New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

New Members thread, SOS thread, Daily chat and Support, Cutting Down, Abstinence and more.
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Mark.
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Mark. »

Icurus wrote:
29 Jun 2020 00:25
Need help, thanks to all
Welcome to to you too, Ben. How have you been doing today? Please read around the forum and join in as much as possible. A lot of people use the Sobriety Challenges to begin with, if you feel it's physically safe to quit drinking straight away. Otherwise, there's advice on cutting down/tapering off. Just ask all the questions you need to.

I'm 44 too, by the way. It's really never too late to do something good about a drink problem.

Best wishes,
Mark
"There is no 'us' and 'them'; it's an illusion. We are all human beings, and we all have a responsibilty to support one another." Roger Waters

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KraftyKat
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by KraftyKat »

Thanks for the welcome ;)?
One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.
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SoberBoots
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by SoberBoots »

Welcome new members and returners! This is a wonderful forum, Read back on this thread for a ton of tips, join a challenge for support and to get to know people, head the Road to Abstinence or Beyond the 1 year milestone for reflection and inspiration.

I think the first step is to reach out for support which you've all done - it takes guts that, well done. Then it's acceptance that needs working on. Why's it so hard to stop drinking when we can see how destructive it is in our lives?

My understanding of the "why" is that we are literally in two minds. Evolution has given us the basic survival instincts and a range of emotional responses which we have in common with, say, dogs. Over that we've got what makes us human - thought, consciousness, the bit of us that thinks, can plan, can understand consequences. Our thinking brain sees what we're doing and wants to stop. Unfortunately, addiction is rooted in the animal brain, and that just wants comfort, relief, pleasure etc. That's fine when the comfort is a warm bed, a bask in the sun, a full belly. Put us in a culture where there is exposure to harmful addictive substances and problems can develop. We drank in the first place because those around us and our society in general told us that this what you do - to escape, to celebrate, because you're sad or lonely, for pleasure. Dog-brain got the idea that when under any stress, positive or negative, drink will make it better. It doesn't understand that the relief is very temporary, it just wants, and it carries on wanting long after alcohol has really stopped providing much or any relief at all. We also become physically dependent just to complicate matters - stopping makes us ill in the short term, and dog-brain has learnt that the way to feel better is to drink, and so the cycle goes on...

Stopping is a certain cure for all this misery. To do it, our thinking brain has to very firmly get in the driving seat and use its capabilities to understand. It's important to understand the role of cultural brainwashing - Allen Carr (the Easy Way) is good on this. Then it needs to manage those stresses - some can be avoided, for others we have to do the work of creating alternative responses, and finally, very importantly, we must learn the art of sitting on our hands, understanding that we need do nothing, the feelings will have their time, be processed, and pass. We have to retrain dog-brain - this can be done in just the way that you can retrain a dog, by showing it that those alternative responses alleviate stress, and by associating sobriety with pleasure over and over again (in other words, we must find things that we enjoy doing sober). It will always have its old ways lurking there though - my rescued dog who was used for hunting, for instance, has been retrained to live happily with my cat, but will never be fully trustworthy with other small furry beasts! So our conscious minds need to be vigilant, avoiding or actively managing anything that might trigger the old ways, and this maintenance work, although it becomes less intensive as the new way becomes habitual, never stops (in other words recovery is a permanent state of being). For identifying the voice of the animal brain, which helps make this internal structure clearer I suggest looking at AVRT (Alcoholic Voice Recognition Therapy) there's a 'crash course' here http://www.rational.org/index.php?id=36.
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Chirpy »

welcome KK - I am recently returned as well. So glad to have come back. I am hanging out on the Road to Abstinence and 100 day challenge. we have a nice group cheering each other on at 100 days if you want to drop by :)
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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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Ellalu »

Hi, I have been drinking 4 vodkas a night for years. I want and need to stop now, hope to get some good advice on here on how to do it.

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by na »

:\: all,
Another returner here. I’ve returned many many times but that’s part of the course, never giving up giving up.
Thanks for the insight Soberboots. The animal brain also takes over when drunk 😵 all logic and judgement goes!
Na x
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Mark.
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Mark. »

Ellalu wrote:
30 Jun 2020 07:23
Hi, I have been drinking 4 vodkas a night for years. I want and need to stop now, hope to get some good advice on here on how to do it.
Hi Ellalu, and welcome!

It can feel nigh on impossible to break a habit that has become so engrained. It's easy to say, 'I will not drink today,' but the nearer it gets to the time of day you'd normally pick up the first drink, the scarier it can feel, can't it? It's almost like a superstitious fear: however irrational we know we are being, we still get The Fear: we fear something bad will happen if we don't drink, or we tell ourselves that we really need this drink today and that tomorrow will be a better day for quitting.

Actually, unless we've been regularly drinking very high amounts of alcohol, nothing bad happens when we stop drinking. It's all good. We stop hammering our health, we wake up brighter-eyed every day, and we are no longer enslaved to addictive behaviour.

For Day 1 and then sticking with it, I'd recommend the following:

1) Read and post here as often as you can. There's good, friendly advice everywhere on the forum. I'd also advise trying the Sobriety Challenges, beginning with the First 7 Days. Doing this in company can really help.

2) Bear in mind that the first few days and weeks will sometimes bring small trials. Your body will begin to adjust (but never forget that this means recovery!) and your mind too. There will be times of stress and temptation but these can be overcome. The two techniques I've found most useful, especially in the early days are the Ten Minute Rule and HALT:

The Ten Minute Rule: if you find yourself craving a drink, tell yourself that you can have a drink - but not for ten minutes. Almost every time, you'll find that after ten minutes the craving has passed or is a lot less intense. But if the craving's still there, just repeat the ten minute rule... and repeat it... and repeat it. You might be surprised to learn how effective this can be.

HALT: when we crave alcohol, aside from the physical addiction, there are often other reasons causing the cravings:

Hunger: eating can immediately put an end to cravings for alcohol. In fact, often we don't recognise hunger for food and just assume it's a thirst for booze.

Anger: anger can inspire us to want to drink. Instead, if there's nobody else to complain to, log on here and rant away. You'll feel better for it and the cravings will pass.

Loneliness: another reason to drink. So instead, visit or phone a friend, or again log on here. There's usually someone around to chat to.

Tiredness: relaxing by watching television or a DVD, reading a book, taking a long bath, or going to bed early are all so much better for us than "relaxing" with a drink.

3) Sometimes, people find quit-lit useful. Personally, I've never found the likes of Allen Carr helpful so I can't comment, but for others his work and that of authors such as Catherine Grey have been life-savers, so investigating them would be something to think about.

In truth, reading as much as you can about problem-drinking here and elsewhere, and thinking about your own relationship with alcohol (asking yourself when and why the problematic habit started, and so on), is highly beneficial. The more you understand the problem the more you will inspired to fight on and fix it.

I'm others will pitch in with other ideas too ;)?

Very best wishes, Ellalu, and I'll look forward to seeing you around!
Mark
na wrote:
30 Jun 2020 08:21
Another returner here.
I'm crossing posts with Na, sorry! Lovely to have you back! \:)/
"There is no 'us' and 'them'; it's an illusion. We are all human beings, and we all have a responsibilty to support one another." Roger Waters

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by na »

Hi ellalu
You’ve definitely come to the right place. I’ve been drinking 4 doubles a nights for far too long.
I log on here each evening at witching hour and each morning and copy and paste notes and words of wisdom for throughout the day, I read back through these later on when I’m tempted.
Ive also been being nice to myself. Eating healthy food and treating myself daily, I’ve bought myself a new pillow and bedding so I look forward to bedtimes. I’ve saved about £50 already as I haven’t drank for 8 days. Thats £2,500 per year or £25,000 in 10 years. Not bad for doing something that will do me and the family the world of good.
Sobriety is worth the price of resisting the temptation to drink in the beginning, I know the cravings subside after a while.
Na x
Change is always possible - anytime, at any moment

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Mark.
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Mark. »

Excellent advice, Na - and well done with all the savings ;)? \:)/
"There is no 'us' and 'them'; it's an illusion. We are all human beings, and we all have a responsibilty to support one another." Roger Waters

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Newt »

I only wish I had a pound for every pound I've saved since I stopped drinking :roll:

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by LuckyCat »

Wonderful advice, thanks especially to SB - the idea of a 'dog-brain' is so helpful, and also such an easy prompt/way to frame what feels like something very complicated into something a lot simpler and more doable. You were the first to welcome me last time I joined and I see you still being as amazingly kind and supportive now. Hope you are well and sending you a huge <:)>

Welcome to all the newbies/returners! \:)/
AF 17 days: 26/2/19 - 15/3/19
AF 34 days 4/6/19 - 7/7/19
AF 13/7/19 - not very long after :(

AF 2020 - 3/6/20 - 8/7/20 = 35 days, a new record if only by one day ;)

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Chirpy »

Welcome Ellalu
Lovely ideas and advice already

Na - I buy myself a beautiful scented candle or expensive teas, drinks and chocolate drink mixes to the same value as wine and my house smells amazing and I have decadent hot spicy chocolate most nights! It may have gone a little far, I have now too may candles, one in the bathroom, lounge, bedroom, and kitchen!!!

I have treats for between 3-7pm to get through the temptation zone - although that's mostly clear now, I can't lie, I really really really love chocolate.

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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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Hellothisisivan »

Ello

My name’s Ivan. I’m 39 (40 is, terrifyingly, creeping up on me in just a few months) & I think I’ve got a bit of a problem.

I’ve been a reasonably heavy drinker for most of my life, ever since I decided aged about 19 that getting drunk was a really good way to not be the shy, uninteresting person I’ve always fundamentally seen myself as. I’ve also been fighting clinical depression since I was in my teens, and am currently in quite a heavy dose of antidepressants. The two things have never been a good combination but I feel that in the age of the virus, where home is my office and if I’m feeling a bit stressed it’s so easy to pop out for a bottle from the corner shop, things are reaching a crisis.

I feel so ashamed, so EMBARRASSED of feeling like I need to drink so much. So guilty about going to barmy lengths to conceal it from my other half. Does he know I drink in the daytime? I’m not sure, but I don’t feel like I could ever tell him. I can’t sleep, I feel sick most of the time, I can barely look at myself in the mirror. I hate it. I hate myself. But I can’t stop. I don’t know what to do. Every time I try to stop I get what Edgar Allan Poe called The Imp of the Perverse - the need to do it just because I know I shouldn’t do it.

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DannyD
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by DannyD »

Morning Ivan, and welcome to Bright Eye.

I'd say it's a fairly safe bet that your partner knows you are drinking. Is his office at home too, or does he come home to find you 'working'? Depending on what/how much you are drinking, he's possibly desperate to have That Conversation with you. I love your Imp of Perverse. I think he's alive in a lot of us. He certainly takes me out from time to time.

Certainly drinking depressants all day, then taking anti depressants are not a good combination for mental health, but I can understand the attraction of drink when you're working from home all and every day. You're not answerable to anyone, turning up drunk for work or drinking at work, will not get you the sack. However, you don't appear to like yourself much at the moment. This can all change.

There are various threads about. One of which is a suggestion for tapering off. If you read through that, there's lots of information and tips. If you want to stop completely, go cold turkey, there is a risk to your physical health.

Try and look at your reasons for drinking. Do you have triggers that set you off? Is there a slight boredom, working from home without the social interaction of the office? For most triggers, there are tools or coping mechanisms.

A lot of people jump on the alcohol challenges. 100 days has a nice little group, but if you feel that 100 days is too big a mountain, why not look at the first seven days thread? Lots of people just trying to get through that first week, with mutual support. Have a go. Waking up sober is one of the best feelings ever.

Good luck.
be selfish in your sobriety.

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Mark.
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Mark. »

Hi Ivan, and welcome ;)?

I agree with everything Danny has suggested and can't add more, but I too love The Imp of the Perverse! I like Poe but I hadn't come across that before. Love it!

Very best wishes and I hope we'll see a lot of you around the forum,
Mark
"There is no 'us' and 'them'; it's an illusion. We are all human beings, and we all have a responsibilty to support one another." Roger Waters

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Hellothisisivan »

Thanks for the welcome folks, I’m really hoping signing up here will help stuff. I think boredom is probably the root more than anything else, really. I don’t find my job very interesting (it’s something I just drifted into doing via temping and I don’t feel confident enough to find something that would engage me more) and also there’s not a huge amount for me to do at the moment. Today I’m feeling in such a bad depression that I’ve called into work sick & don’t even feel I can get out of bed. I just feel so incredibly frustrated.

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by DannyD »

Been there, done that, got the tee shirt. Inaction/lack of motivation, symptoms of mental health problems?

So, today you're staying in bed? No drinking? No shopping for more? If you're determined, stagger into your drinking space, and pour away the last of the alcohol, then there's no temptation in the house. Back to bed. Watch catch up tv, read a book, but stay in bed all day.

Tomorrow, wake up sober, and make plans on how you're going to cope.

When you get the urge, make a sandwich and eat it. Food often kills the drinking urge. Look at the craving, admit it, yes you want a drink, make the decision that you won't have one for at least ten minutes. You can always change your mind, but when you look at the craving, just say not this time, perhaps in 20 minutes.

And think of a hobby that you might enjoy doing during your off-work time.
be selfish in your sobriety.

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by na »

Hi Ivan
I get the boredom bit but when we get the alcohol out of the equation we can begin to explore new possibilities of employment and other paths to fulfillment.
Danny's advise for today is spot on, this will pass, the drinking is adding to if not the cause of the lacklustre life you are experiencing. Though it takes determination and commitment to change, a full-filled life is possible, believe in yourself and the process.
Na x
Change is always possible - anytime, at any moment

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Chirpy »

Hi Ivan

Welcome and some great ideas here already. I am sure you will find a lot of the different threads that will appeals and resonate.
Bed...dont underestimate just hunkering down and sleeping. It was my go to, you might not even feel tired, but I promise the moment you shut your eyes, you will very likely have a nice long sleep and suddenly its half the day gone, a nice cup of tea and back to bed again... I am still tired at day 50, but everyday is better than the next. If you like reading, spend the money from booze on your favourite genre or movies, or gaming....whatever.

I also suggest a little log of the things that are better each day. For me, its the ability to spring out of bed, and even if not spring, then after a glass of water, I am conscious of no headache. By the first week, you will notice your face in the mirror looking at you with slightly clearer skin and eyes. Keeping a daily note of something to appreciate while being sober is quite incredible when you look back on it.

your mood won't improve overnight, but it improves waaaay quicker than you imagine and you will feel the benefits quickly. I think someone already said, try the 7 day challenge and then we have a super little group on the first 100 days who some newbies are on and its pretty active at the mo.

Have a great weekend

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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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by New image »

Oh dear. A new ‘old member’
5 years without the evil alcohol fairy then bang.
Been back on it since 2016. A lot has happened since then. Turned 50, getting divorced (my call not related to drink)
So today is Day 1
\:)/
Lucky number 7.
2012,2013,2014, 2015 alcohol free.
2016 work in progress

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