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About UnPickled

About UnPickled

I am learning to walk without the crutch of alcohol.  I began writing this blog on my first day of sobriety.  Gulp. I drank quietly in private and have managed to quit just as privately. I didn’t stay quiet about it, though. My story is all here. The purpose of this blog is to help make me accountable and, as it turns out, to encourage others along the way.UnPickled

To the readers of this blog who came looking for fellowship on their journey to recovery:

I believe you will see yourself in me. I am just one of many faces of recovery, and if you ever recognize me in an airport or maybe even in my own hometown I hope you’ll say hello, tell me how we’re connected, and give me a hug. We’re in this together.

To the readers of this blog who are here for pure interest because they know who I am:

Please tread lightly through these woods. Please read the hundreds and hundreds of comments from people around the world and respect that my story is their story. Resist the urge to be entertained and instead let yourself be moved. Something beautiful has been happening here. Maybe it’s time you knew.

My name is Jean, and I am UnPickled.

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  1. I received a letter today. It wasn’t unexpected. My agent had called me last week to soften the blow but didn’t have all the details. But that didn’t matter. I knew what it would say. I’ve heard of a tipping point, the time in an addict’s life when the desire, the hunger to change overshadows the simple idea of changing. For me I think this is it. An underwriter hundreds of miles away has deemed me too much a risk to insure my life for any amount of money. This based on a (semi-)honest phone interview and notes from open dialogue with my GP which were recorded in my medical chart and therefore shared with the insurance company. With my consent, of course. Things like how I typically drink 4-6 light beers a day and never skip a day. And of course the 12-16 I may drink on a Saturday or Sunday. Or both. Every weekend. I’ve been a regular drinker for 20+ years but at this level for probably the last 10. I cannot recall the last time went a day without drinking. I’ve been a functioning alcoholic for as long as I can remember and a rather accomplished one at that. Married for 26 years, 3 great kids, well paying job of 23 years, nice home; I’ve never had a DUI, I’ve never been arrested or ticketed for any alcohol-related offenses; I’m in decent shape, I’ve ran marathons, my BP, heart rate, cholesterol are all good; surprisingly my liver enzymes are within normal range; I get a physical and blood work ever couple of years, carefully watching for any signs of trouble, etc. All this and more is how I justified my behavior both to myself and family, friends, and-coworkers. As long as I was “healthy” then my drinking was not a problem. But is this really the time? Do I really want to change? Years ago when I might commit some major fopaux I’d wake up with the typical drunk’s remorse and vow to stop drinking, dry out for a while, or cut back. But as soon as I would stop feeling sorry for myself, relationships mended, and feeling good I’d rationalize dipping my toe back into the pool of my addiction and before long be back in the deep end. Might take a month. Might take a week. It was a vicious cycle which was unfair to my family, having to see me make promises and break them. So I simply gave up, accepted my addiction, and strove to suffer in silence with a drunken grin on my face but ever treading water in the deep end. Let’s be honest: I never really wanted to quit. But this feels different. Now I’m actually rattled. But also calm. As I’m writing this I have passed the 24-hour mark and have no desire to drink anything other than a diet soda. This with my beer fridge stocked and a reserve case chilling in the garage. Remarkable.

    So, anticipating “the letter” arriving today, yesterday I did a bit of googling and came across your blog. Starting from the beginning I read it for two hours last night then tossed and turned until the early morning, weighing what I would want to share and what I want to keep private. Like you, I’m not looking for meetings or counseling. At least not yet. I’d like to travel this road alone for a stretch, see where it goes. I’m trying not to put any undue pressure on myself. I’ve not made any promises. I’ll go to bed tonight and get up tomorrow and with any luck feel just a bit better about myself.

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  2. Thank you, Jean for all you do – you are an inspiration to me! Peter

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  3. Hi. I would very much like to read all of your posts in chronological order (I am trying/hoping/striving for sobriety, but I am at the beginning of my road, as you were at one point, and the earlier posts will be much more relevant). Trying to select “back” repeatedly and repeatedly enough to get to your early posts through several years, each time I visit your site, is just too much work. But I want to read the earlier posts. Maybe I’ve missed the magic button that lets me chose the date/year post I want to read? Any guidance would be appreciated. And thanks for this blog. -grateful4life

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    • Hi, thanks for posting. If you are using a computer, scroll down and you’ll see links to old posts listed on the right hand side of the page. If you’re viewing on a tablet or phone, you’ll need to choose “desktop view” to see this option. Hope this helps!

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  4. Thank you.

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  5. Thanks for this blog. After 20 years of irresponsible behavior. 8 of them being daily consumption and a couple weeks worth of learning what “dangerously drunk” feels like, I’m ready. As of say midnight 3 days ago was my last drink. I live alone, am doing this alone, and don’t have anyone to talk to. No significant other and no friends that are interested in this. So far it’s alright. This is about all I’m willing to post here – but I like this blog. Thank you for listening!

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    • Hi, I’m glad you’re here and congrats on your decision to take charge of this. Having some support in your life can be a big help. The internet is great and so are real life meetings and connections. That way when the sneaky voice of addiction starts whispering sweet nothings in your ear, you have someone to check in with. A recovery coach could also help. Or online meetings. There are lots of people
      Who’d love to help. You’re not alone!

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      • Thank you! Five full days and I’m feeling so much better. Living like that is just not worth it. I completely forgot how this feels. Not hungover, not drunk, not groggy, not a zombie drunk from the night before. Regular. I know not to start feeling too comfortable – because I know it can start up again. But I don’t really think the “fun” part outweighs the trouble. I’m just going to keep doing what I am doing. I actually did most of the things that I previously couldn’t imagine doing without a drink. Not going out to the bar or anything yet – but simple daily stuff that I felt like I could fly through as long as I had enough to drink. I wasn’t flying through it – it took forever to get anything done, I just didn’t notice it! Well, happy I found this blog on day one and a half!

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  6. Dear Unpickled,

    I write this from a place of deep fear and sadness, of shame and self criticism. I write this because I know I have a real problem with alcohol, and I know I’ve been aware of this for some time. I have been listening to your podcast and reading your blog. My story is that of so many others, with only small differences in the details. I am putting my story out here as a first step. I’m too afraid to go to a meeting right now but know that something must give if I am going to lead the life I want to live.

    I am 34. I have never been married, though am desperate to find a partner and start a family. I am like so many of the women you interview on your podcast. Type A, a perfectionist to the core. My own worst critic. I have a graduate degree, own a home and live in a city I love. I have wonderful parents and friends abound. I run and hike and ski. I travel and backpack. And between all of those things, I drink. I drink when I’m out, I drink when I’m alone. I drink because it’s easier than sitting still. Than sitting with my feelings and anxiety. And I am MISSING OUT ON MY LIFE. I know that be the truest part of all of this. I feel the shame and guilt when I wake up after drinking. I see it in my face and in my eyes. There is an emptiness there. A sadness deeper than I thought I could know.

    I started drinking in high school. Partied in college and then moved to NYC where happy hours are as much a part of life as crowded subways and NY pizza at 2am. After a few years in New York, I moved to the west coast. I got a graduate degree followed by a good job and a group of wonderful friends. The late night parties in NYC have been replaced by $12 cocktails in the newest and hippest bars and grown-up wine-fueled dinner parties. When I don’t go out, I drink a bottle of wine a night. I feel like shit most mornings and take pride when I am able to have only 2 glasses of wine in an evening. How I’ve slid this far, I do not know. What is scariest is how much further I could continue to slide if I don’t put a stop to it. I am MISSING OUT ON MY LIFE. I have met a wonderful guy, one I could marry. And I’m terrified that I will get in the way of that if something doesn’t change.

    Last January, one year ago, I stopped drinking for almost a month. I recall writing in my journal that it was the most connected and participatory I’d felt in my own life in years. It was a hard month but the best I’ve had in I don’t know how long. At the end of that month, I was able to control my drinking for a couple of months. I didn’t drink alone and when out, kept it to 1-2 drinks. But as predictable as the hangover that follows a night of binge drinking, I slipped back into old routines, now having slid further down than before the 1 month hiatus a year ago. I told myself I’d do the sober January thing again this year. I let myself drink as much as I wanted in December, certain that January would come and I’d somehow (magically) have the discipline to stop come Jan 1. I made it one day. One day, Unpickled! And I think I only survived that because I had perhaps the worst hangover of my life following a night of drinking on NYE.

    So here I am. It’s January 8th. I honestly do not know if I can do this. But I know I have to try. Thank you for providing this space for people to read and share and take hope.

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    • Hey, brave friend. You’re not alone. This can be the last day you feel like shit. Well, actually you’ll feel kind of shitty while you detox the first few days but you’ll be so proud of yourself that it will be worth it. I really really REALLY encourage you to go to a meeting because connection, support, and accountability will make this so much easier (and even enjoyable). You deserve to be happy, and booze is a barrier. Big hug.

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    • Thank you for reaching out! That step alone speaks volumes on your desire to make a course correction in your life and is the first step to freedom. All of us who struggle with alcohol need encouragement from others especially in the beginning. It is a sign of strength not weakness. I, like you am educated, athletic, and am a runner who drank every night. After recognizing I had a problem I began to view the solution like a daily run. I don’t focus on the finish, just each step I take to avoid the hazards along the way. These first few days will suck like the start of any long race, but nothing is more important that getting free! It will take a lot of tools to deal with your alcoholic brain that is so cunning and persuasive. It knows what and when to say things to get what it wants. I confided in a friend, changed my daily pattern, attended AA, prayed to the Father in Heaven, and found things to occupy my time. I will pray for you today for strength and support. You can so do this! Be persistent! 🙂

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      • Thank you, Hailey! I apologize for the delayed response as I am just seeing this now. It’s been a week without drinking. I just woke up feeling clear-headed and ready for the day. So different from most Sunday mornings. It’s been difficult, no doubt, but I’ve taken it one day at a time and found a fantastic online community. I hope to attend meetings in person once I can work up the courage. And running, thank goodness for running. I loved your idea of viewing this a daily run and keeping your eyes on the finish. That is something I can relate to!

        Thank you again. It is so incredible how powerful it is to hear from others and know we are not alone, not even close. Sending back support and warmth.

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  7. I’ve known for a long time I’ve been drinking too much. I thought I crossed the threshold after my first child was born, a crutch perhaps for postpartum issues. But lately when I think back…really, really far back, I remember all these other times when it was messy. Back then, during those times, it just appeared as reckless youth abandonment. But lately, my perspective has sharpened and I see how I’ve spent most of my life with this profile. I don’t know what more to share right now but one thing has me kinda freaked and it’s the current impetus for me to do this life AF already! I’ve had ongoing vertigo–cloudy, dizzy, hard to concentrate, etc. Even on days after evenings I haven’t had a drink. So wonder, is this an ailment from long term drinking?

    I’ve thought about stopping many times because I love my children more than life, but what if my body is saying–times up?

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  8. I’ve been drinking a bottle of wine every night for the past 10 years. I only drink when I am alone and because I live alone, that means every night. When I travel or visit others, I don’t drink excessively. One or two glasses of wine, and I am done. I’ve noticed lately that my feet and hands are swelling so much that I am uncomfortable wearing shoes. I know all that alcohol has to be having a negative effect on my body. I tried AA and a therapist, but neither worked. AA was full of court ordered drug addicts, and the therapist was clueless. I found your blog and can relate to several things you have written. Today is a new year, and I am hoping the beginning of a new life for me as I follow your story.

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    • I am very happy you are here and encourage you to check out some other programs and resources for support. Connecting with others will really help. Not all AA meetings are the same, so if you live in a bigger city that has several meetings to choose from and you might find a group that’s a better fit. Also look on my resources page http://www.unpickledblog.com/resources for links to other programs, materials, podcasts, and more. It is time to take your life back!

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  9. Thanks Jean!
    I’m considering your suggestion. I’ve been in such a bad mood today. I think it’s the anticipation of what sober will mean. I can’t remember the last time I have fallen asleep without drinking. So that has me anxious. The last time I didn’t drink for a few days I couldn’t sleep. I’m just feeling really scared. However, I am determined to make this change.

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    • You might be pleasantly surprised by how well you will sleep. Remember there are lots of other wonderful things to help with sleep – I love Vanilla Sleepytime tea before bed and also I diffuse essential oils and put some on my feet and wear cute pjs. If all else fails, have a good book to read and if you can’t sleep at least you’ll be sober and you may be tired in the morning but not hungover! Your addiction will play all kinds of tricks on your thinking to convince you that there are good reasons to drink. Don’t listen to it. Some people call that voice Wolfie, some call it Trixie, some call it “The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee”. Tell that voice to buzz off and start listening to your highest self instead, the wise good part of you who is waiting to take over. Be good to yourself!

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  10. I’m enjoying your blog. I have decided I need to quit drinking. I’m giving myself till the new year. I have a couple bottles of wine left (maybe couple more than a couple). I drink alone after my son is asleep. My marriage just came undone in the last few months. I’m tired of drinking but also scared to stop. I’m hoping reading your blog will inspire me. Wish me luck.

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    • Tomorrow night is New Years Eve, Jessica and I will be cheering for you. Here’s an idea – why wait? Put on your favourite song and make a big ceremony out of pouring out all the wine you have left (I suggest “Goodbye Earl” by The Dixie Chicks!) then go shopping for some alcohol free drinks to celebrate the new year and your new life! I’m sorry you are going through hard things right now. Please know that getting booze out of your life will make you stronger to deal with it all.

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  11. Thanks for sharing your story with the world. I have been struggling with alcohol for around ten years. Before that I had an addiction to marijuana. I have quit drinking on one solid occassion for a bit over three months, and then took it back up right where i left off. I’ve had a few goes at it over the last 18 months, getting about a month under my belt. I’m now on day 6. I’ve had the first sober Christmas in over 30 years, and I’m feeling great. I’m inspired by your story and the stories of people around the world. Thanks again.

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  12. Hello. I have grappled with quitting drinking for so, so long. I guess in a way I was hoping someone else would call me on it but that hasn’t happened. I know in my heart and my head that I need to stop but am finding it hard to get the support I need. I am in Melbourne, Australia and recently listened to Karen’s story which resonated with me. I agree that sobriety or quitting drinking is not celebrated in Australia. I have been to a couple of AA meetings and found them hard. This year has thrown incredible challenges at me including the end of my 18 year marriage. I would love to connect with Karen if at all possible? I have booked an appointment for tomorrow with an addictions counsellor so I am hoping that is a step in the right direction. Jo

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  13. Wishing you a peaceful weekend, fellow spiritual warrior!

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  14. Today at work, I was feeling super anxious, my head was buzzing, I felt crazy! Anyway, at some point, I was thinking, gee, maybe I’m going through alcohol withdrawal??? I had two shots yesterday afternoon with my girlfriend but quite a bit on the preceding days with the Holiday and all. I have definitely been a regular drinker the last few years. Anyway, I managed to drive by the gas station where I usually stop and get my mini- bota box – managed not to have a beer because there is almost always beer in the basement that my husband keeps although he doesn’t really drink. Wine tends to be my downfall. Went to church with my son, did some housework and work. I have to get up in six hours but not sure I can sleep yet? Anyway, I’m here on the site reading comments… Thank you all for your honesty. I’ll be shooting for day 2 tomorrow.

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  15. Oh wow, thank you for sharing that! It definitely struck a chord. And I like how you describe your photo as the outside not matching what was on the inside. I too, have quite the collection of ‘flattering’ photos that I was so proud of for years…. but looking back now (even through non-sober eyes) on many occasions, I know the true pain that was behind all those ‘happy smiles and good times’ with friends as I had that ever full pint of beer in hand.

    I know exactly how I felt all those times–the loneliness, the pain, insecurity…a longing to be accepted and belong….mix in some old anger and resentment…..you name it. I didn’t know back then that I had a true problem with alcohol, but I am pretty sure I didn’t like that I felt I had to resort to drinking to bring me joy. That dependency on weekends eventually turned into dependency on week nights….then sadly dependency on many week days…. I never would have imagined the steady upward progression in my drinking. I thought I would just stay on that level forever.

    But not only do I reflect on how truly unhappy I was underneath it all, I also recall all the ugly next morning hangovers and how I did NOT look so lovely afterall!

    Whenever the temptation to join in with friends at a social event with ‘just one’….. I try and bring myself back to the reality that ‘just one’ is never just one, that is, as long as there are no external controls in place. And I also remind myself how even after one glass of wine, I start getting depressed and can feel the emotions creeping in…and then I will realize how the drink actually doesn’t even taste that good anymore….and then try and picture the ugly feeling the next day. Would it be worth it??

    Again, I am only 7 days sober (again, LOL)…. but it feels good. And I realized that only about the first hour is difficult, atleast while there is a meal involved. I find that after a meal, I’ve lost the desire to drink anyway. And so long as we are having a good visit, I find the drinks are actually pretty unnecessary. I feel clear-head (and well hydrated with all the glasses of lemon water I am served over those few hours), and proud.

    The holiday season is sure going to be a challenge. I’m not going to lie.

    thank you for your support,

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    • Thanks for reminding me that lemon water can be so refreshing and conversation so enjoyable when one is present for it. hah! I spent so many years in the booze cloud that my conversations were pitiful and self centered. how boring. I am so grateful you are here, cause I’m trying to beat this addiction that has such a grip on me in my brain! Even tho I know I can’t and I don’t want to, I slip. Crap! Day 3….again. But not giving up.

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  16. I am a bit confused as to whether or not this is ‘the place’ to post.

    Anyway, as I ‘restart’ again after writing earlier, I am all of 3 days sober. But that’s ok, I picked myself up and dusted myself off, again. And instead of wallowing in shame, I can only look forward and try and envision the end goal. I am also looking into nutrition after alcohol abstinence and preparing to start filling a bunch of huge holes in my vitamin and mineral stores.

    I found a facebook picture of myself from 9 years ago, then took pictures of myself the other day. Wow. Now that’s what alcohol abuse looks like!! And that is why I desperately search for testimonials (pictures included) of people who have experienced physical improvements since they stopped drinking — that is, just mainly from not drinking and making basic dietary changes, getting moving, and supplementing with vitamins and minerals. THIS is what keeps me motivated….

    Even after 5-7 years of binge drinking which I had under my belt 9 years ago, my face was still plump in the cheeks and had some sheen. I didn’t need a lot of make up tricks then. Then I looked at my pictures now and saw the large bags under my eyes, the puffy and droopy eyelids, the deep crevices in my chin area from dehydration, the dullness in the complexion and of course the loss of plumpness in the cheeks and under the eyes (loss of collagen). Then of course, although I am a similar size to 9 years ago, I have the start of the jowels and the general look of puffiness in the face. I mean, I knew I was aging, but that’s harsh. Many many days I have thought to myself, “I wonder what I would have looked like if I could have just stopped drinking 9 years ago”–and I would say I would have looked pretty good in my 40’s! And then I think I probably could have looked even worse today, if not for all the years of regular exercise and eating healthy food — amongst my drinking….

    I got a hair mineral analysis done about 6+ months ago, and I was deficient on just about all of them. So that would indicate that I would likely be deficient on a lot of vitamins too. And you know how I can tell? My hair is extremely brittle and dry, along with my finger nails. I used to have very long and thick hair up to about 10 years ago…..then I couldn’t figure out why it was getting thinner and thinner. I am anemic, have uterine fibroids, have poor nutrient absorption/assimilation (obviously), have a skin fungal rash (upper body) that hasn’t left in 5 years, I bruise easy often with no apparent reason, my gums are puffy, and…….need I go on! And it makes me so sad because ALL these years as I started to see these things happening, I never attributed it to alcohol abuse. I knew of so many of my friends who could binge drink (to this day), and still have glowing thick hair and skin and it perplexes me. But I just wasn’t so fortunate. Or maybe I was.

    My joints are stiffer, and my knees crack and pop when I walk upstairs. I have been completely sedentary for 2 years now (and I never used to be) and I feel lethargic and lacking in energy. I really miss the days when I felt good after exercising, and feeling limber and full of energy. I truly have not felt that way since I was about 30–and I am 43. These things bring me deep sadness, but I really want that feeling back. And I know I can get it. It may take a year or two, but I am trying hard to envision it.

    I encourage everyone to take inventory of just the physical affects from alcoholism — I know this is only part of all the damage that we do but it’s pretty important. I took those pictures the other day so that hopefully they can become the new ‘before’ look — to compare to the ‘after’ look I am desperately hoping I can be proud of.

    Please, who ever is comfortable in doing so, post before and after photos. I think they will help a lot of people. I would love to hear how you have regained your health.

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  17. I am new to officially posting about my problem with alcohol, but I feel the need to ‘voice’ it for the first time. I have been listening to podcasts on alcoholism for the past year or more, and have likely been trying every modality possible to release negative cellular energies that have lead to my ‘need’ to drink alcohol. However, I have been unsuccessful….that pull has been so strong. There were times I quit for a month at a time (probably the longest in 15 years) and was so proud of my ‘will power’, but much like dieting, I now realize quitting is not about will power. It is about changing the whole mindset around the perceived ‘benefits’ of drinking alcohol, as opposed to deciding we have to quit because of all the negatives. It is also recognizing that the addiction is very much psychological. I was aware I had a problem not long after my first DUI. And the sad thing is that as I slowly learned my alcoholism was progressing, I feared another DUI. I was aware and wanting desperately to work on my problem, but the second DUI came first. I am ashamed and full of anguish. I can’t work up the courage to tell my family, and I am in my 40’s! Maybe that’s why its harder. My husband says I shouldn’t ‘quit’ drinking just to punish myself. Everyone makes mistakes. Well, sadly he doesn’t know the extent of my problem, and this decision to work towards total abstinence is not about punishing myself–it is about recognizing that a progression in alcoholism caused me to take more risks I otherwise wouldn’t have taken–the fact that I got behind the wheel impaired again indicates a problem. Never mind all the other shameful things it has caused. If I abstain, PERIOD, I cannot possibly get another DUI, and risk anyone’s or my own life by driving impaired. I feel lonely, although I am newly married, because my friends are primarily big drinkers. I know I can do this, but I desperately need support from other people in my situation. I need to share my terrible stories and also talk about my plans to change that. I want to help others. Thank you for listening.

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    • Alice- I, too, have two DUIs under my belt and 35 years of binge drinking. (I started young.) Largely with the help of Unpickled and other sobriety blogs, I quit drinking from May 8, 2015 to January 28, 2015. During that time, I went through the entire summer (big social time)my brother’s wedding (a rip roaring time for most) and numerous other holidays and events where I would potentially have been “the life of the party.” While sober, I found that at social gatherings, I was uneasy until others loosened up from their booze, then I was ok. But, it was a grueling hour. I noticed that I would slam wine glasses of water or club soda or whatever unalcoholic beverage I was holding (learned behavior?) It became important for me to have those drinks in hand as a safety. During my almost 9 months of sobriety, it was interesting to see how many of my friends really wished I was drinking. One of my “close” friends said “God, can you please start drinking again!” I believe she was prompted to say this by the fact that I was ready to call it a night at 10pm. ( Which is the time that most people consider calling it a night.) )My husband who sounds a lot like yours has never fully understood the extent of my alcoholism. He tells me that I’m too hard on myself and just have a drink or two. Well, off and on during my sobriety, he offered me drinks on several occasions (and he rarely drinks.) Interesting. What I discovered during my sobriety is that alcohol makes my life more enjoyable, more fun. It takes the edge off my personality. So, I returned to drinking. Very nonchalantly. I was out with two couples and joined the birthday toast for one of the ladies at the table. Both ladies were taken aback as they knew I had quit and wanted to make sure that I really wanted to drink. I drank moderately and felt fine. I started drinking regularly but less often and fewer drinks. For awhile. I am now back to getting drunk regularly, and I am now back to needing to quit again. I am now at a cross roads (the most important one in my life) as I am realizing that to sustain my sobriety, I must build a richer life for myself. Without fully realizing it, my life has been one social event (drinking occasion) to the next, and while most people had a few drinks the night before and went to work, I woke up and nursed my hangover until the next occasion. My life, although rich on the outside, is unfulfilling because of my alcoholism. Drinking doesn’t give me the release and joy it once did and it certainly doesn’t contibute to positive transformation. It”s going to suck not being able to numb out, but it will suck a lot less than being a hungover mess who is hiding from life and squandering her talents and ultimately hurting herself, her children, and her husband. You absolutely can quit. It will not be easy, but you will be empowered in the doing. Your friends and husband will be uncomfortable, so pour yourself a non- alcoholic drink if you are attending a drinking event with them. Alcohol is a progressive disease. It will only progress. You cannot get those years back. You are young and you definitely have a drinking problem, but you can reclaim your life and stop wasting your time. And so can I! Good luck and thanks so much for your post!!!

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      • Thank you Dlite for commenting! I am sorry you have experienced relapse, but I know how easy it is for that alcoholic voice to convince us that we will just have ‘one or two’….yet I have realized that all those controls I put in place simply do not work anymore! I had my court sentencing last week for my DUI, and I joked (although crying inside) with another alcoholic friend that “it’s a true sign of an alcohol problem when you leave court with a second DUI and spend the afternoon drinking to numb the feeling of shame”! I bet so many others have done the same.

        It’s crazy how both our friends and even loved ones try to enable us, or just cannot support our decision to stop drinking! I totally agree with that first ‘hour’ of a social event.. If we could just suffer that hour our without giving in we have a fighting chance. But sadly, the power of our peers’ actions and responses gets in our way.

        I have become very aware lately how terribly engrained alcohol has become in our everyday existence. And it’s really sad that many of my friends and co-workers quit wanting to hang out when I mention I am taking a break from drinking. You can Tell they are counting the days til I ‘come to my senses’!! I tried for many years off an on to go out to the bar and be sober. It was terribly difficult and it’s funny how I want to shut we down by 10 pm too’! Lol. People are loud and repetitive and I suddenly hate having to scream over the background music!! But I will say I believe we MUST learn how to function in all settings or we will always feel we are ‘missing out’ by not drinking.

        I am working towards a mindset that I neither want nor need to drink to have fun. Sure, I know umpteen times over the past 25 years that alcohol has lead to a ‘good time’, but sadly I know of just as many times when alcohol stole my dignity, made me depressed and moody, caused me to drive drunk, lead to much shame and embarrassment, affected relationships, deteriorated my health, made me lose interest in healthy habits, and cost me a great deal financially.

        I know we can do this, but we need to keep up getting support. I am now officially ready to attend an AA meeting. And that is very scary for me, but I am pushing my comfort level, otherwise it is too easy to keep up my terribly destructive and secret habit.

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      • Hi Dlite, you sound so sad – alcohol is like a bad boyfriend who is not worth keeping around. Are you ready to try again to break free? You are in my thoughts.

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    • I am glad you are here, Alice. Further to my other comment, let your hubby know that you don’t see living alcohol-free as punishment but rather FREEDOM. Reframing it might help him make sense of your choice in a way that will allow him to be more supportive. Sometimes the people who love us just don’t understand what we need because they themselves aren’t experiencing addiction and can’t imagine feeling enslaved to something they see as benign. Sometimes they resist our decision because they are entrenching in coping strategies of their own that feel threatened by change. Sometimes they just want us to be happy and well – to be fixed and “normal”, without realizing that the way for us to do that is to change – not to stay the same. Your words and perspective will have enormous power over the people around you. Let them know this is the pathway to a happier, healthier you. If they love you, they will want that for you more than anything!

      Like

  18. I did it , day 1

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Day 1

    Like

  20. 38 yr old woman, mother, sister, friend, Aunt, companion, marathon runner, weight-lifter…and I believe I need to add alcoholic to this list. It’s the first time I’ve ever said it or typed it. 15yrs off drinking and each year it’s gotten progressively worse (minus pregnancy and a few weeks of failed hiatuses) and I’m just tired of feeling like crap every day. I know that there is SO much more to life than nightly drinking and I WANT to stop it. Today marks Day 2 for me and I’m reaching out now for tools, support and guidance. Thank you for being brave and speaking out loud! I am finding support thru your words and others on here. I never realized how many of us are struggling so similarly.

    Here’s to day 2 of sobriety and aiming for so many more!

    Like

  21. Hi Peg thanks for the advice. Have had a look at the website. Lots of helpful information. Ok so Day 1 is done, onwards and upwards!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Caz,
    Yes you know you can do this.Youve done it for 10 months!
    In order to have a lapse or relapse you would of had to have been sober and you were.
    Consider this a blip in your journey and get back on the horse. You can move forward but the drinking has to stop now. The longer you wait the harder it will be.

    Jean is right,surround yourself with support. There are many ways to do this. I am involved with Smart Recovery. There are F 2 F meetings and also an online community if your not comfortable going to meetings,( although I highly recommend them)
    Smartrecovery.org is where you can read all day very day. I think you will be surprised with how many are going through exactly what you are. Maybe just check it out and read the Sucess stories. There’s no commitment and the choice is yours.
    I wish you the best
    Peg

    Liked by 1 person

    • Starting over is like reaching out to embrace the calm.  Ahhh, safe, sweet life.  

      From: UnPickled Blog To: wavcrst06@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, August 22, 2016 4:04 AM Subject: [New comment] About UnPickled #yiv3996895890 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3996895890 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3996895890 a.yiv3996895890primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3996895890 a.yiv3996895890primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3996895890 a.yiv3996895890primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3996895890 a.yiv3996895890primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3996895890 WordPress.com Peg commented: “Hi Caz,Yes you know you can do this.Youve done it for 10 months! In order to have a lapse or relapse you would of had to have been sober and you were.Consider this a blip in your journey and get back on the horse. You can move forward but the drinki” | |

      Like

  23. Thanks, I know can do this. I could see the signs about a month ago. You see when people asked me at the beginning why I wasn’t drinking, I used to be honest and say “I thought I was becoming too dependant on it” and it’s funny how so many people looked at me and said ” I know what you mean. Wow I really admire your strength” that made me feel so good I used to want shout from the rooftops. I took lots of opportunities to discuss alcohol with people, look on websites, blogs. THEN…..I got complacent and I stopped talking about it, stopped reading about other peoples journies. I though I was out of the woods, I thought I’d. nailed this alcohol business and it’s was so easy. so when people asked why I had stopped drinking I’d say “I’m not really sure. I may have drink again someday” my goodness I planted a big,ugly seed in my brain. So here I am back where I was, 5 weeks of sneaking around, hiding the bottles etc ,you know all the tricks! I don’t have the sort of relationship with my husband where I can tell him what’s been going on, and if I am honest, he doesn’t really ‘get it’ . His response to me would not be supportive. That doesn’t mean he is not a really caring person but he is not the person I can turn to when I am down, a shame but that’s just the way it is. Ok so back to the plan. I am on day 1 and I’ve given myself a good talking to and re read all of your blogs and people’s comments. I am feeling armed, Time to start talking again!

    Like

  24. I have started drinking again after 10 months of sobriety. The fact that I am here writing this in the early hours of the morning feels me with a sense of absolute dread because I am so upset that I am right back to square one again but also hope, because I am being honest with myself. I just.need some words of encouragement, as something tells me this time it’s going to be tougher than the last time.

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    • Ah Caz, I wish I had a magic wand to take away your pain and make things better. I have no magic wands or words or wishes. All I know is that my best life has no room for booze. You have more knowledge, experience and understanding than you did when you quit the first time. Put it to work and add reinforcements. Be fierce and fight for the life you want. Don’t settle for anything less.

      Like

  25. So sorry I meant Jay not Ray brain still fuzzy I guess :/)

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  26. Hello Jean
    I can so relate to Ray I have been on the hamster wheel myself for a while now. Yesterday I had 30 days ,last time I had 30 days I celebrated with of course a drink. This time I went to A F2F meeting and it was great,
    Ray if you have the book DR read May 26 th it has helped me any times,
    I want to thank you for this blog and the podcast it is what really helped me on my journey.
    The complete honesty and courage of evert one that blogs has helped me to get in touch with myself,be honest and of course grateful
    Thank you for being here
    Hugs
    Buggy

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  27. Hi Jean, I’ve been coming to your site for a while now. I’ve been trying to quit but I feel alone and don’t know how.

    Like

  28. UnPickled – you have inspired me to write and create Day154.com. A critical pivot point in my search of sobriety. Thanks. TBR

    Like

  29. I actually first discovered your podcast and listened to it for the past 2 days on the way to and from work. It may sound stupid but on the podcast I felt like I was listening to “friends”:) Something my life has sorely lacked, probably due to my drinking. Im a solitary drinker in my own lonely world. Sober 4 days and feel encouraged to remain so by this blog and the podcast! Tried AA years ago and for me personally, hated it. Tried outpatient treatment 10 years ago and it worked for about 6 months, but I really made no lasting friends there either. I felt uncomfortable in mixed groups, men and women. Felt shy to open up in front of men about such a personal unhappy struggle.(Though my husband knows about it.) I will continue to read these blogs and listen to your podcasts. Thank you. I feel “hope” again.

    Like

    • We are friends, Beth, we just haven’t met yet. You are not alone. Keep trying and don’t settle for less than the freedom you deserve. Keep building your tribe. Consider online support groups like those listed on my resource page. You can do this.

      Like

  30. Congratulations it is a refreshing new life that we are given every day one day at a time
    Keep on keeping on
    Buggy

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I stumbled upon this blog probably like most. Struggling with something that I know very well does me no good. Feeling all alone and wondering if other people felt the same way. I’m happy to say that I’m a month sober and I’m the happiest I have been in a very long time. Certainly some days are harder than others but knowing that I can get through it honestly, with emotions and not numbing myself is so freeing! I’m thankful every morning I wake up not in a fog or cloud of what’s, you know, what did I do/say.
    I just wanted to say thank you for your refreshing honesty an know that it makes a difference in others lives.:) I know in my heart I’m on the right path and it’s totally exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Congratulations being a grand parent is one of Gods greatest gifts. I have 11 so I truley now what a blessed time of life this is

    Liked by 1 person

  33. By the way this is Buggy

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  34. Hi Jean
    I am going to be totally honest here ,I am disappointed that there was no feed back for what I think 8 days. Not a critism just an observation . Not my first disappointment and sure not my last . I will however say the selfish alcoholic in me looked every day for one. One of the reason that I avoid AA in my recovery this time is because of the clicks and the gossip.
    I do want to thank you for the Bubble pod cast I listened to your interview with Robyn yesterday and so related to part of her story.
    I am trying desparetly to form my on tribe on WordPress.com hoping it takes off and I will feel
    like I also created an environment of give and take

    Like

    • Hey Beaucoup/Buggy, sorry you are feeling disappointed and thank you for being honest. You will find you’ll get more feedback from other readers if you comment on newer posts. I personally do everything I can to stay in touch but in weeks like this one (which included an out-of-town wedding, moving to a new house, and the arrival of a new grandbaby YAY) (!!!) you can understand that it is hard to stay on top commenting at times. Do not take silence as disapproval, rejection, or disinterest – if I don’t catch every comment it is not for lack of trying, I promise. It is great that you are building your blog and community. Read lots of blogs, comment lots, and keep reaching out.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. I get so scared before I go to bed at night. My heart races and I have increased anxiety! I am afraid I won’t sleep. I have been trying some meditation techniques to help me relax when I get to bed . I used to drink to fall asleep. That it is not an option for me any more.
    Any suggestions .
    Thank you Jean I can not tell you how much this blog is helming me I can’t seem to find the right words. Please know that I am grateful to have found it

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  36. Feeling angry with myself today. I realized that I want to be a social drinker and I can,t I have been trying it for years and it doesn’t ever work! I am an alcoholic and I can not drink at all.

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  37. Have you ever had a drinking dream an it was real that you woke up scared and feeling like you have a hang over

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  38. My guardian angel watched over me yesterday and rescued me from myself. Feeling blessed . Walking the walk and not just talking the talk. ❤️ Feeling grateful

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Forgot to sat Lung Ca is not a result of smoking and being addicted to nicotine

    Like

  40. I would like to share a little bit more of my story. I had 17 years of sobriety before I relapsed. I thought I was cured ,what a joke on me. I started drinking again in with in a few tears I was right back where I was. My children were grown done with college all happily married before I picked up again . Then I was diagnosed with Lung Ca and that was my excuse to drink even more that is daily .I know now that I used this as an excuse and people around me accepted that. My lung disease changed my life dramatically but my alcohol disease is what tore apart my soul and spirit. I am so thankful to feel like I have them back ! Any excuse to drink is just that an excuse.
    Thank you for this blog where I can tell my story and just maybe touch some one else and help them realize that alcohol is not the answer to any thing if you are an alcoholic like me.
    I am thankful for my blessings and hope I can help another alcoholic by sharing
    Glad to be sober again day 7

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  41. Being sober day 6 feels good. I want to keep this feeling. Today I laughed and was playful and just enjoyed the day. Didn’t sleep to well last night but that was ok too. I am feeling blessed and strong . I think I am going to make it this time at least I am praying that I do.

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  42. THE most amazing blog i’ve found to date. Thank you for being so honest. I’m almost ready to go that route. Hugs and loads of blessings.

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    • Thank you so much – I am glad you are here. It is a great life – a wonderful gift to give yourself, truly.

      Like

      • You know. I just told my husband that i seriosly want to give up booze. And then those comments. Like , yeah, you been there done that. I’m soo sick of myself and am scared to even try. The worst think is i’m a integrative kinesiologist that doenst have her own shiit together.. Thanks for being here!!! 8 dc wine and 500 ml of beer later. High functionioning a*hole me. 🙄

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        • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Becoming addicted to alcohol is not a sign of weakness or failure – it is the normal fallout of using an addictive substance. We understand that cigarettes, coffee, sugar, and drugs are addictive if used, but for some reason we are surprised by alcohol addiction. The problem is that we ever expect to use it without becoming addicted. It isn’t your fault. But…now that you see what’s happening, it is your responsibility to do something about it. You are not alone, and you are definitely not an a-hole. What you are is self-aware, and that is a good thing. Onward! There is work to do!

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    • Hi Jen it is definitely a better for your spirit and your soul . Hugs and blessings to you

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Is there really any one out there who gives a hoot?

    Like

  44. My anxiety is less today still experiencing some . Grateful that I did get a good night sleep. It is difficult because my wife ( yes we are a same sex couple) gets angry when I get anxious,she said she not angry she is just frustrated but I told her that it feels like anger. I am not surprised that she has a lot of built up anger . My drinking is certainly at the root of her anger. I have caused her a lot of pain and for this I am sorry. It makes me want drink to escape the feelings. I am not going to drink today. I think I need to allow her to express her feelings . I need to show her by my actions not my words.
    I will not drink today
    If any one has any advice on how to handle this kind of a situation I could use some.
    Thanks for listening and for any advice you can send my way.

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    • So remember this. In early recovery, we can be super sensitive. It’s like having no skin, so every emotion can be amplified. Your partner has a right to feel her feelings, and you may find that is hard to tolerate when you are so raw and hurting. You are so right that your actions are what will build your case over time, so be patient and consistent. It will come. Just keep creeping forward in the right direction, keep doing the right thing, and the anxiety will slowly ease, the positives will add up to a new normal in time. Be gentle with yourself, and know that feelings will pass. Just because you feel something doesn’t make it true (ie, how you perceive others’ response). Hang in there. You are doing great.

      Like

      • Thank you feeling less anxious today. Great talk here today about frustration and anger.I have been super sensitive this week good to know that it is part of the process

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  45. Today is a high anxiety day ,but I am trying to pull it apart and put it into perspective . Things
    felt very chaotic to me this morning because there was so much ( it felt like) there was to much going on at once. I think that it was just my over reacting to the situations because of my anxiety level. I have been able to work through it . Got busy and made some great Bolognese sauce for supper.
    I would normally have a couple or more glasses of wine when I feel like that . I am not going to drink today . I need to keep telling myself I can’t drink and that drinking only makes my ability to deal with situations worse.
    LOL I am spending a lot of time praying but will be turning into bed sober tonight. Committed this to myself this morning.
    Thank you again for this blog a place where I can put my feelings out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Last night I went to bed and cried. I realized that I had broken my own heart and hope that the tears were part of a healing process . Today by some miracle I did not want,crave or even thinking about having any alcohol. I am grateful for the pain I went through yesterday. Crazy as it is I think that just maybe I needed to walk through to come to the realization that
    I have to get serious about my alcoholism and honest. I am going to bed sober tonight and feel very blessed to do so.

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  47. Today I realized just how much alcohol has controlled me. It kills my spirit,self esteem and takes away my dignity . I did not drink today and want to say thank you to all of you who said a prayer for me. I did a lot of soul searching today and know that the ball is in my court and I have to be accountable for my disease. I also need to get Honest with my self .I can not drink !

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Today I am beginning a fresh start . I have managed to screw everything up again with my drinking. If you pray please put in a few for me today . I have begun this day with an intention no alcohol in my body today . Please Lord walk with me today.

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    • Ok so just in case there was any doubt, now you know what you are dealing with, because continuing to drink after you’ve decided to stop is a good indicator that things that crossed a line. So this is serious, and it will get worse is left unchecked. You get to decide, you get to call the shots. Come at this thing like a mo fo with guns blazing, or rise up quiet and strong, or….or dribble in and out of sobriety half heartedly, maybe getting better but maybe getting worse. The wobbly stuff is exhausting, and as I prayed for you this morning (as requested!) part of my prayer was that you would not get stuck in that trap. Addiction is not your fault, but recovery is your responsibility. Rise up, starting now. Get help if going it alone isn’t working. Take your life back and don’t settle for anything less that peace and happiness. You can do this, and you have thousands of cheerleaders here rooting for you.

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  49. I didn’t make it sorry to say but I drank then. Of course I drank yesterday and today I am shakey will probably have a couple of glasses of wine today to get rid of my anxiety and try to start fresh tomorrow . I need to be honest

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  50. Thank you for the suggestions . I watched Lipstick and Liquor. Then made a really nice dinner watched a little TV and went to bed sober and grateful that the day was over and I didn’t drink . Today day 5 woke up with positive energy for the first time in a few days. Have a family function tomorrow that I am anxious about going to. Can’t bow out there are folks coming in from Ca & TX to meet me feeling pressure. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Glad this blog is here really helps to put this stuff out there

    Like

    • Bring your own (non alcoholic!) drinks and keep your glass filled. You don’t have to tell anyone you’re not drinking, just say “no thank you” if offered and if someone mentions it say, “I’m driving” or “My tummy so bit wonky today” or “water is fine, I’m super thirsty”. Most people won’t care what’s in your glass. Literally, practice saying “no thank you, what I have it great” OUT LOUD and it will be easier to say when the time comes. Ask everyone else about their lives, make it a mission to find out new things about the people there, be interested in them get out of yourself. Leave when you need to – no big scene just say “this was wonderful, I have to go now” and go. Be yourself, be kind, sneak off to the bathroom and re-read this is you need to for encouragement. You are doing great and you are living in freedom. You will be shining with more light than you know.

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  51. On to day 4 really having a hard time right now. Got hit with some disturbing news last night . I am feeling very vulnerable and emotional . Praying I hold on another day. This will pass but right now it sucks

    Like

    • Hey Buggy, what you need is some distraction and alternate comforts. We taught ourselves to see booze as the only comfort to crave, and it takes a while to find replacements. This is a brain game. Go for a walk and listen to a recovery podcast. Have a bubble bath. Give yourself a massage with lovely lotion, or better yet convince someone else to. Watch something on tv that s recovery related, like “Thank You for Sharing”, “Lipstick and Liquor”, or “The Anonymous People”. Binge watch “Mom” episodes. Garden. Drink tea. Eat ice cream. Be very very gentle with yourself and DONT DRINK. It’s not an option anymore and it will only make things worse. Whatever bad thing is happening, drinking at it won’t make it go away and will weaken your ability to respond with strength and clarity. Stand tall. I’m sober with you today, and tomorrow too.

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  52. Well I made it through day 2. Treated myself to Mediterranean supper and enjoyed every bit of it. Put my head down last night with no regrets,remorse or shame. That is a really good feeling and one I want to keep. Woke up a little shaken this morning but I am grateful and determined today.

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  53. Well it is day 2 an so far I am doing okay ,no alcohol ! I am pretty sure I will make it through this day. I set my intentions for the day and number one was no alcohol,number two was to keep an attitude of gratitude even in the face of some serious cravings. I want to be free of the grip alcohol has had on me .I will walk through today knowing that this to shall pass

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    • You are doing great – you have a wonderful mindset. Be very gentle with yourself, change your routine – especially around the “witching hour” – and know that you are not alone. Reach out for accountability or encouragement if needed, and also be sure to tell us how you did it at the end of the day. You are my hero! Today belongs to YOU!

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  54. I did day one down grateful and glad it is over
    Linda

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  55. Hello. I, too, have recently decided to quit drinking. I have decided to start attending the Celebrate Recovery program near me as well. It’s hard and scary. I am surrounded by drinkers (some heavy and some moderate) and feel as if my biggest struggle is going to be my lack of support. I am looking for a place to find that support and being so new to this I am looking for all the advice I can get too. I have two beautiful little girls who depend on me and I know I can only be the mom they need me to be if and only if i remain sober. Any encouragement is greatly appreciated to help me stay on this path. Thank you!

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    • You can do it and what a wonderful gift to yourself and your daughters. You will be modeling so many positives for them and shaping their lives in more ways than you can imagine.

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    • You can do this Meredith . Surround yourself with people who will support you.
      Love and respect yourself but most of all be kind and gentle to yourself and your children will have the Mom you want to be

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  56. Well I did not make through the day yesterday . I am going to try again today ! I will try to remain positive strong and committed . I really have the desire and the courage. Thank you for thi blog it is a blessing to be able to read others stories they hel me grow
    Linda

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    • Ah Linda, I’m sorry. Don’t be discouraged but instead take yesterday as confirmation that alcohol does indeed have a firm hold on you and that something must change. Whatever you did yesterday, do something more today. Add to your efforts. Be bold and determined and excited for the future. You can do this.

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  57. Today I am trying to stay sober . I am scared to drink and scared not too. I have been fighting this battle off and on for quite a few years now. I don,t like myself when I drink I lie and I sneak.
    Linda

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    • Hi Linda. You’re not alone. Once you reach out you become part of a sweeping powerful family of brothers and sisters who understand and cheer for you. Just by posting here today you’ve done something different, and you can do more. Change up your day to disrupt your drinking routine. Get any booze out of your house this morning while you feel strong – I suggest pouring it down the sink and then smashing the bottle with a baseball bat for fun but do whatever feels good. Have some sweets on hand to help engage cravings. These are good tricks to get through one night without booze. If you’re drinking so much that safe withdrawal is a concern (search “post acute withdrawal syndrome”) take steps to ensure safety (generally this affects very heavy use late-stage dependency). Life is so much better and fuller without the burden of drinking. There more time, freedom, and joy. You deserve you have those things.

      >

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      • Thank you for answering me I don’t feel so all alone now. I think I can do this at home safely. I am blessed to have a loving supportive partner who also. Is an RN

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  58. Secret Quitter

    Thank you for sharing this journey. I think we have a lot in common, so it feels good to know I’m not alone. It’s motivated me to get on the wagon, And use the art of writing as a medium to share my story, and get everything off my chest…secretly for now. Each journey is our own, but yours is a very good guide that will help me. It’s really hard to admit…I drink too much. I am an alcoholic. That’s only the second time I’ve “said” it. In writing. Never out loud. Someday soon.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Secret Quitter

      Hi there – just a quick update. 12 days sober! Some nights are hard, but I feel good. I go to your blog and to the blogs you follow, when I feel the pull of alcohol. I’ve followed several of the recommendations on here for weekends, and how to handle the cravings. Thank you thank you thank you. Progress!

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  59. Unpickling myself

    Hi Jean I just want to say thank you for your wonderful work for women striving for recovery. I stumbled upon sobriety after hitting, very suddenly, a low bottom 50 days ago. Coming out of the shock of that bottom (which I can already see as a blessing) I had a conviction never to drink again, but I had no idea where to start or what I was dealing with. Finding Unpickled and the Bubble Hour has been a revelation. I have started to understand alcoholism and how even people who otherwise ‘have it together’ and don’t resemble my stereotype of ‘an alcoholic’ can still be alcoholics! Especially if they, like me, drink wine every day and in ever increasing quantities. I also want to say that when I worry about not having fun without drinking again, I think of you (not meaning to sound creepy here!) and it really helps. You are a great role model so thank you again for speaking out and helping us secret drinkers put down the wine glass permanently!

    Like

    • I am honoured, truly, to have contributed to the nudge you needed to make it happened. Congratulations on your courage and success! What’s your advice for anyone who is struggling today?

      Like

  60. Slowly unpickling myself

    Hi Jean I just want to say thank you for your wonderful work for women striving for recovery. I stumbled upon sobriety after hitting, very suddenly, a low bottom 50 days ago. Coming out of the shock of that bottom (which I can already see as a blessing) I had a conviction never to drink again, but I had no idea where to start or what I was dealing with. Finding Unpickled and the Bubble Hour has been a revelation. I have started to understand alcoholism and how even people who otherwise ‘have it together’ and don’t resemble my stereotype of ‘an alcoholic’ can still be alcoholics! Especially if they, like me, drink wine every day and in ever increasing quantities. I also want to say that when I worry about not having fun without drinking again, I think of you (not meaning to sound creepy here!) and it really helps. You are a great role model so thank you again for speaking out and helping us secret drinkers put down the wine glass permanently!

    Like

  61. Dear Jean,
    I have been listening to the Bubble Hour while driving for the past few weeks. I have known I needed to stop drinking, but have been so afraid. Afraid of admitting I needed to stop, and then afraid of the changes I will have to make to commit to stopping……
    but I believe I am now ready.
    It is Mother’s Day tomorrow, and I have two amazing daughters who need their Mom to be present. I haven’t been.
    I have an incredible man in my life who will support me through this…..bless him. He is not a big drinker and could easily go without alcohol. Imagine that?! I grew up with not one, but two functioning alcoholic parents, so I need to retrain my thinking. Problems got solved in my household with wine.
    It is not even 7 am and I have been awake since 5:45. I had too much to drink last night for absolutely no reason. Nada. And I am tired. Tired of living this way. Tired of letting myself down. Just tired.
    So I am telling you….because I need to tell someone…….that today is my first day of sobriety. I deserve to live differently.
    K

    Like

    • I can’t think of a better Mothers’ Day gift to yourself than the gift of recovery. You were taught from a very young age that alcohol is the way to cope,although perhaps you though it would be different for you, that you could handle it. Addiction can be genetic and it can be learned. You got both, it seems. So please please please understand this: your life will be so much better without alcohol – none! Zip! Nada!! – but you will maybe feel completely lost and discombobulated for a while because it’s all you’ve known. Persevere. Learn everything you can about being an ACOA (adult child of alcoholics), codependence (a thinking pattern that emerges in unstable homes that needs tinkering), and recovery communities (meetings of some sort). Write to me anytime, post here to connect and encourage others and ask for help and share your journey. This is your day. Take it bit by bit. You can do it, and you’ll never regret a day without alcohol. (((HUG)))

      Like

      • I am so grateful for your response and your offer to connect. I am going to take you up on that if it is okay.
        I can do this, but could use some initial support.
        Thank you Jean, and God bless the dedication you give to helping others achieve their goal of sobriety. I hope to be a guest on the Bubble Hour one day talking about my success story.

        Liked by 1 person

  62. Hi Jean,
    I’m celebrating 1 year of sobriety today and just wanted to pop in and say thank you so much for your blog and your Bubble Hour input. I’ve related to you so much since the start and you’ve been a big inspiration to me.
    Brídx

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    • My heart is bursting with happiness for you! Thank you for taking the time to write this. I wish I lived close enough to take you out for cake and pedicures to celebrate!

      Like

  63. Good morning Jean,
    I came across your blog through the Smart Recovery website.My last drink was December 18 th 2013.I must say,I could have written a lot of your words! I remember the beginning of my recovery very vividly.Not always easy but oh so worth it! I don’t drink.Period. Lots more to say but wanted to start with Hello and Thank you. I believe the words written in these posts will have an impact on someone who is feeling hopeless like I was not so long ago.
    Peg

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  64. Hi
    I am 2 weeks sober today. I have been relapsing about every 2 months for 1.5 year after being sober for 5.5 yearsEach time got worst. I just couldn’t stop. I couldn’t get honest about what I was really feeling. I am a mother of 3. Business owner. Active in school, church ect. I thought I could handle it all. And do much fear of people finding out I was an alcoholic. Then I was arrested 2 weeks ago. So humiliated I can’t believe I am at this place again. I want to be sober but I am so tired of fighting this fight. Niw I am possible going to jail. I have been in and out of aa for 15 years. I wonder if I’m one that just can’t get this. I know where this disease can take me and it scares the hell out of me.

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  65. it’s time…step 0, my life sucks….one the outside, it’s perfect. I am healthy, have two beautiful children an adoring husband, we travel and try to create great experiences for our children. For example, we took them to Las Vegas this past weekend to see Pentatonix. My 9 year old loves them! We had VIP passes and were able to hear them warm up and ask them questions, etc. I was miserable…no drinks for 2 hours…I made up for it later by attacking the mini bar and sneaking shots during the show… I blacked out at some point and don’t remember half of the performance…then proceeded to rip my daughters personally signed poster from the group (by trying to stuff it in a bag). This is a very common thing for me, I know classy…The plane trip home was not much better…I ordered a double gin and white wine on the plane. Thank god for the on line ordering, I don’t have to yell my drink order for all to hear! I don’t remember getting home.

    Thanks for listening…day 1.

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  66. Hi Jean…I found you through Belle and Mrs. D. This morning is Day 6 for me. It’s nice to “meet you”.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. I need to join you.

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  68. Today is day 3 of my 5th time on this journey. I hope and pray that this is the last time. I need to be in constant touch with others that are facing this with me. Meetings are not for me. I’m hoping to meet people here.

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  69. Day 1 for me. Tired of the dependence and relationship struggles caused by my addiction to alcohol.

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    • It is a great day to be free, and you are not alone. I am staying sober with you today and so are the many others who read this blog. Be very gentle with yourself and don’t drink. You deserve to be happy and free.

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  70. Jean,
    I am an unpickled Canadian woman, too. I stopped drinking almost ninety-nine weeks ago (May 17, 2014). I, too, stopped drinking quietly and I am pretty discrete about my sobriety. Those who saw me falling down drunk have likely noticed that I have a glass of sparkling water in my hand rather than a glass of wine. But I don’t talk about it, except occasionally with my husband. I discovered your blog on Hello Sunday Morning and look forward to reading what you have written. I think our journeys may be similar.
    Jane

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    • Hi Jane,
      How wonderful, congratulations. Your second year anniversary is rapidly approaching – I hope you will take time to celebrate the important milestone! Connecting with others is such a joy, and I hope you have found ways to add this lovely aspect to your recovery. If not, let me know and let’s see if we can connect 🙂 Jean

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  71. Having doubts about my decision to stop drinking because of these nagging thoughts of how I have done it before but l have always come back eventually. I am like a parent that does not follow though on a consequence and the kid knows it doesn’t really matter.

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  72. Hi Jean, thank you for making this blog—so much truth and expert tips delivered in a down-to-earth, easy to swallow manner. I’ve read your entire blog and keep finding so much that resonates with me. As in, ‘that’s me exactly!’.
    I have been on my first attempt at sober living since the start of my drinking days (not yet 30 and wanting to make a serious change before then.) I relapsed yesterday after 18 days sober..day 19 and a Saturday.
    I’m starting over again–scared, but find rereading different articles on your blog is so helpful. Just knowing I’m not the only one by a long shot. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your recovery and hope with the world.
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    xx

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  73. You have a really fantastic site here, so much help and support. I listed you on the link section of my blog (in case my two readers haven’t been here yet, which is unlikely). Hope that’s ok.

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  74. I really want/need to get sober. How do I begin? I have no network. My spouse is clueless to the disease. I feel trapped in a vortex. I can’t step off the crazy train. I accidentally found your site while reading a post that my daughter made. I believe this was no accident but happened when I was ready to receive help. Would love to live the best life possible with what time the good Lord gives me. I’ve not been kind to myself & do not know why. I’m kind to others. Any advise is welcomed.

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  75. I’ve been trying to quit drinking for the past year and to be honest, it’s been quite hard. In the past, after a binge I would stop for about 2-3 weeks; then forget why I did and start again.

    I do not drink daily, although it is weekly (1-2 days a week) and I still see this as troubling. I dislike feeling uncomfortable after I drink; I feel fat and out of shape. I feel disgusted with myself. I feel like I’ve let myself and others around me down. Knowing this, I still revert back to old ways.

    I write to you now, hung over and restless. I set out seeking help to incite change and I’m hoping this blog and those who maintain if can assist.

    I am truly tired the control alcohol has had over me. I am hoping this time is it.

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    • Hi J, I hope you are well. Getting alcohol free is all about taking your life back and honestly, it can be so much easier to just not drink at all than to hem and haw if you should have some today, how much, when, where, was it too much, all that crap.No one wakes up after not drinking and says, “I sure wish I had drank last night!” To start, I encourage you to write yourself a letter about why you want to quit, what your reasons are, what drinking is taking away from you and where you want to go without it. Start with that, and keep it with you as a reminder if drinking again ever starts to seem like a good idea!

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  76. Hi there – this blog has been helpful so thanks to you and everyone else. I am on day 5 and feel pretty bad right now. I mean, I feel great, but still foggy, headaches, and just feel out of shape. I’ve been drinking for years and just turned 40. The last few years have been progressively worse and I’ve been up to 8 or more drinks per night. I can relate to hiding bottles, hitting multiple liquor stores because of embarrassment, and freaking out when someone challenges my evening routine. I know I have a serious problem and I am serious about fixing it. I’m scared though. I tried to quit a few months ago and made it 18 days. Was doing fine and all of a sudden I was driving home and decided to pick up a bottle of bourbon. I want this time to be different and I think the addition of outside support will be the key for me. I hope. Thanks for reading.

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    • Your day five is my day one….only have made it to day 13 in the past two years and then only once. Hoping to have this be the time, i really am ready to feel better. My story is like so many others…..and i want to stop for good. We can do this……Have you ever read the book by Jason Vale….Kick the Drink, Easily……i have found it helpful…..good luck to all of us ……..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Way to go Nancy! And thanks for the info on that book. I’ll be sure to check it out. Also, I went to my first AA meeting yesterday and was overwhelmed by the support. It was helpful to sit in a room where everyone is on the same page. I was really nervous but it went great. I’m going to go again today. Have a great day and stay strong!

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  77. I was looking at your pictures, specifically the one of your phone on your 1000 day. Where did you find that counter-thingie?

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  78. 32 days …. Thanks for the blog… It helps…..

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  79. Hi Jean…. I found your blog a couple of years ago…. read it all from the very beginning and was fascinated because you stopped drinking on your own which is the way I could only ever see myself doing it. In general I was not stumbling around drunk doing things I would be ashamed of but I was a daily drinker and would sometimes abuse alcohol when I found myself in some overwhelming emotional situation. I am feeling excited that I am on Day 15 now – the longest I have ever made it and at the moment all I can feel is the positive aspects of not having alcohol in my system. I often read many sober blogs but yours was the first one I found. I wanted you to know that you have been an inspiration to me during all those drinking days….. thinking that eventually I also would pull something up from within me and stop. I am realistic enough to know that 15 days is just a start but I am hopeful that I can continue to focus on the positives and figure out ways to deal with the things that could potentially derail me in the future. I am seeing a therapist and will keep reading the blogs…. maybe I can say that I made it to 30 days soon. Thank you for being out there sharing your story….. you really have no idea how helpful you have been to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kathy – 15 days is something to celebrate!! Bubble bath, cupcakes and fireworks for you! It means a lot to me to know that you have been able to use my work here to help move yourself forward. That touches my heart and inspires me to keep going and keep writing. Thank you for sharing this. xo, J

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  80. Hi,
    I love this blog because of the honestly, the balance and the overall helpful nature. I wonder if you have ever addressed those feelings that overwhelm so many when they desire to stop drinking. ..the feelings of, ” well, i may quit but I have been in this abuse pattern for so long that I most certainly have caused irreparable damage, so what’s the point?”
    How did you handle these thoughts? How did you overcome this and other excuses to continue to drink? Clearly life can be so much better without abusive drinking, but will it be better if the effects of long term alcohol abuse come to fruition. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Continue to inspire! !

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    • Hi there. This is such a good question that I am going to copy it and answer it as a new post. Be sure to subscribe so that it comes to your inbox as soon as I finish writing it! Thank you for being here.

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  81. Trying to find help in others to stay health and sober. I always had a problem with drinking and of course quit numerous times. My longest was 2 years of sobriety and most recently 11 months. I do know getting overwhelmed and looking for relax and forget time is what usually triggers my drinking. I am a weekend binge drinker and have started to miss Monday’s and i have also been so sick ive started to thrw up and slightly shaky and of course the anxiety. Wanting support and ideas on where to go for help Ive got so much going for me right now I really just looking for support and encouragement. Admitting I am powerless to alcohol is a scary thing!!

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  82. I’m glad I found you…. Day 6…… And more to come.

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  83. I need tips on what you do at the bewitching hour? When you want a glass or 2 of wine.

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    • Hi Cindy. Here is how I’ve learned to handle that. Consider that cravings are a signal from your brain/body of discomfort. It’s your way of saying to yourself, “I’m feeling uneasy right now and want something to help me cope.” The problem, however, is that after years of boozing we’ve trained ourselves to only see one solution to that feeling: ALCOHOL. So I started thinking of it as if I was babysitting my 12-year-old self. What would I do if a 12 year old girl came to me and said, “I’m uneasy right now, can you help me cheer up?” What would I offer that girl, because it sure would not be wine, right? I might suggest an activity, a snack, a nap, or a change of scene. I might bake cookies with her, take her out to do some errands, or to play in the fresh air. I might have her cuddle a pet or maybe paint her nails. That’s the first thing. The next thing is to have snacks around that absolutely taste terrible with wine. This might include oranges, mints, ice cream or gummy bears. (Sugar can negate alcohol cravings for many people). Avoid salty snack or cheese or whatever is going to make it seem like wine is “missing”. Change your routine. Move the furniture. Avoid the old things you used to do while drinking – i.e. If you used to sit in a spot and watch tv and drink wine, then sit in a different spot and read a book and drink tea. Call a friend. Do a suduko puzzle. Stop at the drug store on the way home from work (instead of the liquor store!) and pick up a few treats to pass the evening (magazine, nail polish, craft). Self care, especially of that inner child! Try these things and let me know how it goes. Any one have other suggestions that they found helpful?

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  84. 42 year old man, been drinking regular and heavy since I was 16, it’s been my lifestyle. Lately over the last 10 years or so my consumption has steadily and gradually increased to a point very alarming to me. I’m obviously a high functioning alcholic due to my continued career success but when I look back after a night of getting totally trashed over the years, I’ve damaged many relationships with people I love, risked the saftey of my 9 year old daughter, crashed several cars, injured myself, 6 or so interactions with the law, driven black out drunk- I’m my company vehicle, played with and discharged firearms. Basically lived like a total reckless asshole when drunk.

    It’s only a matter of time before something really bad happens, like a 2nd OUI and loosing a 6 figure income, and, and, and…..

    I admitted to a close friend today that I have a serious problem, that I am an alcholic. This friend has 1.5 years down with AA and has been sober the whole time.

    I’m going to my 1st meeting in 4 hours and I’m terrified. I realized alcohol needs to leave my life for good.

    I’m simply not willing to damage another relationship or my life any longer.

    This blog has been very inspiring

    Thank you!

    Norm

    Like

    • Norm, great decision and I promise it’s a much better life. You deserve to be free and happy my friend. I’m standing sober with you today, saluting your courage and telling you, “You’re not alone.” Bravo.

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  85. I read your blog. Found gratitude. And quit for nine months. But never found connection. I never replaced my sorrow with the deep need for friendship. So I ended up going back to my bottle a night. I’m so bummed about it. I’ve been drinking again for seven months. I feel terrible and depressed and I am deep in gratitude hoping that will give me the strength to want to actually live my life. I’m such an imposter.

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  86. I have been sober 5 years, 4 of which were with the suport of a 12 step program. For me if i didn’t stand up an officially say i was an alcoholic in front of people and family then i KNEW as soon as i felt beter i would think….oh it’s not so bad…..i can try one more time to drink. The program taught me that i can never have just one drink again. I am incapable of stopping once i have one. So for me it will never even be an option. I have to “put a plug in the jug for good”. Today at xmas dinner everyone was drinking (alot) and it was hard at times but just as a diabetic knows to stay away from dessert that looks tempting I have to stay away from the drink. I can live with that slight dissappointment because my life is 100 percent better sober.

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  87. Jean,
    I want to express my profound gratitude to you. A week ago, on a Monday afternoon, I found myself hazy, head throbbing. Instead of working, I was in bed asking myself for the 200th time what I was going to do to stop the cycle I was on. I propped myself on pillows, cracked open my laptop, and made a list that contained everything from psychoanalysis to AA to kudzu, but nothing seemed right. So in desperation, I googled “how do i stop drinking?” and that’s how I found your blog. I spent the rest of the day reading the extraordinary bloggers in this amazingly supportive community, and reading comments left by so many others exactly like me. By evening, I’d started my own blog, https://theunlitpath.wordpress.com, and genuinely committed to Belle’s 100 days without drinking challenge. If I hadn’t found UnPickled, I wouldn’t be on the path I am today. Day 8! In place of the old familiar desperation and shame there is now abundant hope and relief and – above all – gratitude. Thank you!

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  88. Finding this blog is saving me… I drink once a week, and once I have one, I don’t stop until I’m ready to pass out. I spend the rest of the week hating myself and promising I will quit for good and then once I’m finally feeling good about myself, I convince myself I don’t have a problem, I will just have “one” drink and the entire cycle starts again. I need to quit, I want to quit… I don’t know how. I’m hoping by finding this site & getting involved in the recovery community will be the start to my recovery. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I don’t feel so alone.

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    • You’re definitely not alone, you’re among friends here who are happy to shine a light on the path ahead. Read up, make a plan, make some connections, gather your courage and begin. Everyone deserve peace and joy in their core. Breaking free of alcohol can give you that, and you deserve it!

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  89. I was sober for over 5 years. Started drinking again a few years ago after my son was born. I am not a daily drinker, more once a week, but if I drink even one than the whole night gets away from me. I will suffer memory loss, make stupid and embarrassing, although so far not harmful decisions (yet), stay out until 1 or 2am. I have a loving husband, three young beautiful children, and a good job. What is wrong with me? I don’t want to start sobriety all over again, but I can’t go one feeling shameful, embarrassed and awful once a week. No one thinks I have a problem, they think I am just “fun”, but I know, deep inside, what I am doing is not right. I could use some thoughts, comments and support. Today is my day one….

    Liked by 1 person

    • (((hug))) It is a great day to be sober, and I am cheering for you. There’s nothing worse that knowing your outsides don’t match your insides. The world sees a fun person, but inside you are most definitely not enjoying yourself. Honour your truth. You deserve to be free, happy and honest with yourself. When you were sober before, we you involved in a program or community that you could reach out to now? Will you consider therapy to uncover what it is that you are numbing with alcohol? Usually it is some discomfort that we don’t want to admit or recognize, and it can be hard to face, but it needs your attention. That’s the recovery part – staying sober means staying off the booze, recovery is about changing the things that caused us to drink in the first place. You are not alone. What would be most helpful to you right now? If you could wave a wand, what would you conjure to get you through the next week?

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  90. Hi Jean,
    I find I’m really missing you and Catherine on The Bubble Hour…there was always so much wisdom in your comments. Will you be co-hosting again? I’ve been reading sober blogs for a very long time and have listened and re-listened to every Bubble Hour podcast. I’d like to find a sober community, but I’m not sure how to find one I’d connect with. I’ve been a drinker for many many years, but it seems to have escalated in the 8 years since I’ve retired. I know I feel better when I don’t drink…but alcohol seems to make it easier to live with a long-time depressed spouse. I’m 62 and I need help.

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    • Hi Mary, thanks for your post. For now, I can’t say when I might be back on TBH but I just did a guest interview on the Since Right Now podcast which you might want to check out: https://soundcloud.com/klen-and-sobr/episode-1542-jean-mccarthy-unpicked-the-bubble-hour

      It sounds like you could use some “real-life” support that goes beyond blogs and podcasts. Have you visited any meetings in your area? Know that newcomers are always welcome in recovery meetings – don’t be shy about trying out a few and asking for help. Alcohol might seem like it is helping you cope but over time the negative effects will come to outweigh any benefits. There is likely a support group for spouses affected by depression – that might be a good place to start connecting with others and might give you the courage to walk into a recovery meeting. I promise you that the people in the recovery community with be happy to help you out and give you encouragement to make positive changes. At 62, giving up alcohol has so many health benefits it is worth doing for that reason alone.

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      • Thanks for taking the time to respond. You’re right…I need to be more proactive. It’s not as though I don’t know better. Sometimes it’s just so hard. I’ve looked into support groups for spouses affected by depression, but haven’t been successful thus far. I’ll keep looking.

        I listened to the SRN podcast and enjoyed it very much. Thank you. I’m still hoping you’ll be back on TBH, along with Catherine.

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  91. Thank you for being here. After 15 years of sobriety, and 6 years of relapse, I am on Day 2.

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  92. Thank you for being out here.
    Day 1.

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  93. Hello Jean:
    I just wanted to personally thank you for every post you’ve written as well as the comments posted by you and others. I’ve tried every possible way to quit drinking and its your blog that made me realize that I can do this and I am not alone. It amazed me how much of my drinking life compared to yours. Today is 2 years sober for me! I feel great! I love my sober life and all the fun that goes with it. I’m learning more and more each day of why I drank and why I can’t.

    Thank you for being in my life

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  94. God bless you! I am starting over being sober again after a 9 month run of abstienence that ended in Feb. of this year. I am one week sober today(alcohol) I am so glad I found your blog as your posts have gave me lots of insights, laughs, and tears. Thank you so much… Hugs.

    – Eric
    Small town sask.

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  95. Inspiring, Jean.

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  96. I’m about to join you on the road to being unpickled. I look forward to reading your blogs.

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  97. Needs To Stop

    I want to quit, need to quit. The only person I’ve ever really confided in shares my challenge. He recommended Unpickled. I quit for a few months, with a goal in mind (fitting into my first wedding dress). My husband drinks very rarely and when he does, it’s minimal.

    I drink too much during the week & oddly the weekends aren’t much of an issue. Maybe because I give myself a “good excuse” of a stressful job – it helps justify weekday binging, in my head at least. We don’t have kids, which is another way I justify the weekday drinks – no kids to take care of. We have furbabies that I sometimes feel guilty about because I’m so distracted by my secret binging.

    My career is solid, but I suspect if I stopped drinking, the “need” for redbull in the morning and the afternoon would not be as strong. And I’m assuming my depressive mood swings would lessen. Plus, if I wasn’t groggy every morning, I could work less hours. Just a guess.

    I’ve started working out in the evenings until 7, which gives me less hours to consume. But I still manage. 😦

    I have major anxiety, which I read could be a result of the alcohol. What a crazy cycle – I justify drinking to relax, which ultimately makes me more anxious and the cycle continues.

    Thank you & those who post their stories. I’m going to try your advice:
    “I am worth whatever it takes to have freedom, peace and joy.”

    Like

  98. I have a problem with alcohol. I have had it for many years (over 6 years). It has come to the point that I drink almost everyday at the moment, and if I am not drinking, I am thinking about it.
    I wake up with an aching heart. I literally feel that my heart is in pain. I am disappointed in myself and full of pain for having done the wrong thing previous day. I do not like the struggle of having to use my willpower. It feels like I am breaking into two parts and each is fighting the other. It is quite awful. I do not like to be in that position at all. It feels like I am not an integrated and a whole human being. My goal is to be completely whole.

    The anticipation of having a drink is no longer as nice as it used to be. Except the first sip or two, the whole process is so stupid and filled with pain. It ends with me sleeping off on the couch after having had too much to eat. Yet somehow I get drawn into it. I wake up stinking and feeling awful. Earlier I used to enjoy the numbness and the false pleasure. But now I do not, and yet I get drawn into it. I want this cycle to end. I want to quit and yet I know that I also want to drink. So this is quite hard.

    For what it is worth, I am highly educated and earn very good money. But clearly that does not matter. I am also vegan and do not ever lie. It is my vow to keep my word to people always and to never fabricate or deceive intentionally. But I have broken my word to myself about not drinking a few times. I do not like that at all.

    I wish to stay to the point and to not make this too detailed. I wrote an elaborate story earlier showing how I came to addiction in the first place. But I realized that wasn’t so important. I feel that does not matter as much as the fact that I drink, and that I am desperate to stop. That goal is the most important thing to me right now. I have read this blog since over a month. I identify so much with all the stories. It felt nice to not be in mental isolation and to know that there are many others who struggle in much the same ways. I desire a sense of community as far as this misfortune is concerned. Please share with me what can help me. I will pray everyday that every single person on this blog, and beyond, is rendered sober and whole. I owe it to myself and everyone that aches from addiction.

    I am afraid of how I am going to cope without a drink. It is a fear for sure. What am I going to do when the desire strikes? How am I to handle the emotional challenges without a drink? What am I to do with boredom (other than work, most everything is boring). So these huge questions haunt me and prevent me from making a commitment for life.

    I am going to take a vow today. When this post goes up, I vow to not drink a drop of alcohol (even in form of medication) for 2 months. That is till September 21, 2015 (Monday). Then I will report back (if not sooner) and extend my vow. Please please wish me luck. Please also share your words of recovery and wisdom with me. One thing (divine gift) in me is the ability to keep my promises to people. I waited a while to make sure that I wanted to give my word to you all. But all day yesterday I had a lot to drink, and by today afternoon I was ready to go in front of all of you. Please wish me luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. Reading your post I felt like I was reading about myself. I just decided this past Sunday (7/19) that I am tired of myself and my drinking. I’ve been drinking pretty much every day since I can remember. I think it got worse about 6 years ago when my husband and I moved away from friends and family. I am blessed to be retired at 57 and mortgage-free now but just miss everyone from home so much. There’s always an excuse though, right? I probably drink a bottle of wine every night. My justification is that “it’s ONLY 4 glasses”. Because that’s what I do. Make excuses for doing what I know I shouldn’t be doing. Most mornings I feel fine physically but hate myself and am angry with myself and once again tell myself today will be different. Until 5 o’clock rolls around. Then it all goes out the window and here I go again. Oh, I’m not really an alcoholic because I can wait until 5 o’clock. Yeah right!! I tell myself it’s just a bad habit, etc. I’m not sure what prompted this latest epiphany on Sunday but I told myself I will commit to just one week of no drinking, of course not forever; surely I can commit to that. So on Monday my doctor’s office called to say I needed to come in for a check-up because they won’t approve my prescription refills (hypertension) anymore until I do. I made the appointment for August 19th. The “coincidence” of the dates wasn’t lost on me. I stopped drinking on July 19th and my doctor’s appointment is August 19th? So it was then I decided to commit to the one month of no drinking. At this point today is day 6. I haven’t had a drop and I must say it feels good. I am extremely proud of myself. I definitely feel empowered that I am staying with the commitment I made to myself. I am also exercising every day (which I do most of the time anyway) and eating better. I would hope with no booze, I will definitely lose some weight! And I do realize how bad I will feel psychologically if I give in. It’s definitely a slippery slope. I am the kind of drinker that can’t have just 1 or 2. I have at least 4 or 5 (or more I hate to say). I’m sorry to ramble. I am hoping this forum will be helpful to me on this new path. Any insights would be appreciated. One added thing; my husband is a drinker too and committed to the one week with me. However, he has not been supportive in the past and I finally realized that even if he drinks, I am on this road by myself and only I can do this for me. I need to rely on that and no one else. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello there. I hope that you make it to your goal and much much beyond. I wish you luck. I am on day 3 and this afternoon I have had the dreaded feeling that I want to have a drink. All that nonsense about how it is only a drink and that I can be ok afterwards. I know it never ends that way though. It is a shameful trip each time and always comes at the cost of productive work and a healthy body. Have you gotten these craving over the past 6 days? How do you handle them?

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        • I wish you luck as well. I can relate to the dreaded feeling of wanting to drink. I have it every day too. And I agree…..I have finally come to the realization that I cannot be a social drinker. It’s a slippery slope and once I have 1, I have 4 or 5 (or 6 or 7). I have told myself so many, many times that TODAY is the day I stop and I finally realized one of those days has to finally be the one. I do crave it but not to the point that it’s unbearable. (at least I am the kind of drinker that waits until the golden hour of 5 o’clock!) It’s just like I’m missing something out of my routine. When I feel the craving, I just think about the commitment I made to myself and how mad and upset and disappointed with myself I will be if I give in. I’m a big water drinker anyway so have increased that and I drink water ALL day long. I’m not sure if that helps but it can’t hurt. I’ve also been exercising more than usual and trying to eat better (hey, one thing at a time here!). I hope this may help me lose a bit of weight. I could spare 15 lbs. and not drinking will save a lot of calories! What also helps is thinking short-term. I am planning for a one-month respite and in my mind I think “after that, we’ll see”. They say one day at a time so that thought helps too. The ironic thing is the day after my one month is up is my husband’s birthday. In the back of my mind, I am planning to have a drink with him to celebrate and also celebrate my “success” in not drinking. How twisted is that? I am planning to drink to celebrate NOT drinking!! It would be funny if it wasn’t so ridiculous and sad. I am convincing myself that I’ll be fine by then and I could have 1 or 2 drinks. I guess we’ll see. I am hoping I won’t feel like having any after one month but who knows? I am also committing to the one month because I have to get blood work done in a month and I am terrified about my liver function test results. I have had some pain in my right side on and off recently and I am sure it’s my liver screaming at me to stop drinking. Of course I’ve ignored it up until now. I am very proud of myself and feel empowered by sticking to my promise to myself. (like you, I also keep my promises so that should help us both) Please feel free to “converse” with me whenever you would like. It helps me to write about it and have others truly understand. Enjoy your weekend.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hello Summer 621. Hope all is well and that your weekend is going great so far. As I said Friday afternoon was hard for me (for a couple of hours anyway) but I lived through it. It helped so so much to read your reply. Just in time. Thanks for that! So far since I have not had any major mental struggle. When starting I told myself that when I progress through a few days it would only get better. It seems like that was accurate. It might be a matter of habit-building and not allowing your temptation make you weaker. Still given all that has happened in the past, it is easier said than done. But my hope is that we will find the strength to overcome our fears and dependencies. Just like you, I too do not want to think too far ahead into the future. That is still scary; so one day at a time. And also the fact that I made a personal and public vow; that is important. It helps me too to write down my experiences and I am very very thrilled to find your journey and support. I am not doing anything else too differently. But I think keeping hydrated is a good idea anyway. I will look forward to reading from you. Anything encouraging you have to share will be awesome. I bet with a full month of no toxins in your body, your results will luck very good. I make sure to include dandelion and kale in my food everyday. Both are known very well to support your liver health. Give it a try 🙂

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            • Hello again! Well it’s Sunday so that means it’s officially been one week without drinking. I made it through a whole weekend though so I guess that’s something. I have pretty much been a homebody this past week out of fear. I didn’t want to see friends who most definitely would ask “What? YOU are not drinking?” Because they all know I’m a drinker. I didn’t want to face that. Also even going out to dinner because we always drink when we’re out. And then continue after (and sometimes before). I didn’t want that feeling of being deprived so I’ve just been staying home and cooking. I’m not so sure that is the best idea staying in all the time but I guess I needed it for the first week. When my husband agreed to the one week with me we also discussed not drinking while at home when it’s just the two of us. We said if we have people over or go out with others, then it’s okay. So I am still sticking to my one month because of my upcoming blood work and then I keep telling myself that after that “we’ll see”. For me I guess that’s the easiest way for me to keep with it. I think if I tell myself it’s forever, I will be miserable. I guess it’s different for everyone but this seems to be working so far. Just telling myself it’s temporary even if that’s maybe not the most healthy thing to do. I am proud of myself and basically try not to think about it but it’s very difficult. It does help to have my husband’s support (so far) but that remains to be seen if he sticks with it. I don’t expect him to stop completely because I am but as long as we stick to our plan we discussed, I think it will be okay. I look forward to hearing from you and I appreciate the understanding and support. Let’s help each other keep our promises!!

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              • Hello there….I have been meaning to write but only got around to it now. Well since I stopped drinking I have been way more productive at work; and I have to admit I feel awesome about that. At the end of the day I have a sense of satisfaction. When I wake up in the morning, I do not have the shame and guilt in me. These emotions in the morning (or in the middle of the night, if I had passed out way too early to sleep 12+ hours straight)
                used to be so intense that the only way to pacify them (so I could live with myself even for a couple of hours) was to have another drink. This cycle was so strong. I have to admit that I have had thoughts of alcohol since my vow last week (I have them right now as well), but I know there is no way I can give in.
                I have had a new realization that it is not about fighting the urge until you are worn out, but to expect the urges to hit and deal with them by simply learning to ignore them (that works better for me). I do not like the fight of the will power. This past week I have simply given up fighting the urge. Rather I just ignore it and let it pass.
                Hope your last couple of days have gone by well. I know social expectation to drink might be hard to deal with, but we must all be our own individuals. The fact is that most people know exactly when to stop but some of us don’t. So the road is so dangerous for those of us who would rather keep going. Alcohol has become an important part of having fun. I had forgotten that numbing any boredom or fear with alcohol only makes them stronger.
                I would love to hear how your past few days have gone. Have you had any realizations that are worth sharing?

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                • So great to hear back from you! This definitely helps to discuss things here. I have to admit when I first decided to do this, I thought I would be MISERABLE. What’s funny is, it’s just the opposite. I also feel a great sense of satisfaction like you do which does help. I can’t say I don’t miss my wine every night or that I don’t think about it because unfortunately I do every day. But I’m actually finding that it’s manageable because of how much better I am feeling by not drinking. I am sleeping better, I can tell I lost some weight because I’ve been exercising every day (I don’t really care what the scale says; I can tell by clothing, etc.) and I actually feel happier most of the time. Truly happier than when I was drinking. There was always something nagging at me that I couldn’t quite put my finger on and I assume it was me being disgusted with myself but not wanting to admit it. I can relate to what you say about the shame and guilt because when drinking, I would wake up EVERY morning being upset and mad at myself. Without fail. And I would berate myself and feel horrible and tell myself today is the day to stop. Now I wake up feeling great because I actually slept all night. (before I’d wake up multiple times, a lot of time not being able to go back to sleep). I mean embarrassingly sometimes I’d just plop into bed after drinking my bottle of wine and not even brush my teeth…..Ewww.. Every day now I just become more motivated because I’ve made in ONE more day! I actually marked on my phone calendar DAY 30 because I plan to make it there. Then I’ll have my blood work and………………Ugh I hope I won’t feel like a drink the next day because that’s hubby’s birthday. So I am taking a wait and see attitude even though I know that isn’t necessarily a healthy or good thing. We all have to do what works, right? I hope you’re feeling better and better and sticking with it gets easier for you too!

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              • Hello there! How have you been? All well and on track I suppose 🙂 I have crossed the one week mark and I feel great about that. Today is going a bit hard though. It is Friday and I have had a very productive week, and my old habit pattern says it would be great to have a drink to celebrate the weekend. But I know how that ends for me. I wonder how long it takes before these urges become very rare and not an everyday thing. I have to be honest, as much as I feel I am prepared for them to strike, I do not like to deal with them one bit. I am waiting for this one to pass.
                I think your one-day at a time approach is very good. We will see what happens when the month is over (I tell myself the same). If we stress about that right now, it won’t help at all. Anxiety is no good. I too do not know what to do when my 2 month mark is reached and over. Have you gone out with friends lately? How was that?

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                • Hi – I hope you made it through your Friday night. We are going out with friends tonight who are big drinkers and they know what a drinker I am. We’ll see how that goes. My husband and I went out alone last night and only had water. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be because I’m so used to drinking when we go out. I was actually surprised that my husband didn’t have a glass of wine so I do feel very supported. We’ll see what happens tonight and next week when we have visitors for 6 days! I don’t expect him not to drink because I am committed to my one month off but I just hope he is moderate about it which is unusual for both of us. Today is day 14 for me so I feel proud I made 2 weeks! I still miss it because I will admit I just LIKE to drink. Unfortunately I’m one of those people who can’t seem to moderate and like the buzz so that’s why I keep going. Part of not stopping before now I think was I didn’t want to admit it was a problem but deep down knew it was. It’s more psychological for me than a physical craving. It was just part of my identity in a way and I do want to change that. Who knows……maybe I CAN turn into a social drinker but I also don’t want to deceive myself either. I feel so much support just from hearing how you are doing and I hope I can be of some help to you as well. I am kind of dreading the visitors in regards to not drinking but the wife isn’t a big drinker so I think that may help. I’m also encouraged that my husband noticed I lost weight because as I mentioned before I’ve been working out every day! So that’s a big incentive for sure!!!! Well, keep with it!! Be proud and stay committed. We can do it for sure!

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          • Hello there 🙂 For some reason I am not able to reply to your last message. So replying to this one. I have passed the 2nd week and 99% of the time I feel great. Today, just like last Friday afternoon, the familiar urge struck, but I feel I am over it already. Just the thought of how it goes and ends is disgusting. Yet the appeal might be in leaving work earlier and getting a drink, and pouring it with anticipation. in all honesty, that is where the good part ends. It is all downhill from there. I have had very productive days, thanks to being in senses all of the time. I have been sleeping well and for me the most important thing is that I wake up without any pain of guilt and shame. That is huge.

            I really do not socialize very much, so seeing others drink is not an issue. I guess we all have different triggers. For me it is boredom when there is nothing to do, or when I feel like doing nothing. Oh well! Whether the trigger is external or something wired in the brain’s habit patterns, the result is not good.

            How did your time with guests go? Was it hard to say no? It helps me a lot to hear from you, and I can relate on various levels to your story. Indeed we are in this together.

            As for me I still do not know what I am going to do on the day my 2 months are over. But I will cross that bridge when I come to it. It is a very nice feeling not to be anxious about that part of it at this time. Have a great weekend and I hope to hear from you soon.

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            • So good to hear from you! It looks like they changed the website somewhat. I notice if you put your cursor on the head of the message you want to reply to (where the date of the message is), a reply button will come up. I have had my guests here since Aug. 5th and have not had a drop!! I am surprised but also proud of myself. It’s hard to believe for me really. I do want to but I just don’t do it. Although I admit it was all I could do not to just pour myself one along with my stepdaughter. I made someone else get it for her. I just couldn’t open that bottle and not have any myself!! I feel fine mentally actually so that’s a bonus! I know it is partly because I am thinking in the back of my mind that I just have to make it until my blood work and then “Oh, I’ll be fine with one or two drinks”. And who knows? Maybe I will but past experience tells me otherwise. I think (I’m hoping anyway) that if my husband and I stick to what we said about not drinking when we’re home just us two, that it may just work. Ugh………well like you said I guess we’ll wait and see. I am happy to hear you are feeling good. It definitely is different sleeping well and not waking up and hating myself!! It was such a routine just like drinking….. Well keep it up, hang in there and all those other awful cliches!!!

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              • You must be so proud and happy that you were able to resist temptation even with such a strong trigger around you!!! I am very happy for you.
                My husband left today for a 12 day trip and I am very nervous, to tell you the truth. When I get home, there is nobody there but me. And boredom is surely my trigger for me. I am nervous and hoping to stay strong.
                I run the details of what happens after that first sip in my mind, and each time it feels disgusting and worthless. I feel if I stay strong tonight I will be fine. Surely the 2 month pledge seems so long at times; but given my feelings over the last 3 weeks, it is worth everything to remain sober. Hope you have been well. Perhaps the guests have left by now?

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                • Sorry I haven’t responded in a bit. I’m embarrassed to say I had a small stumble. I don’t feel entirely like I’ve ruined my promise to myself and have gotten back “on the wagon” but did drink several days last week. Having the visitors did me in. I was fine for 4 days but then we had 2 other couples over along with the people staying with us and it was like a party and I talked myself into the fact that it had been 3 weeks since I’d had anything, blah, blah, blah…fill in the blanks to justify it to yourself. I was disgusted and disappointed with myself for sure. I am hoping to continue with just not drinking at home when no one is over and I’m going to try to be a social drinker. (Even though I KNOW this isn’t a good mindset for me because I know I really can’t be. My tolerance is so high, I need at least 4 drinks and that’s usually my minimum) The biggest problem is, I drink to get buzzed. I don’t drink for the taste or to be sociable. That means I HAVE A PROBLEM!!! Ugh……..I wish this could be easier. Oh well, enough whining. PUN intended……… At least hubby was good with watching his drinking and he is also back to no drinks when it’s just us 2 at home. I hope you’re doing okay with your husband away. My husband used to travel all the time before he retired so I can relate!

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                  • Hang in there! I have had many stumbles and broken promises to myself. So I can relate. I read in Katie Byron’s book last night something very simple but profound. She said that alcohol is honest and true. It never lies and does exactly what it promises to do. Gets us drunk and promises to make things worse each time. I was so true, especially since I think of alcohol as a curse and the enemy. Turns out that we make it so. It is a struggle. I hope with time it is less so.

                    Anyhow I can tell you my side. Each time I stumbled, it became harder to get back on track. But I always wanted to get back on track somehow. And now I am on this track. I have done well so far. A couple of times I simply didn’t know why I was doing this to myself when I could just have a drink and be done. Somehow I didn’t. To me it is a miracle. I don’t know what else to say.

                    Wishing you luck as always 🙂 Keep me posted with your journey as it unfolds. A stumble does not mean that the journey has to end. You can still do it. I know. If you could manage 3 weeks you can manage longer. Practice makes perfect!

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                    • Thanks for your response. I always look forward to hearing from you. You should be proud of yourself that you are sticking with it!! I had my doctor’s appointment and blood work on Wednesday and my liver functions are fine. I am hoping this doesn’t give me an excuse now. (I always justify drinking in some way or other!!) I did join my husband yesterday in drinks when we went out for his birthday. And, of course, today I feel lousy and overdid it AS ALWAYS. I do get totally disgusted with myself. It’s funny……at my doctor’s appointment, I was checking what my weight has been the last few visits and the doctor noticed in 2013 I was down about 10 pounds. And I said “oh yeah, I worked out like a fiend that summer because my daughter got married in August and I wanted to look good”. And he said “well, see…..you CAN do it if you want to!!” I can absolutely relate that to drinking as well. I think I need to start having that mindset about anything I think I can’t do!! Sounds simple but not so much in reality. Anyway, another weekend upon us. Ugh……then next week is a holiday weekend and, of course, there’s a party Sunday. We’ll see how that goes. I am definitely my own worst enemy! We had a Cinco de Mayo party in May and I totally was able to control how much I drank. It was because I love hosting parties and I had to be able to serve the food, etc. so I was watching how much I drank because of that and I also didn’t want to look like a fool. (even though when you’re drunk, you think you’re acting just fine, right??!!) Well back on the wagon AGAIN!! Enjoy your (no booze!) weekend.

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          • Summer 621 how sre you today? Your stor6sounds so familiar. It could be me writing. ..

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    • Needs To Stop

      “…I drink, and that I am desperate to stop.” Me too! Your questions about the desire to drink, emotional challenges & boredom are familiar to me also. I wish I had the answers for you, but I struggle with the same questions. Know that you are not alone. I will pray for you. For all of us. To stop the madness.

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      • I wish you the very best too 🙂 I am on day 7 of no alcohol and I feel great. Don’t get me wrong. I have urges, but I simply let them pass remembering my vow and the awful downward spiral drinking puts me in. We are in this together. Feel free to share your thoughts and wisdom with me whenever you feel like it. I feel we get into a cycle where anxiety (boredom in my case) gets us to drink, but that strengthens the desire to drink. This is a very rough cycle. Hoping that working out and keeping busy is helping you. I wish success.

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  99. How many times do you have to google “how do I stop drinking”, “am I drinking too much” etc. etc. before you finally quit? Oh actually I don’t need to quit… I can be a social drinker…

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    • Okay, I’ll admit I did that many many mannnnnnnyyyyy times. I wrote this post about the stages of change – I guess googling and waffling would be the “contemplation” stage. Read it here: https://unpickledblog.com/2014/06/08/how-i-knew-it-was-time-to-quit-drinking/

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      • I have a problem with alcohol. I have had it for many years (over 6 years). It has come to the point that I drink almost everyday at the moment, and if I am not drinking, I am thinking about it.
        I wake up with an aching heart. I literally feel that my heart is in pain. I am disappointed in myself and full of pain for having done the wrong thing previous day. I do not like the struggle of having to use my willpower. It feels like I am breaking into two parts and each is fighting the other. It is quite awful. I do not like to be in that position at all. It feels like I am not an integrated and a whole human being. My goal is to be completely whole.

        The anticipation of having a drink is no longer as nice as it used to be. Except the first sip or two, the whole process is so stupid and filled with pain. It ends with me sleeping off on the couch after having had too much to eat. Yet somehow I get drawn into it. I wake up stinking and feeling awful. Earlier I used to enjoy the numbness and the false pleasure. But now I do not, and yet I get drawn into it. I want this cycle to end. I want to quit and yet I know that I also want to drink. So this is quite hard.

        For what it is worth, I am highly educated and earn very good money. But clearly that does not matter. I am also vegan and do not ever lie. It is my vow to keep my word to people always and to never fabricate or deceive intentionally. But I have broken my word to myself about not drinking a few times. I do not like that at all.

        I wish to stay to the point and to not make this too detailed. I wrote an elaborate story earlier showing how I came to addiction in the first place. But I realized that wasn’t so important. I feel that does not matter as much as the fact that I drink, and that I am desperate to stop. That goal is the most important thing to me right now. I have read this blog since over a month. I identify so much with all the stories. It felt nice to not be in mental isolation and to know that there are many others who struggle in much the same ways. I desire a sense of community as far as this misfortune is concerned. Please share with me what can help me. I will pray everyday that every single person on this blog, and beyond, is rendered sober and whole. I owe it to myself and everyone that aches from addiction.

        I am afraid of how I am going to cope without a drink. It is a fear for sure. What am I going to do when the desire strikes? How am I to handle the emotional challenges without a drink? What am I to do with boredom (other than work, most everything is boring). So these huge questions haunt me and prevent me from making a commitment for life.

        I am going to take a vow today. When this post goes up, I vow to not drink a drop of alcohol (even in form of medication) for 2 months. That is till September 21, 2015 (Monday). Then I will report back (if not sooner) and extend my vow. Please please wish me luck. Please also share your words of recovery and wisdom with me. One thing (divine gift) in me is the ability to keep my promises to people. I waited a while to make sure that I wanted to give my word to you all. But all day yesterday I had a lot to drink, and by today afternoon I was ready to go in front of all of you. Please wish me luck!

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    • Hi all, I’ve made it to day 29 and I keep waiting to feel good. I thought I’d have more energy by now, and I’m just realizing how much drinking masked my chronic back pain. I’m wondering physically how people felt after quitting? Anyone like me and it’s not yet all sunshine and roses?

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  100. It’s midnight and this is Day 1

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  101. Thank you for your blog. It’s exactly what I needed in my life right now! I don’t feel alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh you are not alone! If you have questions or want to start a discussion please post here any time. We are all in this together.

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      • Hi Jean

        I am no different. Found your blog early this morning after only 3 hours of sleep. I am at the stage where I realize that alcohol is destroying my life but I am terrified to make a change. I have listened to Bubble Hour at work the whole day today but come 12.00 pm I knew I was going to get a drink in the evening.

        Drinking is no more fun like it used to be. It is fun once I have taken that 1st sip but before I do it, I am more worried than anything else. Because I don’t how it will end; some days I am able to stop after 3 glasses of wine (and I actually tell myself the next day that I have control) but some days I just black out. The only reason I stop after 3 drinks is that I have an eating disorder too, so when I black out, I binge eat as well as binge drink. And then it is guilt and shame and hate of myself.

        The crazy mind chattering that goes on before I take the first drink is unbearable.

        Like most of us, I am a perfectionist and hold a high position but come a time in the day where only drinking matters. I don’t care about the rest of the world… And this is scary.

        Will I ever make it? I have been contemplating a change for the last 6 months, I have tried everything, rehab, church, gym, but cannot seem to sustain anything.

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        • I relate to you. I have taken a 2 month vow to be without a drop and so far it is going well. I realized I need a drink (or many) everyday and no matter what I did I couldn’t stop the desire. The first few sips are awesome; the habit of pouring it into a glass could be far more addictive I feel. But it ends with me passing out and waking up with terrible ache in my heart from having done the wrong thing. I feel so sad from having given in that next day that the only way to take a break from that feeling is to have a drink. So the cycle continues. I feel bloated and terribly unhealthy when I drink like that. And far less productive too. I will pray that you are able to break this cycle. One day at a time. I wish you luck and a life of sobriety and pride in yourself. Take care!

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  102. Its been two and a half weeks sober for me. I am keeping busy (i have several ‘go to’ tactics including ; oil bath, read, paint, op shop, snickers eaten mindfully) I am definitely achieving more in my day. And loving clarity of mind and better sleep. But best of all I am loving the freedom from guilt, shame and remorse. This was killing me – possibly more than the physical toll on my health. It’s early days and I’m prepared and armed with distractions for when I get ‘that’ feeling coming on. I know i must remain mindful of risky situations, but thats a small price to pay for the benefits Im seeing emerge. I think whats helped me this time is i decided to be kind to myself, forgive myself for past mistakes, and to do ‘this’ for ME! I had, previously made promises to others to get sober. This time I decided that I am worthy of a better life. I didnt put too much pressure on myself. I reasoned that if i slip i slip. I removed the pressure of doing it for others. And low and behold, something magical is happening. A definite shift in mindset is taking place. Im keeping it simple, and my main focus will continue to be; kindness to self, gratitude for all I have (and I’m skint financially) and forgiveness and letting go, being mindful, enjoying the moment – its all we have) helping others and treating myself too. So far this is working for me so im sticking with it.

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  103. HI all.
    from, lost my way a little.

    I need help and I know it.

    I work from home and have started drinking quite heavy due to the stress of it all.

    Dont know where to start,,,,tried Doctors, but not very helpful,

    Tried an internet help site and was getting spiteful comments, like get off your high horse….I am a good person, that just needs to get back on track.

    When I try, I am getting really bad withdrawal symptoms…I really need to stop.

    As anyone here had tablet help?,,,,My Doctor put me on antidepresnts that were awful, changed twice and they just mess with your head more.

    Any advice much appreciated.

    Thank you.

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    • You will find a way. Yes you are a good person. I like to look at it as ‘im a good person who has done bad things (some really bad). Dont give up, you will get there.

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  104. Just started reading your blog. I’m a week sober now after letting my wine habit creep up on me over the last few years. It’s really great to read your story, I’ve started right from the beginning and can relate to it a lot. I mentioned not drinking in passing to my husband after my last binge caused me to black out – I know he will be very pleased if I do, but mostly I know I need to do this for myself. One day at a time aye. Just wanted to say thanks for allowing everyone to be part of your journey so that you may help us with ours.

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    • Your redoing something wonderful and I applaud your determination to make this change. You may find it difficult, and take that as a reminder that it is necessary. People who don’t have a problem with alcohol can take it or leave it. If it’s a struggle to go without, then you know you need to! Thanks for being here and sharing your story. Please keep posting your experiences and share your thoughts on other comments, too. The exchange is helpful for us all, and connecting with one another can fuel recovery.

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  105. Hi,

    I am not hopeless. I have every other day being Day 1….. Going for a morning run, feeling great and comitted. Then next day calling work from home or reading Allen Carr book ( 33% so far). Trying to arrange my night to go to the gym, since I know I won’t grab a glass of wine at 5 pm, will probably be 8-9 pm. Then my husband has to work second job and instead of the gym I secure my bottle of wine for the night.I ask my husband not to have wine in the house… Buy myself a bottle, drinking his beet once I am done with the bottle I buy. Weekend…. Our no guilt drinking me and my husband….
    I have 3 beautiful children. I’ve been reading this blog for a while. I am reading Allen Carr book and I want to last more than Day 1 of not drinking. Is it a sign of me getting ready to live my life or actually fulling myself???? Have you been in this place and got to the sober place? I enjoyed my morning jog with my dog trying to remember how great it feels, knowing I probably be looking at my window tomorrow not going out of my house for the entire day except taking my kinder gardner to the bus stop, “working from home” and getting up from couch around 2 pm to make home made dinner to pretend all is ok.

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    • Go back and read this post about the stages of change https://unpickledblog.com/2014/06/08/how-i-knew-it-was-time-to-quit-drinking/
      I think you are in between the contemplation/preparation stage – maybe teetering back and forth, from what you describe. It is a huge relief to take action and move forward – whether that means going to a meeting or making a therapy appointment or talking to your doctor or joining an online group or just quitting. I really feel for you – I remember that pattern well that you describe and it was an unhappy time for me. Maybe you could committ to digging into more resources this weekend – perhaps check out some Bubble Hour episodes while you are gardening or go for a walk with headphones on. Join a recovery forum like BFB on Yahoo or Mrs D’s Living Sober site. Self care and quiet comtemplation is in order, I suggest. Big hug. It is hard, i know, but you can do it and you deserve to be happy and well.

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  106. I am still shaking from last night. I want today to be my first day sober, I asked God to help me, and I found your blog, and Ellie’s, I hope I can make it.

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    • Hi Diana, I am glad you are here. Be very gentle with yourself. Give yourself the same tender loving care as you would a newborn and simply don’t drink. (Simple, but not easy.) I am rooting for you and so are many readers of this blog. Hang in there and fight for yourself. Reach out to others. You are not alone. (((HUG))) You can do this, I promise.

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  107. Nice to read your blog. It gives us fellow recovery addicts hope and so much more.

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  108. Nice to meet you Jean. Great site!

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  109. madison,
    thanks for the encouraging words. 7 years – amazing. i know i have to realize this is a life long journey and change. i hope to see more of your writing and resources. 10 days only for me.

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  110. Hi,
    I just found your site and I breathed a sigh of relief, I am nearly 7 years sober and have a blog of my own about alcohol recovery, I am feeling a little empty and can’t quite get my head around it. I can relate to much if what you write and it feels good to know I’m not the only one going through this. I have lots of “stuff” to still sort through. After such a long time being sober, you start thinking that these thoughts/feelings are just who you are but really I think it means I have more work to do. I have become a normal person who is not really a normal person!! Only you guys would understand. Oh sobriety can be so complex and lonely at times but I wouldn’t go back the other way.
    Thanks so much for your blog. I am going to subscribe. I haven’t written much on my blog in ages, I often post resources for people and I know I get a lot of people who have been helped by it, I’m hoping to feel inspired or courageous enough to write again.
    Anyway, thanks again!
    Madison

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  111. thanks, Nancy!!! cheering you on also.

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  112. Hello! So glad I found this blog. I am thirty years old and struggling with alcoholism. I have been sober a few times for short periods. I haven’t been able to make it stick. I don’t think I was thinking “one day at a time” and of course I am super hard on myself. I drank yesterday. I knew I was going to for a couple days (I had been sober for 87 days prior). I did it anyway. I justified it in my head. My boyfriend is in recovery and praise God he understands. He went out of town for work and I met up with a girlfriend. Before I knew it, I blacked out. I’m a binge drinker.
    I love the person I am sober. I am proud of that person. I want to be that woman all the time! I need help, direction and someone to talk to. I’ve been in and out of AA. I would love it if some women would be interested in accountability via email. You may reach me at KNA1221@gmail.com

    Thank you for your blog!! 🙂

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  113. We’re you ever able to fix your past relationships ? Our problems with freinds? If so how

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    • Great question. I think the answer for me is that once I started to change, the relationships started to change. Some ran their course, some improved, some I see differently. Readers please chime in: What have you experienced?

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      • I think friendships and past relationships are one of the most difficult aspects of sobriety. I moved far away when I got sober so I don’t see anyone who I grew up with, I am also from a tiny family so don’t have siblings. Over the years many of my very close friendships have fizzled away, it’s very sad sometimes but at the same time, I don’t know that it could be different. I am 7 years sober now, I feel like such a different person now, I feel kind of awkward about people from my past which is a difficult situation to be in, after all I have so many memories and shared experiences with these people. It took so much to get sober and learn to live “normally” I neglected many friendships and they have faded significantly. I have made new friends but I think it’s different to the friendships you make when. You are kids that grow into adulthood.
        I struggle with sobriety and relationships a lot, I don’t like to admit it but I’m terrified of judgment, I ended a 14 year friendship when I was newly sober because my friend told me I was a shadow of my former self, I absolutley could not handle that criticism in my early sobriety and I never rekindled that relationship. Whew, got that all of my chest! That’s my way more than 2 cents on the subject! Thanks all!

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  114. I was on day 4 th today …:

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  115. I love this site…I’ve returned to it over and over during the last few months. I’m struggling. Some of the “yet” scenarios you mention in a recent post are happening. I want to stop. I’m going to destroy my relationship with my wife. She’s my best friend. I’m a broken record of apologies. I have been seeking help. We are seeking help together. Im just beside myself with my own behavior. I can’t justify it. I can’t explain it. I can only acknowledge it. Your posts are helping. In the sea of online resources I keep coming back here. Thanks!

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    • Well, here I am again. Day 2. I’ve tried to stop drinking about 5 times at this point, always setting a goal for myself, never wanting to say “forever”. Last time I actually reached out to two sober friends, wanting accountability and support, but ended up lying to both of them about how long I stopped and how much my drinking has lessened since. Total, outright fibs. My poison is wine, and I can put it down faster than most people can drink a glass of water when thirsty. I can seriously gulp that shit. I can, and have many times, drink 3/4 of a bottle it in the kitchen while cooking when my husband is entertaining the kids without them even knowing. And if there isn’t enough wine, I’ll quickly and stealthy drink a shot of tequila, bourbon, or rum from the cabinet while my heart beats with the fear of being caught in the act. I don’t know how this addiction got so out of hand. I have always been a drinker, even as far back as early high school. My parents drank, but with control, at least when i was young. My brother was a raging alcoholic all through college, and eventually passed away from complications of cirrhosis three years ago. My dad passed almost two years ago, and was clearly an alcoholic as well. And yet the development of my own addictive relationship to alcohol has been so gradual and subtle, it’s hard to pinpoint how i got here. But here i am. Again. In the past, the first few days for me have been the easiest, because the feeling of self-hatred is so close, my memory of the morning after so clear. It’s when weeks have past and i can’t remember why i have quit, and i know summer is coming when a glass (or two, or three) of cold rose on the porch with bread and cheese and olives and friends is so delicious, when the voices in my head get stronger with the justification for drinking again, that’s the time i fear the most. Well, actually this evening cooking dinner for the kids without the soft warm melt of red wine seems pretty daunting as well. Anyways, Day 2.

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      • Stay strong and keep reaching out. There is tons of support available to help you through the rough parts. You are worth every ounce of effort.

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        • Another night last night of drinking with friends, waking up this morning and not remembering half the night……im scared, i want to stop every morning only to drink again in the afternoon…….can i say day one and really mean it? i see myself in all the stories…….ns

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          • Yes, anon, you can totally do this. Put your whole heart into it and know that life is better on the other side. It is worth it.

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            • Thank you, day 3 just starting….went to boyfriends sisters house last night, he brought a bottle of wine and although i thought about taking just one sip or so, i did not. Interesting feeling uncomfortable in my own skin…..always feel better and more at ease with some wine in me. I just have to keep reminding myself of the nights where i drank and could not remember the next day a lot of the details…..I want to do this!!!!! I want this to be the time to really do this……ns

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        • Phew at last I`ve found a blog. I`m not very computer savvy. I`ve been wanting to have a day, a week without alcohol. For years. I`m one of those people who has many yets. Yes I always thought I didn`t have a problem because I was never blind drunk. But yes I always wanted a drink. I would always reward myself with drink. I do lots of sport and sometimes while swimming along I would be thinking well I can have a beer at the end of it. I live in Spain where drinking is part of the culture and wine and beer accompany every meal. When I would tell my husband that I wanted to stop drinking altogether he would laugh and say everyone drinks. Last night I finally told him that I wanted a life without alcohol and I wanted him to support me. I have always made people laugh and I worried that I would be boring, but then I thought at parties I have been funny before I was drunk. Sometimes we`ve been at work or in another situation without alcohol and it`s not been boring. I also worry I will fail at this. Every time I start something new I throw myself into it and I want to carry on and not just slip back into my old ways. So I woul drink away happilly hiding everything so I guess that`s what I`m doing here- becoming unpickled quietly. (1day)

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          • Hi Rachel – welcome. I am glad you found your way here. I want you to know that I have an interesting life that is full of family, friends, and good things even though I don’t drink anymore. It is possible. It is normal, in fact. I want you to know that I fully enjoy those good things, because I am no longer numb to them. I used to get numb to avoid the hurtful stuff, but it also made it hard to feel all the good things. Now I deal with the bad stuff, and turns out it isn’t so scary, and I am fully present for the beautiful things life has to offer. You sound ready to make a change. Don’t give up! It is a wonderful life and you deserve to enjoy it all! Big hug, and remember that doing things quietly doesn’t have to mean doing it alone. Find a way to connect with a support system, whatever that looks like for you.

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      • Hey there,
        How are you doing today? I myself am on my day 2 for the about 5th time as well.I felt compelled to write back because I know the feeling you have only too well. Although I don’t have any major family issues I do have many major issues myself with alcohol…I was sober last year for months even through the summer…which I couldn’t even believe myself…but relapsed at the end and have been full force since. I too have children and a husband and will sneak my drinks while cooking or anytime for that matter. I know my husband is getting tired of it and what kind of example am I setting for my kids?! Stay strong and keep in touch : )

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      • Wow! I can so relate to every single word, except I’m a beer girl. I am exactly the same during the first few days (day 1 here) and eventually wind up rationalizing why this time will be different. Like you I am shocked at how subtly this has snuck up. I have always known I drink differently than others (fast like you – I mean REALLY fast) and I know I have to stop NOW. Hope you are still on your sober journey.

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      • I see myself in a lot of what you said. I am on week 3 of being sober (I am on a 2 month vow), and today I am almost completely forgetting the terrible reasons behind my wanting to be sober. 3 weeks seems long ago and looks like I forget what it feels like to be passed out on the couch and waking up in the morning absolutely disappointed in myself, and with an aching heart and stinking breath and a hangover. I wondered many times today if I can just have a normal drink and end it at that. I know that is not how it goes for me ever. It is sad that it has be this way–the struggle. But I also think it gets better with time.

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    • I know I need to stop would like to have a loving relationship can’t do it with alcohol thou . Day 1 no more drinking

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    • I am cheering for you BWC! Don’t settle for anything less that taking back your control and finding some peace again. Freedom from alcohol is a beautiful thing!

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  116. Nodus Tollens

    Been lurking here for a while now. I see my self over and over. Been drinking for over 30 years now, and it’s taking its toll on my adult children and my tee-totalling husband. I’ve also quit before, just never stayed quit. Today is day one…

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    • Good for you – how are you managing three days along? Don’t give up!

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      • Sank like a stone… Like so many here, I keep repeating day one. Any excuse to move the goalposts. Today is another day one, and I will not drink tonight, even though my mantra for tomorrow is “May 1, day one”. I have been told that I AM ready to quit, by a psychologist, but she wants me to change my default gradually, and I’ve been making that an excuse to not really start at all. had a wonderful vacation recently, where I drank very little (by my yardstick, anyway), and it felt great. I just have to keep remembering that.

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        • I am right here staying sober with you today. Who else is with us? Let me hear you, sober warriors! Who is with us?

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          • nodus tollens

            May 1, day one!! Make that day two. 🙂

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              • nodus tollens

                I did not repeat… I was actually fine until a casual comment from my husband about me going to get wine when I was genuinely only going for groceries set me off. My grip on this not drinking is tenuous at best, I’m thinking. I’ve gone 30 days before, but not more than that in 30 years. I was already battling some pretty intense feelings, and I just thought, I can’t. I read your stages of change, and it could be me – right up to the action part, which I’m obviously having trouble with. It’s not the drinking so much that’s the issue, it’s using the wine so I don’t face up to what I’m feeling. It’s a vicious circle – I need to quit drinking so I can deal with the other issues – once I deal with those, perhaps the need to drink will just go away…

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                • Well at least you have good self awareness. There is nothing unusual about the addictive pattern of drinking to escape – you can overcome it, it has been done before and you can do it, too. What kind of support do you have? Are you going to meetings or involved in a program or therapy now?

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                • Nodus Tollens

                  The one thing I don’t have much insight about is why, when I *think/know* I want to quit, I don’t. Day one over and over, well, sucks. I’ve gotten past a few things with the help of my therapist, but not that – yet. I don’t have much of a support system otherwise, just family that knows how much I drink and want me to stop.

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                • Nodus Tollens

                  Not sure what I’m afraid of. I’ve used wine for a very long time to make up for relationship shortcomings. Perhaps facing that fully is what frightens me. Three days this time and I’m not even tempted. Too sick to care – bronchitis or something.

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                  • In sorry you’re not feeling well. Pamper yourself silly. Maybe you’re afraid of how great your potential really is….? Intimidated by your own ability to be awesome? Some people feel unworthy of the greatness they hold within. For what it’s worth, you are worthy. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.

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                • Nodus Tollens

                  Thanks Jean – I did take some down time, and seem to be on the mend. 🙂 I don’t do sick often or well. So, six days now and I’m not trying not to drink, I’m just not very interested in the idea. Perhaps just enough of a break in my routine? I’ve always thought that I’d slow down or quit when it became unimportant to drink, rather than being a fight to stop. Anyone else have this thought? Just curious.

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                  • Nancy Sawyer

                    Yes, i had contemplated for more than a year about stopping and felt that it would happen, just didn’t know when……then, as my 60th birthday approached, i thought that would be a nice present to give myself. So i decided to have one last bottle of wine on my birthday and that would be it……..so here i am, this is day 4. And it has not been terribly hard yet although i expect that it will……i have been able so far to say to myself the last 3 nights when the thought came to me that it would be nice to have some wine, well yes i would like it but i really can’t have it……that is if i want to live and be healthy!!! So, I am hoping that i have really turned a corner and can stick with this. And Amanda, if you are out there, this is Nancy, and i thank you for calling me back and i would still like to talk to you, just have’nt had the chance to call you but i will try again. I am feeling hopeful, and a little scared, sad that i will not be able to have that glass/bottle of wine especially with friends on a nice summer gathering, on the lake, on the porch, in our back yards, out to dinner and anywhere else that it just seemed magical (but was not good for me). In reading UnPickled over the last year and listening to the bubble hour, i have heard and am hoping that it is true for me that i will still find the magic in those situations without the wine……Nancy

                    On Tue, May 12, 2015 at 7:31 PM, UnPickled Blog wrote:

                    >

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  117. Feel free tor reach out if you are having any tough moments. Support is key!!!
    Lisa
    lrw116@hotmail.com

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    • I really appreciate it very much!! I am having a hard time bc my husband still drinks and doesn’t think I have a problem. I told my therapist about it but feel that I need to belong to a support group with people like me and as I said I don’t want to go to AA!!
      Thank u Lisa!! Xo

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      • That’s really tough. My husband drinks but he is not a big drinker so over the almost 2 months he hasn’t had anything. The good news is if you stick with this you may get to a point that seeing him drink won’t bother you. My husband did have a beer when we were with friends but I was ok with that. Sure, I missed it but I held to my resolve. I’m tired of doing the dance with alcohol…it always wins and I ALWaYS lose is soooooooo many ways. Your sobriety is yours, it’s a great gift that you are giving to yourself. Maybe he doesn’t see that you have an issue but there is a reason that you feel you need to be here. Many people think that to be an alcoholic you have to be a falling down drunk. Not true. There are people who have issues with alcohol and they come in every shape and size. Everyday I grow stronger and you will too! Just focus on getting through today and take tomorrow as it comes. Go for a run and feel how healthy your body is getting!! You can do it!!!

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        • Sorry…that was me Lisa above!

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          • Thank u again Lisa: I feel so blessed to have connected with u. I do want to get to the point where seeing people drink doesn’t bother me. I don’t know if I agree with what everyone says about avoiding being around alcohol or people who drink. Unfortunately that’s not an option for me. Alcohol is everywhere and I don’t want to isolate my self from the world or miss out time with my family. Also, I can’t tell my husband not to drink bc that’s not fear to him. He is supportive of me not drinking for now but still doesn’t think I am an alcoholic. I know I need to stop for good. I already tried to cut back in the summer and couldn’t . I have so many reasons to stop drinking and none to drink again and even tough I am having a hard time with the idea of “NEVER”. I feel very strong about my decision but am so scared of a relapse. Today is 11 days and I am hoping it will get easier each day. I am really enjoying every day being sober. I don’t miss the hang overs and headaches. I am also more patient with my kids. I do feel more tired than usual but that’s ok. I don’t want my kids to grow up with an alcoholic mother.
            Thank u again Lisa for being there for me!!
            My name is Maria 🙂

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            • We have a house full of alcohol from a party that we had the weekend before I quit. I walk by my wine fridge everyday. It bothered me in the beginning but now I don’t even notice. I have actually felt more empowered because I can resist it. Alcohol is everywhere! Everyone I know drinks…except that have (or most of them) have an “off switch” and I don’t. My husband can have a beer and not finish the whole thing, meanwhile I was finishing his and the rest of the 6 pack. I also couldn’t bare to say “never” so I just stopped thinking about that and said “I won’t drink today and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.” As time has gone on I am thinking more about “never”. I know if I had one drink I’d be right back to square one and I’ve come so far….almost 2 full months. At this point my husband has told be that if I relapse he would have to leave me. I don’t want my son to feel like I am out of control. I know he has a lot of respect for me and there have been times when I was drinking that I could see that look of sadness in his eyes. I can’t take that. So that has given me a lot of will power to keep going. I read this quote from another blog…I love it! “Sobriety is the heroic decision to finally let go of what is harming your heart and soul.” Another quote I love “State today by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible!” Have a great day Maria…you can do this!!

              Lisa

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              • Lisa and Maria, your exchange here is the very heart of recovery. Sending out gratitude for your willingness to share here. May it come back to you both tenfold.

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              • Lisa & Maria, wow your story sounds so familiar. i can’t change and don’t want to change my circle of friends, like you said – they have an “off switch”. i do sometimes, but this battle of having only 1 or stop @ 2, not drinking every day – blah blah blah. i am so sick of the battle. i wake up thinking about – not drinking or if we have plans – telling myself to only have 1 or 2 wines. but last night had family over – i am always stressed about that- so i drank a bottle of white and then had a couple of red wines. so mad, hungover today.
                your right – alcohol is everywhere – i need to just learn how to enjoy life and handle stress without alcohol. I like hearing from Unpickled saying life is rewarding without.
                i always pre-think about what will I say @ a restaurant or social setting – if I don’t order a wine. i have to get past that. not sure how to handle it – telling people i am trying to quit? most of them don’t know i have a problem–b/c most of my abuse of alcohol is @ home. so starting today, AGAIN, i am not going to drink, not have the white stuff in my house. i know how you feel about walking by the wine fridge!!! love this website!!!!

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  118. One more day....

    Thank you so much for this blog. I have 6 days without a drink. I have been drinking for over 40 years and have been down this road before. I am always amazed how quickly my mind’s fog lift’s when I stop drinking. Yet somehow each time I have stopped I eventually allow myself to take that one drink that then leads me back into the habit of drinking with greater and greater frequency. My motivation to stop this time was related to my guilt in relation to my adult children and my worry that my many years of “functional alcoholism” has given them permission to drink without concern. I struggle and I worry that I won’t be able to maintain sobriety and I blame others for that. An extended family that loves to gather and drink and one that always asks questions that cause discomfort when having to “explain” why I have stopped (again.)
    My wife says I am not as happy when I don’t drink yet she also says that she knows that it is healthier for me when I don’t. Her drinking decreases exponentially when I stop so I know it is good for her too.
    This is just where I am right now. I woke up this Monday morning for the first time in several years not having to worry about whether or not my hangover was going to add to the misery of the day. That is a good thing and something I need to remember.

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    • I literally just found this blog, and read this post from “one more day” and it hit home hard. I am riddled with guilt when it comes to my adult children and how my drinking has affected them and my relationship with them. I am quitting drinking today. After years and years of over doing it, apologizing for my behavior, being sick, partying again, vicious cycle. I am done.

      I want to be able to look my kids in the eyes and be there, not some glazed over version of a mom. Seriously as I write this I am mortified at who I have become.

      Thank you “One more day” and UnPickled for allowing me to see me, and to begin my new life sober today.

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    • Dear Jean: I found your blog as i was trying to find some motivation to stop or modify my daily drinking. Your story really inspired me. I see my self in you. I am a happy 36 y/o mom with 2 beautiful children and a happy marriage. I have been thinking a about my drinking for years with the same red flags you listed. I would at least drink a bottle of wine each night and more on the weekends. I would drink to relax, to have fun, to release stress, to celebrate, while cooking, talking on the phone, etc. I tried to take a month brake over the summer so I can try to moderate but went back to my old habits soon after that. I have passed out on the couch many times and have woken up un the am not remembering how i got to bed or what i said or did the night before. At parties I would be able to manage to drink the whole time and still act relatively normal. My husband likes wine too but seems to be able to moderate it more than me. I am 9 days sober today and want to keep it that way for good but am so afraid to relapse since I have been drinking wine for so long and its the only thing I enjoy besides my family and running. I am running my first marathon in May and want to do my best but don’t want to go back to drinking after it. I definetely don’t want to go to AA meetings but want to have some kind of a support comunity to understand what I am going through. I love the bubble hour and have found so much inspiration from listening to all the episodes. I haven’t told anybody about my decition yet. I just said that I have given up wine for lent.
      Thanks again for your blog!!!

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      • I really can relate to your post. I have been sober for 51 days today. My drinking was similar to yours…and I love wine. I am also a runner and triathlete. Its hard to imagine that I have trained and been successful in many races (half marathons, marathons, and half ironman triathlons) all while my drinking was pretty heavy…7 nights a week. Many workouts were done when I was hung over of feeling fuzzy. This July I am doing my first full ironman. I have never met an ironman that had a severe problem with alcohol and I knew that I didn’t want to be THAT person. I also knew that I wanted to be healthy and ready to train and endure the tough training that I have to do. Alcohol won’t help with that. So with my husband’s support I quit. It was really hard at first, but as time as gone on it has really become a lot easier and I hardly crave alcohol or think about it anymore. I am excited to compete in my races this year because I am 100% healthy and physically and mentally strong. None of my friends or colleagues know that my problem was as bad as it was. They think I have quit drinking for training purposes. I also didn’t want to do AA and I have found support through various blogs and talking to my husband. You sound very motivated and I know that the success of finishing your marathon will only be sweeter because you did it all while beating your addiction. Good luck to you and remember it does get so much easier!!!

        LIsa

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        • Thank you so much Lisa for your kind words of support. Define Training is a huge motivation. I am so glad to hear that it gets easier. Today is my day 10 and I already feel healthier and happier!! So thankful for this blog and to know that I am not the only one!! Good luck with your races!!
          Xoxo

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  119. How great (and timely) to find your blog which is refreshing, comforting and really well written!

    I stopped drinking the day before New Year’s Eve just been. And what a relief that was! I’ve been drinking every day since my wedding and honeymoon (we’ve just had our 10th wedding anniversary).

    I feel absolutely no doubt in my mind that I do not want to and will not ever drink again. I’m not going to risk this new buzz I’m on by taking a little drink of something. I’ve just lost the taste for it and I see booze (and the act of drinking it) for what it is… NOTHING.

    The reason finding your blog is timely is that I’m just learning how to BE in this new skin, and you have a lot of good stuff in your blog where you experience(d) this yourself. Reading it makes me feel unlonely. My husband is amazing and very supportive, but I can’t explain my feelings to him in a way that make sense.

    Thanks Jean, for existing and for writing this blog. I’m going to check in often.

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  120. Well today is my 10th day of not drinking and I’m not feeling too bad. The first few nights were hard and hard to sleep but it gets better every night. Working outdoors in the Australian summer makes me crave for a beer so I started having non alcoholic beer and surprisingly that does the trick! I scoffed at the idea of na beer or wine but now it just gives me that taste that I’m used to after many many years of overindulgence. I’m living in a house with drinkers and there is beer and wine in the fridge and I’d be lying if I said I don’t take a second or even third look but I’m quite proud of myself to not take the next step! Tonight will be my first night of socialising at a friends BBQ and am feeling somewhat anxious but my friend who is hosting is very supportive of my recovery. They have a swimming pool so my plan is if it gets to much I’m going for a swim! Wishing everyone well in whatever stage you are at and I’ll keep you posted on how the night went. And no I won’t be throwing another shrimp on the barbie! I be dipping a prawn into some garlic and pepper olive oil and placing it on the hotplate!

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    • Well done! (your sobriety that is, not the shrimp! lol) Enjoy a wonderful time tonight – friends are still friends, good conversation is still interesting, and funny jokes are still funny. You may have a few awkward moments but those flashes of humour, friendship, and fun will remind you of the good life that is very much possible without alcohol!

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    • I appreciate this blog so much. Sometimes we think alcoholism looks completely different than us until we look for something like this. I just wanted to convey my appreciation to you for your strength in being vulnerable for all to read. I noticed social events are a struggle but mostly because of the perpetual habit that formed over the course of several years of drinking. When at a restaurant, look for drink menu. When at a friends, where is the alcohol? Everytime I order water, I feel empowered. Also, I feel like this is kind of the first time my family and friends really get to see me. I am a dork and make jokes but I always tucked that part of me away when I was drinking because I hated the possible look of, “oh she’s acting like this because she’s buzzed”. So I over compensated and wasn’t my normal loud self in group settings. Now, I feel like I get to be me. It’s beautiful!!!

      I noticed that I have a more difficult time staying hydrated now that I don’t drink. I set an alarm on my phone now to remind me to drink water or I’ll be full blown dehydrated. Pretty bad when your water source is from your beer. Does anyone else have that issue?

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  121. January 1st was it, no more I was telling myself for 1 year but then I’d think 6 months would be really good, even 90 days or then I just went and settled for 16 days. Like many other times I got carried away and ruined what would have been a fun night out with my family. The next day like clock work was filled with self-loathing, embarrassment and regret. Warmest day of the year and I’m holed up kicking myself. It always starts out as it’s going to be fun but rarely ever ends up being fun. The apologies, the trying to remember what I said or did, the it’s “okay daddy” from my wonderful kids, the “there’s nothing wrong with you, you just got carried away” from my ever forgiving wife who somehow puts up with me, the disappointment in their eyes gives me new motivation to not do it again. I’ve been at this point many times and it always wears off, there is always a reason or excuse. Even this time I can’t bring myself to dump out the rest, I’ve thought about it. I hate it, I love it and I usually wish I could redo the night before. I know I’m a selfish, self-centered, narcissist and the very fact I am writing this because I think it will make me feel better reaffirms this but maybe just maybe it will help me remember the humiliation so I can avoid a next time.

    J
    Utah Valley

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    • I am now 7 days not drinking and I found that its a little easier to pick a day to stop and then reduce the amount of alcohol intake. For me it was a week of just having a little less each day. I failed many a time trying to go cold turkey after a bender as the hangover made that decision easy. Not saying this would work for everyone but it helped me.

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    • Hi J from Utah Valley. I hope today has been a good day for you.You have an awareness of what is wrong. The next step is to find the willingness to change, and then to take action (by dumping out the booze and quitting). There is lots of help available to you, but it all starts with that essential move from awareness to willingness. It sounds like you have a great family that would support you in this effort, and fully enjoying your time with them again would be worth all the effort. Don’t give up! You have it in you to make this change and to be in love with your life again!

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  122. I meant to say I don’t know how to start

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    • Reaching out is a start, and you’ve done that here in a safe, quiet way. Next you will need to find the courage to make some changes in your life. Do you know anyone in recovery that you could connect with? On the sidebar of my blog is a list of recovery resources for various programs, meetings and websites. Pick one and dig in! I also encourage you to search information about alcohol withdrawal in order to be safe. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

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  123. I can relate to all the stories and I want to start to be better today but I do know how

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    • Hi there anonymous,

      Here’s how I got sober, and I have just passed 3 years sober. I went to an AA meeting, and just sat there, quietly, listening. I kept going, eventually got a sponsor, and stayed stopped. There is no commitment, and no requirements to join other than a desire to quit drinking. You don’t have to speak, you can just sit and listen. Go here for a list of meetings in your area:http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-local-aa

      This site will help you find your local site and meetings. Good luck and best wishes.

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      • Oops! I forgot I am not supposed to post on this site as my program is AA, and this person doesn’t want those experiences posted. Sorry!

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    • Check out the “Recovery Resources” section at the side of my page for links to various programs – including AA, Women for Sobriety, SMART Recovery, Celebrate Recovery, and LifeRing. There are many pathways to recovery and each website has a ton of great material to help you decide if one of those programs is a good fit for you. Sending you strength and encouragement! Be gentle with yourself and firm in your resolve to make this change.

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  124. Jessica van meter

    He
    Hello Jean. My name is Jessica. I’m so very happy to have found your blog. It was literally what I was looking for when I needed to know and hear of someone else’s story. I have started my own. As of Jan 8, 2015( only 4 days ago) I’ve decided to quit drinking. Like you, I relaized I am an all of or nothing kind of girl. I had to quit cold turkey or I never would. There is no, “a couple drinks for me” nor is there “slowing down” I believe that I can do this, and I am looking for all the support in the world. I have love and support from my husband who does not drink, so I feel at home, I am Winning. Social situations haven’t arrises yet, and I would be lying if I didn’t say I am petrified. But, I’ve made the decision and more than ever I am determined. it’s been the most difficult 4 days of my life so far, but nothing is as important as me beating this and being healthy and sober, and leaning to function without that crave of temporary euphoria. Thank you for putting your blog out there, I believe you have done what you intended to do..

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    • Hi Jessica. Congratulations on making this very important decision and moving forward toward positive changes in your life. It can be scary at first but it is worth it – you will get your life back in so many ways. The support of your husband is so wonderful – it can make all the difference in the world. Give him a great big hug and tell him UnPickled says “thank you” to him for having your back! Cheers from Alberta 🙂

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    • Hi Jessica and Jean,
      I quit drinking on Jan 11, 2015. I have been a highly functional alcoholic for many years. I’m not entirely sure the exact thing that made me want to be sober. Like Jean, I didn’t have a rock bottom moment…more like things that just made me say “WTF are you doing??” I have quit cold turkey and on my own. I have great support from my husband who is the only person that REALLY knew I had a big problem. Because of my job and my lifestyle (I am a runner and triathlete) it would be hard to come out to everyone about my problem. I totally understand the all or nothing mentality. I could not stop at a few and I was finding that my problem was getting worse. The past two weeks have been hard. We have beer, wine, and vodka left over from a party we had the day before I quit. It calls my name every day, but I have resisted it. I realized that everything that I loved to do involved alcohol (except running, biking, and swimming). I love to cook or sit on my porch in the nice weather with a glass of wine. Doing yard work with a cold beer is awesome! Coming home after kicking ass in a race and having a cold beer in the shower is amazing! I obsessed about alcohol every afternoon until I got home and could have a drink. Alcohol was my best friend for many, many years. I felt like I wasn’t as good in social situations unless I was drinking and any time I was stress or anxious I had to have a drink to cope. But the great things about the last two weeks that keep me moving forward…I sleep great! I no longer wake up at 2am and worry the rest of the night until my alarm goes off. My husband looks at me differently. When he looks at me now, I can see true love and pride in his eyes and not the usual look of helpless and disgust. My work and my training is better and more productive. I can wake up with out a hangover or feeling fuzzy and feel great about the day ahead. I don’t feel as depressed as I had been. Alcohol was really spiraling me into depression…which was mostly me feeling ashamed and guilty for my behaviors. This past weekend I was in my first social situation without alcohol and people generally didn’t ask questions or seem to care. I was fun and funny and I had a great time. I did miss alcohol, but I found it fairly easy to resist. My husband said I could have one drink and he would shut me down if I wanted another, but I resisted. My feeling is if I “break the seal” and have one drink, it will damage all the work I have done over the last 2 weeks and I will want more. I know I need to keep myself sober because everyday gets a little easier and the cravings get a little lighter. I never thought I would be at this point or that I would ever admit that I had a problem. I am glad that I stopped before I did hit a bottom. I have enjoyed reading this blog and the response and I relate to so much of what has been said and I am finding this very helpful with my own journey.

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  125. I happened upon your blog today, looking for a way to help myself stop feeling like the only way to ‘relax’ and manage anxiety is alcohol. I cried as I read your story, and your words feel like I could be saying them. This is the first time I am reading about someone so much like me. I thank you so much for sharing and I am going to continue to follow and share with others. I am ready to stop disappointing myself and everyone who loves me, and I want to be happy.

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    • Thank you for this blog. After reading the posts I cried! So many people in the world just like me! Went to the doctor today for an unrelated issue after reading and had a chat to him and he was very understanding. More about that and more later. Just wanted to say thanks. And good luck to all! Day 1 (again!) Tomorrow.

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    • Hugs, Julie. Thank you for sharing that and please post anytime you need encouragement or want to share your success. There can be a lot of ups and downs along this journey but we are all travelling together and we can help one another along.

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  126. This blog turned up in my reader and I read of your experience and hope. I can relate to some of it definitely. I definitely have obsessive tendencies!! I do wish all the very best in whatever route they take that leads them in positive directions!! It’s so sad that women often drink or take medications secretly as so many do in our society. I ran the gamut myself when younger and was amazed I survived!! On the other hand personally I was not able to embrace the AA philosophy either. I came from a long line of drinkers though most were also high achievers. At one point I remember seeing my own self as not in control – and in many things. I didn’t drink for years and do consider myself sober- though I was able to achieve moderation.( i.e. I have a glass of wine on some occasions and no desire to finish the bottle). I know that many choose complete abstinence. My life in balance ( in all things including blogging lol) is a work in progress but has been mostly a good journey. I’m glad you have found your center and peace of mind. I hope you don’t mind me commenting !! Blessings!

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    • PS: Life is grand! There are so many wonderful directions we can go. The creative path definitely was a saviour to me on so many levels. Keep on the path with heart!! and thank you for writing of your experience.

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      • Hi Dune Mouse. Thanks for stopping by. I hear from a lot of people who have tried to moderate after a period of abstinence and almost everyone says that their drinking quickly returned to previous levels or worse. It is not often that someone says moderation is working for them, however I am happy that you have found what works for you. Perhaps one day science will explain how/why some people can drink and some simply cannot. There is fascinating research showing that addiction causes permanent neurological changes, and perhaps this would suggest that stopping before those changes occur would make the difference.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thank you for your reply!! well, all I can say is I’m still aware that most cannot do this. I can’t say why mine has stayed so moderate the last few years but perhaps getting older I no longer have a desire to “party on” so to speak. I have a friend who says the same as you and it’s a great mystery. We must do what we need to do to keep peace of mind and fulfillment for sure. And you are. I just honestly had a huge problem with the AA philosophy of absolutes but that was just me and I know it does help many people.

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  127. Thank you for showing your ‘face’ and writing this blog. As a mid-forties professional, happy Mum of 2 (desperately trying to stop drinking) just thank you for being there. I found you via Belle, so I’m following now. Maybe one day that radiant smile full of life might be mine. None of my family or friends really know the true extent to how I drink. Although when I’ve stopped before when some have been supportive, others have been quite callous, I don’t really understand that, when I’ve managed to be sober for a while (maybe sometimes a week) or I’ve cut down, they sneer and ask if I want a medal. I know its probably more about them than me but I am dreading people knowing that I’m trying to quit, I love these folks. I respect their choice to drink but one or two of them I suspect might not respect my choices. Have you had any similar experiences. I just wondered and now I’ll be quiet. Thank you for writing so openly. I wish I had that courage. I’m on Day one again, almost got to day three. But today I won’t drink. Thank you again.

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    • I suspect that anyone who doesn’t respect your choice to quit drinking is a person with a drinking problem of their own who does not want to face it. “Normal” drinkers could care less whether others in the room are drinking or not. Be true to yourself Daisy…you may wind up being a great example for those callous characters. Hugs and best of luck to you!

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    • Hi Daisy,

      I used to think this problem was about them, but over time I have realised it’s really about me.

      Some of my friends have been really proud, some have been angry, and a lot have just been confused. I no longer associate with 99% of the friends I had when I drink. You are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with, and so over time I felt that it was important to find people more congruent with my values.

      I still love a lot of them, like even more, and dislike just a few. It’s just not my scene anymore. I also got divorced because my wife and I couldn’t cope with the fact that I no longer drank, and she did, such was the power that drink had over my life, and how much it is part of the community.

      I think this issue comes down to self acceptance. Once you have accepted the new you, nothing anybody ever says means anything anymore. This is the most critical part of the work if you want peoples thoughts and words to hit you and just fall to the ground.

      Take a look at this short video on my Facebook wall. It’s based loosely on your issue. (https://www.facebook.com/needyhelper?ref=hl)

      Good luck with everything.

      Lee Davy
      http://www.needyhelper.com

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    • Hi Daisy, how are you doing today? Some people are uncomfortable with our choices because it holds up a mirror. Their anger is really a distortion of their own dissatisfaction with themselves – a defence mechanism in reaction to the shame they feel. This is not to say that you are shaming them, but that your choices make them feel ashamed or uncomfortable about themselves. It has nothing to do with you, but action/reaction – your choices make them feel bad, they lash out and make you feel bad, you internalize it and your recovery is threatened. Surround yourself with support, treat yourself and your recovery like the fragile baby that it is right now. You wouldn’t put a baby in a dangerous situation – don’t do it to yourself right now either. Take a break from these friends and see who you can bring into your life that celebrates your good choices. And let me know what happens next!! xo

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  128. Alcoholism is like gravity. What goes up must come down. Day 4 done. I live in hope!

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  129. You have inspired me to start my own blog.. I understand Your story and I understand how writing can help. I don’t care anymore what so called friend think I’m putting myself out there because people need to understand they are not alone. Thank you for sharing your story

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  130. Hi, great blog, really helpful. So here it is ….

    I have now been sober for 6 months. I have just got on with it, on my own and overall I am doing OK. What I am really struggling with is living with someone who continues to drink. I feel so guilty for feeling like this but when I see her drinking when I’m sober I can now see myself in her when I was drinking. I think she is also alcohol dependent but she doesn’t see it as a problem. I know that she has reduced her drinking to try and help me but I can also see it gradually increasing, again. I have tried to speak with her about this and I haven’t approached it very well and it has just ended up in an argument. She thinks she hasn’t got a problem and I think she has.

    It makes it so much harder for me to stay sober when I see that alcohol remains such an evidently important part of her life and one that I want to eradicate from mine. Our circle of friends and neighbours are all heavy drinkers and it seems that everywhere we go there is a little glass or two on hand. I don’t want to make her stop drinking, if she wants to continue then fine. What I really want is for her to just say no to the juice every now and again and stop drinking every day. I just know that if she continues like this she will have some health related problems in the future.

    I just don’t know now how to approach her to discuss this. We have always been so close and loving and now I resent alcohol even more as I feel it is to blame for coming between me and my wife. Her argument is “it’s just a glass”, “it’s not like I’m an alcoholic”, “I don’t drink a lot”

    I don’t know anymore if this is just me and my problem and that I am being unreasonable with her. Just because I don’t drink doesn’t mean everyone else near me has to stop. She was drinking around 40 – 50 units a week (is that a lot?) and I think she has now cut down but I know she hides glasses of wine so I am not really sure how much she drinks. I love her so much but this is tearing me apart. At times I just want to scream.

    I have posted this anonymously as I would love to speak with someone about this but at the moment I’m keeping all this stuff just for me until I can try and resolve where the issue is.

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    • Firstly, congratulations for remaining sober for six-months. Not only have you managed tho through willpower, but also in the face of what appears to be severe stress.

      I know because I have been there.

      Don’t feel guilty for feeling the way that you do. In a way, this thought process helps maintain your sobriety. In order to be 100% free of cravings you need to develop you beliefs around alcohol. Six months ago I assume you had pleasurable beliefs associated with alcohol, and over time you have been changing this and affixing painful associations. This is good progress.

      I gave up drinking because my wife was drinking too much. Not only was I worried about her heath. I was also worried that she would get raped, run over or just kill herself from a fall. I was also worried that our marriage would end. I tried talking to her about this but she got angry and defensive.

      So I quit.

      I thought if I quit then perhaps she will do likewise.

      It didn’t work out like that.

      I ended up preaching about alcohol. I would get angry that she was drinking. I refused to go out with her because I didn’t want to see her drunk, but would insist on picking her up at closing time. When I picked her up I would be embarrassed and we would fight.

      We started arguing more after I gave up drinking than when we were drinking!

      Then one day she read the Allen Carr book on her own. She rang he in tears and apologised. After that she stopped and everything was great but she missed it. When she started again it all fell apart. I realised that I didn’t want a relationship with a drinker, and she realised she didn’t want a relationship with me.

      I have since remarried with someone who doesn’t drink.

      Now that doesn’t mean all marriages will end in disaster, but you do have to tread carefully.

      I have written about it on my blog (http://www.needyhelper.com/10-reasons-your-marriage-fails-after-you-quit-drinking-alcohol/) so please check it out. Also feel free to talk to me at needyhelper@gmail.com as I have a lot of experience in this area and may be able to help you steer clear of my own mistakes.

      Lee

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      • Thanks for the reply Lee. On first reading it scared me even more, the realisation that I could maybe lose my wife and family over this. I am trying to find a way of thinking abut this that I can cope with but at the moment I don’t think I’m doing a very good job at it. Can’t seem to find that way forward at the moment.

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    • Lee has already posted some wise words and I echo his congratulations on your sobriety. Do any other readers have experience with this type of situation? Anyone in a family program like Al-Anon?

      My heart goes out to you and wife – there is lots of support available but no one can force someone to change who isn’t ready. As I understand it, the best we can do is educate ourselves and get support and direction from others in the same boat. Please let us know how things go.

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      • Thanks for the support. At this immediate moment in time staying sober feels like the easy part. The tricky bit is keeping everything I love with me.

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      • Quick update. Had a wonderful open heart conversation with my wife, calm, no shouting and a fair bit of emotion from us both. I feel so, so much better about everything! We can move on and we can now hopefully move forward together, supported and sober. Thanks for your responses it certainly helped in getting my head around this. One step further forwards…. 🙂

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  131. Hey!

    My name is Zak McDonald and I really dig your blog. I’ve been sober for the last year and it has changed my life!

    I’ve lost weight, obtained a whole new stronger circle of friends and couldn’t be happier.

    I recently recorded myself doing stand up and talking about quitting drinking. I think you might like it!

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  132. I am just coming across your page now, but I plan on devouring a good chunk of it this evening! I just have to say even reading your about page shows courage I hope I can muster myself. I’ve been blogging for about 8 years but always under anonymity. They were also very “dear diary” and I didn’t have huge plans for them.

    After a few years of struggling with alcohol addiction (and only a few months of actually acknowledging it as such) I decided I wanted bigger and better things and the only way I could hope to do that was get clean and be accountable, all while using this “harsh truth” in order to do some good. I opened the flood gates and pretty much used my blog and it’s objective to tell the world about my struggle and my daily ways of managing it. The social media army I have created gives me a huge sinking feeling. While I am so proud and so very confident of the work I had set out to do, I just know there are people out there looking into my private life as a side show. Perhaps I am not giving people enough credit, but darn it, the stigma is paralyzing some times.

    I look forward to the blog-stalking 😉

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    • I also find it hard to connect all the aspects of my life but the more I do it the more free I feel. Meanwhile, anything that gives us the ability to share, connect, grow and take strength is good for our recovery! so if that means anonymity – partial, total, or imagined – so be it!

      Liked by 1 person

  133. well, here comes day three. i’ve been to day three before. a few times. even day 10. that’s about as far as i have been able to make it. i am scared. my stomach is in knots, and i keep getting these very familiar waves of panic. i have made a hundred lists, in attempt to recall what it is i am so scared of…maybe i am forgetting something important and if i just make a list i won’ t forget. i feel illogical panic about things that would seem so minuscule to others. my husband is out of town and i want a day to myself so bad but i have these three kids and he is out of town so much and i am lonely even though i have so many friends and a great community and it is gonna be 100 degrees today and my daughter’s birthday is in 6 days and i have nothing planned an no presents can’t figure out when i’m gonna get them and she is so sweet and i was a bitch to her yesterday and i’m always a bitch to her because she is my biggest mirror. i am terrified that it is almost autumn again, “back to school” time, and i will once again be starting another “school year” with my three unschooled kids and after almost 4 years of this i have yet to figure out regular childcare for myself and sometimes i absolutely HATE homeschooling but don’t know what i want to do with my life and feel so guilty at the idea of uprooting what we have worked so hard to create as a family but i feel like i am losing it half the time and my family gets all my resentment……and on and on and on. i am scared. panicked actually. and three days ago i could know that at 5 o’clock i could pour that first glass of wine and feel the warmth and relaxation and blurring of the difference between their time and my time and the softening of my fear and resistance and the numbing of my achey body and. wine/alcohol has been my greatest “friend” for so long, always the same, always dependable, always there. and i, despite it all, i feel profound relief to be letting my relationship to alcohol go. day three, here i come.

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    • It is such a heartbreak when the thing we thought was making things better turns out to have made it all worse! That is how I felt about it, anyway. How are you doing today? Big hug.

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  134. Hello Jean, I’d like your opinion, and I value your opinion. I’ve just blogged about it today. I feel confused and need some clarity. If you have some time, can you look at my July 22 post and offer your thoughts. If emailing is better, please feel free. I emailed you last week, so you should have a message from me in your inbox. Looking for guidance, thank you so much.

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    • Okay, lengthy email sent. Readers, please pop over to Mallards4us blog and send your support, although I caution about making decisions by committee or consensus. I think what you are asking for is who sees themselves in you and can relate.

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    • i want help. i am scared. i have tried to stop drinking so many times. i don’t know where to turn. i want to do this more than anything. each morning when i wake up in shame with a headache and total annoyance with my 3 homeschooled kids, it is easy for a brief time to promise i will stop….even to get excited about it. But when five o’clock roles around, every fear and excuse i’ve ever had bowls it all over like a tidal wave and i am left in its wake wondering how i ever imagined i could actually do this. every single day. it’s my oldest daughter’s 11th birthday today, and i am so buzzed i can barely write this. i am ashamed all the time. and so scared of life without the roller coaster of emotion it brings. i am terrified of the boredom and the craving it will create. i am petrified of my own failure. i want to be quiet about my problem and keep others out of it. and i don’t know how to go about this. so here i am. yep. here i am.

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      • Hi Robin, I know how you are feeling, we all do. It sounds like you are ready to make this change in your life. I am new to this journey, but I’m learning so much every day. Let us know how we can help. Keep reading and commenting on blogs, gather up some treats just for you…start to believe that you deserve this, because you do. Your story is my story, you are not alone. Let me know if you would like an email pen-pal. I’ll be checking back, big big hug to you, xo, Nikki

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        • thank you so much. i can’t tell you (or i suppose i don’t have to) how much your response means to me. i am scared this morning. and yet ready. i would love an email penpal. i’ll take it. i have been wondering how to comment on these blogs….i’m new to this. the only place i can tell to do it is the “reply” link at the end of everyone else’s comments, and sometimes there isn’t one. can you explain? thank you soooo much. i am so relieved to finally talk.

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          • Hi Robin, I’m pretty new to the blogging world too. My e-mail is nikbobier11@gmail.com. You can do this. You already ARE doing this. It’s great you are commenting on blogs and reaching out, do it as much as you can:) I hope today is a good day for you, you are doing amazing work:)

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  135. I am so thankful to have found your blog. As I read through many of your past entries and comments, I see myself in so many of them. I see myself in most of them. I have known for a long time I needed to get control. I wasn’t a particularly early (age) drinker, and it took me a long time to become a “regular” drinker. It took very little time between rationalizing a few glasses of wine most nights, to rationalizing on average a bottle a night. Many of my friends do the same, and we all allow each other to think it is okay because it makes each of us feel less guilty about our “secret” habit.

    I remember several years ago telling myself, “This is it. You are done with alcohol.” I think I made it about a month before believing I was free from the hold that the wine bottle had on me. I started casually enjoying a drink here or there, and here I am three years later back to Day 1 (for probably the 3rd or 4th time).

    Day 1. It is never Day 1 that is my problem. I always feel strong and confident on Day 1 that I can and will do this. I will end my unhealthy relationship with wine. I will be able to remember all of the reasons that quitting for good is so important for me. I will not let stresses or social life return me to that place where me and wine are best friends. Day 1 always feels good. I even walked down the wine aisle at the grocery today without a single desire to buy any. I walked past samples that they had out with friendly sales staff offering just a taste, but it was easy to say, “No thank you.” I love Day 1.

    My difficulty will come on Day 4 when a friend calls and asks me to join her for drinks. Day 6 when I am at an evening birthday party filled with my friends who have supported me and my habit for years, and they are all sipping on a glass. Day 10 when I pass those same friendly grocery store staff offering a sample of a really nice bottle I would have never allowed myself to buy before. Day 10 when I have to go down the wine aisle again to get to the ice cream.

    I know you and anyone reading these comments likely know the feeling. I hope what is different this Day 1 is I told him. I told my husband that I had a problem with drinking. I sat embarrassed and nervous as I cried and told him something I am certain he has already been well aware of for a while now. I cried and asked him to help me. I cried and told him it was okay to be mean to me, but to please try to stop me if I was about to drink wine again. I know he cannot stop me. This is up to me, but I am hoping that this time….because I said it out loud, I can do it.

    Like

    • Support, accountability, encouragement – so many reasons why telling your husband can be the very thing that sees you through the spots that have tripped you up in the past. Stay in touch and let us know how you get through. Persevere!

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    • Making new choices

      Hello,
      I completely relate to the previous story and most of these stories. It’s early morning and I cannot sleep because wine has that side effect. And each sleepless night when I lay awake thinking I might be having a heart attack or I might be ruining my health in some other way, I start that next day with all good intentions–the day 1 intentions.
      I’m happy to have found this blog. I am at my own breaking point. I would say every night of drinking a bottle or close to a bottle of wine, is a rock bottom night. My husband does not realize that I am drinking as much as I am because I drink “normally” in front of him. It’s the behind the scenes drinking that is somewhat new and out of control. I despise being deceitful and “tricky” about my drinking. I have told my husband on several occasions recently that I need to stop drinking because I know it causes so many health consequences….I give into the urge and the cycle starts all over. I want to do this without AA. I know that group has helped millions but I feel it is not for me. I want to do this my way and feel I can with a little support. Thanks so much for creating this blog. I am one step closer. Will keep you updated on my success!

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      • Making new choices

        I updated my info realizing I left a letter off on my email address. MNC (making new choices)

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      • I relate to every part of your story and all the feelings involved. Keep reading blogs, get yourself some healthy treats (you deserve it), pamper yourself….and make those ‘new choices’ that will someday make you feel a lot better. I’m right there with you, Nikki

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        • Making new choices

          Thank you! Day 1 how crazy. I compare this to starting a climb of say, Mt Everest, having never trained or climbed before…that is how hard this is. Each step represents a day.. You would never put someone on Everest in a weakened state and yet, as weakened individuals we choose to take on this monumental task. One step a time. Thanks for your support:)

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          • Yes, good analogy…each day is one big step- one huge leap- one great accomplishment. And thanks for your support, it’s really amazing how by telling your story and opening up, you HELP others. Thank you, and great job taking that step:)

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  136. Hi Jean.

    I found your blog by listening to the Bubble Hour. I’d listened to a few episodes, but the one that spoke to me was “In Recovery, We Find Freedom!”.

    I’ve had a terrible battle with a “hidden” drinking problem for years. I say hidden in quotations because it’s no secret to anybody close to me that I drink too much. Scott’s testimony on that particular episode rang terribly close to home… I felt like he was telling my story, down to the smallest details, as far as my own drinking behaviours.

    Deciding I needed a reset, I took a 60 day hiatus from drinking in March and April of this year, as a run-up to a trip to Mexico. I felt healthy, my head was clearer, and I was proud of myself for it. On the trip, though, the problem came roaring back. And with a vengeance. Since then, I can count the number of days that I haven’t had a drink on one hand… and possibly have fingers left over.

    My hands are shaking as I type this… possibly because of yesterday’s drinking, and possibly since I’ve decided to make this my Day 1.

    I’m scared as s**t that I’m going to fail, but I feel I have to do this. The 60 days let me know it’s possible. Now I need to know if it can be permanent.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for your inspirational work.

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    • Hi Nate, Yes, you can do this- one day of clear-headed ness at a time. Enjoy each day, try not to think of permanent. Just enjoy what you are learning today…good luck and peace to you. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Hello n8 and a HUGE warm hug of support and understanding – you’ve had a little taste of freedom from the bondage of addiction and that can make it so painful to fall back into old patterns. You know that song “Shake It Off” by Florence and the Machine? I want you to play that song and sing it out loud! Follow it up with Katy Perry “Eye of the Tiger” and maybe a little “Let It Go” from Frozen. LOUD and if you feel like it dance or jump or run naked through the house. The kind of ritual that pumps you up and makes you smile and gives you a spark of JOY that can start to take hold in your heart. Let’s take your life back. How are you today? How can I help? What have you learned that can help someone else?

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      • Hi jean!
        Love you! I’ve been follow you and a few others…also heard you in the Bubble hour!

        I love the music references here! My husband is such a music junkie…he has music blaring thrum the house all weekend long. I on the there had can’t turn it in..only to be swamped by the “broken record” of my toxic thoughts. I think I’m going to start turning up the radio a bit more and enjoying the natural beauty of music! And the wise words of the musicians behind them
        Thanks,
        Lvmydogs53
        Day five

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  137. Hi Jean,

    My name is Lee Davy and I come from the http://www.needyhelper.com website where I spend my time helping people quit drinking alcohol.

    I am a big fan of your site and read everything you write, and I would be truly honoured if you could spare some of your precious time to be a guest on my Podcast?

    I believe you are helping so many people make the right choice to quit drinking, and would love for you to spread that belief to the Needy Helper audience. Your interview can make a big difference to so many people’s lives of that I am sure.

    That being said I know you are a very busy person, and from the lack of a contact form on the site I assume your privacy is important to you, so I will totally respect your decision to decline.

    You can contact me at needyhelper@gmail.com.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    Lee

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    • Hi Lee, You are very kind and thank you for the work that you do. I checked out your page and it is clear that we are kindred spirits with a passion for helping others and changing lives. I will be in touch via email. (And I will add contact info to my page lol). Jean

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  138. I don’t feel strong enough to share my story but am so grateful to have found you. Day 1.

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  139. Hi Jean
    I’m not really sure of the ins and outs of this whole sober blogging thing so please feel free to delete this comment if need be 🙂 I found your blog through the amazing and inspiring Mrs D, who’s blog I discovered thanks to her interview on NZ tv last Sunday. Since then I have been reading as many of her links as possible in order to prepare my self for my up and coming day one sober that I have committed to, beginning 1st July (dry July!) I am so scared, apprehensive, determined (enough I hope) and excited to begin my sober journey. I have been drinking regularly for the past 10 years. A bottle or more of wine, plus whatever else is available at least Friday to Sunday but if I am honest there is always an excuse to start on Thursday or earlier. Before that it was writing myself off every weekend since I was 15. I am now 36with 2 young children. My husband and partner in crime (who has taken on my heavy drinking habits through the course of our relationship and who is now as entrenched or more as me in the drinking life much to my dismay and guilt) has also committed to staying sober for that time. But I am so scared, of being sober and no fun (I KNOW!), of how I will tell all of our (partying) friends but mostly of failure. I would really, really appreciate any tips and input from anyone out there in the sober blogging universe on how to navigate the first few days/weekends and what worked for them. Thanks, and wish me luck xx

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    • get a DUI that will show u how to stop for awhile,

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    • Funny you should say so…I have a good friend whose husband got a DUI and lost his licence for a year. His drinking SKYROCKETED during that time because he always had an excuse to call a cab or have a DD. It wasn’t until the year ended that he had to start driving again that he had to do something about his intake. That said, for many people the DUI is the thing that brings them to change. Was this your experience?

      Anyway, to the original Anonymous commenter, I seem to have failed to follow up with you! How are you doing today? What can you teach us all about this thing called life and your experiences over the summer?

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  140. Hi Jean,

    I am not sure if I’ve ever communicated directly with you, but I am one of the masses who hangs on your every word. Love your blog, love The Bubble Hour, love you!

    I am quite confident this is the wrong way to go about this, but I am a nincompoop when it comes to being media-savvy. Just finished reading the update on Ellie, I am heartbroken for her, and for her family. Anyway, if there is any way I could plug in to help out in any way, I’d love to do so. Not even sure what I could bring to the table, but I wanted you to know I’d love to contribute.

    Thanks for all your recovery efforts, it means so much to all of us!

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  141. Thank you for the words of encouragement……tonight is night 6, so far so good……..and i really do like myself better this way…….i like feeling clearer, getting more done……..not numbing myself in the evening……..but it is still hard to think about never having it ever!!!!

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  142. honesty…who knew? Thanks

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  143. so many of the stories i can so relate to….i have known for quite a while that it would be better if i stopped my drinking of the wine everyday, sometimes up to a bottle(occationally more) and really wishing i could control how much i drink……but iv’e tried to limit myself to 3 glasses(which is still to much)…and while i can do it sometimes, more often than not i go for more….my partner and i are trying for a 3 week break…….while he knows the drinking is not good for him, he really does not want to stop for good while i feel i need to, don’t want to but need to…….this is only the second night, and i do not see how it is possible……..i wish i could just be a controlled social drinker but i am trying to see the reality that i can’t be……what i would give to sit on my porch right now with a glass of red wine……..

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    • Hang in there, Nancy! It’s bumpy at first but eventually it gets easier and then is GREAT. I love to sit on my porch with a mug of tea and a book – a few years ago I could not have imagined what I would ever do without wine in my hand. I really remember thinking “what do non drinkers DO? Just like, watch tv and not drink? Are they HAPPY with that?”. Um,yes – quite perfectly happy with that as it turns out and no self-hatred the next morning!

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      • Hi, I also am new to the sober blogging world. Thank you unpickled and Nancy and all of you. All of your stories are unbelievably comparable to mine! I’m on day 6, and have been horribly anxious and have had a headache for 4 days. I am a single parent of two wonderful children and have been living in a lonely usually solo drinking world for the last ten years. I would drink at least a bottle of wine per night, or skinny margaritas as I could have a chance of sleeping at night with that. I’ve felt shame for too long, tried to quit almost everyday for the last 2 years. I know now is the time to make a change. It helped me last night reading about the physical effects of drinking, especially on the brain and neurotransmitters….I was wondering why I had a headache for four days straight! Well, my body is trying to readjust….it has gotten used to alcohol everyday for many years. This scared me more, I’m able to finally think a little more clearly about it if I’m not escaping every night with a bottle. I thank all of you soon much for being here and being honest. I don’t think I would be able to do it if it weren’t for all of you. So very grateful.

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        • I have a lump in my throat as I read your words. Your strength is inspiring – I am so excited for you! It is really hard at first so pamper yourself and give yourself credit for the amazing transformation you are creating. Don’t give up, no matter what. It gets easier but, you’re exactly right – the body fights hard when the daily dose is removed. Scary, isn’t it? That is the very definition of addiction: withdrawal. Please stay in touch!

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  144. U.P./Secret Drinkers/Secret Recoverers- Upon returning from Iraq the first time, I found solace and balance in the bottle. It helped to erase and ease the pain of my dealings with the past. Since 2006 I can count on one hand the number of times I have gone more than 1 day without a drink. I drink from travel coffee mugs now so that my kids don’t see me walking around at home constantly with alcohol. It really is pathetic. Much like PTSD itself, it seems (only in my experience) the military views the aftermath of PTSD (like drinking) as a scarlet letter and an official stamp of “damaged goods”. For this reason, I too am in the closet. To admit would be to end 18 years of service and any career goals I have left. Like you, I am not at rock bottom either (I don’t think), but I have tried to quit many times, and many times have failed. I pray a lot, but the hypocrisy of being a devout christian-alcoholic pulls at my very fabric- I have even gone to bible study drunk (I guess that means I can either hide it well, or my brothers or sisters in Christ are too intimidated/nice to say anything). It is a surreal place that I find myself at, and even stranger is that my wife loves to drink a little wine (1 or 2 glasses max) while I cannot stop until the bottle/box is empty. I cannot even casually drink anymore without feeling the need to have one more. and another, and another…well, you know the rest.

    I urge us all to continually seek Christ. Through Him (and Him alone) we have forgiveness of our sins and imperfections (not just the drinking kind). We will all one day be judged and not one of us will have a leg to stand on based upon our “good deeds” in this life. My drinking alone will erase any goodness that I have managed in this life, but because of what Christ did at the cross, we can all be redeemed. This is not something I have made up, but whenever I am pulled from this ‘valley’ of my life, I will be able to stand and know that there was only “one set of footprints” on my path to recovery.

    If you pray, I would love your prayers. If you don’t I will be in prayer for you- not because I am self-righteous or because you deserve it, but because we all need it. God really does hear your prayers but His answers are not always what we want; they are what we need.

    Respectfully,

    No Atheists in the Foxhole

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    • Hello Anon – thank you for sharing your story here and most importantly for your service in the military. I want to comment on your perspectives. I also enjoy a close walk with my faith although I seldom discuss it here. It is true that we are forgiven – but of course that is not a reason to continue doing what we know to be wrong. God wants us to be happy, fulfilled and live productive lives (‘whatsoever you do, do it all for the Lord’), and find strength in our faith (“I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me”). Here is the thing, my friend. You fear what coming forward with your alcohol addiction might do to your career – but if you don’t change course you will arrive where you are headed and people will find out anyway. What if you walked into an AA meeting? Could that hurt? From the state of addiction you describe, the problem is not going to self resolve – generally speaking it only escalates. You can hit “stop” and get off this elevator anytime you want – you don’t have to wait until it gets to the bottom.

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  145. I love that poem! Brought tears to my eyes. You are not alone : )

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  146. I wanted to share this poem I wrote to describe my drinking. I am a mother to three young children, married to an amazing man. I drink wine once my kids are asleep to “unwind”. I have a truly amazing life and I don’t want to lose it to alcohol. When I read your blog it feels like one of my close girlfriends wrote it. Thank you in advance for your honesty and support!

    “When the fog lifts and the world around is silent and still,

    she appears.

    This woman, a stranger, yet so familiar to me.

    She is determined, confident and courageous.
    We share the same dreams and our hearts are filled with the same love.
    I admire her, embrace her strength and drift back to sleep.

    Dusk is here.
    The day was long.

    Darkness sets in from within…
    before it steals the sun.

    I take a drink.
    The drink takes me.
    The woman I love is gone.

    But I will meet her again…
    when the fog lifts.”

    Today is my Day 1.

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    • Today really is my day one and I feel like you wrote this for me. I don’t want to fail again. I love the morning but my hangover mornings are just rotten. Like a sacrilege. Darkness sets in from within. You are so wise. I betray myself each evening, why? Thank you so much for sharing this. I want my light self, not the dark one.

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    • You have a true gift – this is exactly how it felt to find and lose myself each day. You have perfectly captured what so many of us feel. I can truly say it is glorious to live as “that” woman day after day and never want to see her disappear again! Thank you for this beautiful poem.

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    • I googled, “how to stop drinking'” and it led me here. I am so moved by the similar stories. I have been pickling myself for 10 years, and am sick and tired of being a slave to my wine induced fog. The guilt hangover has been chipping away at who I truly am, and keeping me from being who I want to be….a great mom, loving wife and generous friend. I think this is my day one and I cannot thank you enough for giving me the courage through your words and the words of other picklers!

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  147. I’m a new follower and I must say, I am already more than encouraged and inspired.

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  148. I found this a great start for me to assist in my decision to stop depending on alcohol.

    I love you wine, beer but I’ve gone to far. Why, I asked myself, to deal with anxiety, society, sensitivity. Instead of telling myself I’m an addict, I’m hooked. I need you, replace with I’m over drinking for now, the moment, and each moment you get stronger changing thought pattern and emotional responses.

    Im sobar a week though I don’t like using days just moments to get stronger. I have rested a lot to help heal. Ive found forgiving myself and stop being a people pleaser solved a lot of concerns about my mental health and the reasons I wanted to drink. Below readings are really helping.
    http://m.wikihow.com/Forgive-Yourself
    http://m.wikihow.com/Stop-Being-a-People-Pleaser

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  149. I just found your blog. I hope all is going well for you in 2014, and that you are still sober and happy. I quit drinking three years ago and have never looked back; it’s one of the best things I have ever done. Peace.

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    • Thank you so much and bravo to your sobriety. I agree – it is the best gift we could ever give ourselves! I can not even imagine my life any other way now. I won’t waste a moment.

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  150. I didn’t realize when I woke up today that this day, just another Thursday, might be my Day 1. I found your blog earlier this week and have meant to read it all week. Been too busy with work, 2 young kids, life, excuses. But I’m home sick today. So I spent the afternoon reading your entire blog. And then I read through some of the blogs that you follow. Turns out, today is as good as any to be my Day 1. Amazing how empowered you can feel on Day 1. Keep thinking a glass of wine would really help me fall asleep & not feel the pain of this sinus infection. But I know one would become 3, maybe 4. Then I imagine the dread I would feel tomorrow. I guess that’s how I know it’s time, the right time. I’m able to envision what tomorrow brings before it comes. That’s actually a huge step for me. I’m SOOOO glad I found your blog. I needed it, in the same way I need air.
    Day 1…..I pray you are my last Day 1 in this chapter of my life.

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  151. I have been reading through your blog for the past week in anticipation of today as my first day sober. I take tremendous comfort in knowing that there are so many others like me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all the time and effort you have put into helping people like me. You are a good soul.

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  152. I have been reading through your blog for the past week in anticipation of today being my first day sober. Reading through your entries, I take comfort in knowing that I am not alone. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the time and effort you put into this work. You are a good soul.

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  153. God bless you. Very brave indeed.

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  154. Wow you are totally gorgeous!

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    • Hah thanks. I want people to know that THIS is the face of addiction and recovery, and that there are millions of other nice, pretty, smart, lovely ladies (and men) in recovery. We need to shatter the stigma!

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      • IfeelLikeAdrunk

        the name of your site “unpickled” caught my eye..because my wife recently told me i smelled “pickled”….not exactly a compliment. 🙂 i read your story and feel very similar. i don’t want to know what rock bottom would look like for me.

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  155. Hi Jean,
    I hopped over here from RoS! Loved your songs and stories this morning. Immediately, I could see that you have warmth and talent and a beautiful soul. I can’t wait to read more–hope you don’t mind if I hang around and follow you 🙂

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  156. Where ever you go in the world there is one constant. We alcoholics can find strength in knowing that we are the same. And from that find shelter from the storm in each others stories.
    A couple of weeks ago i found this bottle of whiskey hidden under some clothes in one of my closets. It was not not as if it had been lost and missing. But it was the last of many to be found.
    I looked at it with a mixed feeling of surprise and reverence as I put it on the table in my kitchen. It was just half a bottle of whiskey. And even that small amount of alcohol contained the future of the rest of my life.
    Without the strength and love from other alcoholics as yourself I am nor sure if I would have been able to take the right decision and poure that whiskey down the sink. But I did.
    So I just want to send some love from me to you and let you know that thanks to you and all our brothers and sisters. I am sober. .In a couple of days I get 2 years clean and sober.
    Hugs from Sweden.
    (Please forgive my poor english.)
    // Stefan

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  157. Nice to see. Nice posts on this blog. Can I get permission to write blog posts for your blog?

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  158. I just came across your blog. Thank you. I’m a binge drinker. When I go out it usually gets bad. I tend to be mean to my wife when being a great guy to everyone else. I don’t know if she is going to forgive my episode last night. I’m afraid of losing her and losing the respect of my peers not to mention being a professional… the hardest thing I see coming is saying no to a drink at the next night out or the vacation to mexico planned in one month that also coincides with my 37th birthday. I pray for strength and forgiveness. I look forward to learning more through this journey. Going to try the sober wallet for sure!

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  159. I would love to speak with you. I am 25, female, and both your blog and picture remind me alot of me. I haven’t drank at all in 27 months. Recently, I have been struggling with the idea of drinking again. Social drinking. Can I do it? Did I ever really have a problem or was I just a crazy teen/20 something? Will the hospital visits, arrests, fights, etc. repeat themselves, or have I grown up and learned how to handle myself? This is the strongest I have contemplated going back to drinking in the entire 27 months sober. I think about planning a “going back to drinking date”. I am sure this will pass. Am I crazy for these thoughts? Or am I crazy for getting sober at 23? I know these questions can’t be answered, and may go unnoticed, but I am curious about thoughts and if other people can relate. Just writing it has helped already..

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    • Hi Lauren, thanks for your message. You can email me anytime at picklednomore@gmail.com if you want to touch base. I recently heard, “Once we realize we are alcoholics no longer have the luxury of drinking.” So is your question, “was I really ever an alcoholic?” or is it, “I know I am an alcoholic but I feel like I’m missing out on something.” I can’t answer that for you but both are BIG questions with BIG ramifications. Definitely something you should give serious thought to. I am just not willing to give up all the peace and freedom that comes with sobriety – oddly that is really what I was looking for in wine every night.

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  160. I thought I would contact you via comment as I don’t have your email. I have also given up the drink, and written about it that you may relate to. The book will be free for download on Amazon on Sunday 26 Jan 2014. Check it out if you would like. It is called Between Drinks: Escape the Routine, Take Control and Join the Clear Thinkers. http://www.amazon.com/Between-Drinks-Routine-Control-Thinkers/dp/1922237957. I enjoyed reading your blog. Regards David

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  161. Posted the last blog thought email would be attached. New at this.

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  162. Tonight I am drinking because my husband is out of town. I’m not hiding it he knows and I would be drinking if he wasn’t out of town. I have the ugly misfortune of being abused as a child and then later in life as an adult. Its like a sign is posted on you and you are forever tagged. My journey to recovery has been a little long. It first started a year and a half ago. I had drank all day when my husband got home we had a conversation that kinda went like this,
    Me: Looks like I can quit if it means losing my family
    My Husband: Yea looks like it.
    This woke me up, made an appointment with the doctor not to quit drinking but to quit smoking. This was August, I had seen counselors before but the doctor sent me to a new one and she finally told me something that made sense.
    The depression, the anxiety, the repeated nightmares.
    She diagnosed me with PTSD.
    Finally, Finally, Finally. Something that made sense.
    I didn’t quit smoking right away but I did stop. I’m getting ready to celebrate my one year anniversary.
    Now drinking. I will do this and as you, I have to do it privately. I don’t feel like I have to tell everyone what I have gone through I don’t feel like anyone has a right to know what I have gone through. Yes I know its not my fault and I feel no fault. I still feel disgust and anger. My anger is the one thing I cannot let go of. I don’t know how. I have prayed and begged for me to be able to forgive my mother. She was abused and knowingly put me in the same situation. I do not understand this. I am more angry at her then my abusers. My sister once said something to her about it and her response was, I swear to you, “Boys will be boys.” My sister was our buffer, who has since passed away. Another reason to drink. She OD’d on prescription meds (that were not prescribed to her). She was 29.
    The thing that has changed my life in the year of 2013. Thanking God for the so many blessings he has given me. My absolutely beautiful children. The wonderful and beautiful loves of my life. My Husband. I swear to you I know he will never leave me and he will do whatever it takes to make me better. He likes to drink to and he does but not to my extent. We are our own problem I do believe. But we do love one another and while I can’t say I could do it if he asked I know he could stop drinking for me.
    Now, however, I have to face not drinking. I’m tired and God do I want to live. There is so much I want to do and there are just so many things out there.
    AND I swear time waits for no one. Blink and your life goes from being an abused child trapped in a bathroom with a pathetic excuse of a man to a 44 year old woman who is simply trying to stop the hate.

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    • Oh dear girl, you have lived through something no one should ever have to endure. Especially not twice. You’ve tried to cope your best but sweetie you can’t do it alone. You deserve to live freely and joyfully. This is big but not insurmountable. Listen to the Dr Drew podcast, the interview with Dr Dan Seigel about the role of trauma in addiction. You are not alone. There is help available. Even though your instincts might be to try and fix it yourself, your best chance for recovery will be through professional help and a recovery support program. You’re strong enough to have survived so much. You have it in you to heal fully, and you deserve nothing less. My heart goes out to you

      >

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    • Oh my God, Anonymous, You are ME. From your age to the abuse to the rage for your Mother, I could have written this message. Thank you. Made me feel less alone.

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      • Anonymous and Tracy, I, too, share your experiences. The abuse, the Mother, the search for serenity. For many years, every night, it was a martini and cigarette outside alone, followed by wine at dinner and after. Being responsible, not dropping the ball, not bottoming out, holding down a job, taking care of twins, but always knowing that I was slowly killing myself. Tonight is my second night without a drink. My husband is out of town and normally I would be drinking more than usual, without his disapproving but loving eyes on me. I have gone to a few AA meetings recently but felt out of place there. But I intend to keep going. It’s not as if I have any answers that have worked. I went to a cocktail party last night and had a Diet Coke. I could smell the wine all around me; it was torture and it wasn’t. If we can just fight for ourselves. Love ourselves enough to treat ourselves with all of the kindness, acceptance, and respect that we never got growing up, we’ll make it. God Bless you both for sharing your stories. Stay in touch.

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  163. Hi Jean, thanks so much for this wonderful site. I see that most of the posters are women, but I really like this site. Tonight will be my first sober night. I am disgusted with this grip that alcohol has had on me, and want my life back. It started as fun nearly 50 years ago. I only drink at night, but have been almost every night for the past 30 years. Thanks to all of the nice people posting here. I am really encouraged by your comments and your new way of life.

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    • I am so excited for you, Robert! Your new life awaits! It can be a bit rough at first but it is definitely worth the effort. Depending on how much a person is drinking, the body can have different responses to alcohol withdrawal. Please do a bit of research to ensure you are proceeding as safely as possible. Much joy and encouragement to you.

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  164. Hi Jean, it’s nice to put a face to the words. Christmas Day is my one month and weirdly, since deciding to quit, I actually don’t think about alcohol much at all. I did for the first few days whilst reading your blog but after that when I thought ‘shall I have a drink?’ I then thought ‘meh, don’t want one’. I’ve kind have got 2 pictures in my head, the first is me pouring the first glass and the second is me stumbling slightly, talking boring rubbish, maybe picking an argument with my husband and then walking up feeling guilty with a headache. Picture one = picture two and I really can’t be bothered with it all. Your blog is brilliant and I’ve read the books you recommend but also try Allen Carr’s Easyway to stop Drinking. I was in his way of thinking before I started to read him, because of your blog, but he just banged the final nail in! I’m not saying I never think about it, but when I do, the urge slips away quickly with a shrug and I feel happy. Thank you so much for your blog. It’s a real help.

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    • Wow a Christmas anniversary! Congrats on one beautiful precious months and for the clarity and peace you express. Your words are a gift. I’m honoured to know that our stories are interwoven. Many blessings.

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      • I had half a glass of champagne Christmas Day. I sipped it, enjoyed it for what it was and didn’t want anything else. What a result. Who knew life could be so good when alcohol has no importance? Yey!

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    • Hi Mo,
      I’m happy for your sobriety. I’m wondering how things are going for you with your sobriety now. I’m really curious because your feelings regarding the situation sound just like mine. Today, I’m 23 days sober and I honestly don’t miss the alcohol at all. Honestly. The only time I thought about it during the first week was more out of habit than anything else. For instance, we had a bad snow storm and my first thought was, wow some flavored vodka would be great when I get in from work. Then I thought about all the hangovers and how completely tired I was of waking up feeling that way and the fact that they seem to take longer and longer to recover from them. I read about the woman who is 27 months sober and considering / fantisizing about trying to drink socially again. As I’m reading it, I’m thinking…why….why on earth would you want the hangovers, guilt, shame, etc. back again?! BUT, I’m 23 days sober so who knows how I’ll feel down the road. Your thoughts??

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      • Hey there!
        I am not Mo, but thought I would just say that this is my 23rd day sober too (well, one day off)! I think, with me anyways, I have never had a problem in the first month or so because I was full-in, deep NOT DRINKING. It was after, when I started feeling really great about my supposed SuperWoman like ability to steer clear of wine that the thought would pop into my head, “I am not addicted, I can just have one and be fine”…fast forward one year/two years later and I am back to quitting after noticing that I am once more, not in control. It’s humbling to admit this, because I don’t think I ever thought of it this way before. I think I stopped protecting the idea of being sober and went back to using it to cope with everything I had just pushed aside for that month or whatever. I coddled myself that month, protecting myself and putting off real responsibilities and saying “You can eat that, buy that, do whatever else you want, at least you arent drinking!” and that doesn’t work in the long term because reality, pain, annoyance, credit cards, relationships all that stuff can only be put off for so long and when it comes to coping with those things without the numb escape of alcohol was when I was most vulnerable to my own thoughts. It was like I was trying to sabotage myself! Hopefully this time, I ride out the annoyance and anger! Cheers to you, The Lone Pickle, and good luck on this new adventure!

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        • Thank you for letting me know I am not alone. Too much wine, buying things I cannot afford, being in denial is my reality. I know I can be a social (one or two) drinker at events and be responsible with my money, but I have been lazy and not sticking to that. The results are not pretty. Physically I am not taking care of myself and financially – let’s just face it – alcohol is a waste of money and sometimes it makes me spend more than I should on other things – creating debt. Time to face the denial and get a grip. It was healthy to read your post, so thank you.

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  165. Thank you! I’m day 1…. But have been looking for a way to stop the whine (wine) for a long time. I didn’t realize that there was an alternative to AA. I’ve been reading your blog all day…

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  166. I came across your website a year ago today when I finally decided I had had enough. I wondered for years if I could in fact have a problem. Your blog has been a gentle companion. I, too, quit drinking in private. It’s a little tough to go to a group meeting with 5 kids under 10. Needless to say, it’s been nice to have a friend to travel along this path. Today marks my 1 year anniversary. Thanks for your honestly and kindness.

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    • Thanks for being a companion of ours. I am coming up to my first anniversary in three weeks. I am now much more settled and in a routine. In the evenings I am fine at home. If I go out I think of it in terms of using the experience as a networking opportunity. I enjoy good conversation and sharing good stories. I get restless as soon as I become tired and am often impatient to go home. We often stop on the way home for a gellati or an ice cream. I have discovered elderflower sparkling water and cordial and it is fab! I have a vision in the back of my mind of me crouching down next to the china cupboard pouring red wine into a mug and then pouring it down my throat. So dark, so sad. It took years before I finally successfully gave it up. I couldn’t have a dink and face that scenario again.

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    • WOW!!! Congratulations on your anniversary! You are a miracle and I am thrilled for you. This journey is full of lovely surprises – I am touched and honoured to have traveled together, however quietly. Many blessings. unP

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  167. Hi Jean, I stumbled across your blog over the Thanksgiving holiday, and have not been able to stop reading. I am a 45 year old married mom of 2, (also married my high school sweetheart) and on day 9 of no alcohol. Have never been an every day drinker; more of a once or twice a week binge drinker, and have been trying to quit for a while. I went to a couple of AA meetings, but they made me want to drink, and have been reading every book out there on alcoholism and quitting. I am a runner, an avid yoga lover, a music teacher at my church, a preschool teacher, and I have a drinking problem. Your blog has encouraged me more in the past few days then anything I have come across so far. Thank you for your honesty, and your encouragement for others. Tracy

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    • Hi Tracy, and welcome to the big warm hug of recovery. You are among friends who understand and want to see you succeed. You have chosen a path that is not easy but is ultimately worth the effort. I am thrilled to know my story has helped shape yours. Onward we go!

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  168. Found you – looking for help for my 30 something son. You’re amazing. I’ll be clicking on your links and commenters in hopes of finding more people he can relate to. He’s only on day 4. His brother is helping him this week and he and we are still figuring out where he and we are going with this.
    Thank you for sharing your self with us.

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  169. Hi Jean! I am Katie and it is great to read your blog! I am 10 days sober and have not spoken about it to anyone but my husband. I live in a family that if you aren’t drinking you must be pregnant and have been struggling of thinking of excuses for the holidays. I’m only 24 and a new mom and wife. I quit drinking because I saw drinking becoming a problem and thought it would be easier to quit now then in 10 years. I’m also a student nurse and have had three lectures on alcohol abuse in the past couple weeks and started to recognize drinking four drinks a night every night is not normal or healthy. The main reason I quit drinking is because I don’t want my son growing up thinking that drinking is a good coping mechanism. If you had a bad day you should go for a bath or read a couple hours not get wasted. Any who I wanted to let you know I appreciate you and your blog 🙂 thank you – Katie

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  170. Day 7 for me…and this has been one of the most earth shattering weeks of my life. I have had a problem with alcohol for a few years and it escalated into the post 4pm secret drinking….wine at dinner but a secret starch of vodka and orange juice throughout the evening. Over the years there have been countless horrible fights with my husband, pushing my kids away, drunken texts and facebook posts, blackouts, embarrassing myself at events…..well, last weekend I did a marathon read of. Ann Howett Johnston’s new book “Drink” and thankfully everyone else in the house was out at a hockey game as it moved me. From that book I searched around online and I am gobsmacked at the numbers of women in the same boat as I! And here I thought I was the only one filling bottles with water so no one noticed them getting empty! Just knowing so many others have the same struggles I do has made this so bearable. I have an amazing therapist, and while I know there are many excellent programs out there, I am choosing for now, for me, to work with her and look to these blogs.

    This week has been amazing and scary. Up until last night I have had terrible night sweats – beyond my usual pre-menopausal ones! And while I have not been sleeping well, as for so many years I have medicated myself to sleep, when I do sleep I have horrible dreams. I read about these symptoms online and was horrified to realize I was detoxing! Had it really gotten that bad?
    Jean, this blog is amazing and I am so glad I have found it. Your message and the messages of others on here speaks to me. I am looking forward to being a part of this community.

    Btw Jean I am Canadian too! Ironically, my son plays rep hockey and travels a great deal with my husband so that was prime, uninterrupted drinking time…… They are off this afternoon for a road game but, I have created place I call “my cocoon” at home – my favourite wingback chair, lots of new books and Christmas magazines and V8 fruit cocktail and club soda……

    Enjoy Sunday all.

    PS. I highly recommend Ann Howett Johnston’s book. Honestly, I don’t normally read that genre but it was the big catalyst for my change……

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    • Your message makes me so happy – this is such a difficult part of recovery and yet your joy and strength are shining through. Ann Dowsett Johnston would be very pleased to know she kick started your journey. You know how I know that? I spoke to her on the phone for 90 minutes last week when I guest hosted The Bubble Hour! (If you haven’t already, head to thebubblehour.com and have a listen. Be sure to subscribe to their podcast. It’s a wonderful show).

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      • I just subscribed to the podcasts of The Bubble Hour! I have to say my iPad is my new BFF on this journey. Thank you for your response and indeed I am very joyful. I have not felt this good, and as I told my therapist the other day, I finally feel like the “person I want to be”. I am not naive and realize there will be some bumps along this way but for now it is one step at a time. What a wonderful world outside of the permanent alcohol induced fog I had been in for the past few years……

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  171. Thanks so much. I read your entire blog over 2-3 hours on Tuesday morning. I was hung-over again and just ‘knew’ in my core that it had to stop. Moderation has been tried many times for the last few years – and it’s failed.

    So much of your story resonated with me: high functioning during the day, secret drinking, perfectionism, guilt/shame and then resolve.

    I read your blog right at the best time. It’s day 3 now – I feel confident and inspired (with a mild detox headache – although even that’s better than a hangover headache).

    Thanks

    PS: I almost laughed when you had an anecdote about making a big show about having a second glass of wine. That’s a strategy I’ve used many times: ‘Wow! I’m going to lash out and have a SECOND glass tonight’ (just don’t count the number of bottles in the recycling bin!).

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    • Ahhh thanks for sharing this and welcome aboard this journey, my friend. Isn’t it a sweet relief to know that all these crazy things we do are shared by so many? It’s makes us all see that change is possible. We are not alone. Stay strong and be well. Keep coming back and stay in touch. Lots of love, UnP

      >

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  172. Great news! Im glad to hear you are doing so well. Still staying strong Oct 24 was the last time I drank. Im not going to count days. This is the hardest thing I have ever done! Just trying to focus on all positive, keeping busy and very tired.

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  173. Thank you for your efforts. 22 days in and this helps a ton to read the stories. Oh how can relate. Keep it up.

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  174. Thank you so much I don’t feel so alone anymore. My life is very similar to yours I had some very violent things happen to me as a child and was abused by an exhusband. I’m on my 7th day not drinking very tired. This is my 4th time trying to quit alcohol. I think I can do it this time thank you for giving me hope! Deb

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  175. Hey now, it’s completely up to you. I am only sharing my experience; how it was for me then, how it is now. I think I didn’t want to tell my husband because I really did not want to quit. I subconsciously wanted an “out”. I prided myself on being totally open to him and not lying, but oh my, did I lie about my drinking. It’s great to feel good, it only gets better.

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    • Thanks Tricia, I appreciate your perspective. It’s not that I won’t tell my husband – that would be impossible. I just wanted the decision to stop to be mine alone. But no one else for the moment. And he hasn’t even noticed the missing vodka (that’s what gets me) yet so I just haven’t brought it up. As for feeling better, I do feel great. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep sober because I’ve always used a nightcap (or a few) before bed. These past few days I’ve been sleeping so well and still feel exhausted. But in a different way than you do after having too much. Happy to be finally doing this.

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      • Keep up the good work!! Whatever you do, don’t pick up! And of course it’s your decision, it’s not your husband quitting. It’s amazing what I thought my husband didn’t notice. Give yourself enough time, and I guarantee your eyes will be opened.

        I was reading my old posts on here, remembering how crappy my life was. Wanting to quit in the morning, then drinking again around 5PM. Gosh that was a terrible merry-go-round that I’m so happy to be off of!! I got so much support, on here, and another forum I frequent (soberrecovery.com). I spent quite a bit of time online before I got the guts to walk into an AA mtg. That was a support like I never knew, and now I realize it’s not a support group, it’s a design for living without booze. It’s a program that teaches you how to live life without booze.

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  176. Glad you are doing well. I told my husband before I quit and honestly, it was the best thing I could’ve done for myself. Before, I’d try to quit and not tell anyone, and that would last about 3 days tops. Easy to pick up again when no one knew I had “quit” in the first place.

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    • I will, and he’ll be fully supportive. But…for my own reasons I wanted to do this completely myself, so I was sure that it was my decision, and not motivated by embarrassment at being called out about it. I feel really good about that right now. I certainly expect harder days…right now I think this is “sober euphoria”

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      • Self-managed recovery is very do-able. As long as you have support and some means of accountability you are on your way. Stay focused and motivated. You’re doing great. Xo, UnP

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      • I agree 100% with what UnP says about self-managing recovery. I don’t believe anyone else will create a newly sober life for you — it’s you who has to do the work. I do however, think that trying to do it alone, and not telling anyone/hiding, leaves out the accountability factor, and inevitably leads to drinking again. That’s just my own personal experience and perspective.

        Going to AA meetings every day for 2 years has given me a much larger perspective of what others are dealing with, and it showed me how many others have maintained sobriety. My home group easily has 40 personal in attendance, and that’s quite a big section of people with experience.

        I don’t think I would have the same experience had I tried to do this alone. I might have still been able to stay away from the drink, but I doubt I’d be this happy. Again, just my personal experience and opinion. I’m sure there are some who’d disagree, and interestingly, I have found that those who disagree are often not sober or have not been able to obtain long term sobriety.

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  177. Hey, happy day 2! I said the same thing, didn’t feel comfortable sitting with others, etc. But really, I sure didn’t mind pulling the crap I did when drinking, so I decided I could handle a group. I actually gained weight when I quit drinking. I thought I’d lose all this weight and do all these things. Really, quitting was plenty for me to work with! Good luck!

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    • Thanks, and on to day 3! I’m definitely keeping AA in mind, but so far the online resources and blogs like this one have been amazing for me. Yesterday was good. I had a couple moments where I know if alcohol was in the house I would have gotten into it, but since it’s not here, all good. I’ve actually dropped a couple of pounds so far (bloat, no doubt), and the freedom from worrying whether my husband will be able to tell I’d been drinking when he gets home (of course he will) is blissful. I don’t think he’s noticed yet that I got rid of a bunch of stuff and we’ll have that conversation when he does.

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  178. Hi, the time flies by. Although initially it was very hard, and still some days are very hard. I remember feeling very gung ho and then my first week feeling completely exhausted. I also looked into Smart Recovery. Ultimately, none of the other programs worked for me. I really needed the human contact, and AA is so widespread it fit into my schedule easily. I’ve also made some very good friends and I don’t think I could have done that via the web or other alternate means. I was pretty much friendless when I quit.

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    • Thank you, Tricia H. & UnPickled :). Yeah, I’m a bit worried about this enthusiasm being just momentary so am trying to put things in place so I have things to do when I would normally have a drink. And getting rid of the home stash is the BIG thing for me. I will hold off on AA just because I’m not comfortable in a group setting at the best of times. Fitness will be huge – it’s already a priority for me and I’m looking forward to doing more and not worrying if I’m sober enough to go to the gym. Not to mention, goodbye alcohol calories! Day 2 and feeling good.

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  179. Hello and THANK YOU! To “unpickled” and everyone else who has contributed here. I had a bender last night and have been reading this all day today. I want to stop. With the secrets (which I know my husband knows anyway), the calculations, the not-so-secret-purchases, the feeling like i am a lesser person..yada yada. It is enormous comfort to know that there are others with the same struggles as me. I have felt so alone for years. Will keep you posted as to my progress.

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    • Gosh I remember days like that. I had many. The remorse, embarrassment. Mostly I remember really really wanting to quit, and feeling super hungover. But by 4PM I was right back at it. I remember someone online once telling me to take action now before I got to feeling better and went back on my merry-go-round. I ignored them and spent years doing that. I finally got sober by joining AA. It’s what propeled me into the life I wanted. I was pretty much desperate to quit and felt that AA was the drastic thing I needed. I was right. I’m closing in on 2 yrs now. Crazy. Good luck to you.

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      • Thank you, Tricia H.! I got rid of (poured down the sink, haha), all the “trigger booze” in the house. My husband’s high end bourbon is safe from me. I don’t know that I want to do AA but have been all over this site and have been looking at SMART recovery. So many resources. And looking at things I need to do to make myself healthier, mentally and physically. Today is booze-free day one. Still early yet but feeling good. Something in my mind has changed and I actually WANT to do this :). Going to be so hard though, so it’s amazing to hear my story so many times over and over. And congratulations on 2 years! I can only imagine…

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    • Congrats on your courage and welcome to a new chapter full of possibilities. You are not alone and there are many options for you to find success. The trick is to find a good fit for you. You’ll find your greatest strength will come from connecting with others, in person if at all possible. I also love podcasts like thebubblehour.com -listening to other women like you and me help us see ourselves more clearly. Stay strong and keep in touch! UnP xo

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      • MD (formerly ("Anonymous")

        Thank you for the bubblehour.com recommendation – really inspiring and helpful. Closing in on the end of day 6…I honestly can’t remember the last time I did that. Wait…I lie. A drink at a restaurant dinner last night. BUT, in the past this would mean after we got home and my husband went to bed, I would start my “real” drinking. I actually found I didn’t even really want the drink! Baby steps I guess. Quitting is still my little secret but I’m really thinking about the reasons why I’ve done this for so long, and really exploring the online resources available. The physical and mental clarify this week has been amazing. Thank you, everyone for sharing your stories.

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        • Hi MD -I am truly cheering for you. I encourage you to think about the drink you had last night at a restaurant – I found ordering at restaurants one of my big early obstacles. Can you make a plan for the next time? Reimagine the situation and how you might do it differently. I even wrote down phrases for when someone goes to fill my wine glass and practiced saying them aloud in front of a mirror so that it might come out of mouth easier in the pressure of the moment. Ellie has some really great advice on one Bubble Hour episode about changing your routine in early sobriety to shake up old habits – not sure which episode that is but if you are like me you are listening to them all over and over again! For daily drinkers, the first week is brutal. For binge drinkers, it can seem easy at first but social situations are landmines. And for some it is a combination of both. Lot of love and support, UnP

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          • Believe it or not, I listened to that episode this morning! Really, really useful stuff. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I explained elsewhere here my reasoning why one drink in a restaurant didn’t feel like the “danger zone” for me. Totally on track since and amazed myself today walking past the liquor stores I usually do, and not even tempted to walk in. This whole thing is new and a bit scary but also peaceful.

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            • Hi MD – how are you managing? I’ve been sending you lots of good vibes!

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              • Hi! I’ve been ok. Had a few setbacks, but I think they’ve helped to teach me about this addiction beast. I’ve been just trying to take care of myself and been listening to a lot of Bubble Hour episodes. Usually at the gym – so it feels like I’m doubly doing something good for myself. So much insight and I see so much of myself in many of the stories there. The online community at SMART Recovery has been really, really good too. I’ve attended a couple of online meetings and plan on more. Thanks for the good vibes! They help!

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                • Not to make this all sweetness and light though. This is HARD. And I find it ironic that while I’m supposed to not be drinking, I am also trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of my drinking. Which means I’m thinking about drinking a LOT.

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      • I responded to MD but have no idea where it went ! Hopefully you can find it somewhere.

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      • Alright, here’s what I tried to post earlier.

        Hello and happy Monday! What you described is Step 1 for me in my program. It didn’t make a ton of sense to me at first, and honestly I tried to reject it at first. I had to immerse myself in my program and do what others said, instead of doing it my way which obviously didn’t work. That’s when I got it and eventually step 1 made a ton of sense.

        Now, you might be one of those people who can drink normally, although I doubt it. (Normal drinkers don’t search these sites out.) Myself, I cannot have any alcohol, not even one. Sure, my first drink might be just the one, but soon enough, I will drink myself right back to where I was before. I know, because I’ve tried this 100 times.

        I sure hope you find your way. I was a person whose life was full of “yets” and thank god I didn’t have to spend any more time waiting for those to happen. Glad you wrote in and I hope to hear from you soon.

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        • Hi Tricia. I appreciate the amount of time you spend commenting on my blog but I ask you to please respect the spirit and purpose of this blog, which is not to constantly promote one recovery pathway but to encourage fellow seekers and travellers regardless of their choices. I am very happy for you that your program has been successful for you and I rejoice in your recovery, I truly do. Perhaps you might want to engage in a forum or start your own blog that is more suited to discussions based soley on the pathway of your choosing.

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      • Also, MD, I don’t get how it’s day 6 if you drank last night? Interested in your rationale.

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        • MD, please do not feel you have to respond to outright challenges such as the above comment. You are on your way and that is to be celebrated.

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          • Hi, I tried to post 2 last responses, as well as contact info, but I think it ended up in a weird spot. I realize it’s probably because you have placed securities on replies and such.

            Anyway, I apologize for any offense to you and your blog. I certainly wasn’t trying to do that. I understand you want others to post a variety of recovery methods, however, I only have one and so that’s what I share.

            Sent from my iPhone

            >

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      • Certainly. I try my best to share only my experience, and since my experience only consists of AA, that’s all I can share. I completely respect your opinion and blog and do not mean to offend. I do contribute to other forums and did mention that in case anyone was interested. I will stop posting in your blog. Thanks.

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      • Hi Tricia and UnP,
        I don’t mind the challenge at all as it’s probably a bit odd to speak of having a drink but still feeling sober. The rationale is as follows: for that one I had, I was with 2 people in a celebratory situation. For me to not have one would have changed the focus to me not drinking and that wasn’t the time. Also, drinking in public has never ever been the problem for me – I always keep very much in check. What is my problem is the secret drinking, and that in my (very recent!) past, that one drink would have led to several more at home. That didn’t happen so that’s my victory, and for the moment, how I still consider that a “sober” day. I don’t know that I’ll be able to do that on a regular basis as I”m still learning about this whole process, especially as it’s unique to me (and I’m an oddball 😀 ).
        Tricia, I really appreciate the perspective, and am really happy for you that AA has worked so well for you. Maybe it will for me too. This is so new to me. I find it truly fascinating how everyone’s experience is so similar, but we’re all so different. Right now I’m just really so amazed that there are so many of us hiding in plain sight. Thanks everyone.

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  180. Day 5 and counting. I’ll stop the daily updates but I just wanted to let you all know that I am doing the work. Exciting, scary, challenging, humbling, freeing…..lots to learn but grateful for the chance to change.

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  181. Hi, I’ve written this which was published in Spain in Dec 2010 and now has been translated into english.
    Just wanted to share it with you.
    Best regards
    Una

    Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpjKG7zZnCQ&feature=em-share_video_user

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  182. Day 3 – thank you for the support and suggestions. I appreciate it all! I am a little anxious today but from what I read day 3 can be tough – I suppose in the beginning every day can be tough without the right attitude and tools.

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    • Hello,

      Yes, every day is tough, heck my first year was tough. It’s still tough. I think you better brace yourself for that. It doesn’t mircacuosly become this wonderful life. Life goes on and you can’t drink when you are uncomfortable, stressed, tired, bored. While it is tough, what will make it hands down worse is drinking again.

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    • You are doing great, luckygrl…Keep focusing on your family and the reason you are doing this: for them and for you.

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  183. P.S. – I believe I posted under my same name when I was struggling, and when I first got sober.

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  184. Thanks for the support! I made it through day 1 – wasn’t all that hard, as I have never felt more ashamed of myself. Now the trick is going to be to keep going days 2,3,4 and onward – when my shame may feel a bit more distant. What gives me hope is that I really believe something inside of me has snapped. Now that my husband (and GULP….my kids) have seen what I have worked so hard to hide there’s sort of no going back. The gig is up. Thanks as well for the advice on withdrawl and resources. I’ve got my C and B vitamins – along with milk thistle and L-glutamine. Besides being too good at swilling wine, I am actually sort of a health/fitness enthusiast so I’ve been reading up on herbs to help in this process. I do promise that if the symptoms get tough I will seek formal medical assistance. I am going to also purchase the Carr book today. Seems like that one might be a good one to start with. Any other first few days words of wisdom/advice? I haven’t decided on AA or other resources as of yet but I am investigating. Been on SmartRecovery and have already completed a few of the inventories/tools. I feel like I have to nurse myself along a little bit….this is so new to me and it feels pretty scary to be “outed” by my family.

    I have so much gratitude for this amazing place you’ve created!
    luckgrl

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    • You are off to a great start and I am so sorry that it took such a humbling experience but if it saves your life it is worth it. You chose to turn that into something positive for your family in the long run – that takes courage and strength. What helps the most is connecting with other people in recovery. You can do that in person by reaching out to someone you may already know in recovery, or joining a program in your community. I chose to connect with the recovery community through an anonymous Twitter account and reached out for support that way. Helping others is one of the keys to long term recovery, so you will find that those ahead of you on this path will gladly step up to help you. I take a lot of strength from listening to recovery podcasts while I am running or toodling around the house – check out http://www.thebubblehour.com

      I hope all this is helpful. Readers, what can you add to help our soberita-sister?

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      • Hi all, I probably sound like a broken record, but it worked for me so I like to share. I’m a 40-something professional, married (happily), with no kids. I’m almost 2 yrs sober and here’s how I did it:

        I first told my husband. Not all of my hiding secrets, but I told him I had a problem and needed his help. I asked him to remove all the booze from the house. He did and fully supported me.

        Next, I went to AA. The first meeting I went to is now my home group. I have close friends I met there, and I talk to one of them everyday. I stuck with AA, and learned A LOT about alcoholism, and my relationship with it.

        I highly encourage anyone struggling with alcohol to quit with the excuses (and I’ve heard every one in the the book), drop the ego, get humble and walk into a meeting. Everyone else there is just like us and honestly, there is no excuse you have that’d convince me going to AA would hurt you. And quit with the “oh, what if people find out?” You think they don’t already know? And um, what bad things will they say? “Oh, look at that chick, she got sober!”

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  185. KK…So wonderful to see your note! You will never know how much your words have helped me these past months, through unsettling times. I am so happy that you sound so good..I think about your son often and pray he is doing better.
    All the best to you, KK..

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    • Tired, so good to hear from you. I think of you often, wondering how you are doing managing your job, family, travel as well as your health. Hoping you are enjoying the wonderful offerings of city life. I am a bit of a country mouse myself. I am envious of your wonderful bakeries and deli’s. I have come to love bakeries and coffee places, a fabulous replacement for wine. For those of you just days into sobriety, treat yourselves to wonderful coffees and teas along with a lovely sweet item. There are sparkling waters to enjoy over ice with a splash of cranberry or lime. Don’t forget to get some exercise and buddy up with sober friends. Enjoy the beauty and victories in each day. Peace and love!

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      • Hello KK! I think of you often, as well. Work gets in the way of enjoying all the city has to offer, but I am thankful for the many blessings I have been given..How are you? And how is your son? I pray he has found some peace.. Please take care..Peace and love!

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    • Hi Tired,

      Hope all is well with you. I think of you often as well. Thank you for asking about my son. He bottomed out in a terrible way, almost died. Thank God, he is in a wonderful recovery program which includes 1:1 therapy to work on the root cause of his drinking. He sounds significantly improved on the phone. Thank God for answered prayer. Funny thing this evening as I came home from the hospital after sitting with very ill Mother in Law. Yea, I wanted a glass of wine in the worst way. Instead I started the mountain of laundry crying out to me, made sone toast abd tea, the wine urge is gone!! Would love to hear from you! roseldy@mail.com. Be well, peace and love.

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      • KK..So glad to hear your son is in recovery! My prayers continue.. Will write soon.

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      • KK..Thinking of you and your son during this holiday season…Peace, love and blessings..

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      • KK…Happy New Year!!! Hard to believe I have been following this blog for almost a year, around the time you started posting. Hope you and your family are well, particularly your son…All the best for a blessed 2014 … Xxoo

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      • Hi KK,
        It has been so long, and I am not sure this link is still active. Hope so, and hope 2014 has been a good year for you.. I am doing very well, but don’t take anything for granted. Pray each day that the good days continue. Hope your son is still doing well.. Peace and love to you, KK!

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  186. Good to see newcomers on unP. Sobriety is a bold and awesome journey. I am 8 months into the journey, feeling so much better than when I first began. I attend AA joyfully, but there are other tools out there. Just find what works and do it! For me, the spiritual component is key to the emotional wellness part of sobriety. I worked with a therapist to tame anxieties that contributed to my drinking. Sobriety takes some work and prayer, but the payoff is mental and physical health. Be well everyone. Peace and love.KK

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  187. Here goes my day one. I am a super sneaker drinker (as well as a mom of 2, wife, consultant, fitness buff, etc) or at least I was until last night. I had a rock bottom moment (up until this point I told myself I didn’t have a problem with booze because I didn’t have any big, ugly event I could point to that “qualified” in my mind as an alcoholic moment – stupid logic, I know). Here’s my shame – I am recovering from surgery and decided to have a glass (make that about 3 glasses) of wine – on top of my pain medication. I blacked out. My husband had to put me to bed. My children saw me drop dead drunk. I cannot even communicate the amount of regret/sorrow/sadness I have at this moment in time. My daughter actually told me she was scared for me last night. I literally cannot stand being in my own skin right now. Not sure how I am going to do this – just know I must do this. For my soul.

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    • I am sending you some big love on your first brave day. It’s probably going to suck but your heart and mind will rejoice while your body/brain fight the withdrawals. Please take a moment to research alcohol withdrawal online – most people don’t realize that alcohol is the most dangerous addiction to withdraw from. Can you speak to your husband about quitting so you have his support during the next while? Please stay in touch and share your journey here. I am cheering for you and so are many many others who read this blog (right readers?? Lend your voices!).

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  188. Just to clarify, I strongly believe there is a big difference between religion and spirituality. I do not believe they are one in the same. I strive to be spiritual, and I could care less about religion. These are representative of AA principles as well.

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  189. fullofsuds, AA is not about religion. If that were true, then we wouldn’t have alcoholic priests. I really clung to the idea that AA was for Christians and it was my excuse for not going to AA and therefore not getting sober.

    The Big Book was was originally published in 1939 by AA founders Bill W. and Dr. Bob and has really outdated language. For example, the writing is geared towards men. And of course, God is mentioned. But the higher power described in the Big Book can be anything other than yourself. I am the farthest thing from religious, and do not believe in a Christian God. However, I do have a higher power, and I can admit that there is something more powerful than myself in this world. That’s all it takes. You can find out a lot more about this topic by attending an AA meeting or reading the official literature online.

    I really like what this article has to say about it, found on the Hazeldon website: http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/ade80121.page

    AA offers a new way of living, and is about being spiritual, not religious. With that said, there are many Christians in my AA mtgs, as well as Jews, Buddhists, agnostics/aetheists, even a Muslim or two.

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  190. Do you or does anyone else have any other support groups that they would recommend? I am not christian and have read that AA is brings at least some type of religion into it. Am I wrong?

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    • There are a lot of pathways to recovery for you to consider. As Tricia says, AA is one of them and although it is not aligned with a specific religion, the 12-step method does involve spirituality. Secular programs include Life Ring (lifering.org) and SMART Recovery (smartrecovery.org). Yet another recovery group is womenforrecovery.org – make a cup of fragrant tea and enjoy some time reading and considering the best fit for you! Keep us posted. xo, UnP

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  191. Hi Melissa,

    Gosh your post brought me back. It wasn’t that long ago I felt exactly as you did. About 2 yrs ago, I was doing the same thing. I didn’t realize it then, but my husband was just about done with me. Can you imagine living with yourself? Frankly I can’t believe he stuck by me, the fact that he did shows just how much he loves me and how lucky I am.

    This month marks the 21st month I’ve been sober. How’d I do it? I walked myself into an AA mtg. It was so hard to do that. I sat there for a long time without speaking. The beauty of AA is that I didn’t have to talk if I didn’t want to. I could walk in any time, late or early, and leave any time, and no one pushed me into anything. It’s all about me and my relationship with booze afterall.

    Anyhow, I stuck with it, and found happiness. And a whole host of real, true friends who were struggling with the same problem, but also found happiness via AA. I located my first meeting by finding it on the web, and it turned out to be right behind my work. Here’s the site for your area: http://www.aavirginia.org/hp/meetings/waw.asp

    Good luck to you.

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  192. Melissa…keep up the good work, one day at a time girlfriend!!! It is my 2nd week of not drinking and I feel my anxiety calming down(not gone…lol…but calming). It is amazing what a difference you feel just from one day, I know only too well waking up not hung over is priceless. Sending you strength xo

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    • SG: Wow, you’ve made it 2 weeks!!! You are entering what I called the danger zone, it’s when I began to feel better and then went back to drinking again, thereby resetting my horrible downward spiral! I meant to provide this to you earlier, but forgot. I don’t know what state you are in, but here’s a link that will route you to local AA mtgs: http://www.aa.org/lang/en/central_offices.cfm?origpage=373

      Good luck to you.

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  193. I have been following this page for a while. I have tried numerous times to stop drinking or to “cut back”. I am at the point of severe depression that is taking a serious toll on my marriage. My husband just wants to help and I just want to disappear. I have started seeing a counselor recently and we dived into my drinking recently. He had some powerful words to say, but I still continued to stop to buy A twelve pack of my favorite suds ever couple of days. In order to save my marriage and myself, I know that quitting drinking is the only way. I wake up this morning without a bloated belly and a clear mind. Last night I DID NOT DRINK! And I feel GREAT! Onto day two and beyond. Thank you so much for this blog. You are saving so many people just by being brave yourself. Kudos lady!
    Melissa from Virginia beach

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    • Hi Melissa and welcome to our circle of support. There are many paths to choose from and the most important thing is to stay motivated and proactive about taking care of yourself. Don’t drink, engage in a process to adress the reasons you turned to alcohol for comfort, and stay passionate about the life of freedom you deserve. Stay in touch and let us all know how youa re doing. xo, UnP

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      • I didnt realize when I posted this that it would be anonymous. I am also FullofSuds! And I am on day 7 and I feel GREAT!

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      • I am on my 29th day without a drink!!!!!! I could not even tell you how long I went this long.

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      • I am now on day 35 of my sober life. I have found that replacing my nightly beer(s) with flavored carbonated water is a good way to trick myself into thinking I am drinking a beer. Sometimes I will even have O’Douls. I have gone out for happy hour a few times, and even my husbands 20th reunion and only drank the non alchohilic beer. He is so proud of me! I started going to a counselor for depression about a month before I quit drinking, so he has helped me through the process as well. I feel great!
        Melissa

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        • SO AWESOME! Good for you!! It is so important to make the connection between addiction and mental health.

          Parties can be tricky. I just survived a huge housewarming party (at our house). One of our guests even brought me a special bottle of imported cherry juice instead of a bottle of wine. I usually mix grapefruit pelligrino with grapefruit perrier (to cut the sweetness and calories) and have just as much fun as everyone else. I also love O’Douls and Fresca (mix it half and half). And I just bought a great book from @soberjulie with holiday mocktail recipes!

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  194. Thanks guys!!! So far so good. Last night was a little daunting since it was Friday but spending some relaxing time with my daughter seemed to do the trick and let me tell you waking up early on a beautiful Saturday morning without a hangover feels AWESOME! I will keep everyone’s suggestions in my mind, thank you all for reaching out and for the support!!! xo right back to all of you and stay strong : )

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  195. SG – I think you’ve found your secret support group right here! Tricia’s advise is also “right on.” I attend regular AA meetings as well, but these sober cyber blogs are what really got me through. They are all very positive and ready to help you through any of those hellish moments (which get easier and easier by the way). Forget about “life without cocktails to relax.” Those cocktails just numbed you until morning. They added no value to your life. Stick around here and you will discover a whole new life to enjoy with your children!! Hugs! Trish

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  196. It is day 5 for me without drinking. Just the beginning..my hands sweat just thinking about a life without my “cocktails” to relax at night, weekends and even sunny afternoons. What will fill that void? I felt myself slipping very quickly. After my horrible one of many many incapacitating hangovers I said I can’t do this to myself, my body and mostly my children (what do they think when I have been drinking all night and can’t get out of bed the next day? what king of example and I setting and what the hell kind of mother am I! ) I know stopping drinking is the answer….as hard as it is going to be. I have looked all over the internet to find some sort of “secret” recovery group because I do feel very ashamed and also worry what others will think of me especially being only in my early 30s. Finally I found something that I can relate to and become part of with your blog, it hit the nail right on the head…thank you. Looking forward to following you and seeing clearly again

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    • Hi SG, there is a secret support group out there, it’s called Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s great, because everyone is anonymous, and just like you! If you can summon up the courage to go to a meeting, I think you’ll be surprised at what you find. It’s not really a support group, but a group of people who get together, talk about how they got and stayed sober, and formed a new life. I did this almost 2 years ago, and it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. I have a new life now, and it’s all because of AA.

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    • SG, You have a ton of options for making this change in your life. I believe that one day there will be no shame in seeking recovery – it will be met with the same enthusistic support as someone who quits smoking, loses weight, starts a savings plan, or quits suntanning. “GOOD FOR YOU!” Taking charge of your health, your character, and your happiness is something to be entirely proud of, not ashamed of. And don’t worry – that will come. As Tricia H, suggests, AA is an option for you. So is SMART Recovery (they have online meetings as well as local groups), Life Ring, Women for Sobriety, and more. You could consider Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Or you could immerse yourself in the online recovery world of blogs, yahoo groups (check out Booze Free Brigade on Yahoo), postcasts (www.thebubblehour.com), and so on. In my opinion, the MOST important thing is that you do SOMETHING OTHER THAN drink and be persistant. If you try it on your own and can’t make that fly, try another path. Don’t settle for anything less than recovery! You deserve it and so does your family. You’ll find that talking to other people in recovery is incredibly helpful; fellowship is a major contributor to success in recovery. So if you have a chance to reach out and connect, grab it! The benefits will far outweigh the temporary discomfort of feeling embarassed. Way to go – I am so happy for you. xo, UnP

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  197. The strength of mind you have shown to reveal personal details really is inspirational. I wish I had that strength. I am scared shitless on your behalf and I do hope no one makes unkind comments but in case anyone does I hope you can balance them against the strength you have provided others.

    Of course I can but hope I recognise you in an airport one day.

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  198. I really enjoy your blog and your honesty. Keep staying the course. Your writings encourage every day to try my best to avoid the drink. Some days I am better than others.

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  199. I am so PROUD of you for having the courage to show us your pretty face and tell us your name. I am still struggling, but it is nice to know that there are people out there JUST LIKE ME!

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  200. Encouraging news about your son, KK.. I will continue to keep him in my prayers..Back to work after a wonderful break…

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  201. Hi Tired. Good to hear from you, and that you carved some beach time. I love the beach! My favorite getaway. Hooe you are relaxing away from the corporate world. Talked to my son today. I do have the sense he now wants to get well, sounded good on the phone. Peace and love!

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  202. Hi KK.. Enjoying a week at the beach.. Thinking of you and your son. Hope you are well.. Peace and love..

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  203. Tired.. I am deeply sorry you lost a loved one to alcoholism. It is all so tragic and heartbreaking to all. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes which mean the world to me.
    On a happier note, we are enjoying amazing mild weather here in Ca. Good golf day !
    Be well, be happy, and peaceful. Love and blessings!

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  204. KK..I am terribly sorry to hear about your son. Your situation is one I can unfortunately relate to, having lost a loved one to this terrible disease. You are doing the best you can at this point, which is letting your son know you love him; that you are there if he can find the strength to try to recover; and to pray….Many thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers. I am doing well..Your concern has helped more than you can know…Please take care..

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  205. How is your son, KK?

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    • Hi Tired! Thank you for your concern. Unfortunately, he is still sick, not taking steps to recover. No better than when I saw him in Dallas. All I can do is pray.

      How are you doing these days? Think of you often, you are in my prayers! Peace and love!!

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  206. KK..The message to you earlier today is from Tired…Peace.

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    • Tired.. Thank you for your kind and warm support. So glad you are still on line. Praying for our loved ones still suffering. Pray God leads them to recovery before they die od liver failure, pacreatic disease, wet brain, etc. The insanity seems torturious by the demeanor of my son.

      Hope you are well Tired. Thank yoy for your friendship. Peace and love to all!!

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  207. KK..I was so happy to read your post..delighted that you are continue to do so well on your journey, but terribly sorry to hear about your son. Your grief is completely understandable. I know firsthand the pain and helplessness when a loved one has the disease of alcoholism. Please know that you have my prayers for his recovery..Peace and love..

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  208. 🙂

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  209. This is great. You are great. I’m ready. 25 hours sober.

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    • Hurray! Great for you – holler if you need encouragement. There are many wonderful folks connected to this page who are cheering you on right now. Can you feel it? You’re not alone in this. Xo, UnP

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  210. Hi there. I love your blog! You are never alone – truly. Sending you prayers and well-wishes!

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  211. Out of the box

    Tired, So nice to hear from you! I am doing well on day 25. Will attend a 4th of July party this evening. My first sober party…my first sober 4th of July as an adult! I’m looking forward to being in the moment…clear headed…physically and mentally strong. Hugs to you and all!

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    • KK and Out of the Box: Away on a business trip and doing well.. Thinking of you both..Hope you are both enjoying the summer. Peace!!

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      • Tired,
        Glad you’re still out there! KK…hope you are still around as well. I’ve started my own blog however, it’s not that engaging, but I am commenting on other blogs as “changingcoursenow” in case you run into me in cyberspace. Hope you are both well. I’m doing great at 33 days (thanks to Unpickled who started me on this journey).

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        • So happy to be sharing this journey with you. I’m honoured that my observations have helped you to make this important change to honour yourself. I wish I could reach out and hug you all. Lots of love, UnP

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  212. Tired and Out of the Box… so good to hear from you. So enjoy our cyber friendship. Out od the Box, what a huge and courageous step you took by attending a meeting and speaking up. I will never forget my first meeting a few short months ago. I love the womens group meetings. I have made friends there who meet after meetings for lunch or coffee. We encourage and pray for o e another. So happy you are on this beautiful journey. Peace and love…KK

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    • KK and Out of the box ….Thinking of you both on this long weekend…Doing well and enjoying time away from the city by the ocean.. Hope you are well…Peace and love!

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    • KK…How are you doing? Thinking of you… Peace..

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      • Hi Tired and All….Yes, still here. I have been in Dallas all month, heading home tomorrow. Six months into my jouyney, still feeling great, loving sobriety. I saw my Son last night who is very sick with alcoholism. Honestly, unless he commits to recovery, his life span is very short. His mental and physical health is very poor. This disease is a killer. I share this with you to appeal to the newly sober to continue on the sober path of wellness. Just commit to not drink for 24 hrs, just for this day because you mean the world to someone. That someone would grieve deeply if you let yourself fall into the abyss of alcoholism. Second, if you would pray for my son, that God will lead him to recovery. Apologies for being down, grief is in my heart today.

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  213. Out of the box

    Tired – I’ve been thinking of you as well. Hope you are feeling well and energized! So much has happened to me over the past few days. Tomorrow will be day 20 and I’m floating on that “pink cloud.” Hope it stays under me. I’ve also attended two women’s AA meetings and feel like it is the place where I belong. Did something at the second meeting that I never, ever thought I’d do. I said “my name is Trish, and I am an alcoholic.” I felt a shudder…then, such relief. Sober feels so good! Have a wonderful weekend my sober, cyber friends!

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  214. KK and Out of the box: Thinking of you both and hoping you are well… Happy Friday!

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  215. Thanks Out of the box and UnPickled for reaching out. Feeling good today. Relaxing with a San Pellegrino with grapefruit…Thanks, UnP, for recommending this delicious beverage!

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  216. kim.holsapple@facebook.com

    I just found your blog tonight through a recovery page on Facebook. Alcohol was never my problem. Crack cocaine was. I was in active addiction for over 20 years. I went through homelessness, prostitution to support my habit. This coming 4th of July I will celebrate 6 years clean. And, like you, I did it myself. Life is SO much better now. 6 years ago I lived in a tent in the woods, ate out of dumpsters, had to find buildings with outside faucets to bathe, and walked the streets and prostituted myself for crack. Today I own my home. I bathe in my own shower. I buy and cook my own food. And I am happily married to my best friend. I have been abundantly blessed.

    It started so slow I didn’t realize it at first. At first I would just “party” on weekends with friends. Then ALL weekend. Then during the week – I missed work and lost my job. Then my vehicle broke down. Then someone suggested tricking to pay for the drugs. Then I stopped paying rent and lost the roof over my head. At least I had a tent (and lived in South Florida). I started in my 20’s and swore I’d stop when I hit middle age. Next thing I knew 20-30 years have gone by. I was gonna turn 50 on my next birthday. But I think the thing that “got to me” was when one day I looked in the mirror and I no longer recognized the person staring back at me. It was like another person had completely taken over my body. I no longer could even find the tiniest part of the “real” me – the me I was raised to be.

    My parents were retired “snow birds”. Six months in South Florida, six months in the Ozarks of Southwest Missouri. My parents were well aware of my addiction. I called and asked if I could move and “start over” up there. You see I had already called with this same request twice before. They had bought me a plane ticket (twice) and drove hours to the airport and sat and waited on me. Only I was holed up in some fleabag motel smoking crack and never even went to the airport. My parents ended up losing all that money for 2 plane tickets. Figuring they would be hesitant, I offered to pay my bus ticket. They agreed. The day arrived. Yes, I did buy a small amount of crack. But I also went to WalMart and bought a traveling outfit AND I went to the bus station and bought the ticket. Yes, while waiting I dipped behind a soda machine and smoked a hit or two, but when that bus pulled in I left that crack pipe behind that soda machine, got on that bus and never looked back. BEST DECISION EVER!!!

    I remember seeing fireworks in several small towns along the way. And this 4th of July I will celebrate 6 years clean. I call it my own little “Independence Day”. And I got to rediscover “me”. I got to choose what I liked and wanted to keep and what to get rid of. Did you know vanilla is my favorite ice cream? I wish I could just wave a magic wand and grant everyone who wants it, sobriety. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that, so instead I will pray for courage, strength, patience, and forgiveness for each and every one of you!!!

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    • Out of the box

      Kim, I was so touched by your story and so happy for your new blessings. Possibly you are still struggling since you are searching for like-minded bloggers online. I found these blogs 13 days ago when I decided never to drink again. They are my new friends, my new support system. Stay with us – we’re all in this together!

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    • What an amazing testimony of strength and spirit and will to survive. I’m in awe of your achievement and I’m sure your words will move everyone who reads them. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope anyone who is searching for inspiration to change their life finds their way to your comment and feels the power we all possess to throw off the chains.

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    • Kim….You are an amazing woman of strength, willingness, and courage. I am very moved by your story. Thank you for sharing the most raw and deep pieces of your recovery journey. I wish you many more happy “Independence Days” celebrating yourself and recovery. Peace and love….KK

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  217. Tired…so good to hear from you. I hope you are well…knowing that work, family stress, etc can get in one’s way of “serenity”. Anxiety still hangs on to me. Hate that old friend who just won;t let go. At times anxiety is worse than others. The big “however” is I refuse to invite my old friends, Chardonnay and Zinfandel to my pity parties. Actually, I am seeing someone tomorrow about getting a handle on my anxiety. Yes, life continues to happen on it’s own terms.. When we are sober we actually have to “cope” with whatever comes our way. Sobriety requires new and different coping mechanizims. When I was drinking, I could be upset and tell myself I’d wait until wine time to medicate. That worked for many years, but not now. That said, I am so loving sobriety and feeling physically and mentally well. Love the clarity of thinking, sleeping better, and not waking up in a fog, feeling guilty, trying to remember what I said the night before, etc……. Life is good on this side. Be well…peace and love.

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    • All: Back to day 1, after some good stretches. Life is turbulent..no question. But as KK, out of the box, UnPickled and so many others on this blog have noted, numbing yourself through alcohol (my problem) really does not help..at all! I have such control in so many aspects of my life (unPickled..I so relate to your recent posting on “perfection”), but can’t seem to get this one under control, once and for all.. So deep breath, here I go again.. feeling down on this beautiful day, but trying to be optimistic…and to live in the moment..Thank you, friends, for being there…Peace and love…

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      • Out of the box

        Tired, Don’t beat yourself up on this. Just take a breath and start a new day. We are all in this together – so we will all reach down to pick each other up and walk arm in arm. Thanks for your honesty…it keeps us all humble. Love and warm hugs!

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      • Every second we spend in triumph over our addiction is its own little miracle. Grab on tight to the lessons this relapse taught you and may they strengthen you going forward. Xo, UnP

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      • Tired. congratulations on day 1. Hang in there as each day without wine is a wonderful victory. Sipping wonderful non alcohol beverages instead of wine helps tremensously. When tempted to drink, try a walk, water plants, or call a friend. I made a few Starbucks runs in the first few weeks. You are so worth this journey! Prayers for peace.

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    • KK.. I can so relate to coping with anxiety. I hope you are able to find some relief. One thing is for certain, as you well know, wine is NOT the answer for all the reasons you mentioned.. My thoughts and prayers are with you …

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      • KK…Thanks for the encouragement! Living in the city makes walks to Starbucks easy since they seem to be on every other block :). …Truly hope you are doing well…Blessings and peace!

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  218. Out-of-the-box…..9 days is terrific!! Enjoy your week alone without the wine… KK….It was so good to hear from you… You sound wonderful. And you continue to be such an inspiration…Thank you!

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  219. Out of the box

    Thanks KK! Day 9 and still in there for the long haul. I’ve shared these blogs with a good friend who is in the same place and she is all in too! Had my bi-annual physical today. The doctor noticed something different about me and asked what it was. I told her I had eliminated alcohol from my life (very nonchalantly). She asked how that felt. I told her it was an awesome feeling. Couldn’t help but wonder if she asked that for her own personal reasons. My husband is out of town for a week. That would usually mean a trip to the store for the box with no worries about how many times I visited the tap – no one to judge. No one to hide it from. Funny…this is the first time I don’t want to buy that box, because I really don’t want to drink it. Awesome!

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  220. Dear Out of the Box. Happy 34 year anniversary. Good for you for going out to dinner and not letting yourself be seduced by the romance of the wine. Wine, like all alcohol is truly cunning, baffeling, and powerful. Good you were preared with what to order so you weren’t caught off guard by the serving asking what he/she could get you drink. One day at a time! Peace and love, KK

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  221. Out of the box