The Road to Abstinence.

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

Post by TrueState »

Hi All I think I might jump in on this thread as Sober April is so quiet and abstinence is my goal.

Just reading the posts re drnk driving. Being stopped for drink driving isn't something I've ever experienced and I was always quite careful to keep within the limit before driving. I wouldn't be surprised though if it turned out I was over the limit still the morning after.
However some of the things I feel most ashamed about are things like passing out before doing my tooth fairy duties and having to make up an elaborate fairy story when confronted with a tearful child the next day. Makes me cringe just writing that and that's probably the least of the shameful memories.

However living in the past is a complete waste of time we have to forgive ourselves accept that was how it was and we cant change that, learn from it and move forward.

Big hugs to all <:)>

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Kokoda
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Kokoda »

Hi Everyone,

Chirpy, Patrick, Pink and True, thank you for your words, all true and timely.

I need to find another way to escape this world and work that doesn't involve drinking . I wasn't well last year, there was bullying in my workplace and then the stress caused me some physical issues as well as a breakdown. Not excuses but the alcohol was all I could find at the time to numb my mental pain, even with the psychology visits. I guess it's time now since I left that workplace behind, to try to recover and heal without the need for drink. Thus my return to BE.

Hope you're all okay.

Xx
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.

http://www.buddhist-temples.com/buddhism-facts/buddhist-quote.html

Chirpy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Chirpy »

Kokoda big hugs. Sounds like a hell of a time. and in times like that its a lot to ask ourselves to be strong all the time. I am so glad to hear you are out of that situation, and back here at BE where I hope you find the support you desire.
All the best for a bright evening and day - depending on where you are ... its morning here, and its a stinker hot autumn day...
Chirpy
She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do is move forward and make the whole beautiful- Terri St.Cloud

Chirpy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Chirpy »

morning everyone
I have been thinking about my one year sober-versary and decided spontaneously to treat myself. I got a pair of Tahitian pearl earrings! The are really lovely, although I had to re-pierce my ears to get them in its been such a long time. It took about ten mins and was a bit sore, but I did it! haha
I have been working on getting stabilised, now the booze is well and truely nailed, I refinanced everything and am getting a new car soon, as well as consolidating debt etc. it struck me, how irresponsible I have been, and Kokoda recently talked about drinking and driving, but it is also the burning through money etc etc ... I am incredibly lucky that I have a house I can finance against, otherwise, I would be in a real pickle.
I was talking with a friend today who was mentioning the affects of her husbands issues with depression, anxiety and binge drinking...and how much it affects her. I felt so sad, and then my partner turned around and told me how impressed he is with my last year and he has a kind of mad-respect for the sobriety. I felt so validated, and also, relationships are improving with everyone.
I mentioned it last week, but the visual of booze as a thief and how much it took over the relapse makes me so sad, but also very vigilant about never having it creep in again.
I do feel really proud at the moment. really happy and proud.
have a good day, and to those who are having a hard one, the rewards of not drinking are so so good, hang in there.
Chirpy
She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do is move forward and make the whole beautiful- Terri St.Cloud

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Kokoda
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Kokoda »

Congratulations Chirpy \:)/ <:)>

One year is such a milestone. I love your reward, I bet they look gorgeous :D
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.

http://www.buddhist-temples.com/buddhism-facts/buddhist-quote.html

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Kokoda <:)> big hugs your way.

It does sound like a really bad time and I’m sorry you experienced that. How about you stick two fingers up at those who treated you unfairly and concentrate on you, your health of mind and body and put the booze where it belongs <:)>

Chirpy <:)> This is truly amazing and I’m so happy for you, inspirational indeed and it sounds like you have support as I do and someone who appreciates the difficulty in turning things around.....earrings sound lovely...enjoy.

The depths of damage drinking does can only be measured by the drinker themselves and I for one have realised lately just how much alcohol has stolen from me over the years yet there have been times in the past year where I have still dabbled and this is to be no more.

I am soon to finish my job, you know one of those things you know you need to do in order to get yourself together and move forward. Can’t really afford to do that but I have noticed a massive change in myself over the years and the toxic culture has worn me down. This has put me at a massive risk in many ways, what if I dont get a job etc etc and I have some pending health checks too which happened to coincide with the notice period so not only that, I could have some issues but keeping everything crossed.

Is life for being content or having money to splash around? Is it so hard to find that balance I wonder. One thing I do know is that drinking will not provide anything for my future and only keep taking if I allow it. Keeping the pressure of a drink issue private then the pressure of it being the cause of many things from the outside world can have its own impacts on our being. I’m at a stage in my life where coming out of work to really work on myself was now or never and finding the right job will be key going forward. Keeping my fingers crossed that the stress levels and high blood pressure are simply due to the changes and churning the work situation over and over in my mind still wondering if I’ve done the right thing but time will tell.

Really cannot be bothered with alcohol consumption anymore <:)>
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 »

Love the analogy of booze being a thief... so very true. Out of control drinking robs us of so much and leaves us with a legacy of damage ... some can be sorted out (thankfully), but not always all of it. It’s certainly worth staying vigilant as you say Chirpy. I bet those earrings look absolutely amazing, and every time you catch sight of them you’ll be reminded of just how far you’ve come <:)> .

Pink <:)> yes change is unsettling to say the least! And there’s a lot of change going on for you right now with the transition from a job you’ve ditched to a more uncertain future and with potential health issues to boot ... well that’s a lot to be carrying. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your health checks come out clear. <:)> So pleased to see that you are not looking for answers at the bottom of a bottle. There’s definitely a better way forward for you my lovely, keep positive as much as you can and keep being kind to yourself.

Kokoda <:)> I remember in counselling being told that I needed to change my thinking. She told me that all the while I focused on what’s happened or happening to me I would stay in “victim mode”. I certainly didn’t want to hear that but over time I started to understand that bad things happen but that these things didn’t necessarily have to define our lives. As adults we can choose what we focus on, and we choose how we respond to our own circumstances. In many ways I found shouldering that burden of responsibility quite difficult. I was used to laying the blame for my troubles elsewhere, and whilst there was some truth in that, there was also some “playing the victim” going on too. One thing was definitely true, my drinking was preventing me from processing that stuff, learning the lessons and moving on with my life. Drinking kept me “stuck”. I think we probably all know that feeling. Hope today is a brighter day for you <:)>

Right, got to run, big day at work and I’m a little behind. Have a good one Roadies xx
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.
Khalil Gibran

Chirpy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Chirpy »

thanks for the warm words Kokoda, Tai and Pink, I do love the earrings, and I also forgot to add that I have had an ultrasound of my liver done, and whilst it isn't primo, it is not terrible. That is a huge relief, and my next step will be working on my health.

Pink, it sounds like a huge step, and I cant help but think it will be rewarded with positive outcomes. I have had to trust in the last year that living in the moment and being present to my own recovery, health and wellbeing was my focus. I hope you reap the rewards of putting you first. I don't think we can underestimate the impacts of a negative and toxic work environment. I really wish you well.

Have a good one, its bedtime in my end of the world, and I cant wait.

Chirpy
She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do is move forward and make the whole beautiful- Terri St.Cloud

ScarletB
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by ScarletB »

Hi all. It’s been quite a while since I posted. I’m going on about two months AF with one little blip. I will say it was a conscious blip. I didn’t want to drink but felt pressure over the Easter holiday with friends and had a few sips. I think I’ve been afraid to post because I’m afraid I’ll somehow jinx myself. Does that make sense? I’m in a good place right now in regards to alcohol, my anxiety issues, and my overall health. The last year has been full of sober periods then binges that turn into regular daily drinking and increased anxiety. Nothing horrid has happened thankfully. No defined rock bottom. I think I just finally have an opportunity to take control of my life. I want alcohol to have no power, to take up no more space in my brain. Right now my biggest issue is confronting friends and family, even those who have witnessed my debilitating anxiety attacks after heavy drinking. We will be seeing friends this weekend for a small birthday celebration. I do not wish to drink. I can envision rationalizing to myself “oh it’s just one drink.” I can also envision how that drink will make me feel...bloated, tired, not in control. I just can’t picture alcohol bringing me joy anymore. But I am at till anxious when I think of anyone offering me a drink or trying to include me on a round of shots. Any suggestions?

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SoberBoots
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots »

Hi Scarlet, it sounds like you're clear about your overall direction, so that's real progress! Alcohol adds nothing to our lives, but it can take a very long time to realise this. Social events are so often a problem in early sobriety. People have different approaches, a common one being to say that they're not drinking for a specific reason such as being on antibiotics. Everyone's different though, and for me this didn't resolve the issue, at best it helped me cope with one event (and sadly sometimes I'd then go home and rink alone as a "reward" for my good behaviour, which is pretty messed up). You may well not be ready for this step and I fully respect that, but for me really the only thing was to come out as a non-drinker. I don't give the gory details of my history to everyone, but I do say that I don't drink. Initially those who know me well were incredulous, didn't think it would last, didn't think I had that much of a problem, could just have one, etc etc. I probably go to fewer social events now, and if they've very drink orientated I often arrive late and leave early. I don't care, through getting sober I've discovered a lot about what's truly valuable in my life and faux-bonding over excessive drug use isn't among them. If/when you can do it, this step is astonishingly liberating.
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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

Hi Scarlett. I think the advice from our lovely and talented Sober Boots is spot on.

I just wanted to pop in and say I am very much the same as you have been in the past. Extended periods of sobriety followed by a what the hell moment that turns into a binge that turns into daily drinking and all of the anxiety and mental sickness that brings. For me being addicted (or whatever I am) to alcohol sucks. I really don't want to be dependant on it. I really don't want it in my life. I love being sober - especially in the morning during spring and summer - yet I make that decision to drink anyways. I need to focus on my well being from a mental and physical perspective and while alcohol provides a short term release in the long run it is in no way helpful. I wish you well on your own sober journey.

Wishing a good day to all roadies. Cowboy.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain.

squirrel
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by squirrel »

Its such a hard mental slog stopping this habit which started as a pleasure and ended up as an albatross. It's hard to go over and over again the logic that should make it easy to stop.

Scarlett - These celebrations and gatherings with friends should be happy occasions to look forward to but just end up huge mental problems when you know it's difficult to say no after the first drink.
For me too it's about staying completely dry by subterfuge if it's really important to me to be there but not want to be an idiot. Pretend you've got a slightly gippy tummy or a bit of a migraine so will start off with something soft. People won't notice what you are drinking after they have had a few.

Before you go out have a recap on some of your worst previous disasters - write stuff down - and read it before you go out. Tell yourself you will wait 2 hours then allow yourself a drink if you really need it - and mean it. But by that time everyone else should be getting drunk and stupid and you can often hold back and say I actually don't need to drink. And eat plenty - never have an empty stomach. You will be surprised how lovely it is to look back on a party that you were sober at. And breakfast the next day is wonderful. Good luck

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by ScarletB »

Thank you all for the advice and suggestions. I’m feeling a bit stronger today about facing the gathering tomorrow. I truly am excited for it and to actually be present. I just know when I start running around, hosting, tending to children I get frazzled. That’s usually when a friend would grab me “you look like you need a drink.” I’m thinking I’m going to have some spritzers ready in a cup, so it looks like I’ve got a drink. I don’t think I can straight up lie to those I’m close with but I can honestly say “I’m good, got a drink already, thanks.” I’m also planning to have some quiet time to myself beforehand. Unlike, previous occasions after a time of sobriety, I am certain I do not want to drink tomorrow. I have no craving for the actual alcohol at this moment. I am terrified of the anxiety that follows. I know how wonderful it’s going to feel to wake up Saturday, not hungover, and having the entire weekend ahead of me. I have to keep that in mind. There’s one friend in particular who may notice tomorrow and be quite inquisitive, borderline judge mental. But I think my best option is to keep that nonalcoholic drink nearby and stay busy. Once everyone is a few drinks in they won’t notice me. Also, I’ve been eating super healthy and tomorrow I’m planning to enjoy some party food, especially dessert. That’s a safe reward for me. Thank you all again for your support. We just have to keep trying, moving forward.

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Scarlet :\: nice to see you and all the fellow roadies.

It’s the age old peer pressure that often quashes any efforts to stay sober but in the end, the choice is still ours and its down to us I guess to decide what is most important. I don’t really have any major battles with alcohol as such any more or strong compulsions to drink but there are occasions, where I make the decision then wonder why the heck I made it....as we know it does absolutely nothing for us so that is still addictive behaviour given my history...all it does is trigger a pattern (usually short thankfully) of nightly drinking. A day out with friends soon, friends for over 25 years and good solid mates who are all looking forward to a tipple....its for me so I reckon there will be an expectation of some kind just from a couple of them but I need to stick to my guns. There are mocktails or soft drinks...the choice is mine and one way or another, I aim to stay sober.

Addiction recovery is a heap more than just putting the drink down, its about building tools, confidence, knowledge that if we don’t wish to drink, then why the heck should we or should we allow any kind of outside pressure (still usually in our own heads) influence a decision to stay well and healthy.

It’s good to see people talking about mental and physical well being as one trips into the other and life is too short for the constant fight that alcohol brings......your description Scarlet of bloated and tired is just a perfect description of what happens when I drink.

Went to a friends last night who has just moved house and took a small gift and some AF fizz I had left over...straight from the fridge, she can be a pretty big drinker but has tamed things right down and looking in, I think it has had an impact on her being over the years. Typical example of the glamour photos on social media and then suffering in silence behind closed doors. She absolutely loves my AF 0% and says who needs to drink when you have this...... I actually prefer AF drinks but more than happy with lime and soda too.

Busy day today catching up so speak soon <:)>

Posts crossed Scarlet, sounds like a good plan ;)?
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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Action
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Action »

Tai, SB, Pink, Cowboy, Kokoda, Scarlet, Squirrel, Chirpy and all!

Tia, you said,
I was scared of abstinence/ sobriety ... scared that life would be harder to cope with without my liquid escape hatch. Turns out that my drinking made things much harder than they needed to be. It’s much simpler to stay sober than go through the mental tussles of trying to moderate that’s for sure.


I thought my life was so hard (and it was for various reasons) some of them not of my doing, some of them definitely. I had playing the part of victim off to a tee. Not only did I drink to dampen my fears but I also sought out problems to distract myself from myself, if that makes any sense. I picked the ‘waif and stray boyfriend, the charity job, problem solved for friends and family - all things to reinforce my ‘hard life’ mentality. That way I had the perfect excuse to drink (mostly in private) to drown my sorrows and ‘unwind’ after a challenging day. I fooled myself into thinking I knew myself too! Drink made me such a liar to myself.

After years of trying I am now 7 months sober. Things got so bad (the circle getting ever smaller) that I knew it was do or die (mentally and physically). I finally faced the fear of all my anxieties and very slowly things are shifting. My health is a challenge but I’m managing it rather than ignoring it or blaming it for things. My finances are recovering, even if there’s not much evidence at the moment; I know I’m not bleeding money I don’t have. My relationships are stronger and I am learning to be there for people without giving all of myself away (like I used to and then trying to find myself again at the bottom of a bottle). Every day brings a small revelation about myself and my sobriety.

I’ve got a long way to go ... do we ever get there I wonder. It’s good to keep on working on yourself. I am learning to sit with my emotions, believe in myself, and often now notice when my ‘victim’ or negative mentality tries to strike up a conversation with myself.

The beginning of sobriety for me is a bit like a child who has dressed up - wearing a whole tonne of silly glasses. Gradually I take a pair off at a time and the world starts to look a bit different. Oh that’s what it looks like when I don’t feel afraid, oh that’s what it looks like when I rationalise a worry, oh that’s what it looks like when I have a good meal and a decent nights sleep. Well, you get my drift. One by one chucking the glasses in the bin and growing up a tiny bit more. <:)>

Have a good day roadies.

Sorry I couldn’t resist the picture! :D
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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

Really awesome to see that positivity and your progress Action.

Scarlett. One more thing that I have noticed when I don't drink at social gatherings where there is booze. Nobody really gives a shit. After the party has started and people start drinking they don't notice what you are doing. And for me it's kind of fun to watch and listen to everyone get drunk. Everyone gets louder and louder and louder. It's really quite an experience. Check it out and you will see.

In the past I have often used the excuse oh I am drinking to fit in or I'm doing it for a friend. Well - for me - that's just my permission voice downright lying to my face. I drink for me and for me alone - period. Good luck at the party and have a great hangover free morning and weekend afterwards.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain.

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Action
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Action »

I remember someone saying (I can’t remember who - sorry) that it was very interesting when they were not drinking at a function. They realised in fact how many other people were not drinking. It’s not something you might tend to notice if your drinking yourself because you assume everyone IS. :shock:
Last edited by Action on 17 Apr 2021 10:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Trojan
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Trojan »

It’s really good to see people here enjoying the benefits of sober living :-)

Scarlet, I hope the event goes well for you ;)?

Action, it’s great to see your progress \:)/

Sending good wishes to all <:)>
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Chirpy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Chirpy »

Lovely posts and I have done the 'I am on antibiotics' and the 'it doesn't really do well for me' etcetc,, but concur with others, when you don't drink, you realise how little and/or how many people are not drinking ... and you find your new people.I just laugh now and say "Is that an honest question - why am I not drinking" and laugh at them! Nowadays it is so much more common for people not to drink, and to be happy in that space. Its easier in many ways than ever 10 years ago. Guess it might depend a bit on your social circle too.

Good luck Scarlett and Pink with the upcoming event xx
Action so lovely to hear your progress and where you are at, enjoy those new lenses and experiences. you post made me remember seeing the sun one morning, and feeling like it was specially for me, and I could bask in it, completely at peace with myself - even if just for a moment, and realising I steal those moments from myself when I drink

Have a great weekend, upside down here we are just starting the weekend. I have to say its finally a cold day, I love the change of seasons, so m looking forward to a crisp morning air

Chirpy
She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do is move forward and make the whole beautiful- Terri St.Cloud

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Meant to say Chirpy <:)> thanks for the well wishes the other day & Tai <:)>

Chirpy \:)/ you seem in a really good place and I hope it stays that way for you.

The job is now finished and its been a manic week meeting people, returning my gear to work and well just rationalising everything....I know for sure I have done the right thing as much as its scary at the moment. One thing Ive taken away is how much I was thought of and some colleagues on site bobbed down to see me in the carpark and had a good natter. Had lots of lovely messages and friends genuinely sad to see me go. its a shame I cannot see in myself what others do but that is a confidence I am trying to address. Taking this opportunity to take a long hard look at myself, do the counselling sessions and CBT before I look at the next move.

Its good to see this thread buzzing.

Action <:)> I absolutely love the fact that although there is a long way to go that you are recognising how far you have come, that is so so important on this road as it isnt a magic switch as we know. Be proud of yourself. I know what you mean about do or die mentally and physically, I got there and it was horrendous and so bad that the only way was up or face the consequences.

I have spent so much time sober over the past 13 years and that is a positive outcome for me and also the compulsion to drink (as it was before) hasnt been there for years. Its more of a conscious decision these days with tools to help decide whether I do or dont but that doesnt always go to plan. Of course the aim is to get back to before when I never thought about a drink for a long time and I believe that is achievable again, its all down to me.

I still have a long way to go in terms of poor habits and all or nothing behaviour...............drink and food. The drink isnt a huge issue for me right now but all these destructive behaviours for me go hand in hand when all I want to do is build a foundation of mainly healthy habits. I do well for so long then wham...back to old ways. I fear I may have done some damage over the years but whatever happens, I'm taking steps to keep going and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Its ok waking with a clear head from booze, but when I've filled myself with alternatives, caffeine, sugar and garbage then that has a similar effect on my mind and leaves feelings of failure which is my biggest issue. All boils down to cognitive dissonance and I aim to nail this now I've some time and make the most of it if I have some time out to study and just get the support on offer.

CB - Correct and honesty is the best policy.........we dont need to drink for anyone and as you say that is an excuse, surely if that was the case we would isolate ourselves from those people in order to save ourselves so yes, when we partake, we are doing it because we havent built that strong foundation or accepted where we are.

Society is plagued by alcohol issues and I feel I've had my nine lives a thousand times over.........not for me this game anymore <:)>
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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