Day 4. Feeling good. Even slep well miraculously. Thank you for the encouragement SunLilly.
Day 4. Feeling good. Even slep well miraculously. Thank you for the encouragement SunLilly.
Mariah and HSN, I just wanted to say hello and welcome both of you to the forum. HSN, it's hard for me to say if you are an alcoholic, but something pulled you in here like it did the rest of us. Some don't care for the label, others are relieved to know what they are so they can get to work on solutions. You don't have to shout it to the world, you can just begin to utilize all the tools at your disposal to help those of us that have issues with our drug of choice. Read through this thread and the How to Stop Drinking thread. There are tons of great people here struggling with the same issues you are facing and winning the battle. There is a great deal of collective wisdom in these threads as well as at the main site; take time to read the articles there as well.
You may not get it right the first time, very few do. There seems to be a process of gaining strength and knowledge from each time you try and fail. Keep at it, never stop quitting, keep posting here as much as possible, find out what your triggers are, such as a certain time of day or place and mix up your routine. You can do it, just keep trying. Take care and glad you are all here.
I don't know what to say. My mind is blank and I feel overwhelmingly sad. Thats all, just sad and scared too.
Today will be day one.
I plan to make this real by telling my husband tonight. That is scary!
I feel so embarrassed to have let this happen. I thought I was smarter than this. I'm a trained addictions counsellor for god sake!! Its not my profession though..
I have been drinking about a 1/2 a mickey of hard stuff every evening for a couple of years now. I thought moving to hard liquor would be cheaper and maybe if I got my buzz from consuming less (as opposed to ciders or beer or wine) I could avoid the weight gain. The dumb lies I told myself!!Thats embarrassing too..
My hubby found a stash of bottles last year. He bought the stupid story I made up about just needing a wee shot before bed to help me sleep. I have hidden most of my drinking from him. He doesn't have a problem with drinking.
I thought I could handle it, could quit anytime. Then next thing I know years have passed and I'm not the person I wanted to be..
I too live in a small town and am too afraid to go public (live meetings) for fear of judgements and ruining my professional standing..
I hope I can participate in this forum for support and guidance.
Well I guess I did have something to say after all...
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” ~ William Arthur Ward
Day 4 sober on a fresh start. Last six months were mostly drinking, with only a few days here and there truly sober. (When I'm drinking I count anythig under five as a good day). Prior to this last using session, I went seven months sober. That's was my best ever, so far. I've managed six months and four months also within the last five years. The in between times were pretty much, full on hard drinking.
I've been reading this site every night for the last 4 nights. It's the first time I've even bothered to look up alcoholism. I even read up on AA literature. Some of their stuff makes sense, but it all has too religious a look to it to me. I think I will at least try a few meeting though.
I am hopeful this time will be the one. I know the odds are stacked the other way, but what is that line in Star War in the asteroid field, "Never tell me the odds"? Anyway, just trying to get some more days in and maybe turn hopeful into cautiously optimistic.
Good for you, Todd- and the odds are stacked on whichever side you put your energy! This is doable, and though it isn't easy, if you wake up each day and dedicate that day to not drinking, you will be surprised that it gets easier and your perspective will get clearer. Welcome!
Jesse, you are amongst friends here and are a welcome addition to this forum. You have a lot to offer here as a trained counselor, it just goes to show that this can happen to anyone. Whether you believe it is a disease or a choice, it is certainly a sick way to live and we all know in our gut that there is more to life than this. I am so impressed that you are already being so honest and I think that will work in your favor. Best of luck to you and I look forward to seeing you around.
Todd, wow, I wish I would have thought of the advice Ruth provided above, it's perfect. I believe she also introduced the concept of kindling here, Google it as the answer will be better than mine. It has to do with relapsing, knowledge is power as they say. I would like to welcome you as well and look forward to hearing about your journey.
Let me invite both of you to read through this thread and the How To Stop Drinking thread, plus any others that appeal to you. Please introduce yourselves in the How To Stop Drinking thread as well, it is the main thread in the alcohol forums. You will meet a bunch of sincere and non-judgmental people here and find a lot of great advice from people fighting the same fight you are. Make time to go to the main site and read Patrick's articles as they are filled with a lot of wisdom as well. Please post as often as you want as it can really help you ride out an urge when they hit. You can do it! Keep trying, keep fighting, keep learning, I promise it gets easier.
A Matter of Priorities
Letting Go of the Little Stuff
When we stop worrying about unimportant matters, we can devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.
We experience numerous disappointments each and every day. Our expectations go unmet, our plans are blocked by circumstance, our wishes go unfulfilled, and we discover that our lives are subject to a myriad of forces beyond our conscious control. In some cases, our response is powerful because we must invest ourselves and our resources to overcome genuine hardship. In others, our reactions are far more passionate than our circumstances likely warrant. The tension that permeates our bodies and minds when we are late for an event, interrupted at work, or sitting in traffic is not inappropriate, but it can interfere with our well-being in profound ways. When we stop worrying about relatively unimportant matters, we can be at peace and devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.
The small frustrations and irritations wield such power over us because they rob us of the illusion of control. But every problem is a potential teacher—a confusing situation is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and difficult people provide us with opportunities to display compassion. There is a natural human tendency to invest copious amounts of emotional energy in minor dilemmas and frustrations in order to avoid confronting those more complex issues that are largely outside the realm of our control. The intensity of our response provides us with a temporary sense of personal power that helps us cope with challenges that might otherwise overwhelm us. But it is only when we let the little stuff go that we discover that the big stuff is not really so devastating after all.
In the stress of a singularly tense incident, differentiating between an inconsequential annoyance and a legitimate challenge can seem a monumental task. Ask yourself whether the emotions you are feeling will be as vivid in a year, a day, or even an hour. As focused as you are on this moment in time, your reward for letting go of your emotional investment may be the very happiness and harmony of being whose loss you are lamenting. Needless aggravation is seldom worth the cost it exacts. You cannot distance yourself from life's inconsistencies, irritations, and upheavals, but you can relinquish your desire for perfect order and gain peace of mind in the process
Keys to changing thinking habits
Develop a mind-set that stays open to all possibilities. Refuse to rule out the ability to use awareness as your primary tool for combating long-held thinking habits. By being open to it, you invite higher awareness in.
Let your mind be at living peace with every circumstance, every person and every thing that comes into your life. Become an observer rather than a demander and notice what happens.
Allow yourself to just experience the ‘isness’ of the moment; that is, what you are feeling is much more helpful than why it isn’t what you think it should be! This involves allowing rather than resisting what is and observing the now without judgments.
‘Contemplation is the highest form of activity.’ – Aristotle. Every discovery of something new involves contemplation. Ponder life’s possibilities rather than that which you think is difficult, or even impossible! Refuse to participate in self-defeating rhythms of thinking.
An essential element toward living life fully is a willingness to accept responsibility for every facet of your own life. Ask yourself if you are willing to stop blaming external factors, other people or conditions as stopping you from fulfilling your own highest destiny!
The mere presence of passion for life within you – and the enthusiasm which comes with it – is all you need to fulfil your dreams! If you have passion, there is no need for excuses, because your enthusiasm will trump any reasoning you might come up with.
A woman finds a precious stone on the banks of a river; she puts the highly valued gem in her bag. The next day, a hungry traveller asks her for something to eat. She reaches into her bag for a crust of bread and the traveller sees the precious stone and imagined the financial security it would bring him. He asks the woman if she would give the treasure to him, and she does, along with some food. A few days later the traveller returns and handed the stone back to the woman. He says ‘I know how valuable this is, but I’m returning it to you in the hope that you could give me something that is even more precious.’. ‘What would that be?’, the woman enquires. ‘Please give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me that stone.’. Compassion is the single most important quality for humanity! When you become conscious of wanting to be compassionate to others, you move to a higher way of being.
‘Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Never overestimate your power to change others.’. – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
A Moment of Choice
We can choose to start over in this very moment, there is no need to wait for a new year or a new month or a new week.
There are times in our lives that lend themselves to starting something new. The beginning of a new year, finishing school, leaving a job, or changing homes—these all are times that turn our minds to fresh starts. Their advantage is that they bring with them the energy of that event, creating a tide of change around them that we can ride to our next shoreline. But we can choose to start anew anytime. In any moment we can decide that a bad day or a relationship that’s gotten off on the wrong foot can be started again. It is a mental shift that allows us to clean the slate and approach anything with fresh eyes, and we can make that choice at any time.
Starting new is most powerful when we focus our attention to what we are choosing to create. Giving all of our attention to the unwanted aspects of our lives allows what we resist to persist. We need to remember to leave enough room in the process of new beginnings to be kind to ourselves, because it takes time to become accustomed to anything new, no matter how much we like it. There is no need to get down on ourselves if we don’t reach our new goals instantly. Instead, we acknowledge the forward motion and choose to reset and start again, knowing that with each choice we learn, grow, and move forward.
Making the choice to start anew has its own energy—it’s a promise made to you. The forward momentum creates a sort of vacuum behind it, pulling toward you all you need to help you continue moving in your chosen direction. Once the journey has begun, it may take unexpected turns, but it never really ends. Like cycles in nature, there are periods of obvious growth and periods of dormancy that signal a time of waiting for the right moment to burst forth. Each time we choose to start anew we dedicate ourselves to becoming the best we are able to be.
This is going to be hard for me, but I want to be honest and start my road to recovery.
My day one started last week. i failed two days later. I am so ready now to stop drinking. I have all of the 'tools' in place except for knowing how to beat the demon in me that wants a drink!
Each and every morning I wake up feeling guilty, with dread, promising myself that this going to be it and I will finally stop. Halfway through the day at work, it seems somehow less important not to have a drink. The same old patten that continues.
im in my mid twenties and have been drinking over a year - yes i know a much shorter time period than others. but like most, it started with wine to relax after work, this quickly changed to rum/brandy/whisky to 'save calories' each and every single night i go to bed drunk. for the last few months, i have been drinking in the mornings on my days off. today, it was 10.30 when i had my drink! BUT something happened this morning....I was heading to an appointment and was stressed whilst waiting for my taxi to take me to the train station, so I had a drink to 'calm' me down. The moment I did it, I hated it. Hated it. I felt ill and hated myself for doing it.
Traditionally I have always said that 'if ive had a drink, i'll drink for the rest of the day and quit tomorrow' but today, the moment I had it, I knew that that was my last drink.
Im now fully sober (lets face it one drink is never enough is it)
I am now ready to start living again.
BUT these are my fears and I hope I can have some help with them:
1. As silly as it sounds, im fearful about the boredom. I will have all of the extra time and unlike when i am drinking, my mind does not switch off. I am not into meditation so any other tips would be grateful
2. Ive noticed that my 'hot spots' for times during the days when i want to drink are mostly around 4 - 6pm. When the craving comes, it becomes so so so easy to justify having a drink. How the hell do I overcome the metal cravings (I can deal with the phsycial)
Thank you for listening
I've drank out of boredom before. What did you used to do with your time before you started drinking? I think finding replacement behaviors to drinking is critical for recovery, at least ongoing long term. I'm starting day 1 today too, so I guess we have some self reflecting to do and make a plan. Others have said it and I agree, journaling helps alot!
Last edited by Dreamweaver; 04-06-2012 at 07:25 PM.
I was around 25, the first time Ithought about stopping. I'm 44 now and still trying to stop. It doesn't matter your age, how much you drink or for how long. Addiction is addiction. It doesn't care. If you can stop now, so much the better.
Good luck on your path to sobriety,
Newstart, congratulations on your decision to do something about your drinking. I can completely relate to your concern about the boredom. You need to find something to do to fill that time. They say bored people are boring people, I struggled to admit that I had let alcohol fill my free time in order to numb myself from having to deal with reality. When I started being honest, I found tons of things to do, work out, take a class, join a club that does something you are interested in, make your own list of the things you want to accomplish in life and get to work on them right away. Write them down and break each one down into bite sized pieces.
We all have our own "witching hour" that we normally scheduled our drinking around also. Mine was the same time as yours and I had to make sure I had other things to do during that time until the urge went away. I have read that most urges only last around thirty minutes or less and the important thing is to expect them to come. When you expect them you can make plans in advance to deal with them. Go for a walk, brush your teeth, drink a lot of water, eat, make a phone call, COME HERE AND POST when you get an urge to drink.
I found this video a couple of weeks ago and it is perfect for you and everyone really. It's titled "10 Tips To Quit Drinking Alcohol": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElYY...eature=related
Good luck and let us know how you are doing often. Also, introduce yourself at the main thread "How To Stop Drinking." One last thing, welcome aboard!
Newstart14, I also tried to quit in my mid 20s and never made it. If I am honest, I'd have to say that I just could not face a life time of sobriety. It seemed so long and I saw all of my friends drinking with what seemed to be impunity. I have learned two things that were very important for sobriety. The first is that I only have to stay sober today, not forever, and developing that perspective has been very important. It breaks the problem into manageable chunks and it dispels the "life time sentence." The second is that I cannot judge the drinking of other people. Even though they may seem to be having fun, it just might be that they are suffering like I was and also trying to quit...or maybe not. It doesn't matter. It only matters what impact drinking has on me (Am I happy with it? Is it impacting my health? Does my drinking prevent my from being who I want to be?). I am now 45 and trying to quit again. I gave up trying to quit in my late 20s and did not start again until recently. My alcoholism never got better and I lost a lot of time because of it.
Dealing with boredom is always a big issue. For myself, I think it is more a fear of success than a fear of boredom. With all the extra time, I can actually do more and start achieving things. I can no longer sit around in an alcoholic haze and blame others for whatever is bothering me. The funny thing is that once success starts coming, then a new social life starts building for you and building on your terms. Success can be with a job, or a hobby, or being a good parent, anything. I will admit that I used AA in the early stages primarily for the social aspects. There are other groups that can be used to socialize, of course. The big danger for me is that these other 'non-sobriety' groups may involve normal drinking, which is so appealling to me. The illusion that I will someday drink normally is my stumbling block.
In active drinking and early sobriety, everything was a trigger for. It could have been a certain time, an event, a feeling, a type of food, the weather, a song, etc. In early sobriety, overcoming the mental craving and obsession is perhaps the greatest challenge. Patrick has an article on early sobriety that is very good, although it has been moved off the front page. I eventually recognized those cravings as the addiction speaking, trying to do anything to get me to pick up the next drink. I became angry at that voice and willing to do anything to beat it. The easiest way to beat it is to make a daily committment to not drink, no matter what. I write here to see how others are dealing with the uncomfortable aspects of early sobriety, or go to meetings. This is what works for me. Good luck!
Lots of good points. Each time I fell back into the binge patterns lately, its cause I started to get lazy on the other activities, get busy with other stuff and stressed and etc. I have to stay on top of the game and always planning and not listen to the "beast" or "witch" that says, c'mon, just one.
Ready for Change
Declaring Our Intentions
If you are feeling stuck in your life and are ready for change, take time to declare to the Universe that you are ready.
There comes a point in most of our lives when we feel ready to experience a change we’ve had trouble carrying out. Maybe we’ve been stuck in a home, a relationship, job, or a town that hasn’t felt right for a long time, but we’ve been unable to shift our circumstances in the direction we want to go. At times like this, it can help to declare to the universe that we are ready for a change. Think of it as informing a helpful friend that you need her assistance to move to the next level in your life. If the time is right, the universe will respond with opportunities and offers designed to help you create the change you wish to see.
You can begin the process of making your declaration by getting clear within yourself about what exactly you want to change. Whenever we ask anyone for help, they can assist us that much better if we are specific. The universe also appreciates our clarity and has an easier time answering a direct communication than a vague yearning. When you are clear on what you want, write your declaration on a piece of paper and place it on your altar, if you have one. If you don’t, you can also place it under your pillow or in a box on your nightstand. Set aside a period of time every day to be silent with your wishes for change, repeating your declaration like a mantra. This lets the universe know that you are ready to change and will be receptive to its efforts.
Feel free to continue to refine and redefine your declaration, and remember to be open to the many different ways in which the change you seek might come to be. Remember also to be active in your own efforts, taking opportunities that come your way, watching for signs, and always taking responsibility for your intentions. If things don’t happen quickly, try not to be discouraged; it might take time to free up energy that has been blocked and possibly serving a purpose beyond what we can understand. If you continue your conversation with the universe, declaring yourself clearly and openly, you cannot help but experience the magic of changing and being changed.
I'm so happy to have found this site! I really struggle with not drinking once the weekend comes around. I want so badly to eliminate alcohol from my life completely but when the weekend gets here i find myself in a battle with my own head. My first goal is to make it to that 30 day mark and I hope I can find support here.
I loved your post thank you so much for sharing, I see a lot of myself in here.