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Days 2 and 3 – Don’t Get Too Exited….

I got through last night thanks to one vitamin water, diet ginger ale, mint tea, water, more stinkin tea, a handful of cheezies, two oranges, more water and finally a melatonin to put me to sleep.  When it was really getting to me, I did 30 minutes on the eliptical and gave myself some “FUN!” choices with the oranges – I peeled them instead of cutting them. Wow, good times. (I caught my husband looking at my mug a little funny, like he expected maybe I had my wine in a mug instead of a glass. He does not know I have quit drinking and must be wondering where my ever present wine glass has gone.)

Like I said, I’ve made it to this point a few times before.  It’s pretty easy to remember not to drink when on a quiet weeknight, especially with no white wine in the house. No stress (big trigger), company (must be a good hostess!), or celebrations (how can you celebrate with herbal tea?).

The real challenge will come this weekend.  We are off on a family ski trip and that means beer served at lunch (which I usually resist anyhow), 4 pm happy hour, which leads into wine with dinner, and nightcaps in the hottub.  Usually a ski weekend means I have 6 or 8 drinks a day, instead of my usual 3 to 5.

My husband always contends that as long as you pace yourself at 1 drink per hour, you don’t get drunk.  This is true, I find. I would normally drink wine from about 5 pm – 11 pm, and could easily enjoy 5 glasses and not be drunk.

Just pickled.

It should be noted that when my husband mentions this 1/hour guideline, he is referring to having a light beer or two on the golf course, and not my evening marinade.

I have been planning two trips – a romantic weekend away with my husband in May and a girls’ getaway in June.  Both have me anxious about maintaining my cover as a new secret NON DRINKER. How is THAT going to fly? Romantic weekends mean candlelit dinners (with wine) and jazz music (and wine) and wine and wine and more wine. Girls weekends mean cocktails and laughter.

And I don’t want to stop them from enjoying that. I don’t.  It is going to take a lot of strength to learn to be around open alcohol and not have it. To be handed and drink and not drink it.

Strategies, anyone?  Remember, I don’t want to make a big “I’m not drinking” announcement, and don’t want to be a fun-sucker. For now, I’d rather it go unnoticed.

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About UnPickled

I am learning to walk without the crutch of alcohol. As I begin I am 1 day sober. Gulp. I drank in private and hope to quit just as privately. The purpose of this blog is to help make me accountable - just by following you will give me enormous support and encouragement.

Posted on March 22, 2011, in Getting Sober. Bookmark the permalink. 63 Comments.

  1. Hello,

    I am new to this experience and tripped across this site a few months ago in search of a way to help me stop drinking. I had been reading it a while and I received emails but ignored them. I think that this year I have had drinks 90 percent of the days and I am just tired of the routine. Scary…I need some place to turn and hope this is the place. I attended a few AA meetings which were nice but not for me.
    Sincerely,
    Tired

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    • i just found this site today. i am hoping it helps me, as AA meetings have not worked. i am on day one.

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      • It’s a common misconception that going to AA meetings will get you sober. For a lot of people the meetings help, but what actually gets and keeps people sober is working the 12 steps.

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  2. I came to see I cant drink if I really want to help my life. 26 years married started drinking as fun at age 35 I can say. Now at age 46 its time to change. I have 2 whiskies a night . My husband much more ( in rehab now) drinking then I liked. I think I started to drink just so I cant smell him in bed. Dose that make sense? I know I can do with ought a drink as I had to for 2 weeks a few months ago ( was on heavy meds). Sooo now I say im done and hope the best for both of us to start smiling at night!! Holding hands and kissing ! Drinking I see was never fun for eather one of us as his drinking got out of control . Today is day 1 for me home and his day 1 in rehab.
    Good luck to us and all of us.
    Namaste

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  3. Hello Unpickled – I relate to your desire (3 years back) to quit secretly, as you wined secretly. That’s me. I have stopped for months at a time, a few times, but never saying its forever, I don’t have to think all the times are failures. Such tricky magical thinking, eh? I have been blogging a few months, but keeping it secret, it has not been as supportive as I might like. So, I am boldly commenting on others now, in hopes of finding more support. I know we don’t have time for more blog reading, but should you want to peak and offer any words of wisdom, you can find me at throwingwordsdown.wordpress.com. Thanks for your bravery and continuing to blog even 3 years down the road.

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  4. And I will keep up with your blog- I didn’t see a ‘follow this blog’ link, but I’ll keep checking back:)

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  5. I just found your blog and I know I’m going to need to read more. I am on day 5 without drinking. I’m a single mom of two teenagers and after my divorce 10 years ago I began to drink more to cope with stress, loneliness, and some depression. I went to grad school right after my divorce and since have worked helping others. My drinking slowly increased and a couple of years ago I began trying to stop, trying to cut down, trying to stop obsessing over drinking. I drank about a bottle or so of wine per night, sometimes other drinks depending on what was happening, and wine always disrupted my sleep. I threw away the bottles and pushed them to the bottom of the trash so I wasn’t reminded that I just was sitting home alone again drinking a bottle by myself. I can say I feel so shitty right now and I’m praying that this high intensity anxiety feeling will leave my body soon. I do feel quite isolated and lonely so I’m hoping to connect with some people in the blogging world (which is all new to me) to talk with. When I feel a tad bit more grounded, I may start a blog myself-or start writing in the one I have set up when I figure out how to manage it. This will help me stay accountable which I know I need very much. But, truthfully, I’m still at the stage of wrestling in my head regarding my decision- like which is worse, feeling so tense I feel like I can’t take a normal breath, or just drinking. I know I need to remain a non-drinker, so I’m doing everything in my power to keep doing what’s right. Thank you for being here and for listening. Going to exercise!

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    • You could really use some encouragement and support. You won’t believe the difference it makes to know you are not alone. It is fabulous that you are reaching out and you should keep it up! Would you consider going to a meeting so that you could meet some recovery people?

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      • Thank you for you response:) I’ve gone to meetings before but I can’t see going back. Definitely not anonymous enough, but did find such warmth from people. Today is a better day, and yesterday was good too. I’m reaching out by writing on people’s blogs and reading their stories. Thank you for being here!

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    • Hello Mallards4us, I totally know what you are going through. While our situations are different, I too am trying to quit drinking. I found myself drinking similar quantities of alcohol and would wake up the next day completely disgusted with myself. I am on day 3 right now, so no big accomplishments yet, but each day is one for me. You posted this a month ago, so I am hoping you are still on your journey.

      I started a blog about mine at http://www.running-sober.com if you need to get in touch or chat.

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      • Thank you for your comment jdizzy! I really appreciate the support! And yes, day 3 is a BIG accomplishment- believe me- we all know that! Great job! Yes, I’m still sober, day 32:) It’s been difficult, and to try to get more support and record my journey I also started writing in my blog this last weekend. I will keep in touch, please do the same. Keep going, it’s people like you and this blogging that help me keep going in so many ways! xo

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      • And I’ll keep up with your blog, I didn’t see a ‘follow this blog’ link but I will keep checking back:)

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    • Hey there! I could have written the above post as it really describes how I’m feeling right now. I found this blog today and it is my Day 1 (again) and I’m determined the last day 1. I am in the health industry and so I feel particularly ashamed that I have gotten to the point of drinking 1-2 bottles of wine most days of the week, I have trouble getting out of bed cause I feel so depressed and tired and the only thing that gets me out of it is having to shower and go to work. I am married with a teenage daughter and son with his own little family now. My biggest fear is my granddaughter growing up and thinking her Nan’s a drunk!
      Most of the doctors in town are people I work with so it is difficult for me to ask them for support, I don’t want them to think differently of me or question my ability at work- AA terrifies me for the same reason. Also I’m only new to the town – 18mths ago and apart from work colleagues I haven’t really made many close friends. My best friend move to another state 5 yrs ago and has made an amazing life- again I feel ashamed that I’m here, like this. People say that depression and addiction happens cause strong people try to stay strong for too long. If that’s the case then I agree- I have been through some very hard times over the years and always tried to stay strong and be strong for others until I lost my very fit Dad to cancer 5 yrs ago. 12 months before that I ran out onto a hockey field to help a man that had collapsed and he eventually died and the family were after my blood- I felt I couldn’t show my face and the guilt of not saving him that day has been enormous. When dad died I thought I deserved it and my drinking escalated badly after that. I realise if I continue like this I will lose everything- respect of my family, my job, my income and worst of all -I will lose just another slice more of myself. I’m hoping this blog will help and be my support- cause my family don’t believe me now when I say I’m gonna cut down so I don’t say it and cutting down is not an option for me now I don’t think. I’m just worried about the withdrawals- but I will try some of the things mentioned here on this blog
      Thanks

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      • What a courageous woman you are, Debbie, to be there to assist this gentleman. It is a shame his family chose to criticize rather than thank you for your kindness and for being by his side when he passed.

        I am so glad I found this wonderful blog today. My drinking pattern is much like yours but has gone on for many, many more years. I am on Day 7 today for the millionth time. I so want this time to be the one that lasts forever.

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  6. I woke up on Monday Morning and threw up…after a heavier than ‘normal’ night before…I am now on day 3 without alcohol and have given myself a challenge to do a ‘sober May’ to raise money for a friend’s animal rescue……I have outed this as a Facebook event…there is no going back now…..
    Your Days 2 & 3 blog made me smile because last night I drank juice, water, coffee and hula hooped. There is definitely energy returning where before opening a bottle of wine signified a stop to the day……

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  7. Unpickled,
    It looks like you have heard this before, but I have been struggling. I must admit that I felt alone before reading that there are others also going through this. I was sober for 8 days (longest sobriety in about half my life) until a near death incident got the better of me. I always thought it was okay if no one could tell or that I out performed others at work, but my daughter deserves better.
    I’m going to keep trying,
    thank you and keep being what I look up to
    -D

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  8. The Lone Pickle

    Hi All! Just wanted to “check in” on my 32nd day sober! This is the longest I have ever been sober since college (when I started drinking 1978). I have stopped drinking for a month in the past just to proove to myself that I could do it (that I wasn’t an alcoholic!!). This is the first time that I’ve stopped drinking because…well…I’m not a normie and I am being truthful about that for the first time in my life.

    I feel absolutely wonderful – other than the usual! I live in the East (US) and we have had an unbelievably cold, cold winter. I have fibromyalgia and the cold weather exaserbates the pain. So when I initially stopped drinking, I could not be sure how many of my aches were from fibromyalgia and how many may have been from sobriety. I think my only “real” symptom from becoming sober was being so tired all of the time!!

    I guess this sounds crazy, but I feel guilty because I don’t seem to be struggling with temptations like so many of you have described. There have been a few times when I thought a drink would be nice but then I make myself think of something else and the thought goes away. So far (yes, I realize I’m still new at this), it seems that I truly drank out of habit. I do wonder if that will change as time goes on – we’ll see…..

    I have been listening to the The Bubble Hour and really enjoy it. Mrs. D. was on this past Sunday and she was great! She used a term that has helped me so much. She describes feeling “flat.” That is a perfect description of how a felt a few days this past month. When I felt that way, my first thought was, “Oh no, is this how it feel before you fall of the wagon.” I was a little concerned! But after hearing Mrs. D. describing her “flat” days, I now realize that it’s all part of the process. And then I thought…afterall, even a non-drinker has flat days I’m sure!!

    Thanks for listening 🙂

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    • Hey there LP – wonderful that you are continuing steadily along and also wonderful of you to share your journey with us here. We feel so alone and it is such a refreshing awakening to see that we are all so much the same, right?

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  9. I love this site!! I had no idea all of you were out there. I found you today…my 21st day of sobriety 🙂 I’ve wanted to become sober for a long, long time! I’m a high functioning “apple” which has been my biggest obstacle. I seem to have the rest of my life on track so I’ve finally decided to commit my life to being sober. I’m doing well but for some reason, tonight I feel like crying…I’m not sure why. Thank you so very much for all of your comments – I need them!

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    • I am so glad you found your way here. You are not alone! So so many have travelled this road before us, so many will follow behind. Are you involved in any programs? Meeting others like yourself is one of the greatest gifts you could give yourself. I also suggest you check out a podcast I’m involved in called The Bubble Hour. We tape an hour-long conversation every Sunday night and you can download and listen while you drive, exercise, whatever. I got involved in this show because it was such a huge help to me in my recovery and I wanted to pay it forward. There is just something so soothing in hearing the voices of people “like me” – it is important to know that what has happened to you is a normal progression (unhealthy but normal) and that there is a way forward. We laugh a lot on the show – unbelievable when I remember thinking that I might never ever laugh again if i quit drinking!

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      • That’s what I thought – how boring if you can’t drink, how sad. That’s so ridiculous because I’m usually the one laughing and joking around anyway without alcohol. I guess it’s the fact that you’re being denied something. But what I’m gaining is so much greater and o realize I’m not being denied, I’m being liberated!

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  10. This is day 8. I drank myself sick on two bottles of red a week ago yesterday and I’ve spent the week reading blogs about people just like me who have a relationship with wine. I’m 64 and new to the drink … didn’t discover wine until 10 years ago … and I’m learning that I use alcohol to fight loneliness. My friends are all focused on their grandchildren and my kid doesn’t want to be a mom so my cycle of life isn’t going to repeat itself. I come home from work, pour a glass of wine like The Good Wife and sip until I sleep. I’m actually poisoning myself slowly … day after day and Day 8 makes me feel proud of myself but uncertain about how long I can continue to manufacture things to do besides drink to fill me up emotionally.

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  11. I have been reading a lot of blogs and stories about getting sober and how drinking has affected peoples lives but I have yet to read even one about the tragedy, jail, loss of drive in life, financial burdens, I could go on and on…..it still seems, as I read this blog, that drinking wine is glamorized. IDK, just thought I would share my thoughts. I have battled my “drinking Demon” for about 5 years, my husbands suicide is where it all started, 2nd DUI in Dec. 2012, 30 days of treatment, AA meetings every morning at 6:45 and so on…..I’m figuring out it truly is all bout making a decision to stop killing myself slowly and change every habit in daily life….Not sure yet….only 2 days without a bottle of wine and a morning of regrets.

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    • You’re right, that’s my point. The signs of trouble are there while drinking is still glamourous. Those of us that are lucky enough to see them before the glamour turns to horror can quit while ahead. Everything I read said, ‘alcoholics have to hit rock bottom before they can quit” and I was not anywhere near rock bottom so I kept drinking and edged ever close to it. Thankfully, I came round before arriving. I am so so sorry for all you’ve gone through, and I’m sure you wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. Don’t you agree that it’s important to let people know that I saw the signs of addiction in my life, and STOPPED before I literally hit the wall? Isn’t that a story worth sharing?

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      • Everyone’s story is worth sharing, yes I agree….I’m not sure if I agree with the “hit rock bottom” term, I have heard that probably a million times in the last year. I thought my second was the bottom, jail was the bottom, in treatment over Christmas getting donated gifts was the bottom, watching a friend so bloody and beat up from drinking 2 months straight was also my bottom. Let me explain a little here, I was never the person that drank every night, I was a binger but I always “looked” like I had my shit together so no one really thought I needed help except my family. I have 3 beautiful kids who are great and rarely saw me drunk, until the last year, didn’t grow up in an alcoholic family, my parents are still married and my childhood was great. I think for me I’m figuring out that most of my drinking was due to three things…..self pity, boredom and habit. I have met so many people, variations of alcoholism, it has finally made me realize the different stages of alcoholism and circumstances that affect that consumption level. Let me say this though, I do not believe alcoholism is a disease!!! Thanks you for your response and this blog is helpful.

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        • I have been looking ways to describe my relationship with alcohol what DJ said hit me. Boredom, self pity and habit. I’m 28 and up until this year I drank a lot just on the weekends and there may have been some binge drinking problems but not this like. I have been still trying to figure out if this drunken spiral will finished on its own or am I an alcholic. I am struggling to come with the terms. But but blogs like this give me an insight about what has to be done.
          I do have questions though?
          How do I start my recovery, how can I break the habit and (please bare in mind that I live in a country where alcolism not a big issue and not well-accepted there for there is not much good sponsorship programmes out there and I don’t like going meetings anyway) how can I still continue to see my friends even though we always always see each other alcohol related events.I don’t want to share the situation with them right know until I will be able to go without booze at least 2-3 months. Any thoughts?
          I’m really glad I found here.

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  12. 47hours, bored and tearful, any advise?

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    • I would go to the all night Wal-Mart and buy tea and a nice mug and some kind of face mask or beauty treatment – oh and a crap trashy magazine – and then come back home and indulge myself. I did a lot of late-night shopping at first just to breakup my usual pattern (which was stay home, watch tv and sip vino)

      How about the rest of you, readers? What has worked for you?

      Good luck and lots of love! UnPickled

      >

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      • I am reading blogs about sobriety to keep me from opening a bottle of wine. Thanks for blogging. 🙂

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      • Today is my 21st day of sobriety. When I decided to commit myself to sobriety I knew I would have to have something to replace the drinking…all the free time I would have! Since It’s winter and cold, I bought tons of new DVDs. It’s working great because I’m getting some body aches so I put on a heating pad, make a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the movies 🙂

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      • I was surprised that Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods was a heroin addict. His advice was to chop wood and carry water. Keep yourself occupied. Last time I quit for a month it was in January so I proved to myself that If I could do it in the worst of times, it would be easier to do so in the summer when there is so much to do outside. Everyone loved the homemade caramel rolls!

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  13. No one knows about my sobriety yet, except my significant other. Friends and family are tough. Not because they wouldn’t support me. But because I feel afraid of losing credibility IF I FAIL. I’ve reduced drinking before or taken breaks and I’ve gotten the eye roll from some people. I guess I am at that point where I am so ready to brave a life without alcohol that i am ready to let those people go if they can’t handle it. BUT–what if I mess up and want them back. lol

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  14. I want to thank you for writing this blog. It feels a bit like fate, actually. My 2 bottles of wine per evening most evenings habit has been slowly but surely taking over my life over the past 2 years. After two weekends of visiting friends, parties and excessive amounts of cocktails, I have decided to make today my day 1. I’ve been tapping away on my iPad in my bedroom while my husband watches a movie in our living room, googling “stop drinking on your own” and “quitting drinking without AA” etc. Like you I am not ready to tell my friends and family that I am quitting drinking, but almost every “i quit drinking myself” story I came across strongly advocated doing this. And then I saw the word unpickled, which immediately caught my eye, and this is just what I was looking for. I am starting your blog from the beginning and I can’t wait to get into it!

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    • Hi Annie,

      It must be fate because I checked my email and received your comment just moments after you posted it. I’m so happy to hear you are turning your pattern around. In case no one has ever come out and said it, yes hon, you are drinking too much! Detoxing off the amount of wine you have been drinking will be a rough ride but it will be worth it. (please consider touching base with your doctor or researching if you should be medically supervised)

      Right now I’m on vacation with my husband. It’s very warm here and I was out walking and shopping while my husband played golf. As I was dragging my tired self back to the hotel, I received a text from him saying, “I’m in the clubhouse having a beer and they have O’Dooles here if you want to join me.” I was only half a block away and that fake beer was heavenly, as was the sweetness of my guy looking out for me.

      I’m sharing that with you because I want you to know that better days are ahead. See yourself sober and strong; no guilt, no shame – isn’t that a beautiful version of Annie? Aren’t you excited to be that woman?!

      I’m behind you 100%. Please stay in touch. You can do this. Day by day. Big breath. Big girl panties. Here you go!

      Sent from my iPhone

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      • ‘Big breath, big girl panties, here you go!’…..love it!
        Day one again but have booked myself an appointment with an addictions counsellor and if my on and off crying all day is any indication……I think I am finally ready to surrender and get to a better place. I will be 45 in 11 days…….I want my 45th year to be the best yet! I’m just tired of beating myself up after every grape filled night and wondering how in the hell my life got so bloody messed up!
        Adult child of two alcoholics so odds weren’t really stacked in my favour as far as ‘healthy attitude w alcohol’ goes.
        I am a high achiever, a Mom, a runner…….and a high functioning alcoholic.
        Time to take booze off the table and let my other bits of awesomeness shine through in sober proud glory.
        Love love love this blog.
        Brilliant expressive posts by fabulously strong and self aware chicks.

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  15. Hey, I love your blog which I just discovered and have been reading voraciously. I’m about ready to quit, but I’m wondering what you last day of drinking was like? Was it rather ordinary? Did you drink more knowing that was it? I feel like the time has come but I haven’t hit “bottom”. My life is wonderful. I have a fantastic partner, supportive family and a career I love, yet something isn’t right and my drinking wine isn’t solving it. I haven’t wrecked my car, embarrassed myself, destroyed relationships, but I routinely drink 1-2 btls of wine per night. I feel like I have so much potential and my drinking habits are killing my goals. Not that it matters, but I have a graduate degree and work with a primarily addicted and marginalized population, but I can’t get out of my own way to make my drinking stop. I feel like the stress from my job dealing with addicted individuals makes me stressed and makes me drink which is completely messed up. Thank you very much for your blog.

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    • I didn’t know I’d quit the next day, really, so my last night of drinking was like many before it – I’d told myself I wouldn’t, I did anyways and I wasn’t enjoying. Propped up on my bed, watching tv, drinking red because we were out of white, a little grey cloud over my head.

      It was a love affair that fizzled out instead of ending with a spectacular public confrontation.

      What will your last night be…..? 😉

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      • My last night was non-eventful too. No rock bottom. Still have a great job, great life, the kids think I am rock star mom. For me, my last night was a night of moderate drinking–just a half a bottle, compared to my usual full bottle, plus a gin and tonic or two. I felt bored with drinking and mostly bored and disappointed with the woman I was becoming. I used alcohol as a time lubricant–to slip through the uncomfortable present–and the cost was, as Mike above notes, I was killing my dreams. I no longer was excited about life, no longer present enough to marvel at the beauty around me. Like a shroud, it hid me from the things i hated, but also it hid from me, the things i loved. For me, quitting was about the day after moreso than the night before. And the undeniable truth was, that while I felt temporarily euphoric, detached, and calm from the alcohol, ultimately, I felt best sober. Not sober and hung over. But sober. Keeping you all in my thoughts and wishing you the strenght to be fully YOU.

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        • I was planning to quit after getting trashed on a Saturday. On Tuesday, I was staying with friends and I told them I was not drinking because of my problem. They told me I did not have a problem and I just needed to “not drink so much.” I finished off their beer in their fridge, plus 2 pints out and then 2 glasses of wine (in 15 minutes), just to “prove” to them I had a problem. Pathetic.
          They still didn’t think it was a problem. That was typical drinking for me. 17 days sober and I am still haven’t announced it. Reading blogs and writing my own is my support.

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      • I didn’t hit rock bottom. like you, I’m pretty happy, good job, etc. The only thing I wasn’t happy with was my drinking. I’ve been divorced for many years. I keep myself attractive and have had my pick of dates but I’ve always been bothered by the fact that no man could keep my interest for more than a month or two. Then, it happened…I got together with my old college sweetheart. We were a perfect match. We dated for a year and he ask me to spend the rest of my life with him. Then I came to the realization that I truly am happy on my own. I broke up with him and decided to commit myself to sobriety, NOW I’m happy 🙂

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        • I believe that “rock bottom” is a myth that causes people to needlessly stay stuck in addiction while they wait for something horrible to be the catalyst for change. So silly! As soon as you know, you know. Right?

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          • OMG, exactly! In fact, that’s one of my favorite sayings. A preacher, Joyce Meyer says, when explaining how you know when God’s speaking to you…you know, that you know, that you know. Also as Joyce says, I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired…I KNEW I was ready to stop drinking and was starving for sobriety. This web site is giving me peace of mind knowing I’m not crazy for wanting to get sober without announcing it to the world. Thank you for this site!!

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          • right? I often hear people in meetings, in various fellowships, say “you hit bottom when you stop digging,” for that same reason.

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      • My last day was like that too. I didn’t know it was my last. I was on vacation in Hawaii, Had a bottle of champagne during the day and a large Sake at dinner. Felt fine as my tolerance was high from 1-2 bottles wine a day habit for a long time. Woke up the next morning did yoga on the beach, felt fat, bloated, unhealthy and was sick and tired of being sick and tired. The yoga instructor was my muse, radiating health, glowing, beautiful and my soul said I want…to be that, to feel that, to live that life. That was my 1st day of not drinking and it’s been almost 3 weeks and I haven’t looked back.

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  16. Coincidentally, I decided to silently quit drinking as well. I am on day 3. I have told no one and don’t plan to. I came across your blog while doing google search on, you guessed it, quitting drinking. So far I have read a few of your posts and I’m pretty sure I could have written them word for word. Wine is my weakness and pretty much every day there is an opportunity to have a glass which usually turns into five. Like you, I pace myself so that I get a heat on without getting ripped or out of control. I am really nervous about the social pressures and implications. I look forward to reading through your experiences of over your year of sobriety. I just wanted to say thank you for writing this.

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  17. Thank you for this – I am actually looking forward to the day I can tell people and really believe it myself. Right now I am so afraid of failure and judgement. Actually I am also afraid of success and judgement! (Laughing at that as I write it. Aren’t we humans silly things?)

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    • We ARE. We judge ourselves so hard that we assume other people must be doing it too. Fact is, it doesn’t matter what they are thinking – all that really affects us is our own judgment. Which I think would have sounded completely unbelievable to me 8 years ago, but I’ve tested the hell out of it and found it to be reliably true since then 😉

      I have the same experience Robin shared, of being more proud to tell people about this stuff the longer I have under my belt. Partly it’s because the steps work so well that I want to be able to tell the whole world what I got out of them!

      I also keep thinking of something that Ramit (he blogs about money stuff at iwillteachyoutoberich.com, which I read even though I don’t always have the guts to do what he tells me to) says all the time… that when we’re taking on a challenge, one of the best ways to succeed is to tell everyone about it. Because then we have another reason not to drink, or to save money, or to run that extra half-mile, or whatever it is: because we don’t want all these other people to know we didn’t do it! Maybe it’s not as good a reason as “because I want to” or “because I’m worth it” or “because I can’t live that way anymore”, but every little bit helps!

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  18. I found that people asked why I wasn’t drinking once, maybe twice. I was nervous to tell them in the first place, but once I did, it was a huge relief, everyone was supportive, and nobody harrassed me about it.

    To be totally honest, after about 6 weeks sober I became proud to tell people I don’t drink. I mean, it took learning that there is no shame in not being a normal drinker. And the more sobriety time I got under my belt, the more proud of myself I was.

    I understand your reservation in telling people, but they just might surprise you. Do it in your own time.

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  19. Is it possible at all for you to attend an AA meeting? Not sure where you are or what your home is like, but where I am (Seattle) there are mtgs for every kind of person, and no need to become a Christian, or anything, if that puts you off. I think having some human support is absolutely critical — online support is very very wonderful, and because of the greatness of twitterpeople I only attend one AA meeting a week, which is well under the recommended amount.
    haha I actually started out telling people I was on antibiotics and couldn’t drink. Later I was able to say my doc had recommended avoiding alcohol (I didn’t say why) and then slowly over the past 2 years I’ve more or less come out to everyone I know, except my 88 year old father, who thinks I have an “allergy” to alcohol. I have received amazing, unexpected support. Unlike many AAs, I continue to socialize with people who are drinking — they don’t mind one bit if I’m having soda water, they just want me there. I bet you would find the same.
    Sending love and encouragement and congratulations to you for tackling this very difficult problem!

    Like

    • I was about to respond and explain all the very valid reasons why I cannot possibly attend an AA meeting (big fish in a small town, can’t slip away from home unnoticed, etc) when I had a revelation. I don’t feel worthy of AA because I haven’t fallen apart. Even as I type that I realize it’s ridiculous. Can you imagine someone walking into an AA meeting to ask for help and being told, “Sorry, you can’t come in. You’re not broken enough for us”? Hmmmm, this is something I will need to explore. Thank you for making me think.

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      • You are cracking me up! “Sorry, you’re not broken enough!” Hahahahaha!

        There are probably phone meetings too. I am in all the other programs besides the substance abuse ones!, and THEY all have phone meetings. Some of them have nothing BUT phone meetings. Downside of phone meetings is that it’s real hard to meet people; you can’t exactly hang out afterward to say “I liked your share!” or “How bout that coffee?!” Upside is that it’s real hard to meet people 😉

        I love your honesty here! I am so excited for you because at some point in working the steps (see how I already assume you will be working the steps) you will suddenly understand how awesome you are. I mean, *I* can already see it, and I have barely read anything here.

        If you go to xa-speakers.org, you can hear AA speakers without even going to a meeting. I really love listening to them even from out here in these other programs, because they help me understand my alcoholic friends better and they REALLY help me understand our shared 12-step program and my own addictions better. Gives you a little tiny taste, pre-meetings 😀

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        • Thanks, Dani. That’s a really great idea. I have a long drive coming up next week. I will download some podcasts to listen to as I go. Let me know if you have any favs to reccommend.

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          • I attended my first on-line AA meeting last night. It was strange. But good. Annoying once or twice. But also worth doing again. I had an avatar. I used just my first name. And I fell asleep half way through. But it got me through what I’ve started calling “the witching hour” when i get my cravings. The app I used is for iphone and its called Anonymous Sober Chat for Alcoholics Addiction in AA NA. I am thinking the community thing of AA is going to be important for me, but frankly, my schedule is too hectic to go hunting for the right group. I need support now. So this is working so far.

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          • Did I really never respond to this?! The best anywhere, imho, is Joe and Charlie: http://www.xa-speakers.org/pafiledb.php?action=category&id=13 Changed my life!

            Like

  20. You’re right (and normal) to feel anxious. These situations in our minds become all about the drinks- when, what, where, how much, how much with this person and how much with that person….
    You need to get a sponsor- someone you can call if it gets too much?

    My excuse (6 weeks clean and sober) is that i gave it up for Lent. For people who know me better than that, I just say I had a bad liver function blood test result and been told to lay off the booze for a while until results get back to normal (the liver always regenerates itself anyway!) The other great one is ‘I’m on antibiotics’ and they’re very strong- mixing with alcohol would make you sick.

    You could be honest with these friends and tell them alcohol just can’t be a part of your routines and life anymore- they may surprise you and be totally behind you!! Or if they hand you a drink when no one is looking swap it for a non alco one 😉

    xx

    Like

    • You are right about everything from excuses to honesty. I feel so shy and protective about it – I want it to slip by everyone unnoticed. Yet I have created relationships around “evening wine and conversation” – am I clever enough to ease those into “afternoon coffee chats” without my friends even noticing? Possibly, because the “wine” part mattered less to my friends. I believe you are right about being supported if I tell the truth, when the time comes.

      Like

    • I could be perfectly honest with this and say, “I don’t like the way it tastes. Yuck!” (in spite of the fact I can down 3 bottles of wine or a case of beer to “calm my nerves” on any given night) or “it makes me sleepy”. Which it does. Another good one is “Too many calories. I’m trying to cut down on those”. Which I am. But I am still drinking a ridiculous amount. Reading your comments is helping me a lot. Thank you for everything.

      Like

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