The Road to Abstinence.

New Members thread, SOS thread, Daily chat and Support, Cutting Down, Abstinence and more.
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seamus54
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by seamus54 »

Thanks so much for your post Tai and congrats on 12 years. I'm now on year 2 and it has been so rewarding for me too. I can relate to your memories,and it's interesting that they are so vivid. I bet your memories are a part of your motivation to stay strong. A real role model!Especially, as Cisco said, a 100 days of "this is day one, i won't drink again. " I used to recite this to myself in the shower many days each month for years. Now, in the shower I can say, "OK clear headed self , how are we going to spend the day having a full life, whatever we do!"

Hello Cowboy Cisco and Pink , it's so helpful for me to be able to share this journey with all of you. On to New Year! Small plans with kids and grand kids. Nice and calm. - I'm feeling confident.

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Wonderful to read Tai <:)> and congratulations, you so deserve the peace that you describe....I get what you mean totally.

Cisco :\: its vital to not allow ’those years that have passed’ discourage you as you are here and want to do something about it. We know that drinking is a waste of time, we know many things about addiction, now its time to put the wheels in motion on a new, never ending journey of freedom. It’s Never too late for anything and wouldn’t it be wonderful to achieve that dream of sobriety as opposed to yet another year ticked off in the alcohol trap. I’ll be with you on that one. Good luck.

Seamus, CB, Everyone :\: <:)>
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

Cisco
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cisco »

So appreciate the guidance and learning found here.

Ive made too much of my drinking past. Ive dug deep to understand the 'why' and have a good idea that leads me back to my childhood relationship with my father, resulting in me never feeling loved enough, or good enough in his eyes which lead me to the 'f___' it decision to drink.

Now I one day 2 of my never again life with a day one. Focus on the crap it all is and brings at the forefront but not weighing me down but being like a door I've closed. After all, it just a decision and if I say no to it when the urge/craving comes it fades in a few moments as long as I don't act on it and give in I get stronger and I live into what you all have offerred as the live ahead.

Im looking forward to the best 1/3 of life ahead now!

So grateful, thank you all!

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

1/3 sober is very positive indeed and will bring so much joy and peace Cisco <:)>

Ok.....so I could waffle on a lot but I’m not going to...well I am but I will try and keep it as short as possible, I think BE has heard enough over the decade or so Ive been here and also heard enough repetition. What I will say is that deep down, I know that if I continue, I’m pretty certain alcohol will shave many years off my life and that isnt something I look forward to, knowing its self inflicted is pretty much a hard pill to swallow.

Regardless of whatever it is that pulls me back into the drinking loop, I know its not right for me, I really dislike the fact I have done it and I know it has caused and will continue to cause issues in my life, regardless of whether it is obvious to anyone else....I know and like Ive said before, once you know you know, there is no going back. If there was, I wouldn’t be rinsing and repeating year after year. It isnt causing major problems at home at all but the lies continue and nobody else knows I drink regularly or indeed have had this issue aside from the odd relative. Friends just think Ive calmed down from a very crazy past. I am such a proud person that I want to live the life that I portray to the outside.

I would just like to say that I have made plans to cement my sobriety, taken steps to ensure that each day is treated as a new day and a few things will be recorded....I know from experience that time is a healer and putting distance between the last drink really does provide a kind of strength and peace that is hard to let go. This time, should any silly notion that I can drink again enter my head, I will work on that some more and get through the day sober. This is a promise I made to myself.

I know that we shouldn’t choose ‘last drink days’ ‘new year challenges’ and so on and so forth.....but this is a decision for me that now needs firm thinking, firm planning and a new outlook to ‘never’ look back no matter what. I have purchased a beautiful recovery bracelet to wear on my days off work and when I have cemented my last drink date which will be very soon. I have very little to drink in the house and only really partake in a couple now anyway...I am leaving early for work so no hangovers in sight..still any volumes don’t sit right with me, especially having liver issues which I am going to put right. Jeeze what an addiction......never thought I would touch a drop after being told that but addiction is really not that simple.

I know that living an AF life is amazing, I have been there and this time no amount of ‘F it’ moments, peer pressure or anything else, such as the glamorous TV adverts and the likes will sway me to partake. I am taking a firm stance with this and I know it wont be always plain sailing but it is necessary for me to ‘recover’ from what feels like a lifetime of on/off drink issues.

For the person looking in without addiction, they are probably thinking what the hell is this about, what cant these people just stop. For those with addiction issues, we know it truly isnt that simple but when I put this behind me, I know that inner peace will return. Drinking is the main topic in my mind when it comes to issues these days, not my past, not my life (I’m very lucky) but my actions when I do something I truly do not wish to and should not be doing. From experience, a whole year gives so much strength when not drinking and I am looking forward to an amazing 2022 living my life alcohol free completely and just getting on without the shackles. I feel this is make or break for me as I cannot bear for this to go on for a further year. It’s time to pull those tools back out and put the leg work in and pull myself out of that last bit of denial I may have been in. Zero tolerance is all I can manage to be free.

Anyone care to join me on this life change, feel free to be my non drinking buddy through lifestyle choice during 2022 and beyond \:)/ <:)> ;)?

Ps....just wondering how Leslans, Action and everyone who frequents these parts are getting on <:)>
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cisco »

PP thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Your words are true reflections of the reality of addiction.

I’m walking with you. I’m sharing each and every time it helps me or to share for others.

I’ve recently discovered two revelations (for me at least).

First, I was caught up on ‘will power’. All the talk about it in 12 step meetings it only gave me yet one more excuse to give in because ‘clearly’ my HP was going to swoop in at the last moment before a drink. Well as ridiculous as that may seem, I believed it and it was a reason I remained stuck. Now I know will power is absolutely needed, to recognize the situation and have the will power to emphatically insist that I have the power to recognize it and the urge, craving is only what it is, I have the power to choose to tell it to buggar off, for I am not that unless I allow it.

Second, I am able to make the decision to drink or not. Only me. But I had been fooling myself that despite how I felt two drinks in, or six drinks in, or , or, or, it was without a doubt a horrible thing for me. But I still did it until I went back through my own experience to find one compelling reason to drink before I drank and if I could honestly come up with one, then ok. I could not.

PP your story, situation sound so familiar to me as well!

I’m in!!!

Much Love to you all

Happy New Year!

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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

Your posts resonate with me Cisco. Let's make 2022 a good year.
Last edited by Cowboy on 30 Dec 2021 18:59, edited 1 time in total.
Recovery is giving up one thing for everything. Addiction is giving up everything for one thing.

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Mudbucker
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Mudbucker »

It's such a tough few weeks- folks who won't touch a drop the rest of the year don't feel that they've 'done' Christmas or NYE if they haven't at least had a swig of champagne. Even a breakfast sherry is considered perfectly reasonable on the big days.
The New Year's resolution is famously trite and ineffective not least because, in the UK, the festive season is followed by the three most dingy, dreary months of the year, with the kind of damp cold which makes its way right into your bones.
I've got a plan to keep off it this NYE, but my first job of '22 is to travel around town sorting local work, which basically equates to trudging from pub to pub in the cold, blowy drizzle, trying to be as sociable as possible to elicit bookings from disinterested landlords. I'm trying to say someting positive here, but not doing very well! I've got my eyes on completing a sober December, and while signing up to the 2022 challenge might feel like overreaching, I'll certainly be on for Sober January.

I suppose the positive I was rummaging for is that while it feels that alcohol is a panacea for all that, it doesn't help and in fact makes matters worse, from faking sociability, right down to actually dropping our body temperature despite feeling the opposite. Here's to staying off it and fixing those cracks, rather than just painting over them.
The regret after drinking is worse than the desire before.

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Good luck to everyone whatever you decide....I think you are all amazing just being here \:)/ <:)>

One thing for certain in my mind is that alcohol has to go, addiction has to be non active for me to enjoy life how I wish. Alcohol is the only pain in the backside that overshadows life when in active addiction.....could write a list as long as my arm but only I would truly understand the effects it has for me.....mentally, spiritually, inner peace wise then of course there is the physical....

New Years resolutions are usually carried out using will power alone and that is why so many dont last......sobriety is intrinsic to living a peaceful life on the whole.......any amount of alcohol for me doesn’t sit right and that is because I know deep down the damage it has caused, despite much of it being history from many years ago but still, it serves no purpose in the positive world for me. This has to be my time to let go for good....otherwise, it will continue to feel like a slow form of suicide without ever feeling suicidal which is what upsets me the most. If I don’t do this now, I can guarantee I will be here in 12 months time playing the same record...it isnt going to happen.

Too much to live for and I know many of us can do this if we so wish......I have made the solemn promise to myself and my OH that the addiction door will be closed and I will recover some more on this amazing road to what I can only describe as freedom. I hope the good Lord grants me some time to fully mend any damage I have done over the years.....I have every faith and will not be pushing any more chances with this.

<:)> <:)>
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Good morning on this fine NYE :\: \:)/ :\: \:)/

Was thinking about the whole new year thing as I laid awake at silly o’clock and how resolutions are often built on will power which alone, won’t keep new behaviours going longer term.....but how it also seems a bit negative to think that they may not last....many don’t that is true and that leaves people with a feeling of failure etc etc...but many do.....

New Year is also a time for a lot of reflection, previous planning in our minds, thoughts about how to make the next chapters more in line with our cognitive thoughts and desired behaviour.....draw lines, dust off, move forward......New Years do have many meanings for different people.

I too was planning the clean line to be drawn but have just tipped my very last bottle of wine down the drain....what difference does one day make when I am certain I don’t want this in my life (aside from giving me one extra day of freedom).....quite difficult for somebody like me who works to clean lines, dates etc. Etc. And can feel anxious if things dont happen as planned. But lets face it....it hasn’t worked too well in the past and I have received a lot of help for my anxiety which is so so much better so I am going with my gut and saying when I wake tomorrow, I want to feel free and the only way to do that is to have zero alcohol in my system and to enjoy a lovely evening with a planned film and meal minus the time planning for those two glasses.......those two glasses which still cause pain and grogginess so it makes sense to proactively change the plan. I am working tomorrow and want a full spring in my step not the feeling of running on fewer cylinders which I have had a lot of lately.

I have my candles lit in my lovely space, a brew made and my new journal and diary out......my bookmark is back out with the serenity prayer which was gifted to me before I embarked on this journey..... and that prayer is also the one most meaningful thing I took away from AA all those years ago. With the tools I have gathered on this journey and the wisdom to know the difference.....I now accept and have the courage to make those positive changes to put this addiction on the back burner where it belongs. i often think we don’t realise just how much we play a part in our own destiny but with addiction, it is and will always be solely down to us....nobody else can fully treat our addiction, only help and support our own decisions and actions. Do I want to be here in 12 months with yet a further year of the same old cycle weighing me down........absolutely not. Removing alcohol entirely for me personally is the first step to freedom.

Feeling pretty liberated right now and like to selfishly think that my ramblings over the years may have helped just that one person to get off this merry-go-round. Nothing will change unless we are willing to change and I think my desire to change is much stronger than my desire to strip any more of my life for something so nonsensical. There is no magic cure for addiction but we can certainly free ourselves from the clutches of addiction by positively engaging in self help and other forms of healthy interests which is where my energy will lie going forward.

There are some very special people on this forum who I hope know their worth, alcohol has a nasty habit of crushing ones self esteem and making things seem impossible but that is just another negative thought process that active addiction creates. I am really looking forward to building new sober blocks on this journey through life and hope some of you are too.

Thanks to all on BE and I wish everyone so much luck with their future plans. <:)> <:)> <:)>
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Topcat
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Topcat »

Happy New Year to Pinks and all Roadies everywhere \:)/ (::) <:)>

There's never a bad time to stop drinking (as I eventually discovered after many, many failed attempts at it) :roll: Throughout my drinking years, I always saw abstinence as giving up something that I didn't really want to give up (alcohol was my friend according to my mixed up addicted head). Fact is, we don't give up anything when we quit - we gain our lives back. The main thing we gain is our freedom - the freedom to live our lives without the shackles of alcohol. It's priceless so, if you're thinking about 'maybe' giving quitting another try - go for it and don't give up on giving up.

I cannot begin to count how many times I regretted drinking, but I have never once regretted stopping. My only regret is that I didn't manage it sooner, but hey ho, I got there in the end ;)?

Come on people, if you are still wondering whether to give quitting another try - go for it. Why not join the 2022 Challenge? Nothing to lose in doing so, but everything to gain <:)>

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Mudbucker
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Mudbucker »

Pink Panther wrote:
31 Dec 2021 05:24
I too was planning the clean line to be drawn but have just tipped my very last bottle of wine down the drain....what difference does one day make when I am certain I don’t want this in my life (aside from giving me one extra day of freedom).....quite difficult for somebody like me who works to clean lines, dates etc. Etc. And can feel anxious if things dont happen as planned.
Well done, Pink. One could argue that it sharpens up that line- day one can start with a body completely clear of alcohol and without a clanging hangover!

Happy New Year, all.
The regret after drinking is worse than the desire before.

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Thanks Mudbucker.....so glad I made the decision, feel naturally tired now and will be asleep soon.

I’m done with thinking about this addiction (not necessarily craving alcohol these days) just making the decision to keep repeating the act and then telling myself I’m ridiculous if I wake at silly o’clock feeling somewhat groggy. Accepting that this is never ever going to change while my head is stuck in the sand is what will free me from this cycle. I want out and intend on staying out.

I am wearing my new recovery bracelet which is just beautiful and my new ring which I treated myself to as a mark for choosing to turn this corner.....leap back into the wonders of living an AF life and not let anything get in my way. I feel proud wearing it and it is a real reminder of what this turning point means to me. It wasnt expensive as such but is tailored to recovery and addiction and as time goes on, I shall treat myself to a different one with new colours etc....

Anyway, enjoy everyone and take care for now. Good luck for 2022 and TC is right.....it could be the best thing you ever do for yourself so hit that 2022 sober challenge if for no other reason than you can mark your achievement in one years time.
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Tai
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Tai »

Just wanted to wish all our Roadies a very happy new year. To those embarking once again into total sobriety I want to send you strength and encouragement and to tell you how much I admire your efforts and determination to get to this point. As someone who spent many years trying to figure out how to deal with my drinking I know just how hard it can be.

Addiction is tricky, it’s subtle to the point where it’s hard to determine where it starts and ends in our thinking. It’s so interwoven that it’s become our default.

Basically it comes down to this … any thought, no matter how fleeting or inconsequential it might seem could be addictive thinking if it leads towards a drink. That’s the not so good news. The good news is we can step back, look at such thoughts, identify them, see them for what they are, and then deploy our strategies to work through them without ever touching a drop of alcohol.

And with practise the effort required to do this gets less and less. We become free and in that freedom we can start to heal. Really isn’t that something worth striving for?

New Years Day and I’m up and ready for a trip to the seaside, meeting friends for a run and breakfast feast … I say run but really I barely manage a pace that could be described as anything more than a bimble, but I love it … the fresh air, the movement, and the company.

Whatever you’re up to today I hope you have a great day Roadies xx
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.
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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Good morning everyone :\: and Tai <:)> such a perfect and fitting post to exactly how I feel and see things. Magic... Enjoy the run/walk/bimble :D

So glad I made the decision to not drag this out another day and so happy to say I slept like a log and feel ready and lively for work this morning with good food ready to cook at home and a fabulous start to the day. Already.....proven that not drinking has so many benefits as I already feel much better than I did yesterday morning pre-work with some alcohol the night before. The whole thing just finally makes so much sense and I think what kept me trapped was I had reached the point of knowing all this and felt I had let myself down, bewildered at keeping myself in the trap on and off.

My mental planning and steps I have taken have cemented my decision and I look forward to spending this year and beyond AF... living in the day and keeping myself in check with this and other bits and pieces I am working on.

Life becomes much much more simpler without alcohol that is a fact.....no racing thoughts, no baffling confusion about how I feel the negatives and I never have to make excuses or feel like a fraud with this and that is such a relief......

The sober periods over the years have immensely helped but it is now the right time to never look back, lock the key on the door that has bothered me for so long and pretty much throw it away, invite the new and unexpected and the joys of sobriety back into my life.

Once you know you know and I definitely know this is my acceptance time.

Enjoy everyone \:)/ <:)>
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Button36
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Button36 »

Good morning everyone, I hope you don’t mind if I join you here. Just over 6 months sober and I’m discovering all sorts of new things about myself that I quite like. The journey getting here has been very hard and I had crippling anxiety and guilt from the past that just wouldn’t seem to lift. But this seems to be starting to settle, I had many days ones but I think what has helped me this time is absolute acceptance that I no longer drink and it is not an option I want . I tell people unapologetically that I don’t drink and I don’t find they challenge it perhaps because I’m making a statement regather than saying I can’t drink like I don’t have a choice. I do have a choice and not drinking for me is the best one.

This may sound a bit odd but I have also found that going back to locations/places/occasions where I have had bad experiences or have made a fool of myself and almost re writing a new happy memory has been massively helpful. Having just had a wonderful holiday where the last one at the same place was awful and a lovely relaxed Xmas where last year I was at rock bottom, all seems to be helping in the healing process. It’s not 100% percent and I find emotionally I still feel like a small child but that’s ok. I often feel exposed like I’ve lost my armour but it wasn’t really helping me anyway. I’m starting to find a new confidence I always wished I had. I am unapologetically me now where as in the past drinking I always felt like a half version of myself. I thought drinking helped me relax but in actual fact it pulled me further down into a cycle of depression, self loathing and just hurt my soul. I was very sad for a long time but I know realise just how much alcohol was contributing to that. My husband still drinks occasionally but I don’t like to be around people when they are too drunk as it makes me feel uncomfortable, probably because it makes me realise that I have made people uncomfortable too which is mortifying really.
I got some good advice from members on here that looking forward is the best thing and addiction thrives on guilt and sadness so I am doing my best to be positive. I heard my youngest daughter tell her Nan on the phone Xmas day that it had been an amazing and wonderful Xmas and last night my eldest daughter sent me a text wishing me a happy new year and said I was a kick ass woman !! Well I’ll take those little wins life could have been a completely different story and although it’s took me a long time I am grateful for where I am today.

Happy new year everyone may it bring you health, wealth and happiness <:)>
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots »

Bleah, wrote a response to some of the amazing posts on here and have lost it! I'll swing by again later, but as I have to dash off, I just wanted to make TC aware that this link leads to the 2021 challenge not the 2022...
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Mark. »

Thanks, SB. Duly amended ;)?
"There was a house we all had in common and it was called the past, even though we'd lived in different rooms."

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Londoner »

Good morning everone and Happy New Year.

I was feeling quite low last night as I broke up yesterday with the woman I was seeing for much of 2021. It is a long story but I felt the time was right to end it and focus on myself and my new AF life with my young son whom I co-parent and share time with him with his Mum and her partner.

Today I am optimistic about the year ahead. I face this first day of 2022 determined to make this my first AF year at the age of 37-38 since I was 14-15. This is first page in a new chapter on my road to abstinence.
Not given up on giving up.

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

I wish you well on your journey London. At 63 I can tell you that drinking is just not worth the price that you pay.

Happy New Year roadies.
Recovery is giving up one thing for everything. Addiction is giving up everything for one thing.

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cisco »

Tai wrote:
01 Jan 2022 06:19

Basically it comes down to this … any thought, no matter how fleeting or inconsequential it might seem could be addictive thinking if it leads towards a drink. That’s the not so good news. The good news is we can step back, look at such thoughts, identify them, see them for what they are, and then deploy our strategies to work through them without ever touching a drop of alcohol.
I found your description perfect bullseye. As those thoughts arise I must deal with them in a healthy way because if I don’t the thought is boldened and ultimate it’s either more of sober me or alcoholic thought that increases.

Had a bunch of neighbors over last night and they drank, we had fun, they even left over wine and beer and I had a abstinent time.

This feeling is way better than the wracking of my self I’d be up to again for drinking with a hangover.

I look forward to being a oxygen bearer for myself and roadies and no longer a stretcher bearer!

Happy New Year!

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