Online Alcohol Therapy |  Do you need professional help? |  Alcoholism & Recovery Articles |  Self Help Resources

The Road to Abstinence - Archived

New Members thread, SOS thread, Daily chat and Support, Cutting Down, Abstinence and more.
nettii
Posts: 219
Joined: 21 Jan 2010 09:22
Last Drink Date: 17 Jan 2011
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by nettii » 09 Jan 2011 14:32

Alcohol negatives - wow, we could make a very long list there.

For me one of the main negatives is the debilitating anxiety. Before I stopped drinking in November I thought the anxiety was brought on by the regularity of my drinking, but after my blip 4 days ago, I can see any drinking, even for one, day brings it on. It was horrendous.

User avatar
silvergirl
Posts: 4043
Joined: 07 Sep 2009 12:04
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by silvergirl » 09 Jan 2011 14:38

that's my experience too nettii, i wouldn't mind drinking if it was a day, then a hangover, then back to normality. but as we all know only too well on this thread/site, it's not. i meant to post the other day to say that's a fairly fantastic innings you've got there, and a very positive way of looking at your achievements, you're doing great m'dear, just great.

best wishes,
sgx
you can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
~jon kabat-zinn

User avatar
Sandy
Posts: 8366
Joined: 20 Aug 2009 23:41
Last Drink Date: 21 Aug 2009
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by Sandy » 09 Jan 2011 16:30

Ace
we all know exactly what your talking about re the debate with yourself about moderate/drinking reintroducing, we all go through it. My advice... dont think you are having the debate with you and your logical self.... you are having the debate with you and the EAF!!!!
Please come on here and thrash it all out...there are so many people here who have tons of experience of this, dont argue about it in your own head......from what i have seen the majority of people who attempt moderation or reintroducing at some point fail or the moderation escalates...This is not everyone tho and is only my opinion.
just please when the time comes make a promise to come on here and work it all through huh?
Sandy

nettii
Posts: 219
Joined: 21 Jan 2010 09:22
Last Drink Date: 17 Jan 2011
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by nettii » 09 Jan 2011 17:34

that's my experience too nettii, i wouldn't mind drinking if it was a day, then a hangover, then back to normality. but as we all know only too well on this thread/site, it's not. i meant to post the other day to say that's a fairly fantastic innings you've got there, and a very positive way of looking at your achievements, you're doing great m'dear, just great.

best wishes,
sgx
Ahhh, thanks SG. I read a while ago on BE of people sinply marking AF days on their calender. That's what I'm doing and it looks GOOOOD.

User avatar
silvergirl
Posts: 4043
Joined: 07 Sep 2009 12:04
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by silvergirl » 09 Jan 2011 20:50

ach, i dunno if it needs editing jojo. you've made me think, which is no bad thing. still pondering..

sgx
you can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
~jon kabat-zinn

nettii
Posts: 219
Joined: 21 Jan 2010 09:22
Last Drink Date: 17 Jan 2011
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by nettii » 09 Jan 2011 20:54

Joanne, your post has now got me thinking!! You say

" I look back at what it has done to my life and think of where I might have been if it had not taken over in my partners life and then in mine........The life I have endured through anothers habit and the life I endured as I used it to escape the memories and the depression that has dogged me since. I also think of him and the impact it had on his life."

That's so poignant to me, and I hope you don't mind me bringing it up again as it's obviously something you've dealt with well in the past. I too, up until v recently, had an alcoholic partner (only of 18 months). My drinking before I met him was not great, never has been, but I managed to battle it and keep it under some semblance of control. But meeting him and dealing with his behaviour surrounding his drink problem sent me in to a spiral of drinking myself. Turning me in to an alcoholic myself, dealing with an alcoholic partner. It's a confusing situation to say the least.

On the plus side of this, if I hadn't met him I'd still be doing the constant battle of controlled drinking and the self loathing that comes with it. Meeting him and having my life go out of control very quickly has made me come here, seek help and accept that drinking is VERY VERY BAD for me.

I also think about the impact it's had on him, I'm stil raw and have a glimmer ofg hope that he'll sort his drinking out because I do still love him. But it's a very tiny glimmer I'm afraid. :(

User avatar
Sandy
Posts: 8366
Joined: 20 Aug 2009 23:41
Last Drink Date: 21 Aug 2009
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by Sandy » 10 Jan 2011 12:39

Zoe wrote
"Which makes it so crazy to still miss drinking when I know all this. The addiction does not just go away when we stop drinking, that I can see for myself. What I'm struggling with at the moment is to find a way forward in my life generally. It all feels kind of pointless, and I know how ungrateful and mean-spirited that sounds ... even to my own ears."
yep it's strange zoe and I dont think it's mean spirited or ungrateful.
When we first come here and start our own chosen road to sobriety, we are desperate to escape the hell we found ourselves in through drinking. The high that we feel when we start to clock up those sober days is a fantastic feeling, we are able to compare every day sober with what we were like when we were drinking...no comparison ..no doubts life is so much better...after a while things start to settle it's not easy attempting to maintain sobriety but with every sober day it gets a wee bit easier.
A life starts to return, some semblance of "normality" without the alcohol....it's a different life really.....same stuff...but with a different (sober) person now in control making decisions and choices....whether we want to or not. When some of these choices and decisions are difficult (or not very pleasant) I think thats when our (addicted) minds start to work overtime......" phew WTF is this all about anyway"............"well this is'nt a very good time is it? might as well have a drink"......our initial euphoria about giving up the booze starts to wain and we (perhaps conveniently)cant really remember how bad our lives were for us (and all around us) when we were drinking. Our lives seem a bit banal, dull, more of the same boring stuff stretching for miles ahead. We have more time on our hands, great thing at first...we love it...we keep busy, we cannot believe how we whiled away those hours before just drinking...then it just becomes.. well boring...how easy it would be just to sit back and chill,kill the boredom and monotony,ease the stress relax and have a drink or two......does any of this sound familiar?
I know I have been there! It is a very difficult time...and I dont think the months of January and February and the short daylight hours help here.
For me this point in my journey was a great time for reflection, I realised that the addictive voice or whatever you want to call it was working very hard on me. In my sobriety I was beginning to see lots of stuff going on around me that I did'nt like (had declared them null and void previously through the bottom of a wine bottle)but realised now I had to deal with things that were just not very good in my life and very importantly embrace all that was good .... never let this part slip into insignificance it is very important to constantly remind yourself of the good that sobriety has brought to you...if you let the addictive voice take over it well tell you you hav'nt really achieved anything and would be better to go back to having a drink.
If it helps make lists ,write it all down.
There is a way forward Zoe and it is yours for the taking. A new job, a project, hobby, some YOU time carved into every day, time with friends (only ones that make you feel good) a fitness regime, a course of study (doesnt nees to be a stressful academic one), decorating a room in the house. Anything really because sober, the world is your oyster. Make a plan and do something that you will enjoy, try and do it every day.
This restless time will pass, it is only another little hill to climb in your sobriety challenge, please see it as just that and make some plans to get through it. There is really no need for me to say (but I will) that drinking now is really not what you want,you know this anyway. You are more than likely just a bit bored with everything and it is time to look for fresh opportunities to make life a bit more pleasurable...and you know that drinking in the fashion we do (or did)is in no way or by any stretch of the imagination pleasurable.
Neal gave me some great advice on attempting to change your mindset over the weekend and it worked a treat for me. Maybe if he reads this he will give us all a bit more info.
Stick with it Zoe life can be just plain old hum drum at times, we get up and think "oh no, same old same old" but never forget it is a million times better sober.
Now go out and grab some action...mmm..not your style?...ok write that list of things you would really like to do that are achievable and will give you pleasure..dont set the bar too high and add stress, you dont need it. Also write down all the good in your life that has come your way since giving up drinking...even little things mean a lot Zoe
Take good care of yourself
love
Sandy

nettii
Posts: 219
Joined: 21 Jan 2010 09:22
Last Drink Date: 17 Jan 2011
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by nettii » 10 Jan 2011 13:27

Why didn't I take more notice of this thread before!!! Some great, great stuff on here.

When I was drinking I think I blamed a lot of "me" on the drink. A good example of this was my business, it was going downhill, I couldn't face dealing with people because of the hangovers and anxiety. If I gave up drink i'd be able to cope and everything would be great. Not quite so easy.

Without the drink the anxiety has mostly gone but it hasn't given me that Ummmmphhh I thought would come automatically with being sober. I read a great post on BE weeks ago from calamity where she was asking "where do we buy ummmpph from? Is there an online shop we can pay by credit card?". It made me laugh and I wish it was that easy.

I panic about how much has to be done and end up doing nothing because i'm too scared. So now I write lists, and don't think about the rest.

I realise I have to priovide the uuummph in my life. I'm starting doing this in small steps, not expecting too much of myself but expecting far more than I have been giving.

User avatar
64Turtles
Posts: 1067
Joined: 23 Dec 2009 12:19
Last Drink Date: 29 Sep 2014
Location: US
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by 64Turtles » 10 Jan 2011 13:32

It seems that I get to add to some very thoughtful posts and boy do I feel inadequate..... but in the spirit of "here goes"....
I had read something earlier that said, " Happiness is not the absence of despair.It is the affirmative state in which our lives have meaning and pleasure". So for me the idea he is saying - that our lives need purpose, which will give meaning and then and only then - happiness can come and go. I don't belive there is anyone who can say they are happy all the time. I have also read that there is a time and place for all things. This lends to me the idea that there is a purpose for all these things to come to pass as well. If this life is to be an adventure as well as a journey, then we have to play a part in the execution( I don't like that word....guilty past I suppose).
I am redefining who this turtle fellow really is.....hmmmmmmmmm
Seems to be I have many good qualities but in order to use these I am having to stretch my boundries abit and then abit more. You see I have always been a bit of a hermit kinda person. Not really scared of people but more like irritated by their stupidity ( wait...aren't I the genius that sat in jail...). It really would be fair to explain the petty drama is what turns me off as I really do love people but small doses suits me better. I just have a hard time understanding how such small things(broken cell phone) send someones whole day(week) off the earth.
Anyway....Back to being focused while not focusing on alcohol. I give me a list of wants and a list of needs. I work slowly to accomplish one or both at the same time. I can take my own pace as the list will be ever waitin so I am not pressured to perform. I am finding new venues to involve myself and in doing so I have new friends who are genuine and sober. It really is helpful to get an attitude of gratitude to make any progress as dumpy and grumpy are setting at the pub waiting for us all. Positive thinking will NOT make us inoculated from pain and suffering but it surely points out our options much better.

To add in a quick edit to mention that there is the rule that says: if you change the actions then the feelings will follow.

Hope my incoherent ramblings aren't so incoherent to you as they seem to me so often............ <:)>


By the way Sandy how was the weekend ? I hadn't read. <:)> <:)>
“Just remember - when you think all is lost, the future remains”

AceGricer
Posts: 455
Joined: 24 Sep 2009 17:16
Location: Cornwall
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by AceGricer » 10 Jan 2011 18:16

Bela
Not a typo just poor use of language. What I meant was that there are some situations and places where it seems desirable to drink wine.Airport departure lounges for example looking forward to a flight to go on holiday or to see family.Riding on a comfortable train after a day out in connection with voluntary work.I always feel like going to the Express Cafe Coach and purchasing :) a bottle of wine, going back to my seat and then enjoy travelling through Cornwall consuming it and looking out of the window.Especially in Spring, Summer and Autumn.These are a few examples.The way I worded that post was indeed confusing.What I want to do is think about all of these types of situation and make very sure that I do not drink any alcohol at all.What I want is to abstain totally.So far so good.This time around I am more determined than ever to succeed.It's always nice to hear from you. I hope all is well with you.
Neil :)

AceGricer
Posts: 455
Joined: 24 Sep 2009 17:16
Location: Cornwall
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by AceGricer » 10 Jan 2011 18:19

Technical incompetence caused an unwanted little smiling icon to appear in the middle of my last post.Please ignore it as it was quite unintended.
Have a Good Evening Everyone.
Neil

AceGricer
Posts: 455
Joined: 24 Sep 2009 17:16
Location: Cornwall
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by AceGricer » 10 Jan 2011 20:00

Sandy
Thanks for what you wrote.This is the place to sort these issues out.I find it very helpful to be on here.
Take Care
Ace

User avatar
NewBeginnings
Posts: 19
Joined: 10 Jan 2011 20:42
Last Drink Date: 01 Jan 2011
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by NewBeginnings » 11 Jan 2011 01:18

nettii wrote:Alcohol negatives - wow, we could make a very long list there.

For me one of the main negatives is the debilitating anxiety. Before I stopped drinking in November I thought the anxiety was brought on by the regularity of my drinking, but after my blip 4 days ago, I can see any drinking, even for one, day brings it on. It was horrendous.

Anxiety is one of the reasons I quit. I did some research on it, and it's a serious thing... We are not alone. I'm lucky I never got a panic attack, but feel I came very near a few times... yck...

Check this guy outl; he shared his experience: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y401QA-XuQ

Cheers
First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.

User avatar
hamster
Posts: 1915
Joined: 21 Oct 2008 16:19
Last Drink Date: 02 Nov 2010
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by hamster » 11 Jan 2011 06:49

zoe wrote:. What I'm struggling with at the moment is to find a way forward in my life generally. It all feels kind of pointless, and I know how ungrateful and mean-spirited that sounds ... even to my own ears.
Hi Zoe

You are the least mean spirited, ungrateful person Ihave ever known. In any event - we all deserve to be mean spirited or ungrateful on occasion. It called being normal and human. But I do understand the struggle to find a way forward in life. Its caused me to lapse on all occasions.

some great posts on here around why we drink, lapse etc so I wont go there to much but will focus a little on the discontent that triggers drinking. The feeling of 'whats the point'.

For me.......... this time around I have needed to focus hard on why I have slipped in the past and try to sort that one out. My triggers are the 'whats the point' feeling, resentment, and discontent.

As you know a defining point for me with my relationship with my Mother was when I was told to stop looking for her approval because I would never get it and was wasting me emotional energy. I did stop looking for that approval and it turned my relationship with her around. Much more content.

so I started looking at that idea in other areas of my life. My relationship with OH. I have spent years trying tochange him. Trying to make him something I wanted in my head. A few weeks ago I realised that he would never change. I had two options - leave or accept. I have chosen to accept and accept he will not change. Since then Its been amazing. I dont look at him as 'husband' but more as 'person' and the things that really used to get my goat just dont. Its who he is and who am I to demand perfection. God how simple was that and yet it tookme years. A calm household.

Happiness - I remember my dad telling me years ago 'happiness is not a prerequisit for life'. Why has that stuck in my head? But he is right. Happiness is a state of being that is sold to us very often through the media. The whole world must be happy and we should spend our lives searching for it. Why? what is it?

My head used to be full of 'I would be happy if.I were thinner, had a less stressful job, OH became super husband, I had a bigger house, garden,more money.............................' Not true. At some point in my life I have had all but would still complain 'I would be happier if....................' Why do we look at others and often assume they have a better deal?

so, like the idea of no longer looking for approval from Mum, I have decided to stop looking for happiness. Well stop looking any further than under my own nose that is. I dont know what everyone believes but happiness to me is seeing the smiles on my sons face and knowing that I am the one who put them there.

Im getting back to basics - Being grateful for what I have and not looking for the obscure or the fable.

One day I will face something uncomfortable, painful because thats what life is. Without difficulties we would never appreciate the times when there are none. Life is tough as hell and despite what the media likes us to think, there is no holy grail of happiness out there that lasts.

I am honestly so grateful these days for a day without major problems, for sobriety, for my sons. I am focusing on everything I have to be grateful for and it makes me smile. So therefore am I not happy?So these days I am feeling a little calmer. Will it all help me keep sobriety? Will I be able to remember my words when the tougher times come? Dont know but I do know I am tired of searching for something so elusive as happiness

Julie
xx
AF2011 number 10

User avatar
Tony
Posts: 977
Joined: 30 Dec 2008 09:59
Last Drink Date: 24 Oct 2006
Location: North France via Liverpool
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by Tony » 11 Jan 2011 07:59

The opposite of miserable is happy - therefore if I am not miserable, I am happy = true.

I know from my later drinking habits that drinking makes me miserable. I don't want to be miserable, I want to be happy therefore I don't drink.

The opposite of helpful is useless. I know that when I am sober I am helpful and when I am drunk I am more than useless - true.

Deduction = drunkeness will make me miserable and useless: not good, pointless.

It takes a bit of time to 'convince' yourself of these facts but that's how I think about it. Clear cut facts, not too many grey areas is the method that works for me.

tony <:)> <:)>
Keep your shield up at ALL times. Keep your promises, reach your small targets.THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK.

European Duvet Diving Champion Nov 2006.
AF 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014 & 2015. Woohoo, it's possible folks.

AceGricer
Posts: 455
Joined: 24 Sep 2009 17:16
Location: Cornwall
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by AceGricer » 11 Jan 2011 09:18

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Bu**er the EAF. The GAP (Good Alcohol Piskey) who comes off Bodmin Moor to encourage me in the matter of abstention is always welcome.Like me she is not prejudiced about the land that lies East of the Tamar and will visit. Aarr she'm lovely. Just what a man, a former notorious toper, needs in his life.Ladies, the good news is there are also handsome male piskeys.
Enjoy the Day!
Neil

thewho
Posts: 1416
Joined: 01 Jul 2009 15:03
Last Drink Date: 04 Aug 2015
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by thewho » 11 Jan 2011 10:28

Ace
so glad to hear that the mythical GAP actually exist... Can you send her this way when you next see her??

ta!

thewho

nettii
Posts: 219
Joined: 21 Jan 2010 09:22
Last Drink Date: 17 Jan 2011
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by nettii » 11 Jan 2011 10:51

Hamster: I've done the same as you with my Dad as you have with your Mum. I spent years being angry of his lack of interest. Once I accepted that it's his flaw and he will never change I fee at peace with him

As for material things, I've never been very materialistic. I have a friend who is very materialistic and likes her life to be just "so", a nice steady road. I look at her and her "perfect" life and I feel a little sorry for her.

When I get to the end of my life I want to reflect and say "Boy, what a ride I had, I experienced life, some great ups, some great downs - because that's what life is meant to be about. It was one hell of a ride". What my friend will look back and say? It was easy? A nice steady boring journey?

I think about that when I think abnout material things, last year I desperately needed a new carpet in my bedroom but I really wanted to take the kids on a little break, couldn't afford to do both. So I used the "end of life" scenario for that too - will I really lay there and look back and think "I'm so glad I bought a new carpet for my bedroom in 2010", or will I remember what was a fantastic break, a lovely time in 2010 with my girls.

User avatar
Bela
Posts: 6376
Joined: 15 Nov 2008 23:53
Last Drink Date: 23 Aug 2009
Location: midwest U.S.
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by Bela » 11 Jan 2011 13:06

Amazing reading on the road this morning.
Lots to process.
Julie, to me happiness and joy come unbidden. Pursuit can sometimes have the effect of pushing it away.
Without the block of drinking, I can recognize and accept it for the gift it is when it comes.

Among my handful of favorite self-help books is one called Loving What Is, by Byron Katie. Short but powerful.
I thought of that when reading about your acceptance of your mother and OH . . . I can relate . . . I so often want to shape people in forms that better suit me. In the right relationship there can be a growing closer, but other people will be what they will. Many efforts to change others are rooted in our own inadequacies (speaking for myself), and the full recognition of this can be a bit painful.

Have a great day all, catch up later.

Bela
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

AceGricer
Posts: 455
Joined: 24 Sep 2009 17:16
Location: Cornwall
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence

Post by AceGricer » 11 Jan 2011 17:56

The Who
Consider it done! A real treat coming your way.
Ace :)

Locked