Thanks Samantha and Millie
Ok, I just re-read my post and need to add the caveat...I don't have any answers..just throwing out ideas... I am not sure why I have made it this far...I really don't. This forum is a big help and trying to remain accountable to Casey and Mairianna..... But I think the main reason is that I am finally tired of being sick and tired, of embarrassing myself, and throwing my life away. I had a dear friend die in her sleep last fall. She was in her early 50s. I had heard she died by asphyxiating on her vomit. I do not know, but suspect she had drunk too much that night. She was a wonderful wonderful person, and died way too young. I truly don't want that to happen to me or any of us.
Last edited by Millie; 08-09-2011 at 06:33 PM.
Don't stop posting. But DO dump that bottle. And know that many of us (all of us?) have been through the wringer of wanting to stop, trying to stop, committing to stop, and still failing to stop. For me it was / is a process - I relapsed hard, really hard, and continually for a year while I was terrified and scared and sick to death of all of it. And if there is a new thread, I'll still start my day here - because I feel in many ways that I am always at the start, and just one 'cave-in' from being back at Day 1. We all teach each other lessons here, some we want to learn and some we have to learn.
As to dealing with the recrimination-cycle of day 2 - that is going to happen, and it is important (for me it was anyway) that it does happen. Don't wallow, but listen to that part of yourself that wants you to succeed - build up her voice so that she can become loud and sassy and drown out that sinister alcoholic whine. Oh, and I'm a big fan of the 'treat yourself' with non-alcoholic treats - get a chocolate croissant, make an appt. for yourself tomorrow in that dangerous witching hour to do something for you (mani-pedi, yoga class, coffee with a friend - make sure it is coffee/tea in a nice place with no temptations, go grocery shopping - avoid the booze aisle - and make an amazing/favorite dinner). Keep yourself full with good/nutritious food and hydrated -if my body dips low, that is when cravings hit.
Fifi – there is a drug that has helped me immensely – it is called “campral”. This drug works on stabilizing our brains from alcoholic cravings. (My belief is that drinking is a physiological ailment (our brains are wired differently) not just a psychological one) When I was quitting (and starting and quitting) I couldn't get past the 10 day point. Around the 10 day mark I used to get what I called the "heebie jeebies" - I would get so antsy and my skin would crawl and I would crave alcohol like a drunken sailor ...know what I mean?? AND I would always drink – there was no stopping me…
Anyway, someone on this site turned me onto campral. This drug does not make you sick if you drink (like so many others) - it makes you NOT WANT TO DRINK!! For me it has been a God send. I started taking it around day 9 of my last attempt at quitting and it was amazing...no heebie jeebies, no side effects, no nothing - JUST NO DESIRE TO DRINK!!
You take it 3 times a day and I swear - I haven't even thought about picking up since I started taking it - and I am nearing 60 days. I have no desire to drink, don’t even think about it, glamorize it, nothing – it’s been great. BUT - everyone responds differently to drugs, and with my state of mind at that time it could have been a placebo (I wanted so badly to quit) - but for me it worked and is working. My game plan is to keep taking it for a full 6 months and then go off it – to me it is like getting a rock solid foundation before I take flight on my own.
Anyway – there is tons of info on the internet about it….check it out…my doctor had never heard of it, but I insisted and she found it on her list of drugs she could prescribe. I plan on writing her a letter and telling her she needs to offer this up as an option to other people who are suffering like I did. Also depending on your insurance it may be expensive as there is no generic for it…but after all the money I threw away on booze I consider this a small price to pay. Good luck!!
Hi all - I'm on Day 8 and feeling good - still here and reading all of your posts. I support you and appreciate you!
Hi all. I am new to the forum but have been 'lurking' for the past year. I have wanted to post but thought that I could just beat this on my own -- but can't. In an nutshell, I have been dealing with personal issues by drinking for a number of years - but everyone has issues and I hope that we all know that. The difficult one for me has been that my daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year. She was 17 and in her grade 12 year. She managed to go through 2 surgeries and finally had to have her thyroid removed. I have to take her every 3 months to the cancer clinic and thanks be to God she has been o.k, but now she is really sick and we don't know why. I am resorting to drinking which I know was the worst way to deal with this before and I know that I need to find a better way now. I post now for help but I hope that my situation will help someone else
Evening, everybody!! Day 24 headed into 25 for me (and Badger!) -- and it's very much a brain fog phase although I've been working very, very hard recently. So, it's hard to know whether it's brain fog or legit fatigue or both.
I should also note that in addition to my 20-plus years of drinking pretty much every weekend, I had been a regular every-day smoker for about 14 of those years and a "just on the weekends smoker" for the past six years -- UNTIL July 17. I haven't smoked in 24 days headed into 25. My addict pattern was to smoke and drink. Not really just to drink. Or just to smoke. So, I tossed them aside at the same time. The REASON I mention that is that another issue I've been having during this phase is digestion. Regularity. Don't intend to gross anybody out, but I wonder if there are others who are dealing with apparent physical side effects like this. I suspect the smoking cessation is the cause more than the drinking. However, I'm not 100 percent sure.
OK, now for the new method I talked about last night, my new strategy.
It's called "Survive and Advance," and I borrow the terminology from sports. When leagues get to a playoff phase, announcers often like to say that a team just needs to survive and advance. For me, weekends are my danger time -- from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning. During this period each and every week, I must "survive." Sneak off to the movies. Turn off the phone. Sleep for 14 hours. Go live in the bookstore all afternoon. SURVIVE.
However, as I move toward 30 days and beyond (and, Samantha, I love the idea of a forum for 60-day-plus folks), I want to be more focused on learning how to live again. Developing positive, healthful lifelong habits. I want to ADVANCE. That's what Sunday DAY through Thursday NIGHT will be about. Redeveloping my life, my habits, my tastes, my priorities, etc.
So, SURVIVE each weekend. And ADVANCE during the week. So that I'm not merely "abstinent." So that I'm sober and full of life.
Thanks to all of you. Each of you has a piece of my 24 days, and I'm very appreciative for each of your experiences.
I can't really offer you advice. I'm very new in my own recovery and frankly would hesitate anyway in that I don't really know you or your circumstances.
However, I'll share a bit of my personal experiences and my outlook with you.
I'm 44 and have been a bottle of vodka a day drinker for a number of years. I have a pretty big job at a pretty big company I guarantee you have heard of. My wife and I have been together for close to 20 years and have 4 children. I've literally dragged them all over the world for my job. Right now we're in Sweden (we're American). I generally thought we were in a pretty good place. Money was not an issue. We traveled. Kids did OK in school.
About 3 months ago, after a great holiday in Greece, my daughter attempted to take her own life with sleeping pills. In the space of about 4 seconds, every bit of confidence and pride I had were wiped away. My 14 year old daughter didn't want to live anymore. As a parent, its one of the most horrific thoughts you can imagine. Loosing a child. What was worse is that one of her most overwhelming issues was the fact my wife and I were alcoholics. Didn't matter whether we were functional. My wife was on the school board etc. What mattered was that she was embarrassed by us and felt disconnected from us because we were always drinking or drunk.
At almost the same time, my 17 year old son decided he was no longer going to attend school. So as another pound of salt on the scale, my son and I were in terrible, physical fights over his schooling and lack of motivation. I started working when I was 13. I left home when I was 17 with my own money. I spent years at university. It was frustrating to me he did not want the same things. When he and I weren’t fighting, I would try to talk to him about what to expect in the big bad world. He has yet to have a job. He had no money of his own. I was sincerely trying to help him understand the magnitude of what he was undertaking. His response? What kind of advice could a drunk give him.
So in the space of about 4 months, we went from the top of the roller coaster to the very bottom. I was ready to pull up stakes, move back to the US, and go into the fetal position.
A lot has happened since then.
My wife decided to stop drinking about 45 days ago. A month after she started, I took the plunge (we actually planned it so that we wouldn’t both be going through detox at the same time).
I’ve seen many people say they had to quit for many reasons. Our reason is simple. We quit or we loose any future with our children. I’m not a rocket scientist, but I got that message loud and clear.
So why am I sharing this with you?
My belief is that we all make mistakes. It's a fundamental aspect of being a human being. I’ve clearly made many mistakes and know I will make many more. However, while I came ever so close to it just a few months back, I haven’t given up. I haven't quit. I can’t give up. I’ll spend the rest of my days trying very hard to repair the damage I have caused with my children. I know my wife feels the same way.
In a roundabout sort of way, I’m trying to say embrace your mistakes and learn from them, but don’t quit. Get back up, dust off, and keep going. Its hard, but keep your head high knowing that you are making an effort where so many others simply don't try. You want to make your life better, sober. Think of all of the people who have tried and given up or never even thought to begin. You have already made the decision and starting working toward that goal.
I don’t know if any of this helps. Remember, there are many people in our predicament. Lean on them. Keep positing. Keep trying. Don’t let a f**k up with a bottle of wine undue your purpose. You are bigger and stronger than that.
Day 11 for me and counting. Actually slept normal hours yesterday though I was a zombie at times. Had dinner with the whole family at one table last night. That was stellar.
Last edited by Connor1a; 08-10-2011 at 12:36 AM.
Hi everyone! I wish we could all get together in one room to support those who are going through such tough times! Dragonfly, if you were my best girlfriend, I would tell you that you need to move on from your abusive alcoholic husband/partner! (Not pulling any punches here... sorry!) Maybe now would be too difficult, but you deserve love and support and someone who cares about your feelings, no matter what! One problem that plagues many alcohol and other substance abusers is low self-esteem, and that low self-esteem keeps us in abusive situations. Stay strong, go to the movies, whatever it takes to get out of that situation, either temporarily or permanently. When we begin to change, it upsets the family dynamic, even though it is a change for the better. Everyone else knew what to expect from the equation when we were drinking, now we have to construct a new paradigm.
Regina- don't stop posting! Years ago, I heard a radio program that really started me thinking- the woman was talking about how quitting alcohol is a process, and that relapse is not a failure, it is part of the process. If I quit playing music every time I hit a wrong note, I would be nowhere! Keep up the good fight, nobody said it was going to be easy. YOu know what else helped me? Fruit smoothies with that green veg powder in them- you can get it at the health food store. I don't know if it did anything, but it LOOKED so damn healthy, it was symbolic! Plus, smoothies are satisfying and filling, so I felt better all around. Tomorrow, get up, have a hot shower, drink yourself a nice berry smoothie with yogurt and whatever else, and keep a bottle of water handy. Find a time to write down exactly what you are feeling and why. I have been reading about brain chemistry lately and that secrets and the shame that come with them are physiologically toxic, so get them out! Don't be disappointed about yesterday, move into tomorrow with resolve!
Ceeshel- make sure you are drinking plenty of water! Drink 'til you float away! And take B vitamins, vitamin C and L-glutamine to help with the cravings.
I know that 60+ sounds impossible to some of you, and it did to me as well. The reason we keep coming back is that (at least for me) we are aware that we are just one drink away from day 1 again! Hugs all around!
(Just finished reading the more recent posts..) Connor1a- you said it! The stakes are high! I am so sorry that you had to go through/ are going through that! I also have a 14-year-old daughter, and one of the things that keeps me honest is that she and her brother (12) know that I am not drinking. I think they are proud of me (you never know with a 14-year-old!) but I know that even though I am short-tempered without the alcohol (well, I was short-tempered WITH the alcohol too), at least they see me trying and succeeding! We are still inGreece where, as you know, alcohol is everywhere and all the time- the universal language! We were at a big dance party last night and I walked over to the table where my kids were sitting with a big wine-glass full of water- she gave me a quizzical/panicked look as I knocked it back, and I know she thought it might have been full of ouzo. I gave her a sip to calm her down lol! We all fool ourselves that our behavior is not affecting others. I am a high-school teacher, and a musician, totally functional, but this is a family disease. Has she tried alanon? It really helped me resolve feelings about my family when I was younger (funny, all that hating on my parents didn't keep me from becoming an alcoholic. Maybe because they still were/are in denial. I like to think that me being honest about my struggles will help unmask the beast for my kids...). Anyway, sorry to ramble, and good luck and stay strong. I am sure your son will sort things out, even if it is a rough ride. As I tell some of my parents, "it's only high-school, there are many ways to be successful in the world"!
Hi Hope – welcome to the forum and best wishes for a wonderful life now that you are here!
Ryan – LOVE the Survive and Advance advice – how true. I spent my first month just hanging on by my fingernails. Now I am trying to live a sober life, change my routines, introduce healthy alternatives. And quitting smoking and drinking at the same time – you are my hero. I plan on quitting smoking, but the thought of giving both up was to unsettling for me – I was sure I would be setting myself up for failure – so am working on giving up cigarettes after I hit 90 days…any advice to make it easier/less painful?
Dragonfly – it is YOUR life - you deserve everything you want – choose YOU!! Holding onto the past, wishing things could be the way they were, yesterday is gone – let it go. And as difficult as it may be – I agree with the others – you need to get out of that toxic relationship and move on…maybe once you are both sober for awhile you can see if it is worth trying again.
Connor1a – my heart goes out to you – what an awful “wakeup” call. My prayers are with you and your family, stay sober, it will all work out I am sure. I spent the best summer with my 19 year old daughter this year – being present for her – laughing, shopping, it was amazing. She is now my biggest supporter and I am so grateful for that. To think I always had that choice and never made it – how selfish was I. I too was a functioning? Alcoholic, but she has forgiven me and the same with my 17 year old son. Oh the years I wasted!! But I am not going to beat myself up – I have the opportunity every day to show them how much I really love them and care for them. I will never drink again!! That is my gift to them and to myself.
Ruth – you are doing so well – I am so proud of you and how you are handling Greece – hold you head high and keep on keeping on. Just think – this is one trip you will actually remember LOL
P.S…when I do hit 60 and can check out the other forum I will never leave SP – all of you are the reason I am where I am today!! Keep making those plans, making those life changes…you can do it!!
Connor, your post really touched me. We function yes but we also withdraw from normal family life once the drink is flowing. The drinking was always more important. I haven't been through a major wake up call like you had and it must have been such a shock. Well done to both yourself and your wife for turning things around. I worry so much about my 14 year old son and the effect I may have had on his future. My daughter who is 10 began recently to ask "can I use a glass like your wine glass mum" and "can I have a sip of your coke or is it something else"? On the up side, small but positive family changes already in just 3 weeks of sobriety.
Millie, it is definitely an added push for me to be 'accountable' to you and Casey, thanks for being there.
Keep going everyone, DO NOT DRINK today.
I LOVE this forum. Alcoholics or not, this is an impressive group of people. What an interesting dinner party we would have, if we could all get together face to face. Lol
Connor, thank you so much for sharing your story. What happened to your family deepens my resolve to stop drinking forever. I am 47, but have very young children, ages 6 and 2. I also have a great job with a big company and on outside my life looked great. Th death of my friend last fall, my fear of the effects my drinking may have on my children as they get older, and the knowledge that I have tough times ahead that I will need to get through sober, as my parents are getting older, etc, have all have played a part in my recent decision to quit. Your story has strengthened my resolve that I have made the right decision. Thank God your child was not successful in her attempt, and you and your wife have this opportunity to make a change.
Ruth, thanks too for your story about Greece and how well you are doing around all the alcohol. I have a trip to an all inclusive resort scheduled for this fall and n the back of my mind I keep worrying about whether I can or should stay sober while there. Your story has convinced me that it is doable. So I plan to not drink. God willing, i will be around day 75 at time of trip... One of my worries is that I will be "boring" when I was the life of the party at similar trip last year. I think my husband is a little worried too and recently mentioned that i should take a break from not drinking while on the trip. I think I can be fun sober, but if not, so what. My sobriety is worth more. Plus, I will be so close to 90 days at that time, why screw that up...
Thanks all for your posts. They truly mean a lot. Good luck to all today. Let's not drink today no matter what!!!
Mairianna, I just saw your post. My 6 year old was doing the same thing..asking if it was an adult beverage....
Wow, Connor, that was a very moving post!! I'm sorry that you had to go through all of that, but I am so glad you and your wife have the chance to make it right with your kids. Your comments about "losing a child is the worst nightmare of a parent's life" really got me. Brought tears to my eyes. I only have one child, and she's 8 months old, but she is the main motivating factor in my life! I was told for 10 years that I had a condition and would never have kids, so having her, I've felt so blessed. Alcoholism runs rampant in my family, I just lost my mom to it and now am watching my siblings follow in her footsteps. There have been several times that we've gone to a party or had friends over and I just can't drink because I think of that sweet, precious girl that is relying on me and her daddy in every aspect of her young little life right now! I am so thankful I have that willpower, knowing where I come from, and I hope it stays with me. I resented my mom for years because of her drinking, it is very hard not to be embarrassed and frustrated as a child, and you and your wife are awesome for waking up and putting your kids first! Thank you for sharing!!
Good morning to everyone, and have a wonderful day!! Regina, don't give up and don't go away!
Hello all..........starting day 2.........(sigh)............the one thing I definitely notice going back to the beginning is how sluggish and headachy I feel. Did one 1/2 pint of vodka deliver this kind of blow to my system? Sheeeeesh.........
Ryan I fully appreciate you sharing with us how you quit smoking right along with the bottle. I've decided that at some point in this process, the smokes are out the window too. I noticed last week with every sober day, I was thinking "I'll bet I can overcome these nasty things too"
Before I forget, I want to thank you Patrick for starting up this forum. It's a lifeline to me at this point in my life.
Hello all. Not sure where to begin. The volume of posts and incredible insights and sharing here have been very high lately, and I thank all of you for that. I have read some very good advice and sincere and heartfelt sharing of our ups and downs from so many of you.
Day 25 for me today (congrats to you also Ryan). Some of you touched on this, but one thing I have realized is that there are almost two distinct battles to fight....one is obviously not drinking but two is forming a new life, new patterns, new ways of thinking, new ways of opening up, new ways of dam near everything! And while these two battles sometimes are intertwined, other times they are distinctly separate. On days I have struggled to not drink and been tempted, I tend to only fight the "do not drink" battle. On days I feel strong about not drinking and am not tempted, I work on the other things I mentioned. And on some days, they both flow together seamlessly and it feels pretty dam good. Have a great day everyone, and DO NOT take that first drink.
Very good posts again, it's inspiring to read. So many people on different stages of the sober journey. I see a few people are struggling with day 1 repeatedly. It must be very frustrating and I certainly sympathize. I never had too much trouble stopping for extended periods but have never stopped for good(although that is my plan now). Has anyone struggling with stopping for more than a few days considered rehab or detox to at least dry out and get 3 or 4 weeks sober underneath them ? It's a bold move for sure but at least it might give someone a good headstart to permanent sobriety....Just a thought.
Start of day 14 and another 24 hrs.
Good luck today everybody and try to keep the cap on the bottle.
Great strategy, Ryan ... and congratulations on being alcohol AND smoke free!!!
Originally Posted by Ryan
Day 7 ... if I make it through tonight (I will ), then I will officially be 1 week alcohol-free. I never thought it would be possible.
Fingers crossed that I don't blow it!!
Thanks all - happy "Humpday!"