Use this thread to continue discussion from this page here:
How to stop drinking on your own
Use this thread to continue discussion from this page here:
How to stop drinking on your own
I successfully stayed abstinent from alcohol for over 12 years while raising my three daughters, and now that I find myself alone, I struggle with a feeling of intense emptiness (I realize this is an oxymoron, but still the best way to describe how I feel). I drink when I find myself alone, and then regret it terribly the next day, as I can't safely drink at all. AA worked for me earlier in my life, but I really dislike it now. I need support, however, and friends who don't drink. What should I do?
This is my first time trying to post anything, and I'm a bit intimidated, but here goes. I found the older version of this website last week and started reading through the old posts. I had intended to wait until I had read them all before starting to participate, but the reason I googled "How to stop drinking" and found this website was to get help, and today I think I would like to avail myself of the help I've seen from so many of the posts, and maybe a little bit of my story will also help someone else, as yours have mine.
This is the morning of Day 5. . . this time. I have quit so many times before. I kind of know the usual pattern for me. Day 5 isn't usually one of the tough ones. But I forgot that one of the things that happens when I finally stop sedating myself is that emotions flood in. That's EMOTIONS!!!! all caps with exclamation points, maybe all those I pushed away while I was drunk. Today my husband criticized my driving. . . again, and I just couldn't take it. I had tears running down my face while I finished the drive to the gym, stayed in the car while I tried to compose myself, then told people I had allergies today to hide the crying. While I was working out, I got ANGRY!!! And I started to realize that the crying and the anger were way out of proportion to the actual precipitating events, and were more likely related to not drinking and my body and mind starting to try to straighten themselves out. Then my husband made a passing remark, and I almost bit his head off, but luckily didn't since we were out in the gym. And then I remembered OMG, about 4 years ago something similar happened and I did bite his head off and he refused to speak to me on that subject for almost 3 years lest he get his head bitten off again (he added a couple of other subjects to that list also). I was about to do the same thing. And OMG, this must have occurred during a period when I was "being good" and not drinking, and I had never noticed the correlation! Finishing the workout cleared my head a bit more, and I'm OK for now. But my usual start time for drinking is 5pm, so I'm not out of the woods yet today. More to come.
Julian, I'm in no position to offer advice, but let me say Congratulations for your 12 years!! What does that tell you? It tells you that you can be successful at being a non-drinker. When my first daughter went away to college, I can't even describe the sense of loss I felt. I'm an empty-nester now and retired, and have filled my life with many things I love, but have still been drinking. Like I said above, I've quit and restarted numerous times. Why will this time be different? One is this blog--finding it and using it. I set myself a deadline this time that if I hadn't stopped by April 30, I would seek and get help, as I have never tried outside help. Then I realized that the day after April 30 is May 1 - MAYDAY! And I thought that was so appropriate. Mayday, mayday, I need help. So I googled, found this blog, and found a couple of other resources along with AA that I can plan to tap into if doing it by myself with the help of this community aren't enough.
So my humble advice, is go back and read all the entries on this website. They can give you far more than I can. With the change to the new forum it may be harder to do than before. Patrick, maybe you can explain how or put it in the FAQs or something. It has been SO helpful to me to read my story from others, but without the ability to sugarcoat my version because it's coming from someone else. So helpful to hear both the success stories and the "I can't get past day 1", "I can't get past day 3 or 4". I feel a part of a larger community committed not just to "stopping" or "recovering" but LIVING successfully as non-drinkers, whereever we happen to be along the path. Good luck,
Patrick, Bill S., so many others whose posts I am still reading, THANK YOU! I've taken enough of your time for now but would be honored to be able to share again another time.
Carol, good job and thanks for sharing your story.... it is not an easy path we are on and it is a daily struggle...I am so thankful for this site....it is so helpful for me to be able to read about other people's successes and even their failures...it helps me stay focused on the goal and keeps me realistic in my purpose. Welcome to our family! Congrats on Day 5!
Julian, hang in there, maybe AA would be a help to you, if that is what helped you before. I know what the empty nest thing feels like.....after my son graduated and left, I often found myself wandering from room to room with a beer in hand, pondering the quiet, sitting on the couch crying, or even just staring off into space, I hated that quiet so I would turn on the TV, grab another beer and veg out....then, I would start calling everybody on my contact list and talk until I was so drunk I would pass out on the couch... I wish I knew what to say to make it easier for you but there is nothing- just know that I am rooting for you, you can do this, you are a strong man and you are an overcomer! I will be thinking about for and sending positive energy your way Julian!
Welcome Carol and Julian - this site is an amazing venue for trying to get (and stay) sober. Hope it works for you.
Angela & Sally, thank you. Just a quick note to say it's Day 7! When I have a little more time, I'd like to tell more of my story since I've found it helpful to read others, but here's the reader's digest version: first drink at 18 (also first time drunk & throwing up - if only I had just stopped then), now 58 and have been overdrinking for at least 20 years. Keep setting deadlines (before I'm 50, before I'm 55, whatever). For the last 6 years or so I've become very good at quitting, also very good at starting up again. I like the concept on this site of being a non-drinker. Very different idea to me than quitting (which implies that I could - and have - start up again).
I am wondering about the switch to the new forum from the old thread. Is there still a conversation going on somewhere else or are people not migrating to the forum or ? I am still reading the previous posts, am up to January, and wonder how everyone is doing.
We had a great group going, where did they all go? Anonymous, jcvb, kjpb, anyone out there?
I woke up this morning and like many other mornings my first thought was, "I have to stop this." Like some of you, I googled "how to stop drinking" and found this site. I am terrified my family will see this. Which is stupid, because I'm sure they know I drink too much. But I don't want to admit to them how out of control I really am. Maybe I only am just now starting to admit it to myself. I don't know if I am an "alcoholic" but I know I drink too much and I don't like the person I am when I drink. And I know I have to change. I want to change. But I've been here before. I'll tell myself I will not drink as frequently, and limit the number of drinks I do have. But it never lasts, and here I am again. I have to just quit cold turkey. Maybe later I can drink in moderation. But right now I can't. Thank you for letting me be "real" here.
Hi Angela! I'm here, but admit I am still trying to figure out how to use the new forum format. Any pointers would be appreciated! I hope you are doing well and love hearing you are still out there!! Hi all - hope you are doing well this weekend - truly one day at a time...
Hi I just joined this forum and appreciate all the sharing and insight. I am hoping this time I stop drinking for good. I have struggled for years to be sober but have never been honest with myself. I can't have one drink as it always leads to a new addiction cycle. Then I struggle to stop, stop drinking, only to start again. If I'm honest I know I can't drink alcohol. Thank you for all the sharing it gives me hope and strength.
kjbp asked for tips on using the forum, and I notice that the migration from the previous thread to the new forum is still slow, so although I am new, not an expert, not an administrator, I thought I would pass along some ideas.
First, there's anonymity. A lot of us like being able to be brutally honest about ourselves in a way we can't be with others, and know each other through our postings without having to worry about meeting and being embarrassed. With the new forum, it is necessary to provide an email address, and that feels a little like an invasion of privacy, especially since some folks share email addresses with other family members. One solution is to set up a separate email account just for this on Google or Yahoo. Just go to gmail.com or mail.yahoo.com and set up a new account. It'll take maybe 10 minutes. If giving out your email address is keeping you from joining the forum, think about setting up a separate email and view it as an action to aid in recovery.
Also, when you set up the forum account, you can opt for as much privacy as possible (not show info in your profile, not allow others to email you, etc.) and then change that later in a profile update if you want. Like I said in first post, it's all a bit intimidating but once you start it's OK.
One other thing which I found out the hard way. I started a post last night then wanted to read a comment that was on the other page, so I went to page 2 and lost everything I had typed in. Then I didn't want to retype everything. A good idea which I'll try to remember is if I'm writing a lot (or heartfelt and hard to retype!) to copy it periodically before I'm ready to post, so I don't lose it. (Just highlight it all, control-C, then control-V to paste back later if needed).
Anyway, I have gotten so much out of the previous threads that I really hope that this spiritual river will be flowing with all its streams from before, and I'm pleased to see new people joining as well!
I have some drinkin' stuff (actuallly non-drinkin') stuff to share but will put that in a separate post. Things are stirring at my house so I may have to do that later today.
Samantha, I think I may know how you feel. Why is it so hard to be honest with myself? I almost had a drink last night. Even though I was still feeling the effects of having too many the night before. It just sounded so nice to have a glass of wine and sit on the back porch and relax. The problem is that is not where it would have ended. I would of wound up drinking the whole bottle and then some. So somehow I resisted the urge.
does it ever get any easier?
Hope I'm not taking up too much space and time.
Last night I was driving home from a volunteer activity which brought me a lot of joy, and I had the thought that you couldn't pay me to drink right then. Wow! A week or so ago before I started this bout of sobriety, I would have bought a bottle of wine on the way home, had a 1st drink to celebrate the joy, a 2nd to cry for the sick children and their parents, then finished the bottle because it was there. By then I might have been feeling sorry for myself, then had the middle of the night recriminations, then woke up feeling crummy. Since it would probably have been only one bottle that night, I wouldn't have felt too terrible since I have recovering from one bottle down pretty pat - eat lots of carbs while drinking it, have a couple of aspirin or ibuprofen and some Tums in the morning along with some carbs, and I'm mostly good to go for the day.
Starting day 9 & happy to have had that unexpected thought yesterday. I know from previous quitting bouts that my next big bogeyman is 2 weeks, next weekend, where I feel so great about quitting that I talk myself into having "just one".
More I'd like to share but I don't want to monopolize & I need to go, so more later. Samantha & kjbp, glad to see you're here. Sally, thank you. Hi to Angela. Justin, how are you doing? Thank you, everybody!!
Carol, I really value reading about your experiences. It gives me hope.
I had a drink tonight. I didn't want to (how rare is that!). But we had a dinner out with the extended family and everyone was drinking and giving me a hard time about not drinking. I really don't want to make a big deal out of not drinking, just said I didn't want anything right now (I didn't tell them I was trying to quit.) But they kept baking a big deal out of it so I got a drink just so the conversation could turn to something else besides me. I nursed it all night; only drank about 1/2. I'm just afraid that it may turn into more. I've tried so many times to only drink in moderation, and I've always failed. I don't want to go down that road again.
Anyway, thanks for letting me vent!
Thanks to everyone for sharing. Carol I relate to the week end drinking. If I make it through Friday and Saturday without drinking I feel so happy. I enjoy the week end more and have more energy. I'm less depressed too. I wish I could remember that when I decide it would be ok to just have "1" drink. I love feeling good physically and hate being hung over. My short term memory isn't good because of drinking. Sometimes it's embarrassing trying to recall something that I should remember.
Hi - Came across some good quotes, thought I would share them -
“And it's me who is my enemy, me who beats me up, me who makes the monsters, me who strips my confidence, and it's me who is too weak, and it's me who is too shy to ask for the things I love."
And for you Justin 'cause I am hoping you are still reading (and to whomever else can relate, myself included) –“ It always seems just as soon as things are going good…just as soon as life takes a turn for the best...everything goes wrong...gets lost, confused and all messed up... and then you crash... and just have to sit there, cause you don’t have the strength to get up. But in order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time. "
Never forget that tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life - may tomorrow be your new beginning :]
Hello! I just wanted to stop in here and say hello to all of you. I didn't know there was a forum here but I do check out the spiritual river website quite often and it directed me here. I'm sure I'll be around here a bit, I really enjoy connecting with others in recovery. Have a great Monday!
Freedom from alcohol began: 08-13-09 Smoke free since: 04-19-10
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
In the 1500 or so posts in the previous 2 threads before this forum, one of the things that helped me so much was reading about other people's drinking and their struggles with it. With my own drinking, I can sugarcoat it or not remember parts of it or lie to myself. When I read other people's stories, I can't hide. I can see myself in their stories. And it helps.
For over 20 years, probably closer to 25 years, I have drunk a minimum of a bottle of wine a day, often two, with occasional bouts of sobriety such as the one I am currently in. My drinks of choice are wine (red or white) and vodka, especially a beautiful pomengranate martini but on the rocks with lime or whatever. But I'll drink pretty much whatever you put in front of me. Beer takes too long, so I'm not so big on beer. In an environment where alcohol is free-flowing, I will drink until I can't drink anymore, either because I've passed out or puked or the event has stopped serving alcohol because they closed or ran out. Oh, but if I'm still standing when they stop, I'll keep going if I can get alcohol somewhere else. One shameful memory is a work function where I did this--drank until they closed down the event, then went to the hotel bar and pounded down a few. Ended up on an elevator with a colleague, babbling uncontrollably; thank God it wasn't my boss and he never used it against me. I have worse memories than that. . .
What I really want is to be a "normal" drinker, you know those people who have a drink or two, maybe three and get a little tipsy, and then stop. I don't stop. I was at a neighborhood party recently where there was an open bar serving strong margaritas. I had 4 or 5 or 6, not really sure. Enough that I was getting a bit impaired so I didn't remember conversations the next day (hey, at least I remembered having them!), but not enough to stop drinking. But when I went back to the bar for another, the bartender said I'd had more than anyone (I am a 58-year-old 5'2" woman). I explained that I could walk home and my husband had the car keys so I was OK, and he gave me the drink. Needless to say, I didn't go back due to shame. But my husband didn't have the car keys, and I did drive home.
I plan to keep posting about drinking, because I need to remind myself why I'm trying to be a non-drinker, and because hopefully this will help someone as others' sharing has helped me.
Beginning of day 10.
Arrgh, I couldn't post this due to an error, then I had to log back in again. Luckily I had taken my own advice and copied recently. I lost part of the post and can't remember what it was, but at least most of it was saved. I haven't tried "Go Advanced" instead of "Post Quick Reply"; maybe I'll try that.
Carol, I can so relate to you. Thank you so much for posting your stories. I too want to be a "normal" drinker. Someone that can just have a drink or two every once in a while and its no big deal. But I can't. Once I start, I can't stop. For the longest time I convinced myself that I was ok, because all I drank was wine (for the most part), and I never drank until dinner time. In other words, as long as I wasn't crawling out of bed every morning looking for a drink, I didn't really have a problem. But I was wrong. I might not start drinking first thing in the morning, but I do start thinking about it first thing in the morning. I plan all day long, when I will get to drink, what I will have, etc.
I was at a social event Friday night with the people I work with. I had much more to drink than anyone else. So much so, that a man that I work with had to hold me up as we walked to the car. thank God he has not commented on it yet today. I guess it's too much to hope that he wasn't as horrified at my behavior as I am. I am so afraid that one day I will do something much worse, like have an affair, when I am drunk. That is the underlying reason I am trying to quit. I have the most wonderful husband. We have been married over 20 years. While I do drink around him, I do most of my out-of-control drinking when I'm out with others. And when my drinking is out of control, I am out of control. I am horrified and ashamed when I think of some of the things I've done drunk, and some of the things I can't remember. It's like I drink to become someone else, but when I do, I don't like the person I become at all. Didn't someone once say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results? That is definitely me.
Sally, Love the quote you gave: ďAnd it's me who is my enemy, me who beats me up, me who makes the monsters, me who strips my confidence, and it's me who is too weak, and it's me who is too shy to ask for the things I love." Can we add too scared and too stupid to the list too?!
Samantha, lately I have struggled with memory problems too, even when sober. My husband jokes that I have "old-timer's disease." I never thought it could be related to my drinking. That is really scary.
Thanks everyone. You are the only people I can talk to about these things. Thank you, thank you.