Dragonfly, great post, my memory is too shot to do one like that. . I've thought of another 30 day challenge.. Write a handwritten note to someone each day. A friend and I were recently talking about the lost art of letter writing..
Thanks carol. I just wish I could type a post without 500 errors. I am too tired to try and edit it any more.
Good grief, I even had to edit this one.
Hi all - thank you for your posts. It's great to see the conversation go around and always end up in a place where everyone supports each other - no matter what! We have to be able to be honest on this forum. And be able to give our two cents in the spirit of helping others.
Do any of you know anyone who had a drinking problem and can now drink socially? It seems like if our bodies and minds have addictive tendencies, then we're always going to be susceptible. And we shouldn't trade one addiction for another. It's about numbing the feelings and running away from real life. But it's very hard to face real feelings sober and to face real life sober. You know you could soothe those feelings "easily" with alcohol. But every day, every minute, you have to make the decision to deal with life without the crutch. Head-on! Raw! Here I am, life! This is it! Bring it!!
Ah, this forum is wonderful. Thank you for listening and commenting. And Bill, I thought of your comment the other night about how dealing with life is taking up your time now that alcohol is out of the mix. I read my daughter a story and tucked her in, being present in the moment. Here's to Italian meals with club soda and lime...and some good decaf coffee for dessert.
Sally and others, great posts. Sally, I cut and pasted your quote, "I eventually landed back in hell," to my calendar so it can remind me how easy it can be to go back there. 29 days today.
I will walk by peace.......even when I cannot see.............
I haven't wanted to post because I feared if I failed AGAIN, I didn't want to admit it. Well, that is setting myself up so here I am! :-)
I wondered if those of you with a bit of time could share what you did your first week or two. How did you take care of yourself? How did you deal with feeling crappy? I know I need structure. I work full-time and even though I have children, I feel really out of sorts after work and on the weekends when my time is unstructured. I will either drink or sleep (to escape drinking.) Any suggestions?
Regina, I am just at 6 weeks. In the beginning, I slept a lot!!!! As soon as kids were to ed, so was I. For the last two weeks, I have been exercising... Do you have any hobbies like knitting or beading? I found keeping hands busy helps, too.
Regina, thank you for posting! Good question. Here are a some thoughts and hopefully others will chime in. I hope this isn't too rambly. If there were a simple easy answer, we'd all give the A,B,Cs. Other than "just don't drink" which of course is the simple easy answer. Just hard to do.
If your husband drinks and you are quitting with booze still in the house, you need to get advice from someone else. My husband rarely drinks, never at home. I didn't keep booze in the house because I would drink everything I had on hand, so I had to go out and get it every day. One key change I made was to not go out to do any errands after noon. I was strong in the morning, but that dissipated as the day went on. I didn't go to the store in the afternoon until I was well past 30 days; couldn't trust myself. That meant I had to plan ahead what I was going to be preparing for dinner so I didn't have to make any last minute trips; maybe you already do this so you're a step ahead there.
I read Patrick's basic "How to Quit Drinking" and tried to use it. Simple? Powerful!!
What did I do the first few days? I read the blogs. This forum was just getting started but there are 2 previous blogs. I started at the beginning and read every night until I made it through them all. I was compulsive about it; to start from the beginning I had to use "back" on my browser a gazillion times, but hey it was better than drinking. And there were so many great posts. I was inspired by not just the "good" ones but by the people struggling because I could see myself in them. (If you need the links, you can find them at my post #49.)
There's a thread on non-alcoholic drinks; take a look and get some that sound good so you have something to drink.
I also posted here at least once a day, sometimes more than once.
Here are a couple of posts from the old blog that really helped me:
Bill S, Jan. 10: "I am really in a trap with this stuff. Itís 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 thatís exactly what Iím 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. Iím going to find that goodness again. Iím done poisoning myself. Iím just done. . . I feel no sense of deprivation; I feel only a wonderful freedom from the claws of that frickiní 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 Iím having in my victory, and that he can just kiss my a**. . . Donít make it more complicated than it needs to be !! Just tell the monster that youíre gonna kick his butt, and that youíre gonna enjoy every minute of watching him flopping around, hoppiní mad that you beat him, that you broke out of the cage he had you in and threw him in there instead."
JPVD 12/7/09: ďMy two cents on quitting drinking:
- break Ďdrinkingí 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, donít go."
-be prepared for the Ďboredomí: drinking was a hobby, take it away and it seems like you have nothing to doÖ 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 Ďdrinkingí time.
- be honest with your partner: if you donít tell them you want to stop drinking, then you really donít want to stop"
By the way, I didn't tell my husband, although that does sound like good advice. You'll see that some of us did and some of us didn't.
Two more things. First, to the maximum extent possible, if there was something I didn't want to do, I just didn't do it. My kids are out of the house, so that helps. Second, if I wanted to eat something - like ice cream! - I ate it. I figured I could always diet later.
OK, enough for now. Hopefully some of that helps. I think one important idea is that it isn't "magical". On the one hand, having a drink starts with a thought and if we can keep it a thought and not act, we have succeeded. On the other, wishing doesn't make it so. It takes action. (Again, see Patrick's article.)
Regina-Carol had a lot of good suggestions. And like she said there is no magic wand to replace drinking, you have to discover for yourself what works for you.
I found that I did alot of decluttering in my house, cleaning closets that have not been touched for awhile, just freshioning up little things around the house.
Puzzles always helped me to keep my mind busy and would be a challenge for me.
Or just plain old just relaxing with some candles, a good movie or a book. If you get bored and have thoughts of drinking, go outside or go for a walk. Being physical helps too.
A drink starts with a thought and if the thought continues, it may be danger.
Carol- great post. I love the quote from Bill S. I've never gone back to the start and read all of the older posts but now I think I should. The more good advice the better.
For myself I know that moderate drinking will never be an option. When I was pregnant with my second child I gave up drinking for the pregnancy and then roughly 3 months after- which was basicallly 1 whole sober year and I felt great! Then I went to a friends mother's funeral and caught up with a few friends I hadn't seen for some time. I had a wine for old time's sake and within a week I was back to the same old drinking habits as before. That was nearly 3 years ago and looking back it makes me so sad to think I let that happen and wasted so much time. I've got an engagement party this weekeend and I know just a sip of champagne will click that switch in my head. I can't let that happen.
Regina, I wish I had some advice for you. Everyone else here seems so full of wisdom and I feel like I'm floundering. This is Day 12 for me and eventhough I do feel somewhat liberated that I'm not having to hide my drinking it really has been difficult. I have 2 young children and my work commitments have doubled for the next few weeks and the tiredness is killing me. What's got me through though is focusing on what I want my life to be and who I want to be. Living with alcohol is living a half life and life is too short and precious for that. I'm having to take it one day at a time and focus on all the other simple and good things in life. And I'm really trying to make time for myself and treat myself like I would a friend. As the days pass I'm sure it's getting easier.
Welcome Kevin2. If you can give up cigarettes and marijuana you are capable of anything! I'm giving up ciggies along with alcohol because for me they go hand in hand.
I've heard you should tackle one addiction at a time but that has never worked for me. Good luck with your venture
Dragonfly- just looking at your comment about your vegies. My vegie garden is one thing that I love that takes my mind off any unwanted urges. It's coming into Spring here so it's a very exciting time! My vegie patch is coming alive and I have it full to the brim. I'm always excited when I hear of other keen gardeners!
Nicolelee - please don't take my post as being aimed at you - there were others that made comments about taking "sips" or "drinks" - your post just added to all the others I had been reading. I think Millie summed it up best - all of the posts reminded me of me - convincing myself (once more) that I could have just 1 every now and then....which I could...but it never lasted. I was just trying to convey that with me it always led back to the point of no return. You are doing great - sorry if I upset you - big hugs - and lots of love your way :]
Regina - I spent my first two weeks making lists of all the things I wanted to do (that I had been bitching and blaming my drinking on) so i started doing them. I cleaned cupboards, I cleaned bathrooms, I cleaned the dogs (lol), I fixed stuff ... And I had tons of energy the first couple weeks, it was the 3rd and 4th that brought me down - which is when I did what Carol did - I pampered my self - I took naps, I ate what I wanted, did what I wanted, read the posts bigtime, posted bigtime, bought tons of books online that pertained to what I was going thru. Fortunately for me my kids are grown - but I remember how demanding the little ones can be. Oh - and I listened to my daughter whenever I started to hyperventilate, she always told me "Breathe mom, just breathe" :]
Good job Vic and frog - WOW - did you ever think you would make it so far!! WOOT WOOT!! And congrats to everyone else...I am too tired to go back and find out whose on what day - so best wishes - you are all so strong and beautiful - you can do this :] (Dragonfly you are doing great - loved your post - you are #1 right now, nobody else - yes!!
Oh - and welcome Kevin2 - good luck on your venture - as everyone else has said - you are in the right place if you want to quit - an AMAZING group of people on here - without whom I would not be where I am today - alcohol free - YES!!!
Last edited by Sally; 08-30-2011 at 07:25 PM.
Dragonfly, you certainly reach out to everyone and I'm sure your wisdom has touched more than just me. I'm down on the south-east coast of Australia where the weather is temperate and everything grows well. I'm also a horticulturalist and my spare time also is in the garden. On my sobriety journey I've really been throwing myself into it and the garden has never looked better. I think it's so important to have interests that you love and can immerse yourself in to keep away those idle times that can lead to relapse.
I must say again to all, thankyou. I'm only in my early days of sobriety (day 12) but this forum has helped more than I can say. Each story is different yet similar in so many ways. It's so very comforting.
Awesome posts everyone. Wow.
Dragonfly and Rosella, I had lots of energy my first couple of weeks and then crashed. The third and fourth weeks were the hardest and most exhausting for me. I couldn't believe the extreme exhaustion I was feeling. Dragonfly, keeping busy and exercising may help you get through it, but be kind to yourself too. I think your body is still healing.
Dragonfly, my biggest issue was binge drinking, too. I wasn't even doing it on purpose, but after a few drinks or so, I would get to a point where I started drinking faster and wanted to drink everything in sight and could not stop. I used to describe it as I just didn't have the button inside that would keep most folks from drinking too much (they reached a point where they knew they had had enough and would switch to water, etc. Or would go home or to bed...).
Last edited by Millie; 08-31-2011 at 04:53 AM.
By the way, this forum is helping me tremendously. This forum! I don't think just any forum on stopping drinking would have helped. I had checked out other ones. It is the folks that have gravitated to this one....all of you... That have made the difference. I would love to meet everyone in person one day. Lol
Last edited by Millie; 08-31-2011 at 05:02 AM.
Peter.. Report in. How are you?
Really great posts lately and lots of sage advice by everyone.
Rosella you nailed it when you said "Living with alcohol is living a half life and life is too short and precious for that."
Such a powerful and truthful statement.
Day 35 and as the saying goes keep on keeping on gang.
Thanks for the encouraging words rosella,....I needed it. For everyone in your various stages of sobriety, from a few days to a few months congratulations and stay strong. For me, I drank last night,...and let me say to each of you, be so thankful that you aren't dealing with the feelings that I have this morning. Hangovers for me aren't physical with headaches etc., just awful feelings of guilt and anxiety,..even though I rarely ever do anything regretful when I drink. That is hard for me to explain and understand. Until a couple of years ago, I didn't have these feelings,...even though I was drinking substantually more then than I do now. Maybe it is part of getting older (just turned 40),..or maybe it has something to do with my kids (ages 3,5,7, and 9) or maybe it's just God's way of pushing me closer to quitting all together. Whatever it is, I'm just glad that I found this forum. Just typing this post makes me feel better. Be proud of yourselves folks and have a great day!
Where is everyone today?? I apologize if my joining yesterday ran everyone off ;-)
Kevin - Welcome to your 40s and may I say from experience the hellish psychological toll of drinking got worse each year after I turned 40.
Physically speaking, like yourself I could still drink with no headaches, nausea or much physical discomfort but the psychological hangovers are now MASSIVE....HUGE depression,guilt and hopelessness sets in after every drinking session. I personally could no longer handle it and had to let it go and find another way to live. Do whatever it takes to avoid drinking and I firmly believe you will feel much better between the ears.
Bill - The rush I originally get from not drinking does dissipate after a while as well but the other payoffs as we maintain sobriety are nice gifts. Hang in there for I truely believe the sober way is the best way for all of us.
Vic,..thanks,..and I definitly know what you are saying. That is one thing that I really never knew about alcohol and hangovers. I always thought a hangover was nothing more than physical,..headache etc. I now know that is not true at all, and as you say the psychological part of it is far worse than anything physical. I also find that it gets progressivly worse the more days in a row that I drink. I really try hard not to drink more than 2 days in a row,...and not even 2 days in a row if I can help it (which doesn't always happen). This seems to help but it's getting to where it is just not worth it anymore. I spend so much time and mental-energy planning,...trying to dicipline myself and "control it" etc., it's like I spend 90% of my time thinking/obsessing about it. It's just not good. Thanks for being there bro'