The Road to Abstinence.

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

Post by Beverley »

Hi Chris

Struggle is just an ongoing thing. I have a rather remiss doctor and cannot seem to find one who can redress my mood swings which are just getting out of hand sometimes.

Am so hoping to get an answer to my mental swings soon and am looking for a new doctor. Fingers crossed.

Glad you are doing OK.

Bev x
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chrissy 101
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by chrissy 101 »

Beverley, I obviously dont know your full symptoms but if you have mood swings could it be something like Bi Polar you are suffering with. My daughter suffers terrible with them and she evens feels like killing herself. The doctor said her symptoms sound like she has Cyclothymia disorder which is a mild form. He as referred her to a specialist for diagnosis. We have brilliant doctors that are very supportive so maybe you need to try and find a more sympathetic one.
Chrissy 101 - In many cases people forget our "episodes" quicker than we do...but maybe this is the kind of "final straw" thing for you, a kind of push for you to decide whether you cut down or abstain completely. (Sandy) 1st July 2011

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chriscole
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by chriscole »

hi all, still no 5htp through the door!! have been waiting for that for days.
also ive started the training on the SMART recovery uk website, so i can help myself and maybe others, because id like to set up meetings with other secular people who cant get on with AA. some good stuff on there, i wonder how many people on BE have heard or tried it?
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Samnearly
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Samnearly »

Chris
yes I've looked at it but found it's a bit disappointing when you get in to it. not as well set up as BE, although different.The thing I found really useful though was the american version's essays and resources. There is a particularly good read about washing up, which isn't about washing up, it's about having a drink problem and dealing with it. xx it's good xx
one day at a time....

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drasticgirl
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by drasticgirl »

Yeah Chris, I was involved in the original Smart Recovery - U.S website.
The UK one hadn't been established yet. I found some of the techniques very helpful - based on cognitive therapy really - similar to BE in that respect. I fell away from the US site because it was a general addiction site - not just booze (I know there are many on BE with crossover addictions....) - but it was the turn of the millenium and there was a huge explosion of Methamphetamine addiction (Crystal Meth) across the US - the board became heavily populated with people needing help with the most addicitve substance manufactured by man - far more addictive than booze - and the focus of the board moved towards that. Withdrawal from Crystal Meth can make people very aggressive, very angry all the time. I found it too stressful.

How are you finding learning the techniques?

All best with that.
DG

farthing
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by farthing »

Hallo everyone and especially to Lib for my pms which were MUCH APPRECIATED. <:)>
I'm back to seeking abstinence through a preliminary period of allowing drinking sometimes. But we don't have alcohol in the home any more which is the only place - ie where only hubbie can see - that I get drunk. It's not ideal but I'm not ready yet for the never never. I will be - but I've been trying to force it and it's not working. So I'm using drinkingdiary.com to keep a record and I'll post here too. So for June I was 30(4) - ie 4 drinking days in month, averaging 10 units a week. For July so far I'm 8(2) - ie two drinking days, averaging 9 units a week. My pledge to myself is to go back to an abstinence challenge if I drink more than 6 units in one go, or if my unit average for a week go above 14. So it's a bit of a fudge, but it's kind of down to me. The longer I can keep this system going, the longer I've got to every now and then enjoy a couple of drinks. For example I'm going to a classical concert on Saturday and will enjoy a glass of wine at the interval. But if I get drunk again, then I must go back to a chunk of abstinence.
So I'm not fooling myself - I know that for me anyway abstinence is the only way. I'm sure that at some point I'll go above the units allowed. But to be honest I just neeeded to find a way forward as I've had so many "day 1s" since January this year that I feel I'm not making progress. So this is a realistic fudge to tide me through and keep me sane, keep me focussed on not getting drunk or letting it get out of control, and hopefully keep me in a good place . I read an article last year by a lady who said she allowed herself less and less opportunities to drink while never saying "never" until it got rarer and rarer and then she wasn't drinking at all. I'm hoping that might be me, but if it's not, then back to the "never never" game. Sorry for boring long selfish post but just wanted to say where I'm at. I'll be logging my record here as obvioulsy the sobriety challenges don't allow for this systeme! Lots of love to everyone. Pennie xx :D

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chrissy 101
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by chrissy 101 »

Hello Abstainers \:)/ A week today for me since my awful episode, still not touched a drop. This morning I have made an appointment with the Alcohol team at my docors for relapse prevention, the more strings to my bow the better. Although its friday and I now that lots of us will struggle today, with each others support we can do it. I will be sending positive thoughts to you all. Good luck for this weekend ;)?
Chrissy 101 - In many cases people forget our "episodes" quicker than we do...but maybe this is the kind of "final straw" thing for you, a kind of push for you to decide whether you cut down or abstain completely. (Sandy) 1st July 2011

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drasticgirl
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by drasticgirl »

Hi Pennie

Just wanted to say your post wasn't boring at all! You're approaching your own problem with alcohol in a way that suits you - but you're still addressing the problem. I think that's brilliant. Well done you <==== not meant to sound patronising, just admiring!

The sobriety challenges are fantastic but they can set one up (mentally) for a fall - the sense of failure brings it's own inherent pressure - constantly 'going back' can be counter productive in my view. Just my subjective opinion - everyone's different - thank god! I'm 38 days AF, but I'm always expecting the EAF to jump out the cupboard and grab me! Haha.

Take care Pennie, and all best.

DG
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George
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by George »

When I first took it upon myself to give up drinking in, oh, 2009 it started relatively easily and I was alcohol-free for about thirteen months. There were no problems with it, apart from the normal thoughts like, "Goodness, could do with a drink tonight!!!" Where it says "tonight", please read that as either tonight, this afternoon, this morning - or right bloody now!!!

These thoughts waned after a short time though and after that lived only in my memory. That allowed me to stay off the drink for thirteen months and I was justifiably delighted with that. It had not been as difficult as I had expected, it allowed me to feel good about myself which is really beneficial, believe me. I started jogging too, I was certainly benefitting from the lack of alcohol.

Then I had a drink to celebrate my sobriety. Yes, I know that is senseless, stupid, whatever - but it happened. It wasn't just a dramn or a pint to celebrate, to say to myself "Well done!", oh no, it was a pure, unadulterated blinder and took a number of days to come off it.

Then I was dry for a month, had a demon drink again, off for three until it was time to celebrate again and then off for another short time - and it annoys me, it really annoys me.

If, after thirteen months I hadn't fallen by the wayside and celebrated my sobriety with a drink, or if I had some sense and celebrated it with another coffee and a chat here on Bright Eye then the other disasters may well not have happened. If that was the way of it then I would have been sober, alcohol-free, for a year and ten months.

I haven't had a drink for a fortnight now but I feel like I'm almost at the beginning again. That won't stop me though, it won't make it anymore difficult than before because if there is one thing that I have within me it's determination.

I do not drink.
“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

farthing
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by farthing »

DG and George, I loved your posts <:)> . George what an inspiring chap you are. (::) Huge admiration and many hats off. <:)> Thank you DG for being kind re my post which I was a bit nervous about posting as I don't feel particularly proud of myself. But I do know things are relative. If I can't at the moment commit to "never" then it doesn't have to be a drunken alternative. I can at least keep up the discipline and stay focussed.
But I am gloomy about it because I want to say what you're saying George: "I don't drink". I've been in the right place mentally about three times this year and once last year. It feels like an amazing place to be and I[m hoping to be there again soon. But as you say DG, the challenges can make you feel bad. I made lots of new friends who were in their day 20s while I was in my teens. Then I had to start again while they went off to the 3 or 4 month challenge. So if I stick around here I'll get to "meet" people and not have to say goodbye! I've got a little kernal - a warm, safe spot deep in my chest - where I have a lot of confidence that things have turned around and that one day soon I'll wake up and know that that's it for a while. Maybe not forever. If I look back at my life when I'm 70 and know that I spent the second half of my life doing long tt challenges - two months here, then 6 months there. Then I'll be much prouder of myself than if I've spent all those years either drunk or hung over. And I might not have even made it to 70. Lovely to be like Ewan MacGregor or Alice Cooper who said goodbye to alcohol and never looked back. But from the experiences of most people I've read about, here and elsewhere, that's not the normal story.
So onwards we go, us weary band of pilgrims, all heading vaguely along the same road, trying not to get left behind. I see us all a bit war-torn; raggedy around the edges but with a great sense of camaradirie, slighly dark sense of humour - the kind of stuff that can keep the little flame of hope, faith and love alight. <:)> to you all.

Beverley
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Beverley »

I have been reading today and yesterday, so many posts.

I know I am at a vulnerable point and so am immersing myself on here. It is so warming to read how many of us are making such wonderful inroads in beating alcohol, and I feel so for those in the first throws.

I found it did get so much easier. But as George said it is all to easy to think you are OK. I know I will never be OK around alcohol There will never be that one drink to be socially enjoyed. Sad but true.

It is so good to wake up without that crushing feeling of defeat. All the physical ailments that go with it. We musy all be vigilent. I for one am so so determined not ever to be beaten by it.

Now, there is just the fat to sort out!!

Bev x <:)> to all
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Beverley
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Beverley »

Hi Naomi

I think it is not a bad idea to distance yourself from those social situations where caution may be thrown to the wind. I did that myself.

Have a wedding coming up in September and OH's family are all partial to copious amounts of amber nectar! Luckily my son and his gf do not drink and OH is limited to what he drinks anyway by choice and his health so I will be in safe company.

Good luck on your path. Just keep away from the edges and you'll be OK!!!

Bev x <:)>
Every moment is a gift - that's why it's called the present

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chriscole
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by chriscole »

well been reading up on the smart recovery material, and i must say, the very act of reading about how to control urges and deal with cravings had me doing just that, i have now spent a good 6 hours in urge mode, so very close to drinking its stupid, whats even worse is i found more beer in the house that my OH hid away, and now my eaf is telling me to indulge tonight, but here i am, putting up with the discomfort,because i know it will pass, at some point. i finally got my 5htp tabs, and have taken two, so we'll see what they do for me if anything.
whats more the local paper came out today with a small piece about me wanting to start an alternate group to AA,using smart as a guide. but the journalist used my full name in the article saying how im a recovering alcoholic etc.... im shocked, all the surrounding villages will know its me, well who knows me anyway, and straight away i wanted to drink, ironic huh? i had 2 responses to the ad this morning, one from a Councillor who will ad my email to a circuit, and another from a recovered drinker for 3 years. whos knows where this is all going
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chrissy 101
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by chrissy 101 »

Hi everyone, I have a large social event coming up in 3 weeks (my daughters 21st). We will be going out with my side of the family for a few drinks but it will turn into a heavy session. I have spoken to my daughter about it and she understands I will not stay all night. I will stay as long as I feel comfortable drinking coffee or tonic but then I will come home. I am very lucky she loves me enough to know why i will need to leave. I will probably have to admit to my sisters, nieces and nephews that i am quitting which will be difficult when they all drink more than me :o . I am expecting the usual comments about 'you havent a problem' etc, etc and I will have to stay strong.

Does anyone else get this type of reaction from family and friends?
Chrissy 101 - In many cases people forget our "episodes" quicker than we do...but maybe this is the kind of "final straw" thing for you, a kind of push for you to decide whether you cut down or abstain completely. (Sandy) 1st July 2011

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chrissy 101
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by chrissy 101 »

Hi Chriscole, Could you see your name being mentioned as a positive thing. If you know that other people see you staring this group and looking for guidance from you then maybe it can be a something to spur you on not to drink?

I too am finding tonight a little strange. I always drink on a Friday watching tv and I feel a little bored :(
Chrissy 101 - In many cases people forget our "episodes" quicker than we do...but maybe this is the kind of "final straw" thing for you, a kind of push for you to decide whether you cut down or abstain completely. (Sandy) 1st July 2011

mai
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by mai »

WOW - what a lot of amazing posts - Drastic <:)> .. George – thank you for a very open and honest post – this drinking thing is a real b!tch to overcome isn’t it.. I think the best thing is to keep with BE and talk to people, as you have said that is what keeps us going and the strength received from everyone is amazing.. Knowing other people out there know how I feel and what I am going through makes me feel less alone..
Bev, bless your heart – so close to a year and a massive milestone and now the EAF decides to sit in your ear.. The horrible thing is you know what to do – but the great thing is you are doing it and you know it is going to be hard but if it isn’t it really isn’t worth fighting for.. It has taken years to become problem drinkers addicted to a drug that uses any excuse.. So our sobriety will take years to capture and maintain.. You only have a few weeks – stay ever on guard and remember that there are pot-holes so be extra careful – and keep talking..
Naomi I agree keeping a distance if you feel you will be tempted is the most important thing in keeping your sobriety – you can join in once your feel stronger..
Farthing I can’t go back and forth thinking I can control my drinking and then realise I can’t – I had to give up and that was that – but I too have read reports about thos statistics and how people give up after a period of sobriety and then fail to get it back.. But statistics are based on people’s co-operation and I for one will not tell them that I drink to excess and have now chosen not to.. There are many success stories out there, they just don’t talk about it – so don’t feel disheartened – you can do this and make it for yourself – and not for the statistics..
Chriscole – crumbs – yes that would have been a shock – and I am not sure how I would have felt about that – but you are doing an amazing act of forming a group to help people stop drinking and ruining their lives – maybe concentrate on that – and people may now know who you are – but then again it could encourage a person to come to terms with the fact that they have a drink problem because you have been highlighted..
Chris101 – hmmmm – the big family do – they seem to cause more problems than most.. Me personally I would not tell people yet, I would keep as a safe guarded secret and say I am on antibiotics – I am only 10 weeks and I am still not prepared to talk to people about it – this is my private journey – if on the other hand you are close to your family and you know they will support you then do not feel ashamed to tell them – just gauge how you feel and go from there.. I have realised that the worry prior to an event outweighs the feelings during it – and the realisation that things really are not as awful as you envisaged.. I am sure you will have a lovely time, and maybe there will be a few people worse for wear that will remind you why you are on this journey..
Take care fellow travellers and stay strong <:)> .
Mai
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Ladysnoops
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Ladysnoops »

Dab, Fabulous post ;)? You are always there for others even when you are not feeling so well yourself and for that we are all SO grateful <:)> Sounds like you are having a good day today despite the pain and that makes me very happy :D . Stay strong my good friend and you will be at the 3 month mark (WAHOO \:)/ ) before you know it (::)

Sending lots of love and support over the ocean to you <:)>

Linda
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George
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by George »

Thanks Digs but I only wear my kilt at weddings and funerals and as you're not dying and I won't marry you then it might be a while mate :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :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

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Sandy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Sandy »

Hi Chris 101
just some thoughts on your daughters 21st.
When I first came on BE, much as I was desperate to stop drinking, I could'nt get my head around how I could possibly manage any "big" or "future" events or celebrations without booze.
My head used to run races with itself!
How could I possibly manage a party in a months time?..I can t go!...I wont go!...I will go and not drink..I will go and have 2 (thats hysterical if you knew me then :lol: ) I will go and drive (knowing that I could leave the car and get a taxi home) I will just NOT go- it's going to be too hard!...ok so what if I go?....what will i tell people?...what will they think?...what excuse can I use when they see I am not having a drink?......how soon will it be polite to leave once I have tortured myself long enough without booze?...on and on my head went and never really coming up with any answers.
Here is some advice I got on BE (consolidated) and some of my own experience with social events.
I am approaching 2 years dry now so have "managed" many and enjoyed even more but it is "different". If you have always partied hard (like me :oops: ) you cannot imagine going to big events and remaining sober but honestly you can but like I say it is just a bit "different"
ok
You have 3 weeks to go
Put the thought of the party straight out of your head. You have many more challenges to get through before getting there. One day at a time remember.
A few days before the big day start to think of your strategy...this is very important to get you through the night.By this time you WILL be another 3 weeks sober and feel completely different to what you feel just now. You will be stronger and more determined but you could also become a bit complacent,
EEK got to rush off Chris be back later for next instalment ( I am a terible old blether )
Sandy

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CJ
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by CJ »

Hello Chris,
I'm sure sandy will come back with some wonderful advice - she recently immensely helped me through a similar ordeal. The " special occasions " threads on the challenges is worth a look at. I posted on there in the run up to a party and it really really helped. Don't be too worried about what to say to people on the night. I had all sorts of excuses and lies prepared, but on the night I simply told people I wasnt drinking! So simple, no reason. Just said I was being good at the minute, and if they pressed it, I had my excuse of recent migraines all prepared, but actually no-one pressed it. Some people thought I was mad and told me so, but it was said in a jokey way, not to make me feel awkward.
And I had fun! I was really surprised how I enjoyed myself.
But Sandy is right. You have a while to prepare; don't get too worried about it now. Just take a day at a time for now, and before you know it, by the time the party is here you will feel stronger and will deal with it fine. I took Sandy and some of the others along to my party in my handbag, so when I felt a bit lost and the EAF was luring their presence really helped. Sound corny but just knowing people werre rooting for me helped! Post away nearer the time, the support you will get from this site will really help! Good luck!
"My urge is never to have just a glass even if the EAF pretends it is, my urge is to get wasted. When I am getting urges like that it is impossible for me to kid myself that I no longer have a problem." Pineapple

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