do the “hard thing”. My question is what am I going to do everynight when I’m not sucking down that bottle of wine. I know, exercise, get a new hobby, etc. but I’m just afraid that’s not going to do it for me. I’m going to need to develop a totally new “evening life” and that is very scary!

    I have been collecting thoughts on addition getting ready for my journey. I’ll share a few of my favorites with you: “We can’t keep ignoring something that is systematically trying to destroy our lives”. “An addition is a highly effective way for something we have to turn into some place we live”. “Like it or not, some things are simply up to us” and my absolute favorite “Too many of us feel that the pattern of the past dictates an inevitable future. The fact that we have means we always will. That’s a lie – say so”!

    Wishing us all an easy path ~ tomorrow is my day! Last glass of wine tonight!

  • JPVD

    Hi again;
    Drew, it is not a cliche. For me the first time I admitted to myself that I was an alcoholic was the day I really, truly began to stop drinking.

    I’m having the odd relapse; nothing serious but it is still living with drink, which i do not want to do.

    It is hard to give up… the ‘perceived benefits’ seem like hard-wired habits!

    I may have said this before, but it is easy for me to give-up the booze at this point in my life. Stable job, relstionship, 2 very young kids, house in the ‘burbs (miles from any bar). I couldn’t imagine giving up when I was younger; the truth is that drinking and partying was something that used to be positive in my life.
    Now, I drink too much too often and it is no longer a positive experience. My case is, I believe, a very common one.

    Good luck to all, a sober day is a good one.


  • Bill Sheehan

    Suzy, Sharon, JPVD and all who may be reading this, best to all of you this week. We all struggle with the same things, have the same hopes, the same self-doubt. Remember that old episode of The Twilight Zone where the guy looked out the window of the airplane and saw that little monster trying to eat the wing? Think of the itch, the craving, for alcohol, as being that little monster, and then just get mad, I mean really mad, and say, basically, {okay, if there are any little kids around you’ll want to ask them to leave the room now… :o) } “Screw you, you f****ng little sh***head!! You’ve had the better of me for a long time, but now you’re about to die, ’cause I ain’t feeding you any more !! This is MY life !! The one in charge here is ME !! You’ve had your last drink, you piece of crap !!! And your last laugh !!!” And with that, imagine your self cutting the pipeline that has supplied his thirst all these years, just sever it right in two! And oh my, he’s gonna scream and curse and spit and kick and squirm, but you’re gonna be free of him now, he’s going to be dead soon. And you can begin to live. Visualize it that way, friends, you have the power, you can do it !!! Sorry about the implied profanity above, but sometimes you just really have to cut it loose to stun that little guy, then knock him on his………. bottom. :o) You guys GO !!!!! Don’t doubt yourself !! You CAN do this !! Remember, all those years as a kid, before you even knew what alcohol WAS? And how carefree life was, how you were intrigued with it, loved it? Kick the monster’s butt, and you can have that back again !! Before you know it, the thought of drinking will be nothing but a faded, distant memory. Peace to all of you !! -Bill

  • Suzy

    Wow, You really know how to stir up the will power in people. It’s really a gift.

    I haven’t told anyone, but it’s my 6th day sober. I am feeling strange like a alien in my body and mind. Funny you should mention about regressing to your inner child, but I have been thinking a lot about who i was before alcohol. When I was a child and full of fire and life. It made me happy/sad, but the fog is lifting and I am either changing or going back to who i was as a free spirit. It almost feels like cheating death, and having one last day to live, to look around and feel things, and see things and experience things as if it were your last. Hard to explain, but i want to purge all of this and forgive myself and others. Even without alcohol, there are still the behaviors, fears and wounds to deal with that is the most difficult part for me. A conversation I had with my grown daughter helped me realize how sad she is that I am destroying myself with alcohol and how it has broken my spirit. I do not want her to hurt for me. That drives me more than anything.
    I’m going to try a meeting this week and try something new everyday. Slay the monster!!

  • Bill Sheehan

    Awesome, Suzy !!! By the way, I think that Twilight Zone episode was called “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” or something like that. I just found a clip of it on You Tube, featuring John Lithgow as the crazed guy looking out the airplane window. If you can find it, I think the monster depicted there is exactly how I visualize the little alcohol monster whose a** you’re about to kick !!! You are doing great! Stay positive! Be happy just to wake up each day, realizing that you’re being given another chance to help others, to wipe the slate clean, to ask forgiveness, to give it. Best, Bill

  • Camus

    Good job Suzy! I’ve been all over the board for the last 15 to 20 years of my life. The first time I recall drinking, I drank so much I woke up face down in vomit. This was long long before I or anyone else realized I had a problem. I’ve went through life either binge drinking & not sure how I got home, where my car was etc etc, or drinking a minimum of a bottle of wine on a daily basis. I relate to about everyone on this site because I’ve experienced just about all of it. I had a very dysfunctional long term relationship in the past that seemed to escalate my drinking. Now, I have two young children, a wonderful husband, a great job and everything I’ve ever wanted and more. I stopped drinking off and on and now I secretly drink when I can. I’m totally I closet alcoholic now. I’m functional, but hate every bit of it just as much as when I drank until I couldn’t stand up, because now I have so much to lose & I feel dishonest and pitiful that I can’t get it together when I have everything. There is nothing more I want in life. I just can’t seem to relax without it. I sometimes feel like I’m ADD & want to scream…sometimes I do & sometimes I grab a drink. It’s getting worse and I’m scared.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Camus, hey, hey, hey, hey, HEY dear friend !!!!!! Don’t be afraid !! It will be allright !! You have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people, right here, right now, supporting you, holding you up, cheering you on !! Please let me just tell you that there was a time in my life (still quite recent in fact) when I thought that life without alcohol would totally, absolutely bite the big one !! I couldn’t imagine the concept of going out to dinner, or to a party or wedding reception, or having an entire day go by, without getting sloppy !! The very thought of doing something without having alcohol in the picture was a complete bummer!! And now, just over a year free from that trap, I experience every day how GREAT it is to be off that god***mn rollercoaster, that roach of a routine in which I used to poison myself and reduce my precious days to nothing but a buzz-quest. Now listen, please! All those things that make you feel dishonest or pitiful, they’re gone now, they have vanished into the past, they can’t reach you or hurt you or bring you down any more! They exist only in thought, in memory. They don’t matter anymore !! Think of all the GOOD things you’ve done in your life, things that may be known only to you and your God, acts of kindness that have positively affected others in ways you will never even know about! We’ve ALL done more than our share of stupid and thoughtless and hurtful things, Camus, that’s a skill we human beings seem to pretty much all have mastered. But none of that matters. All that matters is that today your slate is clean, your book can begin to be written anew !! If you see that alcohol is a problem, you must believe (’cause it’s true!) that you absolutely DO have the power to end that problem. Plainly speaking, you just have to pause and say, “This sucks; I’m done.” Keep it simple and quiet; no drama allowed. Gather up and throw away all the alcohol in your residence, except for one last drink. Sit down perhaps right before bed and have that last drink, declare that it is the last drink you’ll ever have, and as you toss the can or glass away, say, “Later, gater. My drinking career is done.” And turn the page on it. Tomorrow you’ll wake up to the beauty of a brand new day, a brand new life. You can do it, we all know you can. Best, Bill

  • Camus

    Thank for your encouraging words Bill. I have a difficult time taking myself seriously because I’ve tried so many times in the past to quit “for good”. I do good for awhile, but after a couple weeks say, “I think I can have just one, just this once” and then it’s all over. I know how I feel without it hanging over me, and I know it doesn’t have power over me, and that I have a choice. I think I forget how down & discouraged I feel when I drink. I feel like I’m cheating myself, my husband and children out of experiencing these wonderful years completely. I don’t want to be numb to the experience anymore. It’s not all great, but that’s how we grow as human beings. This site has helped me a lot. I feel a great support without having to feel so vulnerable and awkward with the people around me. Thanks for all of the inspiration & that’s to everyone who has written on this site and told their story.

  • Lu


    I guess I should start by saying that I consider myself a binge drinker, weekend warrior and also an occasional drug user. I do not know my limits when I drink or when I binge on drugs. I’m 31 years old and I am tired of living this life. I first started drinking and doing drugs in my early teen years. Always hung out with the wrong crowd. Later on in life I was smart enough to get away from that crowd but I still continued to party.

    I know 99% of my past problems have been a result of my drinking and drug use. From 2 DUI’s, divorce, financial, fights, and embarrassing moments. My last straw was beating up my best friend and I don’t remember any of it. 2 days prior to that I made a fool of myself at my friends wedding. Insulted his and his wife’s family. Not to mention hundreds of times I have called in to work or showed up late. I also like to call people at 3-6am drunk as hell. I’m just sick of it! Also my diet and activity level are from from healthy.

    I’m scared that one day I will kill someone on accident or on purpose because I turn into a demon when I binge. I might do something to put my ass in jail. Who knows?

    I could go on and on like most of you can on what events have happened because of my habit. All I know is that I am DONE. I want to quit. The problem is all I know is partying. When I watch sports I drink, weekends r drinking days, I have to drink to meet women.

    Why is it I can talk my butt off be funny and smart when drunk, but when sober I can’t react?


  • Christine

    Thanks you so much for this site.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve googled for help in stopping. I’ve had a few runs at this beast. OK, more than a few.
    I’m in my mid-50’s now. I was going to quit when I turned 40, then 45, then 50, now here I am again. For the past 7 years I’ve watched my quality of life decline with increasing anxiety, depression, sleep problems.
    There are alcohol problems in my family, and in my spouse’s as well. We know we need to be careful, and we are for a few days, but then we go off the rails by having that 2 or 3 too many. For ten days in a row.
    This site is helping me realise that one of us has to stop first and I’m fine with that being me. I’m tired of the enabling, I’m tired of our evenings which consist of drinking too much and not socialising.
    Bill’s words are so true about changing your definition of who you are and sticking to it. Decades ago I quit smoking. I just woke up and decided, “That’s it” I’m no longer a smoker.
    I plan on doing the same with drinking. I stopped for a month in October and it helped so much. Now I need to stop stopping, and become a non-drinker instead.

  • Blondie43

    I am finally admitting to myself and loved ones that I am slowly but surely becoming an alcoholic. I have been a habitual drinker for several years now. I never thought drinking was a problem for me because I don’t act silly, become violent, have blackouts, and I always remember most conversations/events that happened the night before when I wake up in the morning. I don’t drink during the day, but the moment I step foot in the door after a long day at work, the wine calls for me and I give in everytime. Every morning before leaving the house, I make a special point to check the fridge (making sure I still have alcohol) for yet another night of binge drinking. If I see I am running low, the liquor store is my first stop after work. My husband and I would like to try to have a baby soon; however, I know my drinking needs to stop before we try to have a family. Just thinking about going home tonight without consuming my “oh so delicious” bottle of wine scares the crap out of me. It has become “my escape” from the real world. I feel relaxed, happy, and in a weird way, I feel normal when consuming alcohol. At this point in my life…. I want to be different and I want to get rid of my addictive personality type; however, I continue along my path of destruction without making any life changes what so ever. My physical appearance is also “slowly but surely changing” I still consider myself attractive, as do others; however, the alcohol is starting to take a toll. Instead of the baby I hope to have one day growing inside me, I have developed a “wine baby” instead. The longer I continue to drink I know the “wine baby” will continue to get bigger and my chances of getting pregnant while sober decrease. Today, I had an emotional discussion over lunch with my husband. I finally admitted to him that I know I have a problem and I want to be a better person and make better decisions. I want to like myself for the choices I make. He will be out of town tonight on business; therefore, I scare myself at the thought of being home alone tonight. I’m scared because I won’t actually be alone, my friend Pinot Grigio is in the Fridge and will be tempting me until he is in a wine glass in my hand while I watch my favorite TV shows. Tonight will be the test of my willpower…. Wish me luck….

  • Christine

    Blondie, good luck!!!!!
    Tonight there was an open bottle of my beloved chardonnay in the fridge. Thanks to the heartfelt stories and responses I’ve been reading here, I resisted. You can too! Go for a walk, phone a friend, take a bath.

    Good luck!

  • Blondie43


    Thank you for your response. Congrats on becoming a non smoker and good luck to you and your husband. I also smoke and would like to kick this habit along with the wine drinking. Oh how I wish I would just wake up one morning a say “Today is the day that I won’t feel trapped by my addictions” Besides my Mother, no one else in my family or my friends smoke or drink as much as I do. I find myself sneaking off during social gatherings to have my 3 minutes of nicotine pleasure because I don’t like how it smells, or how I look smoking. But somehow… this just isn’t enough because I keep lighting up over and over again. One day I hope to be non smoker. At this point I’m not sure which habit will be more tough to break, the smoking or the wine drinking? Time will tell I suppose. Thank you again for your encouraging words. You are so right…. I need to fill my time with other things in order to resist my temptations. Again… Best of luck to you and your hubbie!

  • Christine

    How did you get on the other night when your husband was away? Were you able to resist? Or do you need to make a different type of plan. Does your husband drink too? I’m currently on day 3 dry. Hubby is still having wine and beers but not me. I have two big parties this weekend but as of now I’m planning on going as a non-drinker. It feels more relaxing to me thinking of being a non-drinker than it goign to these parties as a drinker, “what will I drink? Ho much? Will I have too much and feel awful the next day??” It feels easier to just not drink.

  • Blondie43

    hey there. Let’s just say “I’m not proud of myself” However, last night I did not drink wine – I did drink, but it was light beer (64 cal. beer) and I poured the last one down the drain. Usually, I drink until buzzed or until it puts me to sleep – but last night was different. I didn’t feel my usual numbness from wine, but I felt fine. It’s crazy how much so many addictions are mostly mental. My body is crying for help saying “Don’t drink that” because it’s exhausted, but my mind tells me to anyways. So I do… I give in everytime so far. Crazy how things have such a power over us. My husband will be home tonight. Thank the Lord! To answer your question… he is a light drinker. A social drinker. He can have one or two and be content. He doesn’t smoke either. So I know once I am completely disgusted with myself her will be supportive of my choice to cut these ties with my addictions. Right now he doesn’t push me or judge me to quit my habits – he knows that ultimately it will have to be my decision once and for all in order for the plan to be successful. I’m also pretty likeable while wine drinking. Like I said before…. I don’t act silly (most of the time) or do things I regret on a regualr basis. The problem is….”I feel normal when drinkin” and I like myself while under the influence – I only hope to like myself just as much while not drinking the night away night after night. As for your party….. good luck! It sounds like you are at peace with your decision and I’m sure that is a great feeling! Keep it up!

  • Blondie43

    One more thing….. I think my different type of plan will be to pour juice with a little sparkling water in my wine glass! This way I will still get the satisfaction of holding one of my many beautiful wine glasses while relaxing. I will report how this works soon!

  • Christine

    On day 7 and feeling wonderful. This site has helped me so much!
    When I wake up in the morning I’m not doing the “hangover scan” first thing. You know, “How much did I drink last night? How bad will I be today?”

    Such a deep relief. Blondie, are you still out there?

  • CB from L.A.

    Several weeks ago was my dad’s 75th b-day. My siblings and I put together a huge surprise b-day bash for him and family from all over showed up. I’m the social networker of my family (4 siblings) and am the one people usually call to find out where’s the next family party; I’ve been drinking since I was 16 – I’m now 35.

    In telling my mom about the party (prior to), she indicated she did not really care we put a party together becuase her sons (my younger brother(29 yrs) and I) always end up drunk…and that’s exactly what happened.

    The night of the party, my wife was prepared to leave me behind (at my parent’s), which she did. She said I was stubborn and would most likely not want to leave the party when it ended; and she was correct. The party ended at 2am. At 4:30am, with a beer in hand, my dad had to put me to bed because I could barely walk and was blacked-out. This is not the first time this happens.

    I have a 5mth old son and told myself that once I had kids, I would “control” my alcohol. Now I tell myself I will control it when’s my son is older and able to understand what’s going on…


    I am ashamed and embarrassed, I am upset at myself. My parents look to me for guidance for many of the family affairs, but don’t care to be around me when I drink because I binge. I love my parent’s and want to make them proud and I feel i’m failing them. Also, I feel i’m failing my infant son, and sabotaging my personal success. And yet, I will control it…

    Last week my wife told me she wanted a dress that cost around $75 and I almost flipped at the price, yet that same evening I spent $120 at a local bar and grill (more like a bar) and didn’t flinch.

    I would like to be able to share a glass of champagne with my wife for our anniversary, or a mug of beer during superbowl, or a glass of wine while traveling Italy…but is that possible as a non-drinker? do I just have to surrender to sobriety? and am I setting myself up for failure with the thought that I can control my drinking?…

    Thoughts please.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hi, CB, yes, in my view you’re setting yourself up for failure with the thought that you can control your drinking. I’ve been there, my friend— “Okay; two beers a day. Yeah, who could think that was unreasonable? Well, maybe we could make it 4 during the Superbowl… or 5 at wedding receptions… or on extra-special occasions like anniversaries… or when the mail comes early…” So what happens is that with all that rule-setting, and the inevitable exceptions that come up for consideration, you’re only becoming more preoccupied than ever with the stuff. What better way to fail? Look at all that has been written here, by you, and me, and so many folks just like us, look at what we put ourselves through, how we almost EXPECT to fail; and we analyze, and worry, and fret, and try so hard to out-think it————– that I honestly believe we completely overlook the possibility that solving this problem could in fact be ridiculously EASY !! And in my own experience, it WAS. After 35 years of beer-guzzling, and countless failed attempts to be a “controlled” drinker… and exercising incredibly lousy judgment, and hurting those who loved and depended on me, and ruining my 25-year marriage, well, one day I finally took the simple, but radical, step, of saying: “This sucks. I’m done. It’s not complicated, at all. And it’s not going to be hard, either. I’m taking the whole damn issue OFF THE TABLE. Alcohol and drinking are now OUT OF MY LIFE. What’s the big friggin’ problem with not having it? I mean REALLY??!! That I won’t be getting buzzed/sloppy/messed up any more?? Aw, poor baby !!” Let me tell ya, CB, it’s been a year and a half now, and the whole concept of alcohol is nothing but a very dim, distant memory. And I have my personhood back. And honestly, I almost can’t believe what was hiding under all that beer, and I must say, I’m liking it. I’m a heck of a lot better person than I thought. And I’m not deprived of a thing. I’m just free !! So… my advice: CLEAR THE TABLE. JUST CLEAR IT. NOW.
    And don’t worry about how hard it might be, because it’s not going to be hard at all. It wants you to THINK it’s going to be hard, but it ISN’T. Don’t let it fool you that way. YOU are the friggin’ boss here, am I right??? Okay, now all the best to you. And don’t be a wuss. Nothing could be simpler. You can do it, CB. -Bill

  • Christine


    Thanks so much for your brilliant, spot-on posts. I came over here today just to get a fix of your sage advice. I’m currently on day ten, but more than that, I am done. I’m looking to the future not worrying about how I will manage my drinking, but knowing that it isn’t an issue. I’m done.

    Thank you.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Christine, that is GREAT ! ! !
    If you start to miss it, if you start thinking about it, just remember— that’s the little alien making a last ditch attempt to talk you into feeding his thirst for alcohol before he withers up and dies, because he knows that’s what’s about to happen, and he will become not only agitated, but also madder than hell !! Just remember who’s in charge of YOU; nobody can force you to hoist that stuff up to your mouth, that’s something only YOU have charge of; alien-dude will writhe around and scream and do everything he can to fool you into thinking it’s okay to go ahead and feed him, but YOU absolutely have the power to kick his rear– and even if you’re not given to profanity, I find that it really helps to knock the alien off his game with a good verbal volley; it just makes you feel like you’re stomping him really good. And as long as you say the nasty words strictly inside your mind, and not for others to hear, you shouldn’t have any ill consequences from it !! My usual verbal assault would be something like, “Hey you a**hole alien!! Screw you, ya little sh**head !! You’re not getting one damn drop of anything from me !! Now get the ‘f’ out of here you little bas***d !!!!!” (Sorry about that, but you you really do have to get pissed off, let him know you’re not going to take any more of his crap !!) Okay, everyone have a good evening !! Keep smiling !!

  • CB from L.A.

    Thank you Bill, and all; the table is clear! Simply, I am a NON-DRINKER. thank you.

  • Cory

    Hi everyone

    I am so inspired by reading all of your stories – Bill you are a Saint! I am 50 and have a drinking problem. I drink until I pass out watching tv almost every night and was able to ‘function’ the next day. I do this secretly because I am so ashamed of it. I have been feeling out of control for years and have wanted to stop but felt it was controlling me. I have 3 beautiful daughters and a fabulous husband – there is no reason for me to drink and that is what bothers me the most – why do I do it? I am too ashamed to even tell my Doctor – never mind go to public meeting, so I feel so blessed to have googled and found this web-site. Today is the day I become a non-drinker. I have gotten so much strength from reading all your stories and struggles so please Pray for me

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hi Cory and CB and Christine and all! Keep fighting, stay hoppin’ mad at you-know-who (DON’T let him fool you and DON’T let him draw you into back-and-forth dialogue or debate; in fact, don’t talk to him at all unless it’s to cuss at him real good every so often), drink lots of water and take pride in keeping yourself well-hydrated, enjoy waking up feeling……….. decent (!!), notice how a very cool sense of tranquility takes up residence inside you, and be amazed to find, very soon, that you feel GOOD, ALL THE TIME !! We’re all cheering for you !! And for good measure, here’s a little cheer:
    Go, fight, win !
    Stay away from gin !
    And Sammy Adams too !
    And Nuns of color Blue !
    Rah, rah, ree !!
    Kick the monster’s knee !!
    Rah, rah, rass !!
    Kick the monster’s…
    Other knee !! :o) Best to all !!

  • bikehikester

    I quit just one week ago. I have been drinking a bottle of wine every night for years. once in awhile I would drink up to a bottle and a half. I think I can handle stopping but I am not falling asleep (up late on this post!) Thanks for the posts, I am inspired bgy the honesty and hope.

  • JPVD

    Hi again, Always inspirational to hear peoples resolve against self-inflicted (and usually self-cured) problem.

    I jst wanted to share some thoughts i have had since admiting I was an alcoholic and deciding to give-up drinking.

    I personally have found the first few days by far the absolute most difficult. Get through them and it gets easier.

    I have relapsed many times; always because I thought “Oh one won’t hurt” or “You have done XX days/weeks, what’s a few drinks to celebrate/relax/socialise?” I will continue to relapse if I think this way because I am an aloholic and I CANNOT drink socially. I need to really understand this. The relapses got shorter and less intense so far.

    I am a better person, better husband and better parent since deciding to stop drinking.

    Lastly i want to share a positive experience I had from reading other people’s posts.
    Blondie43 wrote about checking the fridge in the morning to make sure there was enough alcohol to get drunk that night. I used to do this, and now I don’t. In fact I totally forgot I used to do it until I read Blondie43’s post.
    My point being that I guess it is possible to change these habits, and not even notice; thus becoming a true ‘non-drinker’.

    good luck all.
    Jean Plod Van Damme

  • Cory


    I have made it through the first day. I am so proud of myself. I know it is only the beginning but I also know I can kick that alien’s f****** butt! I’ll keep posting – I find all your messages give me strength and an idea of what to expect from day to day. Thank you all for your honesty.


  • Bill Sheehan

    Awesome, Cory ! ! ! We’re all proud of you too !! Getting that first little wedge of 24 hours in between you and what USED to be an issue :o) is so important! Now, be alert to all the upbeat and positive vibes and feelings you’re going to be having!Get another 24 hours in between you and that slimy little guy, and then another 24, and another, and soon you’ll have built a wall of time, an impenetrable barrier, to keep the little f’er from ever destroying your life and relationships again. Bike and JP, you both hang in there too!! Bike, your sleeping will soon get better; it may take a while to get adjusted, but it will get better! JP, your honesty about relapses is appreciated. It can happen to any and all of us. And if it should happen to me, it’s really good to know I can come here and still be accepted and supported. Everyone have a good Thursday evening !!

  • Cory

    Hi everyone

    Thanks for your daily encouragement! Two days waking up sober sure feels good. I had the energy to go for a hike yesterday and will do the same today. I feel excited again about what I can do in the day – not just wishing the day would end because I would start out feeling so lousy. I have been trying to figure out why this web site has had such a profound effect on me. I have quit drinking every day for the past several years – and failed every day for the past several years so why is this different? I think there are two main reasons for me: 1 – I have finally seen my story in so many others and I am not alone – we are stronger together and 2 – this is the key for me – identifying the ‘drinker’ as an alien – foreign to myself has been so important. I can hate something else besides myself. When “I” was the failure, I hated myself – every day I was a failure. I felt like someone else had taken over me and when I was reaching for the wine every day it was like someone elses arm putting that bottle to my mouth. By identifying that behaviour as alien to me has allowed me to kick that alien out – it is like a visitor I had invited into my home that was welcome at first and then started to ruin everything that was important to me. I have just realized that I have to power to kick that visitor out. It is MY HOME!!! Thank you Bill for those repeated messages – keep it simple and get mad. Good luck to you all as we approach the weekend and remember we are stronger together – even on-line!

  • Bill Sheehan

    Well said, Cory !! Keep it up !! Everyone have a great weekend !! I think this is my shortest note ever !! :o)

  • JPVD

    Hi luis;

    your baseball story reminds me when Homer Simpson stopped drinking and went to a ball-game: ‘I never realised how boring this game was!”.

    I used to go to all sorts of live sports; when i stopped drinking i realised i only really went because it was an excuse to drink… even (especially) the local sunday amatuers!

    Write back with more sober moments; they are the shining ones.

    a good one for me is now smiling as mr. policeman pulls me up in a random breath test..’No problem officer!’


  • Bill Sheehan

    Cool observations, guys! I think that’s one of the nicest things about drinking stuff other than booze– being able to welcome a pull-over situation, knowing you can wisecrack the officer a little if he asks if you’ve “had anything to drink this evening”…
    “Well, yes, officer, I won’t lie to you; I’ve had maybe six……. club sodas.” Then I’ll ask him if he’d like for me to demonstrate my moonwalk. :o)
    Cory? You doin’ okay? A wonderful weekend to all!!!!

  • Cory

    Hi – I’m doing great. Went for a 2 hour hike this morning – I used to hike a lot and forgot how great it feels. I feel like I am getting myself back again – and I never want to lose that again. I hope this lasts because it sure feels good. Thanks again for all the encouragement. I continue to be inspired by everyone’s comments and struggles. Thanks Bill for checking up on me and everyone else.

  • Cory


    Well, after three days, I had my ‘relapse’. Tonight everyone was celebrating the long weekend and I thought, hey, I have been doing great, I am in control, I can have a glass of wine. I went right back to my old habits – had my glass of wine publicly, and then secretly guzzled an entire bottle of wine by myself. I am not drunk, but I went too far. I am not saying this to discourage anyone, but to be honest and let you know my progress. As many of you have said, we can’t drink socially – whatever it is that drives that craving it is not the same with everyone. I have heard AA people say “you can’t get drunk if you don’t drink”. I let the dialogue with that ‘alien’ happen and I should have stopped it right away. I hope I can regain the same enthusiasm tomorrow and wipe everything off the table. All the best to everyone

  • Anne

    What if you’re a “devout” atheist? I abhor the god part of recovery…but I’d like to give up my drinking for a better life. My teenage daughter is out of control, my son has an incurable desease, my husband has “checked out”, my parents are nest death, my 2 step-sons died tragically (one car accident, the other suicide while off his paranoid schizophrenia meds), I’m feeling resentful ( marital poison), and I can’t find the motivation to stop numbing myself and get out there and ride my bicycle (exercise). WTF???

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hey Cory, don’t beat yourself up now, dear !! You simply proved to yourself that you’re human, that’s all; and now that you’ve got that clarified, you’re free to start fresh !! We admire your honesty and share your struggle. It doesn’t matter how many times you may fall; please just don’t stop getting back up. Yesterday can’t be reached, nor can tomorrow. Be a non-drinker now, right now. Make the declaration again; wipe out the concept of time; it doesn’t matter if you’ve been a non-drinker for ten minutes or ten months, what counts is the PERSON you ARE, at this moment, NOT how long you’ve BEEN that person. Smile a big smile, don’t lose hope, you can do it !! Best, Bill

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hi Anne, you are certainly having a difficult time of it, that’s for sure. Sounds like lot of people need you right now, a tall order for sure. But you should have no doubt that you do have within you the strength (wherever it might’ve come from) to be there for them, and you know you’ve got to be at your best, you’ve got to be sharp. You know what to do. Good luck, Anne, hang in there, and stand tall !! Bill

  • Cory


    Thanks again Bill for your amazing encouragement. It really helps and I sure appreciate your committment to ‘us’. Anne, if you are new to this, as I am, I think that expressing your troubles is a really important first step. I have a lot of people relying on me as well – not in the same way – but, for whatever reason, i have to be the rock for everyone else. That is why stopping drinking is so important for me – otherwise I can see a domino effect and everything around me will crumble if I do. I know that is a lot of pressure, but the few days that I was successful gave me so much strength and resolve to be there for those who need me. I wish you all the best in your struggles – and everyone else out there. So far, so good for me today

  • Bill Sheehan

    Good morning Cory and all !! Have a wonderful Monday! Wasn’t it great to blink into wakefulness this morning, take stock of your surroundings, and realize that, apparently, you’ve been given at least one more day to work with, to have a positive impact on someone’s life, to treat, with kindness and respect, someone who perhaps isn’t accustomed to being treated that way? Let’s take this one single day, this grand gift of life, and cherish it. Cory, I hope the remainder of yesterday went allright for you. If so, awesome! If not, turn the page and don’t look back !! Best to all !! -Bill

  • bikehikester

    Hello guys and gals,
    It’s refreshing to read your posts. Thanks for the inspiring words. Bill you make a day apear the adventure it is, even a Monday. I am almost at two weeks (this Thurs) without alcohol. I believe the hardest part for me is getting the support of friends. Most of my friends drink and I haven’t expressed to them any plans to stop. I spend most of my time outside work alone. Not sure I can bear an AA meeting as I tried that years ago when I stopped drinking for almost a whole year. I respect AA but still hoping there is another option for me.
    Corey your thoughts about an alien are helpful. I think of it also as a habit. The repitition feeds on itself so getting in the habit of not drinking could be the key. I have to admit last night surprised me that my mind actually thought of getting a bottle and pouring some out and having 2-3 glasses of wine. I’m still not where I would like to be.

  • A.J.

    I like this articile and I’ve look at alot of websites today but one that I can’t seem to get around is religion. i beleive in god but it seems like every AA meeting wants a person to be christian or chathlic? why is that? Can’t a person just use exercise and/or social ways to stop. If religion is not accepted then no one wants to help.

  • Patrick

    @ Bill S. – dude you are awesome, a breath of fresh air around here. Thank you for “carrying” this thread and offering so much support to everyone here on this page. You deserve to be heard, because you are so unselfish, and obviously just want to help others. That ROCKS. Keep being awesome!

  • Cory


    I am not doing very well. Had a bad night last night and feel awful this morning. Why? I react badly to stress – had an incident with a family member and went right to the wine. That is no excuse, but I am trying to figure myself out. I am really pissed off at myself today, so I hope I can keep mad and keep that horrible beast away. All the best to everyone

  • Sharon

    Something to think about…

    A setback means you have made progress ~
    Otherwise, how could you have a setback??

    Belive it!

  • cory

    Hi everyone

    Good insight Sharon – that made me feel better. Everything is going well tonight. The challenges are still there – I have a child diagnosed with Cancer, a father living with us now because he is mentally unstable and can’t live on his own -so I am the 24 hour care- other family members who need me for the ‘regular’ reasons – driving, cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc. It seems overwhelming most of the time and that is why I have been drinking – and that is also why I need to stop – too many people need me – not just to do these things but to do them with a positive attitude – I am teaching them how to care for others and my response will be their learned response. I don’t want to leave a dysfunctional legacy for my family. For anyone else out there new to this web-site I would advise reading back over Bill’s responses – when I am feeling weak, they have helped me so much – I know this must be a huge burden on Bill’s back – but I am so grateful for all of his caring, insightful “i’ve been there and beaten it” responses.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Yeeeeeaaaa Sharon ! ! ! That is a great point !! And knowing that you’ve made progress at least once, well, you’ve shown yourself that you CAN succeed, that success IS somewhere within you, and you just have to keep getting back up each time you fall, and don’t stop trying to get it right !! I can’t tell you how many times, over a period of many years, I fell, got back up again, fell again, and finally managed to come to the realization (stated profoundly) that: “This sucks.” Cory, YOU are hereby under a directive NOT to beat up on yourself, okay????!!!! And the same goes for anyone else here who may have messed up recently. And the same is going to go for me if I mess up in the days ahead. We are imperfect, we all KNOW that, and we don’t need to be beating up on ourselves to get that message. But we do need to say to ourselves, “Gheesh, this drinkin’ thing is for the friggin’ birds. I’m done. End of career. End of problem.” And then we need to TURN on that slimy little alien beast (who’s sitting there snickering at us, WAY too confident that we’ll never escape his clutches) and say (children leave the room please) “F’ you, you f’ing f’er ! ! !” And give him a good swift kick in the teeth; think of what he’s done to you, how he’s reveled in dragging you down, in bringing out the worst in you! You will be strong again, you will crush him !! Sure, he’s whipped you nearly to a pulp so many times, but you’re NOT going to stay down, you’re going to land one massive, deadly blow, right to his sweet spot, the only blow that’s going to matter, and he’s going to be dead, and gone.
    So, okay, here we are, right here, right now, everyone has a clean slate. Let’s go, let’s enjoy how great it feels to be free !! Give it a chance !! Several of my friends here have had some kind words for me. I appreciate that so much. I am exactly like all of you, no better, no smarter, no more “together”, just an average guy who is capable of a lot of bad, but also a lot of good, and who draws enormous amounts of strength from all of you here. Thank you for that! Best to all! (Smile, Cory !! And remember that directive ! ! !) -Bill

  • Claire

    Bill……….. you are the best!
    It is so much better to get aggressive towards the problem. So much time for those few of us who can not drink, social or otherwise, is spent being angry towards ourselves. Some hide, some don’t, but all, it seems have lost the plot as to why they drank, nicely, in the first place. Alleviating pain, trying to focus on pictures bigger than they could see the edges of… most of all I think …… sorry if I’m out of line here… but feeling so alone & struggling to make sense of duty, trying to make ends meet… emotionally & physically.
    Some look at ‘problem drinkers’ as weak individuals. They are so wrong. I sense it’s the strength we possess that makes as targets! Hey, need a friend, need advice, need help……….. we’re there..
    Sadly there is nobody for us!… we love & care & then beat ourselves up for failing (note: think we’re failing……. so not true to many on the edge).
    It is so good to view the bad guy as extraneous.
    You would never stay friends with someone who kept hurting you & all you care for…….. so why try to keep up a relationship which you recognise as destructive from experience……….. forgive it & it still takes the heart out of you!
    I agree Bill……. this is a real fight.
    I haven’t won yet… 2 steps forward 1 step back..
    My only claim to ‘positive fame’ is I gave up smoking wihout looking back & recently………… I took myself off some heavy perscription drugs which after a year plus 1/2 I felt was more suppressive than useful.
    When I checked the web I discovered I wasn’t the only one who found this drug ‘spirit killing’..Quitiapine.
    So pleased I got off it. Feel so much more alive.
    This site is excellent & I wish very much success to everyone………. every positive step of the way.. (just let the backward steps be…… just backward!)
    Be focused & find happiness,
    Love Claire xxx

  • Bill Sheehan

    Just want to say, everyone have a good weekend !! Let’s try our best to simply be at peace with ourselves; we’re all we’ve got. Remember all those years, as children new to the world and just growing up, where we didn’t know what alcohol even was, and we didn’t require it for our taking-in the wonders of all the little things packaged up with each new day? We don’t need it now, either. Anyone mess up and get silly last night? Well, whoopee. The rest of us still love you, we don’t care if you fell, we’ll help you get back up, and turn the page, and start fresh today, and we’ll do it over and over, no matter how many times you fall, because we know you’d do it for us too. Consider the possibility of very quietly, with no drama, no fanfare, just drinking water or tea or maybe soda, today. Get 24 hours in between you and your last drink of alcohol. Get that wedge in between being a drinker and being a non-drinker. Remember the struggle of learning to ride your bike without training wheels? After so many spills and so much discouragement, one day someone gave you a little push, and, for the first time, you got more than one rotation of the pedals going– maybe two or three or four, and although you still may have wiped out a little bit further down the sidewalk, it didn’t matter, because you had experienced how awesome it felt to actually be riding that bike and knowing the sensation of staying upright, moving forward, all by yourself !! And all you could think about was getting up the next day and knowing that sensation again, and taking it a little further… maybe making it all the way down to the middle of the block this time… think of being a non-drinker the same way; don’t be afraid; just let yourself be open to the possibility that, once you sorta get the hang of it, being a non-drinker will fill you with energy and positivity and a renewed awareness and appreciation of the awesome things that surround you every day !! And best of all, you’ll start liking yourself again !! Cory, Claire, Sharon, Pat, A.J., B’ster, Anne, Luis, and everyone, keep smiling, and make the weekend great !! Best, Bill

  • Jan

    One of the hardest things to do is ask for help when you are a health professional. Yes, you will be judged and no your colleagues won’t forget. My drinking habits are the best kept secret. I went from being a teetotaller to habitual drinker during a traumatic time in my life, and I would rather die than ever admit it in public. I am grateful that there is support from faceless people who don’t know who I am. I just need to get over the stressful day blues that often accompanies my homecoming at the end of each day.

  • Lee


    For those who have stopped, congrats
    For those who are stopping, we will succeed.

    I’m joining the “stop drinking club”, again :)

    I have admitted defeat that I can’t be social drinker. Tried many times and almost fail all. Alcohol is like a horse and I’m not telented to ride it. It will run wild until I fall. Whereas my friend who drink can ride well, when time’s up they will go home and I alone continue drinking till I turn into a joker or devil.
    While it could be a blessing too? A non-drinker (ex-drinker) health is better & wallet is thicker than social drinker?

    Can’t denied that the alcohol reduce my stress during the beginning of drinking session by numbing my rational mind. But for me, it is package as I will drink more and more until my rational mind completely put to sleep.

    Now instead of heading straight for alcohol when I feel stress, I’ll ask myself why I need alcohol? does it really help? and what will happen after the dinking? Eventually it is a “no drink” answer. Supplement it by some activities to divert the stress my head.

    For my previous attempts I have been using the day counting method, which in turn I used it as an excuse to drink. (e.g. when I feel stress and wanted to drink, I will compares currently 7 days without a drink and earlier was 6days. So I deserve a drink since I done better.)
    Now I just say stop and no day counting. When I feel like drinking, I will start asking myself question as above.

    In front of me on my bedroom desk is a can of beer left over from my last drinking. Hope that it’s purpose is for decorative and not for drinking :)

    Cheers (Non-alcohol)

  • chris

    I am 22 and felt like I should share this.

    I was about 18 when I obtained a “fake i.d” and was able to purchase alcohol or enter bars anytime and anywhere I wanted.. life was great then, I had no worries in the world and thought I had everything in control.

    That quickly changed when I met a girl during my first month in college. She tragically passed away 5 days after we started dating and this event has literally killed a part inside of me.. This is what triggered me to start drinking heavily, and use alcohol to cover up the sadness I have.

    I began using alcohol as a way to cover my pain instead of using it for fun. That was also when I began drinking alone on a regular basis, stopped exercising and crashed my suv which landed me in jail for 3 nights and 1 year probation. In my mind, I believed I would be a drunk forever or just die young.

    I basically hit rock bottom at this point and cared about nothing.. All I cared about was the next time I could drink some wine or liquor to forget about everything and put my mind/body at rest. The stress from being on probation and in college on top of being sad led me to enjoy drinking until I would pass out.. it became a regular thing.

    On days when I didn’t have a drink, I would get severe anxiety and panic attacks so I drank more to get rid of this. And at the time, I had no idea the panick attacks were alcohol related attacks but looking back now, I know that they were..

    I am 22 now, almost done with college and successfully completed probation.. I have always tried teaching myself to look at life from a new perspective but now I’m finally putting the thoughts into action. So about one week ago I quit alcohol cold turkey. I experienced 4-5 days of severe withdrawal that almost put me in the hospital but I decided to get through it on my own.. I found that valerian root herbal helped ease some withdrawal during the day and night.. I’ve also started going to the gym regularly again which is always good.

    My head and thoughts are so clear now, I have energy and I’m more motivated to do things. I was numbed by alcohol for so long that I didn’t remember how wonderful life was without it. I know that my body is not all the way back to normal yet but I feel so much better in this short amount of time.

    Many people associate drinking with a good time. But for me it basically only triggers negative thoughts about events which I don’t want to think about anymore. I am moving into a new part of my life and want to be physically and mentally stronger than ever. I have finally found the motivation for me to stay on the right path and live a healthy life.

    If there is any advice I can give anyone trying to quit.. I would tell them that your mind is a very powerful tool when used correctly. Just remember that YOU are in control of your mind, body and what you put into it. Don’t let anyone or anything control your life. Eat healthy, drink a lot of water, try to break a sweat each day.. When you get through the withdrawal symptoms, you will be surprised at how great things start to feel again.

    This is one of the greatest decisions I have ever made in my life.

  • chris

    I also have a 7 month old baby to take care of. My baby girl has given me a new appreciation for life.

  • JPVD

    Lee and Chris: good luck to you both.

    Tonight i went out for pizza with the wife. She asked me if i wanted a glass of wine (she still doesn’t get that i am an ALC-O-HOL-IC; she knows i want to stop but still can’t admit that her husband really has a problem with alcohol). I said ‘no’, because i realy didn’t want one. (I only drink to get drunk; can’t get drunk off one glass of wine).

    However I saw a guy drinking a nice cold bottle of beer with his pizza. And man I wanted one; not for the beer mind you.
    But i realise what i am longing for, what i am really missing and why i drink is because i truly miss the ‘good times’ of my youth when drining cold beer and pizza was still an acceptable and enjoyable thing to do.

    Bottles of red wine and long conversations; warming scotch on wet windy nights; cocktails on a friday after work. All gone.

  • Patrick

    @ JPVD – Yes, it is amazing how our brains and our memories can reach back into our past and only pluck out the pleasant experiences that we had with our drug of choice.

    And just like you mention, you can catch a whiff of MJ at an outdoor concert, or catch a glimpse of your old favorite drink in a restaurant, and be taken back to those pleasant memories in an instant. It can be sudden, and powerful.

    But of course, it is all in what you do with it. Just like in your situation, you processed it, got over it, did not relapse or anything, and you accept it and move on.

    Those “perfect little moments” that we had with our drug of choice are far outweighed by the misery they caused us. And in recovery, we can appreciate much finer joy and delight in much more simple and meaningful things.

    And we all know this on some level….but like you point out JPVD, that trigger can catch us off guard for a second, and take us back in an instant. So we live and learn and grow stronger. We come to terms with the occasional trigger moment, where we remember the good times. But in my experience it always passes, and quickly. And it is just no big deal if you are seriously pursuing real growth in recovery.

    The gifts in recovery today are HUGE compared to those micro-moments of pleasure that I use to get with drinking. I am blessed to be able to keep that in perspective, and see how far I have come, even when I do get the occasional reminder, such as JPVD described.

  • Nina

    OK- I have been reading this website for the past couple days and am hesitant to put myself out there, but I think it may help me reach my goals of not drinking. Me and my husband are partners in crime, and have been drinking and smoking together ever since we met. We have been married now for 23 years and both in our 50s. We used to have a lot of fun while drinking… laughing, listening to music, dancing, friends. Now it is just us, wine and the kitchen table-we have become a lot less social and the effects of drinking are getting worse. We are both engineers, although I quit 10 years ago and now have my own business- both very responsible. Have quit several times for days or weeks even months and while pregnant but it never lasts-always stress etc- actually even boredom brings us back to our comfort zone. Now we have not drank for 5 days which is a danger zone and tomorrow is Friday- not good either. We never drink during the day, but when 5:00 comes around the wine starts pouring -we sit at the kitchen table and talk and drink, some times I start putting him down… then have dinner around 8 or 9 and usually I do not remember eating at all- black outs almost every night I try not to take any phone calls or make calls for fear of not remembering them. WE are best friends but
    we are sick and tired of being sick and tired and just surviving. We push ourselves so hard during the day- a lot of times because of guilty feelings and working hard seems to prove that I we are not being affected by the wine. We have had successful careers, eat right, exercise – even ran a mini marathon several years ago. We have a 18 year old son that is starting to drink and smoke, even though in his younger years he would throw out the cigarettes and wine. I know we have wasted so much time, money, and life, and wonder what life would been like now if we never drank at all- how could we be so stupid? No one really knows we have this problem except for us and our son.

  • Katrina

    This is a wonderful site. I admire those of you who are sober or at least admitting that you have a problem. This weekend, after going on a binge with some friends (and being off of my antidepressants for a few days), I got really, really scared about my drinking (lots of anxious thoughts and panic). I have a therapist and psychiatrist who know about my drinking (and history of anxiety and depression), though I sometimes minimize it to them. My therapist, who I’ve been seeing for years does basically know how bad it has been, how many crazy and dangerous situations I’ve gotten into, and how I’m lucky to be alive and not have any legal troubles. I did end up losing my job. Since I’ve been unemployed–for months now–it has been much more difficult to keep some form of control over my drinking. The structure of my job used to help a lot–and I did have several months of sobriety (during/after doing an outpatient rehab last summer). A break-up during the holidays and some other life situations triggered a relapse, which I haven’t recovered from. The highest number of days I’ve gone without drinking for the past many months is 5-6. My experience with sobriety before was mixed in that I got in really good shape, lost weight, didn’t have to worry about the bad consequences of drinking. But I felt lonely, bored, flat . . . I went to some AA meetings but didn’t really connect with people, didn’t talk, didn’t get a sponsor. I have an appointment later today with someone who is a detox specialist, who will do an assessment about whether I’ll need any medical help to detox at this point. I know people on this site have mentioned the dangers of doing it alone. Thanks for reading and wish me luck.

  • bikehikester

    Guys thanks for sharing your stories, I am really relating to each of you in some way. I was two weeks sober till last Thursday. Then I drank one martini on Friday. But I got back on track the next day. I’m still toying with the idea of social drinking once in awhile. Tonight is three weeks of no drinking by myself at home. The habitual drinking really concerns me. I found myself at this site tonight because I actually thought about drinking. Like someone said here, it’s the boredom that gets me.

  • Scott

    Like many people here, I am so grateful to have found this site. The article and all the comments have given me starting point. I see myself in many of the comments from people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I truly am. I’m tired of the cycle, the misery, and the depression. The “ups” are short-lived, but the “downs” are miserable. I’ve known I have had a problem for years. That hasn’t been hard for me to admit. But today, for the first time in a long time, I decided that I care enough about myself to do something about it. I am determined to break the cycle and stop this madness. Deep down I know that’s really the only choice. Thank you Patrick and thank you everyone else.

  • Leigh

    I have been drinking since I was 15. I have had periods in my life where I would go days, weeks and months of no drinking. I do not have a physical addiction to alcohol but when I start I do not want to stop. I am 35 years old. I have heard from other help stop drinking sources that if you figure out why you drink then you will stop. I cannot figure it out. I have separated myself from people that drink but now I am drinking alone. I just want to drink and I don’t know why. I think I finally have hit bottom. I was out at a bar close to my house last night, I ran into a girl I know and a couple of guys she works with. I did not have anything to drink at my house and wanted to keep drinking so I went over to one of the guys houses. He is 10 years younger than me. I think we had sex after I passed out. I had called my exboyfriend at 4am for him to come pick me up. I could not stop his advances but I was so drunk I could not do anything. I am very numb to what has happened and I did not drink today. I have no money to pay for a rehab or counseling so I don’t know really what to do at this point. I am hoping this will make me stop drinking.

  • Scott

    I’m no pro, because I too have struggled with this and haven’t really known what to do. But I think we make progress when we are humble and can admit things. Which you did. Please give yourself some credit for your honesty. Yesterday, alone and recovering from a 3-day binge, I vocalized some things out loud, very resolutely – to my inner self, or to God, higher power, whatever. I had a “talk” and I made some admissions. I apologized for beating up my body, and decided that I’m a worthwhile person enough to really get on this and quit being lazy about it, and actually do something about it. Patrick said to reach out for help. This site is a starting point. I’m not sure what next, but I plan to keep that “talk” I had with myself at the forefront of my thoughts, and do everything I can to honor the things I said and committed to. We can do this!

  • JPVD

    Hello all. I just want to say good luck to everyone; just being here reading and maybe posting is certainly a step toward slaying the demon.

    I was stunned to see it has been a year since i really confronted my drinking; when the ‘functioning’ went out of my ‘functional alcoholism’.

    I have had many relapses, but each relapse for a different reason. The reality is that I definitely have had a less drunk year, and it is only getting more and more sober.

    I used to count the HOURS (especially from 4:55 onwards!) of non-drinking, and then the days and finally weeks. But I’m now closing in on the magical 90 days straight without a single drink.

    It scares me to read of others who quit once for 5 years but returned to the booze.

    I will end this by admitting one dark secret that i cannot shake; I like to drink, and always have. I like beer and bars and the clinking of glasses and tasting wine and of course all those great good things that come with it…all the perceived benefits.

    This is the hardest thing, is that i don’t really want to stop drinking. In my heart of hearts I want to be a social drinker again. However I fight with myself because I know I can never be again, all those relapses last year prove it.

    I can stop drinking for many months, and not miss it; but can i stop forever… can i become a non-drinker?

  • Cory


    I haven’t posted for awhile because I didn’t want to keep repeating my attempts and failures. It has been 3 weeks since my ‘epiphany’ that I was going to become a non-drinker – did well for 3 days and decided that I could drink when I wanted and stop when I wanted – only to find out that I can’t be a social drinker. Like you, JPVD – I enjoy drinking – at least – I enjoy the first drink. I like the feeling of relaxation that envelopes me at the end of a difficult day. The thing is, I can’t stop after that first drink and after 3 failed attempts and being totally pissed off at myself, I feel like I am going to be successful – I would rather give up those 15 minutes of euphoria that always lead to downing an entire bottle – sometimes more — and the miserable next day that follows. I have had 3 ‘successful’ days now and I feel really good again – I like getting up early in the morning and excited about the day. My whole outlook changes when I am not hung-over. My challenge is at the end of the day when I feel like I need to reward myself. That will be my daily challenge and I hope I can succeed another day. I haven’t been able to stop cold-turkey, but I am certainly better than I have been for the last 10 years. I have heard two good pieces of advice that make perfect sense – you can’t get drunk if you don’t drink – and you won’t have to worry about the 10th drink if you don’t have the first. I find re-reading the postings – especially Bill and Patricks’ advice to everyone – really helpful when I am feeling weak so please don’t stop encouraging us – it makes more of a difference than you may realize. Good luck to everyone.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Wow! Just wanted to thank everyone for your posts and sharing so much helpful information. I have stopped drinking now for 3 1/2 months. I can’t believe how much better I feel. I wasn’t a daily drinker but found myself looking for reasons to celebrate or drown my sorrows or just relax a lot and it always invloved alcohol. Sometimes it was okday and other times it was bad:vomitting hangovers that lasted for days, missing work or other commitments, saying and doing things that were hurtful, just being plain crazy the guilt I would feel afterwords was hell as well as the self hatred. So many times I tried to change the way I drank but then my last drunk I blacked out yelled at people got so sick I thought I would die. I just knew something was different and I was done with drinking. I can’t believe the changes that are occuring in my life all for the better. I feel such relieve at never having to go through any of that again. I was worried what people would think and how I would fit in but for now I just say I am on medication which is true one day I hope to be more honest but for now that is what works for me. I have gone to a few AA meetings I just kept trying different ones until I found a fit. Not sure about the whole thing but really wanted to meet some people who don’t drink. Today I went out for lunch with a friend who is a social drinker and I felt fine just glad I am done with it. Thanks for listening.

  • Suzy


    I just caught up on all your good posts. This is my 50th day sober and I’m struggling every day. Feel isolated and an alien cause I can’t be around it. I hope I can in future cause it’s hard to find people that do not drink. I guess trying an AA meeting would be a good step, but really not wanting to be dominated by the ’12 steps’ . Wonder if there is a group that doesn’t stress that.
    I have been hiding behind the mask of alcohol for so long, that I do not really know who I am anymore. I am finding that its much deeper than alcohol and I used it as an excuse to do some bad things to myself and let others do to me.

    There are so many different types of alcoholics on here. I respect and encourage everyone. I especially admire the parents who are quitting for their kids. How wonderful you will have to look back on their childhoods and not feel that guilt and wonder if you gave your all. You were 100% present and connected to setting a good example.
    Carpe Diem!

  • Camus

    Suzy, just so you remember, not being sober is not so great either. I’ve been on both sides; sober for about a year to now… good for a week, not so good for a week. I hate the guilt and drinking never gives me as good of feeling as I think it will. Just remember the reasons you stopped drinking in the first place everytime you have a weak moment or think of myself that’s not doing as well as you, and only wish I could be at the 50 day mark. I know how easy it is to “slip” and think that “just this once I can have a drink”, but it doesn’t work that way for us. So, don’t slip. It’s much easier not to in the first place than to have to deal with the guilt and increased temptation. As far as me, I’m still trying, but failing week after week.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hey guys– Cory, Camus, Suzy, Nancy, JPVD, Scott, Leigh, Bike, Katrina, Nina, Chris, Lee, and all !!
    I had a gig last night– my first ever “solo” performance, three and a half hours, utilizing backing tracks, and singing and playing my guitar; gosh, I flubbed so many things, and struggled mightily with my increasingly limited vocal range (age !!!) and with the electronic aspects of the setup; I felt so incompetent, though I’ve been playing in bands since 1970, somehow last night it just wasn’t happenin’, and man, did I ever feel like a failure. But a good friend pulled me aside and said, “Hey, just remember, some days you’re the windshield, and some days you’re the bug; you are the recipient of a wonderful gift tonight– the gift of humility, which allows you to get back up again and find ways to do better next time. And you WILL do better next time.” It broke my heart to see some of my friends in recent posts here on this awesome site, in so many words, thinking of themselves as failures. Please don’t worry, guys! We all specialize in imperfection, and all we can do is try to improve each day. None of us here, NONE of us, is a failure. Did you mess up today? Well, okay, tomorrow you will do better !! And before long, you will look back and wonder how it was that alcohol got such a hold on you. You will soon cross that threshhold beyond which the whole concept of drinking becomes nothing more than a dull, faint memory. And you’ll say wow, am I ever glad I got the heck out of that trap !! I have moments periodically too, like many here, when I just think to myself, gheesh I’d love to just get hammered right now. And then I just think, hey Bill, name ONE time where getting hammered truly did something positive for you, or led to something good. I never have an answer for that one. Everyone have a wonderful Sunday evening !! Best, Bill

  • Scarlett

    Coming from a family of non-drinkers, I remember with pleasure the 2 glasses of wine I started drinking nightly upon my marriage at the age of 21. They relaxed me after my day at work and made me feel SO sophisticated in our little apartment as I waited for my husband to come home from med school. Already I was drinking alone, a pattern which has continued for 32 years. Now I drink about a bottle and a half of wine nightly. I’ve been reading this website, looking for inspiration to quit. There have been many honest and painful voices here that I can relate to. I’m tired of having to go to the recycling center every couple of weeks, just to get rid of the number of empty bottles in the basement. Please wish me luck kicking out the alien — a vision I really like. I’d like to hate someone else for a change.

  • Bill Sheehan

    YOU GO, Scarlett ! ! ! Just grab that little s**t by the tail and drop-kick him into another area code ! ! Now, don’t be surprised if he tries to find his way back, and be prepared to cut loose with your internal voice with something like, “Screw you, you slimy little ba***rd ! ! !” And kick him again. Eventually you’re gonna win. But no matter how many times he may sneak past you, and you might goof up, keep on kicking him back out, and DON’T give up, and DON’T think you’re a failure when you fall ! ! Erase the chalkboard and start fresh !! Open your mind and your heart and your soul to a wonderful feeling of tranquility, because soon you will have banged that little alien up to the point where he can no longer keep that feeling away from you. Just listen, and quietly wait, and when that feeling comes, trust me, you will know it. And you’ll know you’ve turned the corner, that the alien is dead, that you are free. A wonderful evening to all !! -Bill

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi everyone. Still staying sober almost 4 months. Feeling nervous because my mom quit around the same time I did as well as my husband. In the beginning my mom was soooo excited just like I was. Now she is talking about maybe being able to have just a glass of wine. I know this wont’ work for me. I tried not to have any attachment to her not drinking but if I was to be honest I am really sad about this. It was so nice to have someone to share the excitement about never drinking again. Anyway just thought I would put this out there any advise….? I think I also feel scared. Any input or advise would help. Thanks.

  • Suzy

    Bill. congrats on the making music again , ripping on the elec. guitar.. nice to accomplish that sober.. and achieve something..takes guts to perform especially sober.. i just finished my first semester sober , writing sober papers , sober presentations. humm.. guess i am going to try some more uncomfortable things that helps build your confidence and face fears. I agree Camus, and Nancy its not worth the torment and temptation of drinking just a little.I am scared too. i wish i were normal about alcohol, but its the devils brew offering only a prison stay. How long does it take to know you are over it and not at risk to drink.. i wonder.. I too need to be around non drinkers… for support.. i dont know any… so Im going to try a womans AA group i think.. keep turning the corner .. peace and freedom to all…

  • Christian

    i have only 3 days sober this is so hard i only drink on thursdays, fridays and saturdays but when i start i cannot stop and when im really drunk i also take cocaine so i can drink more and last all night today is a thursday and its ll:50 at night so its my first party day that im sober but i feel so pissed and damn it this is so hard im only 21 years old and all my friends are in the party mode you know but the alcohol has giving me a lot of problems and i just cant keep living that way but at the same time i want a drink so bad!!! i dont know how to live without alcohol i wanted to quit drugs not alcohol but if i drink i always end up doing cocaine and i never take cocaine when im sober so the real problem is the booze. But what am i going to do without drinking when all i know to do is party and i cant imagine parting without alcohol it must suck at least i wont be able to do it right now help me please

  • Bill Sheehan

    Nancy and Suzy, don’t be afraid !!
    You’re going to succeed !!
    Think about it, guys– really, what’s to be afraid of? “Sober” is such a lousy word for what happens when you become a non-drinker! “FREE” would be a much better word !! And that freedom is REAL, guys, it’s to be enjoyed and relished, and cherished !! And Christian, listen man, I always thought the exact same thing that you just said– that partying without alcohol “must suck” !! But I’m tellin’ ya, if you’re willing to just try a couple of outings with maybe just club soda and a lime, you will be amazed at how smooth, and sharp, and attractive to the ladies, youare, I’m absolutely not kidding !! It’s a sense of pride and peace and well-being that you have to experience to believe it could actually BE !! You’ve got nothing to lose except being a loser– not that you’re a loser, my friend, ’cause you’re NOT, but the path you’re heading down has that word written all over it. So, if you’re willing to listen to my advice, I’d say to myself, “Sure, it’s gonna be hard to do this, but maybe I need to friggin’ do something hard for a change and stop being such a damn wuss.” So… there it is, Christian, there’s your challenge. Try it, and be amazed. -Bill

  • Cory

    Hi everyone

    I am so touched by all of your stories and how they reflect my own life. I am especially moved by those of you have been able to be sober – from one day (Christian- I hope that you got through Thursday night!!) to the 50 days, etc. sobers. I havent’ been able to make more than three. I don’t know why. I feel so good after a few days and seem to think that I should reward myself with that glass of wine that turns into 6. It never works and I don’t know why I keep doing that – but I do know that I am in a different mind set because each time I fail,I am more and more ticked off, and more determined to stop this destructive behaviour. It is hard to stop a 20 year habit! Christian I admire you because you are only 21 and already know that you need to make changes. The ‘habits’ you have developed are not that entrenched in your life, even though you feel that they are. I would say that you need to make new friends – find out about healthy clubs – hiking, mountain biking,outdoor sports – you will find that there are a lot of people your age who ‘party’ in a healthy way. People your age want to fit in with a social group, and it seems like the group you now have are not what is best for you. You just have to find them and change your social circle. Your life is still ahead of you and you will be able to contribute so much because of what you have already been through. I have children your age and see what they are going through with their friends, so I hope you are not offended by this ‘bossy’ advice. Bill,I am so thankful that you are on this web-site – your comments have gotten me through so many difficult moments

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi everyone thanks for your encouraging words. I guess I got scared when I realized that my mom was going to jump ship and not stay sober with me. I didn’t realized that I had made her my main source of support we are very close and I was so happy to share the excitement of being sober together. Bike rides book signings doing things that I never did sober and now I realize I can’t depend on her through this journey. So sad and disappointing.Thanks goodness I had starting going to AA and another support group because I may have joined my mom and starting drinking but instead I reached out to all of you and went to two meetings yesterday and today I am still sober. I have to depend on myself and continue to reach out and meet people. I am sad and scard that my mom and I won’t be as close, but my sobriety is so important to me and I don’t want to disappoint my husband and children. Thanks again for listening. Nancy

  • Lee

    Thanks bill and all, for the encouragement.

    Have not drink since my last post and are feeling better. There are occasions that I almost went back to drinking but manage to pull through after tough fight inside my mind.

    Christian: by not going to party, you did not miss a thing but instead you gain. Like what Cory have said, you can try to change your life style. Your party friends is just a passerby in your life, how long you want to keep them is up to you. When the night come, don’t think of the party but go to bed. Can see that you are a smart person as you realise that something have to be done (I did not when I was around your age).
    Do you want to make a change now when you are young or after 10 or 20 years when it’s is much much more difficult? Reading the earlier postings, the experience from others will tell you what you might face if you continue your current life style.

    I know it’s hard, but it’s not impossible. And it must be done!!!!!!! Do not give up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hello friends ! ! Just want to say thank you for sharing your thoughts and stories and personal experiences here, as they help us all to help one another! Had another gig last night. Managed to make it through with a few club sodas with Rose’s lime juice. Sure, the thought of a few frosty Bud Light drafts danced through my head a time or two, but I just focused on how refreshing/hydrating/calorie-free AND good-for-my-breath that club soda was !! After the gig, I stopped at the local Denny’s and got some breakfast, around 1:30 a.m. Let me tell ya, friends, as I sat there with my Lumberjack Slam and coffee, and watched all the drunk people stumble in, I remembered so plainly how that used to be ME, and what a complete roach of a lifestyle it is, and how grateful I am to have finally busted away from it !!! As others here have confided, yes, I used to enjoy getting sloppy, fully aware of how I’d pay for it in the morning, but I was willing to tolerate that pay factor for the sake of the almighty buzz. Now I can see what a series of sad decisions I made, all those years, and how nothing good– not a single good thing– ever flowed from those decisions. Plenty of bad things did, though. I sometimes think that putting the drinking behind us is as easy, or as hard, as we decide to make it. We can say, “Oh my lord, this is gonna be so hard, and I just don’t have the willpower, and I’ll never be able to have fun again, and I won’t be able to function in social situations, and I can’t do without that buzz, I just can’t ! ! !” Or we can say, “Oh, for cryin’ out loud, stop being such a goddamn drama king/queen and get real… gheesh, how hard could this really be??? Do ya wanna continue to trash your health and your relationships and your bank account and your self-esteem, and waste day after precious day trying to regain basic functionality from the night before, damn it?!! Or are you gonna wake the hell up, use the basic common sense you were born with, and close the book on the drinking chapter of your life while you still have some time left??” It’s no mystery, really. Alcohol is as poisonous as gasoline to us, guys. How hard is it to make it thru a day without drinking gasoline? Everyone have a great Sunday evening !! -Bill

  • JPVD

    hello again. First, food on you nancy for taking control of your own recovery.
    Christopher, i wish i had your self-understanding when i was your age. no matter what happens, you are in control and aware of what is goingon; many do not have that and drift along until rock-bottom.

    as for me, still plodding along one sober day after the other.

    I want to relate a little tale. I’m having a tough time at the moment with a relative living on our property. I’m stressed and upset and I realised that as little as 4 weeks ago i would probablyhit the wine.

    What’s funny is that until I had that realisation i wasn’t craving the wine. But once i started thinking about it, i found it really difficult to get it out of my mind. I guess this is why the non-drinker stays a non-drinker; if they have never used alcohol as stress relief, well then they never miss it.

    I remember quitting smoking was a bit the same. I never thought about smoking until people started talking about smoking!

    I never considered the ban on alcohol or tobacco advertising before, but certainly having no reminders in the popular media helps to forget their interference in my life.
    In this vein, having a non-drinking partner helps, and NO BOOZE IN THE HOUSE.

    good luck all


  • GJ

    I’m sick of myself. I’ve always been a party girl and now it’s completely out of control. My two adult daughters party almost as hard as I do, but are horrified when they see me drunk and out of control. I drink wine everynight, sometimes as much as two bottles. I’m hung over every day and can’t remember what I said or did the night before. I can’t believe the grip this has on me. I never thought I’d turn into an alcoholic but here I am… in all my full blown addiction. This site is going to be my lifeline… because I simply have to stop drinking. I’m pulling everyone down, especially myself and I need to model good behavior or my daughters will go down this hell hole as well. Thank you for being here…

  • Steve

    I have read every single post on this forum and I am just amazed at all your efforts to stop drinking and appreciate the difficulties associated with that massive endeavor. I myself have quit many times. I know how hard it can be to just stay sober. I myself drank heavily for 30+ years and it ruined and posioned many of my hopes and aspirations, as well as almost killing me. I’m finally now coming up on three years of absolutely no alcohol and drug free. In my initial early recovery/sobriety it was so difficult that I did utilize the “one day at a time” concept, but now I’m taking the approach… and have the complete conviction that I am done drinking for good. I have stopped unsuccessfully quitting for the last time and I am steadfast in the promise to myself that I will never, ever drink again. It is the enemy! I do suffer from PAWS symptoms however, and I do still hear the “Addicted Voice” that continues to haunt me from time to time, but I’m hopeful that with more time of total abstinence I will recover to the point that I no longer suffer from those. First and foremost, I do understand it is progressive, so the thought of any first drink at any time for any reason, does terrify me and must be avoided and never be allowed to touch my lips. I see that some of you have made the same commitment.
    I know theres alot of ways at looking at this addiction and hundreds of reasons why we shouldn’t drink. Maybe one of you will write a book. 1001 reasons not to drink. I can think of at least 340… The number of posts on this forum so far…and I just like to say Thanks for all your words of encouragement and describing your struggles with drinking and your desire to stop.
    Best of luck and good health to you.
    I know I’m not alone.

  • Camus

    Thanks for your words Steve. It’s encouraging to know that you also tried so many times to quit & still are a success story. I have quit many times, only to think I can have a drink a couple months later & slowly get back to destructive drinking. I took my last drink last Thursday. Putting my 2 & 3 year old at risk was the final straw for me. I never put them in harms way like this before and that scares the crap out of me. My husband came home from work finding me nearly incoherent. I took the kids on a walk and don’t remember most of it. Even the 2 year old still talks of me puking and I don’t remember where or doing it. I knew I was escalating again, but can’t seem to stop until it gets bad. If I came home and found my husband in the state I was, I could never trust him to take care of my children again. It scares me that I could have passed out on the walk with my children or maybe I did briefly. This happened 5 days ago & the thought of drinking again makes me sick. Everytime I’ve quit in the past, it’s been around a couple months that I start having the cravings again. I think it’s because the severity of how serious this is wears off. I forget how damaging it has been for me & think “just one drink”. Often it starts out the first time as “just one drink”, but the next time 2 and so forth. Some of you that have been successful, have you went to AA or had counseling for long term support? I’ve done both in the past (AA required for DUI) & neither are appealing to me. I wish there was something like AA, but not quite as structured of meetings. I fear most what I’ll feel like after one or two months. I don’t want alcohol to ever creep back into my life as it seems to always have done in the past.

  • Christian

    8 days sober i started doing meetings and i feel great its still hard but im so proud of myself im completly sober im not even smoking weed which is impressive honestly 8 days is a miracle for me and yeah and bill i know your right because i have had a lot of girls im a real good looking guy i have a preety face i work out everyday and i got game but every girl i had always told me that the only bad thing about me that i was always to wasted sometimes when i was hitting on girls i couldnt even talk they wouldnt understand what i was saying and thats not cool, the girls ive had they always told me a such attractive and awesome guy like you the only bad thing is that your a drunk so yeah i plan on getting twice the girls now, when i go back to the party scene but right now i cant even go to bars in a future i hope i will be able to party sober but right now is not the time because i will be really tempted thanks for the help guys and the support wow im impressed thanks and a lot of sober time for all of us!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi Camus. I have been sober for only 4 months so I am no expert. But I could relate to what you said about stopping and then forgetting how bad it was. The only thing that is different for me this time is AA at first I didn’t really like it or feel like I could relate but I just kept going and now I have met some really great people and it is helping me to stay sober. Just thought I would share that with you. My mom and I had quit together and she started again but because I was going to AA I was able to continue staying sober. I too just thinking of my kids. Good luck to you and every AA meeting is different. This website helps and I just keep searching. Thinking of you.

  • Camus

    Thanks Nancy, I went to my first AA meeting today. If nothing else, it gives me some people I can call if I’m feeling weak. It feels good having that support. I still have no temptations to drink, but I know that the temptation will come, and I want to be prepared when it does. Thanks again!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi Camus. Funny that we connected because that is what I thought.. at first it was sooo easy no cravings I thought I was so lucky. and bam!!! When my mom decided she didn’t want to do this I really felt like drinking it has hit me pretty hard but I haven’t and that I believe is because of AA which I never thought I would say I even joined a group today and I really respect and admire the people there. I thought I was doing so well but then I realized that it was easy for me to quit because I wasn’t a daily drinker so I didn’t have the physical addiction but holly shit!!! This is hard but I know it will get easier people on this site have done it and so can we. I now believe I am an alcoholic and that is the first step. Thanks. I will be thinking of you and all the best to everyone for sharing all their stories I got some help and insight from every post.

  • SCD

    Hello to all,
    What an amazing site this is. I wish I had found this when I was trying to stop drinking alcohol. Come tomorrow, I will be sober for 1 year and 3 months. If you had told me this 2 years ago, I would have said you are off your f’n rocker!!! But alas, I have not had a hangover for a long time, off course I still say stupid shit every now and then, but who doesn’t. The process of actually quitting took me about a year or so, once I realized I had a problem with the stuff. But I am free of the chains, the anxiety, the regrets, the headaches and everything else that comes along with it. I think one of the biggest parts for me was coming to grips with the realization that I can never have another beer!!! Wow!!! I still dream about Sierra Nevada, I love that stuff. But that is all I will do is dream. Once I got past the realization I had a problem, the next step was, how do I kick it? We’ll I went to a “treatment specialist” once a week for about 2 months until I found my insurance would not cover this. I went in there drunk a couple times. Then made a bargain with my wife, that if I ever got totally rocked again, I would go to inpatient treatment. No way I wanted to do that, plus I would have to take out a second mortgage on the house to pay for it..haha. So needless to say, as you all know, I got “rocked” on more than one occasion in the next few months. Then, the real kicker. My wife went on a work trip and left me with our 2 year old daughter for a week and a half. The first week went pretty well (of course I was semi-controlling my drinking). The second weekend, I started drinking on Friday night and never stopped again….I won’t go into all the details. But this landed me in treatment. I bargained for outpatient (5 nights a week for 3 hours a night). I did okay during the week but on the weekends I went back to drinking a few, even though I was taking “antabuse”. I finally got kicked out of treatment for being honest and telling them I was drinking on the weekends? Hmmmm…..go figure. So the next 5 months were a struggle, off a couple days, back to the beer, off a week, back to the beer, off two weeks, back to the beer. Meanwhile I talked the treatment center into letting me back in. I eventually got kicked out again. At this point I did not know what I was going to do. I was stuck in Hell. Someone suggested doing 90 AA meetings in 90 days. So I said, what do I have to lose? I started it, even though the first and second days of it I was still drinking. But by miracle or something, things kicked in and now it is a year and three months later. This is what worked for me. I said I would never go to AA because it was just a bunch of “Losers” but it ended up this is the support I needed at the beginning. I just wanted to say to those who are trying to quit, don’t give up, don’t be scared, stare the beast in the face and don’t worry about what others will think.

  • Phil

    Patrick, I really like your strategies because they mention a lot of good ideas without even going into the Twelve Steps and AA. I like AA okay and went back just last week to re-commit to the program. But I would like to just go to one meeting a week for awhile and just use it as a support group rather than the complete answer for my sobriety. Thank you for listing many other good ideas, such as exercise, that I think your readers can benefit from.

  • Phil

    Nancy and Camus

    I, like you, just recently went to an AA. I have tried AA in the past about 3 times, but each time I dropped out after a few meetings because I wasn’t sure if it was right for me. Lately, I have started gaining more respect and insight into the group, and I think it will help me quite a bit. Give it a chance, pick up some good recovery literature to supplement your readings, and as Patrick says, stopping drinking is about living a full life, not just about recovery. Nancy, I am only a beer drinker, and I only have periods where I drink a lot daily. Only once in my life did I ever have physical problems when I quit, such as intense anxiety, but there is no doubt that I am an alcoholic, and I know that I must abstain completely in order to improve my quality of life. Good luck with your meetings and your long-term recovery.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi Phil. Thanks so much for your response I go on this site everyday just checking!! Always searching for answers….I was so afraid of AA I don’t know why I just pictured getting sucked into a cult or changing and dumping all my friends standing on street corners, you get my drift. But I have really met people I respect and like of course like anything there are those I don’t. I can’t believe how different every meeting is depending on demagraphics I guess. I know what you and Patrick or talking about being consumed in recovery and that is what I am afraid of. So I take it with a grain of salt but at the beginning recovery is all consuming anything new is like that I guess. I know I am rambling and having a hard time articulating what I want to say, but thanks for listening and caring. I just wanted to add that when people at AA give you there number it really helped when I called.

  • JPVD

    hello all;
    just re-reading some previous posts that help me get through some difficult times when i feel like a drink.

    i’m having that little voice tell me “come on, it’s been a while. you deserve it!”

    as well as ” a few cold beers would be nice watching the football!”

    need to be strong

  • Camus

    I agree Nancy, it seems easier to quit initially when you’re not a daily drinker, but it also took me a long time to realize how severe my drinking problem was/is. When I’ve quit in the past, I justify that “I’m sure one drink won’t hurt; I’ve learned my lesson in the past not to overindulge”. Well, I hope I’ve learned my lesson that I have no control over my drinking. I have no control whether “this one” will really be one today or that it will be enough to make me comatose. Anyhow, I haven’t had a drink since the last incident, about 10 days ago, and even went on a campout this weekend that had every alcoholic beverage imaginable. I must say that I’m not as tempted around other people to drink as much as when I’m alone. My husband’s going out of town for a week, and that makes me a bit worried. I plan to go to more AA meetings that week to pull me through. After seeing what everyone has to say here & a bit of my own experiences, that recovery is partially about enjoying life & really living, but also about really doing what needs to be done to pull us through the difficult periods, because we’re going to all have them. For me, that’s going to be spending more time on this website and going to AA whenever possible while my husband is out of town. Wish everyone strength & honestly to ourselves.

  • K

    Thanks for all the comments. Good insight and advice. We’ll see how it goes.

  • LaMer

    Found this site 7 hours ago… took until 11 pm to read through all the posts – i’m tired, but need to communicate. i’m a highly functioning after-work wine-only alcoholic and decided this a.m. that i need to stop. i can’t moderate, and i have no control once i start. I usually open a bottle within 10 minutes of arriving home, and proceed to drink until i go to bed, offering the occasional glass to my hub to validate my consumption. despite my being a happy drunk, and a “fun” mama, my husband has begun to occasionally express concern at how much we consume. he has no idea that i drink at least 2X as much as he does (i hide open bottles and chug before going to bed). i had a dream that my teeth exploded out of my head last night. i was spitting out pieces of my ruined teeth, picking through the bloody mess on the ground trying to find all of them. what do exploding teeth have to do with deciding to quit? i’ve no idea, but the gut feeling i woke up with was unmistakeable — i need to stop. i’m teetering on the edge of a very steep precipice.

    i feel incredibly good when i don’t drink. i stopped for 30 days when my bro went to rehab last year for raging alcoholism. i did it as a gesture of support, and only told my hub and my best friends. but secretly, i was lying to them. i think i was testing the waters of sobriety. at the end of that month was my wedding anniversary. my husband and i split a bottle of wine, and as he was pouring the wine and i was lifting the glass to my lips, even as the wine was in my mouth and i was swallowing, my (heart?soul?superego?concience?) was protesting against it. in that moment, when i realized that i could choose to stay on my new path forever, i lost faith in myself and chose the easy, less frightening, more familiar way. and deep down was terribly disappointed in myself.

    as far as stopping again goes, all i need to remember is that it’s a simple decision. i’m stopping because it’s bad for me, like Clorox (to quote bill s.). also, it isn’t a big deal — this is how i know why: on the drive home on the first day of the month i quit i passed the exit to the grocery where i would buy wine from. i got very anxious… what was i going to do with myself that night without alcohol? the question answered itself within 2 minutes of arriving home. i poured myself a glass of fizzy water w/lemon and proceed to 1) change out of my work clothes, 2) give big hugs to my two little kiddos & my hub, 3) take over cooking dinner so my hub could take a break, 4) catch up on the day w/hub, 5) feed kiddos, 6) start our dinner, 7) eat with the kiddos, 8) clean up the kids send them off to play while we finish eating, 9) do the dishes, 10) clean up the kitchen, 11) give kids bath, 12) put kiddos to bed, 13) fold laundry while watching bad SciFi reruns, 14) pick up the house, 15) get stuff ready for the next day, 16) study for a class i’m taking, 17) go to bed, 18) sleep. i do these things nearly every evening of every day. and to think i honestly didn’t know what i was going to do with myself if i wasn’t drinking!! my children will always be there needing me, drunk or not. my husband will always be there, drunk or not. the dishes/laundry/dusting/yard work will always be there, drunk or not.
    that night i didn’t miss the alcohol. and felt amazing the next day.

    so it can be done. i just need to communicate to my husband just how very real my inability to control my intake is, and simply stop doing it. i’m planning on attending an aa/12-step meeting every weekday on my way home from work, to help break the habit of getting into a drinking mindset.

    to everyone here, my heartfelt thoughts and prayers are for all of us working through/on this.

    bill s., i’m so happy you call it a monster, too. it’s all my uncertainties, fears, disappointments, pain, self-hatred, and guilt and because i denied them, refused to give them voice – shut them away in a deep dark place – they mixed in the blackness, and from them was created a demon that now lives in me whispering temptation and beckoning me to poison myself. but i know what it is, and rather than pretend it doesn’t exist, i’m going to look squarely at it, see every fear, uncertainty, disappointment, pain, and i’m going to understand them, embrace them for what they are, and once i’ve accepted them, i’m going to let them go. and with every one that i free myself from the demon will be that much less, until (maybe not completely gone) it’ll be reduced to the point of powerlessness. self discovery — and yes, i’m doing this with a therapist.

  • Paul

    I have done it all, been to the detox, rehab – twice, and finally I have come to terms that unless I do something about it, I headed south, and very fast. What started as an occasional beer after work in my mid twenties has grown to be a controling monster – I am now in my early forties. The last seven to eight years have been pure hell for me, my friends and family. The shame, near misses with the law and also two warnings at my work place, have finally made me rethink the worth of the alcohol consumption and I have been dry for about a week.
    One thing though, is that I have found that I have a lot of time, especially in the evenings, and I am not sure what to do with myself. I live away from my family and travel a lot. I do get to see them, but even then I would appreciate any creative ideas on what to do with the extra time that is suddenly thrust in my direction as a result of my resolve. I am not saying that I am out of the woods yet, I do know that I am still vulnerable.

  • LaMer

    Paul, after drying out my brother started getting up very early, 4:30 am and going to the gym, afterwards an AA meeting at 6 a.m., which used to be the time he would crack his first (of 6) bottles of wine. he goes to bed at 9 p.m. now, where he used to be up until 1 or 2. he and his family plan to do things during the day — going out to breakfast instead of dinner, neighborhood festivals instead of concerts at night, hikes and park visits during the day instead of camping (for the time being).
    i’ve only been at it for three days, but i’m working with a similar model. night time is the worst for me. if you travel to regular locations perhaps you could find an early a.m. meeting, as well as a gym you could go to in the evenings, or maybe go for a walk/jog?
    i hope this helps. i wish you strength and positivity. cheers.

  • Phil

    Hello all, In my early periods of drinking, I would just go out with the guys and tie one on. Starting in my 30s (I am 48 now), I began to have just one or two drinks after work. Over the years however that gradually grew to at least a six pack, and then to 9 to 12 beers a need (when I was binging). This really affected a lot in my life – sleep, ability to relax at work, social life. I am single, and it just seemed to be so easy to just drop by the beer store on my way home from work if I felt any kind of tension or boredom or even happiness – it is a vicious cycle – when I drink one night, it is almost guaranteed that I will drink the next until I finally just take a break. However, soon after I take a break, that first beer always seems to pop up and I am on my way to another binge. I have not drank since I went back to AA on August 1st. I am also doing a lot of Recovery readings and walking at least two miles every night, even thought it is pretty hot here in Tennessee this summer. I feel like I can relate to Camus and Nancy because you are still early in your recovery and having success with AA. I know that sometimes AA seems a little odd, but I know there is one gentleman that goes to the meeting that I am attending – I met him in a meeting back in October, and he was a mess – when I spoke to him again on August 1 – he is approaching 10 months sober. It has worked for him, just like many, many others that continue to go back. Camus, I like the fact that you are planning to go to a lot of AA meetings when your husband is away, and Nancy thanks for your advice about calling the person that gives you their number. I will try that.

  • Phil


    I think you are right that just finding things to fill up time is a difficult thing to do in early recovery. Here are some suggestions that are meant to be positive and encourage recovery:

    Exercising every day (walks at a park or greenway are best)
    AA meetings (as many as you feel comfortable doing – I think one of the really good benefits of AA is that it gives people something to do – every day if you want)
    Reading (in the early days Recovery Readings are best)
    Listening to music
    Watching sports (if you like sports)
    Cleaning the house/yard
    Meditating or yoga (see if there is a yoga class you can join)
    Cooking (go buy some new cook books if you want new recipes)
    Juicing (go buy a juicer)
    At least think about going to church or Celebrate Recovery (there is a real good Celebrate Recovery service where I live – I like it better than Church)
    Recovery web sites
    Find some movies that you want to rent or go see
    Starting a diary

    I am sure there are many others – I think hobbies and/or developing new interests are really cool.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    I just recentley read this, I have read so much lately can’t say where I think it might have been an old edition of AA grapevine it really clicked with me so thought I would share. Usually when someone craves a drink or thinks of a drink they picture a nice dress, great music, good friends, a nice beach or bar. Instead think of the drunk not the drink, waking up in puke, not knowing where you are, everyone is pissed off at you, the guilt shame, etc. This really helped me because I always think of the fun I am missing instead of the hell that I sometimes end up in. So now when I think of a drink I think of soda with fresh lemon and lime. Thinking of you all. Nancy

  • Cory

    Hi everyone

    I am so thankful for this web-site. I don’t post now very often but get a lot of strength from reading it. I haven’t been successful at quitting, but I am getting better at cutting down. Still not happy with myself though. La Mer – I can relate to your life as I am the same, and I have had the same moments when I have been sober and participated in those great family moments – and have been drunk and done the same on a ‘mechanical’ level. How much we miss when we are not present and sober! My check list has been the following:

    If I don’t drink:
    1) I will feel way better the next day
    2) I won’t have to explain my red eyes
    3) I will be able to participate in ‘evening’ activites that I really like but have avoided because I have chosen drinking instead.
    4) Most importantly – my teenage children will feel comfortable about inviting their friends over for a movie/popcorn night because they won’t have to be embarrased about their ‘drunk mom’.
    5) I will probably lose those extra 20 pounds I have been carrying.
    6) I will be able to become the person I was meant to be

    When I look at this list, what can be the plusses to drinking? What a ‘no-brainer’! My difficulty is – why do I do it when it is so obvious??

    Again, I have to say that Bill – your advice has had the most impact on me. I am struggling but you have struggled too and have conquered the beast. I think that any of us who are in the battle need to hear that we are not doomed, so thank you and please keep encouraging us, it means a lot.

  • Phil

    I have been really interested in this site and the way it discusses AA during early recovery. Comment number 65, posted by Robin, is very insightful I believe. Is anybody else trying to understand the role that AA may play in their recovery? Just wondering because I think it is a really interesting subject. I have decided to commit to going to one AA meeting a week, and I think it will be very beneficial to me. If nothing else, I think that the meetings help you keep your commitment to not drinking, because if I drink then I cannot show up at the meeting and feel clean and honest.

  • Patrick

    @ Phil – I would agree that accountability is important, but I think there are other ways to get it other than through 12 step programs. For me, my family, friends, and my job all play a role in keeping me accountable. Some of those friendships evolved out of treatment, but none of them strictly evolved out of AA.

    I would suggest “whatever works” when it comes to keeping yourself accountable, especially in early recovery. If AA works then I would run with it. If not, find another way to keep yourself in check.

    For example, some people thrive on sponsorship, and others find one-on-one therapy sessions help with this stuff too. It all depends on the individual….

  • Phil

    Patrick, thanks for focusing on the accountability part of my message. For instance, sometimes I forget that I owe it to my boss, co-workers, and my clients to be clear-headed at my job. That can be a real motivating factor that I can use in my recovery.

  • Bill Sheehan

    Hello friends! Been a while since I’ve checked in, but all is well and I just wanted to say hi and wish everyone the best! Thank you for your kind words, Cory, not to mention your wisdom. Keep at it, you are truly thinking straight, and you will soon turn that corner, where the non-drinking Cory so overpowers the drinking Cory that you’ll actually say to yourself, “Wow, I just flat-out don’t even think about it any more! I can’t believe how it could have been such a preoccupation for me in the past !!” As to Paul’s well-taken observations about filling those segments of time formerly spent getting sloppy, I would suggest learning to play the guitar. I am certain that in my own case, my interest in that wonderful instrument kept me away from the drugs that were so readily available when I was in college, and has continued to be a daily source of peace and fun and learning. Yes, I did manage to evolve into quite the beer drinker between college and middle age, but I have no doubt that I’d have been far worse, and probably a druggie too, if not for the musical journey. Plus, the guitar is portable– perfect for the travelin’ guy or gal. And the basics are NOT difficult, once somebody sits you down and shows you! A grande evening to all !! Keep trying, don’t give up, no matter how many times you fall, no matter how hard you fall. I think it was Mother Teresa who said, “We’re not called to be successful; we’re called to be faithful.” Just stay determined, stay pissed off at that slimy little fella that wants to see you go down in flames, and don’t hesitate to tell him to go screw himself (pardon my French). Pat’s thoughts about living with a sense of gratitude are so right on !! Every single moment of every day, be thankful for all the good things you’ve been blessed with, for all the good you’re given the opportunity to do for others !! I think when that is our focus (simple gratitude for just waking up every new morning), it’s so much easier to turn that no-more-alcohol corner. Talk to you guys later !! -Bill

  • LaMer

    I’ve actually been attending a Serenity 12-step group, and boy do they keep me honest. it also keeps me grounded and provides a wonderful reality check. it’s hard to use the same old justifications/excuses/explanations when everyone there has used them, too. people there aren’t letting me get away with downplaying my inability to control myself. it’s refreshing.
    in the meantime, it’s going on 5 days for me and i wanted to share what it’s been like…… i’m tired. emotionally, mentally, physically. emotionally, because i left this website open and my hub read my entry while i was at work. he didn’t realize at first it was me, but recognized the family life description as well as the ocean reference. i hadn’t told him yet about the bottle hiding, and there was a pretty serious conversation that night. i’ll never hide the truth from him like that again. the stunned look on his face, and the pain… i’ll never be able to take it back, but i can certainly make sure i never do it again. Mentally because i’m having to think about how i lied to my husband/myself/family, figure out why i want to drink the moment i get home, how to revamp early evening so it’s not so frenetic, and what the heck to all these crazy super vivid dreams mean (no more exploding teeth, tho). Physically because being mentally and emotionally exhausted carries over into physical tiredness… for me it does, anyway.

    i’m finding that i don’t really want to drink. i think about it, and the demon tries to convince me that i truly want it and can manage it. but when i actually try to imagine putting a glass to my lips and taking it in… no way. i’m repulsed. blehhh! i think that’s the little voice in me that’s always known i’ve needed to knock it off. anyway, i’m tired, i think my body/brain is learing how to have a good time without being drunk. it will be nice when it’s not on my mind anymore.
    therapy is definitely helping. i highly recommend it to anyone that can get it. it’s really hard to have breakthroughs, but they’re so necessary for healing. oh, one more thing about the whole 12-step thing… i think provides a framework for people to get to the point where they can truly forgive themselves. it seems like that is so often why people can’t stop, or why it takes them so long to stop. at least that’s what i’ve been getting from the meetings.
    okay, goodnight all.

  • Camus

    Hello all. I’ve been thinking about a lot of the recent comments related to “why do I drink” subject. I know for me, I don’t have any time to myself. I’m either working in a very intense job or taking care of two children under 4. I don’t have any down time, so that’s where alcohol comes in. It numbs me from the environment somewhat. Now, that I’m not drinking (2 weeks now), I tell my husband that I need some quiet time so I have a chance to recenter myself, relax or do whatever it is I need to do. I have learned to ask for what I need. I like Nancy’s idea of thinking of something else, like puking, rather than the pleasure alcohol gives us. Great idea. Keep it up everybody.

  • SCD

    Hello again,
    I don’t know why I am reading this website? I guess I need to be reminded every now and then that I have this problem and it does not go away. I have been without a drink for 1 year and 3 months. I really like this support site.

    In my early recovery there were a couple tools which helped me stay sober and get out of the funk. One was attending AA meetings. There is not anything mandatory about AA. You take what you want/need and leave what you don’t. It is tailored to each person and their approach to remaining sober. Each AA meeting can be totally different depending on the people who attend so don’t be afraid to go to different meeting sites. In the first 90 days of my sobriety, I think I attended like 15 different meeting locations. The more people you hear from the more information you will gain. I believe the key to beating this little devil is to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Another tool was a book somebody at an AA meeting gave me. It is called “Living Sober”. I think you can get it at most AA meetings that sell the literature. It is a great reference and has lots of good tips for “Living Sober.” Like I said in my first post, I have not been to an AA meeting in 3 months, it was just instrumental to me in my early recovery. Another good book I picked up when I was in early on in the process was “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Really, just a great book for anybody but especially us alcoholics.

    One other thing I have gradually learned about myself since being sober is that I used to always say I could just have one or two. But now I realize I didn’t really just want one or two, what was the point of that? I wanted 6 or 10 or maybe more. I was lying to myself.

  • Claire

    This is so weird!!

    Since previous post managed, at last, 28 days straight. The weird part is, having read through so many posts, the ‘so resl’ connections made to others posting on this site! Like totally get the way ‘functioning’ before has now become a matter of ‘how did I do anything when so spaced out?’.

    PAWS is becoming obvious but worse is the little demon voice which, although smaller in volume, is just as bad.
    (1) just one won’t hurt after all this time abstaining
    (2) a little will make the headaches go away
    (3) you can at last just have a drink to relax
    All the above (& even more excuses that pop up spasmodically) are B***S**t.

    Having made it this far for the first time in living memory now also really understand the ‘fear’ that so many have of just losing it all again. Have even had nightmares on those lines where I accidentally started again.

    Thanks to everyone for posting here. This is really helpful to help not feeling so isolated & alone in a struggle which although appears personal is shared by so many of us & understood by so few.

    I wish everyone success & the strength to stay away from the demon & the harm that ensues.

    Claire xxx

  • Phil

    Hello everybody,

    I really appreciate some of the great messages from those who have maintained their sobriety – Bill and SCD. Bill, learning to play the guitar as a way to fill up the time during sobriety – what a great idea. SCD I really like your approach to AA (weaning off of it) as well as your advice on the Recovery literature. Camus, congrats on two weeks, I am right behind you with 11 days. I really relate to how you have been numbing yourself with alcohol because you don’t have any down time. My daily drinking escalated when I was working full time and going to school part time. I would get home about 8:00 each night, just feeling like I had survived another day, and I would drink as a quick fix to relax. During that period, which actually went on for about five years, I just forgot about all of the things that I used to enjoy. So I think you have a great approach, just letting your husband realize you need some down time to relax. Glad to hear you are doing better. And LaMer, I have also had the dream where my teeth disintegrate, so you are not alone.

    Thank you.

  • LaMer

    cory, camus, phil, i was just talking to my hub last night about down-time. my comment to him was that it’s not that i needed the alcohol, it was the process of arriving home, going into the kitchen, TURNING MY BACK ON EVERYTHING both literally (kids, hub, dishes, clutter, noise) and figuratively (work stress, class pressure) while i opened a bottle of wine, poured a glass, and downed it — just to get a few moments of mental down-time.
    and just like you, i drank the most when i’m the busiest with my career, school, volunteering. i’ve always asked for 10 minutes to myself when i get home, but until this week, i never took them without a glass of wine in hand, nor did i really go sit down and just mentally chill out. i’ve found that when i go into the bedroom, close the door and just sit, breathe, change out of work clothes into really fugly comfy clothes (you know, the ones you’d never wear out of the backyard or even the house), and check this website, i don’t want the wine. i don’t need to drink.
    and i’m so thankful and grateful for it.

  • LaMer

    one last thing: PAWS (post acute withdrawl syndrome). there’s a good website on it:

    i think this is why i’m so tired. grieving and body/brain recovery. i wish my therapist wasn’t on vacation…

  • Phil

    LaMer, I just had to comment again after I read your message. Wow, you are really doing well! KEEP IT UP! Sometimes when things get frantic, I remember some of the little slogans that are in the Recovery literature, like “Easy does it,” First things first,” “Keep it simple.” They are sorta cliche but helpful nonetheless.

  • Claire

    LaMer,The following is an extract from the PAWS link:-


    Recovery from the damage caused by our addictions requires total abstinence. Abstinence means avoiding drugs and alcohol completely, unless we are under the care of a physician who understands both addictive disease and pharmacology. This specifically includes herbal remedies which, in many cases, are just as powerful and dangerous as prescription drugs.

    ? Please can you or anyone clarify if the reference to ‘herbal remedies’ includes ‘St Johns Wort’?

    p.s. Thank you for your posts which I totally relate to. Good Luck in continuing transformation!

  • Camus

    It’s a hot afternoon, and I’m going to make myself a refreshing beverage. Two weeks ago from today, I made myself a toxic margarita. Today, it’s going to be my new fav refreshing beverage of 1/2 tonic water, 1/2 soda water with a squeeze of lemon, over ice. It’s good, try it. Tomorrow early am, my husband leaves for a week. I wrote earlier that it’s a scary time for me. I’m afraid of the little demon saying “c’mon, no one will know if you have a drink now.” That’s what usually happens. The good thing is I’m feeling stronger than I have in a very long time. I know I can do this. For those of you who are frustrated because you’ve tried so many times before & keep on going back to drinking, I have been the same way. I know I’ve only been sober for two weeks, but it feels different this time. I’m doing things differently this time, because what I’ve done in the past hasn’t worked for me (I just stopped without any support, outreach, AA etc). If I fail this time, I’ll change it up again next time. Don’t keep doing what doesn’t work. I have no intentions of failing. Cheers to all of you. Gotta go make my refreshing beverage now!

  • LaMer

    thanks claire and phil. i’m really trying. staying focused and sane i think is the key. i have to remember that listening to that little voice that says, “well, how about you try it again after two weeks, at that party you’ve been invited to?” would be my undoing. this website is such a huge part of keeping grounded and aware of all the ways the inner demon can trick and distract me. everyone here is helping me keep my eyes on the prize!

    camus, i’m in a similar situation, my husband works out of town for three days a week; he leaves this weekend. i’m a bit nervous, but pretty confident i’ll be okay. i did after all start this while he was gone last week. also, i like the new bev recipe! i’ve never considered tonic water, ususally it’s just fizzy water and lemon. must try your version.

    today’s update: tonight i went to a work party. it was in a park, everyone brought their families along, and in addition to bringing our kiddos, we also brought O’Douls and lemon. i’ve never been a fan of alcohol-full beer, i always got too full to get a real drunk on, besides it makes me burp, and, um, it’s hard to be tipsy and sexy when you’re burping in your hub’s ear. (tmi?) anyway, i like “fake” beer. it didn’t feel awkward or funny, we just cut up the lemon, dropped it in and proceeded to imbibe. it was lovely.

    thank you God for another clean day.
    and thank you everyone here for your posts that help make it possible. have a good night.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi friends. Just reading the latest posts they mean so much to me. Don’t have much to say except thank you to all of you. Feeling a litte tired and overwhelmed but SOBER!!!Goodnight to all…

  • Phil

    My beverage of choice lately has been juice. I have a juicer, and I usually like one apple, one orange, one-half grapefruit and sometimes some carrots. The whole process of cutting the fruit, adding the ice and a little water, slowly drinking the juice, and then cleaning the juicer just seems so healthy and refreshing.

    I have also tried quitting many times on my own without changing much in my life. One time I made it about four months after a terrible binge when I was unemployed that left me scared to death and a nervous wreck. Typically I would just make it three days or maybe two weeks before my alcoholic mind would play that trick on me and try to convince me that just one drink won’t hurt. I have never hit a true rock bottom, but I have hit a lot of gravelly bottoms.

    I guess I sort of feel like a cat that just lived his eighth life. I am really ready to improve my quality of life this time and not let drinking continue to take me down.

    I also think that this time will be better. I have tried to learn some things each time I quit, and now I am hoping that my patience and persistence will prevail. Thank you everybody and have a sober, relaxing weekend.

  • Claire


    I am doing this totally on my own but after many previous attempts I can see that this could well be my last chance too. If I trip up this time & regress too far I know I won’t make it back next time. This very thought scares me enough to stay on the path, no matter how rocky it gets!

    Good Luck with your endeavours & I look forward to getting a jucier & trying out your recipe… sounds like fun!

    A magic & fun weekend to all on this site.

    Claire x

  • Phil

    Hi Claire, thanks for checking in. I think fear can be a strong motivator, but there is always hope for making it back if you mess up. I guess for me, after so many times of trying to stay sober and not really succeeding over the long term, I need to keep pushing harder. Or else, at some point, something really bad will happen (2nd DUI, health problems, car crash, lose my job), and I cant’t take that chance. I am glad you thought my recipe sounded appealing. By the way, from what I understand St.John’s Wort is not considered addictive, and I don’t think it is very potent. I tried it a few times as a mood elevator, and I didn’t feel anything. Take care!

  • JPVD

    Speaking of alcohol-free refreshing drinks; I stocked my beer fridge with so many different cans of soda that it blew my young nephew’s mind last bbq! He probably never saw such a selection since a gas station. I was very (inwardly) proud that i had a beer fridge full of soft-drinks and not booze; nothing to hide/feel shame in front of my parents and brother-in-law.

    I’m writing this because i was struck by LaMer’s statement about ‘chugging’ down wine before going to bed. I too did this, and often wondered…”why?” My logic was that i was drinking to unwind/relax yet what is the point of guzzling down a 1/2-3/4 full glass of red wine immediately prior to going to bed? Obviously I wasn’t drinking to relax, but some twisted self-medication. Like the old ‘Calgon, take me AWAYYYY!’

    Anyway, I have been feeling very overwhelmed lately and depressed about things and suddenly I realised that I have no new problems. Only the same old ones made clear because I haven’t escaped to the wonderfully fuzzy world of red-wine.

    Prior to giving up I honestly thought I would regain some motivation and optimism in my life; but this hasn’t happened. However, I am happy to be sober and clear-headed and ready to take-on these issues; no more hiding in a bottle.

    good luck to everyone. It drives me crazy to see all the support and good-wishes for people trying to quit smoking or cut-down on their weight; but nothing but derision for the person whose vice is the drink.

  • LaMer

    last night the fam and i went over to friends’ house. we toook n/a wine. i’ve decied that na wine is just a little too much like the real thing for me. I started craving, not too badly, but enough to remind me that i’m just starting this and that i’m nowhere close to being out of the woods. think I’ll be sticking to the n/a beer. otherwise, it was a lovely time, and it looks like I made it through okay.
    in the meantime, i’m still crazy tired, and a wee bit funky (down), most likely a PAWS thing. my body needs to recover and re-equilibrate. on the positive side, i remember a time when i had lots of energy and i’m sure i’ll get it back. the kiddos keep me busy, and it looks like i have a solid two days of cleaning ahead of me to keep me out of trouble!
    JPVD, i think you’re right about the chugging thing… that was one of the things that always nagged at me when i tried to slow down or moderate, why i always chugged before bed. was it to keep my brain from running on and on and on, or to keep me asleep once i got there? anxiety? family emotional baggage? something like that, i’m sure, hence the getting of a therapist.
    oh thank goodness, the sun is finally coming out! i feel myself perking up and getting motivated to tackle my to-do list. have a great saturday everyone, stay positive, stay focused, stay committed. we not only can do it, WE ARE. we’re taking charge/control/responsibility of and for ourselves. isn’t it amazing and wonderful?

  • Dave

    I’m new here and am stopping my drinking today. I found this site and wanted to thank you all for posting the positive words. Well, here I go on my journey without alcohol. I’m tired of hiding from others by drinking and wasting all of my time.

    We are all better than this and I want more out of life than this.

  • Camus

    LaMer & JPVD, I was also a pre bed wine chugger & not sure why either. It seemed like a waste at the time, and now it all seems like a waste.
    For those of you who are sober, but still down, have you thought of taking up running or cycling. You can even enter a “fun run” (walking or running). It really gives a sense of accomplishment & increases your mental and physical strength. You don’t have to be in great shape to do it. For me, running keeps me centered. Now that I’m not drinking, I feel more centered than I’ve been in a very long time. In my opinion treadmills don’t work for this. You have to get outside and feel, think and be in the environment.

  • Patrick

    @ Camus – Definitely agree with you on the exercise suggestion, as that has been a huge key for me. Recently I have focused on increasing distance and this morning I ran 17 miles continuous. That is definitely the furthest I have gone.

    Obviously, exercise is not a requirement for recovery. I stayed sober for years without it. But that does not mean that exercise cannot be a hugely important part of recovery (especially long term sobriety).

    Exercise is probably not a perfect fit for every recovering alcoholic. But many who are capable of achieving fitness simply ignore the idea out of laziness. If you are healthy enough to exercise in recovery, then you should at least experiment with it enough to see how much it benefits you. (Special note: I had to engage in vigorous exercise for months and months before I really “broke through” and started thriving on it….)

  • Ainslie

    I’m putting this comment down and thinking it is not typical of most, I’ve been searching the net, and reading this site looking for someone who has a similar relationship to drink that i think i do. I can’t seem to find any. I want to stop drinking, but not because i feel drink is ruining my life. this screams of denial, I’m open to this suggestion, but i don’t think it’s true. I’m 31 years old and i don’t drink alot, i’d guess I’d avarage about 8 drinks a week, often I’ll drink two glasses of wine with a friend with a meal, i can have just one or two drink’s, and not through great effort, after a couple i genuineley want to just go home to bed. I don’t binge drink, suffer black outs, or habitually drink regularly. I often go five or so days without a drink, i don’t feel like my drinking is out of control in any way. Then why am i here? I’m not sure i have the answer to this, I’m curiuos. Reading some peoples struggle and stories I feel like a bit of a charlatan even being here. I’ve not had a drop for ten days. This is the part that doesn’t add up to me; It has been challenging, to say to myself “no more booze ever” gives rise to another voice in response that says “oh no, i can’t stop drinking, what about this party and that party and drinking wine with that lover, and looking at the stars, camping, drinking whiskey with that friend.” I am often involved with an inner dialogue, almost like two voices, one that say’s- “let’s buy a bottle of wine tonight, it’s not a big deal”,and another that say’s “I don’t want to drink tonight, i want to be clear, go to bed with my own mind, fresh and thinking, and wake up tomorrow with no foggy hangover” even this ‘controlled’ drinking is draining in its way. It’s like part of me senses that there is another, more satisfying, richer way of living and that giving up drinking entireley would be a way of moving towards it.

  • LaMer

    ainslie, here’s a website i found back when i stopped for a month, thinking – telling – myself that i was doing it in silent support of my bro. i think you may find it interesting and that it provides a perspective you may appreciate/relate to.

    i can relate to what you say in your post. i had inner dialogues constantly when it came to drinking. it was when i began to always choose alcohol over being sober in the evening, and using it to quiet the little voice inside me that questioned what i was doing that i think i crossed the line from casual imbiber to habitual user/addict. i know that drinking is simply not good for me in so many ways and on so many levels. i also know that by not drinking i’m better able to focus on myself. it sounds selfish, and it is. but without introspection and personal growth, how can i have a better relationship with my spouse, children, family, God, career, volunteer, and vice-versa.
    this past week has had so many little moments of clarity and wonder with my children and my hub. simple little things, roses, birdsong, stars, fog, smiles, feelings, thoughts. it’s been a struggle, but the increasing clarity that i know i’ll get back far FAR outweighs what a bottle of wine will give me for a few hours (happy buzz, then lots of cigarette smoking, nearing the end of the bottle, inner turmoil as to whether to open another, or frustration/anxiety if there isn’t another one, opening the second bottle whilst trying to ignore my inner compass’ objections, drinking heavily to shut up the little voice, more cigarette smoking to try to knock the anxiety from doing something i know is fundamentally wrong – poisoning myself, and it goes on and on and on ending with regret, disappointment, and guilt the next morning). it’s a soul-eroding treadmill i stayed on for way too long. the rosé-tinted mental fog i viewed life through every evening are gone. i have to face my pains, disappointments, past regrets, family dysfunction going back generations, guilt, mistakes full on with no softening, no buffer.
    i wouldn’t have it any other way.

    ainslie, i’m not saying that you’re going to end up with a problem. all i know is that i did because i tried to quash that inner voice. i spent years feeling bad about myself for my efforts. i commend you on your decision and would be interested to hear about your experiences. i wish you all the best.

  • Roberto G

    I have been sober for almost a year in a half and it has been hard but worthy . I am an alcoholic and for at least a few years I had control over my drinking ,but the story with us the Alcoholics is pretty much always the same “eventually we lose control ” and we lose it all!!!at the end it was a total dependecy and it wasn’t fun no more but it quickly became a need to keep drinking ,and I totally lost control over it ,lost my job ,my self steem and would binge drink up to 3 weeks in a row ,my family took away my money ,my keys , you name it and I had to go out and look for other people who drink so I could get high ,,,it was a total nightmare…. I was very close to lose my family ,,eventually I stopped cold turkey and the games began with the DT’s oh my god I was done.!!!!!.I got them pretty bad for nights and I wasn’t able to sleep, the constant fear and cravings were terrible…Eventually I started going to AA meetings for a while and it helped me a lot to understand the problem…but the 12 steps programs didn’t work for me ,but going to the meeting s for a while helped me to open my eyes and kinda helped me to look myself in the mirror through other people experiences , and finally to start being a little honest to myself for once , and that is what I have been doing all this time ,trying to be honest and trying to help others who want to quit and not by setting myself as an example but, by just telling them what happened to me and what I used to do when I drink all the time, and what I am doing now that I am sober ,this is the path that is working for me and that’s what I do ,I am sober just for today and I don’t care about tomorrow ’cause I may not be around as simple as that, tomorrow will have its own problems ,all I have to do is to hang on in there ,,and for sure I will get my piece of the share as well!!!!
    Is proven that when we alcoholics think too much about the future ,we get nothing but anxiety and that is just poison to us. For those who are still suffering all I can say is “It’s possible give it a try” I never thought I could and I am doing today for today only….
    I know there are so many ways to achieve sobriety but you have to find your own way ,because what works for me may not work for you ,or Viceversa…but, is worth to give a chance to yourself for yourself..not for your family or your friends ,but at least in my case to save my life and to try go gain my family confidence and at least to repair some of the damageds that I have caused over my years of drinking ,,cause as they say in the AA groups your not guilty for all you did during all those years because you were terrible ill, but we’re are responsible!!!! and we have to take action if we want to keep sober for another day…
    One day at the time..just for today,,,tomorrow who know…embrace whatever philosophy works for you .!!!!!.that’s is the path you have to follow ,regardless of what you beliefs are..the less we talk about religion , and money the better things will get,and the better the chances are that we will stay sober. Ironically there is nothing that bring more controversy than those two issues right there, why ? Because I will tell you my Story my way ,and I will tell you how I feel and I will tell you what works for me , but guess what? one day you too will do the same ,and you will be fully convinced that you have found the truth and probably will feel want to share it with others but remember “what you have found is your truth”. !!! always remember !!!!!

    God bless all of us who are tired of suffering….!!!!!!!!!!

  • Phil

    Thanks for sharing everybody. Not doing too badly in my early recovery so far. Need to remind myself to engage in healthy, productive thoughts and activities in order to push out all of the negativity that built up from my drinking. Also need to view all of the weirdness of early recovery (feeling squirrelly, sleep disturbances, falling asleep at work, fighting the demon) as part of my healing process. Take care.

  • LaMer

    Phil you summed it up perfectly.
    i’ve been really tired, increasingly so this past week. last night i slept with a different pillow. what a difference this morning. i’ve been going to bed drunk for so many years i didn’t realize how tired and worn out my pillows had become. perhaps the tiredness has been a result, in part, of not being comfortable. last night was the first time i really enjoyed and really took notice of how nice it is to fall asleep. it’s something i haven’t experienced/rememberd for a very long time. i still have an entire day of work, kiddos, house stuff, etc. to go through; i can’t predict how i’ll feel at the end of it, or even at 2:30, but right now i feel pretty good. it’s day 10.

  • Claire


    Thanks for the ’30’ link.
    Very positive with some good tips for staying that way!

    Claire x

  • Phil

    Ainslie, in my humble opinion, if you are conflicted about drinking, I think you should stop drinking, at least for a couple of months and see how you like it – I bet you will feel better about yourself. I would listen to your healthy inner voice.

  • Patrick

    @ Ainslie – very interesting dilemma you are in, trying to figure out if you should quit drinking or not. To me, it sounds like you are probably not dependent on alcohol, and probably not addicted. But there might be a “yet” there….it sounds like you might have passion for drinking, that just has not come out in full force yet.

    As a cautionary thought, some people do not develop alcoholism until much later in life. But on the other hand, there ARE benefits to drinking, as you mention in your comment….I am not going to lie and say that there are not. Of course there are some benefits to drinking alcohol, otherwise we would not be drawn to it. But it is important to realize that each benefit from drinking CAN be achieved in other ways, if you do choose sobriety.

    But, if it’s not a problem, it’s not a problem. Only you can ultimately determine if your drinking has become a negative force in your life. We can not make this decision for you.

    I do applaud your efforts in terms of self examination. Most people do not live that consciously and go so far as to closely examine how wise their choices are.

    I think Phil makes an excellent suggestion too….you might do a 30 day trial with no drinking at all and see how that affects you. You don’t have to quit forever….just commit to doing 30 days of sobriety and then honestly gauge how you feel.

    Why 30 days? Because the experts say that 30 days is a significant length of time in terms of establishing a new habit and really seeing the benefits of something like this take effect.

    Anyway, some good ideas here and I hope everyone on this board finds a unique path to sobriety. I think anyone who gets sober has to do so in their own way, to some extent…..

  • Camus

    Hi everybody, I’m on my last day of my husband being out of town. I’ve been keeping busy, doing lots with the kids and running regularly. I also went to a couple AA meetings. I still haven’t had much cravings and at this point it would be easy for me to feel “cured”, “over it” etc. That’s what I have done in the past, so this time I’m going to keep at this website & AA meetings at least every two weeks, so the little voice “just one drink won’t hurt” doesn’t catch me by surprise this time. I know it will happen, I know I’ll have cravings & temptation. I just haven’t yet. Good luck to all.

  • LaMer

    you go camus! keeping busy seems to help me a lot, too. the evening cravings seem to be becoming less and less demanding. i’m still in recovery infancy, though, and have to be careful to not become complacent.


    Hello everyone , I had never red this article
    “How to Take Massive Action in Your Life and Overcome Your Addiction” .this is truly great reading, I am not sure still how this site works ,this is my second time here but, It sound as a great support for those of us who suffer with addiction ,I think that is always good to remember that we have a problem and to get action in our life, and to find support and most important “to Support” others who are still suffering with an addiction problem like in my case ” Alcoholism”
    I get a feeling of kinda like recharging my batteries by just read to what other who have stopped drinking like me have to say ,and also the input of those who are considering quitting .
    Let’s keep going forward there is still a lot to do!!!!
    Good Luck everyone…..

  • Phil

    Roberto G, I am also impressed with the readings on this website. Patrick has done a great job viewing recovery holistically and providing some really great information. This website is one of the best, if not the best, source of information that I have found for that approach. I have always thought that the answers for me were to somehow develop my own approach – things to do that intuitively make sense, like exercise and diet and just relaxing, staying busy, and keeping my mind off my worries and fears, in addition to AA. I also like the interplay here, with people like you who have achieved long-term sobriety mixing it up and providing feedback with some of us newbies. I am also glad that there are so many people like me on here who are so new to recovery sorta figuring it out as we go along, and doing a really good job of it from what I can tell. I am on Day 19, praying for peace in my heart and that God’s will be done.


    Yeah Phil I totally agreed I can’t believe I never thought of looking online for help too, I’ve been sober for 15 months and it has not been easy specially for my chronic alcoholic condition ,one day being sober “was impossible” but I’ve been learning to live one day a the time and there it goes..Anyways, I really believe that being busy and to try to keep thing as balance as much as possible helps a lot ,exercise ,diet, meetings, etc whatever works for you that’s what you have to do, and most importantly let’s not worry too much about tomorrow ,because tomorrow will have its own problems ,but that doesn’t mean that I am gonna just seat in the couch and wait for miracles to happen ..that’s not the case . Believe me it won’t happen!!!!. Action is the magic word!!!…and once we have found the path that works for us is like finding a pair of comfortable shoes “use them” buy slowly refine them ,and Great thing will happen in our lives.
    It takes years to do this buy many others have done it and we will do it to, buy let’s not just wait the THE ONE ABOVE US TO DO THE MIRACLE ..We have to do our homework too, and we will see changes in our lives…
    I am not a big fan of the 12 steps to be honest and I straight out say it , but they work for some people and that’s great .button line is “We have to do what works for us individually “. What helps you may not help me and if I imitate you and imitate how you achieve sobriety most likely I will fail..!!This is fact gentleman!!!!I’ve seen it and for people who have a problems with alcohol like me this is “Poison” and I can’t afford to monkey around with my sobriety (Abstinence).
    Anyways ..Good luck every one..!!!!

  • Phil

    Roberto G, Your message is very meaningful to me. I know now not to worry about not drinking for the rest of my life. I just need to focus on not drinking today, and the rest will take care of itself. I also think that we become what we do and think about. If I do positive things everyday, then I will become a very positive and productive person. What I find really neat about Recovery, is that we learn to take action to enable us to totally abstain from drinking, and these actions not only keep us from drinking, they also add a lot to our lives. I know that Patrick mentioned recently that he ran 17 miles, and I think, wow, maybe in a few months I can run 3 miles. Or this week, work was chaotic, but I made it through it with a smile on my face – I am proud of that.

  • Robert

    Good point about treatment being individualized. Peronally, I actually justify drinking by exercising all the time. I think I just need to be told that I’m simply kidding myself. I also think that my race times would improve significantly. Scared to think what my doctor would say, so I just avoid him. Been drinking heavy (i.e. 20-30 drinks per week) for over 10 years.


    I totally relate to Phil ,when you are working so hard to stay sober sometimes you expect thing to go smooth so you have better chances to stay sober ,I always felt that way in my first month and when things did not go as I wanted I honestly suffered a lot of frustration and I was just looking for somebody to blame for my misery . As the months have past I have learned a simple rule and it may sound contradicted but,I am sharing what works for me, I’ve learned that when things are going bad ,really bad!!! and you just feel that you are not gonna make it,or that you deserve something (MAYBE A BREAK FROM ABOVE) and you fell that you are just gonna go back and use and kill the pain , and you just seat back and wait for things to get better, or to get a break from “THE ONE ABOVE US” Guess what? they only get worst and here is when we have to prove ourselves .Are gonna be chickens that will just go back and use and blame anybody or everybody for our relapse? Or Are we gonna put up a fight? My short experience in recovery (abstinence) has taught me that end of the day there is always hope ,and things do get better ,but they will get better when is their time to get better not when I want them to get better . This has helped me a lot to not feel so sorry about myself but to grow some self confidence . I strongly believe that every effort we put regardless how small it may appear ,helps in our recovery for a better life.
    Let’s go forward “Action is the magic word”.
    I am new to this site this is my third time but I am loving it ,we all seem to be in the same page ,it’s really great the fact that we want to make changes in our lives and by doing so other people around us get better as well.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • GJ

    In my fourth day of sobriety…. no big deal… I’ve done this before, many times. My daughter is helping me with a “cleanse” diet which includes no alcohol. And we’re exercising some everyday so I’m definately feeling better. The only real PAWS I’ve had is a general fatique especially in the evening (when I was usually drunk and didn’t notice.) I so value this site because I feel the need to “get real” and “be honest” but due to my rural environment and high profile, I’ve felt I simply can’t be honest with anyone but you guys. Anyway, I am definately at that critical razor point balancing point that Patrick speaks of as follows: “Definately I had tried to achieve sobriety in the past but it had not worked, so I was extremely skeptical. But for some reason I was miserable and tired enough to give it another shot.

    This is the balancing point. This is that tricky area of surrender that a drunk has to find their way to. It is a fine line. You are just miserable enough to want to stop drinking, but at the same time you are 2 seconds away from saying “screw it” and going to get another bottle.”

    Such wise words Patrick… it does feel like a tricky balancing point…. I’m thinking… oh, I just feel so good now and I’ve got a handle on it so maybe tonight I’ll just have two glasses of wine… like a civilized person…. but I know better. I know I’ll drink a whole bottle and then on Saturday I’ll be hung over and want another bottle on Saturday night and then I’ll be back into the whole ugly scene. Thank you for letting me vent. Guess I’ll just stay with the sobriety… it would be nice to get healthy and regain a shred of my dignity. And I did ask for help…. to my lovely daughter.

  • Tracy

    I too am an alcoholic, and have been all of my life. I still struggle and will try again to stop drinking completely. I like ths site; I identify with almost every person on here. God bless us all!


    GJ ..You are not alone my fiend we are in the same boat that’s why we look for support here, I was just in the same position you are . I quit cold turkey and that’s not easy for a chronic alcoholic like me who has drink for so many years, I had the Delirium tremens for 2 weeks and together with them suicidal thoughts ,sweats, shakiness, sleeplessness ,you name it my friend I had it ,I felt the most miserable person in the world and all I though was just drinking another shot another beer ,I suffered a lot ,but remember what you are going through right now will help you in future to stay sober, not because we are coward buy because “we are just too sick of it ” and once we are get to the point were all in the right path.In my personal case it took me almost 6 months before I could finally wake up from that state of mind buy it is possible,we just have to hang in there body and great thing will come to your life.Before alcohol destroyed me I had a great payee job in a golf course and a house and everything a man ever wanted ,I lost it all, that was my price. today I am saving my life and regaining trust I lost with my family.
    you’ll be fine my friend ,,just seat tight..
    good luck…

  • Camus

    As I’ve said before, exercise is critical for me in staying positive & gives me energy to continue. The one thing that’s important for me to remember is that if I just don’t feel like doing it today, not to get discouraged & down on myself. It’s critical to cut yourself some slack. It’s better to be lazy being sober than a lazy drunk. In the past when I’ve put too much pressure on myself with running, I disappoint myself and have went back to the bottle. Just a warning to those who are using exercise in recovery. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I’m such a perfectionist in recovery. Just because I’ve stopped drinking, I feel that every part of my life must be mastered. Maybe that’s why I started in the first place. I’m sure most of us need to remind ourselves how great we are and who we are. No human is perfect including recovering alcoholics. Good luck.

  • Cindy

    I have spent the entire day reading these posts..I also got on the 43 things website on the quit drinking and sobriety spots. This is only day 1 for me. A lightbulb finally went off and I realize..I have NEVER understood how to drink. Hell my tolerance is so high I can drink my men friends under the table. And I like it all..daily it has been a half gallon of wine and at least 5 beers. BUT I order whiskey at the bar (never have it for home use because I am not responsible enough..) Anyway I am just sick of it. I may have wasted the whole day going over all these posts but it really did help..oh and I did start it out by walking in the park this morning…I have really had it. I do view alcohol as poison..that is exactly what it is. And so since it suddenly dawned on me that I don’t understand how to drink…Out the door it goes. All of you have been inspirational for me..good to know I am for sure not alone. Thanks..

  • Phil

    It is nice to look at this website this morning and see so much good advice and so many people ready to stop drinking, and realizing that they need to change their lives. I am starting to understand how recovery truly is such a huge undertaking, but I think it can be done just by taking those small steps one day at a time. Staying focused on recovery has really helped me over the last few weeks, and I really have not had much compulsion to drink during that time. This really is a long-term process, and Camus I understand what you are saying that we should not think that we are ever going to be perfect in our recovery, but we can be honest and sincere in our efforts to do whatever it takes to stop drinking. I think there are going to be many, many days when I am not that happy with myself or my life, but as long as I am not drinking, I can be confident that I am on the right track and I can work things out. We all have so much in common and I wish everybody the best this week.

  • LaMer

    @ Cindy, i think it’s great that you took the time to read through other people’s posts. it seems they reaffirm what you already know and want — to be rid of this poison in your life. you now know that there are a lot of others with circumstances very similar to yours and that we’re all trying our best to live clean, happy, and sane lives. this website is such an incredible resource — the support is tangible and genuine. i know i would be a whole lot more uncertain without it… have a good week everyone, i’m off on my first clean and sober trip. should be interesting to see what happens. i’ll certainly be checking in when i get back. cheers!


    PHIL, I also like the part about recovery not being perfect .Perfection is not something we are looking in our lives at this point but, “Daily progress”. because every day we are not using is a victory in our lives ,we just have to take it easy one day at the time . When I fist quit I always thought that my life was gonna change over night and I was a little frustrated in the beginning but after a few months I learned that I was the one who needed to make changes not the people around me. I know sometimes is hard for us to take life as it comes ,in my particular case it’s been really hard because I was always looking for somebody to blame for my drinking, my boss, my landlord, my parents, my wife, children etc and the list was endless. But today I am learning that life is not easy for anybody in this world “Addicts” and not “Addicts” everybody go through a lot in their live maybe even worst that me ,but guess what? they don’t go and get mess up instead they look for a solution and don’t get too crazy about tomorrow that’s where people with alcohol problems like me fail!!.and that’s where I have to improve myself….I always wanted to hide my problems, and my emotions with alcohol ,and always felt very sorry for myself but, today that I am not using anymore I have finally kinda wake up to my senses and realize that I am not a victim ,hey!! live is hard and we have to live it as it comes.!!
    I had a conversation yesterday with an ex-drinking partner who is still using ,and suffering ,but feels that he is too much of a “macho” to quit ,and he was asking me how am doing it ,I gave him a few tips ,but I didn’t go to deep ,because I have seem this kinda movies before ,people want help when they are drunk and believe it or not ,from my own experience when you are not ready to stop,, you are just not ready!! I can clearly see myself reflected in the mirror with other people with who I used to drink and believe me I was the worst case of obsession when it came to drinking , eventually I had to hit bottom really hard and to lose it all to be ready to give it a try . I strongly believe that people like us who want to make changes in our lives have the advantage when it comes to help another drunk because we fully understand the problem ,it’s just a matter of going slow and to not get to excited about it, so we don’t get disappointed .
    Places like this website is just like water to the plants that needed it the most , I am glad that I found this place where I can share how I feel today and what I used to do and what am doing today.
    Have a great week everyone..!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • JPVD

    I too falsely thought that quitting drinking would be a magic bullet to my problems.

    I see now that i have some personal issues i need to be sober to work through.

    I’ve been sober 2 months now (the longest continuous time in my life since i was 15) and i’m really liking how experiences pop-up and i go through them sober or not hung-over (I was ALWAYS hung-over).

    My first family dinner at a restaurant without wine was difficult but now I feel fresh and funny and it’s ‘Who wants to go for ice-cream!!?’ and Daddy’s funny. Before it was a pain to just leave the house (and my wonderful wine) and then all i could do was moan through the meal and hurry everyone up and then drive home (probably over the limit) so i could get bent-out-of shape.
    What is incredible is that only my DRINKING has changed. Everything else is exactly the same and I’m so glad because I have such a wonderful opportunity and im going to enjoy it now.

    good luck all


  • Phil

    Roberto G, That’s it – Not perfection, but daily progress, that is what I was trying to relay to Camus but I didn’t quite have the idea right in my head yet. Your story is very inspirational. It is obvious that you have experienced and learned a lot in your recovery, and it saved your life. You now have a very good understanding of what is important in your life, and you have some great advice for those of us who are just beginning (who are in recovery kindergarten). Thanks for sharing. It seems to me that taking your time to fully achieve sobriety is probably the only way to do it. I was in an AA meeting the other day and they were talking about “emotional sobriety.” Apparently all these years that we are drinking, our emotions are always sort of like on a roller coaster. Sometimes they even stay on a roller coaster for many months after quitting drinking. In order to be fully in recovery, we therefore need to learn how to balance our emotions and to have positive feelings about ourselves, other people, and our life situations. I just wanted to throw “achieving emotional sobriety” out there as just one example of something that will take some time and effort to accomplish before we are healthy and not in a situation where we could relapse every day.

  • Erin

    My husband is someone that I don’t want to be around anymore. Every day as soon as he gets home from work the first thing he does is grab a beer. He cant just have one or two it has to be 10-20 a night….every night. We used to have fun and go out at night but all that has changed now. Alcohol is in control and he refuses to see that. He says he is going to stop one day but has been saying that the past five years. He has quit before but only lasted a week and during that week he was not a happy person to be around. How do you get someone to stop when they refuse to get help?


    PHIL , You got it!!and that is how it has worked for me for the past 15 months ,Emotions “We will always have them” so we need to learn to deal with them in a healthy way ,our body and mind are designed to do that ,Let’s look around for example: My neighbor is being out of job for 2 years ,he just separated from his wife ,his car broke down ,and he ran out of unemployment , Still he is coping with the situation as good as possible ,he doesn’t drink or does drugs ,and when I talk to him he seems to be positive about the future ,he has faith that things will get better . Then, in the other hand you got( ME) who gets really pissed up because my home Server (computer) is down and I can’t retrieve my data and I start blaming everybody for my misery (Including God who may have something to do with it)
    That my friends is the scenario that we “Addicts” have every day ,but it is possible to improve and to make progress buy only “If we really want” . If we want to still lie to ourselves there is nothing but bad news in the long run!!!I learned that on my fist 40 days of sobriety (which I don’t count because I relapsed )when I gave it another try and the booze totally destroyed me,I drank for 3 weeks and a row ,and had to to trough all kind of humiliation ,thinking that this time was gonna be different and in fact it was “It was worst”. So, bottom line is: those of us who have problems drinking have to find whatever path that works for us to keep us sober for today ONLY, and learn to enjoy it ,your mind and body get used to this new way of life in which we are not poising ourselves ,and once we are getting to that point we have to fall in love to it,, is it easy to do ? No .but what other choices do I have? It the smartest thing we can do my friends..and we still get to enjoy life and do all things we like to do .I am convinced that this apply to all of us regardless of time of abstinence ,we learn from everybody and others learn from us.
    Anyways ,Emotionally sobriety and truly recovery come with the time,there is no rush ,there is no diploma for abstinence ,so let’s just take it easy ,(It doesn’t mean we just seat and watch football all day hoping for someone to knock my door and offer me a job) let’s remember that it may seem that people around us are not watching or that they don’t care but believe me they do care and they are watching how the lazy drunk ,arrogant ,irresponsible ,it’s putting up a fight to stay sober and tries to be a better parent a better worker ,husband..etc..well great thing are hard to get , and we have to work hard for it !!!!
    Let’s just take it easy for today my friends ..tomorrow, tomorrow we may not be around but ,but hopefully there will be others who will be tire of suffering too and will be looking for help in support groups and in wonderful websites like this…!!!
    Good luck everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sharon

    So here I sit with about 2/3’s of a bottle of wine in me. I swore to myself this morning (as I woke up with yet another hangover which leads to a totally sucky day)I would not drink tonight. What is wrong with me and why can’t I live up to the promises I make to myself! I’m a “God” person (hope that’s not forbidden on this site)and I pray that he will help me, I know he will once I make the decision to do what is right ~ just can’t seem to get there on my own. I’m so sad and sick of myself…

  • Camus

    Roberto G and Phil, thanks for all the inspirational words. I feel the same. It all makes sense.

    Erin, I can’t think of any way you can get your husband to stop drinking without him wanting it completely; when he’s sick and tired of being with himself. Have you tried ALANON? I used to have fun drinking also, but as it progressed, I enjoyed more drinking by myself. Alcoholics tend to drink for the wrong reasons, like relief of tension, avoiding emotions etc rather than for social, more carefree reasons. They tend to isolate themselves as it progresses. Obviously, there a ton of different examples of alcoholics, but there’s definitely similar tendancies.

    Sharon, have you thought of going to AA? You don’t have to follow the 12 step program, but it may help you to get some local support. I started going to an all women’s group every other week, and perfect for where I’m at right now. I may not relate to everything in it and don’t like everything about it, but after failing at quiting so many times, it feels like I’m giving myself some credibility. Some people need to go everyday at first. It’s so individual. Hope this helps. I’ve only been sober for 3 weeks, but it feels wonderful and is so worth every bit of effort you put into it. I have freedom. I’m not thinking about when I can sneak a drink without my husband knowing or getting home so I can get into the alcohol cabinet. I miss it a bit when I’m around friends that are drinking a lot, but just remember the hangovers and that I’m only content with enough alcohol to leave me passed out and severely hungover. When I crave a glass of wine, I now remind myself that I never just have a glass of wine. I remind myself that it is impossible for me to just have a glass of wine. Before you open up that next bottle, remind yourself how much you’ll really drink and how it makes you feel. It’s a viscous, cruel cycle that makes you disgusted with yourself, which makes you want to feel better, so we drink. You have to stop that cycle, and once you do, never ever go back. For me, it took something major for me to stop this time, and I will not go back, because being sober is the only way to really live. It may not be all great, but I’m really living life now, and I remember everything. I wish you the best of luck Sharon.

  • LaMer

    day 16.
    today was the first time i stopped at the beach, enjoyed the sun, laid in the sand, and listened to the pacific ocean. it felt wonderful; i am so much more ALIVE.
    i’ve been driving past those beaches for almost a decade, always in a hurry to get back to – wherever – and drink.
    not today and i’m so grateful for it.

    @sharon, read through all the wonderful information on this website. Patrick has created a truly amazing place here. Read through all the comments, we are just like you – wanting to lead clean, happy, sane lives – and have been in your position countless times. it can be done, you can handle this. you just need to find what works for you and keep at it!incidentally, “swearing off” never worked for me, it always seemed to set me up for failure.


    Sharon, I was there just like you but, I can assure you that there is hope and the fact that you are participating in this site is proof of it. It’s hard to quit and is hard to begin a new life without alcohol in my personal case I felt that it was impossible ,but I looked for help I went to AA meetings for a while and just as Camus say you don’t have to live up to the 12 steps , I didn’t !!!but you will fine in there information about the disease that will help you in making the desicion , and you will feel like home sweet home with people that have the same problem we do and they won’t criticize you instead will help you !!!not by telling you what to do but, by telling you what they did in the past and what they are doing today ,That’s it !!!…so simple that I made so difficult in the beginning !!!,but eventually It did work for me . also, finding out that I wasn’t the only one sick in the world helped me a lot to take the decision to quit , I am not a big fun of the 12 steps but it doesn’t matter what I believe as long as I keep my mind open and try to be tolerant that is more than enough , let “THE ONE ABOVE” DO HIS OR HER JOB ” and you do yours.It is possible to stop for one day only ,for 24 hours , for 12 hours , for 5 hours whatever the case , when the obsession is pretty bad like the one I had is hard but not impossible . talk to other people specially people who have lived what you are going trough , and for sure you will find strength ,,,but you really have to want this from your heart and you will be on your way ,don’t get discourage just because you lost a battle there is still a war to be won.!!!
    I personally got tire of being hangover everyday ,and in my case I had to lose it all in order to be ready ,my job ,my self esteem ,and almost my family ,I had to go the the hospital a couple of times ,and eventually I got to the point where I started to hate it.(booze)..and I started to get better and today I feel free(Just for today ..tomorrow who cares!!!! takes time but I have no rush ,there is no final line , Actually there is “Death” but I rather to wait till my day come I don’t want to rush it by drinking booze(I already had my good share ) everyday I have done enough harm to others with my selfish attitude over all this years ,and this is the part I even ironically laugh today : I always felt “it’s my life is my body , and I don’t hurt anybody by doing this…WRONG!!!!like it or not I hurt the people that love me the most because they love me and they want me to get better ,and I am hurting them too but slowly, and they have no choice but to see me destroy myself..Today I understand that very well, but took months of abstinence before I could even realize that..but, it doesn’t matter the point is that we have to take action today ” NO ACTION = NO RESULTS ”


  • sean

    I just got onthis website and read alot of these stories and thought you only had a
    problem if you drank 24 hours a day. But in reality I realized I am pretty much the same but in a different way. I guess drinking 15 beers and 10 shots on a daily basis
    isnt normal. It took 15 years to figure this out so I guess I should stop fooling myself and get the ball rolling. Didnt really realize this until recent physical when doctor called me and said I had high liver enzymes. I told him how much I actually drank (the truth), and he told me to quit drinking or I wouldnt see 40 and I am 39.
    So this is my second day in a row without drinking and finally come to the the conclusion I cant do this alone and reading these other stories really helps me understand Its not only me. Cant figure out why I dont get withdrawl symptoms. Do they come later?

  • Pam

    Sean- I have not posted here until now. It is a great site. I too was a heavy drinker with very high liver enzymes, a very enlarged liver, extremely high blood pressure etc. I have not had a drink in 35 days and have not had any really bad withdrawal symptoms- urge to drink yes(not unbearable obviously) but no DT’s, siezures or really anything else. Sometimes I feel like my liver is having a VERY mild spasm- don’t know how else to describe it- but that’s pretty much it. I am 54 and have been drinking since I was 15, drinking daily since 32 and drinking heavily for the last 10 years. I have tried to cut back or moderate my drinking in the past but never tried to quit. Moderation does not work for me and I have finally truly acknowledged that fact. One drink always leads to drunk. I always figured, what was the point of drinking if I wasn’t getting a buzz, and lately I seldom was able to stop at a buzz. For me, drunk is the next step after a buzz. Once I TRULY stopped denying that I simply could not be a social drinker- my abuse and addiction of/to alcohol is a fact of my life- quiting was not that bad. Staying quit will be the challenge. Now that some of the fear for my health has abated because I feel so much better, and some of the shame I felt for almost getting to the point of no return has dimmed, I know that staying sober is a long term goal that is only accomplished one minute, hour, and day at a time. I used to feel that “one day at a time” was a worn out, touchy feely, goody two shoes cliche, but it is a comfort, everything -urges to drink etc- passes-give it a minute or two. I am not going to any meetings nor am I seeing any type of therapist- I have been fine without it- maybe down the road. All of the posts on this site are great, but I found Bill Sheehan’s advice of not making quitting alcohol a big super scary ordeal extremely helpful. It is a decision that I have made and I am determined to live by. Drinking is poisonous for me and having realized that a glass of anything alcoholic for me is the equivalent of a glass of chlorox makes it easier. I did not discuss my decision with anyone initially and did not make a big deal about it. It is a life change for the good. When I do die from whatever, as we all must, I want to go knowing that I did what I could to be healthier. Drinking, for me, is slow suicide- actually not so slow anymore given my age and how long and how much I drank. Just MY opinion but suicide, when you are otherwise healthy, is for cowards, which I am determined not to be. My family is so happy and relieved that I am giving this a good shot and I feel so much better in mind and body. Those two things alone make the small, momentary struggle of not taking that 1st drink worthwhile. You’ll see. Good luck.

  • billy

    Hi everyone, I read that it was a good idea to blog about being an alchoholic and I’m happy to have found this site. I feel awfull today, I can’t remember much from yesterday besides the huge fight I started with my wife when she got home. I don’t remember last night at all. I usually hide my beer bottles so I cant count how many i had- I know I drank a twelve pack and to my suprise there was one bottle left in another six pack (i don’t remember going to the store for the six pack). Did I really drink 17 beers yesterday? I guess so…

    I’ve been drinking every day since 2000 – I’m 40 now. What started with a six pack a night has now hit 17 beers. I’m shocked-I’m scared. I want help but I don’t have health insurance so I’m trying to find free support. Reading everyones stories here helps me to stay positive and pursue a life free of booze. Thanks to everyone – I want to stop – today is day 1


    billy, I started with a 24 oz can after work about 14 years ago and just 15 months ago when I quit I was doing an average of 18 beers a day plus half a bottle of Tequila ,it started like a game ,I felt that I deserved it. The truth is that this decease progress every time you drink ,I drank for about 6 years without problems ,the parties were great ,the beer was cold ,I had friends all over ,but all that,it’s just a trap ,later down the row when booze knows it got you hooked up then is paying time ,and it’s ugly you will come to the point where you will do unimaginable things that you said you would never do just to get more booze in the system ,and this is regardless of social status ,education ,background,booze don’t give a damn if you are president of United States ,if you keep drinking it will destroy you . In my last days of drinking it was not fun anymore ,I NEEDED to drink and I had lost tolerance I would be all stupid with a 6 pack a day and would not eat, or sleep , I just wanted to die..For all my fiends who are able to quit and don’t get the Dt’s believe me you should take advantage of this , I personally got them for 2 weeks right after the same day I quit , and anybody who dad them knows this is not funny ,you basically die without physically going to the other side, you see things at night ,feel things ,and hear and smell things,sweat a lot and you are not able to sleep ,all you think is “Kill the pain Drinking”. I was very shaky for a couple of month before I started getting normal again, it took me a whole year before I was 70 % back to reality ,Finally after a years it was like I had woke up of some kind of dream ,and realize deeply in my soul all the damaged I had done to others ,realized I had lost my job where I worked for 15 years and had a great position ,realized that my boss who was a recovered alcoholic tried so many times to help me ,many times my friends but, my ego did not let me come clean to him and admit that I had drinking problems ,he knew very well what was going on ,he lived it himself many years ago ,..the point is that if we are not ready to jump out this train , we are not ready!!!,and even though we know Certain death is awaiting for us ,Mr alcohol makes sure we think otherwise,,,this is my truth my friends ,,,I been sober for 15 months almost 16 and I’ve been doing one day at the time, just for today,,tomorrow who cares…!!!!.
    Let’s put it this way..”A picke can never be a cucumber again”.

    Good luck everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pam

    Billy- 35 days no alcohol and it hasn’t cost me a dime. In fact the amount of money I have saved from not drinking this past month is like having a part time job! I am really just saying that quitting alcohol is not necessarily an expensive endeavor. If you find that you need to do something more than “just quit” then AA is one suggestion. As I posted above, Bill Sheehan’s posts were very helpful to me initially because his idea to look at quiting as something that you can do without a lot of drama, hand wringing, and angst took some of the scary out of it for me. You should take the time to read over all the comments- it is worth it.

  • Phil

    Billy, Sean and Sharon, this message basically repeats what others have said, but I have found many places in the literature on this site and in the blogs where AA is mentioned as a very good potential option (but not the only one) for people in early recovery. In my mind, people begin going there because they don’t know what else to do, but they know they need to do something. Many of them have positive experiences. If you do decide to go, you can google AA in your area and find the meeting places and times or look up AA in the phone book. If you decide to go there, approach it with an open mind and commit to going there several times (not just once or twice) and try a few different locations. As Camus said, many people go every day for awhile. The only criteria for going to AA is “a desire to stop drinking.” You do not need to say anything, commit to anything etc – just go there to learn if you want to. At my meeting last Friday, a group invited me to go hiking with them in September – I thought that was pretty cool, and I am definitely going. Sharon, yes, God is allowed on this site. Maybe God is participating?

  • Cindy

    Day 5 tomorrow! I went to the dentist today for getting my teeth a phone call to join others for a “quick” one…Quick my @ss is what I thought to myself..My favorite thing was to call others for a drink or seven…Long story short…I drove by the watering hole..then kept on driving. Came home..paid bills..watched my dvr of Judge Judy (don’t ask…I love the b!tch) then came back to hang with you guys. I feel really good. I keep thinking on how ROTTEN I felt dragging my butt out of bed to head to work..not any more…My anxiety has left..Hoping it stays gone too…anyway..just had to post..thanks for the support Lamer…hope you as well as everyone else is hanging in with me. So far..not such a struggle besides today..Not ready for the Virgin Bloody Mary yet..hoping that day will come. Night.

  • http://deleted billy

    Thanks Roberto, Pam and Phil for responding. It’s kinda nice to hear from a real person about something this personal. It actually makes feel like I can do this, I’m not alone…Day 1 is done-no cravings but it’s crazy how my mind talks to me and trys to get me to drink. Roberto sorry to hear about what you went through man, it sounds awfull and it’s got me thinking I’m fortunate to not go threw DT’s so now is the time! I’m gonna do this.

  • Phil

    I am reminded this morning of a time when I was still trying to decide whether I was really an alcoholic. I went through this process where I was thinking, well yes, I have gone through long periods (years) where I drank everyday, then there was that three-month binge when I got up to 20 beers a day, there was some black-outs (some while driving), I can’t drink just one (haven’t done that in 30 years of drinking), etc., etc., and there I was trying to say to myself – well, if I just don’t acknowledge the problem, it will go away. So then, I took a few tests on-line that told you whether you were an alcoholic. Many of the tests didn’t seem that good, but they still told me I was probably an alcoholic. Then I found a test that I thought was really, really good. The questions were very specific, and I thought that this is really an accurate test. The results of the test were that I drank more than 98% of the population and to seek help immediately! I am not saying that was the thing that finally broke through my denial but it helped. I am so glad now that I am not in denial, and I can proceed forward in a healthy way. Recovery and living a sober life are now something I look forward to. Have a good day or night everybody.

  • Phil

    Hi everybody. LaMer, your story about your sober trip to the beach reminds that when we are not drinking we enjoy things that we ignored when we were drinking. Sort of like an awakening? I am glad you are doing well. Had a drinking dream last night with a lot of guilt. I was glad to wake up sober. Apparently addiction lives in our subconscious? Last night’s message at my Celebration Recovery service was “God understands the language of pain, and God teaches us the language of victory.” Have a good weekend.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi everyone I haven’t written on this site much but come to it most days to read your posts. I always feel like I have a hard time expressing myself with the written word, but I do want to thank everyone that does write because I find it very helpful. I have not had a drink now for almost five months and I was not a daily drinker but alcohol was having a negative effect on my life at times. I am amazed at the changes that I am experiencing I just feel so free and relaxed, happier and more confident. Once I gave up relying on alcohol to make me more “fun” I have found that I am just enough the way I am. At first I felt like I was giving up something but instead I have found that I have gained so much more than I have lost. Everything just seems better I seem to have more courage an example is I have a half sister that has always wanted to be in my life and I always brushed her off I usually had an excuse too busy but really I was afraid of her getting to know me or what we would talk about or how stange it would be sinse we didn’t grow up together. I guess I was afraid of ever feeling uncomfortable well I have been spending time with her I took the chance and went and met her and her children and it has been wonderful to now have her in my life all that worrying I did and it wasn’t even painful it has all been a joy. I feel like I am crazy because all I did was take out alcohol and now my life has improved in so many ways so strange does anyone now what I am talking about??? Wish I could explain it better but at least I tried. Thanks for listening to my ramble.

  • JPVD

    Hello all. I’m on day 60, counting down to 90 days.
    I must admit to myself, and now to you (my only support group if you can believe it; no-one else in my life knows i am trying to stop drinking) that I will probably think I can handle a ‘few drinks’ after 90 days.

    I want to keep on not-drinking; i want 90 days to be 90 months… but i’m worried i’ll have a few beers and think i can be some kind of normal drinker. I can’t because i am an alcoholic; i must remind myself.

    For some reason when i was young there was this adage that if you could abstain from alcohol for 90 days then you were not an alcoholic! From memory this was put out by Al-Anon… does ahyone else remember this?

    What a load of garbage… but for some reason i have always thought this was true.

    good luck all.


    jpvd , The fist time I quit I did it for 40 days after that I felt normal and drink again ..BAD IDEA!! .it was normal only for a couple weeks and then I was right where I left again but with a bigger obsession.It was hard to me to believe that ” once an alcoholic always an alcoholic” but I had to suffer more to really understand it. I’ve been sober for 15 months now, but I know if I go back I will be in trouble, maybe not the same days or within the same month or perhaps same year.(trust me you will hear the same story from so many people all it changes is the names) but, the fact is I crossed the lined and there is no way back .I would suggest you take advantage of the time you got sober and pull it all way to the end but only for today ,but if you have doubts you are gonna have to go back and hopefully it works just fine for you ,if not let’s us know ,because we keep ourselves sober from other people’s experiences and vice versa. Anyways I feel very happy because I’ve taking care of my children,my daughter who is 4 years all started going go head start and I’ve been taking care of her,,unbelievable ..”the useless drunk” the “lier” the “irresponsible father” and “addict” is trying today to be a better person , at least just for today. I think even think I was doing squad but my mother came to my house last night and told me how proud she was of me for that things I am doing ,but most importantly for finally start taking responsabilities of my children. That felt pretty good but this is not the end of the task this is just the beginning.

  • LaMer

    i’m finding that i still kinda sorta still want poison/alcohol. it’s not always, but in the afternoons on the weekends when i’m getting tired, a bit burnt out, the golem raises it’s ugly head and whispers very quietly… evil little jerk. i know it’s really early in the process for me, not even a month, and that i’ll probably go through this for a while, if not always. sigh… i guess it’s beginning to sink in that i truly can’t have the stuff. i still feel much clearer and saner. i also feel happier, but in a more centered, peaceful internal way, rather than an euphoric hypo-manic high.
    for all you women out there, i’m also finding out that my monthly hormone cycles DEFINITELY play a role in when and what the monster wants me to consume. it’s a bit surprising. however, i’m committed to living a clean, sane, happy life and nothing that little monster tells me is true. i just need to remember that and i’ll be fine. have a good saturday everyone.


    Lamer, It is normal to feel like that in the beginning but after a while you just get used to. Just remember in not a matter of “we can’t have it ” is actually a matter of “As responsible adults we willingly choose not to have at least just for today , because when we have it, we get in nothing but trouble” At least that is how I visualize it now and it “works” for me. When I used to start thinking that I was not using because I was pleasing somebody else , or because someone would get mad of me for being using, I would just go ahead and use again to prove that I was in control, this kinda of attitude is very common when we first quit ,after a few bad experiences I finally realize that I have to behave like a grown person and that is my decision not to use for my own good.Being irresponsible with my drinking is what got me in this mess and if I continue not taking responsibility in my life is just a matter of time before I get in trouble again, and this time is even worst because I am sober (there is no excuse) and I say this because my first months when I quit I did nothing but to pick up new bad habits just to hide myself from my urge for drinking . I thought of myself “well at least I am not drinking” . that is true but , everything is connected , when I started doing irresponsible things in my life after a while there was a couple of times that I almost went back to the bottle. Why did I do it? maybe fear, maybe cowardness ,whatever , I am glad I did not go back, Instead I learned the following lesson: “Recovery is one thing and Abstinence is another”. Trust me I am still in abstinence.!!!
    Anyways ,good luck everyone and enjoy the weekend!!!!!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Well thanks for the response!!! That was really hard for me to write and not one person even says, “hi Nancy”. Sorry for being a spoiled brat but at least I am honest and wow it feels good!!!! I sure like this being sober thing normally I would have just thought everyone was an ass and I am a loser and I will never be back. But you guys are not and I am not a loser. And I will be back.

  • JPVD

    Hi Nancy! Be aware that man many people are reading your words and taking solace from them… You are a quiet force in my life; you have been sober 5 months. Something I am now trying to attain. I was going to quit quitting after 3 months (as per previous posts)but am now going to persevere because of your post.

    So many people say so many wonderful things on here, it is difficult (and sometimes unfair?) to single any one person out!

    good luck


  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi friends. I am so sorry for my last post, let that be a lesson for me to sleep on things before you say or send!!! I was having a little pity part for one last night. I often come on this site and don’t comment on every post so not sure what my problem was. I am working on acceptance not expectations and it is not all about ME. And JPVD you can do it!!! and thank you for your kind words not feeling very deserving but I appreciate it. Life for me has been so much better sober I knew it would be better because I wouldn’t be hung over and guilt ridden but all the other changes came as beautiful, wonderful miracles. Being sober has had so many ripple effects for me and my family.

  • Camus

    I just got back from a big relay running race and had some temptations over the weekend. When everyone was done with their last leg of the race, they all cracked open a beer, encouraging me to do the same. Oh my, did that sound good. It felt like such a perfect thing to do in that moment, and didn’t seem harmful at all. “Just a sip” I told myself. But “no” won, and then it wasn’t tempting at all. I didn’t have any less fun than anyone else, and felt much better today. It’s great to have conversations I remember with people and enjoy the moment for what it really is, not cloud it with a substance that makes us think it will be better. Anyhow, sorry Nancy for feeling the way you did about not having the response from your post. I know for myself, I frequently read posts, but it’s difficult to post anything due to two little children with a 10 second attention span. We’re all dealing with our own issues that have similarities but also are very different. Hopefully, no one here takes anything personally because no one really knows each other, except our alcohol issues, which is such a small part of who we are (even if it’s been huge in the past). Nancy, your posts and everyone elses are greatly appreciated by me and so many other people. It really is about us, because if we don’t take care of ourselves, then we can’t take care and/or help others. On some show, there was a questioned asked “who should be the priority in the family”. Some people answered children, some spouse, some equal, but no one answered myself. The correct answer is you. Nothing else can be healthy if you aren’t healthy, physically and emotionally. Just in case you’re curious, the second priority was the spouse, because if your relationship isn’t healthy, then your children will suffer. A bit off the subject, but related. Anyhow, hope all of you are doing well.

  • LaMer

    crazy weekend here. just lots and lots of stuff to do. nancy, i was struck by your comment on how simply removing alcohol has led to so many improvements in your life. i’m finding that is beginning to happen with me, too. anxiety over – everything – seems to be diminishing. i used to get drunk every night after the kiddos were in bed, and got nothing accomplished. the work i would bring home, study materials, volunteering committments, nothing. i would spend the day at work trying to multi-task everything knowing that once i got home to the evening routine of child care, hub-time, drinking time, my productivity would be done for. guilt, guilt, and more guilt was constantly weighing on my heart.
    not anymore!
    my brain is sharper than ever, i’m more focused, my energy is coming back, my appreciation for all the little wonderful things my kiddos do is huge, and i think my marriage is improving. i don’t feel guilty anymore because i think i’m finally starting to live life to the fullest. i’m still not at 100%; i’m still wrapping my brain around all the changes that are happening, but things are definitely improving. i’m also not nearly as impatient as i used to be. no more hurrying through nighttime routines so i can get to that next bottle of wine.
    how liberating!
    anyway, it’s amazing how just one little thing (or maybe not-so-little) can throw EVERYTHING else out of whack. and even more amazing is how removing it from the equation makes life so much more enjoyable and wonderful.
    have a good week everyone.
    day 22.

  • LaMer

    one more entry…
    camus, you’re so right on about how our top priority should be ourselves. i remember my father always saying to me how it “was always about myself”. he didn’t mean it kindly, and i grew up thinking i was incredibly selfish and wasn’t a good person for it. i actively tried to be as unselfish as i could be. i always blamed myself for anything and everything that went wrong regardless of the situation, even when i knew deep down it wasn’t my fault. what a bad idea.
    over the years i’ve taken my father’s not-so-kindly-intended words and embraced them and made them my own personal motto. me, selfish? you’re damn right it’s all about me. if i don’t work on myself, evaluate myself, reflect on myself, improve myself, i’ll never grow as a person. my marriage won’t be good, my kiddos won’t have a good childhood, my relationships with my family won’t improve, my job (which i love) will suffer, and on and yadda yadda yadda. i actually did that while still getting drunk every night. i think i’d have made better progress if i’d been clean, sane, and happy. but i also think that embracing selfishness (the good kind) helped me to get to the point where i could – had to – reflect on what my drinking was doing to not only myself, but to those i love.
    okay, i think i’m finally typed out. ‘night.


    Nancy, I am new in this forum but I can assure you that everyone here benefit big time fro your experiences.
    That is how we all stay sober ,as somebody mentioned here we don’t know each other but, problems with alcohol have made us good friends. I personally have found during my 15 months of abstinence that every time I talked to somebody who is trying like me to stay sober, and we interchange experiences , the benefit is mutual ,we all get stronger ,you are doing great I can’t tell and I would suggest to keep being as straight forward as you have been till today ,that helps a lot in the long run.
    Anyways, good luck everybody I hope everybody have a great productive week.!!!!!!!!

  • Phil

    Hi Nancy,
    I am glad that you have been following the site, and it is great that you have had five really good months, and all it took was to stop drinking. I read your posts every time you come on, and they are very inspirational to me. I know what you are saying when you say it is hard for you to write some things. I actually write better than I talk, so when I go to AA meetings I would prefer not saying anything. On Friday night, I was in a small meeting, and at the end of the meeting, the facilitor said, “We have heard from everybody except for one (he was sorta smiling when he said it), so I had to talk. Fortunately I think that what I said was coherent, and I felt better afterward. Thanks for checking in.

  • Phil

    Hi JPVD, I did want to respond to your question about can an alcoholic drink after an extended period of sobriety. I have heard many people say and seen it in the literature, that when an alcoholic quits for a period of time, whether it be for 90 days or three years, and he/she starts back again, they will quickly (maybe even that first time back drinking) be drinking as much, if not more, as they were when they stopped. This has been my experience also. I would say that the only exceptions to this would be for a person who was not genetically predisposed to alcoholism to begin with. Good point to bring up.

  • http://thisone thomas

    Today is my first day of recovery. I have been battling this for about 10 years now. I just lost another relationship, and I read all of these posts & see and hear my life story. I have no choice but to get better at this point & Im very scared as now my biggest supporter has understandably turned away from me. I need to get through this day, then the next. I know im should buy a pair of running shoes, but im afraid to do that to. I know I should go buy some healthy food, but im afraid of that to. It seems “fake”, please god, what can do , just to accomplish this to start. I cannot go back to the bottle.

  • Phil

    I know I am posting a lot but, Thomas, I just read your message. The most important thing right now is don’t drink! It sounds like your mind is racing a little bit and you really feel like crap. Do whatever you need to do to not drink today. Walk, sleep, shower, eat. Try to get your mind on not drinking rather on the relationship. You will have plenty of time to start running or work on your diet later on. But for right now, just try to relax and keep checking in.

  • http://thisone thomas

    thank you phil. that means allot to me. I will focus on just non-drinking. that does make the most sense & helps me not think about the relationship.


    Thomas, My advice would be similar to what Phil has to say, anything but drink . If you need medication go to the doctor and be straight forward and he or she will prescribe you something to keep you calm. At least this is what I did , try to eat ,avoid drinking places (at least in the beginning ) drink some carbonated water ,of fruit juices, that seems to help. But most important of all is “Remember you are not alone ” you got friends here who are in the same battle every day every hour and you will fine the strength needed here to keep going forward.!!!!!You’ll be fine ..Good luck!!!!!

  • Claire

    Hi & HELP!

    It’s not easy….. to just live.

    Giving up drinking seems secondary now, 60 days on. The problem is more adjusting.

    Get so wound up & constantly question my thoughts & actions.

    Fine most of the time & then get caught in a loop of feeling I’m not as good as I should be. Result, stressed out. Should be doing more to maintain the house & children. Should not feel so tired. Why do I feel guilty about just ‘reading’ for myself!

    LaMer hit it on the head about always be told I was selfish when I was growing up. It’s hard to break & WORSE to make sure you don’t give the same crap attitude to your kids!

    Sitting down with a bottle of chilled wine & losing yourself in movies or cooking in the kitchen with no cares & incapable of worrying as you gradually become incapable of thinking about anything save need to sleep it off. At the back of your mind you know you are wasting your time & will feel sick as a dog later, tierd & hungover trying to serve up the wonderful meal you made when you were in cloud cuckoo land. But, at least you had fun & got totally relaxed!!

    I feel so bad at the moment I wonder at the point of it all. Maybe just one day off from this abstinence will make me feel better & revive the reasons more clearly as to why I stopped in the first place.

    This is desperate & flawed reasoning, yet it seems to make sense.

    Does anyone out there understand where I’m coming from on this, or even where I am? I felt so good at the start and passing the first month mark I was so happy. What is wrong with me?

    Sorry for the above but I cann’t think of any other nicer/kinder/’clued in’ people in the whole world who may have an answer(s) other than all of you.

    Forgive me. I haven’t given in yet but it’s getting harder to stay on track by the day.

    Claire :(

  • Pam

    Claire, I am 43 days in and I am feeling the same way. It seems almost like the initial euphoria of sobriety is wearing thin and it is getting harder. I refuse to give in and drink but I am feeling your pain! I keep listing in my head the many good things about not drinking versus the great many bad things about drinking and hope that will get me through. This unrest just started within the last week or so and I feel like I am struggling.

  • Phil

    Hi everybody, I am glad people on this site feel comfortable talking about their struggles. Even though we are not experts or therapists, at least we can relate to where you are and try to help. It is better than talking to somebody who has never had to deal with this before. Thomas, I am not sure how much you typically drink and what kind of withdraw you are experiencing, but Roberto G’s advice to go to a doctor if you cannot make it through a few days without drinking is good advice. I did this once when I could not make it through that first day without experiencing severe anxiety. Actually a nurse recommended I do it – I went to an emergency room. It cost some money, but I was able to get something that was extremely helpful in taking the edge off. Of course, you very well may not need to do it, which would be great. Claire, it would be terrible for you to throw away 60 days sober. It sounds like you are going through a lot of negative thoughts or “stinking thinking”. In reality, you have done very, very well to get to 60 days and you should be proud of yourself. The depression or stress you are feeling is, in my opinion, something you should just try very hard to get through. I read about post acute withdraw syndrome (PAWS) once where it said that many people can suffer from that for many, many months and even years. Perhaps the stress you are feeling is part of the healing process. Exercise or mediation can help reduce stress. Do you have any support from AA or somebody you can talk about this with? I think it can be extremely helpful in putting things in perspective. This website is good, but close contact with a person face to face or on the phone could be better for you. Have you thought about seeing a therapist to help you deal with depression or stress? I hope this helps. I know we all realize how difficult this disease can be to deal with at times. Try to be positive!

  • http://thisone thomas

    I really dont have much time to type right now. As Im heading to the doctors in just a few minutes. Thank you for the support, kind words,encouragement everyone, I made it through last night & I feel rested & a little more relaxed. It hurts my heart to hear about others at their 43 & 60 days feeling like this. I will say prayers for you all, while I say mine for me as well. Day 2 – thomas

  • Pam

    Thomas- believe this- it is worth the struggle. Good luck at the doctors.

  • thomas

    Wow, is this just a trip. Felt like giving in at least once today. never even really realized, actually thought, just go get some for the night – then realized what im trying to accomplish. I cant believe that it so automatic, that I can forget so quickly. Doctor is going to put me on meds for imbalance (this was previous determined) but i never took the steps. I AM NOW though ! This is hard. Im doing so many things to stay busy, and its working, I just dont like the weird feeling (of the process); if that makes sense. Clair – I hope you are staying strong 2, I thought about your story today.
    staying strong on day 2 – Thomas

  • JPVD

    Good luck to you Thomas… “then realized what im trying to accomplish” Mate, beautiful words!

    Claire; I too have been thinking about you and your commendable struggle. Would it help to re-read Bill Sheehan’s post where he speaks of this urge to drink as an alien; and that you should understand that the alien is trying to hurt you so it is best to say NO and therefore kill the alien? (his words, not mine!)

    Alcoholism is a chronically relapsing disease, and this is probably why: that little voice that ‘reasons’ with us… “Come on, just a little glass of white wine for dinner. It won’t hurt you….just this one time. You’ve got it under control. You deserve it, i mean 40 days without alcohol, wow.”

    For what is it worth, i found this voice deteriorates with time. I am amazed that i no longer here it whispering to me at 4:59. or when i drive past a liquor shop. It is still there though… sweet and seductive siren song when i am stressed from work and it is cold and dark outside and ‘wouldn’t a nice glass of red be civil?’

    best of luck all…


  • Nancy

    To everyone out there struggling I feel your pain. It does get better and for me it has not been a linear process. In the the sense that over all my life has improved and I feel better but I have moments that aren’t great and I do struggle but it is so worth it. The struggles are the day to day things and crazy thinking or PAWS as I have heard mentioned but the over all big picture just keeps getting better. For me the only thing different about being sober this time was admitting and believing that I had a problem and getting outside help and support.Before I would stay sober for as long as it took to forget about the last drunk and I would think it is going to be different this time I have it under control I’ll just drink something new hang out with different people go to different places etc. This site has been a huge help to me just reading everyone’s stories and seeing how people are learning to stay healthy and also going to AA which I was so against but I feel that in some ways the program has saved my life. I don’t feel that AA is the only way to go it just happened to be what was available to me where I live. I reached out or grabbed on to people who seemed healthy and sober and asked so many questions and followed their advice. I just know that I don’t want the life I had. So just keeping hanging in there I think of you all so often and thank you all so much.
    And please forgive me for the post I sent I feel guilty and cringe every time I think of it!!

  • Camus

    Claire, I totally know how you feel and am at my first month now. I’ve had those same feelings that you talk about in the past when I’ve stopped for a couple months or more. The same voice has talked to me, and in the past I’ve decided to listen to it. I thought how “it wasn’t that bad when I drank” etc. But it was, and everytime I went back it got worse. Think of all the reasons why you stopped in the first place, if you really think you can go back for just one day, and how you’ll feel if you do.
    Thomas, congradulations! The days do get easier. The process is awkward & rough initially, but it smooths out and then there’s more roughness as Claire, Nancy, and others have mentioned, although inbetween the rough times there’s this amazing sense of clarity, strength and exhileration that can’t be found without being sober.
    Nancy, don’t beat yourself up over a post that wasn’t that bad. I highly doubt anyone here took offense to it. I relate to just about everything you’ve posted so I really am glad you’re here.

    Best wishes to all of you. Stay strong and be honest with ourselves.


    Thomas , Congrats!!! you are in the right path, this takes sacrifice but is worth every second and hour that we stay sober ,it’s always hard in the beginning but after a few month it becomes like second nature , (just like learning typing) and the obsession goes away and you are more relax ,after that all we have to do is working on the little details that can trigger our urge for drinking.Nancy try not to feel to guilty about the past ,as of matter of fact believe it or not it’s all part of the healing process ,it’s better that you express yourself how you really feel to us who know first hand what you are going through ,and totally understand how you feel ,Remember “to stop drinking is not the end but the beginning “. We have to slowly learn to express how we really feel to others ,so we don’t build up resentment toward other people. (Trust me resentment is nothing but poison to us)I am glad you are doing great…
    I also totally agree with Jpvd ,that little evil voice it’s pretty loud in the beginning ,but eventually it becomes just a whisper ,after a while it disappears but, once in a while comes back to check in with us ,but keeping ourselves busy and positive help big time to get trough this. Anyways Good luck everyone ..Let’s keep going forward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Phil

    I really look forward to coming on this site now every morning and seeing how everybody is doing. We really are in the same boat and experiencing a lot of the same things, struggles as well as victories. Thanks a lot everybody!!!! I am on Day 32, and this site helps me be immersed in my Recovery just as much as some of the other things I am doing like reading about recovery, exercising, and AA. It is good to be reminded of that evil little seductive voice. Fortunately for me, it hasn’t been around much over the past month, but I know at some point it will raise that ugly little head, it has before many times, like Nancy said usually when I forgot about how bad our drinking really was. Like everybody says, that ugly little creature actually tries to say, “hey it wasn’t that bad, it will be different this time.” I know we mention PAWS some here, and I just don’t know much about it and how it may or may not affect different people. I think it is good to just be prepared that at some point when we think everything is going well, all of a sudden we may have little episodes of feeling agitated, tired, or whatever, and not know why we are not feeling better. In my mind, however, PAWS cannot be anything near as bad as the way I felt every single day of my life that I drank. Way to go Thomas!!! Claire, I hope you are doing better today!!

  • SCD

    I forgot who this quote is from but it is a good one for alcoholics who are at the beginning of their sobriety. “There is no reward without a struggle.” Everything gets better. Just like we did not turn into alcoholics overnight (took me 20 years or so), we do not just flip the switch to the off position and everything turns rosy. In my first few months of sobriety I remember being pissed off for no reason at all and it would last for two days or so at a time. That is when I would have liked to have a drink but didn’t. I remember thinking that if this is how it is going to be, I don’t want any part of it. But things gradually got better. At this point when I start feeling anxiety, depression, anger or whatever, I always remind myself that it will pass and it does. Look up, don’t look down!!!

  • Pam

    I can not say enough about how much this site helps me. I am so used to feeling like I am the only person with this problem and being ashamed of my “weakness” concerning alcohol. Stumbling on this site has been a blessing.

  • Lee

    been sense saturday without a drink….today is Wednesday. My hands shook but appear to be getting more steady. appetiate has increased last couple of days. Is this close to being at a safe stage to begin my recovery. I have drunk heavy for several years, but feel i am through this time and not lying to myself.

  • thomas

    Love you guys ! thank god for these postings. Im so exhausted, going to bed at 7p.m. …& I couldn’t feel more supported from you guys and gals. We are all here for each other. its a pretty awesome feeling. night – Day 3 Thomas :)

  • thomas

    stay strong brother Lee.


    LEE, I also had the shakes for a couple of months after I quit drinking, and during my time drinking as well.(a chronic alcoholic like me is always shaking ,drinking or not drinking ,not mentioning that I was nervous all the freaking time!!!!!!).
    The good news is that the shakes go away ,and your nervous systems goes back to normal. I drank a lot of hard liquor and I believe that was in part why I used to shake a lot, but today after months of abstinence ,all that is long forgotten. Phil regarding those paws some friends talked about here , I think is more like a state of mind that we develop when we quit. ,emotions, bad times, evil voices ,anxiety ,depression, loneliness, the list is endless will always be there for all human beings, addicts and non addicts , people live with them and most of them do fine without tring to scape from them.but, we are working hard today so when we feel tempt to use we just skip that first drink for today and for today only. if we worry about the future too much is all bad news . I think I shared here that when I had 40 days of abstinence(which I do not count ’cause I relapsed) and I started thinking about the future and thinking about my daughter’s wedding who was only 3 years old ..guess what? 20 minutes later a had a bottle of tequila and a 24 case of beer ,just to prove myself that I could do it ,and that this time was gonna be different..It actually was different “it was worst” it followed 3 weeks of binging drinking and a total chaos in my life, that’s how I learned to worry about today just for today ,,,tomorrow who knows? Paws or no Paws as you said we have to be ready ,one mistake and we are back where we were .anyways everybody this website is helping a lot in keeping in mind every day that I have to be alert and not forget my problem ,’cause to be honest after a while you feel great and forget the past really easy ,we must constantly remember about all we have gone through so we can stay sober for another day…
    Good luck everyone…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Phil

    Reading these posts about those first few days after a long period of really heavy drinking reminds me of that time when I went to the emergency room after a 3- month binge. I had to sign my name on the sign-in sheet, but I was such a nervous wreck, I couldn’t even sign my time. I wrote something down but they couldn’t read it. Anyways, after about a week I was feeling much better, and you will too. I was thinking this morning about something Patrick said about being sober for 30 days. He said that 30 days is a good time frame because that is enough time for us to form new habits. I can see that in my life. At the end of the day now, instead of wondering if it is too hot to go walking, I just put on my walking shoes and go. When it is time for me to go to one of my two AA meetings or Celebrate Recovery, I do not ask myself if I am too tired or busy to go, I just go. When I put together my grocery shopping list, vegetables and fruits are the first things on the list. When I get home at night and it is time to relax, I pick up one of my Recovery books and just automatically begin to read (One Day at a Time, 24 Hours a Day, Daily Reflections, and Living Sober are my favorites). These things are what work for me right now and I feel good about them. Know wonder the seductive voice is not in my head right now, there is no room for it. I am trying to keep it that way.

  • Phil

    I am in a stage in my Recovery that reminds me of a poem that I read in high school:

    “The woods are lovely, dark and deep
    But I have promises to keep
    And many miles to go before I sleep
    And many miles to go before I sleep”

    Take care LaMer, Camus, Nancy, Roberto G and all of you others that are understanding a better way to live.

  • http://thisone thomas

    Wow, Its pretty back and forth stuff today. Just staying focused, working hard, and just want to sleep. I think Ill just try to sleep off the desire for now. It seems to feel like that works for now. Day 4, 4pm PST. Night, Thomas

  • Chelle

    I am trying to stop drinking and I can relate to some people on here. Well I am 20 yrs old and I had my first drink when I was 12, I was really shy around groups and still quite shy now. I think that is the reason I first started to drink every weekend, when ever I went out with my friends to meet other people in groups. The drink made me feel more sociable and more confident and I could talk to anyone, I really liked this feeling and could not leave the house to meet people at the weekend until I had a drink in me but I would do things and say things I wouldnt have done when I was sober like take drugs. Then at 17 I became more like a binge drinker and when I got my own flat at 18 I could drink for a month straight and became very depressed because I felt so bored and alone, and ended up doing more and more stupid things. The next day I would feel so terrible and angry at myself because I knew that it was the drink but I didn’t care because I was mentally fucked then drink again to numb that guiltiness feeling, and it didn’t help that all my friends were binge drinkers. But I know now that I can’t keep going on like that because I was hurting my family, and most of all messing up my life. So I have started to do it step by step I started of just by cutting down and sticking to the weekends then only once at the weekend then only a few drinks and gradually getting there. Then when everyone else is drinking I try to join in and have a laugh without the drink, it’s so hard as I was used to associating drink whenever I am in groups, but I am trying to be strong and keep myself busy. I am going to try to keep myself active to distract me and hopefully that helps and later I can be in situations were I can be at a birthday party or something without drinking. Good luck to all those who are trying just like me.

  • Lee

    Thanks everyone,

    Thank you so much for the support! That really makes me want to try harder! 6 Days today and I am feeling better. I know the demons are still out there, but I am so sick of it! It helps to know there are others out there. Sometimes you feel so alone, and yet you want to be alone. Everyone have a great 1 day at the time weekend. I know we are suppose to only look at one day at the time, but wish right now is we all make it through this weekend with having a drink.


  • Lee

    Sorry guy/girls i met to say without a drink! Fingers still a little shakey.

  • Carolyn

    Hi, I’m new here. I’m 34 and I finally realize I can’t do it alone. I’ve gone through a lot of the feelings and denial that go along with having a drinking problem. I’ve told myself many times I’d stop but then talked myself out of it saying it’s no big deal, I can stop if I want. Yet, I never did. Until now. I have two small children and a wonderful husband and I want to be better. I have been increasingly drinking more…more frequently and more in quantity and I’ve had it. It’s hard because my sisters who I am very close with are drinkers and I’m trying to figure out how to be around them and not want to drink or get back in the mindset of ‘oh it’s no big deal to drink this time’. Any advice, help, words of wisdom are all appreciated.

  • Carolyn

    Lee, keep up the good work. I hope to be there too soon! Day 1 for me.

  • Carolyn

    One more post! To Claire, I can completely identify with you. Please keep it up, you can do it!

  • http://thisone thomas

    Well said LEE ! Lets get through the weekend guys. We owe it to ourselves! The trigger, the long weekend, the distraction. Im not going to lie, struggling hard right now. It just hit me like a ton of bricks about 30 minutes ago. I come back and read the posts & reset myself. FUCK the weekends demons, Im going to church !!! Day 5 thomas

  • chelle

    I’m sitting up stairs and this is really hard, like soo hard I want to cry but I know I gotta stay tough. Well they are all drinking down stairs and can hear the music blaring and them all laughing soo hard, I can’t seem to join in when I’m sober. So jealous, but really I’m trying to blank it out. Any tips on what I can do to make it easier?

  • JPVD

    chelle, try to think of tonight as an ‘experiment'; use your sober mind to assess the the drinking going on…

    just get through it, make no mistake…it is a test.


  • Steve

    Just got my 3rd freakin DUI. I have been tappering down my drinking slowly over the last year, but am very comfortable drinking and driving as i have been doing it before i had a licence. I have been struggling to quit all together the last year but have not done it!! I am ready and I know it, I can feel it. I just cant bring myself to seek help in the community or via aa due to feeling humiliated or outcast. I run a very successful business in my community and am afraid of what people will think. I have a wonderful family and feel guilty about not giving my full self to them, i know i can do more and i just allow myself to slack off, even though my wife says i am a workaholic. I have a great support system via my inlaws who delt with alcoholism with their parents and r very familiar with that aspect. My father and mother r both recovering alcoholics and r their for me to. This DUI has brought it all to the front, please respond if you can think of anything that will help, or email me @ god bless us all we know we have the power over the freakin alcohol, we just have to b strong!!


    Chelle ,is normal to feel like that in the beginning buy eventually it becomes like second nature .From my own experience I can tell you that is hard to be in that kind of apsmophere where everyone drinks , but your real friends will not tempt you to drink if you just honestly express your desire you quit, or to take a break, or whatever you feel more comfortable to say. In my circle of friends I was the worst ,not because I used to get all stupid, or because I always got in fights, but , because I drank always the most .I had a lot of tolerance but, eventually I went downhill and Lost it all ,in the beginning they didn’t believe that I did not want to drink and gave me a hard time all the time , but after months the figure out that it was serious and started to support me. I never say that I won’t drink again ,I just say that I had my share and I am taking a well deserve break just for today , tomorrow who knows? why worry about it…who cares?
    What also helps me is the fact that I know that I can still do all I like to do in this world ,Everything!!! …good and bad is your choice,,,is your responsibility nobody else.!!!and guess what? after a while ,our brain , our soul , ourselves ,whatever!!! starts enjoying life the way it’s is ,and it’s free ,and you never have to go to a water hole and fuel up the tank ,just to be happy for a few hours and then miserable for an entire day…
    This is the price that I have to pay for abusing alcohol big time for 10 years ,and I am serving my time knowing ,that just because I don’t drink it doesn’t mean I can not be successful in life, and happy, but, If I want to keep it that way in my case abstinence and Action is the magic word ,,,There is no way around……Good luck to all those who are tire of suffering like my and are trying day by day to be sober , just today for today….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Judy

    I am sad. I have never not acknowledged that I am an alcoholic,

  • Steve

    Heading to my first meeting this morn before work, I am feeling very impowered, I am ready to meet new people who know and have been there. Day 2 sober

  • Nancy

    Hi everyone. Chelle I can relate to you being upstairs and feeling scared… in the beginning that was the hardest part for me joining others while I was sober that has passed and I feel okay and confident now. Just do whatever it takes to stay sober that might include staying away or going and having a non-alcoholic drink in your hand, at first I just pretened I was drinking and now as my confidence has grown I don’t care and most people don’t even notice what I am doing or care I have shared with some people and not others. Just hang in there. It will pass and get better.Have you thought of joining any type of support AA is all I know of depending on where you live even just the fact that you meet other people and find out how they are doing it.
    Carolyn I know what you mean about being around family and friends that you would normally drink around that was hard for me too but now that I have made the decision it feels so good I was drinking for so many reasons I thought it made me more out going which it did but so many times I crossed the line other times it was okay but it was like rolling the dice and I had to stop.
    Judy, way to go that is the first step took me so long to say that the word still get’s stuck in my throat!

    Steve hang in there be proud of yourself for the two days you have. You are a good guy it is the alcohol that clouds that, take that away and you will be even better, it is not your fault you just need help and support just ask.
    The biggest reward for staying sober for me besides not having hangovers and blackouts and making phone calls saying sorry to who ever I have offended etc. is seeing how proud my husband and kids are of me. I also feel healthier and my skin is glowing and I feel calmer and some how I feel more like myself it’s really hard to explain because I used to drink to feel better but I think I was just running away from my feelings I thouht partying was fun but really it was just an escape from my problems and then the drinking added to my problems. I thought people would stop wanting to be with me when I was sober because I didn’t think I was good enough just being me, but I guess I am enough strange how you remove a substance form your life and you get so many things in reuturn things I didn’t even recognize as missing? Thank you all for being a part of my staying sober each and everyone of you.

  • thomas

    So hard 2 do this. My mind is racing, but im not thinking about drinking to take care of it. I am however thinking about drinking, so go figure. the life of a drunk. No drinks since last monday and counting. I do take pride in this ! Just really bummed out right now. I keep reading all your posts. no matter what the post – please keep posting guys, its helping me allot & I know its helping you 2 ! Thomas


    THOMAS, YOU’LL BE FINE MY FRIEND..!!! It’s just a matter of time and it’s worth waiting ,just keep going in the path that is working for you and great things will happen in your life..Guarantee !!!!
    Our mind will always be heading in a different direction trying to go back where is easy and enjoyable but, we know that when we go that way it brigs nothing but misery ,so just today for today let’s stay sober and enjoy life the way it is.(At least try right? )…is free …and when don’t need to put no crap in our body to be happy . Once we get to that point , all we have to do is enjoy life ,and when bad things happen just hang on ….
    Your doing Great Congrats!!!!!!
    Take it easy for today….Take a good break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Nancy , Great post I am glad you are back in business I really like your posts towards the problem and how to face life…thanks for your posting!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck everybody…have a Great holiday.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nancy

    Thomas, I know what you mean even though you are not drinking you are thinking about not drinking or drinking. It consumed me in the beginning that is all I wanted to talk about and thought about. Thomas I am glad you are proud you should be! And like what Roberto says, “take it easy for today.” I like that one day at a time. Thomas make sure to reach out, it may be hard but it’s worth it. Congratulations!!!

  • thomas

    Roberto, nancy and All . Thank so so much. I find myself with tears in my eyes when i feel the support. – we are all here for each other & this is part of the support that keeps me on tract. thank you so much.

    Judy, steve .. hang in there ! You will notice people on here of all days of sobriety. Everyone is on the same page, regardless of days into the process. Keep posting anything and you are all loved. Day 6 Thomas

  • Steve

    you guys rock!!! this is the best forum i have run across yet. My first meeting went very well indeed, topic of discussion COMPLACANCY That is exactly why I am quitting, I am feeling complacent and it kills me. Growth and change r eminent no matter what, embrace the change and growth will come. I am not really craving a drink, which is strange because I can put back 12 to 18 beers very easily. I am finding that i need something in my hand though, just like a smoker needs oral fixation, i need something to drink, and when im driving a big ass bottle of water is doing the trick. Funny how i didnt want to go to aa, turns out i freakin new many of the attendees, many people i would have never expected who seem to be in control. Alcohol is what is ripping society apart, yet everyone doesnt want to see it. America is definetly a drinking nation, what happen to the natural high!! hang in there everyone we r stronger than the addiction, our sobriety will prove that!!!

  • thomas

    Steve. Your right, WE ALL ROCK ;) he he .

    This might be premature. especially with me being on my 6th day, but It does seem that there are regular posters here & Steve & others just inspired me & I wanted to know if everyone/anyone would be open to doing a – on a selected day and time each week. Its really easy to do (We dial in on the phone number it generates & type in code) then, pretty much, were all conferenced via phone – I have an account…. What are your thoughts friends? Thomas

  • thomas

    I would like the opportunity for all of us to chat (you know, one at a time – say whats on your mind, share a story – open forum) then as others come on board. we can invite them too.

  • Steve

    Definitly open to that, I am on the west coast. It would b like aa nationwide. Not open to pitty parties, but some good advice and support would be very cool.

  • Nancy

    Hi. Yes I would be into the live chat, although I am challenged when it comes to computers but I would give it a try. Congratulations on your first meeting Steve, I too was shocked at the people I knew and respected in AA.
    Thomas is it amazing the support on this site just knowing we are not alone helps and each post means so much it is like a life line.
    Take care.


    Of course none of us is alone ,we all are in the same boat I like to call, we are always fighting day by day ,but we are not alone there are million who have found hope by quitting drinking and that have stopped sinking without hope to a certain death. Alcoholism is not a joke for us ,is as simple as “if we drink we die”. Maybe not tomorrow but eventually. that’s our destiny if we keep using, so we have to look for help everywhere ,AA,internet, friends, whatever works for us to stay sober. Let’s remember days turn into weeks and weeks into months and so on .next thing you know this is a way of life and you like it ,then we must keep working on the little details or baggage the have carried along in our carriers as drinker,,,,one day at the time…let’s take it easy…we have no rush….there is no finish line to reach…
    day by day everyday!!!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck friends!!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Steve

    time 4 bed people, gonna dream about lemonade, my second favorite drink!! hahaha day by day month to month year into year thats my plan and i’m sticking to it!!

  • thomas

    Ok guys & Gals. It seem like just a few of us (at this minute) are in. that is enough to start this ;). I am also on the West Coast. For the sake of schedules, it is best to just throw out a time and date. This Thursday at 5:30 PM PST. (For others, Please see my last post to know what im talking about here ;) Before this Thursday, I will post a phone number to call with a conference call code to enter. Call it on Thursday at 5:30pm PST / 8:30Pm EST. And well see who’s on (it’s that easy). As Steve said, lets use the time for good advice & support.

    Nancy, it is awesome to have found this link (very grateful)…. Just got back from a drive and there is Roberto’s post of encouragement. We are all very lucky! Although we have a hard road ahead, we have each other (right here, right now! )

    I do look forward to this and hope to hear as many of us as possible on this first call. Goodnight all. Thomas

  • Bibi

    I have drunk heavily all of my life and the longest time sober in the past 20 years is just 8 days. I have lived a life of regret and now i have had enough. Something has changed in me! I feel so positive and i have never felt like this in the past. i have been thinking of giving up for years but it filled me with dread. Not now, i am ready for the challenge and the rest of my life! Day 4 and loving it. Good luck everyone…This website is fab
    Bibi xx

  • LaMer

    hi all, i’ve been wrapped up in things and haven’t been able to get online for the last several days. so much going on with everyone. i wish i’d written words of support to all you going through tough times: Pam, Claire, Thomas, Chelle, Steve, Judy, Carolyn, Lee, it’s going to get better, just read Roberto G’s posts, and Bill Sheehan’s, and Camus’, and Patrick’s, and Phil’s. it’s scary and unnerving when you’re just starting (i’m just starting), and it sounds scary and unnerving when the initial “honeymoon” is over (i don’t think i’m there, yet, but i now know not to get too overconfident). we’re all going to be okay as long as we realize that we don’t and can’t have a normal relationship with drinking. it simply doesn’t work for us. Roberto nailed it when he wrote that he doesn’t say he’ll never drink again; that just sets a person up for failure. i still want to break down and cry when i try to think about it in terms of absolutes. i can barely bring myself to use the word alcoholic, even writing it makes me squeamish. i just get through one day at a time. and it can be so so hard when i snap at the kiddos, they’re so young and i worry that i’ve scarred them for life, and then the guilt comes, and then i can feel that little evil voice/demon thinking that it might actually be able to talk me into doing something i fundamentally DON’T want to do (that would be drinking Clorox, er, wine). earlier this week i just about lost it completely and actually went to the store and headed down the wine aisle.
    and an amazing thing happened, instead of grabbing a bottle of poison, i made a beeline right to the faux-beer, and grabbed myself some. in that moment — where i chose to be clean, sane, and happy over drunkenness – all the anxiety, frustration, heat, panic, and guilt VANISHED. just gone. i felt such a wave of relief and calmness; i actually got a bit weak in the knees. thank you, God, was all i could think. and to be perfectly honest, i don’t remember checking out or going home. i only remember feeling relieved, and so so thankful and grateful that i didn’t go “there”. it can be done. listen to the little voice telling you not to go there, telling you that you that you deserve to have a clean, sane, and happy life, and that you have way more control than you realize. in fact, don’t just listen to it, BELIEVE IT.
    anyway, i’m up way too late again, but i missed everyone, and had to let you all know how things are going, and that i have faith in each and every one of us, and i honestly believe that it was finding this site and all of you that inspired me to stop. thank you everyone. we all serve to remind each other just how wonderful and how tough it can be and that we should never forget just what an opportunity and a struggle it is to actually start a new life.
    goodnight everyone. i’m hoping you are all at peace for the moment.
    day 29.

  • JPVD

    Hi all;

    best of luck in your endeavours. Judy, if you are out there (or others are reading this and thinking ‘this is soooooooo me’) the first step is a cliche because it is true: admit to yourself that alcohol has overpowered you.

    once i admitted this to myself then i could finally begin to deal with the long-suffering inner-turmoil i had felt for so long. I was an alcoholic in denial, and i was slowly killing myself and heading toward destruction. Now i am an alcoholic in recovery, and it is sweet.

    LaMer, such a wonderful piece of humanity to relay. Power to you! I culdn’t go near liquor stores for a long time, and even had to look away as i drove past my old discount booze haunt. Strangley I am again a regular customer, for the discount bulk-buy sparkling water they sell!

    When i was drinking heavily i was always trying to somehow conceal my drinking habits, even though i was in there most every night buying 3 botles of cheap wine. I was embarrased and ashamed to shakily hand over my meagre dollars (and even change!) to the slyly smiling young clerk. Now I am in there at least once a week buying this water (an obvious alcoholic trying to clean himself up) and i could care less what they thought. Alcohol owned me and made me feel weak, now i own alcohol and i am confident and strong.

    just to add my two cents regarding liquid substitutes for alcohol. When i first quit i tried to drink fake-beer, but gave it up because i didn’t see the point. i then got switched onto tea. I have every type of tea and tea contraption going. then it was coffee. I now own all manners of coffee grinders, tampers, different cups for different brews and made coffee 4 different ways every day (instant in the morning, french press at work, espresso at home after work, and turkish after dinner). I also bought an incredible array of softdrinks to replace the beers in my beer fridge.

    Over time the tea obsession dropped off. My drinks fridge is almost bare, just a few assorted cans here and there. Finally from september 1st i’m giving coffee a miss for 30 days!
    I guess i’m saying this because i just did whatever got me through the first bout of non-drinking; obsessing about leaf-tea over bag, or systematically adjusting your bean-grinder until you get the correct texture, or even lining up 3-4 cans of sugary-sweet cans of pop. mate, i did it and now it is day 70 and i’m leaving the tea/coffee/pop behind as well.

    While i am here stream-of-conciousness ranting i’ll tell you a strange story.
    I limit myself to a can of coke as a treat for watching the ball-game on saturday night. That’s right; i am the same guy who would pound 12-18 beers for no other reason than it was a tuesday night, but when it comes to coke i can say ‘Oh, better save that as a treat for saturday night.’ Huh?

    ok, take care everyone


  • Steve

    Thomas, I’m in no matter where I am I will use my cell phone, I feel like a kid about ready to meet some long lost friends!! for LaMer– You r doing fine, if your kids r still with you you r on track. You know what I did, I told my kids I was gonna stop drinking and asked them how they felt about that.
    Get some input from them, you might b suprised what kind of inspirational words will come from the mouth of babes!!! They want to c u happy and no matter what they love you like no other can my friend. I too walked down the isle of ectasy to find some na beer, they didn’t have any!! Then I was flooded with relief, weird. Well time for some strong ass coffee, then I gotta load the truck for work. It’s just another day, before we know it it will b gone just like the cravings. The way I figure it, I’ve been drinking since i was 13, I’ve had a good run at it. It’s time to tell the tells and help others and enjoy the life you have around you. Take the time to inventory your life, you will c that their is more avaliable to you than u initially thought. Rock on my friends!!! GO AHEAD AND JUDGE ME, I CAN TAKE IT!! HAHAHA

  • thomas

    LaMer (thank you for the consolation all our names ;),Bill, Pam, Claire, Chelle, Steve, Judy, Carolyn, Lee, Roberto G, Bill Sheehan, Camus, Patrick, Phil & anyone reading this !!!!!

    Please join a conference at 5:30 PST this Thursday. The number to call is 213-289-0013 & access code 717-118-409. The number will be active at around 5:20 PST. I am billed for all charges, except your standard long distance will apply.

    The goal is to share, learn, & heal. we need us & we look forward in hearing our stories of encouragement. Take the number & code with you in your wallet or purse if needed. You can call from were ever your at – Thomas

  • Danny

    I’m new to this site, but have spent all afternoon reading the entire thread of notes from beginning to end on this site today….very very encouraging, and you guys and girls are reflecting where I am and/or need to be in giving-up alcohol. My story, I’m a very successful late 40’s medical professional with a long history of heavy alcohol abuse, starting with typical binge beer drinking in college and grad school, to daily heavy drinking (pint or more of 80 proof or 1-1.5 liters wine daily, or 10 or more beers) most days for last 15 years, so about 25-30 yrs of alcohol abuse, heavy for last 12 yrs or so. I’ve remained highly functional but like you I’ve come to admit I’m killing myself, and for what reason?! You’ve all said it… it’s an escape I used to enjoy, and now enjoys trying to wreck me…I have 3 beautiful young children whom I adore and a very comfortable but stressful life (absent the exwife 3 yrs ago) and believe it or not I’m a longstanding Serious Christian, and i’ve got to reconcile my life to Life. The years have blown by, and now I’ve found myself reflecting that which I never wanted to be..the Alien has me, as Bill put it, and the stale flat existence my life has come to be Must be changed….I want to live again, be a Great father and the Follower of Christ that obedience demands. I never saw myself as an alcoholic, but who could deny that if you soberly examine my abuse , so similar to many of yours’? I’m very desirous of making today the beginning of a new life without alcohol (I’ve had 3 beers today), and I’m really pretty terrified…I can’t afford to get the shakes (I’ve never really had them before, but when have I abstained entirely for 72 hours? I can’t remember, or remember trying? ) I’m needing prayer and encouragement from you all; your stories have meant ALOT to me today. I’m so tired of the draggy, hungover mornings, the waking-up at 3 AM hourly til 6, the not being AWARE with my kids or having energy…. I’d like to make tomorrow a new day, like I haven’t done intentionally in years…please pray for and encourage me? Thanks

  • Nancy

    Welcome to both the new comers Danny and Bibi. You will both be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Thomas I wrote down the information hope to join everyone on thursday.

  • thomas

    Its so good to have Danny & Bibi & LaMer & others (so many new incoming) here now! Lets all keep that one word in mind “overconfident”, just like in life (as in drinking) the second you think you know it all, you realize you dont know jack. I also know, becuase I have been in this spot about 4 times… just like most of us, its not until you [completely] surrender…. day by week by month by year by life? Keep listening to our elders and “newcomers” . Night all – Day 7 – Thomas

  • Dave

    My name is Dave and I am an alcoholic. I am just coming to the awareness that I am more than the ‘heavy drinker’ that I used to call my self. My wife first brought this to my attention. A friend challenged me to stop drinking for 1 week as a test. I could not do it. I drank 3 glasses of wine or beer after work. Sometimes much more. Binging. I noticed that some depression I had correlated to how much I drank. I’ve decided to stop. In the last 2 weeks I have drank on 4 days.

    I am here to research tools and guidance on how not to have that first drink. This is where I see my self struggling.

    My first big step in the last few weeks was to admit, I am an alcoholic. Boy that is hard to say!

    Next I am trying the phrase ” TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE TREST OF MY LIFE”. That has always helped me.

    Next I try to remember what a friend told me in that “HE IS HAPPIER SOBER”. I am finding that to be true for me as well.

    I am still struggling with the thought of that first drink or “I’ll just have one”. There is never just one for me. I guess that is my next big step in realizing this.

    I am making progress. I’ve gotten some ideas here and have thought about putting away money that I would have spend on wine.

    Today I learned not to say I will NEVER have a drink again. I would set my self up for failure. Just keep trying until I get there.

  • thomas

    Dave, keep this forum open and check it all through the day. that is what got me through some tough times this week of being sober. please do that ! Listen to everyones stories and stay clean one day at a time. Please, please, please, check back in ! Thomas (7 days without it! )

  • Steve

    Great day guys, 2nd meeting great stuff, I know alot of people there ,I would never have suspected. I am in n out of alot of peoples houses in my business year after year. Anyway heard today, If your not doing it for you, what r u doing it for? I believe that is why am am feeling so positive and empowered, because I am doing it for me!!! Thats the key guys, all for you baby!!! Not really having cravings, but am thinking alot about it. Beer just taste great after work, but you know something, Lemonade taste a hell of alot better, it really does, and whatta you know, I feel great in the morning!! No meeting avaliable tomorrow for lunch, but one the next dat, new group, we’ll see who I know there. Rock on guys!! Thomas got the numbers, you in LA by chance, I grew up down there.

  • thomas

    in phoenix. The LA number was randomly generated when I created the meeting ;)

  • Ron

    Dave….take a different path home. Let (your higher power)take the wheel. Find a group, find a gym, change your ways,find yourself, be honest with yourself, apologize and forgive yourself first. Just for today….

  • JPVD

    Dave i decided on a minimal amount of money that i would need to get drunk every night. I decided at my lowest most desperate times i would scroung at least $9.99 for a cheap nasty box of wine to get me through the night.

    i have been putting that 10 bucks aside every night into a secret envelope. at times i have had to go without lunch, or scrounge change from the car-seat, or even put the groceries on credit so i could have the cash. Just like i used to do with the booze money; however now i have $700 (so far) stuffed into an envelope in my sock drawer. my wife has no idea.
    A friend quoted me $1100 to build a front verandah on the house, so i’m hoping to make 110 days and then build the verandah as some sort of testament to my will over alcohol.

    1 year without alcohol is $3700, minimum! I could finance any new motorbike i want if i just stop drinking…wow!

    the reality is, of course, that i most definitely spent more than $3700 a year on booze.

    good luck all, enjoy your conference call



    Welcome new friends ,Danny, Dave , and everybody else.
    you have come to the right place if you really want this, if you really want what we are achieving day by day this is the place.I’ll share a little about me ,to break the ice. My life was miserable almost 16 months ago , alcoholism almost killed me and made me do things I never thought I would do. I drank for 12 years and I was in control for about 7 or maybe 8 before I started going down hill .alcohol became the number one priority in my life ,it came always before my parents,wife, kids, job, etc. I got to the point where I was drinking every single day for long periods of time. I used to go to work hang over everyday, and tried hard to cover up my problem for years but, eventually it was impossible and I lost my job , where I had been working for 12 years and had a high position as manager. My boss who also is an alcoholic wanted to help me ,he saw all the signs in me and knew about my problem but I always denied that I had any drinking problem , after years of warnings, and efforts from his part to help me, He had no choice but to let me go ,and believe me my friends it gets ugly. Alcohol became my master and I was now drinking to live and living to drink ,that was all I cared about ,my family almost left me because they saw that I did not want to stopped . eventually I had no money ,no car , no friends ,!!!nothing !!!I had to knock all my relatives doors asking for money and promessed that I was gonna stopped ,!!!never happend!! I was like that for an entire month and then I had to go to look for people like me ,to join forces and get money to get high on alcohol….Eventually one day something made me feel really bad , I went to my house and took a game console of my daughter and put it in my pocket to see if a could sell it ,she was only 3 years old ,and looked me in the eyes, and watched me living .I felt terrible but alcohol my friends makes you do whatever you have to do to get high ,it doesn’t give a damn weather is your mom or your daughter ,who beg you to stopped you just can’t .(Jesus may come to you and begged you and you won’t do it) that’s how alcohol took over my life. I remember the golden years before I had developed dependency on alcohol ,I used to laugh about the weak people that would get drank and would ask for money and I used to say to myself “that I would never let it get that far” “I am a smart person and know what I am doing” { “wrong” “wrong” } no matter who you are or what you do all it takes is “time” and “alcohol” and we will get as far as it gets till we died.
    After that above experience with my daughter I started thinking a little of what I was doing and finally decided to stopped. As a chronic alcoholic that I am ,I suffered for about 2 weeks with the most horrifing case of DT’s you can ever imagine .I smell things, heard thing, saw things, etc. but I had no choice I had to stopped cold turkey ,and dealt with it. I been sober for almost 16 months ,it actually will be this coming thurday that I will have 16 month ,that that I count the days, as I shared here before ,just today for today..tomorrow who cares? It took me almost a full year to fully awake (not to recover that’s something else) ,and finally realize what I had done. it’s just amazing how alcohol takes over all your being . Since I quit I been working really hard to stay sober and happy. in the beginning I went for a while to AA ,and I really recomend it , give it a try and you will find a lot of information , you don’t have to be there every night and you don’t have to say anything, take what is best for you and if you decide to move on ..that’s what you do.!!!.. As you guys will learn here, you have to do what works for you ,find the path, and follow it , don’t follow anybody,,,you have come here for a reason ,find that reason , Here we all are the same, no one is worstthan the other, We are here because we are tire of suffering ,and because we are trying to get our lives straighten without artificial happiness.
    Personally this website which I just discovered about a month ago, has helped me in my abstinence , everyone here is in the same page ,and we know we are not alone, we are done with the denial and now it’s time to fine some answers.
    Hope I didn’t get everyone all boring ,but this is part of my story. I am 35 years old and since I quit I have done nothing but Great thing for my life , and for extension for my family as well. I went back to school ,will open my business next year , and none of this would it be possible if I was still drinking….
    (Well most likely I wouldn’t be around anyways)
    God bless you everyone ,,,whatever you believe of him or her it doesn’t matter …..Action is the magic world!!!
    you are in the right place….Let’s take it easy just for today..tomorrow ..we’ll see!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dave

    Hi my new found friends. My progress today. I’m 2 weeks and 2 days with only 3 days of drinking in that time. I go home for lunch. Today I went to my wife’s cooking cherry and dumped it down the drain. Then left her a note that I dumped it and did not drink it. Just so she knows. Yesterday I made a date with my wife. Tonight when I get home we are going to drive for an hour to a new lake I wanted to investigate. I will call home before leaving work to prove that I am not going to make a side stop some where. But…. tomorrow is my big test. My wife and kids will be out till very late. This will be a test for me. I know I will pass. I promise to report back to you pass or fail. Knowing that I will have to report back to you all will help me pass the grade. I’ve decided to keep my self busy by rebuilding my dryer. It needs a little tune-up.

    Why I want to stop:

    – No worry that I did something stupid “Because of alcohol”. It’s OK to make mistakes but I do not want it because of drink.

    – My wife and I get along great now.


    – I just like it more.

    – Less days of depression. I can see the correlation.

    – I like ME more.

    – No hiding, sneaking and wondering if I let someone down and feeling guilty.

    I guess knowing why I want to stop helps. This is my effort to ingrain it.

  • Dave


    You asked: I’m trying to figure out how to be around them and not want to drink or get back in the mindset of ‘oh it’s no big deal to drink this time’. Any advice, help, words of wisdom are all appreciated…..

    We are in the same boat. That is why I got on this site. To find the answer to that question. The only advice I have is that we both know that it is not just 1 drink. It always leads to the 4th and 5th. There is no such thing as ‘just one’. I’ve kidded my self on and on with different gimmicks. Well it’s just beer. … I’ve finally come to the conclusion (I hope) after many failures that at least for me there is no such thing as just one. I can’t stop after that one. I can stop having that first one though. .. I guess for me the desire and or temptation after I had the the first drink is the hardest part to the fight. It just isn’t worth it anymore. If I do not go down that path then I do not have to fight the PAINFULL desire afterwards. Just keep telling yourself the first drink is the most dangerous. It is not “Just One”. For us, never has and never will be.

  • Steve

    Not just one, Not now, not for a long time. Abstinence is the key to fighting this shit RIGHT NOW. I come from a long history of alcoholics, and let me tell you, if you start having just one, it slowly comes back to where you were. My mom is a recovering alcoholic and has A BEER every once in a while, but it has been 15- 20 years since she quit, its about RESPONSIBLE DRINKING. Then there is my dad, sober 20 years (btw they r separated for a long time) and wont touch a drop. Some of us r sicker than others, you have to come to that conclusion within yourself. I do not suggest the just one theory, it has not been know to show results in my opinion. Me, I am sticking to the JUST NONE tactic, and it seems to b working, it is easier to say no to the 1st one than it is to the 2nd one, and we all know that is the freakin facts!!! I didn’t go to a meeting today and feel fine. But I am for sure going to one tomorrow. I am feeling so clear headed just by stopping drinking, things r more fun. Guess I am lucky though, i run my business during the day, and go home instead of the bar, lucky because i live in the middle of nowhere. Stay strong my friends, and remember, lemonade taste great and causes less bullshit, its a no guilt thing, and I heard the citric acid is good to curb the cravings, maybe I just wanna believe, SO BE IT, I believe it curbs the cravings. who cares its working for me, try it you just might like it folks. gotta shower then nighty nite.

  • Remy

    I will come back here and elaborate more when I have more time but I read through this whole thread yesterday and into late last night as I was struggling through my second day without a drink in a long time. I am still trying to decide how I want to continue to move forward (moderation or abstinence) and I was struggling with the question of what to say at parties/gatherings when I was hit with a lightening bolt this morning on CNN. Here is the link.

    Whatever you do don’t read the comments…they will just tick you off…or maybe it will make you stronger. Anyway, I wanted to share this with the group as it made me smile after a long night of only two hours sleep and lots of soul searching. Makes me think I have something to look forward to.

  • Pam

    Steve- that is too funny about the lemonade! I have been drinking it since I quit alcohol on July 20th and I am craving that now! Ice tea, seltzer with lemon or lime or lemonade have proven to be pretty tasty and are my current drinks of choice. Remy good luck- I am praying for you, me, and everyone on here every day. Praying and thanking God for helping me in this endeavor- I feel like I have been given back my life.

  • Robert

    I am a succesful executive with a great career, money in the bank a beautiful wife and nearly everything in life I want. Except one thing, I can’t stop drinking. I drink to excess daily; I don’t even know how much I drink; but I am drunk nearly every night. I find myself depressed every day; I am not sure if it’s the drinking or perhaps I have some other problem. I only started the excessive drinking behavior about 18 months to two years ago. When I am not drinking there seems to be no joy in life. In reading all the comments inside this website I have to admit I am not finding a lot of inspiration. The one comfort is apparently I am not alone with this problem. Yesterday I emptied my home of alcohol and wrote a plan to fill my drinking time with other activities. I have also written a withdrawal plan so no cold turkey; the plan is for 10 days of reducing the amount I drink each day. I have discussed the plan with my wife so she will be my immediate support group. My goal is; not to continue being the person who is recognized as being the drunken fool! I will write again and let you all know how it goes. Failure is not an option for me!

  • Steve

    Off to the pizza place for daughters bday party, Pizza without beer, this should b different!!! Looks like I’ll be playing alot of air hockey!!!!!

  • SCD

    I totally relate to where you are right now. I was in the same place about a year and a half ago. It is a quantum leap that we take when deciding to quit drinking alcohol. It was one of the hardest things I have done in my life. But in the end it is a decision each one of us has to make by ourselves. I felt the same thing when I was not drinking “…no joy in life.” But it takes time to re-acclimate your mind to sobriety when it has been pickled. Do some research on what happens to the brain when it is exposed to excess alcohol for long periods of time. There is a saying that “Once you turn a cucumber into a pickle, it can never be a cucumber again.” This is the same thing that happens to the brain and it will only get worse and worse. The depression is just a symptom of alcoholism. That too gradually recedes as you get more “time” under your belt. You have started down the right path.

  • Steve

    Wet brain is the term! My uncle died with wet brain, his liver quit functioning, technically he bled to death. It was terrible, a fine example of why to quit, just took me 5 years to reflect and learn. Gonna try and make the call tomorrow THOMAS, but i am working straight thru , and my boss(me) wont give me a lunch, we r to busy to take lunch. I might b able to get in on the end of the call though. Feeling strong guys, no urge to drink at the pizza party. I am feeling sleepy time 4 bed.

  • Davids

    I’ve enjoyed reading everyones comments!my wife has tried to tell me for the last 12yrs that my drinking was tearing us apart but I wouldn’t listen.I don’t drink all the time.I can go 1-2weeks without it but when I do have that first beer I can’t stop. I usually drink to the point of passing out and not remembering anything I say or do.I feel very ashamed when my wife tells me what I did or said to someone. I tell her I’m gonna stop but always seem to find reason to get that first might be a hard day at work or maybe a great day at work I feel I should reward myself.again at the end of the night I’m usually stumbling to the bed and feel like crap the next morning.from the past drifts from people it seems I binge drink.I’ve never wanted to admit I’ve had a problem in the pastbut this past Sunday night has changed my way of behavior with freinds and neighbors just about caused me to loose my wife AGAIN! I made a decision Monday night that this is it.that is when I found this site when I googles “how to quit drinking”.as I said before this has been going on my entire marriage 12 years. I thank God for my wife and here patience and the love she has for me.this truly it for me there will be no more drinking for me ever.The strongest loves can be broken by drinking.

  • Camus

    Wow, went on vacation, and am amazed at how many posts there are. That’s great! Since I followed Bill Sheehan’s advice (btw, where are you?) & have tried to not count the days, I’ve lost track of where I’m at. I know it’s over a month. I feel like I’m on a maintenance plan which is a bit scary since the elation of not drinking is gone. I don’t crave alcohol so far, but am afraid of that demon voice that is so quick & so powerful. The fear keeps me connected to this site and an occasionally AA mtg. I don’t go often, so when I do go, some of the women look at me with concern “are you ok”. Anyhow, nice to still hear the words from some of you that are also on the maintenance plan- LaMer, JPVD etc. To Robert, it’s a tough one to really decide you are stopping. It has to come from so deep within for it to work. I knew I needed to stop for a long time, and also have everything I’ve ever wanted, but until I was really confronted with the fear of loosing everything, I couldn’t bring myself to take that step. The more you have, the more you have to lose. Try to imagine losing everything because of drinking, because it will get worse before it gets better if you don’t stop. I always have had to learn things the hard way, so I know these postings may not be inspirational to everyone. I started reading these postings about a month before i stopped completely, and it really helped me to be stronger when I did. Steve, it looks like your on your way. When you wrote your first post, I thought that the 3rd DUI may have saved your life and family. It gave you an opportunity to re evaluate the direction you’re going, and taking your family with you in one way or another. Believe me, I can relate to this. Sometimes it takes something that we believe to be a disaster at the time to help us to wake up & realize that the real disaster will happen if we continue to drink. Drinking caused so much self loathing, stress and depression for me, that when I stopped, I felt elated & that now my life will be perfect. “Now, I really have it all”. One thing we musn’t forget is that we will still have stress, frustrations, pain, loss, etc etc etc. It will all still be there…how we deal with it will be different. Danny, be careful with stopping on your own. Can you go through detox? Withdrawal can be life threatening. It’s better to be under medical supervision if you’re not sure how bad it will be. On one last note, I have discovered that I was in love with the idea to drink, to keep it secret, the elation of going to the store, knowing I was going to have my stash available to me. After the first one or two sips of wine, the elation was gone. Now, it was just a goal to get numb, buzzed, drunk. I didn’t even want to keep drinking, but always told myself “I might as well now just finish the bottle”. BTW, I never liked, and still don’t like to use the word Alcoholic. I have no doubt that I am, but I prefer to say to my friends, I don’t drink anymore, because I don’t know when to stop once I start, and it’s easier for me not to drink. It just seems lighter. Sorry, I can’t join the conference call due to 2 little children who don’t like it when I’m on the phone for more than 2 minutes. I would like to respond to everyone, but my post would take 30 minutes or more to read. Best wishes to everyone.

  • http://thisone thomas

    Please join a conference at 5:30 PST this Thursday (TODAY). The number to call is 213-289-0013 & access code 717-118-409. The number will be active at around 5:20 PST. I am billed for all charges, except your standard long distance will apply. This call is open to anyone reading this post & I have only posted the number right here. It seems that some others of you that just joined might need this also. Even if there are just a few of us, we can make it a meet a greet. This is simply just another way to network with our fellow brothers and sisters. Please call. Thomas

  • Steve

    Thomas, sorry I didn’t get to be apart of the conference call, How’d it go? I run a chimney business and this time of year is f@ckin crazy for me. I will have 7 days sober tomorrow, gonna get in a meeting tomorrow nite, sat morn, sun morn too. I like the morning meetings it gives me something to think about all day, and i am up early so why not, much easier than midday for me. I am feeling positive still about this new adventure, and I like that the wifey cant say, your drunk, nope, im just expressing my opinion, just like you!!! anyway, again thomas I apologise about missing the call, but i was in no reception zone, and in my county that is alot of places!! Have a good night everyone, keep the faith, and remember it’s much easier to say no to the 1st drink than it is the 2nd, I’m sticking with just none!! good night all

  • thomas

    no-one made it for this call. I dont give up though ;). Ill try to get at least a few of us on, at some point very soon. Anyone whom is still interested can e-mail me at . The purpose of getting together via phone, is to have fun and laugh and stay strong. hopefully we can get a group together. Still Sober ;) – Thomas


    THOMAS,Thank you for the invitation however, I do not have long distance service and I was not able to join you in. I am glad you are looking for ways to keep strong and sober and to help others, I try to do the same thing every day when possible , it really helps. however,This is not a easy task ,sometimes the pressure is on and we feel that we can’t handle it anymore, but guess what? yes, we can ,and yes we will !! Going back is not an option and we must find whatever pillar we can find to grab ourselves from it and stay sober. Today I have 16 months of abstinence and I feel proud of myself because with everybody’s help (and the one above whatever you want to call him) and my effort I am sober for today and today only!! ..tomorrow who knows ..!!who cares!! Let’s focus on today , I don’t like to count day, or hours ,or years ,that doesn’t work for me !!!, but is nice to once in a while take a look to what we have achieved. Anyways Hope everyone is doing great and and Let’s keep going forward in our path for sobriety. For today ,let’s stay sober !!..
    Have a great day everyone ….Good luck.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Steve

    Good morning my sober friends, Sorry to hear nobody called Thomas, I guess it is harder than we thought to get a live support chat going. Just none, my motto for today and the weekend, I have a busy schedule between soccer for the kids and chores around the house, I should b fine. Going to a meeting tonite, new group, so I should meet some more people in the community. I dont know about you guys but AA is a big help for me, I work for myself and have a lot of freedom when it comes to where I have lunch, meeting people at bars to discuss business, etc… so these meetings are helping me to stay away from these temptations!!! It is too easy for me to meet others contractors at the bar after work, or meet clients there. I always said, but i am making money there, or conducting business there, but in reality I was spending lots of money there and getting way to drunk to drive. These things are now part of my past, I have and am moving on, and I think I am gonna make more money now, since I won’t b wasting it at the local watering hole!! I already can see the difference in my attitude, my health, my children r supporting me, which is very important to me. Keep strong my friends, think lemonade, regular, pink or lime it dont matter!! Just none 4 today!!!

  • Danny

    Okay everybody….after being worried about failure and possible withdrawal sx and every other reason to not stop drinking the last couple days (rationalizing), I had the last drink of vodka in the house this morning and have determined that as of noon Today Sept 10 2010 , I am on my Day 1 as a Nondrinker…I’ve re-read So many of your posts, from Thomas, Sean, Pam, Nancy, Robert, Steve, Dave,BiBi,Patrick,etal.. Everybody giving me hope by their struggles and successes….. You all seem to be making it, and getting Happier all the time…I’m In today, committing to No Drink… I have a prescription to take the edge off the anxiety and hopefully minimize the withdrawal symptoms but this is going to be tough all weekend alone at home…I just think the weekend of 9/11 will make it easy to reflect on my sobriety maintenance. You all KEEP IT UP, I’m throwing in with you…I’m scared but excited; gonna do some Bible-reading and make some Limeade (hehe)…please post alot and encourage me w/ words and your prayers! Day 1 Danny

  • Phil

    Hey Danny, you have a good plan and you are going to do fine! You might even be pleasantly surprised that it is not as tough as you think it might be. I hope so. Just wondering, have you heard of Celebrate Recovery. Maybe try googling it in your area to see if there are any services.

  • Danny

    Thanks Phil…I’ve heard of Celebrate Recovery, is it church-based? I’m intending to get w/ my church pastor for support and get alot more active in the service/leadership during the weeknights to keep from being home alone so much; part of the “secret shame” i’ve felt is my addiction has been going on even as I’ve helped start a church aimed at college students, and while i should be teaching them how to avoid this kind of deceit and entrapment, i’ve been caughtup in it myself! As Paul said in the Bible, “…the snares that so easily entangle us.” I know God will forgive me and strengthen me,but I have to do my part and stop Participating in this self-deceit and dissipation of life…I’m so proud of you, and Nancy and Everybody on here, I just hope I can celebrate happiness with you!

  • Danny

    Hey Phil, I did Google Celebrate Recovery…it looks Really good and I think there might be a program near..thanks!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi everyone. Danny just wanted to congratulate you on your decision. It is so worth it. I know that feeling of being scared but excited. I remember being afraid to change but scared to stay the same.I knew my life was good but alcohol was causing problems for me but it was also a source of comfort something to do when I was sad or even happy for some reason when something good happened I felt the need to drink. Now when I feel happy I just feel it before happiness made me feel restless like I needed more if I felt good then a drink would make me feel even better?! I don’t understand my thinking but now I find it kind of interesting to notice the times that I would have taken a drink. We went out with friends the other night for dinner and they had some wine I ordered a virgin drink without making some excuse about why I couldn’t drink and no one questioned me? Interesting I think because maybe I felt less insecure not sure but it was fine I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. My husband finds it more relaxing to go out with me now because he doesnt have to worry if this is going to be the time that I drink to0 much and embarrass him and or myself. I used to get nervous sometimes going out so had drinks to relax and then made a complete ass of myself, now I still feel that anxiety before I go out but it always passes and the things I worry about never happen, like not knowing what to say or talk about and they would have passed when I drank to but I never gave it a chance I just drank so I didn’t have to feel it and I felt it anyway before I had the stupid drink and then on top of it I had a bad hangover and had such remorse and guilt. Not sure if that made any bloody sense? I guess my point is that I don’t miss it the only part I missed in the beginning was just being able to be like everyone else but now I am okay with just being who I am.
    Thomas sorry I didn’t join your call guess I find this way of communicating safer at the moment. Not to say I wouldn’t ever join in but this is just the way I am feeling at this time. Thanks though and I do think it is a great idea.

  • John

    Danny – I’m only on day 7, but I remember how much my day one sucked and believe me, it gets better and it’s worth it. When I get down, I read the tips and the posts here and I feel better. You can do this. Hang in there.

  • Danny

    Thanks John and Nancy…I’ve spent all day today reading posts, and thinking of drinking/not drinking, almost cogitating on it…i’m drinking limeade, looking forward to a clean night’s sleep and hopefully lots of dreams…I shared with my girlfriend what i’m doing and she’s proud of me, and although she doesn’t have a drinking issue, she’s going to abstain with me in support….I think I need to try to start planning my evening times activities and hopefully after a couple days start getting-up early and working-out each morning, maybe making all of this a general health makeover issue and de-emphasize the “lack of alcohol” , replacing it in my mind with the beginning of a healthy lifestyle issue..thanks for the support! I’m going to ck in frequently!

  • Steve

    Danny, you r right on track my friend, keep up the positive thoughts. I had tried to quit for many years and didn’t do it. This 3rd dui was the kick in the teeth that fuckin woke me up. All of the sudden I can see how alcohol changed my thinking and polluted my mind, I had been paying attention to these things for many years, but didn’t really put the pieces together. Now I am having more fun in life, its the best thing I have every done!! The lemonade thing is working for me too, put some club soda or other bubbly water in it and its a mixed drink, just not what we r used too, sure taste good though. Didn’t get to a meeting, but i was running late with my business today, so I will do one in the morning. I find that the weekend morning meetings r very cool, everyone can make the weekends. And getting up early is good training to get with the healthy regime, or take your self to breakfast b4 meeting, treat yourself for your efforts, dedication, and progress. Tried an ODOULS today, not bad, but I guess I am losing the taste for beer already, cause I am not drinking the rest of the 6 pack like I would a REAL 6 pack. Rock on my fellow sober friends, keep up the good work and remember the lemonade taste better and doesn’t bring guilt, shame, and hangovers. JUST NONE 4 TODAY, not just one for today. Have a great weekend. 7 DAYS 4 ME TONITE

  • Pam

    Danny just don’t scare yourself about how hard this might be ’cause it is but at the same time it is not. It is a choice you are making to make your life better and believe me it will be. You can do it! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me. Just surrendering myself to the truth that I can not drink like other people, so I simply won’t, brings me peace. I feel like that little kid I used to be with my whole life to look forward to. The small pleasures that I loved as a child make me happy again- a nice day,the smell of the air after it rains, an ice cream sandwich- all look, smell, and taste amazing again. I feel great, my blood work came back good-liver enzymes back in the normal zone- I am losing weight and I’ve treated myself to a few new things on several occasions with the extra $ I have. All this by making a no brainer of a decision- to stop drinking something that was killing me and would ruin any of the good things in my life before it took me.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hi Pam. Thanks ,that was well put!!!! A small pleasure that I like is the smell of rain on hot concrete and icecream sandwiches are wonderful and yes I now have extra money and calories I can burn. Glad to hear about your good health.


    Danny , my friend you will be just find :), a little of pain in nothing compare to all the benefits of not drinking. When I first quit , since I was a beer drinker mainly it helped me a lot to drink seltzer water, or sparking water(I don’t recommend none alcoholic beer , but I am not an expert I just do what works for me ) it kinda curves your urge for a drink , I also used to keep myself busy ,walking everyday , exercise is great!! ,posting and reading in this site in the best, it’s just like being in a AA meeting. If you want to try AA for a while is a good idea to. I tried for a while and even though I did not keep going any longer it helped me a lot ,you actually learn a lot from other people and your urge for drinking goes away, you don’t have to talk and you don’t have to go every day, do what works for you.and if it works for you keep going if not just go and find your path somewhere else.(A customize path that works for you and for you only) Many people have found AA very helpful for their recovery and keep going for years, once again do whatever works for you the best. Just remember we as people with alcohol problem (Alcoholics) tend to get addicted after we quit drinking to just about anything, and it’s normal. “we have an obsessive mind” but let’s just be careful to not depend on anything or anybody to be sober and stay sober ,”it’s just not healthy for us” . I personally along the way since I quit drinking have picked up so many bad habits and I am trying to improve day by day and get rid of them. Anyways Danny you’ll fine all the support you need around here , just stick around and always remember that there is people who cares about you ,and it’s time to get better.!!Action is the magic word!!!!if you been prescribe medicine …take it!!!there is help…use it!!!!We all been there is ugly but it gets better and better…
    Good luck Danny and everyone who reads and posts in this site….Have a Great weekend.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JPVD

    Hi again;

    Hey Danny I remember my first few nights ‘drying out’ and it was almost unbearable. Climbing the walls, watching the clock tick over to 5 o’clock and sweating it out wanting a drink so bad. I had one of the kids blankets to help me through it. At night i heard noises and thought people were breaking in, i was sweating and anxious, waking up all the time.
    But day by day it got better, and now it is day 75 and all seems ok. 5 o’clock comes and goes and i’m more interested in watching the news before the kids get the simpsons on. In fact i’m Jonesing for a coffee so much (I giving it up for 30 days just to cut my caffeine intake) i totally forgot it is actually BOOZE I’m supposed to be missing!

    and pam isn’t it amazing how much is avaialble and waiting for us if we stop drinking. Imagine someone trying to sell you a magic potion that ‘helped love-life, sex-life, business career; helped you to lose weight while putting money in your pocket; added years to your life while ensuring you stayed out of trouble with the law’. ALL THAT and it is your if we just stop drinking.


  • Danny

    Great news Pam! Thanks Pam,Steve, Roberto, JPVD for your encouragement and shared experience! I slept well last night, woke up this morning realizing immediately that Normally on a football Saturday morning I’d be gearing up for the games w a bloody mary or wine or early beer-buzz by about 9-10 o’clock, But Not Today!As I type this I have entered Day #2 sober and stable, but still thinking about it and concentrating on my New Life of honesty with myself, integrity of character (ie Being who I profess and the kind of person I can respect), and looking forward to being the man of purpose God intended for me to be. I definitely feel that “absence” of the buzz, but I remind myself that I WANT to miss it, I Choose to miss it, so I really Don’t miss it just am choosing to Live today with no buffer between me and the gift of Today…. I want to love my life like a kid again, as you said Pam, and I’m believing you and my other friends on here that it Will Happen as I stay the course… with the beer calories I’m Not gonna consume today, I think I’ll charcoal a couple good cheeseburgers loaded w/ veggies and watch my Oklahoma Sooners beat Florida State on ABC at 2:30 CDT, SOBER!!!!!

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Hang in there Danny. Thinking of you.

  • thomas

    Sober, but hating it. Yes, not drinking has its “ups”, but the clearer you think, the more pain I get. I know im not supposed to think about the ex I just lost from drinking, but i cannot do it. I also just bought a new car & you would think that would bring some joy, but it really does not. I almost talked myself into “just one” today because Im hurting. My minds racing a little bit, but the “level me out meds” from the doc, seem to be saving me from impulse, although my gambling has been consistent, I cannot work on that in tandem with the drinking, its just way too much, and it does give me a sense of feeling (a rush per-say). God guys and gals, I know were all in the boat, but what to do? Im going to also say that this time around on not drinking was also sparked because i was getting close to considering taking myself out. im in my early 30’s and just thought I have recently found success for the first time in my life & for some odd reason, found nothing fulfilling about,as if I got here, now what. & I do want to say, money truly aint shit. Mo money – mo problems, its really true! especially if you mismanage the hell out it :(. continuing my thought; I actually needed to quit this time, because it was getting really scary, I was getting ready to mix prescription drugs & up the anti to hard liquor. This was about to be a lethal injection for me, and I was preparing for the worse or in short the last days. Dont be alarmed, Im doing just fine – Im think im typing for therapy right now, just chilling on the patio listening to the crickets, in phoenix? I guess they have them, just didn’t notice till now :) alright, enough from me guys. thank you for everyones posts, i keep reading & im glad to have people i can relate with, whom in some parts, can relate with me as well. Night guys, almost 2 weeks sober – Thomas

  • Danny

    HEY THOMAS, DON’T GET DOWN MY MAN! You have inspired me, and made so much progress! I know about the “I made it, is this all there is” business…you’re right, Life is Not about Money, or hard abs, or making people jealous, or being smarter than everybody else….I got those T-Shirts too, and shredded them; if that was it, we wouldn’t see Britney Spears, Juaquin Phoenix, River Phoenix, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Britany Murphy, John Belushi, Elvis Presley, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson and Countless other rich and famous either Dead or Dying in their addiction to “escape the Lie” in alcohol or drugs when they “got it all”…..they DIDN’T get it all they Lost their belief that they could worship the False God of themselves…we aren’t here for self-gratification, we’re here to be grateful to our Creator and die to ourselves to to serve others… we All get caught in our own traps before we learn this, and we usually try to “escape” into athletics, eating disorders, gambling, workaholism, watching ridiculous time-wasting garbage on TV, DRINKING OR DRUGS, self-righteous judgmentalism of others, ANYTHING to run away from the simple fact that our life today is a gift, we have no ultimate control over what is out of our control, and we are to be responsible to and thankful for those things over which we Are allowed to exercise control….Don’t kill your physical self, my friend, put to death that selfish Inner self that tells you that it’s hopeless and you’re worthless, cause WE ARE NOT! That’s the ALIEN Bill was referring to ! As my advice, let God make you a New Creation with surrender…fail, then get up; hold on, suffer, and hold on some more, and don’t give in; rely on Him Above for strength and meaning He freely gives to those who rely on Him; Meaning lives there. I’m right there with you, I miss the rush of gambling, I’m on Day #3 of sobriety and almost got a 6-pack on my way home from church today, but Didn’t (so far), holding on to your successes on here, the goal I’m trying to accomplish and my faith that God will provide a way through this into beautiful freedom…but if I do fail a moment, I’ll get back up and go again…. I feel your pain and love you buddy, stay the course as best you can TODAY, and if you Should fall, just don’t QUIT b/c that is the only failure…..prayers for you buddy!

  • Danny

    ” Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” — General George S Patton

  • thomas

    Thank you Danny, i really appreciate you. Please dont drink anything, it would make me quite sad to have you bail on us in these early stages. thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Steve

    If You always do what You’ve always done, You’ll always get what you’ve always got!! Does this sound familiar to anyone, this is why the change we have decided to make is so important. Most of us are tired of what we have always got and are ready for the next level of life. Keep the faith guys, you are not alone. Just mixed my lemonade n soda water drink, damn it is really good, better than beer anyday. I was able to say no to beer today and hand out what was left in the fridge to my friends who helped me do a hot tub swap. They all support me in my decision, very cool. THOMAS, stay strong my friend, this to shall pass, and tomorrow is a new day, rejoice in it, be thankful we are alive, for family too. Good night my friends just had to get a post in on the board and let you know i am still here n sober

  • LaMer

    !!THOMAS, YOU CAN DO IT!! Really, you can. Not drinking allows all the feelings in. it can be like a huge wave and all you can do is stay on top of it, ride it, and wait for it to subside. it isn’t fun, but it will pass, and you will be so much better for having just gotten through it without doing what the demon/monster/golam/alien wants you to do — which is to sabotage everything you are working towards. i write about how much better i feel being clean because i’m so amazed at how AWESOME it is — i don’t mean as in “groovy-man” i mean “full of awe” at the overwhelming feelings, thoughts, realizations, insights. at the beginning of it all, though, there were some truly difficult times. huge amounts of guilt from realizing what i’d been doing/done, huge amounts of sorrow for losing all those precious moments with my family, anger for being this way and at myself, depression from having all the feelings threatening to bury me and knowing that the one way i would deal with them was at the core of all of it. please don’t give up on yourself. you can do this, and you WILL be better off. we’re all here to support you, and to let you know that you’re not alone. we are all the same in that we all want clean, sane, happy lives and are doing our best day by day to get there. it can be a struggle, i find myself in social situations where everyone is consuming Clorox and i find myself staring at a bottle, but i know, KNOW and BELIEVE, that i’m in such a better place without it. that’s what makes it such a simple decision.
    everyone out there, thank you for your posts. they keep me centered and grounded and real. I hope you’re all doing well tonight. thomas, i’m sending you a mental hug of support.


    Thomas, I totally understand how you feel ,I still feel like that once in a while and I have been sober for 16 months, is not an easy task ,but we benefits from it big time.In my case ,no jail, no hangover,no depression,and I still have my family.
    Thinking about these months of abstinence I have realized how I used drink to not feel anything,now that I don’t drink I feel everything and I don’t like it. sometimes I don’t even like myself but we have to do a little reality check man,and be brave “just for today”. I still resent a lot of people and when I think about it ,I feel like drinking sometimes, but here is the key: all these episodes of “wanting to drink” just make you stronger ,because you prove to yourself that you can do it, just keep busy and you will be laughing afterwards!!!!
    I would highly recommend AA ,just by listening to other people’s experiences help and our drinking urge goes away, I may be Ironically but I don’t go to AA , but I did go a few months in the begenning and it did help me a lot to get through the fist months.later I decided I did not want to go no more , But If I would feel today in danger of going back and get mess up(fuck up) I would go to AA again, it may sound bad but that’s what work for me and that is what I have to do.GOING BACK IS NOT AN OPTION!!!I MAY NOT COME BACK!!!
    You are not alone brother, I am only 35 too , and I wish I could drink and enjoy life with buzz but I have had my share and I ABUSED it, so this is the price to pay ,and it’s not that bad compare to all I had to go through.
    I recommend you , Seltzer water, walk ,post here , Don’t hide how you really feel , that is Great!!!!
    You are doing a great job my friend ….just seat tight and remember we are all there for you ,, Don’t get discourage.remember..all good things in life are hard to get !!we have to work hard for them!!they will not fall off the sky!!!!!You are not alone …and for all the things you are going through just remember that you are helping people like me , and others who are tire of suffering . this is another reminder for me that I am an alcoholic and I always will be one, but also that I can enjoy life too like everyone else ..but I have to put a lot of Action!! Action is the magic word.!!!
    Good luck everybody….Let’s keep going forward!!!!!

  • http://thisone thomas

    You guys are getting me (US) through this, thank you. Im not in a great spot, but also NOT having a pity party. Although sometime I prefer to sorrow & know its counterproductive ;) Im going to leave a line open for this Tuesday. 5PM PST. Dial in phone # 217-287-4111 Access code 136-212-600. Like I said, I dont give up & really want to hear some stories. Just know, if anyone wants to talk & exchange information, This will be available to you. Thanks again everyone, I wouldn’t be sober today if it was not for all of you. Thomas 2 Weeks/ 10 Hours sober.

  • Phil

    Hello everybody. I had a really good experience this weekend with three women from my AA group. We, along with one of the women’s husbands, went hiking in the Smoky Mountains. It was a pretty tough hike (round trip 10 miles up one of the steepest and highest mountains in the park). One of the women has been undergoing a lot of treatment over the past year for lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). There were many times when she had a hard time catching her breath and had a racing heartbeat and her legs were not in the greatest shape because of swelling from the lymphoma, but she was just wonderful to hike with. You could tell there was nowhere else in the world she would have rather have been yesterday afternoon. Hope everybody is doing well today.

  • Steve

    Roberto, nice words of encouragement, I too have found the joy of soda water mixed with lemonade, it is great. I have been attending meetings when I can and I agree with you that it does help to listen to the stories. You don’t have to say anything, but listening, knowing that you are not along in this journey, is the best part. I was surprised how many people I knew at the meetings, professionally!!!
    Thomas, Hold on to what you are doing, again you are not alone my friend, It does get easier, I have to work again during that time for the call but I am taking the number with me. Attend a meeting You might be surprised how you feel about it afterwards. I find that I like the morning meetings best, It gives me a great perspective on the day, and sunrise is wonderful. I will have 10 days 2morrow and am feeling very good about it. I have tried NA beer recently, It jsut isnt the same, but the St Paulies NA taste just like a good skunky beer, It fooled me. I dont drink the whole 6 pack though which is very funny since I could kill a 12 pack a night!!!!! Anybody on facebook? Just another resource for us. Alright I am sure you guys r tired of the rant, rock on my friends and keep up the good work, being sober aint bad at all, its just getting used to it that seems strange, especially as long as most of us have drank, sobriety seems like a different high, and I am riding this one out to the end!!!!! Just None 4 2day, thats all it takes

  • Camus

    Thomas, have you read over your initial post yet, when you decided how much you wanted & knew you needed to stop drinking? It’s helpful for me to read over mine when I had so much passion & desire to stop drinking. Over time that passion has dulled (and I just stopped 6 weeks ago). The elated feeling fades. I have to remind myself of the simple fact that I can and never will be able to drink like other people. If I hear the demon voice trying to break it’s way through, “just a little wine will take the edge off”, I remind myself that I can’t have an occasional drink. I’ve experimented in endless ways to be able to keep alcohol in my life with failed attempt after failed attempt. My only option for alcohol is to be a drunk or completely abstain from it. I would guess that most of us on here are probably the same. And Nancy, it sounds like our husbands probably would have a lot to say to each other. Mine is also was worried everytime we went out and drank. He could never relax. Reading everyone’s posts here is so helpful, because family and/or friends who don’t having an issue with alcohol could never understand the same things that you do. All of us really help each other. The newest people remind us who have been at it longer, why we stopped in the first place. And the people have been at it longer, help us to prepare for the struggles we may face in the future. Thanks to every last one of you.

  • JPVD

    i just stumbled on this show ‘intervention’ and it is brutal. i’ve seen it on the tv guide before but never watched it and man it is scaring me.

    stay strong people, wow it can get really bad


  • http://thisone thomas

    Today – 5PM PST. Dial in phone # 217-287-4111 Access code 136-212-600. If anyone needs to talk ;)…. If no one shows, Ill try later in the week. Thomas

  • http://thisone thomas

    Camus, I did re-read my posts and its eye opening. It made me realize how far I have to go & how short of a period of time its been. I keep the word from LaMer “Overconfident” in my head all the time. I was overconfident 4 other times and failed. Truly, there is a better way to beat this? There is only one way, and thats action and hearing what others whom have a sobriety licence are saying in this posts. In other words, the people are making it, know what they are talking about! We all need to listen, hear them, and follow them. Love you guys ! Thomas

  • Janet

    Stumbled across this blog like many others with a google search for “how to quit drinking”. This was about a month ago, I have been reading my way through since the first entry of Oct. 2008. Although I’ve know for years now that I need to do something about my drinking, I am hesitant so I’ve been telling myself that I’ll just keep reading and gathering encouragement and inspiration until I make it to the end of the blog (most recent entries.) “Then I’ll give it a try!” Well, for some reason on my way home from work today I decided I couldn’t keep putting it off any longer. I decided I wouldn’t take that drink as soon as I walked in the door. I had to get my boyfriend to an appointment but normally still would have guzzled a glass or 3 of wine first — white knucked it through that. Got home and wanted to drink — REALLY wanted to drink — found myself back here on this blog. I realize that instead of just sitting in the background reading these posts, I have to get involved to get some encouragement and help! Since my pattern (and preference) is to start as soon as I get home from work (early afternoon), I’m typically done drinking by this time (8:30 or so). So I feel pretty good about getting through today at least – really have no expectations about tomorrow or the next day. I used to describe myself as a “responsible” alcoholic, but realize how crazy that must sound — guess the term they use today is “functional”. I’m in my early 50’s and have been a drinker since my teen years — stopping for pregnancy only. I’ve been drinking on a daily basis for about the past 6 years. Wine or vodka mostly, used to be a beer drinker but will only drink beer if it’s got a high alcohol content — guess that should have been a clue — I used to joke (have alcoholic friends and family) that you know your an alcoholic when you choose your wine or beer by the alcohol content.

    I’ve tried AA about 15 yrs. or so ago, but only got about 3 months sober — actually only did it to get myself out of some trouble I was having in my marriage due to my drinking/running around. They tell you not to make any major decisions in the first year of sobriety, but I chose to end my marriage — I look back on that as one of the biggest mistakes of my life and use that very often as an excuse to continue drinking. I realize that just stopping drinking isn’t going to work for me — I’ve got to get to the root of my issues that I self-medicate with alcohol (mainly depression/anxiety). Probably need counseling. I feel like I’m just mainly trying to get this out — even if it’s just healing for myself to “write”. Thanks for listening all — feel like I know you so well!

  • Pam

    Janet- Your drinking habits and mine are nearly identical- start RIGHT after work and done (or should I say drunk) by 9:00 or so. Wine, sometimes vodka, the occasional NON light beer if I must, etc. I am giving you major kudos because you have, for all intents and purposes, made it through your first night as a” non drinker by choice”. If you decide to pursue this one day at a time path to sobriety I think that you will find yourself at peace. You are older and wiser than you were last time you quit(I believe that has helped me immensely) and you are approaching this in a slow and deliberate manner versus being in a bad place with your back against a wall. Stay strong- Good night and good luck.

  • Janet

    Thanks Pam for the words of encouragement. This is a little scary — made it through this first day without drinking but it’s way past my normal bedtime, my hands feel “tingly” and my eyeballs “hurt” — is this normal? I fear getting a seizure, I take Welbutrin for depression and have read you shouldn’t stop drinking “cold turkey” due to chance of seizure — really don’t wanna call my Dr. because I’ve never been honest with her about my drinking as it has never caused me any health issues (that I am aware of anyway). Need to take some deep breaths and go to bed — hopefully things will look better in the morning, will check in here when I get to work. g-night

  • Steve

    Janet, Don’t let the power of alcohol take you off the path you have chosen for yourself. The worry of seizure is primarily anxiety. Take the time to look at the bigger picture, its all about you, you body, your mind, your healing!!! It is hard to take these first steps, but is so rewarding. I say JUST NONE 4 2DAY, that seems to work for me. I have been a heavy drinker for over 13 years and have been wanting to quit for about 2 years, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I ahve been going to AA meetings when I can, it is nice to talk to others who share the same problems and experiences. I have only been sober for 11 days, but it seems longer. Life without alcohol has became more enjoyable for me, my mind is clearer, I can pay attention to my business and focus better, its fuckin amazing, all i could think about 11 days ago was what bar I was going to after work, bullshit stuff!! Hang in there everyone one day at a time is the key, for your mind primarily, it is much easier to go day by day than to think about being without it forever. Rock on my friends have a good night


    JANET, I was in the same spot you are 16 months ago when I quit drinking after yeas of heavy drinking . I did get Dt’s when I quit and I had them for 2 weeks . I was very shaky , and smell, and see things(figures) I couldn’t sleep for days .finally I went to a local doctor and gave me medication for this kind of problems that may arise when you quit cold turkey. My advice is : If you are really sick like us of been drunk all the time, and been hangover all the time ,and you are ready to do this!!my advice is “go to the doctor and be straight forward and tell him or her what is going on ” He or Her won’t criticize you instead they will encourage you and will give you some medications to make it easier. After a few day your mind starts to function normal without alcohol and a new life starts.. is this easy? No is not !! but is worth doing it. Remember you are not alone!! All over the country and the world there are people who are working hard every day to stay sober and this is not easy for anyone but ,with you effort {and a little push from the one above } is not impossible!!!
    Good luck and Welcome aboard.!!!!!!!You’ll find a lot of support in this site…There is nothing but Great people here who cares for others!!!!!!!!!!
    Have a good night all of those who are tire of suffering like me !!!Hope everyone have a Great week!!!!!!!!

  • LaMer

    JANET, i hope you’re doing well. it’s hard, but SO WORTH IT. i, too, followed your pattern of drinking. it’s was so strange, scary, nerve-wracking, uncomfortable, and uplifting to stop those first few days. i found that i really needed a ritual upon arriving home. opening a bottle of Clorox, pouring a glass, and chugging was the ritual i used to have. now i take 10 uninterrupted minutes to be by myself as soon as i got home. it allowes me to transition from work to home life without opening a bottle of poison – and it IS poison for us. i also drink near beer (i’ve been reading the other poster’s choice of lemonade and soda water but i’m just not a sugary drink person. chocolate, however, is another story altogether). anyway, after the kids are in bed and we’ve cleaned up – sometimes before – we each grab a NA beer and sit out on the front porch and talk about the day. it’s a nice winding down. having those two rituals is super important to me, mentally, emotionally, and physically. i never did go through acute withdrawl but i was incredibly tired, and craved pita crackers with belletoille cheese and raspberry preserves. i ate six of them every night for a week. it really helped with all the squirrely cravings. i have no idea why that particular combination seemed to help. my theory is that it’s impossible to crave when you’ve eaten crunchy starch with salt, sweet fruit preserves, AND topped with the most amazing edible substance created from cow’s milk fat i’ve ever tasted. the only thing richer on the planet might be devonshire butter. but only barely.
    JANET, A HUG TO YOU. that first day is the hardest, and you’ve already done it! good job. remember and BELIEVE that you can do this. you deserve a clean, happy, life.

  • Susan

    Thank you all for this blog. I have been reading for several days thru all of the posts. It is amazing how familiar everyone’s stories are to my own. As I sit here writing this in a hungover daze, I realize TODAY is the day to stop. Not when there isn’t anymore beer in the fridge, not next weekend after a wedding reception, but TODAY.

    I haven’t looked in my husband’s face for 3 days. I pick fights with my kids because they make me feel guilty for drinking. No THEY don’t, I do!

  • Tash

    Wow, I can really relate to this. I’ve had a Marriage meltdown. I had a big drinking weekend, and got totally wasted. Monday morning he wouldn’t talk to me, Tuesday morning he wanted us to separate. I didn’t think I had a drinking problem, but now I DO!!!
    He said I humiliated him and didn’t care about his feelings in front of all his friends. I’m totally ashamed of myself and need to get this sorted. Take away the problem and incorporate a healthier lifestyle. My first foot forward is steer clear of places which will have large amounts of alcohol (my friends house bad for that). Stop going out to parties, which to be honest, dont want to go to anyway. Get back to swimming and extra study. Show my husband how serious I am on getting back on the right track. Give it a few months, and see how I am feeling. Go out with one bottle of wine for the evening or better still be the driver. My turn to watch everyone else turn to custard over the evening.

  • thomas

    I didnt make it today my friends, i will be back soon. I needed to type this & im sorry. Thomas

  • Janet

    hang in there Thomas — hope to see you back! Well, made it through day 2 but it was rough. I know now that I was in denial always saying I was not physically addicted to alcohol, just mentally addicted because I basically use it to self-medicate. But they way I felt at work today I guess I really AM physically addicted. Couldn’t concentrate or focus mentally and visually, for some reason this affects the way my eyes feel. But the worst part was the irritability I felt towards my co-workers and then again when I got home to the BF. White knuckled my way through the evening wanting to drink sooo bad at some points just taking it 5 mins. at a time. At one point broke down bawling like I was missing an old friend. Sure don’t feel that “recovery high” some people talk about — maybe later?? Going to bed — looking forward to continuing this journey tomorrow.

  • LaMer

    keep it up Janet! you’ve made it through two days! make sure you’re eating enough, drinking enough water, and taking a good multivitamin with extra B-vitamins. i’m saying that vitamins can cure withdrawl, but you may be low on certain nutrients and getting them up may help. the first two weeks, i took a B-vitamin supplement and extra C, in addition to my regular multi. before bed i drink a really big cup of chamomile tea with lemon squeezed into it. i don’t know if the chamomile helps, but it’s a nice change from plain water.
    if your withdrawl continues as it has been or gets worse, please talk to your doctor. it might not be easy to tell your md but they’re there to help you, not judge you, and you don’t want to put yourself in jeopardy.
    wishing you well.

  • LaMer

    whoops, i meant to say “i’m NOT saying that vitamins can cure withdrawl”. apologies for a sloppy post.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    Thomas. Glad you were able to send us a message. That means you still care, about yourself, sobriety, people, your life etc. Please don’t give up. I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you how much I care about you. We all have something in common and that creates a bond. So please know I am thinking of you. I am going to leave my phone number for anyone of you, 604-961-5696. I live in Vancouver Canada.
    Going for surgery tomorrow so will be out of it for a few days. Feeling very scared but know I will be fine.
    Best wishes to all of you.

  • LaMer

    thomas, i stopped for 30 days last year then started up again. it took me another 14 months to try again. that was the beginning of this journey for me. nancy is right, that you sent a message means that you still care. and WE CARE ABOUT YOU. slips happen. they suck. come back to where there’s no judgement, no harsh feelings, just a warm fellowship that only wants you to have a clean, sane, and happy life.


    THOMAS,That’s just a battle my friend not the WAR,don’t even trip about it Thomas .First time I quit I did it for 40 days and they I felt great and I thought I was in control again and gave it another try and in my case it followed 3 weeks of binge drinking, totally out of control ,and literately lost all what I had left ,money, respect, dignity, job, almost my family that was my price to finally realize that I am an alcoholic and regardless of the fact that I don’t like it , I will always be one. I haven’t drank ever since and to be honest this is tough business but, one day at the time , today for today only is not too bad.
    You,ll be just fine my friend , you are in the right place just keep reading everyone’s post and relate to them and that helps you a lot. This is something I learned in AA , what help another person is to hear what he or she did when using , and what is doing today . that’s it!!! we relate to it ,,and figure out that we are not alone… are not alone!!!day by day we ALL are in the same ordeal of weather drink or not, but let’s just take it easy for today,.
    Something very important I learned is that when I quit I thought that was all I had to do. Well in fact is not the end just the beginning ,we also have to to repairs in the inside to assure a long term abstinence .
    GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Steve

    Had a beer with lunch today, after having to deal with an exceptionally pesty and annoying client. Just one, It sure the hell tasted good, but i abstained from the second. Don’t know why i did, I just wanted one, tecate, with my burrito. I really dont feel guilty, but do not plan on, or want too, go back to my old ways. Reading all the posts here helps me too guys, I just felt like i wanted a beer. Well, there it is, my dirty little secret, actually my helper was with me, and i told the wife, so not really a secret. Back to the na beer i guess.


    STEVE, what you do with your life and how you approach a drinking problem if you have one is all your business.
    however, from my personal experience all I can say is that drinking none alcoholic beer for me is just risky business, because I am an alcoholic who drank a lot in my days , and today I fully understand that “drinking was just a symptom of a bigger inner emotional problem ” and that’s why I used to drink…to escape from my reality and to scape of how I the alcohol is part of my problem ,but so is beer with or without alcohol why? because that’s where I used to hide ,,so if I would drink none alcohol beer today it would be kinda like fooling would mean that I am not addressing yet the root of my emotional problems and I am still looking for a place where to hide…(trust me even after 16 moths I haven’t done any of this but I am trying)
    This is just my personal opinion , nothing personal you have to do what works for you, maybe you don’t have a problem who knows? only you do!! this is just friendly advice..Nobody here is a teacher..we are just partners in suffering . I personally rather drink soda water, lemonade ,coffee , juices , whatever that is not related to beer or alcohol in any way,,,because as we all know none alcoholic beer does have 5% of alcohol in it…so in my case is too much to risk….
    but , again I am not a doctor I am just another guy who is straggling to stay sober for today , and today ,for today only.(believe guys I been having bad time lately but ,looking for help and to listen to your stories does help a lot)
    I am glad you did not lose control over a beer and I am sure you will do what is best for you.
    Good luck my friend…..

    Thomas Don’t forget to check in with us man .
    We are here in the same boat and we hope that you are doing good, don’t lose faith my friend.
    try to read back those post when you first quit you’ll fine hope there…remember is your life and you are the one who makes the decisions..
    take it easy for today!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good night everyone ..Have a great weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Carolyn

    Well, I’m back and I’m trying…again. Again I tricked myself into thinking it was no big deal but I can already see it going wrong again. I don’t drink a mass amount, just a few, but it definitely can get to be a lot when I’m with friends. Last night I had a few glasses of wine. I didn’t want to have more than 2, but of course, I did. Going to a friend’s today for a bbq with my family and hers. Give me strength to just not have any. Need your support. I really am upset and down on myself. Again. I can’t tell my husband how discouraged I feel because he’s probably tired of hearing it.

  • SCD

    Everybody has got to find their own path to sobriety. There is no yellow brick road leading there. Everybody’s story will be different. Mine is mine and yours is yours. Drinking alcohol is a serious problem for many people. It ultimately leads many people to a very destructive end if they cannot stop. Don’t let it happen to you.

  • Carolyn

    Thanks, Steve.

  • Carolyn

    Has anyone taken Evening Primrose Oil? I’ve been told it helps curb the craving for alcohol. And I started taking B-Complex vitamin too.

  • Steve

    Thanx Roberto, I do have a problem and realize that I do. I just had a beer with lunch, the normal routine for me. By no means do I plan on going back to ‘destruction road’ Do I have Issues that need working on, we all do. For me to have just one beer is unheard of, I have never been able to administer that kind of control. Funny thing is I could feel it slow me down for the remainder of the day, which i dont like. All of my friends know that I have quit drinking and support me in my decision, they dont offer me beers, or bring it to my house, which is very cool. I like being sober over the alternative thats for sure. I guess we all have to figure out if alcohol has a place in our lives or not, in my case i think not anymore. Sometimes you have to trip to catch yourself i guess. thank you all for the words of wisdom and support, have a good weekend all!!

  • JPVD

    hello again; 82 days sober.
    thomas steve carolyn (and of course everyone else worried about relapsing)

    I have had an interesting 3 days. Thursday: work social gathering. Friday; bbq at a friends to watch the football Saturday; went to the football with friends.

    There was a lot of beer-drinking happening and I managed to stay clean and sober through all 3 tests.

    I’m telling you this because in the last year since i admitted i was an alcoholic and began my journey to sobriety each of the above instances had caused me to relapse on each seperate occasion.

    Each relapse gave me ammunition to fight back the next time the situation arose, and I just kept dealing with the ‘situations’ as they came.

    I can fully understand your ‘beer with your burrito’, Steve. Most drinks go wonderfully with food and it sucks to have to give it up (I had pizza without beer 6 months ago and kept wondering what was missing! on another note i had a RedBull and thought it tasted weird, until i realised i had never in my life ever had redbull without vodka before).

    I would like write about the support my wife has been giving me. Basically it is beyond non-existant; it is counter-productive. She used to be a massive drinker, but quit during pregnancy and feeding, and is now a completely responsible drinker…so she doesn’t understand my problem. This is even though I broke-down crying over a year ago and finally admitted to her i needed to stop drinking as it was killing me.

    She, right to this very day, keeps asking if I would like ‘just one’ glass of wine or beer. My last major binge relapse was after her birthday. I pleaded with her not to buy alcohol (the guests can drink what they bring) but not only did she buy booze she went overboard! Cases of red wine, cases of white wine, lots of sparkling wine. imported beers and even Campari. Of course the guests brought their own alcohol too and added to the pile.

    I made it through the party but then proceeded to single-handedly and systematically consume every single drop of alcohol in the house over the course of 3 weeks. Well, that isn’t true. There are 2 bottles of expensive red someone gave her that she is ‘saving’ for us for a special occasion…AARRRGGGHH!

    I must disclaimer that my wife and i love each other very much, and she does like and comment on my non-drinking (well, more my non-drunkeness)’ however I really thought that admitting my alcoholism to my spouse would make it easier for me to quit, but it hasn;t really. I just want anyone reading this to understand that a lot of times partners of alcoholics have their own issues to work through and might be unaware of any issues at all. My wife is/was the classic ‘enabler’ and I certainly cannot work out that for her.

    anyways, good luck all. I’m about to restart my running… i need some extrinisic motivation to get me past 90 days.

    Jean Plod Van Damme (JPVD)

  • SoFlaChris

    Cheers to all the help and support out here. I’m 26 years old and received a rude awakening due to alcohol related health issues. My problem lies not with the urge to consume (who am I kidding?) but finding new activities to do that aren’t alcohol related… I too find that maybe keeping my problem from my peers might make it easier to cope with recovery but everything that my friends and family do, revolves around booze. I’m guessing the best route is to take it a step at a time and slow/stop drinking and replace with exercise. Socializing without drinking will be the most difficult part of the voyage right? When I’m sober (rarely) I can’t stand being around people who are drunk! Just the beginning…thanks.

  • Susan

    Well, as great as I felt 2 days ago about quitting, I haven’t done so. However, what I have done, is slowed way down, and found ways to fill my time instead of sitting in my recliner watching mindless entertainment, drinking beer after beer. I have drank. Not happy about it, but I have managed to keep it in check, and not lose control of myself. My plan is to wean myself completely. I know it’s possible as I’ve done the very same thing with soda. I know I have a problem, but rather than sitting back and giving into my old ways of dealing with it, I’m trying to be proactive, accept it, and gradually change my mindset. It is a long, slow process; but for each beer I don’t drink I’m trying to make some forward progress in my home or with my relationships with my husband and children. Wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts. I will continue to check in on everyone and will do the same for you all…..

  • Janet

    Definitely relate to can’t stand being around drunk people when I can’t be one of them! BF continues to drink and I wouldn’t expect him not to just because I’m choosing to stop/slow down/cut back whatever it is I’m trying to do. But it doesn’t help the irritability problems associated with withdrawal. Only on day 5, so I’m not really sure what’s happening yet. I have been reading these posts for quite awhile thinking about quitting but afraid of the withdrawal I might go through. Then one day just decided to give it a try. Withdrawal was not pleasant, but bearable — it proved one thing to me though — just the fact that I DID go through withdrawal symptoms proves that I was drinking too much. Still have the desire to drink but am not — it’s hard. Just found out 2 days after I decided to give this a try that I have to have some minor surgery done on Tuesday that requires me to be put under. That’s pretty much what’s keeping me sober right now. At least the alcohol should be cleared from my system by then so hopefully the anesthesia and recovery process will go more smoothly. Well, gotta go mow the lawn — sober — sucks!!

  • Camus

    JPVD, I think it is difficult for people who aren’t alcoholics to understand why it is so difficult for us to stop. I could tell early on that my husband just wasn’t getting it, nor will he ever get it. My husband is extremely supportive, but it still doesn’t mean that he understands. The majority of the time, I’d drink pretty normal, mixed in with getting drunk out of my mind in inappropriate settings (like going out to dinner for a birthday mid week) or would decide it was a good idea to drink in the middle of the day while watching my children. I’m sure it was very confusing to him and I’m sure he didn’t want to think of me as an alcoholic. We still kept alcohol in the house in the many times I tried stopping previously. I encouraged him to because I thought I’d be ok. I didn’t think it was fair to him. Now, we both know I’m an alcoholic, but prefer to say that I don’t/can’t drink. We have a cocktail party once a year, and still plan to have it, so we didn’t want to get rid of all the alcohol, so my husband locked it up with my blessing. I don’t want to chance it. I know I’m not a person that could have one beer or one glass of wine. I may be able to the first time, but it gets easier to do it again, and again. Abstinence is the only way to go for me. Thomas, I wish you well. It’s tough slipping back. You may feel like you failed, but it’s only part of the rode that most of us have also been down. Because of all the times I have went back to drinking & each time was worse, it’s made me stronger & more prepared this time. It took me awhile to get back on course, but what counts is I did, and you will too. I’m sure of it.

  • Vodka +

    Well, this site scares the hell out if me as I can relate to many of the people but am at least glad that I don’t seem to be nearly as bad as some. It’s damn scary to know what is right around the corner if I don’t change.

    Frequent things I’ve thought:

    • I can F’N believe that this is happening to me! I’ve NEVER had a problem before!!
    • I wonder what it feels like to wake up without your tongue sticking to the roof of your mouth?
    • When I quit for a few days I wake in the middle of the night I’m bathed in sweat. Should I google this?
    • I just reviewed my ‘share’ of the bills. I need $1600 for rent – whew just barely! It’s all good.
    • I started drinking vodka because let’s face it, everybodys drinking for the buzz anyway – it’s just faster thus way.
    • I must admit that I’ve looked at a few homeless people and thought ‘My God! I’d never let it get that bad! Right?’
    • I looked at a domain name I registered today that had huge website potential (still does) and was disheartened to see that I registered it 3 years and 2 months ago. WTF happened to my life!!
    • I want my F’N life back!!
    • For the very first time ever, last week I actually considered having a drink at 11am on a workday. Just to take off the edge. 7pm is the typical norm. Realizing that I was actually considering this drove me to the google search which landed me on this page.
    • Will the chronic dry mouth ever go away? Been sober for 4 days and my lips stick together constantly and I carry ice water every where I go.
    • My God. If it’s this bad now, what’ll it be like when I’m 60? (I’m 50)
    • Damn it feels good not to feel like sh*t.
    • Musn’t send drunken love bombs ever again. Having to send text apologies to your brother in law the next day really sucks. (I’m male) Especially when just days earlier me and my wife were saying what an A-Hole is is.
    • Will my bowels ever work normally again?
    • When was the last time I REALLY had a GREAT time drinking?
    • Now that my kids are young adults I want to drink with them. They’re do much fun and their Dad is the cool one playing beer pong with their friends.
    • I wonder when was the first time I hid my glass on the counter top so nobody could see how much vodka I was pouring into it?
    • After a hangover, why do I feel much worse after I eat? It used to be a great comfort food.
    • It’s all cool – I’m not nearly as bad as:
    – Some people I know
    – My brother
    – Some people who’ve posted here
    • I’ll just surf the web all day (porn helps you forget, for 20 min at least)
    • I’ve gotta clean the kitchen real quick before my wife gets home. Can’t be a total loser.
    • I wonder how long you can drink before you need a new liver?
    • I can’t believe I’m typing this. Never ever thought it’d be me. This is for other people.
    • Typical hangover day: Damn I can’t wait till this day is over. It was horrible. Screw it. This drink will make me feel much better and after the shi**y day I had I deserve it. (rinse & repeat)
    • Lemme see: 4 double shots x 4 drinks = 8 shots a night. Holy sh*t! I can’t believe how my tolerance level has risen. Beer? Ha! That’s Childs play. It’s just bloating.
    • WTF did we have for dinner last night?
    • Sorry honey, no – I don’t remember _____. Tell me again.
    • I’ll eat later honey. Just gonna finish this drink.
    • Getting drunk used to make me horny. What happened?
    • Why does my wife proclaim her undying love for me to her friends and family? Can’t she see that I’m ……
    • At client meeting: Oh my God. I might have a heart attack and die right here. Can’t wait until I can leave. (not so I can drink. Just go home. Drinking doesn’t start until 7pm. I’m not a loser ya know)
    • Hardly ever meet people for happy hour. Not gonna drink and drive with that level of consumption.
    • Kids aren’t coming home you say? (Although I love them dearly, I’m thinking I won’t have to hide my drinking.)
    • When’s the last time I marketed my business? Damn! That long? How do I still have clients?
    • Email to client: Your (project) has been delayed due to (insert excuse) but should be done by (insert date that I won’t meet)
    • What happened to that person who was full of ambition? Who inspired others with his creativity and ability to self teach himself an entire career?
    • I’ll tell you what happened to that person: He’s sitting here typing out an anonymous letter on his iPhone at 12:15 at night to be read by people he’ll never meet because he could relate to some of the symptoms shared by other people and figured that other people might relate to his.
    • This list was intended to be 2 or 3 bullets. :-)

  • Phil

    There was a really good topic at my AA meeting last night – ACCEPTANCE. This is apparently a really HUGE issue in Recovery. One of the people in the meeting said that “Once we accept the fact that we are alcoholics, it is much easier to accept all of the things that we have to do in order to stop drinking.” Also, apparently many people who drink a lot have some problems accepting reality (I am one of those). Hope everybody is doing well. I have done well getting off alcohol so far (50-plus days), but this week I am weaning off the nicotine patch.

  • Tash

    Vodka – I can relate to some of your bullet points. These ones stuck to mind
    • My God. If it’s this bad now, what’ll it be like when I’m 50? (I’m 40)
    • Damn it feels good not to feel like sh*t.
    • Musn’t send drunken love bombs ever again. Having to send text apologies to your brother in law the next day really sucks. (I’m male) Especially when just days earlier me and my wife were saying what an A-Hole is is. (That was actually quite funny)
    • Will my bowels ever work normally again?
    • I’ve gotta clean the kitchen real quick before my husband gets home. Can’t be a total loser.
    • Hardly ever meet people for happy hour. Not gonna drink and drive with that level of consumption.
    * My husbands friends must think I’m a total dick, I keep telling them how great they are. And then I tell them I’m going to do all this sh*t and the next day, think no way, I’m not doing that.
    * Sing like I’m Pink….not
    * Verbal diarrhea
    * Become a chain smoker
    * Become agressive sometimes
    * Keep falling over when dancing…..classy.

    I am not sure if I class myself as a full on alcoholic, but have to have a glass of wine every night, so I don’t know, am I? Then the weekends a bottle or two a night. If I don’t have a drink, then I think about having a drink.

    What am I?

  • jimmy conway

    how hard is it not do do something?
    ive called off work and it was prety easy yet i find it hrd not to drink. i love working out that in it self is an addiction for me so why is it so hard to not drink.? never a dui never a lost job and i emotionaly just dont want to drink. on days i dont drink i feel super human thats honestly what i feel like bein that ive ben drunk everynight scince 16, now 27. i cant say i have any emotiona attachment to it. its all physical. i cant sleep at night after 2 days . thats the longest i went without> buti kno its held me back. good ol colonial club. i used to have a cocaine addiction . everyone told me id always be addicted always lust for it. i got over that by sure willpower. put a line in front of me and no effect. drinking on the other hand everynight it sneeks up. i hate it hate it. there is nothing i enjoy about it in my sober mind yet i do it everynight . i stop at the store pay for it drink it. how is it so hard not to do something. 2 days of sobriety every week thats all i have gottin to and i love it.bein sober in its self is like a drug. sorry but WAT THA FUCK. theres a better life. i love reading others stories.not that i like hearing you r in misery… that im no the only retard. i remember before 16 being in the light ive never forgotten. i want it back 440 503 5198 sumone let me kno sumone let me feel what i think is tru and it needs to stop and im not just a jack ass

  • jimmy conway


  • Vodka +

    Amazing how quickly you revert back to things you loved to do once you’ve removed all possibility of drinking for the day. I’m a photographer / videographer and have won several best of shows (mentioned merely to show depth of fall) but I haven’t filmed anything for enjoyment in over 2 years. If someones not paying – I’m not playing. My love for the visual image is what ignited a passion that ignited my career. Now I look at all the matted & framed photographs on all the walls and whisper, ” WTF happened to you?”.

    Well, now I’m on my 4th day and I decided to go ‘help’ (mentioned in the article at top) install a router and what do I see? Herds of elk in the fall rut splashing through the river. Elk are not uncommon in my area but filming actual bulls fighting is extremely rare. I captured it all on film and I just reviewed it. Awesome stuff.

    I guess my point is – it felt damn good to reclaim an art form that has slowly died away and I realized that if I’d been drinking, instead of witnessing that great moment, I would have been watching MNF guzzling 4 glasses of vodka.

    Earlier today, I took out a water glass and a shot glass. I usually have 4 double shot vodkas a night so I measured and poured 8 shots of water into the tall glass. It went to the top. My God. An entire glassful of vodka. Every damn night. What the hell man. It was amazing to see. I stared at it for quite a while. Slowly shaking my head in amazement.

    I took a picture of that glass. It’s now my iPhone wallpaper.

  • thomas

    Im back. Day 1 starts over today. Thank you for the continued support everyone. A lapse in better judgment and a painful break-up got me off course. I cannot do this to myself, for my sanity, for my health. Thomas

  • Phil

    Tasha, I think it is very common for someone who drinks like you to question whether or not they have a problem. In fact, there is a huge gray area whether or not a person is an alcoholic. I have heard of many people who go to AA meetings just to find out if they are an alcoholic. I am not an expert on this, but I think the latest information on alcoholism is that there are three stages – early, middle, and late, and that it is a progressive disease. For some people, the diseases progresses very quickly, and for other people it may take twenty years to go from early to middle stage. Sometimes it can take something like unemployment, divorce, or just an increase in daily stress to make the disease progress. You may be in early stage of alcoholism, but then again you may just be someone who enjoys drinking wine. It is impossible to know, but I do know that for me, the daily increase in drinking was very gradual and subtle – it took years. But then one day I finally noticed, and by that time I had a habit that was tough to kick. I think you are correct in questioning your drinking and keeping tabs on it. If you find yourself drinking more than you are right now, I would be concerned. Take care. By the way, I woke up this morning thinking about peace and serenity – I think I am making progress!

  • LaMer

    Thomas, i’m so glad you’re back. i was concerned for you and hoped you’d reappear. i’m (we’re) here for you and have only empathy (no judgment or recriminations) for how tough it can be. a lot of us have had to start over, often more than once. we definitely understand getting derailed. good for you for coming back.

  • LaMer

    here are the words (paraphrased a wee bit for better understanding of what i interpreted it to mean) to a song by Incubus that made me really seriously evaluate my drinking. It didn’t make me quit, but it did catch my attention and cause me to wonder what it would be like. the song can be about so many things, but since concern about my drinking was always lurking in the back of my brain, i initially attached a drinking connotation to it. fear of life without alcohol, fear that i wouldn’t ever be happy without it, fear that i wouldn’t be fun, fear that my life actually sucked and that drinking drugged me into simply not caring – thus sparing me the pain of having to deal with it. anyway, just another piece in the mosaic of why i chose to quit.

    DRIVE (Incubus)
    Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
    And I can’t help but ask myself
    how much do I let the fear take the wheel and steer?
    Fear’s driven me before and it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
    But lately I’m beginning to find that I should be the one behind the wheel

    Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
    With open arms and open eyes

    Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
    I’ll be there

    So if I decide to waive my chance to be one of the drones
    Will I choose water over wine and hold my own and drive?
    Fear’s driven me before and it seems to be the way that everyone else gets around
    But lately I’m beginning to find that when I drive myself my life is found

    Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
    With open arms and open eyes

    Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
    I’ll be there

    Would you choose water over wine?
    Hold the wheel and drive

    Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
    With open arms and open eyes

    Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
    I’ll be there

  • Phil

    Hey LaMer, your message is really interesting. I really like how you open yourself up in some of your messages. It seems like you are carving out some nice spaces in your very busy life where you are able to have some really liberating (spiritual, emotional, or mental) experiences related to your sobriety and facing your fears and issues. I think that is key, like you are understanding that there is so much more to this than just not drinking, it is really about internal change. I have just finished reading a book called “The Power of Now” which talks about finding that power that is hidden outside of thought and that can be experienced when we forget about yesterday and tomorrow and just live for the Present. The book doesn’t mention addiction or recovery much, but when I read it, I could see that it could be almost entirely about addiction and recovery.

    Thomas, Glad your back!! Keep trying!! Don’t get down on yourself!!!

  • Camus

    Way to go Thomas! I knew you’d be back. Each hurdle we get over feels better on the other side & makes us so much stronger. I took me a lot longer to come back after a “slip”. It means to me that you really want it & you will achieve what you’re striving for because you have determination.

    LaMer, great lyrics. So much of what I have struggled with is based on fear, and not all related to alcohol. So many of my relationships were ruined due to fear of losing them. Alcohol helps to stuff those fearful emotions. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tash

    Thanks for your words Phil….they have certainly given me something to think about. Kiwi chick with a love for wine….so the rule is know when to stop!!!
    and enjoy a meal with it.


    THOMAS, good job!!! I am glad you are back in business with us .don’t even trip about!!!!!!! .We are here to support each other . Drinking , or choosing not to drink is a personal choice, like taking a shower for example, you don’t have to do it , but still you do it because is your choice… Relapses are common when we first quit. In a certain way they are like rehearsals before we totally stop using. When I quit the first time I did it for 40 days and then I felt Great and I honestly felt that I had not a problem and gave it another try (BIG MISTAKE) I have share here before how terrible it got to me, and I finally hit bottom and I have been sober ever since.
    Don’t get discourage ,,,hang in there and always share how you really feel , that helps big time…
    you are doing Great!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Phil, I found very interesting the point the you addressed in your comments about “acceptance” This is a very important point , and there is no doubt that till we are 100% ready for this we will not get better.(at least to get to the point where we are sober, but happy to be sober )Until then, Basically we will just keep going in circles just Like I did months ago: quit for a while, get better for a while, then get been sober for a while , then give it a try for a while.(DRINK AGAIN).and guess what? : GET MESS UP FOR A LONG TIME!!!!!.AND GET WORST FOR A WHILE!!!!!!
    Alcoholism is a complicated disease and fools so people in its stages : beginners, intermediate and Advance.(I am a pro or Chronic )(I like to put its sequence this way)!!!! what other disease tells people that they are not sick , Alcoholism does!!! and when we are under the influence even the future looks bright, and we even think about that things will get better , that we are just going through some tough time but promise ourselves to not lose control….WHAT A JOKE!!!! defending the disease that is killing you!!!thinking that we are gonna be the exemption , that we will drink normally again…(unfortunately only the whip of the alcohol can convince us otherwise ) and trust me after giving us so much pleasure for years when it’s time to pay back , Alcohol has never been known for being merciful it will finish us off !!!!
    I lost everything due to my irresponsible drinking and I was still thinking like that,I was still defending my alcoholism ,,, this is just scary shit people.{ ALL THE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS IS BOOZE AND TIME AND THE BOMB IS SET. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE ? MAYBE 5 ,10 ,20 ,30 YEARS ,,EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT BUT TRUST ME IT WILL GO OFF AND WHEN IT DOES IS UGLY!!!!. let’s not get confused there are people who are heavy drinkers, and have not lost their ability to stop drinking when they want, I know many of them and they don’t get the obsession , and never become an alcoholics. why? I don’t know and I don’t think I will be wasting my resources finding out….but, I know this : An alcoholic knows if he or she is an alcoholic. there is no form to fill up or test to take to find out, or nobody to ask: Am I an alcoholic? that’s just fooling yourself looking for hope ,hoping that someone tell you that you are not,, I know this find friends because this is what I did for years, and by doing so is how I got in this mess !!!!!!FOOLING MYSELF!! IF WOULD BE LIKE SAYING ..OHH MY STOMACH HURTS..LET ME TAKE 6 SHOTS OF TEQUILA AND A 12 PACK OF BEER …WOW I FEEL BETTER…!!! WHY DIDN’T I GO TO THE DOCTOR? BECAUSE I AM FOOLING MYSELF.!! I KNOW I HAVE A PROBLEM AND ACCEPTANCE IS NOT MY FAVORITE TOPIC TO TALK ABOUT NOT EVEN TO MYSELF!!!! COME ON just look back for the last years you been using and do the math HONESTLY AND ALONE.!!!!
    ALCOHOLISM It’s a very emotional, spiritual, whatever you want to call it disease and there is NO going back, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic!!!!!ONCE YOU HAVE PULLED THE TRIGGER YOU CAN NOT BRING BACK THE BULLET!!!!

    Anyways this is just my point of view of the problem , we are not professionals here buT, what we share here we have lived it first hand , and what we have learned of the disease we have had to go through it to learn these painful lessons along the way!!!!!!!!

  • Phil

    Hey Roberto, thanks for the message. Your words are a good way for me to start my day today. Yes, I think acceptance is key, and it is not just accepting the fact that we are alcoholics, it is accepting the rest of our selves, our life, life in general, other people, and of course, as the Serenity Prayer says – the things we cannot change.

  • Steve

    THOMAS, welcome back my friend. The last 10 or so posts, very wise and very true. I have been without going on three weeks, did have a beer with the burrito, but only one. Alcoholism is definetly a liar, a thief, and not your friend. I agree that everyone has to find the truth within themselves, it can not be pushed on you from any outside source. I am coming to terms with not drinking, ever, and it is sinking in that I am a different type of drinker than the rest!! I am doing well by avoiding temptations, but am worried about the ramafications and penalties involved with the 3rd dui shit. I can not afford to be incarcerated for 3 months, hopefully the judge will see that I have made the decision for myself and am taking the right steps. AA has been a lifesaver for me, listening to all the stories is awesome, and inspiring. I have not really had major cravings, but I am to busy to think about it most of the time. Rock on my friends. This weekend is the AA campout Del norte fairgrounds for those of you in the pacific northwest, I cant go, soccer games for the kids, but i want too. Also the Balloon faire is this weekend and that is something I really enjoy, watching all the balloons fill and rise at 5am is freaking way too cool. Talk at yall later, time to load the truck and go to work, thank you everyone for the support.

  • LaMer

    thanks for the book suggestion, phil. i’ll definitely check it out. i’ve never really been an overtly fearful person, but as I’ve been really looking at myself and how i’ve lived my life, i realize it’s been a common thread throughout just about everything i’ve done and every decision I’ve made. jobs, relationships, college, friendships, hobbies, even exercise… fear of what, probably failure, but i don’t think that’s the entirety of it. why be afraid of failure? wanting to be special and having failure expose me as a liar both to others and myself… ooh, just typing that makes me feel uncomfortable. anyway, it’s still a work in progress, and i may never really get to the core of what or why. but really, does it matter? i have faith, hope, gratitude, and love.
    and a wonderful website full of supportive people (that would be all y’all).

  • scooter

    i got sober in 97 and never had a craving durring that time. i was a strong member; got outta the hole and built a life. i relapsed just before my 10th anniversary and have been struggling to get sober the last four years. i feel hopeless but grateful for old sober friends that have stood by me. i got my 4rth dui, i keep falling and hurting myself and back-out everytime i drink, unemployed (spending food $ on booze)…and still drive drunk! i cant afford a treatment center (i have pets as well). i have said (and am serious) that i am dedicated to my recovery, and yet i’m just coming off another round-the-clock 3 day binge. since, i dont have anyone in my life (spouse, kids) i dont feel a sense of purpose, a low self worth and a depressive ‘dont care’ wieght. im wondering if this is why i cant get sober…cuz we do it for ourselves right?
    i feel my only choice is suicide or move outta state (“go big or go home”) to be closer to biological family…aa has been great, but no amount of work in it keeps me sober.


    SCOOTER , I felt just like you before quitting, my life had no purpose , and I did have two kids a wife and a whole family that loved me . however, alcoholism is devastated and soon we reach that dangerous stage in which things get ugly ,but as you previously have found out it’s also a sign that things will get better soon. in my personal case the “whip of alcoholism” was the only way to accept that I was an alcoholic and that I always will be one, I lost everything I had except my family and ended up wondering around in the city looking for other drunks who would share booze with me , but guess what ? eventually I became an unwanted alcoholic even for my own kind because you have to be able to bring something to the table besides hunger(in this case booze) I was just a useless drunk!!!! anyways after months of this miserable life I snapped out of it and quit . Now I have to live with everything I went through and accept it, is this easy? NO. but day bay day everyday for today only it is possible. Today I am doing this for myself because I don’t want a miserable death by alcoholism and have to go through again by all the degradation it brings . The choice is mine I am a free man to do whatever I want but there will be consequences.
    This is a great website for support but if you need to go face to face for help I would highly recommend AA as a good source , you probably know the drill you don’t have to go everyday and you don’t have keep going if you don’t like to. but as we run out of choices AA is always ready waiting for us .
    Suicide is not a option!!! , if you are ready tire of suffering you need to do the necessary steps to pull yourself out the hole ,but only if you are ready!!!!because when we are not ready we just keep fooling ourselves and do nothing but to plan our next drunk!!!! and finally try to find the motivation right in your inner self , not outside you ,because if we do it for somebody else for sure we will drink again and it will be just worst.this my friend is what has worked for me, this is not a recipe to get better you know you have to find your path and once you find it stick to it….!!!
    Don’t loose Faith you are not alone there are million like you and me who are just tire of suffering and just for today we have decided that enough is enough.!!!!
    let’s just do what we have to do to get in the wagon and things will get better. Maybe a doctor for medication to avoid withdrawls? that’s what I did and it worked for me. Again whatever it takes …once in the wagon we can see clearer what are our options and our lives will get better….

    Good luck my friend I am sure you will find the way out of it!!! and the one (above us ) will help you to get through this!!!
    Everyone have a great day!!!!!!!!!

  • Phil

    Hey Scooter, I know how it feels when you don’t have a wife and kids. I am single, and sometimes I wonder what the purpose of my life is. But then I realize that people with families don’t exactly have a cakewalk either. So being single is no reason to get down. But it does mean that you have to be responsible for your self and there is nobody there dictating what you do every day. Sometimes that can be a bad thing, and sometimes it is a good thing. You just have to play the cards that have been dealt. You made it 10 years sober – that is great, you can do it again. If AA is working out for you – keep going! I don’t know if you believe in a Higher Power, but since you said that AA was a part of your life for a long time, I imagine you probably do. Maybe now is the time to reconnect through prayer. When I was at my lowest point a few years ago, there was nothing or nobody in my life, but then God appeared, and I made it through. I wish you the best! If this site helps, keep checking in.

  • Vodka

    (an email I received)

    The Whale Said “Thank You!”
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    If you read a recent front page story of the SF Chronicle, you would have heard about a female humpback whale that had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

    She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat.

    She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, and a line tugging in her mouth.

    A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate ) and radioed an environmental group for help.

    Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her.

    They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her…

    When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.

    She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around…
    She was thanking them.

    .Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

    The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

    May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

    And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.


    VODKA, that was great reading, very inspiring .
    I relate myself to the story ,only that believe me or not alcoholism is so devastated that even when you quit using and get better you star forgetting and caring for those who helped you the more, this is my case .I been very ungrateful with them and now that I feel that the world is mine again , I realize that I have to start being a little more thankful and appreciate what others have done for me in the past. The only gap between me and my devastated life I was living 16 moths ago would be just a zip of booze and I would be right where I was and for sure I would loose everything again and maybe more.
    thank you for the was a little knock knock in my conscience .
    Great day everyone!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pam

    Vodka- that made me very happy. Thank you.:)

  • thomas

    This is my last post here friends. Ill read yours. going into a 35 day in house program. love you all xoxoxo – Thomas .

  • Vodka +

    Losing my house: $300,000
    Losing my truck: $28,000
    Losing my computer: $9,000

    Realizing that I just completed 7 days of sobriety and I feel better than I have in years.

    (Glad some of you liked the whale story:-)

  • Vodka +

    I lost all that 2 years ago. It just took till now to give a sh*t.


    Thomas, Good luck body!:):)):! you’ll get back stronger from house program . It may not look to clear to you right now but, it will make sense later my friend. 100% Guarantee !!!
    I am so glad that you have the courage to do this ,and believe you will get better. I have!!!. Remember the magic word is “Action” and you are doing it.
    You are alone ,,,and when you come back ,please jump in on our boat, we will be here waiting for you ,so you tell us what you did yesterday and what you are doing today to get better , that way you’ll help all of us.
    Take it easy body!!!today , just today for today only
    tomorrow who knows .? who cares? Just easy one day at the time for today only!!!!!
    Good luck ..Don’t you get discourage for no reason. Saving your life is the most important thing ,so tomorrow you help others and who are still suffering!!!!!!

    Good luck:) :):)::):):)):):):):):):):

  • JPVD

    Good luck thomas; please post your feelings on the treatment when it finishes. I am sure there a lot of people reading this that are considering such a program and would love some first-hand details!


  • SLH

    I’m at a stage in thinking, that my binge drinking maybe a chemical imbalance. I can go long periods and have not a care in the world for alcohol. Then I get over confident. Think I can drink by controlling it. One day it might work, and then if I drink a couple of days later it’s a binge. Like most, I feel guilty. However, I am 47, going through menopause, but have been diagnosed as bi-polar. Whatever, it is – one or the other, it is my overconfidence that gets me in trouble. I have examined myself with all honesty. There is not other explanation at this point, unless I am brain damaged for drinking heavy for the last three-year… that in turn could be a chemical imbalance. Has anyone ever heard that a person who does not crave alcohol, but just does it and finds themselves on a binge, is chemical imbalance, so they should not drink ever, nor think they can? Looking forward to other peoples responses…

  • Camus

    SLH, absolutely I’ve heard of what you describe in your last sentence. I am very much like that. I don’t crave alcohol when I don’t drink at all, but if I drink at all (once in awhile or daily) I crave it all the time. I also may be fine one day drinking a glass of wine, but the norm is for me to keep craving more and more. The more I drink, the more I crave. I have realized I have no control over alcohol. I’m unpredictable, and never know when it’s going to be the “really bad one” when I drink. This is very common among alcoholics, and I have come to realize that I am an alcoholic and should never drink again.

  • LaMer

    Thomas, stay focused and determined and don’t let anyone or anything change your mind and committment to stay sober. I wish you success in your stay.
    Vodka, i totally cried when i read the post about the whale. it’s that kind of kindness, dedication, and work that the fisherman and rescuers had that helps to inspire me to stay sober and try be the best person i can.
    SLH, i’m in the same group as Camus with my drinking. and it could very well be a chemical imbalance as well as an avoidance technique. i think i became accostomed to using alcohol to numb myself to i don’t have to deal with worry, fear, stress, anger, anxiety, and guilt. therapy has really REALLY helped me to identify what it is that’s at the root of all those negative feelings. i still have nagging cravings, sneaky thoughts about being “okay” and that I can have just one drink, but i don’t allow myself to — i refuse to. regardless of the reason of why i want to drink, i simply cannot and should not ever again.

  • Cindy

    Vodka + …you crack me up. Your bullet post..I coulda written that myself! I am 52 (female) and today is day 36 for me. WTF..LGFG-(lookin good..feelin good)…I have divorced myself from my life of debotchery! Not going to bother looking up how to spell that. BUT I am a whiskey/wine/beer guzzler. Gave it my best shot (actually several shots!) for years. is all over and out! No more more butt ugly hangover days..towards my last days that was a daily event. Anyway..I am still thinking wtf! I have never gone this long sober even tho I can’t remember being drunk as a child. Seems like I have been forever so this is a new happy change for me. Went to the bar last night as a matter of old drinking buddy bellied up to the bar next to me..asked what I was drinking. Man that looks good he said. Wanna sip I asked? He did..about spewed it all over the bar. It was club soda and cranberry…man did I get a chuckle out of that. all..hang in there with me..try to look at sobriety with humor..makes it alot easier! Happy Saturday..Cindy

  • thomas

    No intreatment for now. I really wanted to badly, but I cannot afford the loss of my job with the loss of my best friend at the same time. At first, I made it nearly 3 weeks, then I started talking to my ex & everything we discussed helped me start up again. I felt like such a huge loser. Anyways, I started again and pretty much have not stopped. Im going to try very hard to do 2 things, 1 stop within the next day, and 2 keep it up till i get into treatment. This is the most trivial disease ever. also, I feel like a hypocrite, and feel flip floppy. However, with that said, this is what this damn problem is and makes me do, make everything feel trivial. :( … I dont think Ill make any statements again, until Im 2 minutes to the front door. My boss calls them “credibility points”, when you use them up, your no longer credible, anyone with this problem ever lose credibility points :(

    Love you guys. Thomas Day 0

  • LaMer

    Thomas, tact was never my forte, so here’s my 2 cents: to hell with the credibility points — they don’t matter. i’ve lost lots of them, even before i ever touched a drop. they’re not important right now, what’s important is to focus on your need to take care of yourself and to remember that you not only CAN have a clean, sane, happy life, you DESERVE it. it’s so so so so hard to live for yourself and tend to your well-being and be SELFISH, to let yourself heal. but if you don’t, how else will you be able to address anything else? you are able to do this. you already did it, for 3 weeks!

    are you allowed to take printed material into treatment with you? if so perhaps you might want to copy and print out what really resonates with you on this website. i cut and pasted a whole document together of every story, entry, article that i could really relate to (sort of a cliff’s notes). it helps me to stay realistic and focused.

    Thomas, you’ll be just fine if you believe you can be. i hope you get to totally indulge in self-exploration and introspection and realization. wallow in it. then come back and dive in with the rest of us.

    thinking good thoughts and enouragement your way.

  • Carolyn

    Day 1, again. I keep coming back here because reading everyone’s posts helps me. I need the strength to do this and I am not sure I have it. I lost my mom in March and I feel like I’m using that as a reason to self destruct. It’s not horrible bad right now, but it can be and I know that and I don’t know how to just STOP drinking.

  • Pamela

    Well, today is day one. I have been reading all the posts, and frankly was scared, ashamed, to admit it. But I am a alcoholic. I am going to lose everything if I don’t stop. I’ve got to be honest with myself, and this is the first step. NO MORE DRINKING. I can’t control myself. Like others here, one drink and I’m gone. Made a fool of myself last night. Falling down drunk. Got the lumps on my head and the bruise on my back end to prove it. NO MORE. A good friend brought me home. Thank you, Grant.

  • Carolyn

    Pamela, day 1 for me too. I understand how you’re feeling. I’ve read a lot of the posts on here and it’s helped me to want to keep trying.

  • Carolyn

    And that was an amazing story about the whale thanking her rescuers, Vodka. Truly amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tash

    I’m glad I have come to this site, yet again, I’m saying to myself ‘Day 1′. Had a massive boozehag weekend with my girlfriends. Partied both Friday night and Saturday night, spent all day Sunday, feeling like a complete loser. How do I get off this roller coaster!!!! Hate myself at the moment. My friend and I have decided to start a 10 week challenge. No drinking what so ever during the week and walking, swimming and eating properly. Let see if it helps? Better stick to it. Stickability doesnt seem to be very good in my vocab lately.


    Welcome aboard all those who have decided to stop drinking for today and for today only!!!if you want what we have , and most importantly you are ready for it, this is one of many places to start.
    Someone said I better stop before I lost it all, Well that rung a bell for me because that was my case, I had it all , lost it all thanks to my alcoholism . I am only 35 and I quit 16 months ago and I haven’t drink ever since. You all will hear the same history here from many of us. Eventually if you keep drinking you will loose control over it , then we quit for a while feel great and start thinking that we may not have the problem and .. guess what? we drink again and things get really worst till the point where we loose it all just like I did.(However, let’s make it clear that there are heavy drinker who managed to drink hard almost their entire life and don’t loose all why? everyone is different and there are other factor included , emotions, spiritual, body build, etc,,etc) ) I am happy that today day by day I am quitting drinking ,and that I am regaining everything I lost, but I try to remember day by day that I have to keep strong because the more secure I feel of myself and about my control over not drinking the worst it may quickly get …There is nothing better than being sober and to try to get somebody else to get better , unfortunately in my case I have being helping others who are just not ready and are heading to the same devastated path just like me and they are just not ready…all I can do is just wish them the best..till they are ready , I totally understand this people ..why ? I was just like that myself for a long time!
    It’s part of the progress the point when helping others is ,,keep your guard yourself and don’t try to changed people , don’t get obsessive about,,you help by setting up an example …this is what an older alcoholic who is being sober for 40 years told me
    “keep your nose in your own business , when they are not ready they are not ready ” . I agreed.!!!

    Anyways this is just part of my story ..I am glad some people are considering quitting….
    Good luck to all those who are tire of suffering…
    have a Great week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!):):):):):):):):):

  • Pamela

    Day two begins. I am so hopeful that I will make it. Don’t have any cravings yet. Slept well last night. Have a slight headache, but I think it’s because of the bump on my head when I was falling down drunk Saturday night. I say to myself, never again. My husband is so proud of me for taking this first baby step. He told me, “You are smarter than that bottle. I’ll down anything to help you.”

  • JPVD

    well done thomas, and good luck pamela and carolyn.

    well, it is that magical 90 day mark for me. For some reason i always thought 90 days withouy booze meant you were not an alcoholic! I have been carrying this ‘alcoholic-test’ around with me for 20 years, and thinking “Well, if I can go 90 days without drinking then you are not an alcoholic”.

    3 months ago i decided to quit for a month, and put the money i saved in an envelope. that initial 30 days turned into 90, and now with 90 days I have somehow managed to view alcohol in an entirely different light.

    I never in my life saw alcohol consumption like i do now; it is truly amazing. Sometimes i think about the drinking i did and wonder ‘Why?’ (and more often than not think about the amount i consumed and wonder ‘How’?!?)

    I won;t bore anyone with all the details, but wow I totally see the grip alcohol had on me and how it is not normal.

    anwyays; 90 days ago i really thought i would be ‘celebrating’ my apparent non-alcoholism but i’ve been enlightened and have no desire to poison myself. sometimes i tell myself i’ll have a drink now when the ‘time is right’, but the time is now never right.

    i just want anyone reading this and considering quitting drinking (even just for a few days/weeks/months) that there is a possibility that your mindset may change in relation to alcohol and your addiction to it. Recovery is dynamic and how you feel now (emotionally/physically/spiritually) may not be how you feel tomorrow.

    Roberto G, I will always remember these words from your post
    “It took me almost a full year to fully awake (not to recover that’s something else)”

    Well, bring on 110 days… maybe a year? why not!


  • Phil

    Lots of good posts since I checked in last time. Vodka, I really liked your whale story! It reminds me that stopping drinking is very hard to do by ourselves and we need to seek out help, and be grateful to those that help. I have been involved with an AA group lately. About 25 of us went out to eat on Friday before the meeting. Going out to eat on Friday night with a group and not drinking is a new experience for me, and it was really helpful to do – sort of re-learning how to live. Thomas – keep persevering – it is good that you are looking at all options and are ready to do whatever it takes. SLH, Camus, and LaMer, I have not really thought about drinking for a couple of months, and then yesterday, I thought about it for about 10 months and had a craving for it. I think these thoughts are just a normal part of the process, but they are very dangerous to our sobriety unless we deal with them when they occur. I have just recently got off the nicotine patch, and that doesn’t help either. I thought just a quart of beer and a smoke will provide me with a nice little escape for awhile. Actually it might have felt good for an hour or so, but I am sure I would have drank much more and then felt really bad mentally and physically last night and today. The craving did pass (I walked it out on the greenway) and I am so thankful today I did not drink. I think everytime we get through a craving, it makes it easier to do it the next time. Also, I have heard that a lot of the healing (spiritually, physically, and mentally) that takes place when we do not drink for significant periods of time can be negated by just a few drinking binges. Take care.

  • Phil

    I just re-read my post – I meant to say 10 minutes not 10 months as the duration of my craving – I am glad it wasn’t 10 months.

  • Janet

    JPVD — thanks for your post — reading how you initially thought you’d start out with 30 days and now being on 90 gives me hope! Honestly, I myself have not been able to commit to completely quitting but I keep coming back to these pages for the encouragement and the shared “oneness” that many of us feel here.

    Also, as someone else posted, it may take some of us several times of quitting and going back before we finally GET IT — I’m afraid that’s me!! Just for today, I’m not drinking.


    PHIL, I happens to me sometimes too. All the sudden I feel that a beer would not hurt me , specially when I am with some friends who drink, they don’t offer me beers because it’s been a long time and they are used to the fact that I do not drink at least for today(I never say I will never drink , otherwise I wouldn’t have lasted a months on the wagon) From my previous experience I know that I could buy a six pack of beer today and maybe a bottle of tequila, and I would not feel an obsession to drink it all at once , I can almost see my self drinking only 3 beers and 3 shots and stopped ,then eat and drink a lot a water..but guess what? that would be just the begin of another disaster in my life ,mentally,phisically, spiritually , you name it !!!!
    On my first months I was so close to drink on many occasions , I had the motive and all the excuses to drink and I got really close to do it ,but I am glad I did not do it.
    I have found out the this kinda situations when you don’t give up just make you stronger, and stronger ,so next time when you have problems, emotions, turmoil, whatever , I just don’t run like the little chicken I have always been all my life and seek refuge behind the bottle. Eventually we become real man and accept pain and deal with it like a normal person.Instead of crying for my mama!!!!(The bottle)
    That’s what normal people do.they deal with the pain!!!soberly !!!. for example My neighbor has been unemployed for a long time ,and he has all kind of problems ,anything you think about it he’s got it!!
    and I don’t see him getting stupid. instead he walks every day , and for the most part he is always calm.
    in other words he deals with the situation the best he can….well If he can do it.. .so can I. I know i am different but I also have the tools to achieve this!!!!!!!of course as long as I stay away from booze!!!!
    At least today , for today only ,one day at the time
    I am saving my life ,and I am doing it for myself , if I continue fooling myself for sure I will lost it all again, and the only thing that would await for me is a horrible death by alcoholism .(Many people get to that point where they are sick ,liver problems, loose it all , wonder on the streets ,and still denial they have a problem) but we can do the difference for ourselves today by being honest to ourselves and do whatever works for us to find a better life without this magic liquid that has done nothing but in my case , to destroy my life when I was using it.!!!!!!!!

    Hope everyone have a great week. Have fun everyone!!!!!!1 Great posts everybody!!!!!!

  • Phil

    Hi Janet, I realize I am triple-posting today but it has been a difficult day emotionally, and posting helps keep me grounded. Your message is very honest and hopeful. Yes, stopping drinking can take several tries at the very least. I wish I had a dollar for every time I said “I am not going to drink ever again,” and then drank again within a matter of days (or even hours). I think it is very rare and maybe even impossible for a person to stop drinking the first time they try. Stay honest, hopeful, and positive, Just for today, and keep learning and communicating with others.

    I learned this morning that a woman that I have worked with for the past seven years, whose office is right next to mine, committed suicide this weekend. She was clinically depressed. My mind is swirling and at the same time I am a little numb. I probably just needed to vent that a little bit.

  • Camus

    Phil, glad you made it through the day. It helps a ton getting through each craving & realizing we can get through it, and feel so much better because we chose not to drink. It’s also true that we often remember the first few sips or glass of whatever, but forget that shortly after the elation feeling passes it’s not that great. I’m so grateful for this site. I don’t have much cravings this time around, but feel that it’s because this site keeps me real. As Roberto G says, over a bit of time not drinking, we tend to tell ourselves “a bit of alcohol now and then isn’t so bad.” This site reminds me of all the reasons I stopped. For those of you struggling to stop right now, you are helping others just by posting here. It helps me to remember why I stopped. I don’t have to go back and read my own posts from 2 months ago (my last drink). I read yours and see myself in so many of you. So, we are all here together helping each other no matter what stage of this journey we’re in. Thanks everyone for being here.

  • http://howtostopdrinking nancy

    I can relate so much to everyone’s posts. I have been thinking that maybe I don’t have a problem?! Our minds can play such tricks on us. I am so glad I have this site, it wasn’t a craving but denial that I was having which is what i think leads to a craving which leads to a drink. It has been almost six months for me!!! The reason I sometimes think I don’t have a problem was because I didn’t drink everyday and I didn’t get drunk and out of hand everytime….but I made up for that on some occasions. So when I did go for help a few times I was told that I was not an alcoholic. I now know it is not how much or how often it is how alcohol effects you. It sure helps to share this because I can never forget how bad it could be. I have been stuck in the house because of surgery, I guess feeling depressed and isolating is not good for me. So thank you from the bottome of my heart. I am doing the right thing for my health just needed a little reminder. I just can’t believe how easy it can be to start to go down that road.

  • Pamela

    Day 3. Felt really bad last night. Ached all over. Much better this morning. At least I can sleep well. The bump on my head isn’t quite so sore either. I am so thankful for finding this site and reading other peoples stories. Y’all keep me going. I want this so bad. I think I might actually make it this time. It feels so good to wake up without a hangover and feeling guilty and sorry for myself. Everybody keep up the good work.

  • Phil

    It is refreshing to read the posts this morning – Nancy, Camus and Pamela. I am accepting what happened to my friend. It is tough, but acceptance is so important for us.


    NANCY , you hit the nail in the head. is not how much you drink but how alcohol affects you….it doesn’t get more clear than that. That makes me remember a story told by a counselor back in 1990 when I got my first DUI(I got eventually a second one 3 years ago !!did not learned!!) I was sent to this program for 4 months, the counselor said he had a friend who was an alcoholic and by the way he was a Doctor , who would drink once a year for Christmas and would get all mess up for a week and then stopped for a whole year, it’s was just a yearly cycle , wagon for a year ,mess up for a week.!!!I didn’t understand back then ,since I was a young guy who believed I would never have a problem , but I never knew that all I needed was :Time and booze and I was gonna become an alcoholic myself. That’s what makes this decease so devastate ,it fools people around making them think everything is okay, when the fact is they are just getting worst and worst…every time they get mess up!!!
    Thank you everyone for you posts they help me day by day to remind myself where I came from and where I will go if I forget that I am an alcoholic who needs to work on the little details of my life if I want to continue sober!!!!!!!!!I have stopped drinking but , today I fully understand the drinking was just a symptom of a bigger issues inside that need to be addressed ,otherwise all is waiting for me is a bottle, madness, hospital, cemetery ,etc etc
    I rather keep looking for help from others who fully understand the problem and are tire of suffering as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!just for today and today only!!!!

    Great day everybody!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://thisone thomas

    (Keep in mind, this is just a story & it was meaningful to me) So on Sunday, I asked God to Get me through the day. I asked for a miracle. I was so lost, just trying to meditate and kept walking everywhere to keep my mind off everything. Like some of us at times, I asked for something major to happen at that exact moment, an explosion or something to let me know he’s there.. Of course nothing happens.

    Then Monday is “about” to go by without a drink and I decide to stop and get a 12. Im fearful at this point, because i know that just 3 days without it, and its allot easier to make it. So, I get out of the car, still in shame and full of anxiety. I go to lift the twelve of bottles up and for the first time that I remember, Kabom – the 12 slips out of my hand. I scramble to grab it, but its my phone or the 12.

    All 12 exploded in one shot. I stood there in disbelief with a smile on my face, like i was glad that that decision was made for me. Such a simple thing to happen, yet so complex on so many levels. Im still thinking about through today, What if I didnt pray, what if I didnt grab the only 12 on the shelf that had a defective handle, what if I drank last night. What if?

    I know I have a long way to go, but fate saved me last night. I pray for defective handles on all your 12’s friends.

    Love you all – Thomas

  • Steve

    Very funny Thomas, excellent story. Aren’t we all waiting for the 12er to crash to the floor, very Awesome. I have been doing very well, I have a little over 3 weeks now and I have only had 2 beers, and not on the same day, not bad I say. I have been attending AA as much as possible, the support there is great and is exactly what I need to stay on track. Hang in there everyone, your 12er will hit the ground soon enough, God is out there and willing to help!!!!!!!!!!

  • thomas

    Thanks Steve. Not sure if it was the explosion I was expecting, but nevertheless, it was an explosion & in a way a mini miracle (or major) from God. I just realized that Im at 2 days again & the end of the third day will be upon me soon enough. I feel great from walking, running, and reading. It all passes the time and makes coping allot easier. I want to continue to say thanks for the support everyone here, for giving everyone on this site hope. here is a line I read today. “The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose” … I think we all agree, just not drinking, we all create purpose for ourselves again (even though its scary to have purpose), because then we need to participate in the life with all these bozos’ ;). But I cant think of any type of people whom are stronger on this planet than the one whom overcomes addiction. Anyways, random – but just a post. Thomas 2 whole days :)


    Thomas, I knew you were gonna be back in business my friend!!!! You story is amazed and I am glad you have been away from booze. I am not a big believer to be honest , religion and God is not my favorite topic for personal reasons . But I’ll tell you what , I do believe that there is somebody above us who is looking out for us , and knows the big effort we as “Alcoholics ” or “Addicts” do, to just be sober ,and I believe him or her(It doesn’t matter) sometimes express himself in many ways, I truly believed your case was just one of many . I still remember those days when I fist quit , the obsession was so intense that I would go to the liquor store ,buy the booze ,stare at it , smell it , hold it in my hand, and thought of everything it had happened to me due to my drinking I and finally I would just toss it in the garbage can and go home empty handed .Then hours after arriving home I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the booze I had thrown away and started contemplating to go back and get it and of course drinking it!!!….I mean,,, think about it!!!! why am I suffering when I can just kill the pain…..You right Thomas we the people that day by day are overcoming addiction are strong , and a special breed I like to call it.If we can overcome addiction . What can’t we achieved in our lives ? all we need to do is set the mark!!!!!!Action is the magic word!!! no doubt about it!!!
    I am happy everyone is doing Great, everyone’s posts make me stronger everyday and more determine to stay sober at least for today and today only!!!!!!!

    Thank you everyone for your posts…!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pamela

    Day 4. Great posts Thomas, Steve, and Roberto. Been there and done it all. Love the quote about life without purpose. Had some really weird dreams last night, but have read that it is part of getting rid of the poison in my system. My drinking had been out of control for years, but that fall last Saturday made me realize, “Girl, you’ve to do something or you’re going to die.” Everybody have a great day and try to stay sober.

  • http://thisone thomas

    Day 3 is a horrible day in this process. Ill probably type more later, im just saying. Why is it always day 3 that beats me up so bad? Day 4,5,6 are way easier :(

  • thomas

    hey guys and gals, its say anything night. Please just say anything, I need to make it through tonight & many of us others do as well.

  • Janet

    Hey Thomas — I appreciate your posts because I can relate — I’m on day 3 too and it’s tough right now. Trying to get thru tonight practically minute by minute right now, but you are right, we gotta make it ’cause day 4 will be alittle easier. Hang in there — I’m here too!!

  • Patrick

    I can remember when I first quit drinking, I could not sleep at all, and I was crawling out of my skin. Somehow I made it through, I think that was a blessing.

    Even more vividly than that, I can remember quitting cigarettes, cold turkey, almost 5 years ago. I can remember the agony of watching time slow down, seem even to stop. It just sucked. No way around it. I tried to distract myself with movies, and with books. That helped a little.

    Of course, looking back now, it was so obvious that it was worth it to go through a few days of discomfort. The rewards are ENDLESS. I am so blessed today it is not even funny. Family, friends, freedom, money, and a life of holistic growth that I never thought was possible.

    Hell I did not even want a good life. I wanted to die drunk, to be honest. I don’t even deserve this life of blessings. My goal was to throw it away, really.

    It is SO worth it in the end folks. I know it may suck right now. Just….make it through. Don’t drink no matter what. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Real life starts getting ridiculously good again, I promise.

    No way to prove it to you, other than to tell my story. I was a hopeless drunk, and wanted to die. And now I am blessed beyond measure.

    Stick it out, it will get better…..I promise.

  • thomas

    Thank you for your posts. My desires spiked pretty high, then I came back to read here. I feel better now. anyone who wants to exchange numbers to text as well.

  • thomas

    Well Day 3 is completed. Because im going to bed, didnt have any & if im sleeping, I can be drinking, its 100% ;) Thomas


    Thomas, that was my philosophy brother, I rather to sleep than drink!! and it worked for me for a while till my mind and body started to get used to to a better life without poison. Great Job!!!!keep it up my friend!!!!!
    Good Luck !!Remember Only the first days are miserables , then, all that awaits for you is happiness and success!!!!!!!!!!!
    Night Night everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pamela

    Well day 5 is here. I haven’t been sober for 5 days straight in over 7 years. It really feels good. But demon wino is tapping on my shoulder. So, I read a book. That takes mind off of the demon. Everyone’s posts really help me. To know I’m not alone. I’m not going to think about getting rid of the ciggie demon yet. But he’s next. Everyone have a great and sober day.

  • http://thisone thomas

    Smiles :) This is the link on this site. I re-read it last night & It helped. Nothing wrong with a re-read…

  • Cory

    Hi everyone. I started posting back in June when I was determined to stop drinking cold turkey. I didnt make it past three days so I stopped posting thinking I was a failure and didn’t want to send out failure messages. I have been following all of the posts and are so humbled and motivated. I can’t seem to make it past the three day mark either and I don’t know why. I have been hiking every day to stay healthy but can’t seem to erase the poison. Thomas, I am so grateful for your posts because you are so honest. Bill, I hope that you are fine. I miss your posts but understand that you need to move on as well. Truly, the reason for my failure has been taking the first drink – it is easy to stop the first – it is not possible stop the second. That is the most important thin r us alcoholics – there will not be a problem if there is not a first drink.

  • Phil

    I ran into some hard times this week. Couldn’t handle the sadness of the unexpected passing of a good friend without drinking. I will be fine. This reminds me that I still have work to do to maintain sobriety when things happen that are emotionally devastating. In AA, they call this being spiritually fit. Good going Thomas, and keep trying Cory – you can get there.


    HI, EVERYBODY!!! Quitting drinking is hard , is not easy !! I have been so close to drink again when things don’t go as plan .As an alcoholic that I am , is hard to cope with cruel reality or events for which I have no control over it ,and having to confront life sober is hard ,,,,but there is hope , eventually our mind starts getting used to the idea and you go through these event smoother. There are so many reason why I haven’t drink again for example: my life is better sober ,I am more productive, I am a coward etc etc…the list is endless unfortunately for my case the one that is helping the most is “the whip of the Alcohol” (I like to call it like this) We need to hit bottom (not bottle)before we can have a long term sobriety . Every case is different . not everybody is self destructive like me. For example : some people hit it bottom fast, other have to destroy everything around them before realizing that the game is over.
    Anyways, in my personal case the bottom that I hit is a great reminder day by day that : “DRINKING AGAIN FOR TODAY IS NOT AN OPTION” “TOMORROW WHO KNOWS” .
    Unfortunately , the story for alcoholic like me around the planet is always the same, and is a cycle : stopped for a while, get better for a while ,then after a while we feel great , and fool ourselves that we are ready to give it another try and finally destroy everything we have built in a single night of drinking!!!!(We will hear the same story over and over everywhere we go looking for help) ” AS LONG AS WE HAVE DOUBTS IN OUR MINDS THAT WE ARE ALCOHOLICS THERE ALWAYS WILL BE A INTERNAL CONFLICT WHETHER YOU BELONG WITH US OR YOU BELONG SOMEWHERE ELSE”

    Life is tough my friends , but for us when drinking or using is ” tougher”.(my case : it mean jail, hospital,madness ,depression ,losing my job ,eventually losing my family ,my job, dignity , you name it!!!)
    All of us find the motivation to stay sober in many ways , family , work , plans, who knows . The point is whatever works for us that is what we have to keep doing to stay sober at least for today and today ONLY!!!
    If anybody would ask me honestly if I feel that I have a drinking problem I would say yes. but this is where the decease strikes : after a long period of dryness my mind tells me that I am find , that I don’t need help , that I don’t need to post here, that I don’t need AA, that I don’t need anything, THE ONLY THING IT TELLS ME IS THE I AM FINE, AND THAT I WILL BE THE EXCEPTION IF A DRINK AGAIN,, OH YEAH !! I WILL BE THE PICKLE THAT GETS TO BE TURNED IN INTO A CUCUMBER AGAIN!!WHAT A JOKE!!!!YEAH RIGHT THINK AGAIN!!!! I DID IT BEFORE AND IT WAS DEVASTATED ,,EVERY TIME ,,EVERY RELAPSE IS WORST!!!!




    HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pam

    I have not had a drink since July 19th, and as happy as I am, weekends are still a challenge. I have to be more on top of my urges to drink. Cory’s statement above is my mantra for the weekends- “there will not be a problem if there is not a first drink.” Thanks Corey.

  • Cory

    Thanks Phil, Roberto and Pam for your encouragement – today is another day one and I am going to keep the words “no matter what” in mind. Good luck to everyone out there – we are stronger together.

  • Sunny

    I drink 5 out of 7 days a week. Lately, its been red wine. Usually 1 or 2 nights of the week, I get drunk or high. I’ve had a lot of stress at work, but have been doing this on and off for years only at night. I want to lose about 15 lbs. and know this is what is holding me back. I have started Day 1 so many times, I can’t even count. The problem time is during the week and Friday night after work, I can’t wait lately for a reasonable hour to start drinking. Once I start, its hard to stop. I can have one, but usually start feeling good and have a couple more. Sometimes, I stop myself. Restaurants are tough – I love a good cocktail or wine with my meal. I love the ambiance of drinking, the feeling, the shape of the glass, how the bar looks – lighting, etc. I have my son’s wedding next summer and want to take off that weight for a beautiful dress, but also just want to quit and get this monkey off my back. When I drink a lot, I never feel good the next day. I know my one of my sons think I have a little bit of a drinking problem. He gets mad when I drink too much in front of him. But I want to quit for myself. I’ve been doing things for other people my whole life as a mother of 3 sons, one with autism, and as a wife in a marriage that has gone a few upheavals, counseling but has survived altho lots of disappointment on my part. I used to be a marathon runner and still keep in shape, I raised a handicapped child, I have a masters degree and am a school librarian and make a difference everyday for kids. I have to understand that quitting is for me. I have to stop escaping.

  • Sunny

    your posts are so inspiring…I’m on Day 2 but have been there before. My husband quit, so it will be easier and I have the wedding of my son that I want to lose 15 lbs. for.
    I have gone through periods where I have only had 1 glass of wine a night, but when I’m stressed, it becomes more and I don’t know how to stop. I pay for it in the morning sometimes…also have sinus problems and after wine, seems to trigger a reaction. I know I have to go cold turkey..I’m taking a friend out to dinner for her b’day this week and was already planning my cocktail or wine, but now I will have some nice green tea and hoping the warmth of the tea cup and the motion of putting it to my mouth will help. I have anxiety, since menopause (I’m a 57 year old female) and have anti-anxiety meds, but I think the drinking helps the anxiety in my mind. so last night I took 1/2 pill and no booze and felt fine. Little laid back but tired. TV is also a place where I drink, so I’ve cut my hours down of that. Nothing like watching my favorite show and getting loaded. Wish me luck!

  • Sunny

    Cory – you are so right about the first drink…if you don’t go there, you are working on getting rid of the craving. Once you start…

  • Sunny

    Went out to dinner and really wanted a glass of red wine. Didn’t have it. I felt anxiety, but got through it – my family was there – they don’t know I’m working through this. I definitely had a craving.

  • Murr

    Thanks for this great article.

    I’ve just turned 20 and for the past 2 years I have had a problem with drinking , well at least I never thought of it as a problem till lately.

    I never thought I was an alcoholic and still I am finding it hard to tell myself I might be.

    I have be warned by the doctor twice that I had an inflamed liver but continued drinking. I went off the drink for 6 weeks easy but then when healed back on again and now the same story. The reason I dont think i am an alcoholic is because I was able to go off for 6 weeks easy, but I just cant find the self control to stay off at parties or when out with friends. Its ruining my life as I get to lazy to go college or play sports do work. I argue with my family cause I am always so tired and exhausted. I want to go off drink ans I plan on doing so. But would you say I am an addict or is there somthing else turning me to drink?

  • Camus

    Murr, no one here can diagnose you as an alcoholic or not. For the longest time, I just told myself that I have a drinking problem. It doesn’t really matter what you call it. What matters is the effect it has on your life. I can tell you that just because you can stop for 6 weeks relatively easily, doesn’t exclude alcoholism. It’s been fairly easy for me to stop this time around. I know I’m an alcoholic because when I start back drinking it always spirals to overconsumption, lack of control, lack of ability to stop etc etc. Basically, it becomes destructive both physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I admire you for realizing you may have a problem at 20. I never realized until I was much older that alcohol was ruining my life, although the problem was always there. Best of luck to you.

  • Sunny

    Murr and Camus:
    It is a struggle. I found out just because you don’t get drunk in the morning or everyday or can’t hold a job down, etc. – you still have a drinking problem. I do, because when I drink, I can’t stop at one most of the time. I’ve had blackouts in the past, but not lately. The thought of the headache the next day does not erase my desire to keep drinking all through the night. I’m on Day 3 and have cravings, but its getting less every day. The worst thing for me is to have alcohol in the house, because I just sit in front of the TV and drink it, especially wine. I’m going out with a friend on Wed. night for her b’day and I would love to have a drink with dinner. I salivate at the thought. I realize that its just going to reinforce my craving and I will stop on the way home and replenish my supply of red wine. (It’s white in the summer and vodka cocktails anytime) I have an addictive personality. Through the hippie years, smoked pot, but found as I got older, I got too paranoid, so drinking became the escape. I’m a 57 year old woman with 3 grown sons and a 33 year marriage and its time to stop. I don’t feel good about myself. This is the one thing that is making me feel powerless.

  • Sunny

    Murr – if you have an enflamed liver at 20, give it up. Easier said than done. You’re smart to realize at a young age, that something is wrong. (who am I to give advice – I’m only on Day 3) Any kind of addiction spirals you down – I’ve seen it with many people, including family members. I know when my sons were in college and playing sports, it was hard to socialize without a drink. If you think it is getting out of control, do yourself a favor and quit – at least do it for 30 days and see what enfolds. Good luck!

  • JPVD

    well, after 95 days i found myself with a beer in hand chatting with an old friend who came over for a barbecue!

    no harm done, but i realised the next day that i really didn’t have to drink… i just figured it was a given that beer would be consumed. however, this was not the case; his wife didn;t drink at all and he only had 2-3 beers; i could have easily side-stepped it by feigning (which i hate doing ususally) some other reason not to drink (medication is an easy one).

    ah well, another relapse another lesson learned.


  • Phil

    I am on day one again after I had about 55 days without drinking going into last week. I am with you JPVD – another lesson learned. I feel like I learned a lot over the past couple of months, and I am looking forward to not drinking again.