Wow, guys, great discussion. I can so relate to the desire to be a 'normal' drinker. I miss the good parts of my drinking life - yes, there were many good parts - and find the idea of going the rest of my life without a glass of wine overwhelming. BUT, I have quit many times in the past, the longest stretches being 2.5 years and 1 year, and each time I try to be a moderate drinker I fail. I start out slowly but eventually fall right back into being drunk on a daily basis in spite of my well intentioned efforts (and, as Kevin pointed out, it is a great effort) and each time it becomes even harder to attempt sobriety again. My experiments have proven to me that I just can't do it - it's simply easier for me to take it one day at a time and not drink. Theodora, I'm not sure what your experience has been, but I've learned as i go. I'm not advocating that you pick up again (in fact my vote would be to stay the course), but you need to make your own choices. I have to say that I'm grateful not to be drinking now, and I would give a lot to go back 20 years and relive it without the alcohol.
It sounds to me that you may be a little bored.... So your drinking mind is starting to taunt you to have a drink, live a little, spice things up... I am back on day 3, after relapsing for couple months after 70 plus days. What I have learned is that I "think" I would like to drink moderately, when the facts prove otherwise. I really don't like drinking moderately. It is too much trouble. It is easier to just not drink at all.
There has got to be a better way to spice up your life than drinking. One idea is to do something you have always wanted to do, but were afraid to..
Keep posting and thinking this through By writing your thoughts down. All I know for sure is I wish I could go back and Not have that first drink back in October!!! Good luck
To clarify my last post... I wish I could go back and avoid relapse not so much because I haven't been able to drink moderately since then, For the most part I have..but instead because I was so proud of myself when I was not drinking and was exercising regularly. We beat ourselves up so much over all sorts of things that it is nice to have something going on that we can unabashedly pat ourselves on the back for. For me, taking much needed time for myself and my health gave me that,...
Also, drinking just a little messes up my sleep. Just one or two glasses of wine at night equals bad night of sleep. It is truly just not worth it.
Good night folks. End of day three.
Ok, back again. As I finished last post, I realized I had not exercised today..day two of my new exercise challenge. So, I got out of bed (I had planned to go to bed early, nursing a cold), put workout clothes on, and went to the gym and got it done.
Day three of no drinking... Check
Day two of exercise...check.
I am happy, and yes, proud of myself
Anyone interested in joining exercise challenge..join us un thread under water cooler.
Theodora I think if you came to this forum you had some kind of issues with not being able to stop drinking. So maybe it would benefit you to commit to another 3 or 6 months and still don't drink. Give your body and mind more time without alcohol and then decide. Just a thought. I cant drink normal and I give up trying to. There is something that happens to me when alcohol goes in my body that doesn't happen to my husband or my brother or alot of family and friends around me. I process it differently and it becomes so addictive I can't get myself out of it. So its just not worth it any more.
Bdog nice to see you here. Millie, Sally and Mairianna I'm right here with you, one day at a time. Eric congrats on your sobriety as you said this is the longest you have gone without alcohol. Thats awesome. Congrats.
Theodora, I just want to add that from my own experience moderate drinking always led to excessive drinking. I gave up for over a year with my 2nd child and had a wine at a funeral, managed to drink moderately for about a month and then I slipped quickly back into my old ways. She turned 3 a few weeks ago. For me, I have a little trigger in my head that when I have a drink I just want more (I'm sure everyone knows that story). It's so hard to start again. That's just my experience and everyones different. Good luck on whatever you decide
Thank you all for taking the time to discuss this..
First of all, MILLIE you have a point..I AM bored.. It’s been a year since I quit and the novelty has worn off.. The first 3 months were hell and I couldn’t think of anything else but making it sober each day..Then, in April, I realized I could do it so I figured if I can do this I can do anything, so I quit smoking too! All the mental work I had done, and everything I gained from this forum and Patrick’s writing helped me in quitting smoking cold turkey..And then another 3 months of hell to adjust to my smoke-free self..And then in July, I decided to fix my eating habits so I went totally paleo after a month of extreme detox..So now it’s been almost 4 months after starting that and suddenly I am left without any set goal that I can achieve..So I thought I’d go for moderate drinking..Cause I like facing my fears as a challenge, and right now one of my biggest fears is what myself might still be capable of under the influence.. I don’t think I will ever be completely satisfied with myself if I always feel that I’m only good as long as I don’t drink at all! And living with the constant fear of “what if I have one drink?”..
On the other hand I don’t know if this fear combined with all the reasons you have mentioned will ever let me have that first drink.. I guess if I look at the larger picture, living with this fear is better than living with the consequences of my drunk behavior..But I’m worried of what people who meet me now think of me..If it is even close to what I used to think about people who don’t drink, I’m not in a good situation about my future relationships! I’m sure most people in here feel more secure in their decisions if they have a partner/spouse/etc to support them and still be there no matter what their changes might be..
I’m sorry for the length of my posts, and I have to emphasize how much I appreciate your feedback..I hope my concerns are also helpful to some of you too, and that maybe all of us can gain some more insight into our situations through this discussion!
Hey Theodora, just wondering if you'd ever considered that you judged non-drinkers too harshly before you became one? Perhaps instead of worrying that you've become what you always scoffed at, you should be feeling thankful that you had the opportunity to have your eyes opened and realize that not all non-drinkers are the boring people you thought they were. On a related note... you probably don't want to spend your life associating with people who only like you if you're willing to drink. Be an example of how negligible non-drinking is to the person you are!
Yes Kelsey, you're right..I used to judge sober people too harsh, as harsh as I judged myself drunk! And obviously this harshness is a part of myself that alcohol helped to lessen, and that's why I still miss it..
At the same time the people closest to me have always been non-drinkers, the people who I trust and prefer to be around the most..But having identified myself with the opposite crowd for all my life, with the smokers/drinkers/etc, I find myself now not knowing where I stand.. I miss the person I used to be, but I'm also proud of who I've become
And I'm also whining a lot, I think I should stop! The thoughts in my head are so complicated and contradictory, like I'm split in 2, and I don't want to tire or annoy you all, I'm sure everyone has got their own issues to deal with..
I absolutely understand what you are saying. When I quit for 70+ days, I hated the idea that I could NEVER drink again. If someone says never to me, I just get the desire to prove them wrong. I think that was biggest reason why o started drinking again. Over the last couple of months, however, I could feel myself slipping back into old habits and I have come to the conclusion that it is not that I CAN'T drink.. The world didn't end because I relapsed. It is that i choosing not to drink.
I do not know how old you are, but I was single a long time before I got married in my late thirties. I did date a few guys who broke up with me because they thought I drank too much. More often, I broke up with guys because I thought THEY drank too much and were encouraging my bad habits. I also thought nondrinkers were boring and missing out, but am realizing that is just silly. Of course, I have also found that some events I have to go to are barely tolerable with a buzz, and sober they are extremely painful, but that says more about the function than fact that I am not drinking.
If you want to meet the right person to settle down with and have a family, you will want to know they are reliable and responsible. I truly believe only a guy that parties too much and likely has a drinking problem of his own is going to care if you don't drink. The perfect fellow, however, may be concerned if he thinks you drink too much. In this day an age, I still think it is more acceptable for a fellow to be intoxicated than a female.
Interesting questions and I can tell you are struggling. I hope you decide not to drink.
I used to be very shy, and always felt like I was somehow missing out on all the cool, hip, in things that others were doing. I sure used alcohol to try to become someone else... someone sassy and devil-may-care. I am listed on a recording I made in the '80s as "Ruth 'I'll regret it all in the morning' (last name)"! And I thought it was cool! I remember staggering off the dance floor more than once. So, I understand the whole sober people are boring thing. The job for us is to learn how to be our best and most authentic selves. At the end of the day (and by that, I mean the end of life) what matters more? What the other drunks on the dance floor thought of me? Or how I took the opportunity to be real and to learn how to love life just as my own sober self? Not preaching, here, just getting down to it.
I used to think non-drinkers were boring, as well, and I definitely didn't want to be one of them! However, I slowly saw that sitting around a bar all day, while ignoring your family and responsibilities isn't all that exciting in real (sover) life. Sober people were doing things, setting goals and moving forward. I was mainly judging others and justifying my own lame existence. The only thing I was accomplishing was to transition from being the hip regular at the bar to being the wierd old guy who sits by himself at the end. Not drinking will always be a priority for me, but my goal in life is to start working toward and trying all the things drinking was preventing.
Tonight my wife and I are volunteering to serve at a non-profit reception. I suddently realize. This could be trouble.
Last year I cleverly appointed myself master of the wine. Uncorking and serving with aplomb. My own never empty glass cleverly hidden behind the display for inconspicious drinking.
So I need to ready myself. Any support you all can give for this evening is greatly appreciated.
John, think about how good you will feel tomorrow having not had a drop.
Can you offer to do a different job without making it too obvious? I bet it wont be an issue, similar to worrying about not drinking at events, you worry so much about justifying NOT drinking while 'normal' people either do or they dont and nobody bats an eyelid.
Best wishes for your continued success John.
I'm not sure if this is the kind of support you are looking for, but here goes:
In my service club my group does a lot of non-profit bar serving. In Ontario, Canada we have a certification called "Smart Serve". Everyone working the bar needs to be certified. If I, as a "smart server" am caught drinking, the non-profit can loose their liquor license and the bar be shut down. It is easy for me to say 'no thanks' when so much is on the line. Do you have that same kind of control happening in your state? Sorry if this sounds very 'big brother-ish'.
Remember you can draw on the energy of all of us here for strength! There is strength in numbers. Stay strong.
thanks Sally, ain't it the truth! (for me). So much energy.
Originally Posted by Sally
I am in my 7th week of not drinking, and I love that I don't have all those regular things to feel bad about. I'm reading the posts and I'm observing the possibility about the roadblocks ahead, but today I am only focusing on today and hope to get a few more of those together. Thank you all for these inspiring discussions!
I am very new to this site, so I may get confused a bit!! I am 32 and have been drinking since I was 15. I think the longest that I have gone without a drink is a week, and that was a long time ago. Lately I am lucky to go 2 days. I am a mother of 4 small childrenm and I am ready to do this. I have entertained the thought many times before and have never been able to stick with it. I am fed up with being embarassed when I wake up, feeling guilty and depressed all the time. My drinking is starting to affect my children because I am either hungover or drunk and miss out on doing so much with them.
I really hope that I can do it this time.
I have been reading posts on here for a while and decided that this was the place for me as everyone seems so supportive. I like the concept of being a "non-drinker" as opposed to some of the AA analogies.
Hopefully I can stay strong!!!
Hi miller! welcome.. we all need support.
Thank you. There is so much temptation for me to grab a drink during the reception. No one the wiser. That is why I need to express that desire here before it trips me up tonight.
Pearl -- There's no certification that I am aware of. This is all very informal. Maybe I will ask my wife to handle the wine and I will work with the food.
Wish me luck!
Welcome Miller! You have alot of support here. It's great that you recognize that you want to be there for life's greatest gift of children. You are on the right track of being on this forum to move forward with that.
John- I know how you feel. I pour drinks on a daily basis and i just realize that drinking it is not for me anymore. You stay strong and say "no". You will feel better for it.
Theodora, I have never made it as far as you have but I made it to 40 days and then had "just one." I wound up binging again.
I am brushing myself off again too Dragonfly. I had 2 drinks 2 nights ago and managed to stop but have had terrible cravings for more. I know this could lead me to another binge if I am not careful. I am trying to keep busy and positive. I did stop this time after all.
Mairianna I was thinking about you and happy to see you kept posting.
Day 3 tomorrow.