The Road to Abstinence.

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

Post by Tai »

Action wrote:
21 Nov 2019 08:46
For me I feel like I’m stuck in the lift and I’m waiting to see whether it’s going to go up or down. The irony of it is I’m in control...I have to press the right buttons.
I absolutely recognise this in me too Action ... not wanting to make a decision in case it’s the wrong one, and not wanting to act on a decision once made for the same reason ... tossed in with an unhealthy dose of procrastination and there you have it ... dithering whilst wanting to change whilst not wanting to do the doing involved in changing. So me that is.

I have to be in a place where not doing becomes more uncomfortable than doing before I can really get under way with the doing part of changing. And the funny thing is it’s a relief once I do ... I feel like I’m picking up the reins instead of waiting (and hoping) that someone else will do it for me. We can wait forever with nothing changing at all whilst we wish and wish ... without doing.

If I could talk to my younger self now I would tell her to act. Waiting and seeing what happens has not worked out that well for me, wasted years and I can’t go back. I knew I had a problem with drinking and associated avoidance behaviours decades before I finally started to tackle this. It’s a case of better late than never and I have to remember how lucky I am ... in fact I’m reminded often when I hear those sad tales at my support meetings of people whose drinking has taken them to and then through some truly horrendous experiences.

Waking up sober on a Saturday morning still sometimes feels amazing. OH is grumpy with a sore head from drinking too much last night and will now be staying indoors sofa bound, doing the bare minimum all day. I get to go into town meet my mates, have a laugh eat cake drink coffee, do a spot of shopping etc etc. All with a clear head and no grogginess / gut ache and the rest. What could be nicer?

Have a good day Roadies xx
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.
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Saturn
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Saturn »

Hi Cowboy

I remember well the cycle of doing a couple of days sober, feeling better for it and then wanting to drink again. That first drink seemed all the more magnificent since I was having it 'clean'. I look back now and clearly see it as a component of the addiction. You feel physically better after a couple of days, so can kid yourself you are, so you reward yourself with a drink. Madness, but then that's what this illness does to us.

For me recognising that the above situation, as well as all the other obsessive thoughts surrounding alcohol, are just symptoms of this illness has helped enormously. We know it's inevitable that after a couple of days sober the drinking thoughts will build up again in earnest. It's just a symptom, it's going to happen. The good thing is you can observe it, recognise it for what it really is, not really you but a symptom of an illness, and then not act on it. Once we truly recognise we don't have to act on it at all, it starts to get easier. Even though the thoughts happen in your own head, you start to feel separate from them, instead of engulfed.

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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

Thanks for that Saturn. I have managed to push through that 2 days on days off cycle and made it to 6 days. I can see my sober self more clearly now and that sober memory and muscle I earned with one year of abstinence is shining through the hedge. People in these parts advised to push through that first week and I finally have - more or less - and I feel fantastic without the urge to "reward" myself with a drink.

Feels good to be back. Have a great AF day roadies.
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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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Saturn »

Well done Cowboy 👍If you've done a year you've already proved you know how to stop 😀

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Winkler
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Winkler »

I’ve found it progressively harder to stay stopped or maybe, looking at it the other way, getting the motivation up to try another attempt at being AF, every time I’ve gone back to just 1 night off, or, I’m not ‘that bad’ or, I can moderate now, or whatever reason I give myself to drink. I’m not giving my AF status up easily this time round (and I hope it’s my last).

I think it’s something your chimp brain uses against you, the knowledge that it’s got its habit back again that way.
I’m having, not exactly a battle, but a bit of anxiety at some social stuff coming up related to Xmas and the knowledge that, yes, everyone else will be drinking. Apart from those who have a problem with it of course (me). I know it will be noted, and probably commented on although I will not be discussing it in depth, thank you, I’ll say something about it if/when I have to, whatever seems appropriate. I’ll probably try to laugh it off, people can draw whatever conclusions they will and the conversations will move on.

And come January I will be so pleased I didn’t give it up and will be feeling good about it, with no alcohol on my mind. Until the next time haha.

Kind of related to this - I made reference to a friend drinking alone on a group chat thing (I called it a 1 woman party) and felt she was then defended by others in the group kind of saying it was ok. I know my friend has alcohol issues, takes 1 to know 1, but I think some of the others are ‘normal’ drinkers. So yeh, felt a bit put down and then felt I’d said the wrong thing on another chat (there was a lot of drinking normalisation going on there, too although I didn’t comment on it).

So yeh, it’s difficult feeling misunderstood and like you’re the odd one out, like you do sometimes, being a non- drinker. Glad you guys are here <:)>
Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing - Lao Tzu

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SoberBoots
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots »

I know it will be noted, and probably commented on although I will not be discussing it in depth, thank you, I’ll say something about it if/when I have to, whatever seems appropriate. I’ll probably try to laugh it off, people can draw whatever conclusions they will and the conversations will move on.
It does get easier as time goes on. At first I felt like I was acting a part when I was sober at social events. Now I've odne so many sober that I don't give it a second thought. The only people who comment are sometimes those who remember me drinking (heavily) and are understandably surprised that I dodn't any more! I don't fell that I have to explain, but if I feel I want to say something I generally say either that I stopped for a while and felt so much better that I've chosen to make it permanent, or that I noticed that alcohol was having more and more of an effect on me the day after drinking, so I decided to stop - I often also say that I discovered that I have a faulty off switch and find it much easier just not to drink at all.

The main thing is to plan - keeping busy helps, by getting involved with food prep, taking drinks round (ironically), or spotting people who might be feeling awkward and giving them some time and attention. I like to leave early (the small hours are for sleeping these days!) so I make sure I can.

You're doing so well Winkler, it's lovely to see (::)
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

Way to go Winkler and Soberboots.

While I'm having a good early run here there are and will always be those permission thoughts. Just need to keep yourself busy and, for me, making sure I'm eating regularly really helps. So many times I am having permission thoughts before a meal and I move forward, eat and those permission thoughts dissolve into nothing.

I believe my group of friends now realize that I have a drinking problem addiction. I have stopped so many times saying I am taking a break only to start up again. I'm not sure the "I'm taking a break" is cutting it anymore. But on the other hands - who cares. I'm sober and that is the most important consideration in my life these days. Staying sober needs to be the main focus. So I am. Staying sober.

Have a great AF day 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.

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Winkler
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Winkler »

Well done cowboy 🤠 and thanks for your support Soberfun

I’ve noticed how food can help with cravings too - that hungry, angry, lonely, tired has a lot of truth in it eh?

I'm fine within my usual social groups but I’ll be out of my comfort zone in the 2 upcoming ones, within smaller groups in larger gatherings if that makes sense, where people don’t know me so well - tbh dressing up and being with excited loud drinking women isn’t really my thing at any time of year but I’m gonna have to grit my teeth, slap a smile on for them, and pretend to enjoy myself, sigh

I’m much more of a talker than a dancer, it actually bores me rigid but hey ho, gonna have to suck it up for these Occasions. Thank goodness I can drive myself home afterwards tho! I’m not planning to be taxi driver either, done enough of that self effacing rounding people up mother hen thing. If only they knew what a miserable humbug I really am :?
Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing - Lao Tzu

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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

Totally picking up what you are putting down Winkler.

Well friends just a big note of thanks for helping me to snap out of it. Tai, fiz, JJ, TC, Troj, SB et al thank you, thank you , thank you. A solid week of sobriety and it couldn't have come at a better time. Big family trip to Costa Rica for two weeks. Last time I was there in 2017 I was sober the entire time (2 weeks) and its was one of the best trips I ever had. Imagine waking up every morning with no hangover to attend. Just a morning coffee, healthy breakfast and a walk along the beach ... or watching/listening to the toucans and monkeys cavort in the jungle. And I get to do it all over again but this time with my three children and two grandchildren. And with the money I saved not drinking this week I purchased a blender that I plan to take down in my luggage.

That's right folks. It will be yours truly set up at the shack we have rented on the beach with all of those exotic fruits and coconut water at hand - cutting and blending and cutting and blending. Will I ever be a big hit eh? And who needs booze when you have all that exotic fruit and those smoothies I plan on making up for family and friends. Not to mention all the wonderful sea food they have down there. Y

You know - those sober muscles were there all the time under all that fat. Just needed a bit of exercise is all. And I think they remember. Do I sound cocky? I hope not. Time to pick up where I left off in September. Wonder if I still have the keys to the palace that is beyond the one year milestone? Guess time will tell.

Not sure if I will be logging on while I'm away or if I will even want to. Just wanted all my BE friends - you know who you are - to know how much I truly appreciate you standing by with non-judgement support and encouragement. Week 1 is a killer but as the lovely and talented fiz said to me - do the first week, bag it and get on with it. I truly believe I have.

Take care all. Cowboy.
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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fiz
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by fiz »

Aw cowboy, it’s lovely to read that post, you sound determined and positive, you’re back, \:)/ well done you. <:)> <:)>
Have a fantastic holiday with your family, and enjoy those smoothies. ;)?
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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martha
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by martha »

Fantastic post, Cowboy! Hope you have the best time in Costa Rica 8-)
Waiting for bunnies to appear in the fields.

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Trojan
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Trojan »

Cowboy, that sounds like a great experience you have lined up. Enjoy it all :)
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Bluebottle »

So happy for you cowboy, have a great holiday.

Ruby xx
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ScarletB
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by ScarletB »

Hi everyone. Just a bit to post. I had an awful evening at work. I came home and my OH said, “it’s the holidays. Pour two shots.” And he put on my favorite holiday movie. He had started the festivities after our children were asleep and he was excited for me to be home and us be together for a few days. I caved. We speak regularly about our life and health and parenting and choices for raising our children etc. a month ago we had agreed to take it easy on the alcohol until the holidays. I have had mostly af days for about three weeks. And when I did drink it was very minimal. I mentioned to him I’ve been listening to Annie Grace and I feel this awareness now about how alcohol affects my brain and decision making. He said “do we always have to talk about negative things?” I tried to explain that I feel more empowered now and that’s a positive. Regardless, it was my decision to drink tonight. I don’t feel immense shame I just feel ultra aware that I didn’t really want to and I did anyway. Tomorrow, I hope to be completely in control, at peace.

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Winkler
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Winkler »

Hi Scarlett
I can imagine that scenario and that’s a lot of pressure to drink from your OH <:)>
I reckon in time you’ll beat that kind of thing and just say ‘no thanks, you have one’ with a big smile whilst giving yourself a huge pat on the back

I reckon judging his reaction then will be interesting for you - if he spits his dummy out it might be a little bit of a control (as in controlling you) kind of thing to bear in mind! It’s probably just he doesn’t get it, it can be a lonely place building up your resistance and sober muscles can’t it and not a lot of people get it

You can rest assured there will be people that admire you for it and it WILL make you stronger

I’ve been in similar situations a few times now like that, where there’s a lot of expectation and it could go either way. The times I’ve done it I’ve kicked myself and I’ve also felt a bit of an idiot when I’ve protested too much. The way I’m playing it now is pretending as in accepting it and then giving it away later. Don’t know if it will be less of a deal that way but practice makes perfect haha maybe. It’s all on the road isn’t it. Have a good day :)
Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing - Lao Tzu

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Leslans
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Leslans »

Well we do have the silly season upon us and that in itself brings its problems. First of all congratulations to Cowboy, you did better than me when I caved at 12 months. It took me 12 years to get back in the saddle!!!!!! I hasten to add though since my two year stint I’ve not taken as long, only 15 months 😵. Anyway I’m back and this thread is as usual supportive and informative.

I’m out in Spain for a short break, I must admit I’ve not wavered at all. I’ve checked in on here daily somewhere and I found the book The Sober Diaries in my wardrobe which I am re reading which is motivating me as well. It does help that the weather has been glorious so we’ve spent quite a bit of time down on the beach, unseasonably warm for this time of the year.

I’ve got a few things organised over the next few weeks and one thing I’m doing is not get involved in anything I don’t want to do. I’ve had it pretending I’m enjoying myself when people are getting smashed......I don’t need it now or ever. I hate saying this is my final go at this, but it is. I’ve always said it’s a journey but I can’t keep relapsing after long spells of sobriety. I have learned so much now that it’s got to be my time. I have been doing AA but it does get me down that they automatically expect you to be hard liquor drinkers, waiting for the “yets”. My drinking is no worse and no better than that many years ago. I just know I have a problem with binge drinking and tbh I just can’t be bothered battling the wine witch 🧙‍♀️ anymore.

Off out for a meal now.......designated driver again, but that’s ok.
"Don't look back, you're not going that way"

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Winkler
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Winkler »

Yeh, I think AA is aimed more for dependent drinkers than us bingers maybe Leslans?
Props we should start hazardous drinkers anonymous instead :)
Yeh, I’m with you on not tolerating being round boring drunks indulging their habit, I’d rather clean my oven
I’m out with friends today and there’s a lunch booked with free bubbly.
I shall not be partaking and it won’t bother me
I won’t be hanging around if they want to start tea time drinking tho, life’s too short to sit around feeling bored! ;)
Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing - Lao Tzu

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Leslans
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Leslans »

Well can you believe it’s been 27 on the beach today. Absolutely fab. Not back here for a while but just got myself some Nordic walking poles to use when we’re back. Another pastime which got sidelined as I opted to go to the Hacienda for wine or gin. Funny wasn’t drinking when I was here in September and did a 22k walk (got a bit lost) and it was breathtaking in them there mountains.

So a very successful trip off to the airport soon :\:
"Don't look back, you're not going that way"

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by silvergirl »

Fantastic Leslans, well done! \:)/

Winkler, this:
Winkler wrote:
29 Nov 2019 07:52
I’d rather clean my oven
is just hilarious, perhaps because cleaning my oven isn’t a task I ever do! :lol:

Happy holiday cowboy, hope you have the best time. :D

ScarletB, how are you doing today? <:)>

I’m so glad it’s Friday, and I’m so glad I don’t drink. \:)/

:geek: sgx
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Winkler
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Winkler »

because cleaning my oven isn’t a task I ever do! :lol:

Lol, nor me SG, well, extremely rarely and never very well anyway, although I do occasionally plan to and even buy products to :lol:

So I thought I’d put this down, because it’s part of my ongoing, recovery is the wrong word, commitment to being a non drinker.
There! I thought semantics weren’t important to me but it appears the longer this thing goes on, that they are, because I have been going round the block with this so long and being a non drinker is really important to me. I need it to be real. I’m not a recovering alcoholic but it’s also painful if I try to moderate.

I went out with my friends for the day yesterday as planned. Don’t worry, I stayed AF and was never particularly tempted ;)? They all know I don’t drink.
So there were tastes of alcohol and free glasses offered throughout the day as per a Black Friday shopping in town and Xmas markets. Not a big problem avoiding and I even sourced some for them. I started getting bored with them drinking at lunch time. After that I was surprised how long it took for them to want more to drink (I would have been suggesting it sooner) but well before the end of the evening I was looking for an opportunity to get away without seeming rude. I couldn’t get away earlier and at least we’d ended back in our home town earlier rather than later! These are not particularly heavy drinkers, the conversation did touch on girls who were though, and of course it sounded fun being that way. But we all know about the dark side of drinking that way and yes of course there was also history of and ongoing relationship difficulties, health/appearance and risky behaviour in those heavy drinkers, which we all know/experience.

This is how it will be now, I’m realising. Socialising only lasts as long as there’s drinking going on. I was out for tea with some other friends the day before and everyone left as soon as eating was over, pretty much, as everyone was driving.
Better lower my expectations of ‘going out.’ I just don’t enjoy company for any length of time if it’s based round other people drinking, although I’m happy to hang for a while if people aren’t drinking.

I suppose I already knew, it’s just gonna be important for me to remember when planning stuff cos other people won’t be taking it into account!

I suppose I’m still relatively new into an adult life with no expectation of drinking, even though I’ve had birthdays, holidays and Xmas not drinking before in the last few years. I’ve always just gone along with not drinking when others do. I’ve kind of believed I didn’t like events, company or socialising if I wasn’t drinking but it’s more that I don’t like SOME events, socialising and company without drinking. It is a subtle difference but one that’s really important and mostly down to how much drinking others are going to be doing and over what timescale I will be agreeing to. Life can still be fun without being shitfaced and that’s down to me to manage!
Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing - Lao Tzu

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