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

The Road to Abstinence.

New Members thread, SOS thread, Daily chat and Support, Cutting Down, Abstinence and more.
User avatar
George
Posts: 8041
Joined: 14 Sep 2009 16:18
Location: The same latitude as the south end of Greenland.
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by George » 02 Mar 2013 09:23

I'm having a problem staying off the drink at the moment as I am not accepting, for whatever reason, that I am an alcoholic. That makes it a much greater problem to deal with for me at the moment.

If I'm not an alcoholic, I ask myself, then why do I need to stay off the drink? Why can't I have a wee dram? It is troubling me on and on at the moment. If I'm not an alcoholic then this trouble wouldn't be here with me but it is and it's a bugger to live with.

The worst thing about it and I remind myself of this regularly, is that when I first gave up, I was off the drink for ages, just over a year - and then had a drink to celebrate. Talk about stupid, eh.

Since then, it has not been the same as the first time around at all. A month or two off the drink here, a few months off it there and it drives me crazy. Either I don't drink and stop complaining or I do drink and stop bloody well complaining. Whichever I choose to do, stop moaning about it, please. It is turning out to be harder than expected to make the decision and therefore get rid of the problem though.

I will do my very best to stay off the drink until I've made the decision about it and strangely, it's easier to be honest with other people than it is with yourself, or so I find.
“Now I’m sober and I realize, I didn’t drink to escape the world, I drank to escape myself”
― Phil Volatile, Crushed Black Velvet

roledog33
Posts: 3138
Joined: 11 Apr 2009 13:46
Last Drink Date: 12 Jun 2015

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by roledog33 » 02 Mar 2013 09:34

George,
That was a very thought-provoking post. There have been many a time I have felt exactly like that. Very well written. ;)?

roledog33
An alcoholic will always need a drink; a drunk will always have one.

User avatar
koalaBear
Posts: 355
Joined: 31 May 2012 10:22
Last Drink Date: 07 Jul 2012
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by koalaBear » 02 Mar 2013 09:41

George wrote:I'm having a problem staying off the drink at the moment as I am not accepting, for whatever reason, that I am an alcoholic
Mmm, I wonder if the year + of sobriety has made you doubt whether you really are an alcoholic?

I’ve found not drinking pretty easy recently and I’m beginning to question whether I really have/had that bigger problem in the first place. Thinking to myself that if I was an alcoholic it would be a lot harder than this. Perturbing.

Perhaps it’s best to stay away from such analysis and simply focus on not drinking.
You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space

Johnny Cash.

User avatar
koalaBear
Posts: 355
Joined: 31 May 2012 10:22
Last Drink Date: 07 Jul 2012
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by koalaBear » 02 Mar 2013 11:18

Hiya Hiding.

Yeah I’ve been diagnosed with OCD proper now. The checking/doubting was getting out of hand and just felt like my mind was a stuck record with the constant ruminating. I’m on SSRI’s which are helping a lot, although I’m still plagued by a generally feeling I’ve forgotten to do something!

It’s interesting the OCD flourished when I stopped drinking, dunno if booze masks it or what. That said, OCD is made worse by anxiety and lets face it, stopping drinking is incredibly stressful - at least in the early days.

What sort of stuff do you check, do you feel it’s getting out of the control? I’m on a waiting list for CBT so I’ll post any tips I pick up.
hiding wrote:for some people, it can help them if it takes the uncertainty away and gives them the determination they need to stay sober
Yep that definitely applies to me! I resisted the A word for a long time, but once I accepted it, well phew what a relief it was.
You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space

Johnny Cash.

User avatar
grendeldave
Posts: 613
Joined: 24 Dec 2012 06:53
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by grendeldave » 02 Mar 2013 11:52

Guys, I certainly do not claim to be OCD and I do recognise it as a real problem. Having said that, I do find myself repeatedly checking things since sobering up. Have I locked the back door at night? Yes, of course I have but I still have to check it again. It feels like I don't trust myself. So many nights not being able to trust myself when drinking? Just a thought, but maybe one of the last lessons to learn is: trust me. I am OK.
Desire is an illusion unless it is a streetcar. Don't get run over.

#88 - 2013 Challenge

User avatar
George
Posts: 8041
Joined: 14 Sep 2009 16:18
Location: The same latitude as the south end of Greenland.
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by George » 02 Mar 2013 19:34

Hey peeps

It's not going too well at the mo' but thanks RD, I think that an awful lot of us have been here and will be here again and I'll have to do what you and everyone else did, namely drag myself out of it one more time, such is life, eh.

Koala, perhaps what you've said is very true. I spent a year plus off the demon, without any problems - only to fall into huge amounts of them. There is no trouble staying off the drink, not having any for long enough..... until things change, for no reason at all and then, well, then they all arise again. Perhaps a lot of memories that cause trouble for me but they're my memories and always will be so......

Hiding, you may well be right as well. Knowing that everything is in order and ship-shape would make a splendid difference to me but that knowledge is never with me. Has it ever been? I'm sorry, I don't know but at the moment I know one thing - today, I know nothing. Perhaps that is the biggest part of my problem, perhaps it is and perhaps the next job is to sort that section out. Perhaps.

Dave, I checked your back door on the way home and my key wouldn't open it so you're ok tonight.

Perhaps I miss my wife - perhaps.
“Now I’m sober and I realize, I didn’t drink to escape the world, I drank to escape myself”
― Phil Volatile, Crushed Black Velvet

User avatar
Topcat
Posts: 30303
Joined: 15 Apr 2012 19:37
Last Drink Date: 08 May 2011
Location: U.K
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Topcat » 02 Mar 2013 19:39

I'm sure you'll get there again George - just wasn't to be this time around. Don't give up trying though <:)> <:)> <:)> <:)>
#5 on the 2020 Challenge
Today is our most precious possession.

User avatar
hope22
Posts: 885
Joined: 19 Jan 2013 20:21
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by hope22 » 02 Mar 2013 20:10

Hi George,

Iv replied to you on the 2 month thread.

I dont quite go with the labeling thing, alcoholic (im not sure if i am) my mum uses the word "alkie" I despise it. What I do know is that alcohol has caused great problems in my life and time and time again to continue drinking. I dont ever want to drink again but I cant say I wont this is my first long stint.

Hope
xx
I never ever want to feel the way I felt on Monday 19th August again !!!!!

Loki
Posts: 330
Joined: 15 Dec 2012 10:35
Last Drink Date: 10 Apr 2013
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Loki » 02 Mar 2013 20:27

George. You are indeed a lovely man and you support and help so many people here. I hate to think of you struggling and I'm sending a huuuuge <:)> through the screen to you. Every day that you don't drink and post here is a positive and, as you well know, they add up.

User avatar
grendeldave
Posts: 613
Joined: 24 Dec 2012 06:53
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by grendeldave » 02 Mar 2013 20:28

George, my back door is always open for you - and yes in this all-inclusive apparently-PC world there is a bit of sniggering at the back of the class. Throws blackboard duster thing at big kid in back row. Teachers used to do that for real. :? George key is under the flower pot on the right. Sshh!. Kettle there, right next to tea caddy. Exotic teas in cupboard above.

I think of this journey as like going through mythical Norwegianish troll-infested mountains. Off you go. Little trolls - smack! You go up the mountain pass a fair way. Ooh troll, smack! Smack! Then you get trolled (or trollied ;) ) and you retreat back to base camp. The next generation of trolls get wiser, get smarter. Their next attack gets through sooner. Sooner does not mean better, bigger, stronger for them. It does not mean worse, smaller, weaker for you. Sorry trolls. It is not all about counting days. Counting days is a very, very useful tool. I have no doubt about that whatsoever and I hope anybody who is counting days/weeks/months/years continue to do so. Sometimes though it is about counting incidents, counting feelings, counting challenges, heck ... counting boredom. So, like I said George... kettle is on and coming to the boil.

I know you know the reality of having an alcohol problem because you are totally up-front about it here and in your local community. That takes courage, real courage. But please don't label yourself? It might be just me and not you but if I put the 'I am a pisshead' hat on then that seals my fate. I am freaking not! I have a problem. Today it is a problem, yesterday it was not. I did not drink yesterday. Today I did. [*]Does that make me a pisshead?? Or you? I honestly do not think so mate. I think it makes you and me a couple of blokes who cannot keep control of our drinking 24/7

Dave

[*]PS I am personally cool and sober today, just trying to make a point.
Desire is an illusion unless it is a streetcar. Don't get run over.

#88 - 2013 Challenge

User avatar
George
Posts: 8041
Joined: 14 Sep 2009 16:18
Location: The same latitude as the south end of Greenland.
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by George » 03 Mar 2013 09:57

Hi all <:)>

Hope, I've been along to see the two monthers and left a wee note for you and everyone else. I understand why you don't like "Alcoholic" or "Alki", socially it is seen as degrading to be an alcoholic. Perhaps that's why so many people deny their alcoholism and call themselves "Heavy drinkers" instead. That way they can continue to do as they please and no-one knows the truth, haaahaaa.

Loki, thank you so much. I gave <:)> a great big hug and put another back through to you <:)> You're right, each day off adds up until you've forgotten when the last one was. Hopefully, it won't be long.

Dave, you say so much good sense there. One point in particular, "Today it is a problem, yesterday it was not. I did not drink yesterday. Today I did." does not necessarily an alcoholic make, eh. That's possibly how it's going. Ok, I'm drinking today as well as yesterday but tomorrow I'll have hopefully gotten back on my bike and be pedalling through life as I should. If I manage that for a good few years and keep my drinks apart by two or three months, then what's the problem, what's the fuss all about? If tomorrow starts as day one and carries on, then I might choose to have a dram in a couple of months. It does have to be a choice though and if we can make that choice then yes, we're a couple of blokes that have a problem with control but we're not alcoholics. Psst, I don't have a back door but the front one is always open, teabags on top of the microwave for some reason.

MH, yes, when I first gave up there was no problem in thirteen months - but then I celebrated my time off the bottle by drinking out of the bottle. A bit silly and since then it has come and gone, a bit here and a bit there. I will keep on trying but must teach myself to stay calm and not get too upset when I do drink. Getting upset about it just increases the intake, I suppose. And, as you say, if we never give up we will win.

Gerard, I'm ok, thanks. I'm still drinking but tomorrow should be day one again and it will, with any luck, be a good while before I fall off the horse again, possibly "If I fall off again." Fingers crossed, eh.

Hope that everyone is comfortable with their sobriety and has the kettle on when I chap the door ;)
“Now I’m sober and I realize, I didn’t drink to escape the world, I drank to escape myself”
― Phil Volatile, Crushed Black Velvet

User avatar
Topcat
Posts: 30303
Joined: 15 Apr 2012 19:37
Last Drink Date: 08 May 2011
Location: U.K
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Topcat » 03 Mar 2013 10:01

Kettle is always on at Topcat Towers George <:)> <:)>
#5 on the 2020 Challenge
Today is our most precious possession.

User avatar
CarolP
Posts: 360
Joined: 08 Aug 2012 16:39
Last Drink Date: 07 Apr 2014
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by CarolP » 03 Mar 2013 11:12

Kettles always on here George. You're welcome any time.
Change only happens when the pain of holding on is greater than the fear of letting go.

User avatar
George
Posts: 8041
Joined: 14 Sep 2009 16:18
Location: The same latitude as the south end of Greenland.
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by George » 03 Mar 2013 11:45

Thanks TC, thank Carol, I'll take you up on that.

My kettle is always on too, mind ;)
“Now I’m sober and I realize, I didn’t drink to escape the world, I drank to escape myself”
― Phil Volatile, Crushed Black Velvet

User avatar
DannyD
Posts: 15025
Joined: 02 Jan 2012 19:39
Last Drink Date: 0- 0-1973
First Sober Date: 09 Jan 2020
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by DannyD » 03 Mar 2013 12:14

George there's lots of thoughts going around in my muddled mind, but the big one is the use of choice. For me, abstinence works, but I don't think it should be The Only Way. You've chosen to drink yesterday and today. And that's been your choice. If you can chose not to drink tomorrow and it's not a problem, and you're not blind drunk, hugely hungover or drinking impaired therefore dangerous, I see nothing wrong with this choice. So, it's Choice with the other C, Control. And good luck with it.
be selfish in your sobriety.

User avatar
jane73
Posts: 512
Joined: 18 Dec 2012 16:14
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by jane73 » 03 Mar 2013 17:13

You guys have given me a mighty craving for a cuppa. Anyone free to join me?

User avatar
George
Posts: 8041
Joined: 14 Sep 2009 16:18
Location: The same latitude as the south end of Greenland.
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by George » 03 Mar 2013 17:56

Hi DD

Most of the time I have the choice that you mentioned. To drink or not to drink, to take two sugars or one, whatever but yesterday there was no choice. I needed a drink. I wish that I could justify that but I cannot. If I could justify it, I could then deal with the root behind it but.....

I should be sober tomorrow, I'd better be because I've planned ahead and sobriety is involved (I want to be noticed pushing the lawnmower around, at least near to the lawn.) coz if I'm not then they'll point and whistle and all the rest, such is life, eh :roll:

But seriously, the trouble that came yesterday has been and gone from my head and tomorrow I'll kick off again.

Will the kettle be on early :?: :mrgreen: :?:
“Now I’m sober and I realize, I didn’t drink to escape the world, I drank to escape myself”
― Phil Volatile, Crushed Black Velvet

User avatar
jane73
Posts: 512
Joined: 18 Dec 2012 16:14
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by jane73 » 03 Mar 2013 19:33

My kettle will be on at 6.30am George - do you want caf or decaf?

User avatar
ProudMum
Posts: 381
Joined: 26 Jul 2012 05:01
Last Drink Date: 26 Jul 2012
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by ProudMum » 16 Mar 2013 01:55

Just pondering the past week or two but unsure whether to post about it. But I keep thinking I'd really like feedback, so I'm going to.

First of all, sorry to all who have stopped drinking & then relapsed. I really admire your ability to dust yourselves off & keep on trying.

My problem is sort of opposite. I decided I had a problem, threw everything I had at it (this forum, books, hypnotherapy) and stopped. I haven't relapsed and it's been almost 8 months now. I can't say it's been easy, there've been wobbly times, but my OH has been supportive & I've got through them without drinking.

My question is, if it was 'easy' to flick my 'off' switch, does that mean it's going to be easily switched back on again? I KNOW I had a drinking problem, I have no doubt about it. I don't want to ever drink again. But I worry in case I get complacent & think it wasn't that hard to quit, that I could do it again.

When I stopped smoking 15 years ago I had the same approach and haven't relapsed, but smoking is incredibly anti-social and drinking is the norm & not only socially acceptable but recommended to us constantly by friends, relatives, tv, FB, the radio etc...

Sorry for rambling. I'm not great with finding the right words today, which is odd for me.

User avatar
Connie44
Posts: 430
Joined: 21 Mar 2008 09:37
Last Drink Date: 17 Mar 2014
Location: Warwickshire
Contact:

Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Connie44 » 16 Mar 2013 07:41

Hi proudmum (::) (::) well done you reaching 8 months - way to go. I'm not here to offer advice as I've never lasted more than a month before I don't think.
I think the drinking switch will always be so easy to flick back on as you put it because all it takes is for us to pick up that glass & have one drink. Obviously you have far more experience in staying sober than I, but we all have to keep our guards up (looking at people who have been on this site for a very long time will tell us to not get complacent) you are doing incredibly well & are an inspiration for us all xx
I'm allergic to alcohol - it can kill me.

Post Reply