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How I Knew It Was Time to Quit Drinking

If there is one question I am most asked about living alcohol-free, it is “How did you know it was time to quit drinking?”

Only occasionally is this question asked with dancing eyes that reveal a quest for titillation: I want to hear every detail of rock bottom. If I sense that is the motive, I generally let them down easy: I was the most boring alcoholic ever – I have no stories of catastrophe. I just knew I was losing control and needed to take charge.

More often it is asked with genuine interest, either because someone would like to know me better or is trying to understand addiction better for personal reasons. Sincere questions deserve honest answers.

I have been reading about the “transtheoretical model of behaviour change” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transtheoretical_model) and I can easily see how it correlates to my journey. In short, it identifies various stages of decision-making and behaviour changes as such:

  • Precontemplation (not ready) – in my case, using wine as a daily antidote for stress and anxiety; enjoying the relief it brought; feeling very comfortable with my routine and experiencing no negative thoughts or consequences.
  • Contemplation (getting ready) – I began to feel an acknowledgement and growing discomfort with the reality of my habits. I started to pay attention to the red flags (see below). I began watching Celebrity Rehab with intense focus (while drinking).
  • Preparation (ready) – I got up the courage to assess my drinking patterns online (I used http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov) and received confirmation that I needed to make changes. I started trying to quit and failed each day. I took no steps to make myself accountable and did not reach out for help, but these initial unsuccessful efforts confirmed my worst fears. Not only could I not quit, but also not moderate or reduce. Throughout this stage, my intake instead steadily escalated and I began to realize where this was headed.
  • Action (initiating change) – for me, this was speaking honestly to a friend, starting this blog, and reaching out to the online community for help and support. I threw myself into the task at hand and little by little made it through each difficult day.
  • Maintenance (supporting the change) – I guess this is where I am at now – you could call this ongoing recovery. This is a great place to be and many recovery advocates say the goal should be to engage in this phase forever.
  • Termination (completion of change) – remembering that the transtheoretical model of behaviour change is not about recovery specifically, there comes an end point where the change is complete and the new behaviours are effortless and normal. There are different schools of thought in the recovery community as to whether or not one can ever end the process. Some pathways teach that if you stop going to meetings and working their program you’ll either start drinking again or fall into the miserable life of a “dry drunk”. Some pathways encourage striving for a point of supported closure on the change – which does not mean it is possible to start drinking again normally but rather that you can go forward as a “non-drinker” and be done with it. I don’t take a position on this – at this point it doesn’t matter to me because I have a lot of work still to do and see myself in the maintenance phase for many years to come.

Red Flags

So what were those red flags for me? It wasn’t any one single “big” thing that led me to change; it was the accumulation of little things. Here are some I recall:

  • Unable to stop drinking daily
  • Unable to reduce or limit amount
  • Drinking alone
  • Shame about bottles in recycling bin
  • Hiding extra alcohol in cupboard
  • Continual concern about having enough alcohol on hand
  • Obsessive awareness of alcohol at every event – planning when and how to get in the “right” amount to get through the evening while still managing to drive sober to and from events, and appear “normal” to the outside world
  • Becoming very agitated when unplanned changes disrupted my pattern – specifically I recall a friend dropping by and my husband poured her a glass of wine. I began to panic knowing that it meant there would not be enough to get me through the evening. I secretly drank shots of scotch before bed to compensate. I felt guilty about resenting my friend for visiting unannounced.
  • Spending the last hour of work each day deciding if I would stick to my plan of quitting drinking or stop at a liquor store on the way home, all the while knowing I would certainly pick up more wine.
  • Rotating stores because I was embarrassed of buying wine every day, but never buying more too much at once because I was planning to quit “tomorrow”.
  • Finding out that my drinking habits fell into the “high risk” and “heavy drinking” categories. I knew my drinking was only increasing, never declining, and I was running out of categories. Next stop: rock bottom. No thanks.

Now what about you, readers? Do you recognize yourself in the stages of behaviour changes? What were your red flags, and was it many little things or one big incident that initiated your decision to live alcohol-free?

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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 June 8, 2014, in Getting Sober and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1,229 Comments.

  1. Here we go again. I had a 5 year sober run in my 20’s, by 30 going through a divorce, I started drinking again. I have basically been intoxicated for 13 years since. A wine drinker mostly and on occasion spirits. A few weeks ago I needed to go on a special diet for my skin (candida, which really feeds into alcohol cravings btw) which meant zero sugar aka alcohol included. I went right off it, pretty easily, started to feel better, sleep better right away, had loads of energy and was loosing bloat and belly weight. This went on for 2 weeks, with the help of some anti-fungals, I believe I straightened out the Candida right away as my skin cleared right up. Also, major side note, I broke my ankle last month due to a drunken blackout fall, then 2 days later fell again and hit my head on the floor. Hello! Even with ALL of that happening, becoming a physical mess, I decide 2 weeks was long enough to wait and the cast had come off my ankle and I was feeling foot loose and fancy free. I went out for a fun night on the town and ended up so blackout wasted (martinis and wine) no recollection of how I got home, and the next way one of the worst hangovers in history. I am seriously just over this! It’s ridiculous and I’m not seeing much of an upside. It just doesn’t seem like its worth the toll. Same reason I don’t do blow…your whole next day is shot. Why do I want to do that to myself? Day 3

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    • Oh man, you must be exhausted. Life without alcohol is SO much easier and you will look and feel younger and healthier, too! I’m glad you’re here. Thanks for sharing you story.

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  2. Yeah I haven’t been drinking on work nights but had a rough day at work yesterday and being an alcoholic of course I had a strong urge to drink. I woke up and drove to work but my eyes were so bloodshot and I didn’t have eye drops I couldn’t bring myself to go in and have everyone know I must have got drunk last night. And yes the guilt is the worst part. Thanks for your support and best of luck to you.

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  3. Hi Travis here. Trying once again to quit drinking. Came to this site about 6 years ago and I quit for two months. Today I find myself home cause I was too hungover to go into work. I think its time to give this another shot

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    • Hi Travis,

      I know the feeling. Where I try to save my drinking for Friday nights I tend to slip up during the week and drink bc I have this over whelming urge. I tell myself I will go to work but I end up staying up way too late and still being awake a few hours before I have to get up for work or drink too much where I am extremely hung over. It’s a horrible feeling calling out and the guilt is over whelming. I am trying not to drink at all even on Friday’s and this week I have made it.

      Don’t beat yourself up too badly. Everyday is a new chance for a new beginning. You will feel better tomorrow.

      Xoxo

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    • Hi Travis, where are you at today? Don’t let the weekend trip up your efforts to stay alcohol free. No more hangovers! No more regret!!

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  4. Hi Unpickled. I’m on day 3. I identify with all of your red flags, but I’m only 28. I’ve felt incredible shame in being a young adult who has turned to wine to try and numb out the stressors of my busy work life and unnecessarily stressful social life. I took a big step two months ago by moving out of my stressful environment and back to where I grew up, but still leaned on wine to help me through the sadness of moving away from my fast, east coast life. I finally realized that if I’m going to really make this year a year of healthy change, losing weight isn’t enough. I need to tackle the mental blocks as well. Thank you for being candid on your blog and reading through it today has really helped me feel better about what feels like a hard choice! I hope I can get through it with the same grace and humor that you have.

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    • Hi Kate, go easy on yourself. You’re not alone and you’re smart not to waste your youth on harmful ways. Check out the recent interviews I’ve done on The Bubble Hour http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bubblehour to hear other young women like yourself talk about their recovery – Laura Silverman and Taryn Strong are two recent ones your age and I’m about to post a new one with Liv Pennelle as well. You’re not alone! My own dad quit drinking at age 23 and just passed away at 80 have not touched a drop since. It’s a great, empowered choice that you’re making and I applaud you!

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  5. Hi, today is 119 days sober for me. For the most part i’m feeling pretty good, but had a stressful weekend. I went to bed pretty stressed out last night.. woke up this morning thinking to myself, my god, what have I done!….I had a dream, I blew my sobriety..well thank god, it was just a dream. I don’t go to AA , I have done this all on my own..I was a daily drinker for 18 years.I really have been having a hard time dealing with stress lately. When I went to bed last night, I have to admit, I wanted to drink, I mean really tie one on! That’s why I shut the lights down, prayed, and went to sleep.I don’t have much support from home, My other half thinks, if I go to an AA meeting, I will be an embarrassment to our family, we live in a small town. For the most part, I really don’t have cravings that much anymore, so I was real surprised at myself on how much I really wanted to drink last night. Thanks for listening.

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    • Well done – you got through it. Have you thought about therapy as a way to support your recovery? It really helped me dig deeper into what was behind my need for numbing. Today is 120 days for you – that’s 4 months!! Congratulations on this milestone.

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  6. Thank you, Unpicked, for having the courage to overcome your addiction and turning it around to help others. I discovered boozefreebrigade about 5 years ago and through that channel began reading your blog. Although I’m sad to see so many struggling as much as I have over several years, the words of encouragement and hope give me strength to get through today and everyday going forward sober. Anxiety, fear, guilt, and doubt have been my reality far too long and I’m hoping my day 1 and 1/2 can turn into years of a new life of sobriety. I truly appreciate having a resource such as this to support and assist in turning my life around.

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  7. I am going to try this journey. I am tired of my life. Tired of the facade. Tired of the hiding. I have done a good job keeping my drinking a secret. My kids don’t know my husband doesn’t know but I do know. I am scared. I enjoy your blog and I hope it can be a resource. Maybe some day I will look for an in person community but I am not ready for that yet

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    • There’s lots of help online to help you get started, and when you feel ready to connect in real life please know the recovery community can feel like home. It can be a huge help if you find that it’s just too hard on your own, or if you want people to help you celebrate your success – people who *get it*. I wish you joy and freedom – it awaits you on this road. Lots of support and cheerleaders here for you any time. Check out blogtalkradio.com/bubblehour for some great podcast episodes about getting sober too – you’ll hear the voices of others and there’s lots of insights on how to get through various challenges. Big hug. Deep breath. Be gentle with yourself and don’t drink.

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  8. Pretty much the same as you. Drinking a bottle a day , hiding bottles, taking shots here and there.

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  9. I pray you get the help you need for this addiction….I never had anything like that but I did drink for 18 years and now at 46 have quit….it’s been 101 days sober for me now….the bad days do creep up on me occasionally but have managed to keep on going….the struggle is real but kick it to the curb when it rears its ugly head….keep looking forward and don’t look back!..prayers for you.

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    • Thanks Bobbi, I never had anything like this happen before either. Looking at it, it is a blessing in disguise. I have a strong support group & will do anything to maintain my sobriety. In the past 6 weeks since my incidence, Ive opened up to a lot of people about my addiction, I tell them Im not afraid to say Im an alcoholic, Im afraid to take a drink. Someone at one of the meetings said The devil wants you dead but he’ll take you drunk”
      Even in my past 30 yrs. of drinking, I would quit for months at a time with no problem, thats when it would become a problem. Thanks everybody & God Bless All of You !

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  10. Hi, its been awhile since I visited this site. Like a million other times I told myself I could do it on my own. Feb. 16th after a 4 day bender on brandy I was sobering up after missing 3 days of work & dont remember anything until the next morning when I woke up with my tongue chewed up & muscles aching, I had had a seizure from withdrawals. I have been to AA, my Dr. & Brighton Hospital, the local rehab hospital. It scared me so bad & I pray that this was my bottom. I want more then anything to to stay sober, drinking cant be an option for me anymore. When you have seizures, you dont get a lot of 2nd chances. The good thing is I feel like something in me broke and my outlook is good, I believe it was the divine intervention I was asking God for for years. I will keep you all in my prayers. God Bless

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  11. im 95 days sober today….so happy I’m here and sober…..had a problem sleeping awhile back but that’s changing slowly… starting back to school on Tuesday….I’m nervous but excited…it’s been 30 years for me so hopefully I will do okay…I have done this with no AA meetings or anything….I do have some support from home but I truly think everyone one is tired of hearing about my sobriety and such… I keep a journal so that seems to help…but I would love to talk to someone who can relate with what I have been going through..it is a lonely walk..

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  12. I truly don’t know where to begin, but I guess my start should be that I am an alcoholic, I have been to rehab, stopped for 8 months, then thought, I could be someone that could have a drink, nope not me, ended up in the trauma unit for over a week, because, trying to mask the alcohol I drank a lot of water, and ended up with hyponatremia (To much water), all of my organs were shutting down, This was last August, been sober until 3 weeks ago when life slapped me in the face… I will never go back to rehab, it did not help much, maybe just not for me, but I would truly love to interact with others that are struggling, because, I am going to make sure that tomorrow is my new start date. Love & Hugs!

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    • I too once drank too much water and ended up in the ER with “water intoxication” because of drinking. Not a fun situation at all. You can do it and try to stay positive!

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      • Thank You Tim, I honestly did not even realize it was happening, I thank the man up above for saving me, but now I have to make sure that I can get sober again, this roller coaster ride has to end…

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        • Very Happy That I Found this site, I hope everyone overcomes this disease, I am not one to talk about it, and felt kind of ashamed for posting, But just remember that Everything works out, I have been sober for 2 years at a time, 8 months, 11 months, my problem is when life throws me a curve ball, this time, I am not going to let it control me, I will take control… Take Care Everyone, I am going to bow out from this site. Thanks So Much! Take It One Day At A Time!

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  13. Hi, I have been keeping track of this blog for at least 6 months now. I felt I was developing a problem with drinking wine. I would drink 1-2 glasses of wine per night.The nights I would drink wine I would start fighting with my husband about dumb stuff. I just become irritated with him. The next day I would feel anxious and depressed.So I made a decision to quit drinking!I was so fed up with it! I am on day 37. I will say I do feel better. I believe the wine was the cause of my anxiety and depression. My husband and I have not had any fights since.I have notice I feel happy now too. It’s worth quitting even if you don’t drink a lot of alcohol.

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  14. gettinghealthy

    I am 6 days sober. I have been in the pre contemplation phase for years. I think I have always known that I had a problem with alcohol, but never wanted to give it up. I look back over decades of bad decisions, usually with alcohol giving me “liquid courage” to cover up, I guess, underlying feelings of insecurity/inferiority. I have had enough insight to know that when drinking at home, alone, that when my husband comes home that I am best not to discuss issues that are bothering me in the relationship. That is a positive. But the negative, of course, is that because I am not sober, I cannot discuss issues that are bothering me in the relationship. At least I am smart enough to never get behind the wheel of a car. Then again, I have often, while drinking alone, wondered how the heck I would be able to handle an emergency if something happened that required my presence. I would have to get an uber for goodness sakes!
    What scared the hell out of me though, and has started me on this journey, was what happened last week. I was on a cruise with the 2 women I consider to be my best friends and anchors in my life. I thought we were having a great time. Yet, one night, while I was sitting at the piano bar, they came to get me. They were furious. They told me that I told others that they had “dumped me,” and that this was not the first time it had happened on a trip. I did not remember saying this at all. It was a hard discussion, and escalated poorly, as we had all been drinking. I tried to take responsibility. Even if I don’t remember saying it, they have no reason to lie. That means that I said it. It is my fault. I chose to drink. Not remembering is not an excuse. It hurt, a lot, hearing a litany of things that I had apparently done in the past. That part I did not take as well and went into defensive mode. We decided to go to sleep and discuss the next day. We processed, to a point, the next day, and I thought things were better. But now we are home (they live in different cities than me) and the contact is not the same. I have come to learn that at least one is still processing everything and not ready to talk. I, too, am processing. Since home I have done nothing but read blogs, AA literature, think about why I drink, when I drink, etc. I am scared of where my drinking may lead, and what it may cost me if I don’t get a handle on it.

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  15. Hey….I’m 58 days today I do have a question ..I feel good but am still very tired… suffering some insomnia … I’m taking a multi vitamin and a b complex and have been walking a couple miles a day….how long does this last??…. thank you

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    • Insomnia sucks, I’m sorry to hear you’re not getting sleep. Maybe it’s unrelated, an underlying problem that was masked by your previous alcohol use, and should be checked by your dr (although careful with looking to sleeping pills as a solution, that could be dangerous territory). I find that without booze in my system, chamomile tea and magnesium supplements before bed knock me out. I could have never imagined that would be the case because I relied on wine for sleep previously and how does a cup of tea and some supplements compare to a bottle of wine? But for me it is better. I hope it resolves soon you for. You’re doing a great thing and tomorrow will be 60 DAYS! How will you celebrate? That’s a big deal!

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      • Exercise and meditation have worked for me. Everybody is different though. I think the key is to make sure you go to bed with a clear mind.

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      • Thank you….I’ll try the tea and magnesium…… well I’m middle aged so maybe that whole hormonal balance thing is off for me as well…….not sure yet what I’ll do for myself….but I can assure you it won’t involve alcohol……thanks for the encouragement 😊

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  16. Yesterday we delivered girl scout cookies and I was hammered. My husband told me that I was an embarrassment and that I embarrassed myself and our daughter. He is right. We live here. I see these people everyday and I did something so stupid. It’s time. It stops today and I hope by commenting on this, it stays.

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    • Be gentle with yourself and know that things can be different. You can’t change what happened but you can change what happens next. Put on your headphones and listen to The Bubble Hour (www.blogtalkradio.com/bubblehour) and have all the ice cream and chocolate you need.

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  17. Thank you for your red flag list. I recognize every one in my own life. I, too, haven’t hit rock bottom, but I know it’s time to make some changes because I am headed there.

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  18. I stumbled across this post today and wanted to thank everyone for sharing and congratulate those who have the courage to stand up to their addiction. I have been sober for just over 9 years now and it is not always easy. There was a point in my life where I always wanted to “get drunk” but it is important to realize that there is a lot more to life than drinking – and I mean a lot!!
    If you’re ever feeling the urge to drink, an exercise that I practice that helps, is to create a gratitude list… just think about everything in life you’re grateful for. And then, when you are tempted to drink, pull out your list of things you are grateful for, to remind yourself of everything positive in your life (and they don’t include alcohol!!)
    Keep up the good work and reach out if you ever need to talk!!

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  19. Hello…..I’m 39 days sober…I have had many day 1’s but this last time was different for me…I no longer question why they can drink and I can’t….I feel very impowerd the longer I’m sober….I feel good….no more hangovers…I sleep great….although I did have a hard time the last couple days… it’s stress related….but I know that I never want a day 1 again…I find it hard now cuz alcohol used to numb the feelings….now it’s total raw emotion for me…and learning to not self medicate to ease the blow of whatever life wants to throw at me has been hard but I’m pushing through…..thanks for listening everyone.

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    • Thanks for posting and congrats on so many sober days! Not sure about you, but I went off my Ativan before I quit drinking. I had been on it for 18 months. Even though the withdrawal wasn’t fun, I found it was easier for me to not drink after I went off it. Something about finding the strength to discard one crutch is helping me to discard the other.
      My point is, the anxiety is tough and it can really rear it’s ugly head. Keep up the fight, you have so much to be proud of.

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  20. I wanted to stop by here and thank you for your post. I came across it last week and I identified with so much of it. I had just dumped out a mostly full bottle of liquor before going to work. At lunch I sat in a parking lot and read your post among others.

    I am 4 years into an alcoholic binge. I have been going through 1.75L bottle of Vlad vodka(my favorite whiskey was getting too expensive) a week. That is on top of the social drinking or having a beer with dinner. I’ve been about as high functioning as about person can be. I have been promoted twice and been a person my company has leaned on. I’ve made new friends and moved with my wife. But the creeping dread has been behind my eyes.

    A friend of a friend died of end stage Alcoholism and no one knew he drank too much, not even his wife. That, and the handful of blackouts over the last year, plus that growing sense of despair were compounding I’m medical and when the ache in the area of my liver started I knew it was not a good sign. I bargained to quit drinking in secret and only drink with others and after going on vacation I wound back up where I started. The pain came back and after a month of being back where I was I decided it was time to change again.

    I am 8 days into having no liquor. I have never had an issue with beer and typically have 1 or 2. Has anyone else had success with cutting out only their problem beverage?

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    • I was once exactly where you are. No job issues, large vodka per week, liver pain. thinking I could just cut back. Tried, failed. The problem is alcohol. All of it. The ‘problem beverage’ is alcohol. All of it. Beer included. you’ll end up compensating somehow to get that fix. Sorry if I sound unsupportive, I truly wish you the best if you decide to try to just cut out the vodka, but so many people try and end up going back even stronger. I did several times. No one on here will agree that you just ‘cut out the problem beverage’ so don’t expect much support for that. I’m now 19 months into being completely sober. I actually have entire days where I don’t even think about alcohol. On days that I do I’m only reminded of the stupid things I did to hide it from my family and work. So thinking about it isn’t necessarily bad as it’s a reminder to keep away. I had several different routes home planned because I would stop at different liquor stores so I never became a frequent customer at one of them. Holy cow, I was actually so ashamed of my habit I didn’t want the liquor store owner’s to know. I was a mess.

      Anyway, just stop. All of it. You have all the signs of alcoholism and your life is at stake here. Go online and take one of those ‘am I an alcoholic’ quizes and it will tell you the same. Seek professional help if you think you need it. come out to your family. Don’t wait until you hit rock bottom. Something bad will happen. You’ll lose your job, or your family and friends. Is it worth it just so you can keep drinking beer? Do you actually get satisfaction from drinking or has that part of it gone bye bye and now it’s just something you need to get through the day.

      If you are considering quitting completely, be careful. You sound like a daily drinker and quitting cold turkey can lead to some very serious health complications. Do what my friend did and go to a treatment center that can help you during the first days of quitting.

      Best of luck and I hope to hear your come back on here with your story of success.

      Erik

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      • Erik(which has the meaning, “The evil king” – I’m sure that doesn’t apply here), thank you so much for the thoughtful reply.
        I have put off giving a response because I… I am not sure why. I read it shortly after you responded. And I have thought about it. It does mean something to me to post such honost words and have someone respond back with candor. I hate to disappoint anyone. I thought about just lying and saying, “You’re right. I’m off it all. I’m done.” But, I suppose that is one of my issues that has caused me to drink.
        I am 11 days in. It hasn’t really been as hard as I thought. No withdrawals, no mood swings, I certainly feel better. I am aware that because it is easy today, that it won’t necessarily be easy tomorrow. The years can be long and the weddings and parties are not here yet.
        But, I can tell you one thing for sure. I will stick with the course I have chosen. I am in a better place in my life. I have come to terms with losing my father to cancer, a drinker that I barely knew since I was a child. My job has stabilized and the financial problems are under control. If what I have decided to do doesn’t work, I will take the next step. Just as I did this time. I’m running again and focusing on relationships.
        One step at a time.

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        • This is all great news, one day at a time. I also lost my father too early. He was a daily drinker. Probably drank more than I saw. Alcohol played a role in his death. My wife lost her father to health complications due to alcoholism just 2 years ago. After that I decided to quit. It’s actually been very easy for me for the most part. I’ve had my days, don’t get me wrong. It was actually pretty hard for me at a New Years Eve party that we just went to. Not because I wanted to drink, but because I was around so many people I didn’t know and they were just getting blitzed. We all had our kids there. I was the only adult not drinking. Got stares and strange looks and not many people even talked to me except for a couple good friends and my wife. But that was fine. All I could think of was how these people are getting home… with their kids. Most are from the same neighborhood so maybe some walked, or the drive was very short, but that didn’t make it better in my mind. One guy was so drunk, he picked up his 6 year old boy and tried to play with him and he dropped him on the hardwood floor. Luckily no one hurt. But it was very hard for me to see all of that going on. For the most part though, everyone was having a blast. I was having an ok time, and I suppose at that point if I were drinking I would have been more of the ‘life’ of the party like I used to be. But I was content that I could be around that and still not regret anything. At the end of the night I made it home safe, my wife kissed me and told me she loved me, we took a great family picture with the three kids right at midnight, and I remember all of it. Some days are harder than others, but that means most days are greater than others. You’ve just begun your journey. Let being sober be something that defines who you are. And don’t try to forget about what you did and where you were at when you were at your worst. Use it to make you stronger. Good luck!

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    • I come here and read posts. I stay sober one or two days then just drink again. I want to want to stop. Lately, my sinuses go wild if I have more then two beers or two glasses of wine. I haven’t had a hang over in ove a week. I too have a pain in y side that Im ignoring. It makes me sad that thinking about quitting and not being able
      to takes upmso much of my time and energy. I’ve been including healthier things in my dY such as yoga, meditation, journaling. Im also going to start running agin this used to help with the thoughts and anxiety.

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    • Hello! Thanks for sharing your story, I know it can sometimes be hard to open up. I saw your last post for being 11 days sober and so I wanted to congratulate you! I have been sober for quit awhile now and I know the struggle you are going through. I would suggest (as Erik said) that you quit drinking completely. When I first wanted to “try” to get sober, I thought I could just cut back or drink certain things and that would be good enough.
      But it wasn’t.
      You should stop drinking completely. But don’t worry!! It’s not the end of the world! It’s actually, a step towards a better YOU! If you need some help, check out the informational website that I created to help people out: http://www.breakupwithalcohol.com
      Also, please feel free to write back. You are not alone and there are so many good people around to help you out.
      Keep up the good work and I hope to hear about your progress again soon!

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  21. lookingforpeace

    I’m so scared… Every red flag is mine… but i love the relaxing feeling – but i hate the after rebound stress and anxiety and the only thing to help is a drink… i feel so guilty – i say no – i don’t want to but i think about it all day… I feel i have alot of issues – and when i drink i feel normal. I don’t get sick, but i can drink a bottle of wine or more a night. It just calms me and i want to just enjoy a glass of wine on occasion or just relax and have a drink – not need one! I am in the contemplation stage. I’m not right! I work and have a family and am loved.
    I don’t have financial issues. I have always had some mental issues including wanting acceptance and not disappointing others. I have had stress/anxiety and have been on medications before – although not now – except the wine…. not sure what to do – my mind is a mess!

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    • hi, i can so relate to self medicating anxiety with booze . if you’re looking for inner peace i would recommend (hes not for everyone) eckhart tolle . also doctor andrew saul (i will try and leave a link) the vitamin guy, worked with abram hoffa, who worked with bill wilson (AA founder) he wrote a book called the vitamin cure for alcoholism.
      im very much in the same boat, trying to get (perhaps naively) to a place where i could enjoy a couple of beers without it ending in khaos. http://www.doctoryourself.com/alcoholism.html

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    • hey, one more thing… i got a journal even tho im not the journaling type, scribbled out the title and called it ‘the recovery journal’ . found myself drawing on some pages, pretty cool stuff, and i cant draw for shit . second, order some coconut water and pour it into your favourite wine glass. im drinking mine now . you could maybe use cranberry…. i could’t at the time because my blood sugar was so messed up.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Well, I’m a little late posting this. I told myself I would revisit this blog every 6 months because this post is something that really helped me at the beginning of my sobriety. I hit my 18 months at the end of December. I realize that’s probably about as annoying to some as when someone asks how old a baby is and the response is something like 43 months. When I hit 2 years I’ll just go to posting every year.

    I had mentioned before a friend of mine who was also struggling and who checked himself into rehab. Well, if only that had been the start of the end of his problems. While he has stayed sober (the good news) he also decided he needed to get checked on physically. He had been putting off going to the doctor as many men do, especially those who drink and know they have problems but use alcohol to ignore and forget. Well, he found out he has cancer. Long story short is that this was a huge blow to his anxiety issues, but he’s stayed sober anyway. He’s currently on treatment. One of the cancers was completely removed surgically but the other is the liver (not caused by the alcohol, go figure). The other good news here is had he not quit drinking, I don’t know that he would have gotten to the doctor in time due to ignoring the issues. So quitting quite literally may have saved his life. But his battle is not over. I have two very good friends dealing with cancer right now and some nights I’m overcome with grief for them, but I thank God every day for my health. I can’t say I’ve ever seriously thought about going back to drinking to help me with my minor problem of dealing with my friends’ major problems, but I’m sure this would easily send others back to the bottle.

    To everyone on here who is still going strong, keep up the good work. You’ll be challenged in ways you have not imagined, so stay strong. To others that may have returned to drinking, I hope that you come back here and see others that have done the same but are now staying sober. We’ve all quit many times. I can honestly say I’m a completely different person than I was a couple years ago. Sobriety has saved my marriage, my job, and it’s saved my life. I was on a downward spiral that I really only realized once I had fully quit.

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  23. This was very helpful. I decided to quit drinking just a few days ago. I saw myself with EVERY SINGLE statement you made. This is very encouraging!!!! Thank u! I feel SO good about my decision.

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  24. If I were to make a list of reasons to quit, I would just copy and paste yours. And, add the pain in my side, the clogged sinuses, the sneezing attacks once I’ve had one too many…

    I’m on the one day off one day on . . . so today would be my one day on. It’s early, I have all day to convince myself it’s ok, when I know darn well that it is not. I’ve been reading through blogs this time because I pretty much know the science. I’ve been to AA and do not want to go again (for some reason I feel I should get sober before I go again.) because once I hear the low bottom drunk talks I convince myself that I’m not “that” and I go right to the liquor store. I hear the stories about the addiction being lifted and I think “yeah cause you’re special and I’m not.” Anyway, you get the idea.

    I’ve just discovered all these blogs about quitting so I know I’m not alone. It’s nice to know that quitting can just be a totally private thing.

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  25. I remember that last drink, it so clear and yet so disgusting. It was the day before my daughters wedding. I had a drink and immediately starting throwing up. I could barely walk her down the isle during rehersal and after starting throwing up again.

    Lets go back in time.

    I was an alcolic, make no mistake. I was trying to hide it from my girl friend for a couple of years. She knew and had confronted me about it. I did the usual denial. I was hiding bottles from her in odd places. Drinking the vodka straight when I got any chance. Taking uncounted empty bottles to the dump, even throwing them out the window while driving to hide the evidence. I thought I had a handle on it. But I knew that deep in my heart I didn’t. I just wanted to die, actually hoping it would happen. I wanted to quit but also didn’t want to quit.
    My girlfriend had figured that I needed to get to the bottom of the barrel before I would change.

    Now move forward in time.

    I had to leave the rehersal party almost right after it started. The smell of alcohol made me throw up. I went back to the hotel, and continued throwing up about three times an hour until I finally asked for an ambulance. I don’t remember the hospital but I remained in ICU for 10 days, almost passed away a couple of times during this time frame. When I came to and asked the doctor what can I do to change this and he said, walking away, back turned “quit drinking”. I made the decision to quit. I didn’t go to AA I just quit. Fear of dying made me quit. For me quitting was easy, made easy because death had been looming over me I was to afraid if death. Its been 20 months now (I know not that long) and I have no desire to drink.
    My liver is shot, fibrosis 4/4, cirrhotic with scaring. I don’t think that my doctor believes that I quit but at least I know that I have. My now Girlfriend is my Fiance and she knows to that I quit. I quit smoking the same way, I just walked away from it and never looked back.

    Now I take my nutri-shake every morning, my vitamins including B complex. My Fiance has me eating tumeric and alot of beets (she is from Germany and I say that with a smile).

    What have I lost.

    The chance to walk my daughter down the isle… I never made it as I was clinging to life in ICU.

    The chance to live a normal retirement, my golden years (I am 60 heading to 61).

    The ability to sleep through the night non-stop.

    The sense of not knowing what pain free is like and never will again. Pain is constant.

    So… there it is… my past, my future and knowing that the future is far shorter now because of my actions.

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    • Thank you for sharing. I am glad that you were able to use this difficult experience to motivate your change. Hopefully your body will restore enough to resolve the issue of pain, and the sense of peace and freedom you have in your new approach to live will compensate for the things you cannot change. I am grateful for the reminder of where drinking can take us if we allow it to continue taking over our lives. Many blessings to you.

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  26. I suppose if I’m reading (and googling) drinking issues at this time of day (7am) then I have one myself yes? I think we all know the answer to that.
    I am interested though in folks that have the same thoughts and behavior as I do. And though I’m sure many would say “You’ve got all the signs of an alcoholic!”, I honestly don’t feel that way. I was married to an individual that had serious booze issues years back (I didn’t at the time), and personally can’t identify with what they were going through. On my begalf there is no insatiable desire to have to have a drink, hiding bottles, etc. Whether it’s cutting out the sauce to get back in shape, or whatever reason to “Go on the wagon” it honestly has never been an big deal. During those periods I don’t miss nor desire having a pop at all.
    What I have found though over time is that binge drinking has become a real issue. And Blackouts are almost the norm. Here’s the thing though…None of these blackouts involve any sort of come to Jesus moment or what addicts would call a bottom out circumstance or concurring behavior. I’m well known
    as a “happy drunk” etc but see the storm coming. What I’m feeling more than anything is fear. In that that literally everything I do with pals (and family to a degree) is based around heavy drinking. I have a wine and scotch collection that would make any boozer envious. And once that gets broken into, all bets are off. There’s literally rarely an occasion where I and my company is not getting completely smashed. It’s almost like a running joke to chat about whomever got the most blitzed on whatever occasion. Doesn’t matter whether a vacation or hanging around the kitchen when company comes over, as soon as the cap comes off it can be assured everyone (minus my wife who doesn’t drink much) will be hammered. There has never been a time where I woke up after a bender where I haven’t said “I hate feeling like this, and most folks would be absolutely leg-less” if they drank as much as I did the previous evening. Again, there hasn’t been a DWI or anything particularly egregious that can be accounted to my drinking. But I can see it coming. It’s almost like a storm on the horizon and I’m in a row boat slowly paddling towards it.
    Do I want or need to go to a meeting? Some would say yes, but I don’t feel for it. Stopping drinking would and is never the issue. For me it would be more the dealing with the boozing that was/is regularly part of my life. There’s literally not a moment that I can think of socially where there wasn’t heavy drinking involved. And how would it affect my friendships when I would not be getting blasted on these occasions? I have noticed when I’m on the wagon before that I get bored to death in an environment where everyone else is shitfaced and I’m not. It could very well be that my heavy drinking is not only a social pattern that I’ve gotten use to, but is also masking any personal unhappiness that I’m going through.
    Appreciate any who read this and might have a “Oh yeah that was definitely me” moment. “Functioning” or “Binger” immediately come to mind, but I know I could easily tootle along until the circumstance comes along that makes me say “Thays it I’m done”. And it just seems to me more and more that I’m working my way towards that.
    Have a nice day and thanks again.

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    • alcohol is a drug . built in to the framework of any drug is that you have to take more of it. if you could stop now you would basically be a comic book hero! meaning,its almost impossible to stop now. for me it had to become so painful that here i am 11 months sober and i still feel hungover most of the time. id recommend “eckhart tolle” for any mental, emotional, spiritual issues . allen carrs book “easy way to…” chk out ” kip c ” on youtube, an AA speaker tape of someone who really hit bottom. good luck to you.

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    • I can relate to drinking being a part of EVERY occasion. I tried AA and found that I felt like I couldn’t relate to low low bottom stories which gave me wiggle room to avoid looking at my own alcohol misuse. I found a blog called TIred of Thinking about Drinking and it speaks to this very thing. Belle Robertson is really good at talking to people like us and coming up with great solutions to move into sobriety . Also am impressed with Annie Grace’s Yjis Naked Mind. Which speaks to the subconscious lies we’ve been fed about alcohol and then proceeds to ii travel the beliefs we have about drinking and its benefits. This has been hugely helpful to me because it is retracing our subconscious beliefs and sweing alcohol for what it truly is:
      Poison. Hope this helps! There is so much online I am sure you will find something . LJ

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  27. I can relate to all above comments,actions,reactions and behaviors. The fact that I have to state that I have a drinking issue upsets me greatly. But the fact is that I do and have had one for a while. For me, there are certain conditions that will cause me to drink too much and those conditions are the exact same each time I over indulge. I’m aware of my pattern, the reasons why I drink too much and exactly what I would have to do to change this. The problem is that it means that after 20 years of marriage, newly married successful children, grandchildren on the way, a beautiful new home and city…all of the things that I wanted in my life would be compromised if I got rid of the problem……which is “my husband”. I never drank, never even thought of alcohol before I met my husband. He is a social drinker, raised with the mentality that “beer” or “drinks” are a way of life, a consideration for every occasion. When I approached my husband with my desire to stop drinking and would he help support this by not drinking as well, at first he said ok but he was unable or unwilling to keep that promise. This angered and disappointed me and I felt helpless. When I decided on my own to quit this drinking behavior that I had developed, I resented him for being able to still “have his fun” and not become addicted like I was beginning to be. I know in my heart that if I left him and got away from his drinking mentality …I could lick this problem and would because I am a strong person and I am beginning to seriously despise him and his friends and all people who cannot attend an occasion and not drink. OMG, what if alcohol was’nt being served at their grandchilds baptism…would they just refuse to go, or would they meet up and drink before, or stop after for a few???!!!! Good God, the world wouldn’t exist for these people. I can definitely without question not drink and not have the desire to drink at these types of occassions…it’s when I get home and I’m alone and bored and feeling helpless that I open up a bottle of wine and drink a lone. I am depressed and I am sad and I am lonely and bored with my life which includes for the most part, my husband. I feel like I have been wasting my life these past 10 years. How do I change myself without leaving my marriage, how do I exist alcohol free in this life where alcohol is such a part of my husbands family and friends lives and not have such resentment????? I am determined not to let this beat me or control me……I know the answer is to leave him, find my better life, do what makes me happy and find someone who makes me happy…..or is there a another way that won’t completely disrupt and tear apart my whole family??? any suggestions?

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    • I am the wife of a social drinker also. Have not had a drop in over 500 days. In the early days, I was a little resentful of his wine at night. Okay, a lot at first but it would not last but a minute. I would be a little snarky and he would sympathize and then I would get over it. I also hated when I would find myself at the store purchasing everyone’s preferred poison to prepare for guests. That is really the worst for me. But the resentment you feel is the ADDICTION talking, and it gets better fairly shortly. I am so proud to be a nondrinker around my young grandchildren, and you will be too. Look at the first part of your post where you admit you have everything you ever wanted. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water! I wish you strength and perserverance. Quitting my nightly wine is at once the hardest and easiest thing I ever did.

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    • Reading between the lines I think there are two distinctly different issues that you are having to contend with here.If you take care of your issues with drink dependency everything else will fall into place.
      I had similar issues when I became sober one month shy of two years.My marriage is now stronger but I questioned it when drinking.To repeat,heal yourself and the rest will follow.I read Jason Vale ‘Quit drinking’and it worked.AA meetings for me were too evangelistic-‘and then god came quietly,’did not scan for me.No god would allow the misery I have seen and felt through life,hence the small g.We are animals and the truth is the best work we do as humans is done as a singular experience and that is what you need now,a re-evaluation of your responsibilities to yourself.
      My wife does not drink to support me.However if she did I would not resent her, it is not her with a drink problem,it is mine; vis a vis your husband is not to blame for your drink problem.
      I hope you get sober because it really is twice the life you ever had with drink.

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  28. Wow. I am really glad to find your blog! I am going on my 4th day of sobriety. It is HARD. I do appreciate reading, and can relate. Yes, I saw lots of red flags for years before I made the decision that I had to quit. I think for me:
    1. hiding wine in all types of places, and finding empty wine glasses in places I’d forgotten about
    2. spilling wine all over my armchair and not realizing it until the next morning
    3. my kids remarking on my drinking (never good)
    4. adding up how much per week I was really spending on wine

    Amazing how much better I’ve felt in the last four days. Amazing how much I still think about buying that bottle of wine. As they say–one day at a time.

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  29. Ironic that today being 9/11 is the day I have choosen to stop drinking. I almost 2 bottles of wine last night and woke up to being told of things I said and did and dont remember any of it. This is not the first time. Im scared but finally admitted to myself and my family that I need help. I do not like the woman it has made me.

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    • Hi Shannon. No one wants to be addicted to alcohol, I am certain you had no intention of being in this place you find yourself. But now you know. Now you know and so…recovery is your responsibility, even though the addiction is not your fault. It’s hard at first but the freedom you will find in unhooking from alcohol’s grip is worth all the effort. It’s a great day to start fresh. You’re not alone.

      >

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  30. Your list is my list, to the T! Hearing your story about not having enough wine if your friend had a glass, made me laugh and cry simultaneously because I could totally identify, and it was one of the first time it hit me (like a knife in my gut) that I am an alcoholic…wow, that’s the first time I’ve written those words.
    I’m 84 days sober today. Thus far, I’ve been doing this on my own, with help from my husband (a total “normie”, the little bugger!), The Bubble Hour and a couple friends/family. I’ve always identified most with you on TBH, and I just want to say “thank you” for putting your story out there for those of us who need to hear that we’re not the only ones.
    I hope you continue to host the podcast and share all of the touching and inspirational stories of your guests.

    ❤️Tess

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  31. I recognize nearly all of these red flags, from being embarrassed about the bottles in the recycle bin to alternating stores.
    I live alone and have been through quite a lot these past few years, and drinking to numb out.
    I want to do a lot more reading here and sharing. I’ve been in the contemplation stage too long and it’s becoming a necessity to move forward. Every day when I look at the massive amount of things to be done, at home, clearing out my parents and estranged husbands things to grocery shopping and cleaning, or simply taking better care of myself, I half heartedly try to start somewhere and soon give up. I buy 1/2 pint tell myself that will do, and almost always go get another.
    I look forward to coming back to your blog and reading comments and posts.

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    • I have medical procedures tomorrow, an endoscope to look for esophageal varices, last week had CT scan of my liver. I hope these results come out well and that gives me the strength to stop drinking. I did my usual this afternoon, trying to not go back for more. I guess it wasn’t day 1.

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  32. I see me in most comments. I keep thinking I’ll stop soon. I’ve just drunk a whole bottle of wine tonight, I have a fatty liver also. I want to be around for my grandkids. Want to stop,to lose weight and stay healthy. It’s hard and ongoing.

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  33. I am on day 10 alcohol free. Been here before and then thought I could have some beers or a glass of wine. The glass of wine turns into a bottle of wine and the couple of beers expands to need to keep the fridge stocked so I don’t run out. I know I cannot control it but have kept trying and failing. I met a man who described his fall over what he called the imaginery line between enjoying a drink and needing a drink. He described his fall over that line and what it had cost him. He is sober a year and says he was just like me before he went over the edge to a very dark place. I don’t want to go there so knowing how he failed and the difficulties he faced in gaining back his life, I just can’t be a social drinker. The occasional drink for me puts me in jeopardy. The beverage companies make it look wonderful and it is for some, just not me and others who have shared their challenges. I wish everyone the best. Like many problems, sometimes repeated failure leads to success. I just can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, brilliant – that’s it exactly. It is a gift for you to have had this realization. Write it down, keep it close and re read it when you start having craving or those sneaky “I wasn’t so bad, I didn’t really need to quit” thoughts. You now have great motivation, and need to equal it with a plan, action, accountability and support. You’ve got it!

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    • According to your user name, it seems you have a bird and a dog, so hopefully you are not entirely alone. NOW, PLEASE consider the words of UnPickled. You do not want to court danger to yourself (and also to your animals, if you have them).
      If you already have memory blackouts, they are RED FLAGS.
      Alcohol is foodless food. In other words, it depends on other foodstuffs to process it. We need B vitamins to metabolize sugar and alcohol is essentially concentrated sugar. When I realized that, coming from a family with diabetes and heart disease, I said I don’t want to go down those paths if I could help it.
      It’s really hard to forego the temporary comfort and I still do miss it. However, I have my sights set on the future and I want to live as long as I can. I realize I have to do some work and put some effort in it.
      If you can find a local doctor or support group to help that would even be better.
      Best wishes, chou-chou

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      • It’s a Red flag I didn’t ignore. An no bird..Sydney passed a couple years ago. I will absolutely not play a game with myself. It’s black and white. Either I still have control and just didn’t use ithe or I don’t and it’ll be cut immediately. No ifs ands or butts.

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      • Oh, and it’s not so much it’s a food less food, as it is a BAL spike without prior food & hydration.

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  34. I can’t seem to find a place I fit into. I don’t drink daily. I binge. Friday night Saturday night, it’s 30 6.1% beers. Can I leave 2 or 4 in the fridge for next weekend? You bet. Do I tell myself I’ll only grab 15 an get some stuff done this weekend? You bet. Does it ever happen? Nope. I’m a 41 year old single woman on an acreage with no people near an friends that are hours away. I work my butt to the point of sheer exhaustion 5 nights a week and somehow manage to tell myself I deserve it. But now I blackout. Every weekend. At home. In the bush. Alone. And I’m scared. I’ve injured myself 3x now without a clue how. This last time almost unable to walk due to a gaping hole in my leg that was filled with mud. Somehow, I have to realize it’s not such a great thing to deserve. ..just hoping to talk..

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    • I’m glad you posted because your instincts are correct – you do need to get this out there and get help making changes. What you describe is absolutely a problematic pattern and left unchecked could cost you greatly. Mysterious falls have taken many lives. Please don’t let this happen to you. By coincidence or by design, your isolation has created a glaring opportunity for booze to fill the void. I encourage you to do more than just trying to stop stocking the fridge with beer on weekends. Connection and support can take the place of alcohol. Support group are a quick, ready made solution that will welcome you with open arms. Please consider checking out a meeting. It’s Saturday morning. What can you do differently tonight to protect, pamper, and show love to yourself? What needs to change starting right now?

      >

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      • Thanks. I don’t know why the 2nd 15pack came in. It was 8 or nine on a Friday night then somewhere..it changed. More money made. Isolation. Boredom. Loneliness. It was easy to not feel alone if I was singing an dancing on the deck.. but these complete blackouts have me scared beyond words. ..and beyond a beer..let’s hope. I can’t say when the blackouts started. A month of weekends ago maybe? Waking up to find…yep..I ate something..because there’s a pan dirty. Or with mysterious bumps bruises scrapes an bangs. Like really? I used the gas stove? How did I manage that without remembering? How am I not dead from a fire? Or a fall.. my day 1 will be my Friday. Enough is enough! I’ll do it alone and online. Here seems good.

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        • Keep reaching out and connecting. For the most interaction, comment on current posts. Look on my resources link (you may have to switch to desktop view if you’re using a tablet or phone) and join an online community life smart recovery or women for sobriety. And know that if you can’t seem to get it on your own, you will need to add something more until you have the level of support
          You need. If online alone isn’t enough, look for real life ways to bolster your efforts. Be tenacious. Don’t give up. I’m cheering for you. I’m sending you an email as well.

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          • Great email, blog, posts and comments. Your truly a strong shoulder standing out for anyone and everyone. You know my plan A and my plan B. Ahh hell..I’ll copy it all. Why not be accountable to more people 🙂 Maybe I’ll get some backlash, but maybe I’ll be one of the lucky few that caught it before it completely caught me. We’ll know in a month if plan A could work or if it’s too tempting. Because if I can’t control a substance, if I have fallen too far down that path, it sure as hell will never control me again. Period.
            I appreciate you reaching out. Reading all the posts have really made me think, evaluate and dig deep inside myself. I’ve had 3 blackouts. In the last 3 weekends. I’ve figured out why. A..sleep deprivation. I work nights, home at 7am an if it’s Friday night that I have nowhere to go ..well..it’s miller time. B. I don’t eat a lunch. My breakfast is at 19:00hrs..so a full 12hrs before I have a drink. C. I’m increased my intake during the summer because I can actually be outside in the sun putzing around. ..so I’m awake longer.
            I realize hugely 30 in 60hrs is far too much. But I also know I don’t need it. It’s a boredom, restless, Wtf else does one do at 3am when it’s my typical lunchtime?! Can’t be outside ..
            So. I’ve come up with a plan. Because I do enjoy a cold one on a hot day or a single ounce of good scotch beside the fire in winter. And I can moderate. I’m just not. I got it in my head somehow that I deserve to have as many as I feel like..I can afford it. And I’m at home. 7 or 8 was never an issue on my typical “Friday night”. 15 a night is an issue. So blatantly..no more 2 cases. There’s no reason for it and it’s only caused negative consequences, injuries, shame and humiliation. I know I can have 7 or 8 and quit an go to bed and get some things done the next day instead of staying up about 24hrs then passing out.
            Sunshine is my weakness. Summer. Being outside. But now it’s stopping me from being outside the next day during daylight. Which does me zero good on top of causing damage to my body and mind and happiness.
            I know I’m isolated. Always have been. Night shift makes it even more so. Who coffees an has breakfast at 21:00hrs? Or 03:00? Not many. None here I know personally. Coworkers either don’t drive or don’t have same nights off. 
            So.. in my endeavor to get myself back to an acceptable, healthy normal, I’ll be stopping in to chat outta sheer boredom an loneliness until I find some other things to do. ..hope that’s OK.  I figure this will also keep me accountable. Something I’m sure will drive me in the good direction.
            It was an entitlement I thought I deserved. Living through all I have. Brain biopsy included. But it’s not a good thing anymore. And if I can’t keep myself at it being only a minimal amount and a good thing.. I’ll be done an wash my hands of it. I grew up with an alcoholic mother. I swore I’d never be like her..drunk for days.. an I’m not. But I see that closing in especially being a hereditary disease. And I’m either going to be the strong woman I am and enjoy in moderation once or 2x a month or I will be done with it. I won’t be her.

            Sorry…and thx. Man that needed to all come out. I feel stronger. I have a plan A and a plan B an its not just in my head. Just telling someone makes me accountable. Thank you.

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            • My thoughts on your plan are this: please remember that moderating alcohol has nothing to do with strength for people whose brains have been rewired into an addictive pattern. Hercules could not moderate under those conditions. You have addiction in your genes and you have numerous indicators that addiction is present. It’s most likely that moderation won’t be an option for you, and if that proves to be the case please don’t think that’s because you’re not being strong enough. Because that’s just a lie our addiction whispers so we’ll keep feeding it. “Be stronger this time, try again.” Where your strength might come in handy is in staying off booze altogether. That’s a process that will build strength as you continue, not diminish it. Yah, I know a drink is nice on a hot day. So is lemonade or La Croix, but addiction makes us think that nothing else could ever possibly do. Still….it’s your choice, it really is at is point. If you want to try moderating, see how that goes but don’t give it an extra inch. One extra drink, one black out, one surprise plate in the sink….your brain will want you to keep moving the line and keep drinking. “Oh so I said I’d have one and I had three. So what. Three is still not much.” “Okay so I blacked out, that’s only because I had a bad day at work. I’ll do better next time.” Don’t play that game.

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              • I will absolutely NOT play that game with myself. If I’ve become addicted as opposed to just not really thinking about it, I’ll be dry completely. I’ll be honest on here because I feel I can be and just always am. ..so you’ll know when I know 🙂

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              • So.. here I am on my Friday night at 6am today but it’s also my Sunday night this weekend. Ha. Night shift..gatta love it. Left night shift at 6, drove 6hrs to the Mac to work 2 days then back home for 4 nights. But it’s worth it 🙂
                Beer now in hand. Ordering pizza and gonna have maybe 3..4 sips into 1. ..bought 6. Need to eat, sleep an be up at 4 am. Yahoo! Can she do it? You bet I can! ..so long as I don’t fall asleep an miss the pizza dude all will be well 🙂

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                • Well I don’t know where to yabber on so I’ll post here..ha. Pizza sure looks good. Pizza Prince in Ft McMurray..an for some silly reason is was cheaper than the thing I grabbed at the hotel check in. Bonus me. I’m on beer 3 now..an I’m so damn hungry. Thing is.. I gatta stay up til at least 20:00hrs or I’ll be up at 02:00 an not 04:00. So.. timmies is out event hough it is actually right across the street cause a timmies gives me 5hrs. So.. 3 more smokes an sip Slowly.. ok.. and a slice of pizza..

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                  • Sorry Birds, I just can’t cheer you on for drinking three beers tonight. It’s totally your right to try cutting back instead of quitting, even though your black outs and mystery wounds suggest you should stop, but this is a site people come to for support to get sober and reading about your drinking can trigger someone in their fragile early days. I’m also worried for you, in all honesty. I have a wonderful sober friend who lives in Ft Mac and I’m sure she’d be happy to meet up for coffee sometime if you ever want to connect with someone who is living alcohol free.

                    >

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                    • If 3 instead of 15 or 17 isn’t a good thing here. So be it. I don’t belong here either. Remove all of my posts immediately. Good luck and farewell.

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                    • It is really sad you think that way. You came here for a reason and now you are upset at somebody that was trying to help you. Do you want help or just attention? You have a lot of soul searching to do. I hope you come back here with a clear mind. Good luck. If it helps I am on day 417 without a drink. It can be done and you will have support here if you want it.

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                    • Taking offense to gentle correction is exactly what the addicted brain does because the part of your brain that’s wired for addiction is scared shitless at the thought of you reading recovery blogs and trying to take your power back. It’s the part of your brain that whispers, “screw them, they’ve hurt you so just drink what you want…” If that’s the case, don’t listen to it. There are lots of places online where you can explore moderation management, if that’s what you choose. However, I’d love for you to stick around here too and pick up what you can about recovery – because recovery and sobriety are two different things. I hope you can understand my response to you better today, after the sting of feeling offended has (hopefully) lessened. Resist the urge to retreat, okay Birds?

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                    • I wasn’t offended. I said what my plan A and plan B were. You seemed ok with knowing that. But as soon as plan A happened and it worked, it was you that took offense. I thought I made it perfectly clear what my plan was. If it was not alright then, that would have been the time to say so. Again, I was not offended or am I now. Just obviously is not the right place. I had read many posts here of people saying they want to quit with a wine in hand that I certainly did not think my success with moderation would be an issue. But it seems to be. So I’ll happily move along and wish you good luck again. And please do remove my posts. If it’s not the place for me then no trace need be left as that would make me look like a failure when in fact I succeeded first time. ..now it’s just to keep winning/succeeding.

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                    • Oh for heavens sake then go. You are just grand standing now. Unpickled is the most patient, honest mentor to many people on this site. Trust me its you that is scared and stubborn. And that’s fine. But I am sure even this small interaction with this support group is probably a copy paste of the patterns in your real life. You get lonely, get scared, feel righteous, act hard ass, send people away. Get lonely, get scared, feel righteous, etc

                      Until it’s still just the bird the pooches and you. Doesnt have to be that way. Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

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  35. Wow. Your words were like reading my own story. I started drinking when I was 13 and got a fake ID when I was 16. I went to bars all the time. My whole life I turned to alcohol to cope…parents divorce, my mom left and was addicted to drugs and alcohol…lived with my dad who was an alcoholic and had schizophrenia…dealt with watching my dad attempt suicide 3 times…abuse…the list goes on. I moved 27 times…I lost count at 27. As a young adult I lived on my own at age 17. I worked three jobs and put myself through university. I received my honours in Psychology while in a series of terrible relationships ( druggies, physical abuse, emotional abuse). On the outside I looked like I had it together. I left bad relationships, “dealt” with family drama. Held a good job and saved money. I was the happy go lucky, all around great friend..a role model but I drank…on the weekends, after work…all the time. I felt like my whole life was one social event after another. During my marriage of 16 years I did horrible things while drinking. I felt so much shame and guilt. I ended up leaving my husband for many reasons but mostly because of shame and guilt. I couldn’t live with myself. I blamed him. I left a big beautiful home, 2 beautiful girls and a life of drama ( so I thought). Throughout my marriage I would decide to “get healthy” and quit drinking for 3 months. I got in shape, felt great and then slipped back into old habits of drinking all the time. My divorce last year started a whirlwind of chaos and confusion and guilt and frustrations. I was a “part time” mom now. I had my girls a week on and a week off. I was a great mom when I had them but as soon as I put them to bed I drank and drank. I wasn’t sleeping. I had anxiety and depression. I went to a psychologist and started a new relationship. Again thinking I can handle this. I can keep my feelings in check. I will deal with this like I always do. I thought…Look how well I am coping. I even had the psychologist convinced that I was dealing better than the average person and that I was so “resilient”. I wasn’t coping”. I was drinking. I drank by myself. I drank with neighbours. I laughed about my drinking. I can relate to the recycling bins of booze. I came home early one day to find the wind knocked over the bin and on the road were bottles of wine and beer cans. I was humiliated but continued to drink. My 40th birthday I went to Miami. My fist day there I was in bed by 4:00 pm. U woke up not knowing where I was. I started drinking at 4:30 am. I woke up and started drinking again. For three days I have some memories but I was drunk for 4 days. Recently I yelled at my boyfriend’s daughter for crying about getting into a car with us after I was drinking all day. I said I was fine and I wasn’t. I drove over curbs and almost ran into my garage door. When I woke up I didn’t remember how I got home. I drove. I put their life at risk. I would never do that with my kids. Yet…did I stop drinking? No I drank more. My relationships were in jeopardy. I am a teacher too heaven sakes. I missed a lot of time last year. U blamed it on The divorce but in reality it was my drinking. The straw that broke the camel’s back…well one of them. I had a party and was drunk and someone said, “Wow. This is who we have educating our youth”. It hit home. Who am I? I don’t know. I’ve never been sober long enough to figure out. My friend is seeing a Guy who is sober and I asked her how she could date someone who doesn’t drink. I said I could never do that! Laughing to myself I can’t help but wonder if my friends will feel the same way. If my boyfriend will like sober me. After all its been a year of partying and drinking. I realize more than ever that I never dealt with anything. I masked the pain with booze. I realize I finally need to cope. Break down, let down my guard and feel everything I should and let it go. I have to be honest. Its been 5 days. Wow! 5 days. And the toughest 5 days of huge emotion. Im sorry this is long winded. But it feels great to let it out. Sometimes you just feel like nobody understands. I am so ready for this change. Ready to be me, resilient, loving, strong, smart and beautiful person I am! Thanks for listening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope your day 5 is going as well as can be expected, and you’re finding a lot of what you need in these pages.

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    • Five beautiful days. Five hard-fought days. Freedom from booze, freedom to heal, to process all this pain you’ve been holding in since childhood. I want to sing LET IT GOOOO with you in my kitchen right now. You are seeing the signs and taking your power back. Don’t let anyone or anything tell you that you’re fixed, it’s fine, you can drink again — that’s how the power slips away. Keep reaching out. Build support and accountability. Soak in the many great blogs and podcasts and books on recovery. You are on your way. Don’t look back! You don’t live there any more!

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  36. Hi! Thank you ! I recognize myself in every pattern and red flag! A little different but the same. My biggest red glad is that I’m sitting here wanting to just sit and cry while my just turned two year old is wanting to play.
    Today is the day I have been planing on reaching out and asking for help at an AA meeting. It’s not the first “quit date” I’ve set!!! It always gets pushed back .
    I’ve been sober before. For 13 years . Oh well that doesn’t even matter . What matters now is I find the strength , I already have the desire, to give it up, get sober so I can feel that sense of freedom I long for. Not to mention be the mom I want to be .
    Thank you for giving me this space ! It’s quite miraculous but no coincidence I saw it today.

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  37. I’ve commented on here a few times since I quit drinking. It was a year for me at the end of June. Still going strong. My best friend has been having his own issues. Along with daily excessive drinking he’s been diagnosed with debilitating anxiety and depression. I’ve always told him the alcohol is just making it worse but to him it was something he could go to for relief. Which I’m sure did work as a short term fix. Well, on Friday he checked himself into a medical detox center. This came after he outed to his whole family his drinking problem, which I know had to have been one of the hardest things for him. He told me this has been harder than when he went through a divorce that his ex wife wanted, not him. I’m wondering if anyone here has done medical detox and if they have any advice I can share with him. Also, I would encourage anyone that’s having multiple ‘day 1s’ to think about giving it a try, especially if you are a long time heavy drinker as there can be serious complications from quiting alcohol cold turkey.

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  38. Insect P Jones

    Hi good evening all. Just found this blog and felt compelled join in. I’ve been drinking most of my life and honestly made and done some pretty awful things whilst as drunk as a skunk!
    The shame was worse whilst drunk.
    I got fed up and could not take the cloud of self loathing in the morning and the deep abyss of shame.
    I applied myself and went straight to a centre to get help. I was persistent and determined and finally with a little help from Librium and camprol I have stopped drinking for 15 days.
    After reading your stories which I appreciated every single one.
    I AM NOT NEVER GOING BACK, never.
    The anxiety is real but they are only thoughts. Working on myself. Loving kindness. Sending out love to you all! WE CAN AND WILL DO WHAT WE GOT TO DO TO MAKE IT WORK!!

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  39. If I’m not ready to put down my addiction I don’t know when I will be. Another blackout last night and another day of fatigue, bloat and horrible taste in my mouth. This was just 48 hours after I decided I had quit for good. Lot of stress and sadness going on in my life right now and I “deal” with it by not dealing with it. Too much alone time, too much inertia,not enough hope. Very little hope, actually. I always come back to sober blogs. I need to see that other people can do it, have done it. It encourages me to read that no matter how hard it is in the beginning, sobriety gets easier. Wow. Wish I could believe that.

    So – Day 1, again. Big party this weekend and I’m thinking am I nuts to make a commitment ahead of a time and place where everybody will be drinking. But the fact of the matter is that I don’t drink like other people. I drank indiscriminately and got tired and wasted at this annual party last year and I was jealous of the people who were still peppy and having a good time when I was already winding down and wanting to crawl into bed.

    If I wait for the right time it’ll never come, though. I guess any time I take the pledge and stick to it will be the right time. (Trying to talk myself into it). Right now, today, kind of sad over my waste of a life and all the things I could have done, should have done with my talents. But I won’t stay in the past and wallow.

    If I can get out of here alive with my health intact ….

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    • it does get easier . i asked my mother if there was such a thing as self induced coma for a month ? because i was so deep in the hole, i knew it was gonna be terribly painful, mentally and physically. that kept me drinking even longer. the funny thing is the terrible suffering we go through is absolutely necessary to grow as a person. i understand that i should be even grateful for that, even as though it feels like hell when you’re init. i dont know? the coma idea still sounds pretty good… turns out its dangerous to be in any type of coma . the buddhist have the image of the lotus flower struggling up through the muddy swamp. or maybe you could think of a butterfly struggling to free itself from the cocoon..the point is i know it doesn’t feel like it now but the suffering does have a purpose.

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    • (((Hug))) Rosie. It gets better, it absolutely does. And, in all honesty, vowing to quit and then getting blackout drunk is very much a sign that addiction is present. Going alcohol free would be a wonderful gift to give yourself. You deserve to be happy and free, not dragged down with this tired old ball-and-chain relationship to booze.

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  40. Ok, I’ll jump in and give this a shot too. I’m a 33 year old guy from Australia, I have struggled with alcohol abuse for years, but it is definitely escalating. Most of my friends are growing up and still having the occasional party – but I know I’m always going to be the guy that makes a fool of himself / embarrass my wife / not remember wtf happened last night.

    In my mind, there is no worse feeling than waking up, that taste in your mouth, the the dawning of reality when you cant actually remember what you did, and need to gauge how much you f**ked up by the reaction of your significant other….

    Lately (probably more in the last 3 months) I’ve been drinking during the week (3-8 per night), and on the weekend if I’ve had a big night and nobody is around, i’ll start on the beers when I wake up. Yep, seriously.

    I don’t let it affect my job and I have not had a sick day in 8 years. Although, I’m at the point now where I generally feel like crap most of the time unless I’m drinking. My wife hates it, but tolerates it for the most part.

    Last week on friday morning, I thought, that’s it, i’m quitting. That afternoon I went to the liquor store and drank for 2 days straight. This was a big wake up call for me, I’m a very determined person, and I wont let this problem take over my life. I’m putting a stop to it before I start losing the things in my life that I love. Thanks for the stories; and lending an ear.

    This is me, day 2 sober.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Guess it’s time to add my rant to the list…

    I’m on my second go round in the past year. First time I went about 6 weeks without a drop. After that period I was moderating pretty well (a 22oz craft beer twice a weekend) until my best friend passed and I was back at full throttle. Easily killing a 12 pack of 7 to 9% beer on Saturday and Sunday, and a 6 pack on weekdays. I kept it well hidden from co workers and family (one of my closest co workers said “you don’t seem like a drinker.” Ha!) but knew I had a problem. Eventually my left hand ring finger and pinky went numb and the doctor said that I had alcoholic neuropathy (nerve endings damaged) from too much abuse. I am now on day number 7 and am enjoying getting my life back again. I’m down to a pack of smokes a day from 2 1/2 just because I’m not drinking. Cigarettes are the next thing I’m giving up. Life is too short to spend poisoning yourself. Not to mention the money I’m saving! I’ve learned that I’m not someone who can moderate. It’s all or nothing, and I have chosen nothing. BTW 21 days is bullshit; Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you are reading this, you have already taken a step in the right direction. Don’t give up. There’s a better life out there for all of us.

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  42. Today is day one of my second year of sobriety. Yesterday was one year for me since my last drink which was at a Rush concert on June 11, 2015. I have lost weight and saved money. I really don’t miss it now. The first few months were tough but once I got to 100 days it just seem to get easier. I drank a lot and I knew it was way past time to stop. The novelty of it was long gone. I have lost a couple of friends because I don’t drink anymore but that doesn’t bother me. For all of you out there that are still struggling with quitting just know you can do it. The fact that you are thinking about it means you are headed in the right direction.

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  43. if ya wanna stop any compulsive behaviour ya gonna need to some work on the inner .
    first off, if ya not sure, keep drinkin . ya not gonna do jack shit about it until ya get serious. or like me
    it will become so mentally and physically painful you will be left with no choice .
    i obsessively studied spirituality for 7 years or so while being pissed all the that time,
    you could say i was obsessed with 2 sorts of spirit. i think this really helps address the inner issues.
    my go to guy is Eckhart tolle. check out either “the power of now” or “a new earth”. (this isn’t a cult or religion)

    second. 95% of alcoholics are hypoglycemic. this is a real killer !
    and i dont mean death, i mean ya gonna wish you were dead .
    vitamin C is a massive !! and id recommend it even if you weren’t in recovery.
    check out Andrew Saul PhD on YOUTUBE . Hes gonna tell just what a miracle “C” is in high doses.
    ya gonna need some B-100 complex , Glucose tabs, chromium picolinate , Alpha lipoic acid, maybe some magnesium.
    take multivitamin with every meal along with this lot . eat small meals every couple of hours.

    lots of juicing fruit and vegetables. throw in some super foods like wheatgrass, kelp, turmeric, maca root, chlorella, ginger. and the daddy – coconut oil . i learned about sugar. gloucose is essential , lactose is fine , fructose is satan’s semen! 8 times more addictive than cocaine with a list as long as your arm of negatives. and in everything because its cheap.
    im not a doctor and you should probably work something out with your local gp. i have this thought pattern that says doctors
    are nothing but butchers and poisoners… Fck big pharma ! haha im sure theres some good ones left ..
    the point being im doing it on my own . im also a coward and it takes a lot of courage to ask for help.

    the one thing i haven’t been doing because the lethargy is too brutal and im lazy is exercise .
    i know this would probably half my recovery time : ( i do some yoga stretches, mild exercise etc… but nowhere near enough.

    the truth is i couldn’t stop on my own . i tried several times . id love to take credit but id be lying .
    ultimately life or the universe or in my language, God (its all the same) is going to give you what you need .

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    • Yup. I did a lot of work on the ‘inner’ before I made the move to be AF. I had counseling, learned to meditate, (big fan of Eckhart Tolle, Tara Brach, Jon Kabat-Zin, Jack Kornfield) and then got certified to teach it a year ago. I attribute this to finally helping me deal with my anxiety and ocd in a healthy was and leading me to truly being AF. And that is my daily goal right now. Pretty new to the commitment. LJ

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      • reading it back now, the bit about helping myself sounds confusing . i guess what i was trying to say was God got involved. There’s no doubt i needed professional help but i couldn’t even talk to a member of my own family without 3 glasses of wine in me. i wasn’t like unpickled. she’s obviously an incredible person who recognised she had a problem, then dealt with it before it got too bad. i decided drinking myself to death wasn’t all that terrible. infact i thought it would be fun, at least until the last couple of weeks of my liver giving up at 59 or so. (im 37 now) one of my other spiritual heroes Alan watts lived that life.
        i just had no idea how painful it gets when your body can no longer deal with the alcohol.
        there are many worse things in this world worse than dying. living as an alcoholic is one of them. if you are reading this and struggling yourself please try to understand the addicted mind makes terrible decisions. there’s something to be said for getting out of your own way so that you can help yourself. which i know sounds paradoxical but i can’t explain it any other way.

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  44. June 30th. Last day for me. So many day 1’si cannot count. I have reached a place in my mind I cannot deal with my addiction any longer. I want to be free…I’m ready.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michele
      Hope your staying strong. I have had more day ones than I can count. It’s Independence Day weekend so hang in there! We are walking together today!

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  45. Well, this blog is like looking in a mirror. I too have struggled with alcholism for 30+ years, truth is it’s closer to 40 yrs. I’m 53, have always had “a handle” on drinking (the big lie), never missed a day of work, rarely have a full blown hangover, never arrested, good career in health care….so apperantly I was damn good at hiding my problem, and lets not forget was clearly in denial for most of my adult life, but I actually denied the denial. How’s that for logic! I’ve privately had thoughts of needing to “cut back” many times for many years, but I guess i was getting by, so except for taking a few days away from beer (my weakness), I’d quit for a few days, feel better about myself, then back to the alcohol. To complicate matters, I am state licenced and any admission of addiction is a carrer ending scarlet letter. I have what I think is a strange trigger…on a beautiful day, I’m in a good mood, and I think to myself, a cold beer sounds great, find a drinkin’ buddy and have some laughs. Honestly, some of the best times of my life have involved alcohol, in fact most of them, because I was always drinking, i suppose. I’d drink, have a good time and carry on with life..no problem, right? In reyrospect, to say alcohol never caused me problems is bullshit, but for the most part it really hadn’t brought any horrible consequences, which means I didn’t have a problem right? Bullshit again. I was by any measuring stick, a heavy drinker, daily. Haven’t bought a 6pk since high school, the thought of running out of beer on a sunday, called for a mad dash to the store on saturday night, a case minimum. So fast forward to now-ish. Over the past 5 years, i knew i had a serious problem, needed to quit….tried, failed, justfied, tried failed, justified, failed. The biggest single issue I developed was depression, i mean don’t care if I live or die depression. Suicide ran thru my mind, never seriously, but I had thoughts. Just started those feelings a few years ago, apperantly some metabolic change occurred and alcohol was all of a sudden a really dark driving force in my life. So fast forward to now…i quit 2 days ago, for good I hope. The first couple days haven’t been too bad, as long as I stay occupied, boredom is my other trigger. So my friends, I’ve found all of your thoughts and experiences to be inspiring. I wanted you to to know you’ve all helped another take on this tough journey. I hope I can fight the fight. In only 2+ days, my depression has lifted a little. Thanks for listening. J

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  46. Could have written it myself:)

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  47. I did it! Today marks one year without a sip of alcohol for me. The first thing I’m doing this morning is posting to this blog, I’ve been looking forward to it. I remember saying early on that if I make it one year I would reevaluate and possibly start drinking again, but in moderation. I now know that’s a mistake and I see no end to my staying sober. I have no desire to even touch the stuff. I even feel like I’m in some sort of special club that was really hard to get into, and I’ve earned my first badge. For those of you on Day 1, stay strong, it’s hard at first but then it gets way better. You can do it!

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    • Congratulations! That is truly an awesome achievement. Good job on reevaluating your thoughts on drinking again after a year. I will be joining your one year club two weeks from today. I can’t wait to get there.

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    • Erik, this is wonderful! An (awkward) cartwheel in your honour!! I’m double happy to hear you aren’t going back – great decision. This life is too precious to waste time numbing out. Congratulations. You are an inspiration and I salute you!

      >

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  48. Alistair Baker

    I drank heavily,daily,for 12 years,rarely awake after 7 at night.red flags big time,every one.Read How to quit drinking easily by Jason Vale.18 months dry and very happy,get the book, read it.Want a better existence for yourself?Be strong and it will happen.Fear stops people getting out of holes,fear nothing,one short life….live it.

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  49. Day 50 after 2 years: it is easy to quit, unless you believe it is not! Just put a little bit more sugar in your diet. A can of energy drink a day works for me.

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  50. I have been in the contemplation stage for a good while now. As of yesterday, I entered the ready to quit as my red flags were becoming evident. I had been putting a check mark on each day I didn’t overdo the drinking and an X if I did. since i was thinking about quitting. I began watching the X’s go from once a month to once a week, and as recently as this week, 3 X’s in one week. Not to mention that my bank account is much lower than it’s been in a long time and I fear I may not have enough to pay my bills this month. I want o make it real by telling everyone, sobriety date 6/13/16.

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    • Hi Liam, sounds like you are starting out with a high level of self awareness and desire for change. That’s excellent, keep it going. It’s a good idea to journal or blog so that if you start telling yourself “it was never so bad, I’m probably okay to drink again” you can look back and revisit why you’ve made this decision. Hope your first few days are going well. Be gentle with yourself.

      >

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  51. I keep having day one. It is like Groundhog Day. I get to day 6 or 7 and then I fail. W T F ? I so want to be sober. Always!!!

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  52. I wish I was on day 4. Go ahead and have that glass. Since I discovered this blog I went even worse with my drinking. The only differense I am aware of my priblem and paying attnetion how drinking affects my life. Before it was “just one day”. Now it’s one day free. Before it was “every other day”. I called in sick, drank all morning long and trying to figure out how I can pretend going to wotk. My son asked me this morning why I didn’t have my uniform(work clothes) when I was taking them to school. Just a reminder what I am today and where you are today. I want to be 165 days off. You don’t want to be me 0.

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    • You sound exhausted. What would it take for you to make things different today?

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      • Well, I am adding red flags and like I said I am aware. I try, but no hard enough. What happened today is alcohol at home. I try to moderate and my husband is aware of the problem ( I said I have it . Alcoholism. Asked him not to buy or have alcohol at home). Had a slippery road going from one bottle to 2 sometimes. 2 is a dead day next morning and driniking in the morning is my new found lowest point. I need to abstain. Period. Still thinking I can moderate, which is not true. I am not drinking now. Will go to work. Thank you for your question. I need to get nyself together.

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    • It was 7 years ago that we intervened on my good friend. He entered an in patient program, all went well, didn’t actually even need detox. It was the follow through he couldn’t handle. He just couldn’t build up the patience to sit in those meetings and listen to other’s problems. It drove him mad. After several sober months, he fell off the wagon and pulled away. After a very dark year, he picked himself up, went back to work and started living again. And then one day when the office was empty he fell back into the old routine of pouring a day drink, the trigger was flipped, fired the next day showing up hammered, and for the next 2 years he was in the darkest of places and ended his days in the worst of ways. A brilliant man laid to rest at 43 years old. One of you mentioned a slippery slope earlier. I had no idea it was THIS slippery. Just 2 years ago living, working and dating and yet he dies a slow painful, “Leaving Las Vegas” style death with not so much as a painkiller to help his pain and hallucinations as he faded away. Don’t forget just how slippery that slope is. I won’t.

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  53. Day 165 without a drink for me. Had been sick and tired the regrets and procrastination in everything before I gave up in December 2015. Have accomplished a few very positive things in this duration. Have given up a few times before – for several months at a time on/off. Now want to go back to drinking (i know, just to give up again when I am tired and ashamed of myself like before and with risk of unpleasant events or even serious damage although not planning to have one). Not liking anymore the absolute no drinking idea although it is better for my life and of those around. Slippery slope I know and I will most likely not be able to moderate but I am pouring into the glass again. Will update when I give up again. Cheers everyone!

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    • That’s truly unfortunate. You’ve come a long way. Why keep doing this to yourself? Is there something triggering you to want to do it all over again? Will it be worth it? You obviously realize this is a problem but you seem to be ok with it. I hope others on here read your post and use it as fuel to keep them going rather than sympathize with it and go back to the bottle as well. Good luck. Moderation does work for some, but not often for those that realize they have a problem.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are 165 days and now you are going to jump off the wagon? I would suggest not doing that because I have done that many times. It gets harder and harder each time you quit. I am 320 days today and going strong. I don’t even want a drink now even in social situations. I hope you reconsider not taking that drink. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gary Griffin

        It was 7 years ago that we intervened on my good friend.  He entered an in patient program, all went well, didn’t actually even need detox.  It was the follow through he couldn’t handle.  He just couldn’t build up the patience to sit in those meetings and listen to other’s problems.  It drove him mad.  After several sober months, he fell off the wagon and pulled away.  After a very dark year, he picked himself up, went back to work and started living again.  And then one day when the office was empty he fell back into the old routine of pouring a day drink, the trigger was flipped, fired the next day showing up hammered, and for the next 2 years he was in the darkest of places and ended his days in the worst of ways.  A brilliant man laid to rest at 43 years old.  One of you mentioned a slippery slope earlier.  I had no idea it was THIS slippery.  Just 2 years ago living, working and dating and yet he dies a slow painful, “Leaving Las Vegas” style death with not so much as a painkiller to help his pain and hallucinations as he faded away.  Don’t forget just how slippery that slope is.  I won’t.

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    • Ah your post makes me sad for you. Drinking again will seem like a great idea for the first few seconds after the first sip – ahhh there it is – but I can only guess that beyond that you’ll find few positives and many negatives. 165 days is a tremendous accomplishment in itself, and is love to see you keep going and put your energy to better use than returning to booze. Have you read Recovery 2.0 by Tommy Rosen? Maybe you could read that book before deciding if you want to pick up again. Maybe you could add one or two more things to your routine to build more happiness into your sobriety, rather than chucking it. Seriously, you deserve the best life has to offer and I don’t think booze will get you there!

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      • Thanks all.
        I am the day 165 guy again.
        Went to a friend’s for dinner. The hosts drank. The wife (who is not a drinker at all – may be 1 glass of wine every couple of months) drank a glass. I chose not to drink today unlike what I had thought before. I guess I was not yet ready for the guilt that was coming tomorrow if I drank today and the day after and not sure how many days, months, thereafter. Not sure how long I will drag. I can certainly “not drink” like today, like everyday in the last 165 days. Thanks for all your words. May be I should buy that Tommy book.
        Having quite a few turbulences in life, profession etc. waiting for some life-changing decisions, lots of impatient moments, these all have made me consider drinking again even if drinking is far from solution but will make the wait much more bearable (of course at the cost of all the guilt and hangover and remorse that it will bring for sure). But it appears I have collected enough sanity in the last 165 days due to clarity in mind that tells me to hang on and regardless of how unpleasant the feeling, stick with not drinking. But for sure I feel very very vulnerable, could pick up a drink any weak moment. Possibly this weekend.

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  54. Time forchange

    Kari, you are NOT alone. I suck at this. Every day I swear to God I won’t drink again but I do. Every day, I live the same regret, shame, remorse, guilt, humiliation, and degradation. I hate it. I pretend like I am ok to everyone. It’s the worst. I keep thinking I can do this by myself but it has been 2 years. It hits 4:30 and the demon in me wins. I hate that weak part of be but I also love her. I struggle with letting go because alcohol kind of saved me mentally. I had terrible depression and I survived because it allowed me to not care for my kids and family when I really did. Ok. Sorry. Rambling. Kari I really hope you are ok. I will be honest though from one drunk to another, I am not sure what your post said. Pretty sure I have gone off track because I am drunk…..because it is easier for me to believe “if I wanted to, I could control it” …..like I said, it has been two years since I’ve tried. I think I am losing. Gosh I am sorry. Selfish. So sorry, I am selfish.

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    • Several life shocks caused me to stop, mainly the death of several people who drank. I just read an article about the higher incidence of breast cancer in women who drink what they believe is a small amount. http://draxe.com/alcohol-breast-cancer-risk/

      My problems are mainly gastro. For a couple years I had been having a pain on my left side that went miraculously away when I had a shot. I didn’t realize that alcohol (as well as some other stuff like caffeine) was making it worse. The scare of what it would be like to have part of my gut removed is enough for me to stop, seeing it can only be a downward spiral.

      I suggest you do get help because it is really difficult to give up the stuff alone.
      Best wishes.

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  55. I am there. Rock bottom close. Want to stop anonymously…don’t know what is next.

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    • Hi Kari. You’re not alone. Maybe I can help you figure it out. What has been happening? What’s your drinking pattern? What’s your situation at home – do you have positive support around you?

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  56. I Put a Cork in it

    “I was the most boring alcoholic ever – I have no stories of catastrophe. I just knew I was losing control and needed to take charge.” — Unpickled, June 2014

    Those two sentences changed the course of my life. 500 days ago I made the decision to stop drinking. No one knew I was getting out of control. In fact, I hid my drinking so well I’m not sure anyone would have believed me had I told them. I began to contemplate quitting the last few weeks of December 2014. I wanted to secretly stop drinking so that left the internet as my “sponsor.” As has happened to so many others, I stumbled across your website and began reading…and kept reading until I had read and absorbed every entry and every comment. I was one of the “yet” people you write about. Nothing really bad had happened to me…yet. No DUI, no humiliating myself in public, no rock-bottom…yet. Yes, I experienced wide-awake blackouts, meaning the next day I could see I’d done the laundry and cleaned up the dinner dishes, but had no recollection of doing it. (Luckily, even in my wide-awake drunken stupor I had enough clarity to know that getting behind the wheel was a no-no.) I functioned normally all day long but when 5:00 came, it was wine time. In short order, I would be reasonably smashed but able to function fairly well to the outside world. My friends drank (and still do) quite a bit more than me so I always looked like the lightweight drinker in our crowd but I knew if I kept going, this was eventually not going to end well.

    How did I get to where I was? I’m not even sure myself. There’s nothing in my upbringing that would have predisposed me to drinking. I had exceptional parents whose drinking habits consisted of splitting a beer on pizza night. My late husband used to drink a glass or two of wine a night, never more, and although I didn’t say anything, I kind of frowned on it! Occasionally I joined him with a small glass of wine but that was it. Then he died within weeks of being diagnosed with terminal cancer, leaving me with a young child to raise. Being home at night was torture so I’d walk over to my girlfriend’s house and our kids would play while we drank wine. My girlfriend and her husband had a large circle of friends, and several of them would also come by almost nightly to drink as well. It was almost a frat-house atmosphere on a daily basis. Things just spiraled from there. Soon I was not only drinking there but would continue to drink alone when I got home. At some point, I starting waking up feeling like crap almost every day and telling myself I had to quit but by the 5PM bewitching hour, I was crawling out of my skin wanting to drink—and I did. I hated myself. After 5 years of this behavior, a switch went off somewhere in my booze-soaked brain that said “enough.” I prepped myself mentally for weeks and had my last drink on December 31, 2014. I won’t say it was easy at first but so very worth it. I had to isolate myself from drinkers for a while. At 5PM I had to make sure I was busy. I spend many an evening wandering through the local shopping mall with my daughter just to be away from the house. As I “detoxed,” I worked on my diet and ramped up my exercise. This was a positive distraction as I lost ten pounds and actually weigh what my driver’s license says I weigh! It was a lot of work but the “high” I get from my new life is so much better than the one from wine. I feel amazing and sleep more soundly than I have in years. I re-connected with an old love and we’re engaged. My daughter is so proud of me. More importantly, I’m proud of me and I like the person I’ve become. I’m at the point where I can be around people who are drinking and know it won’t influence me to drink. Sure, I miss the partying at times, but not enough to trade my current life for a bottle of wine and a hangover. To those reading this who may be contemplating quitting, do it. Read and reread every post on this blog when things get tough. It will encourage you to keep pushing through. 500 days is going to pass whether you’re drunk or sober. Where do you want to be in 500 days?

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    • Congratulations on 500 days! I love what you said here: “500 days is going to pass whether you’re drunk or sober. Where do you want to be in 500 days?” Perfectly stated. My next big day is July 12 which will mark one year since I quit drinking. Every day at this point is an important day as long as I am sober.

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    • Love this. Thank you!

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    • I Put a Cork in it

      This was my post back at 500 days. Today is day 777 and I could not be happier. I no longer think about drinking every night and life just keeps getting better. If you’re reading this, you can do it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good for you …..that’s awesome……I’m on day 52 so pretty new to the whole sober way of life but I have to say ..it is getting easier…….I did have a hard couple days about a week ago.. but staying strong ….I love the sober life….it’s just not complicated……thanks for sharing

        Liked by 1 person

  57. Today is day 311 for me. I’m looking forward to my 1 year anniversary where I plan to celebrate with as much diet Mt. Dew I can drink (my go to drink these days).

    I never imagined I would have such a great outlook on life as I do today. I hated waking up every day, and hated myself for what I was doing to myself and my family. I still regret what I was doing to my famil, and sometimes more what I wasn’t doing for them. But that regret is what keeps me grounded. Now, I look forward to every day and what it brings.

    Everyone on here, you can do this. Try to figure out what’s triggering you to keep going back to the drink, and try to eliminate that trigger. It’s not always obvious what that trigger is. Many times it’s something that would make sense to others, like stress from work or a family situation. Many times it’s something that doesn’t make sense to others. Like for me, my trigger was me telling myself I had total control and that I could quit anytime, so I would justify stopping at the liquor store almost every evening on the way home from work. To eliminate that trigger I did a lot of research on the health affects of alcohol and I scared myself into quitting. What I was telling myself was normal was actually killing me. I wasn’t under stress from work or my family life, but I would pretend that I was because that was a more acceptable reason to do what I was doing. I was actually making my life stressful by lying to myself and saying it was, so that I could use that as an excuse. Boy, the brain can sure be complicated.

    My pulse rate was over 100 when I didn’t have my booze (it would go down when I finally had a few). My blood pressure was through the roof. My weight was borderline obese and my energy level would barely allow me to get ready in the morning. Sometimes I was so shaky I could barely walk down the stairs. After almost a year off booze, my pulse is consistently around 60, blood pressure 115/75, lost 20 pounds, workout 3 times a week and do pushups/situps every day, and my energy level is through the roof. I’ve read 6 books since I quit (probably read 4 books in 10 years before that). I’ve found a new level of passion for my hobbies, which before I only had interest in when I was drinking because that was the only time I was ‘happy.’ I’ve found a passion for my family that was buried by alcohol. Looking back, I see that I was in a heavy level of depression that kept me from functioning in almost every aspect of my life. But I didn’t realize that when I was drinking, which is just crazy to think I could feel that was and think that was normal. I’m embarrassed for things I did, but only realized how embarrassed I was until I had quit. Alcohol is a liar. It will tell you you are normal and doing just fine.

    Everyone, keep up the good work. Some of you are on day 1 today as I see from the recent posts. Make a change in your life, find that trigger if you can, ask for help, don’t be afraid or embarrassed, throw out all the booze in the house, go for a run or walk, cry into a pillow, punch a pillow, get mad, hug your kids, eat an entire pizza. Whatever it takes. Alcohol is not your friend. Don’t tell him you’ll just see him on weekends. Tell him you’re leaving and slam that door on the way out.

    Good luck to everyone

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    • Great post Erik. Thanks for sharing your experience and the encouragement. I needed that as I look toward the weekend

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    • Thank you for sharing this.
      When does the guilt start to go away?
      I just want to put distance between myself and the hour I last had a drink.
      Day 1- AGAIN, I finally fully admit I am powerless over this and if I don’t stop, I face too many negative consequences, consequences no drink is worth.
      I don’t even know what to say except this has to stop for me.
      I’ve started over twice in one week!
      What a failure.
      Congratulations on over 300 days, Erik, I know you can make that 1000 and more.
      You should truly feel proud of yourself.
      I am claiming back my life on this most wonderful day of the year, Mother’s Day.
      I hope I don’t fail again.
      I don’t feel worth anything at the moment.

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      • Hi there,
        Please don’t say you are not worth anything, or feel that way.
        What you don’t know is your compass is already pointed towards health.
        Yes, it is a struggle at first. A thousand mile journey beings with one step.
        Even backwards, or stumbling until we get it right.
        I toyed with the idea of complete abstinence for a couple years, having had the idea I could take a vacation from it, like periods of fasting and it would be clean out of my system. Wrong! I do think that there is a connection between having diabetes or some kind of carbohydrate intolerance in the extended family that makes matters worse.
        In fact, this inability to process sugar may just well be the basis for so much of alcohol dependency. We cannot be neutral towards it because of the metabolic issues some of us already have. I say this because it is not so much a weakness of will. However, strength of will is necessary to control and overcome.
        When I feel weak-kneed, I think of those in my family and others I have known whose lives were wrecked by this. I don’t want to follow their paths. I still want to do a lot of fun things in life. If the price to be paid is giving up alcohol, I will do it.
        Nevertheless, it is hard.
        Best wishes,
        chou-chou

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        • Thank you, chou chou, your words are comforting and reassuring.
          I had a break through today. In the past when I’ve said I was quitting drinking and I went to the store, I’d have to actively, consciously avoid the alcohol aisle. About two hours after I returned from the store today, it occurred to me that going down that aisle didn’t even cross my mind, I walked right past it and didn’t have to actively keep myself from it.
          When I returned home, I also wasn’t sad or regretful that I didn’t buy alcohol.
          I hope soon this will be second nature and avoiding or not purchasing alcohol will feel as natural as breathing.
          I am excited for this change, no more self-loathing, I am going to treat myself with kindness as I heal from this addiction.

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          • Yesterday I had the same situation. I pass this particular supermarket only once a year on the way to the accountant. Last year, and it seemed like yesterday, I was scouring the booze shelf. This time I passed it without any regrets. This didn’t mean that later on I wasn’t longing for a nightcap but I got to sleep all the same and even slept through the night until 5 in the morning. For a long time I had been getting up around 3 or so, maybe because the blood sugar plunges after a spike. When the blood is not subjected to high concentrations of sugar as with alcohol. then there is no hypoglycemic let down. I still think I have a sugar problem. My family anyway has a high incidence of diabetes. After a certain age, many are dependent on insulin. I had very high cholesterol even 10 years ago. I think there is definitely a metabolic connection, even less reason for blaming one’s self.

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    • Great write-up. Encouraging. Motivating. This totally mirrors my feelings. Day 150 today for me and still strong. Days are way better. Mind is way clearer. Hopes are limitless. Opportunities are in the air. I wish I don’t ever loose the wisdom not to touch that poison again, regardless of what may look like the cost.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yep I got through a who a whole week, yay me! Went to hospital this weekend at stroke level bp and I know it was because of binge drinking. That was the kick I needed, found a shot in my couch this morning though 😦 tossing that sucker when I get home.

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  58. Yep, I too have been spiraling out of control, missed three days of work, I may lose my job I don’t know. I do know I feel way better when I don’t drink, but there is always an excuse. I mean it is like I am not even trying to stop myself. I feel like I would be such a better mother and person if I could just kick this terrible habit. The guilt and shame really suck but I keep coming back. Today is a new day and tonight I will be sober. That is all I can do for now.

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    • Andrea,
      I really needed those words, I’m so glad you wrote them. I found myself drinking again for the second night in a row, after going a few days without. I CAN do this, then I slip back into NOT doing it. I’m tired of starting and stopping over again, I have posted before that I won’t have another start (because I’ll maintain), but I keep falling into the same pattern(s). I can’t undo last night or two nights ago, but I can stay in control of today, of this moment, of tonight. I can spend today and tonight sober and step forward on that. I just hate myself so much for drinking…and drinking so much! Why did I?
      Your words are meaningful and helpful. Today I can have my do-over.

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      • You need to forgive yourself for drinking. It is forgivable. When we hold on to that self hatred, we spiral. It is ok if you went backwards. The important piece to remember is you want to move forward and you can. Progress not perfection. Forgive yourself.

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        • Thank you for your kind words. I am working to tell myself it’s okay to forgive myself, I am repeating that until it sinks in, I am tired of punishing myself with unforgiveness, much in the way I punished my body with alcohol. I want to heal and move forward. Day 1 I know can turn into Day 100 and more.

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          • You definitely can do it. Make day 100 your first goal from there. When you get to 100 it gets much easier. Tomorrow is day 300 for me.

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            • Thank you, all of your words are healing and congratulations!
              Day 100 is my dream and feels so far out of reach, I do wish I had more days under my belt, but that deep regret won’t help, I can live in hope and the promise to myself that today will be different and keeping going from there. 🙂

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    • That is the nature of addiction, it fights hard for control and its up to us to fight harder. Keep standing up, know that the only way to are back your power is to starve the addiction. No alcohol, period. “Addiction is not your fault, but recovery is your responsibility.” (I wish I knew who to credit for that awesome phrase) stand tall, no shame. You have it in you to break out of this pattern, and you deserve nothing less than to be free and joyful.

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    • Stopped in to see how you’re doing, Andrea, while also reading everyone else’s stories. I hope things are turning around for you.

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  59. cabbagejuice

    First of all, support and virtual hugs for everyone who is struggling. It is hard when there is still booze in the house. It probably is even more important for a person such as my husband who has had a stroke to give up the stuff as well as smoking but he got his son to pass him a bottle of hard liquor. Enabling from family members is a known phenomenon. I did announce that there would be no more booze in the house. Meanwhile, it is hard for me to pass up the stuff when I am fighting literally on all fronts.

    One of which is physical, probably the main reason to stop. I have had gastro issues my entire life and as things go, they steadily deteriorate as one gets older. It is not as though I made no effort to improve my health. On the contrary, I am a real nut for diet and in particular natural healing as opposed to conventional medicine.

    About 5 years ago however I started noticing a kind of cramp on my right side and also discovered that a shot or two actually got rid of the pain. So I would go through the whole day looking forward to blessed relief at night. Little did I know that the alcohol was contributing to the problem. There are two aspects of the ileo-cecal valve that happens to be on the right side, alcohol as well as caffeine and some other substances actually weaken it. Conversely, calcium strengthens it. I was dumbfounded when even juicing wasn’t helping.

    I tried to stay away from alcohol while fasting and modifying my diet to exclude gluten, dairy and what not. In fact, I probably tried every diet know to man or womankind. All this simply didn’t help, in particular, excluding natural dairy products. I am trying different calcium combinations but my guts are too irritated it seems.

    I write all this because the weakening of the ICV and other gastro issues are directly implicated in the consumption of alcohol.

    It’s strange coming from a background in which there was plenty of drinking, thinking I was immune. Hah! My father’s and grandfather’s drinking was overt, my mother used to hide the wine bottles in back of curtains. I also remembered that she invited me when I was an adolescent to late night liqueur sipping parties with her! In fact, I never realized her bad her own problem was, until starting to tackle my own. Things began to come together and memories surface that had been repressed for decades.

    It is said when you point one finger at someone, three are pointing back. That is exactly what she used to do with my father, giving him plenty of reasons to drink and then slap him with the label of “no good drunk”. This was not really true since he kept a job down all of his life. He eventually succumbed at the age of 78 due to complications from diabetes and heart disease. There is often a correlation between inability to handle sugar and the move to alcoholism.

    My gastro issues are the main thing now and the stumbling block for my getting back to some decent standard of functioning. It is really annoying knowing that there is an anodyne for the crampiness and also for my frustration and disappointment but it is as inaccessible as the Garden of Eden, but a false one at that.

    I am wondering if there are others who have had similar gastro experiences with you know what. Thanks, chou-chou

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  60. So happy to have found this blog. Addiction is so lonely. Thank you for starting this blog and your honesty.

    To the commentor named Gina – would you like a sober buddy to email with? Your post about the guilt you feel for putting your husband and kids through hell rings so true to me. So much so that I obsess over that thought. Let me know if you’d like an accountability partner. I sure could use one.

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    • I made it through day 4 and on to day 5 today. It is very lonely, and the hardest time for me is between 2 and 6 where I would usually slip to that place “where everybody knows my name”.
      Liz – I would very much like that. You can email me at renee.loter72@gmail.com. Thank you for your support and happy to see you here! And it does help so much to hear of others feeling as we do.

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  61. Anyone can comment on medical advice? Most of us are ashamed to admit and seek profesional health. Also, some jobs require access to your medical history. I am ashamed to go to my family doctor who knows my husband, kids and myself before the RED status. Trying to keep the status draining in wine and being ( not becoming) a slave.

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  62. I too am in the action stage. I have toyed with the idea of quitting and today two of my fingers are orange. Im scared to death I am going wake up tomorrow with my whole body orange. I quit for about 5 days a month ago just to make sure I could if I wanted and the fingers has me set to not drink anymore. Its been over 24 hours and I don’t crave it or feel crappy or anything, i’m just scared its too late. If anyone has any experience with this it would be great if you could comment.

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    • It’s important that you get medical advice from medical professionals. We are here to cheer you on in recovery and I believe in your ability to get trough this, but if you’re worried about your health please call a medical hotline or check in with your doctor. Your health is precious and you deserve to be well and strong and enjoying life to the fullest!

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    • The yellowing/oranging of the skin could mean liver failure or liver disease (jaundice). You need to see a doctor immediately and be honest with them about your alcohol usage.

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  63. you pretty wrote verbatim everything I have felt or thought and done. It is so ridiculous because in every other aspect of my life, my health is so important. Yet I can’t seem to “manage” my intake to stay on the healthy side of drinking. It makes me feel so incompetent I cannot do that. I hate that I can’t. I am trying really hard to pull myself out of denial and accept that no matter how hard I want to be a “normal” social drinker, I don’t think I ever will be again.

    I tired of the battle every day to ” not” stop and buy wine and then the same Groundhog Day every morning when I wake up so ashamed that I couldn’t not drink…..

    What I dislike the most about it is I am so full of resolve in the morning and then by about 3 pm, I can all of a sudden justify stopping to buy some. I can’t seem to see realistically at that point. Or better yet, I can’t “feel ” realistically. I try to reason out all the reasons why I shouldn’t but because by that point in the day, I no longer “feel” the same way about the alcohol. I suspect that is because “the monster” needs tone fed by then.

    I am getting tired of not being important enough to me to stop drinking. I am tired of the revolving door, Groundhog Day life I am living. I am scared though I won’t find the inspiration, motivation and intention to stop. I am going to try again. I just wish I never crossed that line. Makes me sad. Thanks for this blog post. I needed to get that out.

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    • I would have the exact same Groundhog Day, day after day after day! The only difference was beer was my crutch. I am only on day 2 and it is hard. You will know when it is time to stop. I was so consumed with guilt, shame and depression and I would get verbally mean. That pendulum would either swing to really happy or really mad. When I woke up and saw the despicable texts that I had sent to people that I loved (again), I knew I had to stop, not to mention all the health factors. I cannot maintain and stay on the healthy side of drinking either. I had good intentions, and next thing I would know, it was 6 or 8 beers later and looking forward to more guilt, shame, depression and hangover the next morning. I also missed out on a lot of my children’s preteen and teenage years. This really saddens me. I don’t want to miss anymore as they are now 20 and 22. Good luck to you and maybe you should frequent the blog daily as I know it is going to be one of my strongest tools for getting through this. It really helps to communicate with the people on here as I know they are not judging me (big pet peeve of mine) because they have all been there and are here to offer support to each other.

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      • Thanks Gina. I appreciate your comments and knowing that someone is hearing me who feels the same way. I havent had any tonight and won’t. I just d coded it is too big to worry about tomorrow. Just going to make a good choice for tonight. Less daunting.

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        • HI

          I have begun the journey again after a few months of sobriety and a year a back to heavy drinking. I never deleted this thread and many days I passed it by on my cell phone. But something in my brain said leave it. Today I am on day 3 Ist day is always tough but I knew what to expect. Terrible nightmares. restlessness etc. Two day a bit better . Ice tea, Club soda and fiber mix with lots of water is my non hangover/stay sober -go to. It worked before. As with lots of folks I am 50% more productive in just this short time. I cant look to a time I can drink again I just hope to have the strength to fight when the temptation gets here. I know it will come. Keep writing folks like many have said this blog is a lifeline to grab on to. Thank you

          On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 6:28 PM, UnPickled Blog wrote:

          > commented: “Thanks Gina. I appreciate your comments and knowing that > someone is hearing me who feels the same way. I havent had any tonight and > won’t. I just d coded it is too big to worry about tomorrow. Just going to > make a good choice for tonight. Less daunting.” >

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  64. Thank you so much for the blog! I’ve been reading for a year, working with a harm reduction therapist, and have been collecting new tools for the last year. I’m ready to take the leap starting today to move into a period of abstinence. I want to share that your “voice” is often in my head reminding me of all that I will gain by removing the numbness from my life. I am scared – but weirdly excited. I just told my partner of my decision and shared my fears. I’m going to do this! As he said, “I know it will be hard, but it will be better.”

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  65. I stumbled on this blog several months ago or it stumbled on me because I wasn’t looking for a blog like this. It just happened that it was similar in address to another blog about something completely different I was following.

    At any rate, several other markers pointed me in this direction. One was being desperate to read a book so as to pass unemployed time so picked up the Mayor of Casterbridge that had been lying around for years. I said, what the heck. For those who don’t know the plot, an itinerant laborer did a shameful act while drunk that affected his family so promised not to touch alcohol for 21 years, eventually becoming a successful businessman and mayor. His former life did manage to invade the present however, which is the premise of the book.
    When some posts entered my inbox, I read some of them out of curiosity. But then I started recognizing myself with the Red Flags, but still loathe to admit it.

    I do come from a family of drinkers but also with tendencies to diabetes and heart disease. Alcohol and sugary substances wreaked vast damage. The weird part is that my father was always supposed to be the identified patient. For decades my mother was going on with the ‘big bad drunk’ but she had been hiding her own addiction for all that time! They say when you point one finger, three are pointing back atcha. Before being forcefully admitted to an elder care facility, she was “hiding” bottles of wine behind curtains, as though she was fooling anyone. My Italian-born grandfather used to make his own wine in huge barrels. He and his son used to have drinking parties together. This was repeated with my mother inviting me to sup liqueur with her on school nights. Also, we used to get a huge jug of the wine to drink with meals from gramps while we were still kids.

    As a young to middle-aged adult, I couldn’t afford much alcohol but the smoked stuff was readily available. By back calculation, certain partners had a taste for wine and brandy. The combination of the two was quite unsettling.

    The buddy system in which my father was participating and my mother tried to seduce me into was repeated in my own life. I put an abrupt stop to it a couple weeks ago. I felt I was being used as a pimp to supply the stuff since I do most if not all, of the shopping. Drinking for me is less lethal than for the person who has already had a stroke and insists on continuing to smoke, that I don’t do. But I realized the health deficits with me are quite severe. I have had gastro-intestinal issues ever since childhood with the stressful home I was growing up in. Over a few years I discovered cramps actually subsided with a dram or two. So I would go through the day more or less in discomfort, looking forward to being pain-free at night. The point I didn’t realize was that the alcohol was contributing to the inflammation and I was getting progressively worse.

    What put the lid on it was discovering that alcohol is a mast cell activator, and I had enough problems with histamine intolerance. This I believe is a core issue with those who may susceptible to addiction. Those who already react to chocolate, fermented products, etc., have even a worse time with alcohol. The typical red face of a person who has been drinking is due exactly to that mechanism. When I saw myself as being red in the mirror even when not drinking, or during the day when waiting for the evening’s bliss, I realized that this is my base condition and to control it and maybe even beat it, booze has GOT TO GO.

    This of course is easier said that done. So much of addiction is mental, what does one do at a habitual time of day or when something hurts, etc.? This part is hard as you all know. It has been difficult with the significant other but strangely enough he seems to have accepted that I, at least will bring no more of that stuff into the house. Maybe he also had a realization or epiphany.

    It’s hard for me to believe I just wrote the above but while still consuming the stuff, I would not have been able to, as it perpetrates a state of denial.

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    • Hi Chou-Chou, so glad you found my blog. There are no accidents, are there? Clearly this is where you were meant to be. Congratulations on all of the positive changes you have made in life. It isn’t easy with dysfunction all around, but you can stand in your truth and show others what freedom from addiction looks like. Sending you wishes for happiness and continued success.

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      • Thanks for your feedback. After deciding to give up the stuff, my mind began to lead me back where in so many instances, it was present as a saboteur or at least numbing the mind enough so as not to make the right decisions. I had a flashback about a dysfunctional partner who admitted as a child he used to finish the wine or drinks left by his parents as parties. I wonder if some of us are just metabolically unable to process it or become that way.
        For me the deciding factor was learning that alcohol is a big time mast cell activator. I had histamine problems all my life that finally was able to hook up with the gastro ones thanks to mastocytosis. The problem was over the past few years, I developed cramping that was miraculously relieved by a shot or two. Of course, like everything else, it only masks the pain but doesn’t cure it, even makes it worse. I couldn’t go through the whole day potted, like the secretary of the school I was teaching in, so waited for the redemption in the evening. It’s funny I thought I was not as bad as the guy you could smell the metabolizing alcohol not far from where he was sitting. But now I think after a couple weeks, it’s not completely out of my system. In fact, feedback on that subject would be appreciated. I still feel lightheaded at times.
        The buddy system is really a case in point and vitally important to associate with those who lift you up rather than pull you down. It was hard having booze around here when I stopped but since I do most of the shopping, I’m pretty much in control. I said I am not going to bring any more into the house, that’s it, not only for my health but his. The penny may have dropped. I hope so. Good to hear from you, am appreciative of anyone who wants to chime in.

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      • I forgot to mention that another contributing wake-up call was the passing of a brother of a friend of mine from complications of diabetes at the age of 53. She didn’t say if he also drank like her father and other brother who died prematurely. This unfortunate happening was in a Moslem family no less where it is not supposed to occur. She told me what I need to hear, that it is harmful. I’d really like to know if others still felt lightheaded after passing to freedom!

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  66. I think it’s time to quit when you discover that you drove to McDonalds at 1:30am and have absolutely no recollection of it. The only indication is a charge on your statement. That’s some serious scary $hit. I’m lucky I didn’t kill anyone, kill myself and/or get a DUI. I love the energy and emotional state I experience when I’ve been sober for several days. I wish I could just have a couple and stop but once I get that buzz in me I’m off to the races. It’s like some evil spirit takes over my body. The hangovers are absolutely brutal and I’m tired of feeling like complete garbage. It’s going to be a long journey but it’s either that or continue to drink and put myself in the grave.

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    • I am so glad you are safe and well, and you can show your gratitude for that good fortune by sticking to the changes that can eliminate the possibility of that kind of danger ever happening again! People who have been responsible for injuring others carry a terrible burden that is hard to reconcile – it is a heartache that many never recover from, and it is even worse for those who lose their loved ones to such a tragedy.

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  67. Today is day 1. I just can’t do it anymore. Enough. Feeling indescribably low. But I know that more alcohol will only keep me there. This is going to be profoundly weird though, especially by evening. Any advice?

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    • It IS weird at first, but it is also cool to realize HEY! You can do anything in the evenings because you aren’t drunk! You can drive to the store for popsicles, you can go for a walk, you can go to a movie or a play. One trick that many find helpful is that sugar can negate alcohol cravings – partly because it trips the pleasure-reward circuitry that addiction mucks up, and partly because sugary and booze don’t pair well, so your palate will be confused. Some sadness is normal, we grieve the loss of what we came to think of as our best friend. It passes, and after a while you will start to feel better. It is much like a painful breakup, so treat yourself with the same gentleness you would under those circumstances. When you are trying to think of ways to pass the time, ask yourself what activities you would offer if you were babysitting your 12-year-old self: lots of snacks, shoot hoops, play video games, go outside and walk our visit something interesting. What you wouldn’t offer a 12-year-old is alcohol, right? That wouldn’t be an option. So keep that in mind and if you get bored, give yourself appropriate options. Good luck! It is a wonderful thing you are doing for yourself!

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      • Today is day 1 for me. I have so much guilt. I have put my kids and husband through hell. When does the guilt go away and how do you get it to go away. I have years of it built up. Your blog is going to be a wonderful tool in my journey to sobriety. Thank you and I am glad I discovered it this ugly hungover morning.

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        • When I get to the end of June it will be one year for me. I don’t know that the guilt goes away, it has not for me. But it’s a different kind of guilt. Sure, I feel bad for what I was doing and more importantly, not doing. But when I look back on this last year I get an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and love for myself. I see how I’ve become a better father and husband, how I’ve found my true friends, and how I’m no longer missing out on life. I think that guilt serves a purpose, it keeps me from going back. And I like that. I honestly think I had to hit a low in order to maintain this high, otherwise I’d look back and say ‘what’s the big deal, I was doing fine’ and I’d be back at it again. So keep at it, the first week or two is always the hardest, as many have said. But you’ll soon see what I mean.

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          • I am about the same as Eric when it comes to time. I will be a year the beginning of July. It took me about 4 times of quitting before I got where I am at now. Embarrassment and health were the two biggest reasons to quit for me. The first month was daunting to me but after that it got easier. Good luck and believe in yourself that you can do it.

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            • Thank you both for your replies. I suppose you are probably right in constantly having the guilt feeling to serve as a reminder of why we do not want to go back there. I have missed out on so much and I cannot wait to have that feeling of clarity and accomplishment and to gain the respect back of all my loved ones. I am ready for the journey (with all of your help of course)!

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              • It’s also Day 1 (again) for me.
                Reading it is for others is so encouraging.
                No more guilt, I want to prove to myself I can do this.
                I drank earlier today and tossed the rest out. I am determined not to even bring it back into my house again.
                I look forward to and wish I could already be at 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, etc. sober, and would be, had I not failed myself and my family yet again.
                I want the sense of peace days without brings, I’m tired of failing at this.

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                • So, day 2 is hard! Felt terrible when I got up this morning and have been extremely tired all day. Feeling lonely and tired and stressed and really wanting a drink. Not going to give in but am really fighting it!

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                  • Hang in there! The first few days can be difficult, but it’s confirmation that a change was necessary right? Be very very gentle with yourself. Sugar can help alleviate alcohol cravings, and drinking lots of water and herbal tea is good too. Rest. Restore. Rebuild. You’re doing great!

                    Sent from my iPhone

                    >

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                    • Thank you for the advice and encouragement! Maybe that is why I was craving ice cream last night….I rarely want ice cream. This blog is such a great tool for me. Even though I know no one I feel like I know everyone and am not alone. Thanks again! The night isn’t over but I think I have day 2 in the bag! I think I will go for ice cream! 😉

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  68. I feel fortunate to have found this blog as I am only one day sober.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Hey everyone, I just wanted to say this an amazing blog, its really great to see people really supporting others. Keep it up!
    Now, getting back to my post. I have a close friend who is very much like a brother to me, he has been a heavy drinker for a very long time. he has tried to quit before but has never really succeeded. However his most recent attempt seems very different and much more determined and focused. I wanted to know what you guys think is the most valuable thing that I could do to support my friend?

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    • You are a good friend! There is lots you can do to be supportive. One is to invite him out for coffee or brunch or a run, or anything that has no connection to booze. Spend time together in non-drinky situations. Another is to ask him what he likes to drink now and make sure you stock it when he comes by. You can ask him what helps and what doesn’t. I wrote a whole post on this topic, graphic included. Have a look: https://unpickledblog.com/2014/12/24/top-ten-list-for-supportive-normies/
      PS – please come back and tell us what you do that works well and how your friend responds!

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  70. My drinking started to ramp up about a year and a half ago. It can definitely be contributed to stress at work and a busy home life. I never drank every day, but did habitually on weekends and most of the time when I had a day off work. I also think a lot of it had to do with making a Friday night or Saturday afternoon more “intetesting”. It kind of cured boredom around the house.

    After this past New Year’s I decided to cut down. I definitely did, but then I was quickly back to drinking every weekend. I did this even though I found I would have a new-found energy after taking a weekend off. Well, this past Sunday, on Easter, I had a few beers followed by a couple glasses of wine. The next day at work I felt awful. I’m writing this three days later and am finally starting to feel normal, albeit still tired.

    That was the last straw. The few hours of feeling good is not worth the days of malaise and sluggishess. Also, the clear-headed energy is a great reward for staying sober. I’m just finally tired of putting that poison in my body.

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  71. Today is my 9 month anniversary. But that’s not why I’m here. Today is also day 1 for my best friend. He had his realization yesterday that alcohol is the root of all of his issues. He has some really hard things going on in his life and he attributed all his anxiety and general feeling terrible to that. I knew he was a heavy drinker, and I had grown apart from him since I’ve quit. But that was my fault as I was keeping myself away from drinkers. I no longer feel I need to do that. I’m able to go to the bar with friends to watch the March madness games and drink diet coke and actually enjoy myself and feel no temptation. I know he is not able to do that, not yet. He’s having borderline severe withdrawal symptoms. Bordering on DTs I fear. So I’ve been in constant contact. I even drove him into work today as he’s taking anti anxiety medication and can’t drive. I feel he may need something better to get him over these symptoms but he refuses to go to a rehab clinic. We talked for hours yesterday and he tried to justify weening himself off of booze. ‘I’ll just have a few tomorrow to get me through the day’ he said. I told him I really didn’t think that was the way to go and he really needs to go cold turkey. Throw out the booze tonight. Talk to your wife and make sure she’s supportive. I’m hoping I’m right. I fear his wife is very upset (he admitted to her he’s been doing day drinking yesterday just to get through the days) which isn’t helping him. He’s a very anxious and worrying type person, and he needs someone to support him, not get mad at him. I’m hoping I can be that person but I’m not family. His wife’s family are all heavy drinkers so I fear he doesn’t have the support system in place to stay clean. Any advice anyone has, please send it. I was lucky, my wife doesn’t drink so now we are an alcohol free family. My mother and her mother don’t as well. Both our father’s died and alcohol was a factor in that. My friend has all his family still, but it seems they all drink, so he’ll be the odd one out. I’m not greatly religious but I’m praying for him today.

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    • You are very kind to be looking out for your friend. It has been a few days since you wrote this – how is he doing so far? It can be very hard for people to stay sober in an unhealthy drinking environment – he may need the support of a group like Al-Anon in addition to his own efforts to stay alcohol-free. Maybe taking him to a meeting like that is something you could do as a way to be supportive.

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      • Well it’s been a while since I have posted this, but I was working with my friend on his issues and wanted to see how it played out. Well, it has not gone well. He’s back to ‘Day 1’ again today. I think he was too embarrassed to reach out for help, so he took the easy route back to the booze. He does not want to seek treatment. And I quit without treatment (2 weeks until 1 year for me!! yahoo!!), so I think he sees that it can be done, but I’m not so sure it will be as easy for him. That’s also an embarrassing thing to admit to yourself, that you need someone else to help you. So here we go again. He’s very worried about getting DTs so his plan is to ween himself off. I’ve read up on DTs a little and it’s scary.

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        • Keep on your friend. DTs are bad and if he is worried about that then he needs to seek professional treatment.

          Congrats to you on your upcoming 1st anniversary. Mine will be 4 weeks from tomorrow. You should be proud.

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  72. Everything I read in this blog was ME! The scheming, hiding, telling myself every morning that today I quit, heavy drinking before an event just in case there’s NOT enough alcohol, buy grog from different locations, downing shots because the wine just didn’t hit me hard enough, calculating the wine storage at home to ensure I don’t run out. I don’t even know how this happened. It just crept up on me. But you got sober – you beat it. That gives me encouragement. Well done!!!

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  73. Woo hoo… 100 days without alcohol and still going strong. Plan on never touching that liquid again.
    Best wishes to all who are, or planning on being on this wonder journey to revive your life.

    Liked by 2 people

  74. I found your story and I can relate to some items. My life has suddenly changed after having an epileptic alcohol withdrawal seizure 3 weeks ago. I’ve been on medicine for my condition since elementary school and this was the 2nd seizure, but alcohol related. I had no idea that skipping my medicine on Friday and Saturday nights while I enjoyed my array of beers would hurt me so much. Drinking solo was something I looked forward to mainly because I talk so much during the day for my job. I’ve always kept a lot of hurt inside as well, and that beer, it helped. Well I found out that it didn’t help at all. My MRI revealed I have damaged my cerebellum (it has decreased in size a little), and the epilepsy combined was just a huge accident waiting to happen. My doctor said I was extremely lucky. No license for 6 months . I love cars. I have to rely on friends and family for rides etc. drinking for all of these years built up a huge tolerance so I could have 6-8 beers a night easy. It wasn’t worth it, and now alcohol isn’t an option for me. I could easily have a seizure if I even have 1 beer. If I had only known….. I have a great family and wonderful friends and not drinking will be something that they will support me with 100%. 🙂

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  75. I just found this blog today,,,and my story sounds a lot like yours, unpickled. Fortuitous timing, thank you!

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  76. I feel like I just read my story. Even the drinking scotch before bed to compensate for the missing alcohol. I’m just starting my story though and some days I don’t think I can make it through. I am so angry. I am looking forward to reading through your blog. I have a feeling it will help me.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. Well, I tried to quit drinking and quickly learned that (pardon the pun) but I’m in a real pickle:

    I recently had my 4th back surgery. A post lateral fusion of L4,5 & 6. I was in traction for 5 weeks and then noticed I was worse than before the sugery. After a while I learned that the hardward they put in my back, which in part is two plastic tubes that contain a human bone growth hormone, actually grew too much bone in the small of my back. The bone is growing into the sciatic nerve in my back.
    Now, I can’t begin to tell you how painful it is to have a bone rubbing the raw nerve in your back, and I’d love to tell you all the name of the company, but my lawsuit says I cannot. So, now I am debilitated and a having to live at my mother’s how so whe can take care of my on the days I can’t move. This is my situation in life.
    The drinking part is just complicating it. I am a divorced grown man. Who is disabled. Who is living with his mother for the first time since I was 17 years old. (That will drive you to drink if nothiing will, lol) But, my mother, in her own way is an alcoholic. He only drinks in the evening, but she drinks alone, becomes mean and irrational, etc, etc.

    The point to this long story is: I have to stay here until some doctor in the US (this is a brand new medical issue for which hundreds of back surgery patients are awaiting a corrective surgery cure) figure out how to safely remove the bone without damaging the nerves in my back -or- I find someone else who can take care of me on the 3-4 days a week I am stuck in bed.
    So this is the situation: I am trying to quit drinking after 25+ years of light to heavy drinking. (Some days I don’t drink. Most day I have 2-3-4 in the evening and occainsionally I don’t drink) I live with a drinker. There is always alcohol within reach and I am immobile so I don’t have a lot i can do to keep muself busy and alcohol off the brain!
    A couple years ago a doctor told me I had high enzyme levels in my liver. Then last year I took another test before an MRI, and my liver test was ok. I’d scared to death for my heath, but I’ll be darned if that doesn’t stop me from drinking on those days I have that “poor me, life sucks” pathetic attitude.

    Also, I can’t stand AA. I went to Al-Anon when I was around 12-13 when my “fathers” drinking blew out of control. (That’s right. My father destroyed my family with drinking. He died last April (I hadn’t spoken to him wince 1993. My mother drinks and my stepfather drinks, I am disabled, I drink and I am living in their house.) I cannot go to AA. I tried once, but it is sooooo not for me. It brings up too many childhood memories that just walking in there and listening to the rhetoric makes me want to buy a bottle of Chardonnay on the way home.

    I seriously do have the first clue how to handle this and how to stop. ANY ideas, stories, anecdotes, helpful muses, advice, etc, that anyone has would be very appreciated.

    (Sorry for the long read and thank you, if you read all of it 😉 )

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    • I am on day 35 alcohol free. My father was a binge drinker, my brother is an alcoholic and my sister is a recovered alcoholic. I found myself increasing the amount and frequency of alcohol intake. I am a lung cancer survivor (23 years) and recently was non weigh bearing ( 6 long weeks) from a foot surgery. After the recovery from the lung surgery, and a long and tedious 5 years to be declared cancer free, I was a pity party and my drinking was taking over my every weekend and then my evenings. Life is short and I had to enjoy it. 5 weeks ago today I made the decision that I wasn’t really enjoying life as I was addicted to the alcohol. Like you, not interested in going to AA to listen to how much others had made a mess of their lives. I confessed to my best friend that I drank too much and much to my surprise, he admitted the same to me. I haven’t seen him since ( they live in another state). I think admitting to someone that you have a problem is the first step ( it worked for me). The following up by not drinking is the hard part. There are days that will challenge your resolve. If you are bent to religious beliefs you could pray but don’t look for any divine intervention, it is on you. I just do it one day at a time. Some days are easy, some are not easy but it is a wonderful feeling to wake up knowing I am sober and still have a chance to stay that way. Best of luck to you and hopefully a remedy to your back will be coming soon. Peace

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    • This sounds so much like me, when you describe your mother. I’m not always mean when I drink, but of course, alcohol doing what it does, it heightens the chance of me acting manly toward my children, just saying words I can’t get back. Then I feel immense guilt, even before I’m sober, at what an awful, horrendous mom I am.

      My children have already been through enough, we finally were able to leave a very abusive situation after years of daily horror. My mother never thought I’d get out alive.
      We deserve to live fully, freely, and uninhibited by the chaos alcohol has the potential to bring. I cannot find myself at another day one, I’ve dumped the remaining wine I have and escorted the bottles out for trash pickup.
      Today was a setback, but I won’t let it defeat me and I an so very helplessly determined and desperate not to have another start on this journey.

      I wish you well as you recover and in your circumstances.

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  78. I am 42, I’ve been drinking off and on for 20 years. I’ve never drank every day, mainly weekends. I have hit spells where I didn’t drink for months at a time. It’s never caused problems at work, but I’ve all but ruined my marriage. I love my wife and 2 kids with everything I’ve got, I’ve never tried to hurt them, but it’s caused problems. I don’t want them to grow up drinking, and I don’t want to get so bad they won’t want to have anything to do with me. My wife already doesn’t. I don’t even crave alcohol, I just feel down in the dumps a lot, or sometimes have to much going on and drink to help get by. I do take Zoloft for high anxiety and borderline ocd. I just can’t drink a couple without going overboard. Im tired of my family finding bottles I’ve either hidden or forgotten about, feeling guilty, and knowing the only woman I’ve ever loved hates me, and it’s my fault. She’s a great woman, we’ve been together since we were in middle school. It’s hard to explain how I feel, but I’m tired of feeling this way. I can leave the alcohol alone, but then I’m just a hateful person, and can’t seem to find motivation. I just needed to get this off my chest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey friend, glad you are here. It may seem like you become miserable without the booze but can you honestly say that drinking is making things better instead of worse? Alcohol will interfere with your meds, making them ineffective and perpetuating the cycle even more. If you can’t drink a “few” without going overboard, your best best is to get alcohol free and stay that way, and if you are willing to make that happen you will definitely be in a better position to make whatever changes are necessary to work on your health and your marriage. Youa re not alone, there are tons of people out there who are in the same boat and who will be happy to walk this road with you. Have you considered going to meetings or maybe talking to your doctor?

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      • I want to do it on my own. I have a busy schedule, work, two kids in sports in different directions, not much time. Like I said, I can go without it, I’ve just got to make myself stick to going without. I know I can beat it, main thing bothering me is I wish my wife could understand I’ve never done it to hurt her, and just because I have a problem to work on doesn’t mean I love her any less. Thanks for replying. Needed to throw it out there.

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  79. Today is my day 643. I had searched online for help to quit drinking for quite some time. I knew meetings or treatment were out of the question. Then there was that awesome day, I found this blog. Early days were spent using up “evening” time to get past wine o’clock so taking drives, going on walks, photography, photo editing and reading this blog were the ticket. I still like to read them.

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    • That is awesome Lynn. Today is day 237 for me and still going strong. The support of my family is all I need. Most of my friends abandoned me because I don’t drink anymore. That doesn’t bother me one bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Most of my friends abandoned me because I quit drinking, my family left because of my drinking.

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      • Tim and Keith – were they ever really friends if they disappear when the booze is gone? Or did they like you because you made them feel better about their own addictions or shortcomings? A few of my “wine friends” have faded, but my real friends shone through. Tim, I am so glad to hear you are still going strong! Keith, how are you managing in this isolation? Do you have support?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hello,

          I manage to get by, luckily I have my work to keep me busy. It’s weird because I have long lasting business relationships but my social support is lacking.

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    • So happy for you, and so glad you are here.

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  80. I am on day 89 of the 100 day challenge. I just received a case of wine as a gift from a family member who has no idea that my list of red flags is identical to yours. I keep contemplating what I will do when I reach my 100 day goal. How did you decide you were done?

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  81. Hi. I’ve known for a while. Virtually, all of the men in my family drink what most people would call heavily. Interestingly, I can relate with each of your red flags except one. I’m always willing to share, even if it is my last.

    As a former drinker, my wife tolerates my drinking. She knows I drink too much. But I handle my business. I’m a former crack addict of 10 years, followed by 7 years of methampetamine addiction and 17 years smoking cigarettes. By God’s grace, I have quit all three. So my expectation is that I will beat this one too. I could not beat any of them consciously. There was always some external force that triggered it (the end). I’ve already been rock bottom twice. But never from alcohol.

    I drink a lot on a daily basis. But I refuse to get drunk or or even tipsy. I don’t like being out of control. I work remotely which exacerbates the problem. Unless you were close enough to smell by breath, you wouldn’t know I was drinking. I’m sure this sounds like denial. But it isn’t. I’m acknowledging that I am a problem drinker.

    When I have somewhere that I have to be on business or at church, I don’t drink. Nor do I think about it. Nor do I drink and drive.

    I simply enjoy drinking. Unlike cocaine and methamphamines, my alcohol consumption is not a financial burden to my household. I stay in virtual control. If you call me, I will answer. I do not slur. If you need me to resolve your technical issue, I will get it done efficiently, often while sipping on something in the interim.

    I currently add intentional obligations into my schedule to give me reasons not to drink. This includes coaching and officiating youth sports. Yes, I can be trusted with youth. I’m not a pedophile. I do not drink around youth or before such events.

    With all that said, I’m more concerned with my health than anything else. I exercise regularly and take liver panels with my physicals annually. So far my liver function is normal.

    However, I know those days are numbered. I called AA last week to find out where the meetings are. I have an address and the dates available. I’m also posting here to acknowledge my problem. I don’t know what my next move is. I’m in between periods of guilt and planning to cut back as I write this.

    I’ve asked God repeatedly to take this thorn out of my side. I believe it will happen in due time. As The Lord has delivered me from the former three addictions I’ve confessed earlier, I believe that he will deliver me from alcohol as well. I also acknowledge that I have a responsibility to do my part.

    That is my prayer and expectation. I will stay in control until a solution arises.

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    • Alfred! Get your butt to a meeting, my friend! You know that this idea that you are handling things and staying in control is only temporary – it always escalates. It can turn on a dime and your life sounds too awesome to throw away! Let’s turn it around!!

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  82. 80 days of zero alcohol and counting, after years of alcohol abuse and last few years of compulsive daily drinking with few gaps here and there.
    45 days of no tobacco products too after many years of addiction.
    Had a couple of quits for few months before but determined to make it through this time because life is of incomparably high quality in each and every respects without alcohol. Period. No words to explain that clearer.
    Near end of a 3-week sober vacation. Whereas previous vacations would start, revolve around and end with alcohol, this time I managed to go to gym almost every day and got lighter. Face looks much brighter and tummy narrower.
    Everyone on quit, keep it up. Those who are thinking of quitting, stop thinking and welcome to life.

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  83. I am in the throws of this right now. I had the repeated of doing good for awhile, telling my wife I would be different this time. I’d hide vodka all over the place and find myself at Safeway at 8:30am getting a new just in case. I didn’t use to be like this. I was a normal weekend wine drinker, occasional glass while cooking. Something changed in me and alcohol started being medicine. I would really like to get back to normal,but after just doing 30 days clean, I totally blew it again. I want to believe in HARM reduction, but maybe total sobriety is needed. I am setting up a meeting with a facility. I went to AA, and not my thing. I a, going to miss wine tasting with my wife.

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  84. Some people had questions about health issues. Well I am an alcoholic, mostly beer, and can relate high blood pressure, sweating profusely, overweightness, insomnia, and depression to alcoholism.
    I always want to quit, but never do. I’ve only really just stopped drinking during the week and only skipped a few weekends in the past few years from heavy drinking. But lately I’m back to every night.
    It’s not good. We need to take back control of ourselves.
    You have the power in your mind.

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  85. I forgot to enter my email address but also wanted to thank you for this blog. It should not make me feel better that others are sharing my pain but I appreciate having the platform to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. I started drinking at a young age (15) and found its comfort among others in social situations. I am socially enept but feel I have the intellect to connect with others but have never felt comfortable without a drink. I have quit many times and have drastically reduced my intake over the years. I am a true work horse in every sense of the word and have always seemed to resist my habit for after work. The only bad thing is that after work is for my family….and I know this but I still seem to justify my bad habit. I am 40 now, own a small business and have the drive to do much more but it is still very difficult for me sometimes. My wife is not a drinker (probably a blessing for me) and she wants to understand but gets frustrated with me. My problems are not anything special I know but sometimes I feel that it is hard to find anyone to connect with me and truly understand. Tonight I went to the liquor store to purchase a pint of Jack Daniels ( something I have not done in months), I cracked open the dreaded bottle of vice to smell before I decided not to take the drink. I hate feeling guilty and susceptible to such a thing.

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    • Notsomerrygoround

      My first drink was jack Daniels . I think I was 14, and it was before my first school dance. I was so nervous and socially awkward and I had been to a few parties and seen other kids drinking and it seemed like they were having so much fun. Not long into the dance, I was in the bathroom puking my guts up. Weird thing is I don’t remember anyone making that big of a deal about it. That mentality of “kids go through this, they experiment etc.” May have been at play. So I kept drinking – not a lot, but mostly in situations like parties and dances. And I do remember often over drinking, to the point of getting sick. Took me about 30 more years to realize that I simply cannot drink liquor. No problem, that’s when my preference for beer kicked in. I can relax and better pace myself and not get sick, or rarely do. So what I relate to in your post, is that my social awkwardness/shyness is what partly got me started down this path. What developed later, was reliance on alcohol to self medicate after long work week or to enjoy social situations. We get some benefit from drinking or we wouldn’t do it. For me, it helps shut off mental distractions or shut out difficult emotions. Those are the benefits – and for that moment of benefit I’m willing to suffer through rebound anxiety, GI distress, feeling lousy, guilt, secrecy, damage to personal relationships by not being fully present, doing stupid things that put my life and others at risk, like driving a car. I am working on abstinence. The fear of health problems, and guilt around drinking too much or secretly is what is driving me to that direction. It’s day 5 and I have the weekend before me, after a very long and stressful week. It’s gonna be tough, and I hope I can make it through this weekend.

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      • I’ve written a LOT of posts about weekends. They can trip a lot of people. Plan ahead and you’ll make it through triumphantly! Here’s one: https://unpickledblog.com/2014/09/26/friday-night-osifa/

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        • Notsomerrygoround

          Thanks for the ideas- the good news is I’m so pooped the only thing calling my name is sleep or maybe some chocolate cake.

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      • Thank you so much for this.
        I have been very alone, at least in adult terms, and stress has taken its toll, being a single parent who is in abuse recovery and still deals with personal fears and my children’s fears that my ex/their father will just show up (despite legal protections/orders) has taken a toll on me but the guilt around drinking just compounds it.
        I am not happy others suffer guilt but it helps comfort me that I am not alone.

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  87. I am a alcoholic who has tried and tried never with help the last 4 times I tried. I did make it 5 months about two years ago with alot of help from aa and friends. But now my wife who married me knowing I drink says its us or the booze I want to do meetings she says rehab. OK everyone who knows me will say I’m a peaceful drunk I come home drink about 9 buds play with the kids eat dinner go to bed work in the morning. She says no beer I quit for a day or two and then I’m sneaking it. Ido worry about having enough to get me thru and would wake up at 8 am and have a drink..I want my family, and to quit drinking but she says if I wanted to quit I would , how do I explain that’s not how it works or is that how it works I feel like I’m a devil for not doing to rehab like she says …help?

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    • Read what you wrote: repeated failed attempts to stop, ultimatums from spouse, drinking in the morning, hiding booze, drinking in the afternoon, and you do see yourself as an alcoholic. Why are you resistant to rehab? It could be great for you, the missing link since what you have done so far is not working. Are you going to meetings? Do you have a sponsor? Are you ready and willing to do what it takes to turn this around and get your life back?

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  88. i am a former heroin addict who lost a dear friend to an OD, and turned to drinking for several years. now i’m fatter, more out of shape, and the most unhealthy i’ve ever felt. tomorrow is the day for me i’ve decided to quit for real… well technically today since it’s 2 am. i have some benzos on hand in case shit gets real but i think this will mostly be a mental battle. not great at those. wish me luck,

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  89. I was drinking 3 or 4 bottles of wine every week and numerous beers. If cooking, I always opened a bottle of wine. It just seemed to be the right thing to do. The problem was that I drank the entire bottle. If grilling outside, needed beer and more than a couple. I related this to a long time friend, who admitted he did the same thing. We admitted to each other that we drank too much. That was the first time either us had said that to anyone. That was 14 days ago and I haven’t had alcohol since then. I am not sure if just saying it to another person was the catalyst. I now recognize that drinking is similar to smoking. I stopped smoking 23 years ago. There are triggers that are born of years of habits. I saw that when I stopped smoking and am now recognizing the same thing with alcohol. Am I an alcoholic? Could be. I certainly am addicted to alcohol. By the way, I had my first drunk (not spelling error) at age 14 and am now 66. I have no advice to anyone, other than admitting out loud that you drink too much. That admission , at least for me was my first step. Some of these last 14 days have been uncomfortable but I have been able to resist. It is a lonesome journey but I believe it will be worth it. I do enjoy remembering what I did or said the night before, not being tired the next morning and generally feeling a lot better physically and mentally. To all those who have taken the step of recognizing they are drinking too often or too much, and are trying to give up the alcohol habit or addiction, just know others like me are doing the same thing. Peace and best wishes.

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    • Great job – thank you for sharing your story. Congrats on two weeks – that’s an important milestone. Ps – No need to be lonely! Find your tribe! You’re not alone.

      Like

    • Notsomerrygoround

      Thank you for your comments and story. It is very helpful and gives a good, simple way to start – admitting to someone you drink too much. So I drink too much and have been for quite some time. I also appreciate the positives you point out when not drinking-feeling a lot better physically and emotionally. I am on a merry go round of getting through the work week, “relaxing” and drinking on weekends. It’s not relaxing – it’s an unhealthy coping mechanism to deal with feelings of being overwhelmed, worried, not being able to organize myself. The alcohol helps to shut out distracting thoughts so I can move forward on what I need to do. Then I drink too much, feel lousy the next day, mostly more anxious than before, and also more recently GI problems. So I drink too much, am worried about my health and want to feel better. I want to get off the merry go round. Today is day 1

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      • Glad to know that what I wrote might be helping. I am now at day 19. Saturday night we had friends over for cards and I told them I had given up on the beer and the wine. They questioned why. It was a little embarrassing to admit to them the amount and frequency I had been drinking. While embarrassing, I also felt some relief that I could be honest and not hide my habit. They are not habitual drinkers, so I think to them it was not a big deal and the rest of the evening went on as normal except I had no wine. As a final note, I wear a Fitbit and my average heart rate has decreased slowly over the last two weeks from the mid 60 BPM down to mid 50 BPM. My exercise has not radically changed, only my alcohol intake. Lots of walking. Good Luck and I hope you can stay off that not so merry go round. Peace and best wishes

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        • Notsomerrygoround

          Wow – takes courage to put the truth out there. Good for you.It is a relief, and have had this conversation Several times in the past with significant other . He becomes aware of my drinking and being secretive about it. Relief to have it in the open. But then the work of not drinking takes practice and support. So I have gotten back to more of this secrecy. Drank 3 or 4 beers and ran out to get more to replace it so he wouldn’t know. Had to throw the emptys in some trash can by the store. Then drank a “normal” two beers with him. Saturday is the most risky time for me so will need a plan this weekend. Very interesting about heart rate decrease. I wonder why that happens with alcohol reduction. Congrats on day 19 and being out in the open!

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    • I started drinking at a young age (15) and found its comfort among others in social situations. I am socially enept but feel I have the intellect to connect with others but have never felt comfortable without a drink. I have quit many times and have drastically reduced my intake over the years. I am a true work horse in every sense of the word and have always seemed to resist my habit for after work. The only bad thing is that after work is for my family….and I know this but I still seem to justify my bad habit. I am 40 now, own a small business and have the drive to do much more but it is still very difficult for me sometimes. My wife is not a drinker (probably a blessing for me) and she wants to understand but gets frustrated with me. My problems are not anything special I know but sometimes I feel that it is hard to find anyone to connect with me and truly understand. Tonight I went to the liquor store to purchase a pint of Jack Daniels ( something I have not done in months), I cracked open the dreaded bottle of vice to smell before I decided not to take the drink. I hate feeling guilty and susceptible to such a thing.

      Like

  90. Just wanted to keep thread moving… nothing much to say….
    It looks like the blog is receiving fewer and fewer comments and even fewer new participants in the last few months… does it mean we have now covered pretty much every boozer out there that is googling about how to quit?
    As for me, I have been a regular drinker since college (just a little short of 2 decades now), a high functioning professional now with incredible job (don’t mean to boast but well worthy to do so if it was socially appropriate), have been a moderate to occasionally heavy drinker ever since I started but turned really heavy-drinker in the last few years. Quit last year for 4 months (you will find my comments down here somewhere under same nickname, i think about mid-april 2015) then relapsed with a friend’s visit. Quit again for a few weeks here and there all of 2015. Finally again have taken no drinks since the second week of Dec .. so, its about 60/65 days now. Also quit tobacco for over a month now (was a tobacco addict for 20+ years, quit previously for a year 4 years ago and then for few weeks/months here and there and then finally over a month ago).
    This time determined to make it as far as I can….at least a year is what I am thinking of for now as forever is scary (but awesome if I can make it).
    I should confess that Its not like I don’t enjoy drinking,,, but like most of you, I forget when to stop it and then all the fun becomes entry point to intense remorse which is definitely not worth the temporary buzz. Inability to stop is the sole reason I am a quit. If I could stop at 2 or 3 drinks, I would not need to quit or would probably better off drinking. But reality is that for me, I am so much better off not drinking at all (have tried moderation – works for a few times or even few months but ultimately I end up finishing up as a daily compulsive drinker sooner tr later), much productive at work, much more active physically, much brighter on the face, thinner in the waist (well.. work in progress), feel the progress day by day… really….who discovered that drug called alcohol? If Heroine or Cocaine were discovered in ancient times of the kings and princes needing buzz, they would be socially acceptable even now. Alcohol is legal just because of the same reason.
    Keep posed guys.. your small effort will be motivation for many and we need to keep this blog alive.. just check in even if you have nothing to say…like I had nothing to say and already several lines here…
    BDW, I am on vacation and was in a resort with family spending a night yesterday.. was so much missing a drink.. it wasn’t a ‘cant stop drinking’ kind of temptation but ‘it would be nice to have that wine’ kind of feeling. It was not a lot of effort really at the end to resist – ended up running a couple of miles in the resort’s treadmill instead and it was a great feeling of pride in the morning….

    Like

    • Hi thanks for posting. There is tons of activity on this blog but as time goes on the comments appear more on the newer posts so be sure you subscribe and comment on others topics to stay connected. Happy to hear you got back on track after a wobble and glad to have you with us.

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  91. I’ve never been so ready to stop drinking in my life. I have to stop because I’m seriously scared for my health. But I know everything is going to change.
    – The other problem is that I cannot go to AA because I do not believe in god, and some of the “we are different than AA” websites and adverts” look really lame to me.
    Does anyone have any ideas? Advice? I like the part about having other people who are going through the same thing to talk to. Are there any online sites like that?

    I would really appreciate it. Good luck to you all…

    Like

    • There are tons of online resources! See my resources link and also search online recovery meetings. And check out the “Recovery 2.0” online webcasts. Podcasts are great too (says the former Bubble Hour cohost!).

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    • You don’t have to believe in God to join AA. You just have to believe that a source or higher power, something greater than you, can help you get sober. I would encourage you to try AA. It’s been a life-changing experience for me. Best of luck!

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  92. I need to quit drinking today. I needed somewhere to state this. I’m looking for online support, possibly someone to make a pact with. Please reach out, anyone.

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    • Today is my day five… the first few days were a breeze, i was happy and on top of the world, loving this new clean feeling. Today i am so cranky (maybe PMS related) and i just am annoyed. It’s not so much i want a drink, it’s more that i know i “can’t” or “am not allowed” to cause i supposedly “can’t handle it”. I do think in time i can, just feel my circumstances led me to get into a bad place, where i wasn’t normally. Happy to talk Sue.

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    • Hi Sue – today is my Day 5 – so i am right there with you. I am alsow looking for online support. I currently still detoxing, and today i am in a cranky mood as a result with this. If you want to message privately, and chat more I would be happy to.

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  93. wow this is a wonderful blog. i’m in my high 20s and ive wanted to quit drinking for awhile. every member of my family and most of my friends drinks alcohol basically every night. its very easy to see nothing wrong with it when everyone around you does the same thing. i drink everynight after work. i dont drink hard liqour just wine 1-2 bottles at a time. literally no one in my life has ever thought anything was wrong with it especially since i have received two raises at my job in the past year. ive been with my boyfriend for a year now. hes 6 years older then me and has never had a sip of alcohol in his life. not because of his parents being alcoholics or anything hes just never seen the point. now that i guess he deeply cares about me the last 6 months he hates if i drink and always tells me. it bothers me because even his family will say to him to stop trying tp control me because they to like drinking with me. anyway i really do want to quit but i just make up excuses. last night i went to my bfs house and made sure i drank enough before i got there to where i would enjoy myself but not resent him for not letting me drink. i probably sound rediculous. its nice to see people have the same thoughts about drinking as me. i thank everyone who posted so that i could read your stories.

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    • I have totally been there alicia, it is a terrible feeling. I use to make sure i drank enough prior to my bf coming home so that i had “enough” to enjoy my evening, and he would only see me drink 1 to 2 glasses of wine with dinner together. I want to get back to a healthy relationship with alcohol, but i am not sure how/if that is possible which is scary.

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  94. I don’t know which post to respond to. All are like looking in a mirror. I’m a ya ya, wine abuser for years. Stopped for this month, but the clarity I’m feeling has made me realize I have to quit. I was drinking over a bottle a day snd more on weekends. Family history both me and my spouse. He is my drinking buddy but I have several. Friends, neighbors…big happy drinking family. I’ve stopped before for several months. But when we have lots of people over, I become tense and have a couple which of course leads to more. I became really sick of waking in the night sweating, negative thoughts, shame , not to mention looking puffy and bloated. I would sometimes get drunk and go to bed before company even leaves. Because I can have a couple glasses at lunch and stop there, I thought I was just fine. There is my story…so glad to have found all of you. I don’t want to go the AA way. This seems like the next best….after this first month, I see lots of positives. I’m happier but still miss wine, my comfort crutch. I’d love all of your help in being strong and staying sober. Thanks.

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    • Hello. I’m right there with you. When company was over, I would go in the next room and chug some brandy so I wouldn’t drink 3 glasses of wine in front of the within half an hour.. I think we all have those stories.
      I also can’t go the AA way. For one, it never worked for my father (who I never knew passed the age of 14) and the whole “god” thing get’s in the way, plus I don’t believe in some (a lot) of their philosophies…

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  95. Man oh Man, Alcohol is such a Liar. I haven’t had a drink in about a week and now that I’m thinking clear here comes good old faithful telling me its ok “just buy wine”. Friday After work I went to the liquor store right after work to stock up on my goodies.” I mean everyone else was doing it” as I convinced myself. There was a huge line and while waiting I realized I was the only one with 2 bottles and a 6 pack. I still convinced myself they were needed. I mean who gets snowed in and stays sober. Long story short I threw it all in the dumpster of my parking lot before I got into my apartment. I was sober the whole weekend and I didn’t die I feel great actually. I been down this road plenty of time but this time I am actively admitting that I am powerless to alcohol and I am an alcoholic. I used to think I just drink too much or I just get carried away but that not true. I finally ready to face life with the wobbly crutch of alcohol.

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  96. A little over 10 months. It’s been a bad day … week … year. Many of the recent years have bad. God I don’t want to drink again. Scouring the posts for something to keep me hanging on.

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  97. Hey everyone, I was 6 months sober on Dec 28th and I’m still going strong. For those of you that seem to have made this your new years resolution, stay strong. Like many of you, I don’t remember exactly when I went from causal weekend drinker to everyday can’t wait until I get home from work drinker. I knew I was in a bad place when I would sneak a pint of vodka into work to get through a rough day. It was only rough because of a bad hangover due to the night before and I didn’t know of any other way to make it through the day. I could have gotten caught and my life would have changed drastically as I surely would have been fired, but sometimes I wish I would have gotten caught as it may have been the wake up call I needed. I never got caught. What got me to quit was being caught in the garage with a hidden stash by my wife. She felt betrayed because I had told her over and over I didn’t have a problem. Alcohol was ruining my life, and my family was noticing. I quit that day. It’s been surprisingly easy. The way I’ve kept it going is by reminding myself of all the stupid things I would do. Rotating liquor stores, hiding alcohol, drinking before an event so I wouldn’t have to drink as much at the event and appear to have a problem, etc. Many of you know exactly what I’m talking about. Those behaviors make me feel ashamed, even today. After 6 months I have no cravings. In fact, the thought of drinking reminds me of how terrible it made me eventually feel, not how good I felt at first. I’m not sure if I will drink again, but I know I have no set end goal for not drinking. I think that’s important. Setting mini goals and stopping for short periods knowing that you’ll eventually have a drink is not a step towards quitting. You’ll come back to it even harder than before and you’ll justify it by thinking you accomplished something by stopping for a month and you’ll tell yourself you can quit whenever you want, but there you are again with a bottle in your hand.

    I can honestly say every part of my life is better without alcohol. One of my favorites is how well I sleep now. I used to require alcohol to sleep, but that wasn’t really sleep, just border life passing out. Now I sleep great and wake up actually looking forward to accomplishing something that day, instead of dreading the day and looking forward to my next drink. Quitting saved my life, my marriage, and my family. You can do it too.

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  98. Thanks so much for your story! I can relate on every detail including being stingy with wine and compensating with other alcohol because I didn’t get my full fix. I have been sober all of 2016 – 11 days so far. It hasn’t been easy and I wish I could say that it was getting easier but I am committed. We are too used to easy. Alcohol shuts off the world, and then shuts it off again the next day. Every morning you wake up and count down to that shut off time instead of living. Today I choose to live. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  99. I’ve been telling saying I have to quit drinking for so long that I’m tired of hearing myself say it. I’m going to call this day 1 of freedom and will be checking back with my progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  100. Marcus Augustus

    Thanks for the support!

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  101. I’m a heavy drinker; maybe an alcoholic. I have been drinking almost every night since 2011, and before that I was certainly a weekend binge drinker going back to HS and college. I drink beer, wine and some hard liquor. I have been feeling quilty and ashamed about drinking as I have been pre gaming family events and social gatherings. My kids are also noticing that I drink- a lot. For the past year, I have even been nipping at the vodka bottle throughout most evenings while I have a drink in hand. Basically, my drinking has been getting exponentially worse. I liked the feeling of being drunk and always had a bottle of vodka in the freezer. I decided that I wanted to see if I could stop. I thought maybe I could just drink on weekends and special occasions. So, I went cold turkey. I made it to day 6 and I came home today (Friday) and drank a few beers. I immediately felt the urge to do shots and get after the high. It scared me! That urge to drink and get hammered settled it. Fortunately, I stopped drinking the beers tonight and drank some tea instead. I know now for sure,I have been reintroduced to myself and I prefer the sober me, the sober experience.

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    • I’m on day 8 right now and I’m doing far better than my last month hiatus. I survived then but it was all consuming. This time I am forcing myself to embrace the break and not make it a negative experience. I totally understand your feelings though. I am a personal trainer (shocking I know) and I taught a boot camp strength class on Thursday night and when I came home I came so close to grabbing a bottle of wine after my class. This is what I’ve always done to release the stress from having to be “on” for an hour. But saying that I don’t just want “a” glass I still want the whole bottle and the feeling I get from that whole bottle. HUGS to you.

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    • Thank you for sharing this. It’s frightening to see the power of addiction on display, isn’t it? Simply put, the pleasure/reward circuitry of the brain is altered and dysfunctional. That’s why we do best without any alcohol at all, because it just doesn’t process correctly any more. Thank you for this insight. Keep going and keep sharing!

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  102. Hi everyone! Today is day 180 without a drink. I wish all of you the best in this new year. For all of you thinking about quitting or you for those of you that just quit, stay strong. You can do it.

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    • Hi Tim! Congrats on SIX MONTHS!!! Thanks for stopping by. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far?

      Like

      • I have learned who my true friends are. The friends I used to drink with will not even call or email me anymore. I realized how selfish they are and I was probably like that too when I was drinking. I would rather spend time with my family.

        One of the main reasons I quit drinking was to eliminate another variable that might be causing my fatigue. Now that I have quit I know that it wasn’t one of the reasons but I still don’t want to drink anymore.

        It was more than beyond time to quit. It was going to catch up to me sooner or later.

        Although I am not healthy I do know I am close. By quitting I can truly feel the effects my thyroid was putting my body through. It may have to be removed. I am taking charge of my health. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease which causes hypothyroidism. Even though I am hypo I still lost 30 pounds last year mainly because I quit drinking beer. I drank a lot of beer every day.

        Thank you for this blog!

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  103. Thank you. It is well beyond time for me to quit. I have let alcohol rule too much of my life for too long. And I am concerned it is ruining my health, and I do not want it to ruin my relationship as well. It is actually far beyond time. I cannot do this on my own, so I am going to start attending AA tomorrow. I appreciate you sharing on this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  104. I am literally sobbing reading all the posts, the blog, and the red flags just topped the experience. I go back and forth trying to remember when I went from a very casual/social drinker to a daily polishing off the bottle and then some drinker. I’m so angry at myself for letting something take control of me like this. I am also a distance runner and I am training for a marathon this coming June. Last Fall I gave up alcohol for 40 days (It was supposed to be 36 days but I was doing so well I lengthened it). It didn’t take too long to get into my same habits again. So I am now doing dry January and having that goal to look forward to. Truth is I know what I should do. I should stop drinking altogether. I think by posing these mini “goals” is my way of eventually cutting ties with it. I just wish it wasn’t so hard. I feel like my life revolves around alcohol and so do the majority of my relationships. I’m very happy I found this blog.

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  105. Wow, so glad I found this blog. I’m on day 4 this time. 2 years ago I made it 26 days which is the longest I’ve gone without a drink since high school (I’m 54 soon). I really started abusing alcohol 15 years ago. For the past 2 years I’ll take a couple of weeks off, feel good and tell myself it will be okay to have a drink or 2. Well that turned into half a bottle of scotch every night. Then I’d quit again (more realistically, I’d pause).

    Your red flags described me to a tee. A big reason I drank so much was to fall asleep. Sleeping has always been hard for me, but even after being treated for sleep apnea, I was still scared to try and sleep without alcohol.

    I’m working on a couple of things. I made a list of what triggers me to want to drink and I made a list of the bad effects drinking has on me. I’ve had to major disasters in my life because of drinking, but I’m sure I’ve missed out on a lot of goodness.

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    • Congratulations on taking this big step. Please keep posting to let us know how you are progressing and what you continue to learn. Sending love and strength. You are doing a heroic thing.

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    • I’ll bet you do what I do: You hear someone who is quitting, and they are half our ages and it makes you feel worse right? i’ve been drinking longer than some people here have been alive and it really makes me feel bad that I couldn’t stop when I was their age. (I’m 47 btw)
      And only now, am I about to take a real step to stop drinking. (I’ve been online for about 5 hours now) But I figure I did the hardest part: Admitting I have a problem, which is something I swore I would never do, because I never wanted to be like my deatbeat dad.
      But, enough is enough. I have to quit, and I’ll be happy to support anyone here if they can support right back.
      Keep it up.

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  106. I can totally relate to your blog. Your story is so similar to mine in regards to the “red flags”. Amazing how each of them made me think “hey that sounds like me”. I don’t really know when the everyday drinking began, as I started drinking heavy in my 20’s. Stopped for a year (for spiritual reasons), got influenced by a friend to drink w/ her and after the first drink I started drinking every day again. Then went through a period of having anxiety, the doctor told me alcohol, caffeine, and the daily hot chocolate I was drinking were probably causing it. It freaked me out, as the panic attacks were awful and scary. So I stopped drinking all of the above for almost 2 years. Then, as most, I thought since I hadn’t drank in so long, I would be okay with having a glass of wine. Of course, the day I bought the bottle of wine (expecting to have one glass) I ended up polishing off the bottle, and headed to the store for another.

    I couldn’t believe, how again after not drinking for so long my brain/body still needed more than one glass to get the buzz I guess I was looking for (very sad). I would say on that day I was probably around 30 years old or so, and I am now 41 years old. So it’s crazy to say, I guess I have been drinking almost daily for 10+ years. Yikes! I have negotiated drinking, planned to moderate my drinking, changed the type of wine I drank at night to a wine I don’t like as much (hoping to reduce my intake or desire for it), only purchased one bottle in hopes to not have one after work the next day (only to end up at the grocery store each day anyway), joined fitness studios committing to workout in the evening to reduce or stop my drinking (only to attend a few classes and not go back because it interfered with my evening of drinking), telling my BF “don’t let me drink today, I’m doing a cleanse” and then bitting his head off and calling him controlling for doing what I asked him to, and the list goes on.

    I too, get upset when company comes over and has the nerve to ask for a glass of wine. How, dare they reduce my over consumption to minus one glass! The nerve of them. And if it looks as if they’re visiting long enough to be offered a second glass, I’m hiding my bottles of wine so they think there’s not much left. I mean, I stocked up didn’t I? Why should I have to go to the store again? lol! Crazy when you hear yourself talk this way over liquor. Today I have made a decision to stop drinking, hence why I am scrolling the internet and this site. Alcohol sucks! It’s a lier, a destroyer, a thief, and aging and memory loss tonic, a relationship destroyer, a dream taker, a brawler, and an enemy that pretends to like you. I could go on, and on forever with the evils of alcohol. I know better, and I’m over waking up every morning spending the an hour feeling bad about myself and how I hate how dry my mouth feels from dehydration and breath taste. Reeking of the wine from the night before. Yuk!! I hate it!!

    I drink about 1-2 bottles of wine a night. I would say the average is 1 1/2 bottles. My question is should I be scared to stop? Did you experience symptoms stopping w/out a program after drinking that much per night? I have a close friend who recently stopped and she is 2 years and some months sober. She drank the same (1 -1 1/2 bottles/ night) and is doing great! She loves her life now, and keeps encouraging me to get on board. She says she cries every morning to God about how happy she is now without alcohol in her life. One of my fears was being bored, as I enjoy talking to people when I go to restaurants, having a nice dinner at the bar area and socializing. I also like to travel and have a hard time imagining fun, dancing, etc. without being able to drink, I know it’s a lie, as some of the funnest people I know don’t drink. They seem to have a better time than those of us in the group who do drink. So as I mentioned before alcohol is a liar. Cunning and deceitful, so much to make you think you can’t live w/ out it. When in fact the only thing one should not want to live without are the organs the alcohol is trying to destroy.

    Thanks for allowing me to write my thoughts.

    Like

    • Nowismytimetoquit

      Ditto, and I love these posts.
      Also I’m worried about the boredom from not drinking -alcohol is such a liar!-
      I started around age 14 with friends on Fridays, to weekly bottles of vodka during college, to 1-2 bottles of wine almost everyday after college.
      Today is my day to quit, I’ve ruined toooooo many relationships because of this poison. Now I’m single, alone, and feeling all around shameful. I just ruined a relationship a week ago (she’s in NA, seen my bad signs (binge drinking!!) and realized there’s no way I’m going to be a positive force in her life.

      I’ve tried so many different strategies to slow down or stop and none have worked. Switch from wine or vodka (my fav) to beers only – didn’t work – switched from beers to those super sweet breezer or cider because since I’m not a sugar fan I won’t drink as much. That worked for about a month, but if I went anywhere I would just order as much vodka as my body could handle. Moved to a different city, figured I’m not around a bunch of friends so I won’t go out as much. Turns out there’s 3 bars on every block.

      Definitely every problem I’ve had in my life the cause was my drinking. Nothing else.
      I’ve gone 3-4 weeks here and there, tried moderation but that’s not gonna work for me. Now is my time to quit. One day at a time, recognize the triggers when I’m craving and replace the craving with something else. I’d love to go to rehab but can’t for work reasons, I’m under a contract, and I’m not an aa guy. Now is my time to quit. I’ve had enough.

      I wish everyone all the best in your efforts. Reading your posts you all seem like very strong people that are fighting it one way or another.

      Like

  107. I love reading everyone’s stories of recovery. Good and bad! As for me, I’m 8 days sober after 10 yrs of drinking nightly. Mostly beer but anything was welcome. I’m 31 and have had enough. I’ve ruined countless relationship with women and have spent ridiculous amounts of money on alcohol. One day everything hit me all at once. I can either keep living the way I have been or make a change. Staying busy and haven’t had any serious cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Only 8 days in but WOW what a wonderful difference. “It’s not the I have a drinking problem. It’s just that every time I have a problem, it’s because of my drinking” I repeat that all the time. Problems in life happen. It’s how you react to them that matters.

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  108. Christmas will be day 50 for me. This is the longest I’ve gone without a drink since I was in high school and I am now 38. I too have experienced all of the same red flags mentioned above. I’ve always been a heavy weekend drinker but started drinking 5-6 days a week about 6 yrs ago when I moved into a new home. My new neighbor was a daily drinker and we hit it off right away so it wasn’t long before it became normal to come home from work and have 6 to 10 with him every evening. The neighbors moved out a year ago but the routine continued by myself. My wife doesn’t drink so I would just sit in the garage and drink alone until bedtime. I could go on forever listing red flags but I guess the 2 majors for me are having to plan my entire life around drinking and health concerns. Any errands would have to be done as early as possible so that I could hurry up and start drinking. Telling my children no when they ask for rides to friends houses because I am too buzzed to drive. Never inviting my family over because that means I couldn’t drink until they leave,etc. Over the last year I’ve lost weight and just feel run down all the time which is not me at all, I have always been an muscular and energetic. Multiple people have questioned my weight loss and a neighbor even asked if I was sick. This totally scared the crap out of me so I decided to stop. I originally thought it would be a 2 week break and then I would moderate but I quickly realized that I have to be done forever. Surprisingly it got much easier after the 2 weeks and now I honestly can say with some confidence that I am seriously quitting drinking. I began seeing a GP and had blood drawn earlier this week to make sure that my health is in order or to start fixing anything that may be wrong. Going to the dr was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do, I’ve been terrified of what I might find but I have to be around for my wife and kids so it was time to suck it up. I will follow up with the results since that is something missing from most blogs. Many people say they are going to dr but then never reply again. Thanks for providing this opportunity to say all this and to read the many stories from other in the same boat.

    Like

    • Tired,

      After getting out of detox I had to wait 6 months for a follow-up physical. Having my blood drawn was scaring the crap out of me. One of more devious things I did was alter my liver levels one time on my results. I had a friend in the biz who told me what acceptable enzyme levels were and “photo copied” the results with new numbers to show my wife. Talk about being a lying drunk! When the office called to give the results the nurse said everything was positive.

      “That can’t be right”
      Sir, your results are good.
      “What about my liver?”
      Normal
      “CHECK IT AGAIN!!!”

      I really dodged a bullet after the abuse I gave my body. Like so many I had a craving for sugar, all the deserts I passed up are fair game now. But if a side effect of abstaining is weight gain, well, I can live with that.

      Like

  109. Just hit the 18 month mark since I had my last drink. After 5 days of detox and 30 outpatient sessions I grew weary of the AA rhetoric. I never got a sponsor or joined a home group, it just seemed like a cult to me. So many people blaming others for their addiction, just got tired of hearing it. No doubt I’ll be called a dry drunk. Good luck to all of you trying to kick the habit. And if AA works for you, do it.

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  110. I’m in the same boat as everyone else on this site. I’m not ready to say it out loud to my partner yet and frankly, I think he too has times when he drinks too much. I’m giving it a shot. I am trying to channel the last time I kicked something bad for me…cigarettes. I chose running over smoking. I am not supposed to run anymore and though I have always been a fairly fit person, I have developed Hashimoto’s and gained the about 20 pounds associated with hypothyroidism. I might never lose it and I’ve never been this large but I am going to try to leverage out of the drinking habit and back into the gym at night versus day time.

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  111. 3 days. Its been tough. I changed some routines and that’s helpful. This morning I woke up and could see a noticeable difference around my eyes. As a 45 year old woman, I have some bags under my eyes that after drinking bottle of wine a night would turn into luggage. This morning I noticed the swelling has gone down a lot! I look better, in only 3 days! It sounds superficial but its helping me. I also started using teeth whitening strips. Its these little improvements that are keeping me straight.

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  112. hi, ive read that milk thistle supplement can speed up a recovering liver by 3 x …
    do you have any info on this ?
    personally i believe that if you try and cheat mother nature like say with steroids,
    you gain at one end and lose something at the other ..

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  113. I decided to quit on Sunday its my second time, the first was 4 years ago when after 6 months I managed to convince myself I could drink in moderation… big mistake. This time I know that It has to be for good. After 30 years of drinking I just dont want it in my life any more. Used to beleive it was my best friend but now know its my worst enemy. I know its going to be tough and if Im honest Im scared that life will seem pointless without the booze, but thankfully because of my previous experience with quiting I now know that is rubbish I just cant ever let my guard down and think its ok to start again.

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  114. I didn’t start drinking until about 15 years ago (I am now in my 70’s). I became really good at it, had a few hangovers, but not that many, was drinking a bottle of wine a night, sometimes more with company, until recently I had an experience which shocked me into giving up completely. Next morning found red wine stains all over my clothes and didn’t remember how they got there, a blackout experience, I believe. It is now 7 weeks without drinking and I have to say I have hit a rough patch. Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and I do not feel so alone anymore. I certainly do not feel tempted to drink again, but I do miss my friend the bottle of red wine!!!!! However, I am sleeping better, I feel heaps better, think I look better too, but it is not an easy path. All the best to you all. Thank you so much for your posts.

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  115. hi, im on day 7 . i still feel pretty horrible , i know i cant just be a heavy drinker for 5 years and expect it to happen so quickly . i would really like someone who was a 5 o clock heavy drinker for a good 5 years to tell me how long after they stopped did they feel somewhat normal again . thx

    Like

    • Hi New Start, be patient with yourself because it can take a few weeks. Considering how long we spent mistreating our bodies, the healing is miraculously short in comparison. Here is some pretty basic info on withdrawal from webMD http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-withdrawal-symptoms-treatments – there is lots of good out there if you search a bit. Lots of self care and most importantly, don’t give up! If you read comments on this blog from people who have relapsed, quitting again can be harder so better to stay the course.

      Like

      • on some level ive been gearing up to quit for months , just kept putting it off .
        great forum ? blog … whatever these are called . it really helps ,, keep up the good work .

        Like

  116. I QUIT!!! I cannot keep doing this to myself . I’ve quit before but due to some trouble in my marriage I started up again . At first It seemed like I had it under control a beer here or there that of course it escalated and all of I sudden I didn’t , and it was 2 six packs and shots. All of my old habits are back the binge drinking the hiding of Alcohol the lying . I hide my drinking pretty well which is a problem . I drink home alone so no one knows. I am finally accepting that fact the I have no control over alcohol. I don’t like the person I become when I start drinking. I used the long holiday weekend to drink obsessively . I stopped drinking yesterday and today I have the shakes . I threw everything out this morning and I don’t plan on stepping a foot in a liquor store again. I know now what needs to me done. I need to make some major changes in my life . I want my Life back and it starts now. My game plan is to attend AA tonight .

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  117. Any words of advice to someone who is struggling to find sobriety when their spouse keeps bringing alcohol into the house?

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    • Hi JDB, getting sober is hard work under the best of conditions. It becomes extremely difficult for anyone living with someone who undermines their efforts or just doesn’t respect their sobriety.

      My first suggestion would be to be sure to get some support, because if a spouse won’t (or can’t) be supportive, then it needs to come from somewhere else. This support can be found in recovery meetings – in this case I’d suggest that in-person would be better than online meetings.

      Second, have a really honest conversation and ask for what is needed (boundaries regarding alcohol usage at home and elsewhere).

      Also, if the spouse is bringing booze home because he/she also has addiction issues, then AlAnon can be very helpful – the person in recovery should be going to both recovery meetings and al-anon to build the network of support and understanding.

      Do any of these considerations seem possible?

      Like

    • I have the same problem. I stopped buying alcohol & don’t think I’d be drinking daily if I wasn’t staying w/ an alcoholic who keeps booze on hand at all times that I have access to. I can’t seem to stop or control it having accessibility at arms reach. They have no desire to quit so this poses a huge problem for me. My anxiety & drinking prevents me from trying out AA so I’m trying to find online help 1st. I’m desperate.

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  118. Thank you for your blog. I am only three days sober. Your red flags list was mine to a T. I had been sneaking alcohol in the privacy of my bedroom for a few years and thought I was so clever. Wednesday night I drank (chugged, actually) two BOTTLES of wine and then though I’d be able to come downstairs and watch television with my husband and no one would be the wiser. I ended up not remembering most of the evening and waking up on the couch the next morning. We’d been here before, but this time I didn’t try to come up with some excuse or blatant lie. I just confessed everything. How I’d been sneaking booze into the house and drinking it quickly, right after work, so I could sail through the evening with a nice buzz. I told my husband everything and the next thing I did was send an email to seven of my dearest friends telling them much the same things. I am new to this, but I swear that confession probably saved my life. I’ve never done such a thing in the past. Now I have to own my problem. My friends and husband have been incredibly supportive. I’ve had no desire at all to drink but I’m not so naive to think there won’t be tough days ahead. I’m looking at different recovery and support groups and figuring out the best path ahead for me. I need an online community like this one, so thank you.

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    • The first few days are so precious, fragile, scary yet wonderful. Be very gentle with yourself and take this as seriously as necessary to protect yourself. You’re doing something heroic here – a pivotal time in your life. Good for you for reaching out and talking honestly with the important people in your life. Make them hold you accountable. Encourage them to read and learn about recovery. Listen to podcasts, engage with other people in recovery. Knowledge is power, and connections with others who understand will give you strength. Great job on making those hard changes!

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  119. Thanks so much for writing this blog. Today I’m 7 months sober and have been looking for something to supplement my meetings. Those red flags we pretty much mine to a T! I’m grateful to be at a place where I can laugh at how I’d get pissed when my wife offered “my booze” to a guess. I’m looking forward to reading more. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  120. I enjoy your article because you admit to failing quitting drinking however you did not give up. And rather than people feeling anxiety about feeling like a failure because they drank again, you show that it’s a process and if we keep trying and support ourselves through services or online support, etc… and we TRULY want alcohol out of our lives -we learn its a journey, a process that does not happen over night. It’s growth and with support each day gets better. So thank you.
    The thought of quitting drinking gives me anxiety and makes me want to drink. Sounds ridiculous but I know people understand.
    However the thought of quitting drinking to be a process, makes the anxiety go away. The burden is lifted and a positive thought of willingness to change seems realistic and possible. There is hope. Healthy lifestyle is important to me.
    It’s hard to find support though. The TTM sounds great, but who offers that support? I’ve been in the AA model. I really don’t care for it much. I found myself resenting being there as much as they told us we had to be in order to stay sober. I didn’t care for that to be my new ‘lifestyle’ and that’s what they seemed to pressure you into if you wanted sobriety. I know it helps a lot of people and they have a lot of good stuff. Just wasn’t my cup of tea.

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  121. I’m excited to have found this blog. I’m on my second day sober and

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  122. im a forty year old single parent of three children. My mother died an alcoholic aged 53 and my dad died of alcohol induced demetia at 78. (there was a 25 year age gap between them). People often said did it not put you off drinking both parents dying from alcohol and I would always say no.But at this point in my life i am scared as I have felt in the past three years alcohol has been controlling me. I stopped drinking seven days ago after going out on a Saturday evening experiencing a six hour blackout and apparently keyed my ex partners car. He contacted me to say he was thining of rining the police and at that moment I had a massive wakeup call that my life was gettting more and more out of control. Physically I have felt so unwell as I went from drinking wine at the weekends to daily and almost consuming two bottles per evening. Once I start i cannot stop until i run out of alc0hol and my tolerance has developed so I could just see a slippery slope. Looking back through my drinking history i can begin to stand back and think you have had a problem with it for years. Arrested for drunk and disorderly three times not charged thankfully but a humiliating experience, hurrendous blackouts. I stopped being a social drinker and became a secret lonely drinker, hiding wine bottles not knowing where they were the next day. I have been reading these blogs for encouragement and support and to feel like I am not alone.

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    • Hi there, it sounds like you are really hurting and are ready for better days. It’s possible. It’s hard. And it’s totally worth it. You are definitely not alone. Tons of us are cheering for you!

      Like

  123. tinydancerpammy

    I just found this blog this morning. I am in very much the same situation. I am married to a wonderful man and have an adorable 2-year old boy. I was able to quit drinking for 11 months beginning before I was pregnant with him and ending after he was born. I used to be so bad that I would have a water bottle of vodka at my desk at my last job. After my son was born, a family gathering on the Fourth of July came along and I convinced myself I could have a couple of drinks. I only had two, but that was the slippery slope. Now I’m back to drinking at work, hiding bottles of wine (and often not remembering where I hid them). I don’t know if my husband knows or not. We both just quit smoking and we are on week six, so I know if I can quit that, I can do the same with alcohol. On Saturday (Halloween), we fought the entire day about the stupidest things (because I was drunk). It was so bad that my husband, who is normally very passive, was screaming at me and he later asked me why I thought we were fighting so much recently. I knew the answer and I think he suspected it, too. This has to end. To top it all off, after a couple of heavy drinking sessions recently, one of which being Saturday, I will be horribly nauseous the next day and I’m starting to have pains around the area of my liver. I’m really scared. I know I cannot be a social, moderate drinker- the past has proven that. I just don’t know how to quit and I know mine stems from horrible anxiety which is, again, a vicious cycle with alcohol involved. I’m determined to stick with it this time, mainly for my health and family. Thanks so much for this blog.

    Like

    • You have been carrying a heavy load and I am glad you are here to find some support. What you describe is alcoholic behaviour – drinking at work, hiding alcohol – these are significant indicators that alcohol is driving your decision making. You know this, even though it is hard to accept. You are so right about the relationship between alcohol and anxiety – at first it seems to work as a self-medication tool but in the long run it makes everything worse. I encourage you to have a few honest conversations – consider telling your husband about your hidden behaviours and ask him to support your plans to stop. There are many options available to you – rehab, out-patient programs, recovery meetings, online programs. You could also talk to your doctor and discuss medication that might help you stop drinking and also to deal with your anxiety (and perhaps depression?) – please know it is absolutely crucial that you tell your dr the truth about how much you drink if you are planning to take any other medication. Sometimes when people get a few days or weeks sober, they feel so good that they think they can go back to drinking and moderate. It rarely works out, and quitting the next time gets harder and harder. So please lock on to the knowledge that living completely alcohol free is the best option for those of us who experience addiction, and lock onto it. You can do this, and you are a hero for being willing to make this change.

      Like

      • I am 36 years old, recently married. We have been together for 10 years, met while working on cruise ships. My 20”s were a blur, drinking and partying! This seemed normal but my boyfriend, now husband started to show his concern when I was 28ish.

        I started leading a healthier life, got over the drinking every other night, took awhile but I also got over the urge to drink every Friday night.

        Things got better, it was only once a month I would have too much, he would not speak to me and after 3 days of hating myself I had to prove to him I would change.

        After 10 years, this now happens only 2 – 3 times per year. Better but still not good enough for him and he just threaten to leave.

        We have been to counselling, I have tried groups, I have been sober for 5 months and since then can go for several months and just keep it to 2-3 drinks, once or twice a month. I rarely go out which helps, I follow this rule 7 out of 10 times a year. Most often when he is not with me.

        I start with good intentions and then I say, just one more… And in and on.

        I don’t want us to separate, I feel like this is the same problem my mom faced with my dad’s drinking. I am recreating exactly what I wanted to avoid in my marriage, and it is all my fault.

        3 days ago I took my work team out for a holiday activity, followed by drinks and appies. Thought I would be home by 7 but it was 10. Had great reasons in my head for staying longer but hate myself now. My husband told me if this happens again he will move out. I have now commited to stop drinking for 6 months..

        Things on my mind:

        What do I say to people at Work, family over holidays…
        I know I can do it but will this make the difference forever?
        Who am I doing this for?
        I want to be healthier
        I don’t want to be like my parents.
        I want my husband to love me.
        I want to have kids one day soon.
        How am I fun when I don’t drink?

        I have concern for not drinking for some time, my problem is when I have 2 or more , 3 /10 times I won’t stop.

        How do I do this and be successful?

        Like

    • Big hugs to you. You can do this.

      Like

  124. Alcoholism breaks people up an drives family apart. Just like any addiction, it comes first to even family, loved ones and important things like work and school. I had a colleague who will sneak out at midday to get alcohol in their system and will return to work all giggly thinking it’s funny to be drunk in the afternoon. It also one of the reasons why couples fight and break up. I have a friend whose husband will come home in a drunk stupor. The husband is so drunk and stinking of alcohol that she would literally kick him off the bed and he will wake up in the morning wondering why he is sleeping on the floor. Other alcoholics get violent and become axe-wielding gladiators pissed at the world at large. There is nothing cool about alcohol or alcoholics. It is a disease so get it cured ASAP. NO MORE EXCUSES.

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    • Thanks for the helpful comment. It’s definitely as easy as you say it is, and you certainly have nothing to be ashamed of in your life, so you are someone for us all to aspire to be!

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    • Hi Sam, thanks for stopping by. I know it can be confusing for people who have not experienced addiction to understand why the heck people don’t just fix the problem. The solution is so obvious, right?

      What is hard to understand is that addiction changes how our brains work, so that our thinking becomes scrambled. Most addicts and alcoholics aren’t having fun at all, they have to use or drink just to feel normal, just to function.The re-wired brain no longer sees the obvious truth quite so clearly, and this makes it very hard for people to see that the drugs or alcohol are the problem, because their brain is sending them mixed up messages. This is why we make such a big deal about each and every person who finds their way out of addiction, because it is a battle against a mind that is convinced a hit is absolutely necessary,

      The brain sort of starts to see drugs/alcohol as necessary in the same way that a healthy brain regards water, food, or oxygen. You know that panic-y feeling that happens when you are in a small stuffy space and feel like you can’t breath? Or when you’re stuck in traffic and have to pee? That is a teeny bit like the panic and discomfort that starts to overtake the mind and body for one addicted to something when they try to go without it – it is a terrible feeling.

      So yes, I agree with you that alcoholism isn’t cool – it has awful consequences for many many people. It kills people and destroys lives, you are absolutely right. But please know that people with addiction are hurting and struggling, and that the simple solution is still a long and difficult road…although one very much worth the effort.

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  125. Hello….I found this blog about 8 months ago and love it…..I then went 48 days sober ….had a big weekend coming up and said well I’ll only have a couple…I can drink in moderation ….well it didn’t take long before I was back to everyday …..well it’s been six months now with that same old lifestyle and couldn’t control it….I have been 7 days sober this time around…..should have never picked the bottle up again……I think it’s harder this time around for me but I’m gonna do this and it is encouraging that I am not alone in this fight…. The struggle is real and so is my determination to stay sober….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for posting this, Bobbi. May your experience spare others from going the same route! I hear from so many with similar experiences – it just isn’t worth it, is it? Thank you for reminding us to keep it simple and stick to living alcohol free. In the long run it offers the most peace.

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  126. Thank you for sharing. I have stubbled across this blog after typing in “stuggling quitting alcohol “. I am at day 3 dry. It is 6.17pm and I am fighting within my head. I am depressed, have no desire to do anything else but drown my own misery. I am not sure what rock bottom is, I just know I dont want to experience it.

    Last Wednesday night I had one of my sessions. This happens maybe twice a week where I drink 3 bottles of wine in about 7 hours. I am not in control of my behavior. After a session I will drink 1-2 bottles daily but 3 sends me into a state that i have no control. One year ago I took up smoking again after wuitting for the last 10 years.

    Last Wednesday I hooked up my new credit card to an online gambling site and proceeded to spend. I started to chase my loses and spent thousands of dollars. When I woke up I could recall playing the slot but had no recall of the amount. The shame, the dispear, the feeling of hopelessness. I wanted to run, I wanted to never face up to my mind blowing mistake. After I told my husband what I had done the night before he asked if I would have done the same thing if I was sober. That answer is NO! No way on this earth would I have made such a monumental mistake.

    I have been seeking treatment and I guess I know I have been trying to stop drinking for 9 years now, but each year it escalates. And with this story I have not hit rock bottom because after 2 days of remorse all I can think about is drink.

    I can identify with every red flag. Alcohol is every where. I hold a repectful job and I am an active community member.

    I feel that alcohol is a best friend. It affects me in positve ways an in negative ways that I have no contorl over. I have chosen to be with that best friend over my loved ones. Seems silly but I am mourning the loss of that best friend even though I know my life will be better without it.

    Just to get that off my chest has eased my selfish thoughts. Thank you for proving an outlet to anonymously share.

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    • Oh AJ, I wish I could give you a hug. Alcohol is so deceptive – it seems like a best friend when in truth it is a killer who wants to ruin lives. That sounds dramatic but 3 bottles of wine in 7 hours is a recipe for an early grave, sweet friend. Please can we spare you this fate?! This supposed friend of yours took you gambling and stole from you. It is even stealing you from your family.

      And yet….the grief you feel is completely normal. Break up with that toxic friend, you know you will be better off in the long run. Part of the sadness we feel when we leave wine behind comes from the distorted thinking that is caused by addiction itself – our rewired brains believe that we NEED that booze. But we don’t, it is a lie.

      There is so much help available to you. From the amounts you say you are drinking, you should be considering a medically supervised detox – please know that alcohol withdrawal can be deadly and you must take steps to be informed about your safety. Rehab, outpatient treatment, recovery programs, support groups – make use of all of it my friend because you are fighting for your life here!

      Be gentle with yourself and be fierce with this disease!

      Like

    • Just wanted to stop in and thank you, again, for this blog and the list above. I’m only on day 48, but I feel wonderful, alive, and happy again. My anxiety and depression are so much more manageable, and no more morning after shame. I’m sure I have some tough times that will come my way, but reading this blog, and others’ comments/suggestions/stories has really helped me feel that I’m not alone, and has given me the extra support I needed. This list just clicked with me for some reason, and gave me the push I needed to make this leap. Thank you so much.

      I keep checking back in to read others posts. I wish I also had magic words to help soothe and guide, but I’m new at this, myself. All I can say is, I understand, you are not alone, and there is a light in the darkness. There are others who understand, and listen without judging. Big hugs and best wishes to you all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hurray for 48 (49! 50!!!) days. Good for you. Thanks for sharing your experience and words of encouragement for those who are struggling. It makes a difference. Glad you’re here. Ps how will you celebrate day 50 tomorrow? Something special I hope 🙂

        Like

        • Just came back to re-read and check in. I don’t think I did anything special to celebrate, but waking up feeling great and not worried about “the night before” is definitely celebration enough for me! Day 110 now. This blog has changed my life so far. You are helping so many people with your words, experiences, and encouragement. We all really appreciate it. For me, it all started with this post, and I can’t help coming back to read it, and remember. Thanks again.

          Like

  127. Hi Everyone,

    So I’m brand new around here. I understand everyone is busy and even without a response, I’m really grateful to have an avenue to get my feelings out. Sometimes it just feels much more real to get it down on paper – or keyboard in this case.

    I guess I should start by saying that my problem is still in it’s developmental stage. I’m just 22 years young and have had the ‘pleasure’ of growing up in Gen Y. Unfortunately for me this means that it is entirely normal to be ‘legless’ at least 2-3 times a week. How binge drinking has become such a necessary and normal part of everyday life, I haven’t a clue!

    I began to notice a problem when my blackouts became so severe that I would lose an entire night of memory during a bad spell. Now to be more specific, I drink maybe 3 times max a week, almost never feel the need to drink on my own (crisis’s not included) and can enjoy 1 or 2 beers at the end of a work day without feeling the need to over do it. There would be many people that would be quick to say that I don’t have a problem, but I certainly disagree. Maybe once every few weeks, or even months, I seem to take my enthusiasm for alcohol too far and find myself in dangerous territory. Like any youngen finding their feet (and tolerance) I’ve had my fair share of humiliations, blackouts and morning panics of where I am, how I got home and what on earth I did the night before. It’s when this becomes a habit that I don’t seem to be learning from that I begin to worry. What concerns me the most is that something as serious as this is so quickly dismissed by others as ‘young mistakes’ and followed by an explanation of how everyone has once been there. To me, that is no longer good enough.

    A little background on my upbringing, I was fortunate to be taken from a bad situation by my father when I was an infant, and he then raised me on his own. For this I will be eternally grateful. Unfortunately however for him, his mother had an issue with alcohol her entire life, and this was eventually the reason for her demise at far too young an age. I guess that’s not something that leaves a young man of 16 and it became a shadow that follows my father to this day. As a child I never picked up on the signs, because I knew nothing different, and this is something that really sticks with me now. How did I not pick up on my inappropriate drinking habits earlier? I simply didn’t know what to look for. Now when I look back on my last 2 months of drinking I find it difficult to remember a time that my mind hadn’t gone foggy on details or my lack of focus hasn’t effected my life. It’s finally time to make some serious changes, which is why I am here.

    I don’t have high expectations and I worry about my ability to simply say ‘no’, particularly when I am met with the inevitable shocked looks from fellow drinkers when they realise I’m not there to participate. I mentioned earlier that my problem is in it’s ‘developmental stage’ and this is because I am now taking the first real step in the right direction, which I hope will serve as a reminder for the day that I made the decision to enhance my life for the better. Hopefully with this I can find the strength within myself to be confident in my abilities to accomplish anything at all I set my mind to, and to quash this negativity that is trying to guide my life.

    I am eternally grateful for your time…

    Like

    • Hi Anita, thank you for sharing your story. Please keep coming back and writing – we all learn from each other. I want to share with you that there are many people your age who find themselves addicted (and also who people may not take seriously because of their age) — don’t be discouraged! You are not alone. My own father quit drinking when he was just 23 and next month he will celebrate 56 YEARS of sobriety! What would really help you would be to connect with some other people your age who are in the same boat. Partly so that you’d have people to hang out with who are doing something besides drinking, and partly because it feels GREAT to be among others who understand your experience. You are very wise to have recognized that things have gone off-course. What you choose going forward will have lasting impact on your life. I am so impressed! Thank you for standing among us.

      Like

  128. Something flipped in me this weekend. I don’t know how to explain it, but a switch flipped in my head. Maybe I’m being ignorant, but I’ve never felt physically addicted to alcohol but instead emotionally and psychologically. My drinking ramped up over a number of years and seemed to make jumps with extraordinary events in my life – infertility issues, then a premature child, and some health concerns. Not sure when it happened, but it became rare that I would go a night without drinking. Until the end, I would occasionally have a night here or there – but maybe just 2 or 3 times a month.

    And the amounts increased, especially over the last 18 months. It was nothing for me to have a bottle of wine, maybe a bottle and a half, in an evening. Nothing to take down 4-5 pints of high alcohol content beer (8-12 % ABV). I had to have it, just to feel the buzz I needed. Rarely dealt with hangovers, didn’t typically get noticeably drunk, knew my limits so well that my wife didn’t normally know I was drunk or had been drinking at all unless she smelled my breath.

    This isn’t the worst case of alcoholism you’ve ever heard, probably not anywhere remotely close. But I’ve gained weight. My blood pressure is high. I know I’m not healthy. And with a preschool-aged son in the house, I want to be there for his big moments into adulthood.

    These are the internal conversations I’ve been having with myself over the last couple months. Yet I wasn’t able to stop.

    Then, this weekend. I was on the road for business, and as soon as I arrived I bought 3 liters of wine and 2 six-packs of beer for my hotel room. The first night, hit the wine hard. But I woke up on Friday with a fast heart rate and general anxiety. I did my work fine, but I had some feelings of unease. And what was weird, I didn’t want to drink. All day. And that night. I’m not saying I was fighting those feelings. I’m saying I legitimately didn’t have those feelings, craving the alcohol. I went to bed early and slept 11 hours. Didn’t drink Saturday either. I’m sitting there on Sunday after working and feeling bad that I still had 2 liters of wine left and most of the beer. So I drank out of almost feeling like I should, as to not waste the money. Didn’t finish the wine or even touch the beer.

    So then I didn’t drink Monday when I got back home. But was feeling dizzy and super hungry. Occasionally it would feel like my heart was racing. That continued into Tuesday, no drinks. Then on Wednesday, after leaving work early and eating a bunch of food, I felt better. I actually had two glasses of wine as well to help with the hunger, as I just couldn’t get it to go away. But it wasn’t out of the desire to drink.

    Yesterday I was out to eat after work with my wife and kid. My wife got a beer. I got….iced tea. Wife was shocked, asked if I was feeling okay. I didn’t elaborate and didn’t drink last night. I finally told her more of this this morning, without getting into the fact that I was drinking way more than she knew.

    I still feel no desire to drink right now, on Friday afternoon. We are hanging out with friends tonight, and I may have a beer out of obligation, but a low ABV one. That’s it. I would actually prefer not to have anything.

    I have no idea how a switch can flip in my head like this. Perhaps the internal conversations mixed with such a horrible heart-racing feeling was my version of hitting rock bottom. I have no idea. I’m really glad that I feel differently now, and think differently, realizing it’s very early in the process.

    I’m hungry almost all the time. Considering how much sugar and calories I was consuming daily in alcohol, it’s no wonder. That’s actually the hardest part for me. I guess I’ll just eat more for now if I have to.

    I hope this account helps a few people. I don’t feel there are enough accounts out there like this one, where you know you’re doing it too much, but it’s not maybe a crazy amount. But look, that’s exactly where I was headed. It was going to get worse. And I was going to die early. We all still have the opportunity to change where we’re headed. Thanks for letting me share my story.

    Then

    Like

    • Thank you for this and your experience is not strange at all! Your reaction is spot on so if your addiction starts whispering to you “I wasn’t that bad, I didn’t hit a bottom, I can probably drink again” come back and read your words here and remember that you clearly saw your future and it was not where you wanted to go. My moment of clarity was very similar – I didn’t have a bottom just a sudden certainty that drinking as much as I was every single day was just too much and not being able to cut back or control it was a HUGE red flag. Bottom was looming, even if it wasn’t visible. We are lucky we avoided it, but it can trick us into relapse by not having a horror story to motivate us to maintain. We have to keep working for it, so know that your life will only be better without alcohol. Your health, relationships, emotions, looks, everything — it is all better without alcohol! Yay for you!

      Like

  129. Hello all. It has been a while since I have posted on here mainly because I fell back into old patterns. The last time I posted I was going on vacation and I was over 70 days without a drink. That was at the end of June. I ended up caving in and I drank through out the entire vacation. I got back from vacation and quit yet again. Today is day 100 which is by far the longest I have ever gone without a drink in my hand. I am finally at the point of telling myself that I can no longer drink no matter the situation. It honestly feels good to make it this far and I am looking forward to the next milestone.

    To all of you newbies on here, keep on fighting even if you slip up. You can and will conquer this problem. The fact that you posted on here shows that you are seriously thinking about your drinking. Stay strong!

    Like

  130. So last Saturday was my rock bottom . I went to a nice dinner with friends and besides my better judgement I drank entirely too much wine . Everything is a blur after that’s all I know is a attempted to drive home i pulled over because I thought I saw strobe lights . I parked my car turned of the car entirely off and processed to hide in my car ( why ) after a while I realized that it was just a cop car directing traffic & decided to drive home . How I made it home I have no clue . I’m so disgusted with myself I could have hurt someone . So naturally I spent the whole Sunday drinking ( my thought process with I’m home I’m not driving ) heavy sigh . I am going to an AA meeting as soon as I get out of work . I can’t do this to myself anymore . No one should live like this . Saturday was a Alarm of a wake up call for me . I’ve had my fair share of trouble due to drinking I can’t afford any more .

    Like

    • Alexa,
      Thankfully no one including yourself was hurt that night. Making the decision to stop drinking is not hard. Following thru is tough. It seems like your brain will rationalize why you should drink with the best lies ever told. You just have to get stubborn enough not to listen. Focus on all the positives of not drinking. My biggest has been sleeping 8-9 hours without waking up to use the bathroom and drinking a ton of water for my cotton mouth four times a night. The first three days were a bitch period. I respect my disease so I have changed my patterns to avoid triggers and temptation. Admit to being weak and pray for strength. Christ is faithful. If you slip, don’t stop quitting. You can so do this!!

      Like

  131. I just found this blog. All I can think about right now is having a drink. I have been drinking heavily for over a year. To begin with I would drink a few shots of vodka or gin. Everyday after work that’s what I was looking forward to. Then I started drinking more and more, hiding my bottles and drinking secretly. I started having blackouts. I got to a point that my tummy was hurting everyday and felt like crap all day at work. One night I had drunk a lot and went to bed to wake up in the middle of the night to drink some water. i ended up blacking out and fell face down onto the kitchen floor. I cut my lip and hurt my nose, luckily I didn’t break it and I didn’t fall on the broken glass.I decided to stop drinking the next morning. I did for a few months, then started drinking again. Cant remember why or how it started. But I started with just a glass of wine, telling myself that at least it’s not as bad as the hard liquor. Gradually, it’s gone from one glass, to two and for the past three weeks I’ve been drinking a whole bottle a night. On Saturday I woke up and was desperate to start drinking early. Normally I start in the evenings at dinner time but this Saturday I went out to town and bought a bottle which I took into the ladies changing rooms and drunk a quarter of it. I mixed another quarter into a coke bottle so I could carry on drinking while I was out shopping. When I got home I managed to pretend sobriety as my husband and daughter didn’t notice. I carried on drinking but didn’t pass out like I usually do at night. Maybe because I drank the rest slowly, I don’t know. Later, at night my husband was going out for meal with his brother and was picking up some groceries from the store before coming home. He asked me if I wanted anything and yup I asked for a bottle of wine. I promised myself I would only have a glass but ended up drinking the whole bottle before going to bed. I drank the last half straight from the bottle,had some alka seltzer, brushed my teeth and went straight to bed. In the morning my tummy hurt and I had diarrhoea. I felt really bad, promised myself I won’t drink but by the evening I had found an excuse to go and buy another bottle. I drank the lot. Today I woke up feeling even worse but had to go to work. All day I felt awful, tired, achy, basically one of the worst hangovers I’ve had in a long time. I promised myself again that I won’t drink today. After work I was arguing with myself in my head to not stop for a bottle, I didn’t. I came home, showered and put my pyjamas on so I won’t go out again. I’ve had my dinner without alcohol today. I felt like I needed something else so I’ve had some tea and biscuits but I just want a drink. I’m typing this and thinking about changing into my jeans and quickly getting to the store before it closes. But I don’t want to as well, does that make sense? I need some help but can’t tell anyone I know. what should I do? How can I stop myself from getting drunk again? I’m typing this to delay myself as I know the shop near will be closing in half an hour and maybe I won’t get in the car and go further to buy some. So on one hand I’m trying not to go out and on the other hand I’m telling myself I should quit typing and hurry to the shop or I’ll regret it later when all the shops are closed and I’ve got no drink. i’ve got work tomorrow so I shouldn’t drink but I really badly want to feel that tingly relaxed feeling I get. If I could just stop after that and not carry on till I pass out. I don’t know what to do anymore and how i got like this. I never used to drink at all and now it’s all I think about.

    DD

    Like

    • Hi DD,

      It sounds like you are bottoming out – which (believe it or not) is actually a good thing. Can you see the absolute and utter powerless that you have over drinking? I would encourage you to attend AA if you have never done so before. Additionally, for me – I had to come to the feet of the cross and repent as I felt so spiritually broken (I’m a Christian – but realize that the 200 million plus Hindu Gods are fair game too – not to mention Buddhism). From there it is a matter of turning it over to God. You are actually on holy ground. Christ came to heal the sick, the captive…. I certainly was captive by alcohol and sick. Very sick. I was a “relapser extraordinaire.” I’m close to a month of sobriety and I feel my spirit beginning to soar….Join me, my friend – on a sober journey. Heck join all of us!

      I’ll keep you in my prayers today DD.

      Joyce

      Like

      • Thanks for replying Joyce. Although I can’t quite make sense of what you said it’s comforting to know you had a drink problem and are now a month sober. I didn’t drink last night but I also didn’t wake up feeling great so I compensated by drinking a whole bottle by 4pm. I felt crap and now I’ve promised myself non drink tomorrow. Let’s see how that goes, wish me luck!

        DD

        Like

    • DD – my story is so similar to yours! 😦 Good luck!!!

      Like

  132. Hi my name is Tina, and I’m not quite sure where to start because I’m not quite sure when it started. I have a 24 year old daughter that has a problem and I don’t know how to help her. I know she started drinking in HS, as do most kids, but I’m not quite sure when it got out of hand. She is very intelligent. She graduated 2nd in her class of over 200 at her HS. She went on to get her Bachelor’s in elementary ed from St Ambrose University graduating with a 3.9. I know in college she drank often!! Her problem is that when she drinks she usually doesn’t quit until she passes out. She ended up in the ER twice during her last 2 years of college. She has PCOS, so she struggles with depression and anxiety. I believe she drinks to silence her “demons”. We are now going through the court system for her 2nd DUI. She only drink on the weekends, but it’s every weekend (FRI and SAT) and again it’s pretty much til she passes out. Not always, but usually. She’s passed out in bathrooms, and right at the bar. Her friends “watch out” for her, if that’s what you want to call it. She says her life sucks, and she hates where it’s at, so how can she not see that it’s alcohol that is ruining her life? She is my baby and it breaks my heart not knowing how to help her. I want so badly to talk to her about it but I’m afraid if I try it’ll lead to an argument and push her away. Can anyone please give me a direction to at least try…….

    Like

    • Hi Tina,

      Al – anon can provide support, direction and a confidential place to share. I highly recommend it for you:)

      Joyce

      Like

    • Tina .

      Truth is until she accepts that’s she has a problem there is almost nothing you can do . I would suggest AA but again she has to want to go or she will start to resent you for making her go . If she is indeed a alcoholic the disease will fight for her to stay that way

      Like

  133. Today is day 2 for me. I have been binge drinking for 2 years. It started when I turned 40 and up to that point, I never had a drink in my life. I found out alcohol use escalates quickly. I am up to 4 fifths of vodka a week. I tried to moderate, but once the freight train leaves the station, ain’t no stopping her until she gets to me to wasted town. I have hid my drinking from my family and friends. I have not gotten into any trouble yet. I only drink at night after work at home. I drink alone. I hide my bottles. I go to 3 different liquor stores because of the shame I feel buying that much alcohol. I can no longer take the guilt and the thoughts of what I am doing to my body. I never sleep soundly either. I came across this blog and it hit me that others are going thru the same sh** as me and feel the same as I do. I am sick of it – mentally and physically. Thanks for all the posts here. It really helps a lot knowing I am not as alone as I thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Layken,

      Just seeing how you are doing? I have been sober since September 21st and I decided to go back to AA. My “old way of thinking” about alcohol had to die. I hope you are doing ok. If you have drank lately and want to get it off your shoulders I’d love to hear from you. Hope all is well! Joyce

      Like

    • Hi Mike,

      I sobered up the week of my daughters wedding (the week of September 21st). I can’t tell you how miserable I was on day one and two. I am now on day 14 and I’m back in AA – although I’m going to take some things in stride this time around. I just want to caution you not to fall into the pit of self-pity which can be a natural out-cropping of self loathing and shame – at least for me.

      One thing I started doing just to get my mind off my restlessness – is playing games;). So I took up chess again and downloaded the “quiz up” app on my phone. There is actually some new research out on gaming that is quite interesting. It actually changed my impression of gamers completely.

      Hope this helps and it will get better….Joyce

      Like

    • Your going to be okay and you are not alone. I think a lot more people than any of us would think struggle with this and just haven’t opened up about it. The fact that you want to change is the biggest first step. Things are going to be rough for a little while, but then they will get better. Find something to do to occupy your night time when you were drinking and try to avoid doing whatever you did when you drank for awhile. Even if it was just watching a particular show, that could trigger you to want a drink just because it’s what your used to. Hang in there!

      Like

      • Thank you both for the encouraging words. Joyce, first off, keep it up and find whatever dulls the triggers. I know I will need to get involved in a support group like AA if this is going to go long term. I agree with you Chel that many people don’t view it as a problem in their life. Social acceptance is definitely there. The weekend was rough physically as my booze brain was almost as convincing as the devil in the garden of Eden. But for the first time since I can remember, I slept 9 HOURS straight and I could remember what I did the previous night on Day 4. One of the most profound statements I read on this site helped with Saturday – how good I think I will feel tonight will not outweigh how bad I will feel in the morning and I knew that was the God’s honest truth. It really is a day by day battle. At some point, I feel I should share this addiction with my family, but not yet. Looking forward to how good I will feel on Day 7!

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        • Hi Mike, Just checking on you. Hope all is well for you. On telling your family, I do believe you would feel that a little bit of the burden was taken off of you. I think sometimes that our families know more about us than we think they do. That being said only you can decide if and when you want to share this with them. My family was very mixed. Most of them were very supportive and have really been there for me. My mother told me that she had known for some time. My husband left. He couldn’t take watching what it was doing to me. Unfortunately, I have promised to quit drinking so many times that he doesn’t believe me now and who can blame him? It was a terrible loss to something so ugly. All I can do is keep moving forward. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what other people think. I want to get better for myself and for the people I love. Keep being strong.

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          • Hey Chel, Thank you for checking in. I read it at a time when I normally would want a drink and your post was timed perfect for encouraging me not to do it. 7 days behind me. The struggle is very real, but I feel so much better and the guilt and shame is lessening. The mental fog cleared off a day or so ago. Life feels like I am experiencing it again and not just watching it happen around me. I am by no means out of the woods I know that, but I am in a lot better spot today than yesterday. Booze brain lies are still very enticing, but they are lies and I have to remember that. I still cannot tell the family yet – that conversation has not been totally framed in my mind. How are you doing? I pray you will be strengthened today as well 🙂

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            • Hey Mike, Sorry this is so late. I have really been busy with school today. I want you to know that I am so happy for you. You are doing great. Honestly, this last little bit has been hard for me. My husband left a couple of weeks ago and to put it bluntly it was one heck of a time to quit drinking. I used it to cope with things and that’s how I ended up with the problem I have. Well, there has been a lot to cope with lately. I know what you mean about the booze lies. I have just been doing the best I can to stay busy. I have a beautiful daughter who deserves a mama that is not struggling with this.She has been my inspiration and keeps me on the right track. It’s a rough time, but I know I am going to come out of it stronger. I thank you for your prayers and mine are with you too. Keep staying strong, because it will pay off. Hope all is well for you.

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              • Hey Chel
                Hope this note finds you well. Not a day my brain doesnt want me to slam a fifth, but I find the way I feel these past two weeks is worth more than the buzz. I know you are struggling but I am pulling for you each day. Keep on keepin on

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            • Mike,
              your story has inspired me to quit drinking. My situation is much like yours, but I denied it for a long, long time.

              Like

  134. Hello everyone. I found this blog and I’m going to be honest. I am an alcoholic. I am 25 and have a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter. I have known that I have issues with alcohol, but I’m unsure what to do. I am sober now and plan to stay sober. Without going into to many details, I will just say that my drinking has hurt me and all the people I care about way to much. I do not want to drink and I firmly believe I can refrain. It has been days and I haven’t missed it. Unfortunately, I am afraid that I have allowed it to ruin my marriage before I got off it. To kinda go into the back story, when we first got together we both drank. After awhile I got to where I was drinking every day. I didn’t have to get drunk every day but I felt like i needed a drink every day. He told me it was worrying him because he thought I was addicted. I told him I wasn’t and I truly believed I wasn’t. Well things continued and we both continued to drink. After awhile he told me he was sick of it and wanted me to stop. I ended up secretly buying some and hiding it. I wasn’t drinking every day anymore, but I was drinking a lot more at a time. This continued for awhile. The last time this happened I truly decided it would be the last time. However, my husband has left me for 2 days now and will not talk to me. He doesn’t believe I will really quit and I don’t blame him. It is the truth. I truly want to change and give him, my daughter, and myself the life we all deserve. If I loose him I will continue to stay sober for me and my child, but I know how much better our life could be together without it. Does anybody have advice on this? I am willing to see a marriage counselor, but I do not believe he is. If anyone can help me save my marriage it would mean the world to me and my daughter.

    Like

    • Hi Chel, Old Rummy here. 6 months sober today.
      Good to hear that you are on the road to sobriety.
      The only person that can help you save your marriage is you. You can do that by being sober and proving that you are no longer the person you were. You have to earn that trust back.
      The one thing you said in your post that is a bit worrying is
      “I do not want to drink and I firmly believe I can refrain”.
      This is not the best mindset to approach your recovery, that you ‘believe you can refrain’.
      The only thing that should be in your mind at this point, for you and your daughter and your marriage is “I NO LONGER DRINK AND NEVER WILL”.
      No refraining, no believing you might be able to do it, you just know as a fact that you cannot drink, that you do not drink, and you will never drink again. You have to know that in your heart.
      That is the only way I made it through cold turkey 6 months ago.
      I truly hope you can get your family back together again. Growing up in a broken home sucks.
      Good luck.
      Old Rummy

      Like

      • Thank you so much. Just bad wording on my part. You are right there is no believing or thinking about it. I am just not going to do it. Congrats on your six months and keep being strong. Good luck to to you as well.
        Chel

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  135. I am 38 years old never been big on drinking till last year when I loss my fiance do to cancer. All kinds of grief and stressed followed after that, and I found drinking to be a coping mechanism. A few months later I had a male friend to comfort me who also enjoyed drinking everyday, soon it became our favorite pass time. All the people who were there for me during my loss I pushed them away because I didn’t wanna be judged by them. I kept telling myself as long as I’m getting up going to work everyday and handling my business there was no problem.

    We get up on weekends and would start drinking at 10am sometimes earlier, and wouldn’t stop till we got ready for bed which sometimes was 4 in the morning. Only time we would be sober is at work. Vodka was our drink of choice. Recently I slipped in the shower and had to go to the emergency room for a bruised rib do to my drinking, but even that didn’t stop me.
    He has had 3 car accidents in the past 6 months and that didn’t stop him either.

    Well Sunday is what brings me here today. We got up drinking early like we always do. About 6 that evening he is hanging out at the park and ends up getting into a fight with some guys totally out of his character, and after that was over we continue drinking till 6am, I have to be at work at 9am. He had already canceled his clients and decided he wasn’t working after the fight. I decided I wasn’t working either since I hadn’t had any sleep yet, I set my alarm so I can get up and call off at 7, but didn’t wake up till 9:30, now I’m 30 minutes late my bossed text to see if I was okay I called back made up some lame excuse about my clock not going off and told her I needed the day off. Thankfully do to the fact this is the anniversary of my fiance’s death she was understanding.

    So when he woke up I had the talk with him about we are messing up and we need to get our lives together he agreed and we decided to give up the alcohol. Yesterday was my first day without a drink in a year, his first time in at least 4 years. Not sure how this is going to play out, but I pray we can get it together.

    Like

    • Stay strong. You can do it and you have each other to lean on. That was a lot of my problem too, using it to cope with bad things. Focus on other things you enjoy. Since you are both quitting together and drinking has been such a big part of your relationship, maybe now is the time to find a new hobby that you both enjoy. I wish you the best of luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  136. So happy I found this blog! I decide to quit about two months ago, and then return to only drinking in moderation, so I could still drink “socially.” I quit for about two weeks, and felt awesome. Wonderful for two weeks. So happy. I would have the “drinking” dreams and wake in a panic, then feel SO elated that it was just a dream, and so proud of myself for not really having broken my sobriety. So naturally, unconvinced myself that I had hit some kind of magical “reset” button and I could just go out and have one or two. And I could! For like, a week. Moderation for me= HA. Big ol’ NOPE. Went back to bingeing a few nights a week, but it seemed to get even worse. My rock bottom was yesterday. Nothing earth-shattering- a hangover that caused me to have to leave my job, head to the bathroom, and vomit. I was so sick. And the shame. The shame is even worse. And anger, and embarrassment at myself. I looked up and just thought, “I deserve better than this.” I called my husband on the way home, sobbing. He was so kind and supportive, though I think he was in denial that I really had a problem, before then. But I DO. And I CAN’T drink socially. I just cant.

    Woke up this morning thrilled with my decision to quit. I think I can stick to it. I never should have started back after that initial two weeks. I never should have tried to moderate. I should have just quit. I’m thrilled because the worst thing for me, was the morning after shame. I drank at home, so no one else saw it-but I knew. And I am so excited about the possibility of not having to deal with that shame ever again, that I am going to try so hard to stick to sobriety and do more outreach and reading about others’ experiences. I don’t think it will be easy for me. But anything is better than the self-hatred I dealt with the next day. Also, a big thing that helped the first two weeks (and which I’ve redownloaded) is an app I found (I won’t name it because I don’t want people to think I’m here advertising )but is a popular app that has a lot of useful daily tips, and categories for advice for specific, selectable problems that you might be facing that moment, and how to “talk you down.” I conjunction with this blog, I hope I never pick up a drink again. Thank you for this blog!

    Like

    • Sweet Tea,

      I have done the same thing ad nauseam (pun intended). I have recently been reading a book by Ann Dowsett Johnston entitled “Drink – The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol.” In it she talks about being half way through inpatient rehab and feeling “normal.” Bam – that really hit home for me. That perhaps is part of the difficulty with us alcoholics – at least me. We get some sobriety under our belt and just assume that we can control our drinking, “after all I don’t feel sick – I feel quite normal.”

      A disease typically involves medicine or feeling lousy all the time. With alcoholism – you actually can feel quite normal sober. However – realizing that this is a mental disease, an allergy (to borrow from AA) in which I have to stay away from alcohol like I would peanuts if I were allergic to them is where I have to stay. My brain lacks a sufficient number of D2 receptors and so if I drink – a chemical cascade occurs that sends me to a place where I eventually will abuse alcohol to get the dopamine high that alcohol affords my diseased brain.

      BTW – what is the app – please??? No offense here.

      I’m happy you can lean on your spouse. Mine has been with me throughout this awful journey. I don’t know why he hasn’t left me. He told me the other week that I should have a breathalyzer attached to my phone which would render the phone inoperable if I blew into it with alcohol on my breath. Funny – especially for someone who has a tendency to drink and dial. But then it isn’t funny – at all. I am on day 4 sober and intend to stay sober.

      Thanks for your post!!

      Like

      • Right, there is no way I can just be a social drinker. I’m definitely in for a long ride, and have to try to stay aware! I’m glad your spouse is supportive, too. I know it can’t be easy for them.

        The app is called SoberTool. I found it really helpful until I tried to go back to being a “moderate” drinker. Really wish I had just stuck with quitting, but I was foolish. Oh well. This time I’m trying for GOOD. Congrats on the four days. Those first days are tough!

        Like

    • Glad you’re here, Sweet Tea! And yes, please post the app you find helpful – and anything else you recommend. This is a place for sharing ideas and encouragement!

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    • You can do it. I thought I could drink just a couple here and there and found out that was not the case. I can go days without it now, but if I get started I don’t quit. I do not plan on ever taking another drink. For whatever reason, genetics, being predisposed I don’t know, but people like us can’t handle it and need to just avoid it at all costs. I am sure your husband is very proud of you for your decision. I wish I would have made mine sooner.

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  137. Typing this hungover. Head pounding, sick, mad at myself for doing it again. I have many alcoholics in my family that are much much worse than I am, but I have been unhappy with my drinking and pot smoking for a long time. I’ve been saying “I’m probably going to quit drinking and smoking pot someday” and have occasionally tried to quit, but then eventually start deluding myself into thinking I can have one drink and it’s no big deal, and back I slide. Like many of you I too am a boring drunk who’s had pretty good luck. I don’t get drunk every day but I do drink every day. On the weekends is when I do my real drinking and I always go into the night thinking “I’m going to be responsible and only have a few” but almost invariably I cannot stop until I’m wasted. I have been prone to anxiety and depression and mood swings, and my wife has suggested I get on medication but I think this is probably what’s at the root of it all. I have decided that this is going to be that “someday” that I finally stop. I really hope I can make it last this time. Thanks and sorry for rambling.

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    • Don’t be sorry. You will be okay. I believe you are probably right about the drinking being the root cause of your depression and anxiety. The sad thing is depressed anxious people are more likely to drink and drinking does make those problems worse. Alcohol is a natural depressant. When you are used to drinking a lot and then stop it can cause anxiety symptoms to seem worse for a little while too. Try and hang in there. You might consider going to the Dr. just to make sure you don’t need a little help with your depression. There is no shame in that and it could make your journey to being free of the drinking easier. Good luck to you! Chel

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  138. Hey my names Josh I’m 24 I used drinking and drugs to coupe with what happens with my parents long story short my dad’s in prison for attempted murder I drank and drank and did some street drugs but mostly drank my 3 year old and my gf left she filled for custody and child support after I left I been sober for last couple days and I realize how bad I screwd up I just hope I still have one more chance to show her I love her and my son dearly and will not drink ever again

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    • There is definately still a chance! Clean up and be who you want to be and dont give up! Good luck and dont try and do this with just will power, join a group, listen and share your experiences, write in a journal, go for long walks, give yourself the advice you would give a friend in your position, forgive yourself, and start over. All the best and let us know how you are we are connected on this site.

      Ricky

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  139. I awake again to the horrors of another day binge drinking. I so badly want sobriety and yet it seems so out of reach for me. I’ve never gotten more than a couple of months and then I relapse. My heart is aching. My spirit is so low. Alcohol has taken so much from me. I thought I would post to this website to hold myself accountable as I start this day sober. I’ve tried AA and other programs, nothing seems permanent for me. In part, I think that my problem is that I don’t take this disease seriously enough. I am going to look at it like I’ve been diagnosed with cancer. That would certainly demand action and attention. I seem to think that I can play with the beast (alcohol) without consequence….and yet people die from this disease. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share. Joyce

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    • Oh Joyce, I am so sorry you re hurting from stupid stupid alcohol. You are absolutely right – you must start to see this as a life or death decision. And it’s a slow, shitty, ugly way to go. I would much prefer that you and I and every participant on this blog instead die of old age after a long happy life. If AA isn’t working for you, please either change your approach to it or try another program (several are listed on my resources page) and get serious about it! You can do it and every one of us deserves to live free and happy!

      Like

    • This honestly makes me cry because it hits home. I often can’t sleep either and I plan my days around it as well. My work keys have been lost most likely due to this issue and most likely I’ll get fired. I am so scared as I have just moved and trying to get my shit together. Help 😦

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      • Hi Layken,

        I feel your pain and have been in a compromising position once in regards to work and alcohol. I was actually sent home from a large work convention. The utter shame and anxiety that grips one is just so palatable. It comes in waves – carving away at ones dignity and person-hood. Just this morning I read in the Wall Street Journal about Mary Karr’s newest memoir. She’s a best selling author and a self-described “black-belt sinner” and recovering alcoholic. I love that line. Let me tell you what my husband tells me – always in the aftermath and glow of the next mornings sunrise. He tells me that “his mercies are new everyday.” Even though I have been like a brute beast…The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34).” My intent is not to ever come off as a righteous religious prig – I just share this as it has given me hope in times of despair and my hope is that it warms your heart today.

        Blessings, Joyce

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      • Layken,

        Just seeing how you are doing? I have been sober since September 21st and I decided to go back to AA. My “old way of thinking” about alcohol had to die. I hope you are doing ok. If you have drank lately and want to get it off your shoulders I’d love to hear from you. Hope all is well! Joyce

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    • I just stopped after many years and for 10 years did not drink. I started social drinking and it worked! No probs. But then one Sat morning I woke up after a 3 day binge. Dont even know why. Now on the slope again. Cant stop. Well for 2 weeks then off again. Too old now for this s**t. Just be caeful.

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      • Hi Chris,

        Wow – I hear so many stories like that. People that have quit for a significant time and then they go back thinking that time has surely cured them. I can totally see me doing that – as a matter of fact when I announce myself in AA I don’t mention my sober date (I’m at day 20) because I’m so afraid that I’ll screw my sobriety up and the shame will be prevent me from coming back. Besides I really think I need to live in the day so saying “I’m Joyce, I’m an alcoholic and I’m sober today,” feels just right.

        What are your plans Chris? I have really seen in my own life how this is a progressive disease. I am almost 50 years old and I’ve been having issues with alcohol since my twenties. I can attest to the fact that despite some times of “controlled drinking,” it has really, overall continued to get worse. Do you think that’s true for you? This really is a disease that can kill. Please be careful and stay blogging with all of us if it helps. I’ll look for your posts my friend.

        Peace – Joyce

        Liked by 1 person

  140. Hello to anyone listening. I stumbled upon this blog yesterday while researching drug and alcohol abuse. What a God send. I am 33 years old and have been abusing alcohol and marijuana for at least 5-6 years,if not closer to 10. In my younger twenties, i was significantly larger and not very social so drinking and drugs were not a part of my regular life. Im not even sure i went out for my 21st birthday. Towards my mid 20s i had lost about a 100lbs and felt more comfortable with being social. That seems to be when it all started. I was/am working in the food industry and the norm was ” drinks after work.” As the years have gone on, the few beers turned into a six pack the six pack turned to the better part of a 12 pack. About 2 years ago, I was hospitalized for seizures and my drinking decreased. But eventually as i got better, my want for alcohol came back to visit. A significant relationship that I was in came to an end, my current job turned out to be a living hell, and my strained relationship with my father kind of came to a head. I started to drink alone at home quite a bit. I soon learned that my ability to drink large amounts of beer had returned. But wait, it gets worse. I had decided that in addition to the beer, i needed vodka and weed. I had always smoked pot from time to time, but never on a daily basis. I liked the combo of the 3. I seemed to turn off all the negative and stressful things in my head. About two weeks ago I had a week completely to myself. The first thing i did was grab two six packs, a bag, and a 5th. The beer was gone in a day and the alcohol was gone in two. My marijuana use is not extreme but it became part of the drinking process so i was never completely satisfied unless I had that puff or three to bring it all together.

    Recently my alcohol and drug abuse has caused a rift between my family and I because (1) my neurologist told me not to drink heavily and i do, (2) because of my intoxication, while house sitting for my parents, i accidentally burned part of their carpet with my cigarette. Needless to say they were not pleased. It was the icing on the cake of a lot of worry and frustration that my family was having with me. The ultimatum came, lose the booze and drugs or lose my family. The choice really came easy to me fortunately, I really did want to stop. I just kept with cycle because it was what i was used to. Id try to quit drinking for a day or two but that was as far as it went. I guess because my family knows now its easier for me to get help. I have voluntarily enrolled myself in an outpatient rehab program thats starts next wednesday. I am looking forward to it, but it seems so far away. I would love to crack open a beer and have a shot right now. i have been trying to keep myself occupied by reading and walking but sometimes that doesn’t cut it.

    On a typical day I will drink at least two tall-boys and anywhere from a half-pint to a pint of vodka. If Im feeling brave, Ill buy the fifth and go visit friends and see where it takes me. I usually don’t finish it all without some help. Ideally i would like to get to a point where I have a beer after work, or drink 1 or 2 at family gatherings. My family are drinkers too. I’m just starting this whole process so I’m not going to get ahead of myself.

    Thanks for listening. -C

    PS: what are some alternative non-alcoholic look a likes that have worked for anyone. Any thoughts on NA beer? Does that makes you want a beer with alcohol in it? Thanks again.

    Like

    • Hey Bud, sounds like you’re due to give yourself a new chance. You probably shouldn’t quit cold turkey if you’ve had seizures before, but scaling down is tough. Coming from a guy who was drinking 12-18 beers a day and couldn’t imagine life without it…I can tell you 100% that you will find yourself a happy person, for no reason at all, just for being clear headed and sober. The outpatient program will make it much more doable. I, personally, wouldn’t look towards doing 1-2 beers a day…the people who can do that aren’t wired like us. Just take it easy and slow enjoy that you have family that care. Hang in there:)

      Liked by 1 person

    • I would just like to say that you sound like an intelligent person from your choice of words and grammar. Although I don’t know you, I am proud of you for taking steps in the right direction and to be quite frank look up to your recent decisions as I really need to do the same. I wish you best of luck.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anon, thank you for writing. I am smiling as I read your words, “I’d like to get to the point where I have a beer or two after work…” because so many of us start out saying that: I just want to be a NORMAL drinker again. From everything I have seen, heard, read, and experienced, addiction changes our ability to drink “normally” and that change should be considered permanent. I am sorry if that is hard to hear, but it might save you some heartbreaking efforts. For now at least, going without is probably your best bet. It is hard at first but truly, moderating can be even harder. Could you give us an update and let us know how you are doing, what you’ve tried and/or decided? Your words and experience are helping many who find themselves in the same boat. This type of honest discussion saves lives! Thank you for that!!

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    • Hey anonymous

      How is outpatient program going? Are you feeling ok?

      Like

  141. have been drinking half a bottle of vodka at night as long as i can remember. Always tired and feel like shit. quit two days ago and feel like shit bad dreams and wake up confused and sweaty

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    • Hey Blake, your body is going through detox. Even though you are feeling shitty, let that be all the proof you need to show that you were, in fact, addicted to alcohol! Once you get through the first few days, you never have to feel this way again. How are you doing today?

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  142. Hello All, I posted on here a year ago when I was about 8 months into dropping the booze. So it’s been another year. Just because I know a lot of people scroll through these in desperation…you are not alone. I was drinking 10-20 coors lights a day, was fairly functional. I had some serious side effects that forced me to quit. I Was waking up at 4am every morning (when withdrawals were setting in) and sometimes would get the shakes and couldn’t work. I didn’t want to take any chances, so I did a medical, outpatient detox. I was comfortable through it all. Other than a couple of weeks of funky sleep, I was on a medication for a week, then just focusing on relaxing myself from there. I’ve never looked back. My relationships (although way less by choice), are excellent. I’m not puffy anymore. I closed my business (was the trigger of my depression) and have enjoyed working with a friend at his new restaurant. So, if you’re wanting to quit, but maybe experiencing the anxiety and shakes from withdrawals, you can quit immediately, you simply see a doctor and they will help keep it comfortable. You’ll love yourself for it:) my $.02

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  143. I can relate to the OP. I too was a boring drunk: no DUI’s, no passing out in the front yard, no waking up with cuts and bruises, no lost days at work, no lost relationships, etc. But I got drunk every day. I just got to the point where I told myself, “no drinking today!” But it rarely happened. About a year ago I did it for about a month and it was amazing. I felt better in every way imaginable; spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc. I was motivated and productive. So, September 1, 2015 I said to hell with it. Day 1 was a bit uneasy, but I think it was more psychological than anything.. what was I going to do not stopping off at the local bar and having beers and shots? Or, no martinis when I get home? You know what, I went to the bar, drank club soda with lime, and listened to the drunks ramble on about everything and nothing imaginable. It was hilarious! One guy went on and on about an album he’s making.. then I realized, sober, “you’ve been talking about this shit for three years!”

    I believe this may be the end for me… I would like to enjoy a nice glass of wine now again as I love a good Malbec.. but for now… nah. Good luck everyone!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  144. Support is here. I found this block and tried day 1,2,3 relapse. Got worse by not having my every other day 1. Became every day instead. I had lots of stress going on, but when stress hit the pick managed 2 days. Relapse today again. But keep trying. You too, give it as many chances as you can. I will keep trying too.

    Like

    • Hi My Life, I am cheering for you. Keep getting up. Reach out. Connecting with others can boost your strength and keep things moving forward. Don’t give up- you are worth every bit of effort!

      Like

      • Hi everyone,

        Still not out of this, but quit my job which was a triger daily and doing much better. Back to skipping a day or two. Back to gym, back to cooking. Moderation is NOT an option, but at least I scalled down. Thank you for letting me be a part of this group without judgement.

        Doctor prescribed panic attack pills, was hard stressful time at work. I took 2 and stopped. Panic attacks stopped once I eliminated stress enviroment ( work). Taking it easy and rememeber advises from the group to treat myself gentle. Might go to bed early and just watch TV, change routin, stop the moment and look up. The sky is beautiful, fall is my favourite season for long walks as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  145. Nervously attempting my first comment. Just about to complete day 1. I was raised by an alcoholic mother (who’s now sober 20 years) and my early years of forced ‘counselling’ has given me an unbelievable fear of any face to face support. Despite my childhood experiences I have found myself on the same path of destructive behaviour. Feeling sick and lost at this whole situation, especially admitting that I have become what I loathed the most as a child.
    Very grateful to have found this blog, hoping to check in regularly as a support network.
    Thank you

    Like

    • Hi Blamegame – you must have had a terrible counsellor to make you feel that way! My father-in-law always says “half of all professionals graduated in the bottom 50% of their class”.

      I encourage you to think of support differently. Imagine this: sitting with a group of people you like and respect, who are accomplished, interesting and in recovery. Imagine that you are laughing together over coffee and muffins, sitting in the sunshine in someone’s back yard. You are all sharing what it is like to live without alcohol, exchanging tips on hosting a great party or attending a wedding without drinking. People are telling funny stories about the wacky things people say to them to try and get them to drink, and you feel free to laugh and let go. Does this sound like the type of support you could enjoy?Because, honestly, this is what my conversation with sober friends is like and I find it to be WONDERFUL!!! These are the connects that await us when we reach out for support. I wish this for you and everyone who reads this blog. It is out there, I promise.

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  146. Hello everyone
    I am on day 100 after drinking for 15yrs ..I started out drinking on weekends and then as yrs went by I got up to 60 shots a week ..
    I wanted to quit I did after 20 tries.LOL
    I felt lazy and like crap all the time except when I drank I had energy
    .I made decisions I would never had made sober or being a non-drinker.I go to the same bars drinking ginger Ale or water.I will not stop seeing my drinking friends as I now see them Half drunk and they look drugged..I never noticed this as I was like them
    I am on a real high with life less moody more energy and I feel 3 times if not more like myself.
    It is a natural high.I have lost 35LBS and I save lots of money. I treat myself to a nice dinner for a reward instead of the alcohol.
    I will never go back and I am 67.
    Maybe if I am terminally dying I would really drink then LOL.LOTS Why not?
    No one that drinks has no idea how great you will feel if you stop cold turkey
    Forget the excuses of DT;s and crap.Just pack it in.Your family, friends .will notice a huge difference in your personality.But most of all you will notice life has just begun..instead of ending in a short few yrs.
    good luck to everyone.
    Remember if you have one drink it leads to
    two then it creeps up on you..It is never ending until it is to late and you die 20 /30yrs earlier then you should have…Quiting Alcohol you have everything to gain.
    Life gets way better…

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  147. Hi, everyone. First of all, thank you so much for this website. I was feeling pretty lost yesterday and stumbled upon your blog while searching for inspiration to finally kick-start my efforts to stop drinking once and for all. I found myself nodding through your entire list of red flags. I have drunk to the point of total inebriation almost every single night of my entire adult life- between 15 and 17 years. The first three years were basically practice, then I went totally off the deep end. No one who knows me is aware of that and I’m not sure I’ll ever be willing to share it. Drinking has become my best friend. I never drink to start the day and I definitely never drink and drive, but I look forward to the drinking part of the day (about 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and beyond). I’ll spare you the details, but I’ve been experiencing some symptoms lately that point to potential liver issues and it’s scared me to death. I decided yesterday morning that I was done. I poured my remaining vodka down the sink and resolved not to buy any more. In the last two years, it’s become no big deal for me to down a 1.5 liter bottle of wine, plus a few shots of vodka, on a nightly basis. Just typing that and seeing it in black and white freaks me out a little bit.

    I was married for three years to a physically and emotionally abusive maniac who drank heavily. After we divorced, I gained an unbelievable amount of weight that I still haven’t been able to shake. If anyone would have turned to drinking to dull their emotions, it was me. That marriage certainly didn’t help my alcohol habits. I still have to deal with him from a distance through our daughter. I’m the classic overachieving, perfectionist, sensitive, depressive person. When I do something, I do it BIG and usually successfully. I hold down a good job and drinking never effects my productivity at work. I’m finally finishing my Bachelors degree (straight A’s for seven consecutive semesters). I’m a Girl Scout mom and active at my daughter’s school. Naturally, I want to stop drinking perfectly, but I’ve had to remind myself that sobriety is a work-in-progress; I have to treat it as a process rather than a sprint to a finish line. I have a teen daughter who I love more than anyone or anything in this world. It’s become clear lately that she is aware of my drinking. She’ll make little comments about it that sound like jokes, but I know she’s wondering if I drink every day or if it just seems like it. She sees the bottles coming in and out of the house. I no longer want to be a bad influence for her, especially considering our family history with alcohol (all four grandparents and countless other relatives on both sides had/have issues with drinking).

    Anyway, if you’ve made it to the end of my post, thanks for reading. I’m 100% open to comments and suggestions. This new way of life is completely foreign to me. I feel pretty good for now, but I’m naturally concerned about relapse several weeks from now when I inevitably start to get complacent and take my sobriety for granted. I’m praying that doesn’t happen. (Please note that I have no intention of attending meetings, nor do I have the time.)

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  148. Hi,

    I posted a bit more than 1 month back, saying I wanted to quit. I had enough of making a fool of myself, of worrying my family… Of drinking so much that I can’t sleep for more than couple of hours and waking up with my body screaming for help – I am not even sure to which part I should be listening.

    And in that last month, I stopped for 10 days twice but drank on other days. In moderation, when I felt I was finally controlling the beast. But also had blackouts on 3 occasions. The last blackout episode, I was with work colleagues and I could hardly walk… I am so ashamed. So no control here… Who I am fooling.

    I drank yesterday – I spent the day with my mum. A day which was meant to be beautiful, ended up not so beautiful. Now I am awake in the early morning, desperately wanting a second chance. I want to have this sunny wonderful day back. Without alcohol. The numerous number of things which we could have done. The nice memories which we could have created.

    23rd August 2015 (23/08/2015) – I want this day to be my 1st sober day. Not for 10 days, not for 3. But FOREVER.

    Please tell me I have a second chance ( I don’t know how many second now) to make this right. I need to get this one right. Else I will end up either dying or with some fatal sickness.

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  149. Hello to whoever is taking the time to read this. I am only 22 and I can check off every red flag you posted in your article. I think drinking alone should have been the final one before I admitted that I have a problem, but of course that would have been too easy. I began drinking at work and nearly anywhere I went. Finally, I got caught. I dodged the bullet (don’t ask me how.. I’m beyond grateful for my manager) but the feeling of shame I felt is completely disgusting to me. I come from a family of alcoholics, and I know that is one of the main reasons I’ve fallen into this bad habit. I have an addictive personality and I’ve tried to cut down before which was successful for a few months but I always returned to alcohol. That is the biggest indication to me that I have a problem, as I can’t seem to give it up. My family has become so concerned that my father brought me an AA pamphlet to my work (I left home and hadn’t seen them in weeks). They think I quit drinking last week, and I’m sad to say they’re wrong. I’ve had a blackout night a couple days ago, which resulted in me going in to my second job with an alcohol withdrawal. I was able to blame the puking and dry heaving on the possibility of being pregnant. Alcohol makes you a liar, and I’ve started to hate the person I’ve become. Even today I had half a bottle of wine. One positive thing I keep telling myself is at least I didn’t think the whole bottle. Small steps. I’m waking up tomorrow and marking it as Day 1 in my calendar. I really hope that I get to experience sobriety like I’ve read in many articles tonight. Wish me luck.

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    • SerenityandFaith

      Hi Layken,

      I just read your post and had to respond. I am 37 and have been drinking most of my life except for a couple years when I got pregnant and after I had my baby who is now 4. My father was an alcoholic and drank himself to death toward his late 40’s. When I drink I can’t seem to stop so congrats to you for only drinking part of the wine:) i have never been one to drink at work but when I was in college I would go on 3 day binges of drinking. I was also in the military where most everyone drank. I have had so many nights of blacking out that I don’t know why God let me survive. I’ve put myself in dangerous situations. Now I live alone with my daughter and don’t have much of a social life bc I am a single mother so I turn to alcohol to escape but then once again I drink too much and don’t feel like doing anything the next day. Drinking does make you a liar and I would drink during the week then blame my not being able to go to work bc me or my daughter was sick. It’s been about 2 months and I haven’t drank during the week but I have drank a few times on the weekend alone. I hated it the next day. It’s a constant battle as I’m sure you also fight everyday. I have never had withdrawals thank god as I know that must be horrible!! Your family loves you and they just want to see you happy and healthy. Maybe you could look into a rehab place? I don’t know you but I want the best for you. You are so young and have such a beautiful life awaiting you! Drinking will only hinder the great things you have to come. I pray a lot, so if you believe in God or a higher power then prayer works. You will b in mine today. Be strong today and take it one day at a time. Please let me know how you are doing:)

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  150. Wow. I came across your site yesterday and also some others like tired of thinking about drinking. I had no idea all of you were out there!! You all are such an inspiration!!

    Your list resonates so much for me. It’s as if I had written it. I would add one thing for me though that was my wake up call that something is very wrong with what I am doing to myself. I had been up till 4am drinking (by myself), finally stumbled into bed and crashed until 7:30 on Saturday morning. I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a train.. I got up and looked at myself in the mirror & I didn’t recognize the person I saw. It was as if I was looking at someone entirely different! Imagine a homeless alcoholic wandering the streets.. That’s what I saw. It was so surreal and at the same time I was mortified! I actually tried to hide from my husband!! And then of course that night you would think I had learned my lesson.. But no, my husband asked if I wanted a glass of wine and the inner me was screaming silently NO!! But Wolfie (who I didn’t know about until yesterday) was louder.. He won that battle.. 😦 I woke up Monday feeling much like the day before and did some online searches and found this wonderful community.

    I am so grateful. I’ve never tried to stop drinking before.. I’ve been in denial for a very long time. I think because I’ve always feared that I would fail, why bother trying.. it was safer to pretend there wasn’t a problem with drinking a bottle or sometimes two or even more every night.. Well, not anymore.

    I am starting with a 100 day challenge. Today is day 2 & I am terrified but I am hopeful.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.. With all the blogs to read and so much support, I finally have a spark of hope that I just might be able to do this. 🙂 🙂

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  151. Thanks for this site!

    I’m on my 3rd day of not drinking & am a little surprised at how easy it’s been so far, but it’s Friday, so I’m starting to dread the weekend. I told my husband that I’ll drive tonight- wherever he wants to go- that’s probably a first since I was pregnant- a long time ago.

    I’m 47 and have been an every night drinker for 11 years or so. Mostly vodka & club soda- about 4-5 on an average weeknight. Throw in a couple of beers or a margarita or two if I’m out & that’s what everyone’s doing.

    About a year ago I decided to ‘get healthy’ so I joined a gym & lost about 10 pounds without changing anything other than going to the gym 3 days a week. I was pretty happy with that, but I still had about 15 to lose so I started on a diet & lost about 5 more. Tuesday I decided it’s time to really make some changes so I decided to quit drinking for 2 weeks & see how it affects everything. I even surprised myself!

    The diet is the excuse, but really there’s more… I think I can feel my liver & I’m tired of being hungover & see myself in almost all of your red flags, so I know that it’s time to take a break. I don’t think I want to give it up forever, but I’m going to go for 2 weeks and see how I feel!

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    • Does anyone else feel like screaming? I do!! It seems to take over my life and I feel no person in my everyday life gets me. I am living a lie and I think everyone sees through me. Soft and fuzzy doesn’t seem to work….could it be that my husband ignores the elephant in the room and my family all NEED me to sort their problems? Yes I want to scream!!!

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  152. So here I am, drinking a beer writing on this blog. I’ve been a heavy drinker since around the age of 20 but started drinking at around 14 (I’m now 39). I hold down a good job, have 2 wonderful children and a loving wife. Around a year and a half ago I decided to have a week off the booze, something I haven’t tried before. The first few days were difficult but after day 3 I felt pretty good. After a week I decided to treat myself to a drink. I thought I was the one in control, how wrong I was. Roll on 6 months and I decided to have another break (this was after a pretty heavy month of drinking). By noon on the first day of abstinence I started to shake uncontrollably. I went to A&E as I thought I was getting ketosis (I am type 1 diabetec) they told me it was alcohol withdrawal. Since then I’ve been too scared not to drink. Up until around 8 months ago I was drinking about 6 Stellas a day followed by a bottle and a half, sometimes 2 bottles of wine a night. I then decided to quit wine but still drunk the Stellas. About 4 months ago I decided to swap Stella for a lower strength lager, after around 2 weeks my morning withdrawal symptoms seemed to disappear. I then had one night where I drunk a bit too much (of the lower strength lager and back to square 1). I now drink 2 beers in the morning before I start work, 2 beers in the afternoon and around 4 to 5 each evening, I’m scared of the withdrawal symptoms showing to others. I hide drink in order to get away with this (it won’t last long before I’m found out).I love my kids and wife but know I’m killing myself quickly! I went to see a specialist but they just threatened to take my kids away, I’m not going back there. I’m not a violent drunk, my family are at no risk apart from being fatherless, but they didn’t ask the background before telling me I was a bad father. Anyway, I know only I can help myself but it does feel like a very lonely battle.

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    • Hello Struggling. Your post is a punch in the gut for me – I wish I could reach through my screen and drag you to higher ground. The life you describe is heartbreaking and I am sure I speak for everyone who reads your words when I say that I wish better things for you. You deserve it. Your family deserves it. You are absolutely right when you say that you’re killing yourself quickly – please take quick action to turn things around! I don’t know what kind of specialist you went to, but the response you got was unusual. A medical doctor’s first concern will be to keep you alive – ask about a supervised medical detox to get you quickly and safely out of the danger zone, then next do whatever it takes to build a life in recovery. You need more support than you’ve allowed yourself in the past – the help you will find in a program like AA is likely of huge benefit to you. You are not alone – this does not need to be a lonely battle. Recovery is full of GREAT AMAZING people just like you and me, ones who have walked this road a little ahead of you and will show you the way. Please do not waste another moment drinking!

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  153. Arsonistsdaughter

    I have 15 days sober and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve wanted to quit for years and never let myself acknowledge I’m an alcoholic. I still haven’t told my family I’ve quit as we’re a drinking family. Seeing them usually involves drinks. I have a lot of reasons why I quit but I don’t know what to tell them. I want to be honest but I also don’t want them to worry about me.
    I live with my boyfriend who still drinks and I know will still do drugs at some point. He doesn’t understand what I’m going through and I predict me getting sober will be the reason we break up.
    In short, I see why people relapse. I either can’t sleep or I’m having nightmares where I’m drinking again.

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    • Hi Arsonistsdaughter, welcome to UnPickled. You deserve a parade and a pont for making it through the first difficult weeks – the hardest part is over. Don’t go back! Everyone needs to have some support in these big life changes. If no one in your family is able to be your cheerleader, then talk to friends about what you’re going through. If none of your friends are people you feel you can share this with, then it is time you met some new people! Go to a recovery group – you will find lots of people who understand and who WANT YOU TO SUCCEED. I also want to encourage you to read my post about drinking dreams https://unpickledblog.com/2015/03/09/drinking-dreams/ – maybe your dreams are actually a good sign and you should be encouraged! Read that post and find out!

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      • Arsonistsdaughter

        I really appreciate the encouragement and advice. As I predicted, my relationship with my boyfriend ended. And not well on his part. He broke up with me over the phone, then came by and told me to I wasn’t allowed to be there and to move my things out right away. I did nothing to warrant this and we planned on spending the rest of our lives together. I was convinced he was the perfect person for me. I moved cities and quit my amazing job to live with him as I was seriously committed. I saw red flags here and there but never knew he could be so cruel. The majority of the one month I lived with him (one month he gave this) I was sober and happy and taking care of myself.
        But through all of this, I’ve been sober for 23 days now. I can honestly say I’ve been the best me I’ve been in the last three weeks. And I would not start drinking again because of him. I often wonder if I would’ve fallen for him if I’d met him as sober me. Now I have the chance in the future to date and maybe have a better chance of meeting the right person with a clear head.

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  154. Have tried to give up alcohol and coke
    5 times now, just feel depressed at the thought of trying again. Any ideas please??

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    • Hi Matt, thanks for posting. I feel for you – I have seen some people caught in that relapse loop and it is a tough way to live. Tell me more about your experience so far – What steps did you take the last 5 times you tried? Have you talked to other people in recovery or checked in with your doctor? I would really like to see you find a way out!

      Like

      • Read the book Allen Carr Stop drinking now. I’m 4 months clean and can’t believe how easy it is to quit.I quit because alcohol is getting to expensive and gets you nowhere

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  155. Hey everyone. I’m new here. My last drink was last Wednesday. I don’t think I’ve gone this long without a drink…since I don’t know when. My tolerance is absolutely through the roof, so when I tried to moderate I couldn’t do it because it would take so many drinks to do the trick that by the time they did I’d gone from 0 to 60 in like an hour or two. The first two days were actually not bad, and while right now I’ve been craving at random times of the day – times that, when I was drinking, I wouldn’t have normally had or even wanted a drink – I have to keep in mind how great I feel. I drank in large part to deal with major depression and a symptom of that depression was my inability to literally get out of bed – and stay there (I understand a nap every once in a while when you’ve gotten up early etc. but not more than one hour+ nap per day). Drinking made this problem worse, of course, but I didn’t realize until I stopped just HOW much worse. I can’t believe how much more energy I have and it hasn’t even been a week. I’ve gotten back to going to yoga and am generally feeling amazing, but a friend is visiting from out of town Friday and I know she’ll want to drink. I’m worried. Would like to check back in here after the weekend to hold myself accountable.
    Thank you Jean and everyone for sharing your stories. They make me feel so much less alone.

    Like

    • I am new here too! I’ve made a few posts and the support from responses is very encouraging. I can totally relate to the tolerance thing. That’s why it’s better for me to just stop. I can’t just have one or two because it takes so much more for that buzz. And what other reason is there to drink except for the buzz, right? I feel like I just can’t be a social drinker. I am on day 11 and am feeling great. I am exercising more and sleeping so much better. I hope I can lose some weight without all the added alcohol calories. I got a great idea from my hair stylist the other day. She said just keep white grape juice in the fridge and pour yourself some in a wine glass and serve your guest whatever they like! I am definitely trying this. We have visitors coming next week and I’m also dreading it because I don’t want to have to explain myself and why I’m not drinking. I plan to say “I’m taking a break” if anyone asks. Just remember when you want to drink how upset and disappointed in yourself you’re going to be. Keep with it! I find that the longer I go, the easier it gets. I am definitely proud of myself and that I am keeping my commitment to myself. It’s not about anyone else, just you. You are doing it for your health and well-being and owe no one else any explanations. It’s a cliche but “JUST DO IT!!!”

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    • Thanks for posting – how are you doing today? Let’s have an update! What is the most valuable things you have discovered so far?

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  156. About to stop. Tomorrow. You might be skeptical but I am sure it will be tomorrow. I am scared about the loneliness which is odd cos there are 5 kids here. I have stopped before. Once for 6 yrs, another time for nearly 2 yrs , and then off n on here n there. I know I’m at a tipping point. I crave alcohol n even like a hangover. I feel isolated in my journey and have not reached out before. Can anyone help?

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    • you are not alone, we all come here to seek support from each other, I tend to try to remember the bad times I had with drinking (arguments, hangovers, said stupid things), I always woke up thinking why I needed to get drunk the night before, what good did that do?? I’d also like to think of how clean and painless I live when I am sober. “One day at a time!”

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    • Stevo – I was slow to getting back to you and you deserved a quick answer. Sincere apologies. Where are you at, my friend? You are obviously a strong person, with 6 years then 2 years of sobriety. Would you say that you did any type of life-changing recovery work during that time, or were you simply “sober” or as some say, a dry drunk? You don’t have to feel alone, or be alone. There is a HUGE recovery community! Have you seen The Anonymous People movie? (it’s available online) It notes that there are 23 million Americans are in recovery! I am sure we can help you tap into that resource and build a support network. Please post an update.

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  157. And how r u traveling now?

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  158. I am not sure how to join this blog so this is a test…7 days sober:)

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  159. I wanted to post and say thank you for this blog and to everyone who comments. I just came across it after a google search “How did you quit drinking” and it is so weird to read everyone’s experiences. I am exactly the same. I have all of these red flags- all of them.

    Today is the 2nd day that I haven’t drank, it’s 8pm and normally I would be into my 5th vodka or so. I drink daily and usually have 7-ish vodka and waters (to save calories). Reading this blog has gotten me past the “just go to the liquor store and get a pint” today.

    This past weekend I drank even more than usual and yesterday I woke up so sick and I had to have my photo taken at work. I looked so bloated- not even like myself at all. I have gained a lot of weight in the past couple of years and I try to tell myself that it’s not from the vodka…but it is. I’m 45 now and I know the drinking is affecting my health, but I always make excuses. I can talk myself into anything when it comes to liquor.

    I’m not to a place that I can ay that I won’t drink again, but I can say that I won’t drink tonight, so thank you!

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  160. Today I am 90 days sober! I wanted to thank you because Yours was the first recovery blog I came to in the beginning. When I read this page, it confirmed what I already knew and the next day went to AA and got a Sponser. There is no way I could have done this on my own. Not drinking has not been easy but I’m so grateful to be on day 90. I never want to go back to Day 1. But I’m cautiously optimistic. I have to stay in today and not let my alcoholic brain get to far ahead in time because that’s where I start thinking that maybe one day I can drink like a “normal” person again. I’m still in that place and I think it’s because I had what some call a “high bottom” or I like to call it a “soft bottom” (because I think that’s a funny term and I have to keep a sense of humor ; ) I think when an end to drinking is more quiet and not so outwardly dramatic, denial can be even harder to overcome. It took me years to admit that I was powerless over alcohol. I still hope that some day I can just get over it and move on as a non drinker but I know that’s not today. I need my recovery program to keep going one day at a time or I’ll end up right back at day 1. I feel way to great most days to go there and on the days I don’t feel great, I go to a meeting, or read blogs, or listen to The Bubble Hour as my meeting for the day. I woke up grateful for another early morning Sunday without a hangover and for sober sleep!

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  161. Im 27, and the first time i got drunk i was 13. I dont drink very often but when I do I always lose control. I’ve ad 6 or more episodes where I get into fights, got robbed and the last one, last Sunday I hit a policeman and got arrested. I’m very scared because I swore to myself to stop drinking so many times that I’ve lost the count. Now I have to solve my legal situation derived from my last bender and I’ve decided to quit alcohol for ever. But don’t know if I can make it! Comments please?

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    • Hi Promethius – you CAN make it, I promise you. Your mind may start to whisper “you weren;t that bad, you can have a few now and then” but don’t be fooled. It doesn’t matter how often or even how much you drink – what matters is the relationship with alcohol and frankly, yours sounds like a very abusive horrible one. Get free of that sh*t. There are lots of people your age in recovery – don’t think your life is over! Go to a meeting or a sober event and find some cool people who you can have fun with and never ever have to worry about that monster coming around. Depending on where you live, there if often a group for under 30s.

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    • I’m 27 too. I’m kind of in the opposite situation – I’ve never gotten in (legal anyway) trouble or fights because of my drinking, but I did a lot of it – every night. You can make it! I’ve gone 5 days now without a drink and it’s hard but I can’t BELIEVE how much better I feel. Even this time last week it was nearly impossible for me to literally get and stay out of bed and I have more energy now than I have in years. How have you been doing since the 15th? Solidarity my friend.

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  162. Back again. I think I’m going to be here quite often. Day 9 of my third and final attempt at sobriety. I thought, after 6 weeks not drinking, I could go back to ‘moderation’. I know now that this isn’t the case. Moderation isn’t in my vocabulary when it comes to alcohol. Day 9 and I’ve had none of the physical symptoms of my previous attempts but the last two days I’ve been ridiculously emotional. I’m hoping it’s just my body’s way of trying to get me to drink. I’ve resisted. Wasn’t even difficult. This time, giving up feels different. Real. I had a dream last night where I had some wine and I was so disappointed with myself. I’m seeing that as a good sign. I just hope this mood will lift as I may not have a relationship if it continues.

    Has anyone else had this mood/feeling of hopelessness?

    Like

    • Hey Neet – have you read this post about drinking dreams?https://unpickledblog.com/2015/03/09/drinking-dreams/
      You are right – I think your dream was a good sign too.

      The gloominess you’re experiencing can be grief – you’ve lost a relationship and it’s common to be sad for a while. But just like a bad boyfriend, it hurts but you’re better without it and you must not go back! You will be so much happier if you just keep going away from it. The great thing about abstinence is that it is easier – honestly just easier – to have none than maybe some.

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      • Thanks so much for the reply! I’m on day 12 and feeling so much better and brighter now. The dream I had was where I was behind a bar and I didn’t know what was in one of the pumps so I tried it, realised it was wine and was shocked because I hadn’t even considered that it could be alcohol. In the meantime, a friend of mine (who I also consider to have a drink problem) was sitting in a chair and drunkenly pouring drink all over herself. I’m hoping I’ve turned a corner, even though it’s very early days yet. Watch this space, I intend to be back to let you all know when it’s day 365 (day 12 now).

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  163. Today is Day 1 for me. After having read unpickledblog and listening to Bubble Hour for a week, I am determined to embrace sobriety. I am terrified!!! But at the same time full of hope. A weekend with my loved ones, which was meant to be a good time turned into a nightmare after I blacked out for having drunk too much. I woke up full of shame and guilt and being at a hotel does not help. People has approached my mum this morning to enquire about my health as I looked in a terrible state last night. I am lucky to have the support of my loved ones but I cannot keep gambling with their patience. Physically I feel out of sorts. God help me.

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    • You’ve made a great decision. You might have woke up this morning thinking “I wish I didn’t drink last night” but I promise you won’t wake up tomorrow saying, “Wow I regret NOT drinking yesterday” – mornings are GREAT from now on because each day is another success. I am cheering for you! Feel the fear but do it anyway – you are giving yourself the best gift ever.

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    • Ps – the physical withdrawals only last a few days and are a reminder of the damage alcohol was doing to you. Look up the signs and symptoms so you can be sure you’re detoxing safely. Great job!

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      • Hi Jean, it means a lot that you replied. Thank you. I made it through the day. Hurray!!! I am reading all the blogs I can to prepare myself mentally for the first days of sobriety which I know will be hard… But not impossible as lots of you made it and this gives me hope. Hoping to check in again in a few days to update on my progress. So glad I found this community.

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        • Myhealthfirst

          Day 2 sober, End of working day, “Wine o’clock” !!! Continuous internal dialogue : “Should I go home or should I grab one drink?” I feel sad, I miss the friend who has been my side the last five years. But then that friend has turned more into a foe in recent years. After the kick of the first drink, I become its hostage. I no longer wants this friend. Despite my body craving for it, I will not give in. So I have made my way home 😟. What will I do with myself till bedtime? I do not want to think or plan too much. I am just going to read unpickledblog and listening to Bubblehour. I need the testimony of the winning warriors, I want to be part of their team one day. For the time being, it will be one moment at a time. Lots of terrifying thoughts going on in my mind though ” I do not feel prepared”, ” Will I make it tomorrow “….etc etc

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          • Hi Myhealthfirst-
            I got my start with sobriety here on unpickled as well. I am at day 117 without a drink.
            I remember the feeling on day 2 for me. It was tough and just got tougher for about 2 weeks. I think my mind was rebelling more than my body or any chemical reactions. My body just wanted “my friend” back just like yours does. And it is like losing a friend.
            That first week when it felt actual pain I just kind of pretended I had the flu and pampered myself with chocolate (dopamine replacement) and laid around watching TV.
            Some valium for the first couple of weeks help with nerves as well if you can get them for your doctor.
            After a couple of weeks I needed to keep my mind busy and my body active. Exercise really helped with withdrawal symptoms and still helps and is something that will fill the holes in your day that “your friend” used to fill. It also hits you with replacement dopamine rushes.
            What also helped me was to talk about it. I just told my partner that I was going through something pretty heavy and traumatic and would need to just blurt out nonsense about it once in a while and to just be patient with me. It really helps if you can express how you are feeling each day to an understanding partner.
            If they give you the attitude that “it’s no big deal, you can do it” make sure to tell them that it is a very big deal and you will need to talk about it with them to get though it together.
            The other thing I did was not to think of my drinking years as wasted years (which they weren’t) or to be ashamed of them. I just think of them as I was having a blast “partying with my friend” and now that part of my life is over.
            Anyway, I hope you can make it past these first couple of weeks. Please don’t be tempted with the “I’m doing pretty good, maybe I can have just one” rationale that your brain will start poking you with at about day 5 or 6 (or probably for the rest of your sober life).
            Keep posting here for support and good luck.
            Ciao for now.
            Old Rummy

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            • Hello Old Rummy,

              Thank you so much for your response. Wow, 117 days, Congratulations! I am sure you understand the thinking of the addicted mind, ie Instant Gratification…in this particular case, I am thinking, wish I was on my 117 days sober too or 1,2,3,…years sober. But I realize that I need to change this pattern of thoughts and try to enjoy the journey, the good and the bad, the easy and the tough…it is only after reading all these blogs of amazing women and men that I have come to realize and accept that this journey is not impossible. I do not have any recovery person in my life, all of them are either still battling with their addiction or died with it.

              Thanks for the advices. I do like the idea of pampering myself a little bit. I used to exercise and enjoying it but gave up due to…you already guess, alcohol. So I look forward to get back to it after my mind and body goes the first few days of hardship. I am single but have a very good support network in my family and friends. I only need to muster the courage to tell them that I have decided to try sobriety…yet another time (I have been in rehab 3 times already).

              Wish you the very best.
              Myhealthfirst

              Liked by 1 person

              • Myhealthfirst

                Hello,

                Today is Day 7 for me… I cannot believe it that I have made it so far. Hurray!!! Like someone else did & say, I have been eating and drinking these recovery blogs, radios…these have been more helpful than any therapies I have been so far. Knowing there are so many like us out there and that the have beaten this demon gives me so much strength and hope to continue.

                Yesterday was tougher than any other day, Wolfie has been whispering in my ears all day, you know, the usual stuff – you’ve been good all week, it’s Friday today, why not have a couple to see if you can moderate…etc But every time I felt my determination weakening, I have read some blogs or listen to Bubblehour to get my confidence back. I did not give in.

                I am following all the advices as well, eat often, drink lots of water, change routines…etc

                I have slept 9 hours last night, man, that was good. No hangover, guilt or anxiety like last Saturday morning.

                So THANK YOU ALL MY RECOVERY FAMILY

                Xoxo
                PB

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  164. Like many who have commented so honestly, this post resonates all too well with me. I am 56 and frankly, until today, could not imagine a life without the guilt and shame of drinking. Your stories sound just like mine, too much wine and anxiety, too little joy in everyday living. I want to be as mindful in working toward a life I can remember and appreciate as I have been developing every red flag listed here.
    While I am sure my struggle is not the secret I have hoped for years it is, today I took a leap of faith and told my sister I have been worried about my drinking for years. Her response was gracious and loving, and I knew as soon as I told her the truth, that the cycle of shame and secrecy could be broken. She told me that she had something in her life that she was having trouble getting a handle on. She asked if she could call me every night before bed to see how I’m doing, and in turn, she would share her daily progress. A weight has been lifted, and I am as grateful for the opportunity to be there for her as I am for her support.
    I would love to connect with another person to share encouragement and accountability, If there is a pen pal out there who is beginning too.

    Like

    • Hi – I like your post it’s really straight forward and honest, and honesty is the best place to start – I am in my 7th week now and it’s going well, there have been a couple of moments when I have craved a tiny bit but kept brave – I wish you the best of luck 🙂

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    • I would love to be your pen pal. I am a female, 57 who just stopped drinking 6 days ago! I finally got to the point where I just couldn’t stand the guilt, anger and disappointment with myself any longer. I drink daily. Probably a bottle of wine or more. I tell myself it’s ONLY 4 glasses. I can wait till 5 o’clock every day so I don’t really have a problem right? Uh, yes I have a problem and I know it but just don’t want to admit it. I even have sharp pains in my right side as of late and I know it’s my liver but would rather stay in denial about that. It’s been difficult this week but I feel empowered that I’m sticking with my commitment. And I’m proud of myself. Initially I told myself I’d stop for just one week. Just to see if I could do it. My husband said he’d do it too. In the past he has not been so supportive and I now realize I am on this road by myself and no one can do this for me. I received a call from my doctor’s office that I need to come in to be checked before they’ll approve my hypertension prescription refills. Coincidentally my appointment is for exactly one month since I decided to stop drinking. I am terrified what my liver function tests will show so now I’ve committed to at least this month to not drink. My husband’s birthday is the day after the one month is up and I tell myself I’ll celebrate with him by having a drink and also celebrate my “success” in not drinking. How ironic is that? I’m going to have a drink to celebrate not drinking…..Ha! I am definitely fooling myself (again) thinking that will be okay. We’ll see…….hopefully I won’t want one and it will still be fun. Would love to hear how you’re doing!

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  165. I’ve started to comment a few times as there is so much I want to say, yet admitting it’s time to stop (while craving a glass of wine) finds me without words. I have two beautiful, hormonal 13 year old girls (and who when joking with other friends we say that is why we drink so much – teenagers), a great husband who doesn’t really drink during the week, puts me to bed when I’ve had too much (although I can be mean if out of it) and says he’s not worried about it (in denial himself about me). I’ve gained 15 pounds in the last year (wine is not a girls friend when counting calories), lost my zest for work (and I own my own business so that is not a good thing) and hate myself in the morning if I don’t remember everything the night before. It feels so daunting and impossible to do this for even one day, BUT I know it has to change. So I’m hoping today is the day that action day! I know I may make a few slip ups , but I need to do this and THANK YOU for this blog and all the inspiration. Just have to tell myself one day at a time!

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  166. Carrie Nation

    These are almost exactly my reasons for quitting. I don’t have any dramatic stories, no DUI’s, no lost jobs or relationships. I’m a friendly, productive, reliable drunk. This has made it possible for me to blow off awareness of my problem off and on for years. It will be two weeks tomorrow since I’ve had a drink. I miss it every day during the late afternoon. I miss it right now. I’m not going to have a drink today but I worry that my resolve is weak.

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    • when my resolve feels weak I think of the consequence of one drink and how far back that would push me in terms of recovery – stay strong and distract yourself when you feel vulnerable

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    • Oh my goodness! That’s the perfect description of me! The friendly, productive, reliable drunk. I have also been telling myself for ages that today I won’t drink. Until 5 o’clock rolls around and I say, I’ll stop tomorrow. Well tomorrow finally came 6 days ago. I started by saying I’d stop for one week and asked my husband to do it with me to which he agreed. He has not been as supportive in the past and I’ve come to the realization that I am on my own and am the only one that can do this. I miss it every day as well. What helps me is drinking more water (I am already a big water-drinker), exercising and I am trying to eat better but not too fanatically because I don’t want to take on too many changes at once. Every time I think, I’ll just have a glass or two, I talk myself out of it and remind myself how mad, upset, disgusted and disappointed in myself I’ll be if I give in. I have made this commitment to myself and I plan to keep it. It does feel empowering to keep my promise to myself and I am also proud of myself. It’s only been 6 days so I am worried about social encounters. My friends will surely comment (they all know I’m a drinker) and I plan to just say “I’m taking a break” and leave it at that. The other worry which prompted me to try for one month to stop instead of just the week is I have to have blood work on August 19th. I am terrified of my liver function test results. I’ve had some minor pain in my right side and I’m sure it’s my liver but I, of course, ignore it. Well, good luck to you! Stay strong. Remember you will feel worse if you drink than not. Please keep in touch.

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  167. I’m in the Contemplation stage but I have been at this stage for a long time. I am recently retired, live alone, and the effects of wine are really starting to show – gross weight gain, no energy, skin conditions, etc. My father (65), sister (43), and brother (47) were alcoholics and are all dead.
    I am happy I found this blog because I was feeling all alone.

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    • You are not alone. I may be much younger, as I am a 29 year old female, but isolation is hard. I am in a relationship where my significant other is always away and I have developed the same problems. I don’t even know what advice to give you, since I am in the same boat as you. However, find comfort in that many other people are experiencing exactly the same things that you are. I know that is helping me.

      It would be awesome if this blog had a forum where people could post and provide friendship and support. Take care and I wish you all the best.

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  168. Like many others have said, I am so happy I found this blog. I am 29 and have only been drinking wine heavily for about a year now. I drink between 1 – 2 bottles in the evening about 4 or 5 nights per week. I know I have to stop and have told myself I would change but have found it very difficult. I have been living with my partner for a few years and he works away for almost two weeks at a time. I think I have become lonely this past year and have found solace in wine. This past year I have also gained over ten lbs; my hair is really dry; my eyes are always tired; and my teeth are becoming stained (I prefer to drink red wine). I am always tired and moody at work after a night of wine and I have found myself telling white lies to people. I always prided myself on my honesty and now I make up stories so people don’t know that I drink alone. I recently accomplished a major life goal and celebrated by drinking almost 2 bottles of wine. I went to work the next day hungover and excited about my accomplishment and told people I had celebrated with friends… I also have four main liquor stores I frequent, making sure to alternate which ones I shop at throughout the week and I have come to the realization that there is no such thing as moderation for me. I used to buy a bottle of wine and pour one quarter down the sink, thinking that would be it for my night. That never works though, as I always find myself regretting the decision and walking over to the liquor store right by my house. I am ready to kick this habit to the curb. It is definitely going to be hard but I am tired of living this way. I feel like I have wasted one year of my life living in a hazy alcoholic stupor and I do not want to waste another day feeling and looking like garbage. I am going to have another go at quitting on my own, and if it doesn’t work I am going to talk to my doctor about maybe being prescribed some anti-alcohol medication. I start out everyday strong and determined, but find myself pulling into a liquor store parking lot as soon as work ends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A lot of your story resonates. I’m 29 this month and have been at this (badly) for about 1.5? years now, gained weight, frequent different stores, and feel Iike I’m wasting my life. Now that I think about it, I think being lonely is also part of my problem. I moved before I got married, to closer to where my husband grew up, and I don’t really know anyone besides his friends and family. I feel pretty isolated.. =/ It’s almost quitting time at work, and even now as I still have a horrible headache, the urge to head to the liquor store is kicking in. I guess we need to take it one day at a time, huh? Sending you internet hugs.

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      • Glad to hear I’m not alone, especially at our young age. We can do this… We just need to find a healthier hobby/crutch/addiction. I still have not found my own replacement, but am looking into finding one. Hugs and prayers. XO.

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    • I completely understand your story, I’ve been working very hard at not drinking but over weekend lost an aunt, who was like a mom to me, had the 11th anniversary of my dads death and dealing with a manic depressive daughter who just got out of rehab for opiate addiction. I didn’t drink for two days but wanted to and today after dealing with my daughter broke down and had a couple shots of vodka and now completely disgusted with myself.
      The dialogue in my head, you can handle this but then something takes over and says but your under a lot of stress, blah, blah. My husband has called me out many times for my lack of coping, not in a mean, judge mental way. Just out of concern and love.
      So last two days I managed, today couldn’t take it. Try again tmr, I guess we just have to continue to have awareness and keep trying to not succumb when under stress. So hard but so important.
      I appreciate what everyone shares, it has helped me immensly.

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      • I am so sorry to hear about your troubles. I also almost lost someone; an uncle, who was an alcoholic himself and suffered a house fire caused by a cigarette. You would think that would have straightened me out, but I went out and bought some wine and cried non-stop. Before I made an actual effort to quit drinking, I read about the psychology of drinking and had a pre-warning about situations like these. I have not been successful in dealing with these types of situations; but I do know we have to work on not accepting traumatic experiences as a free excuse to drink.

        Also, you must have an amazing husband. He sounds incredibly supportive and loyal, don’t take advantage of his goodwill. Make changes for yourself first, and then make sure to thank him for being by your side.

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  169. Old Rummy checking in on my big 100 Days Sober!!

    Just a note to all that are considering quitting… I would drink a 1/2 bottle of wine in the mornings as soon as I woke up (no wine glass, straight from the bottle) just to feel normal.
    Then I would slowly work my way through a 1/2 liter of Bacardi… all day… every day.
    If I can do it so can you.

    I’m never going back to that. Life is just too good without it.

    I wish everyone luck on their personal journey to sobriety. I’m still reading everyone’s posts and they are a great inspiration to me to keep going.

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  170. I kind of don’t know where to start….
    I drink about a bottle of wine a night, likely more. I didn’t start drinking until I was in my early thirties mostly because it bugged the hell out of my husband, just like taking up riding a motor cycle did. ( Obviously, drinking was not my only problem.) What I realized is that drinking made living in an unhappy marriage fairly bearable at least for a while. I wasn’t drinking so much back then, but I felt my wine hid my pain well and somehow gave me enough guts to leave this unhappy relationship. After the divorce their was always a reason to drink my beloved wine. Every reason was a good reason and that is how this really got it’s hold on me.
    Fast forward to today, approx 15 years later and wine is still my security blanket, my friend and has recently become a huge weight I drag around with me. My new husband drinks, but he can take it or leave it and when he puts his mind to something he achieves it. So him not drinking wouldn’t be a problem for him. Me on the other hand, not so much. I find myself watching the clock for that magic time of 5pm so I can pour myself a wonderful cold glass of wine although yesterday 3:30 seemed close enough. I always have wine chilled and waiting. Unfortunately, we make our own wine at a craft winery so wine is never a shortage. I plan this out very carefully, so we are never on empty.
    My husband has mentioned that he thinks I drink too much and to his dismay he has had a strip torn off him so has not mentioned it in the last three years. It is amazing how nasty I can be when one confronts me on this topic. The worst part of it is, he is completely right and I know this. I don’t go to bed completely blacked out but at times I do know that I am not far from that happening. More and More my mind berates me all night long. I toss and turn hearing my inner voice telling me that “you can’t stop drinking, your pathetic and you are killing yourself.” During the night I make a decision not to drink tomorrow, but like many of you have said… by the time I start cooking dinner it just seems impossible to cook without my glass of wine or two then later three or four. Unfortunately, we are not talking these little half glasses of wine, but filled to the brim size glasses.
    I know I don’t want alcohol to be in charge of me, but I am so scared to try. The idea of not having a glass of wine ever again, just seems not doable or willing to do. I don’t want to not drink ever again, but I know from experience I can not moderate either. Wine gets me through, everything. At times I have made rationales like ” your not the only person who likes their wine.. see they drink more than me….. it just helps me relax…” You get the idea. Always full of excuses, but I know on a conscious level it is all BS.
    I guess I am afraid to try as I know I will fail. If I make myself accountable to my husband that would mean I would have to tell him that my drinking is a problem. (Which is not so bad because it really is) but, what if I don’t succeed more than a day or two. He will know that this is a problem that I am not happy with but I am not giving up the drink. I feel he will always be watching me, judging me or maybe it will be that I am judging myself. As I have said before, I am so afraid of it all. I really don’t know where to go from here.
    LR

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    • I can relate and I have the same thoughts…it all took me by surprise and now I don’t know what to do or where to start. I think we should not be so hard on ourselves since we have taken the first step by coming here!.

      I have a friend who rang me today (and who doesn’t know about my drinking) who said he had given up cigarettes and was drinking weight loss shakes. His words were ” Well now what do I have to live for!!?”….and I was so keen to tell him I understand, then I got annoyed that there are no “Stop drinking shakes” or “Stop drinking patches” !

      So I suppose it is all about motivation and strength and that is what we do for each other.

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      • Thanks Julie, it is so good to be understood without judgement. Where do we get the courage, motivation and strength to start. I used to think that if the dr. told me my health was declining that, that would give me the courage. I went for a check up earlier in the year and he said he couldn’t ask for better results on anything, except my weight, he said I needed to grow two inches. LOL So no incentive there. Truthfully, I am not so sure that I wouldn’t have made excuses even if my health was in jeopardy. It is pathetic. Your right we are one step closer to making that decision by just being her on this blog. Thanks for your optimism.

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        • Sounds like you and I are so similar! But you know what….Soooooo many people on this blog (my first blog ever) sound like us!! What an amazing and supportive place to find peace. I look forward to reading everyone’s posts.

          We are getting there – every one of us!

          Not sure about anyone else but I ask “What the hell happened to me?”

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      • That inner voice that says “what do I have to live for” and I cant imagine living the rest of my life without one glass of wine is something I know well. I quit smoking 30 years ago and in the beginning I would see my brand at the store and feel like it was my best friend I had abandoned. I learned though that it was the voice of addiction talking and after time I never thought that way again.

        Today I am one month free of alcohol ( a short time but an eternity) and the way I got here was to banish that thought that is my voice of addiction (how can I live te rest of my life without it) and tell myself just for today. If you do this, the addiction voice gets fainter and fainter and most of the day euphoria kicks in (i did it, i can do it and I feel great). Please try recognize the voice of addiction when ypu stop drinking and have those sad never again thoughts. Accept them for what they are, maybe put off responding and say I will think about that in a week. This is working for me and I was drinking over a bottle of wine a night. I wish ypu strength.

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    • You’re closer then you think. It’s going to be like a bad breakup where it doesn’t end after the first break. But keep at it and you’ll screw up then get a sober day screw up then two sober days then seventeen sober days then screw up and then it’s back to zero sober days. You’re already conscious of the pattern. Plus you’re probabally tired of the guilt that comes with alcoholism. Then eventually your sober days will mean more to you then what being drunk now means to you. It’s that simple.;)

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  171. I am so happy to have found your blog. I am looking for resources and support, not an AA group. I had a very bad weekend, in relation to drinking, and it was an eye opener. Luckily I am physically fine and I have a great man in my life sticking by my side. That all being said, quitting drinking is unimaginable to me. The longest I have gone since 18 (I am now 31) is three weeks without a drink. I go 3 to 5 days here and there. I easily drink a bottle of wine or more a day, sometimes not counting a mixed drinks as well. I am not ready to say “I will never drink again” but I am ready to make lifestyle changes and I see that I am wasting my life daily by not remembering the end of each day, and moments with loved ones. I am going to try to only drink one or two glasses at special occasions moving forward, but I am scared. Do people recommend counting the days of this is my current plan? Any advice? Support?

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    • You sound just like me! I always want to quit, and have said I was going to plenty of times, but never gone any longer that 24 dats a few years ago.

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  172. Hi, I am new here. Googled alcoholic blog just to try to find something like this! I don’t want to go to AA just like I never wanted to go to Weight Watchers–not a joiner–but definitely need to read and relate to these stories. Day 22 for me. I stopped for 21 days a couple of months ago and tried to just have a glass of sauvignon blank from New Zealand (my poison i know). And it was delicious but within a week I was back to a bottle or more a night.

    I have been told I have beginning alcoholic liver disease. I vacillated between believing the doctor and the ultrasound and lab work and thinking he was an alarmist and trying to scare me. Now why would he want to do that, but that’s what I thought. Then I had to take an antibiotic that did not mix well with alcohol and in fact would make me hurl for hours if I did so. This was lucky because I really could not drink and decided I would just not go back after the 10 days.

    Most of the t