New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

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

Post by Guybrush »

Mark. wrote:
23 Feb 2021 13:48
That's a conundrum for a lot of us, I think! A vicious circle, perhaps. What I do know is that alcohol really does only increase anxiety, often unfocussed anxiety (what they call "hangxiety" - the anxiousness you get while hungover).

Also, if there are specific issues that are making you anxious, they really are better handled while sober.

So, giving up or even just cutting down is a really good idea!

Please read around the forum and join in as much as you can, wherever you wish, and ask all the questions you need to. There's loads of friendly support and advice here from a lot of members who are either in the same boat or have been there.

Very best wishes and I'll look forward to seeing you around ;)?
Mark
Thanks for the info. Yes definitely hangxiety. Nothing specific currently, but there has been things over the last few years which have lead to the build up of drinking. Guess the drinking cycle has just kept it high.

I shall be reading things and hopefully improve myself. I have drank again yesterday and today. But not the silly level which ended up with overload anxiety and pretty much nill by mouth for a day.

I think due to past experience I am not setting a short term or long term goal right now. Just a medium term. Which is lower gradually to avoid the anxiety and then have a month off. Then I may be able to focus better and see where I am.

KraftyKat wrote:
23 Feb 2021 17:42
Welcome Guybrush :\:
This is a great place to start - lots of friendly people. Hope to see you on the first seven days. x
Hopefully I'll keep around. I know how people can pop up and never be seen again on this sort of thing! Once of the worst things about the drinking is that I seem to never do anything that I like doing. Have too much and just sit and do nothing. I miss my hobbies and actually being focused.

SoberBoots wrote:
24 Feb 2021 17:59
Hello Guybrush, welcome! I used to be superanxious too. I'm amazed how much of it was caused by the alcohol, both directly as a withdrawal effect, and indirectly becasue of things I'd done/not done while drinking. You're absolutely doing the right thing - don't expect instant results, as things that take a long time to build up can also take a long time to unpick, but both your physical and mental health will greatly improve without alcohol in the mix.
Thanks for that, I am only really starting to see how much of my anxiety is caused by the alcohol alone. I have been putting it down to other things for too long. I'm not dicounting the fact I may have some actual medical issues under everything which cause some anxiety. Just that I need to get clean/low use in order to determine what is what.

I am looking forward to my chat with the local support on Monday. They helped me before but early 2020, well you know what has been going on. It was not an easy change for them either and I got all this is not working. But like I said I feel more up for it again. My main issues is that I am very picky about who gives support and if we don't get on right it makes it pointless and I am often unable to say, sorry you are not working can I have someone else (it's not easy!). In the past I had a good hypnotherapist but he has retired. He was good becuase he was a RMN previously and before that actually trained my mother in general nursing as a reandom coincidence! So had the sort of background I liked. But such are hard to find.

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Mark.
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Mark. »

Guybrush wrote:
24 Feb 2021 19:47
I think due to past experience I am not setting a short term or long term goal right now. Just a medium term. Which is lower gradually to avoid the anxiety and then have a month off. Then I may be able to focus better and see where I am.
That sounds like a really good plan, Guy ;)?

I know exactly what you mean about drink destroying hobbies. You think that you'll be able to do both, and that booze will be a pleasurable relaxant and/or accompaniment. But often, in every way, it takes over and becomes the complete be-all and end-all.

I used to think that drinking while strumming my guitar would be fun, but I'd very quickly become too busy slurping down the beer (and getting drunk) to play, and 'an afternoon of guitar, with some beer' turned into 'an afternoon and evening of beer, with very little guitar'.

Also, a huge amount of time and effort goes into drinking: making sure you have enough of it, going to the shops specifically to buy it, and so on. I wasted a lot of days off: although I might resist starting to drink until the afternoon, I'd spend the morning thinking about it, unable to concentrate on doing anything else until the sun rose over the yardarm, as it were.

Sorry, I am rambling!

Best wishes for lowering your intake, Guy, and I know you are right that taking a month off will give you some perspective ;)?
"I once thought that growing up *meant* smoking and drinking. It looked so good, but I don't want to die from it."
~ Marianne Faithfull

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Angelîca
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Angelîca »

Hello
I joined BE about 8 years ago and found the support incredibly helpful in cutting my alcohol use back. I posted regularly then and made some lovely online friends. I think we helped each other a lot, it certainly helped me. I had been drinking heavily then for over 30 years, usually a bottle of wine a night, occasionally a lot more, during which my destructive first marriage broke up. Lots of blackouts and nights of shame over the years. I was somehow able to continue working but was also having regular horrible hangovers, getting irritable and feeling nauseated a lot of the time. After a few months of stopping completely I started drinking again and although my use was not as bad it still caused occasional evenings of embarrassment. I got married again and my lovely new man, who doesn’t drink much, hated it.
Now in my 60s I have heart problems and am getting horrible indigestion symptoms and have realised how much alcohol disturbs my sleep. I’ve managed to stop completely now for the last 4 weeks with only a couple of minor hiccups. It’s been a struggle with lots of anxiety symptoms along the way. But where do I go now? Part of me loves drinking... mostly I can socialise with friends and enjoy it (or would if it weren’t for lockdown) although I’m always the one who drinks fastest and has just one more glass of wine. Every evening about 5pm I long for that lovely clear glass of white wine. That gorgeous feeling of relaxation and harmony. Will that ever go? Should I resign myself to total abstinence? I just wish I’d not ruined so much of my life by drinking it away.
Sorry about the essay. Love and hugs to all of you struggling too.

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Mark.
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Mark. »

Hi Angelica, and welcome back <:)>

Were you Angelica here before? If so, I think I might remember you :)
Angelîca wrote:
25 Feb 2021 15:33
Should I resign myself to total abstinence?
Only you can really decide this, but from all you have written, it sounds as if drinking was beginning to create angst, regret and physical problems that weren't really worth the "lovely clear glass of white wine"?

I think that you have done brilliantly well to have stopped for four weeks. Well done! (::)

Now, you've come to a forum to ask if you should continue to avoid the alcohol that seemed lovely but also led to problems. Should you accept abstinence?

Given the nature of the forum, I think we can expect most people here to say yes: stay sober. So I wonder if that's the answer you secretly want to hear?

Certainly, I'd say yes. Life is healthier and less complicated without booze. We might miss it, but most long-term abstinent members will tell you that it is missed less and less as time goes on. Plus, never again will you embarrass yourself whilst drunk or regret drinking too much. A sober life is simpler - not always perfect, but far preferable to the drunken alternative.

So... why not stick around here for a while, keep staying sober, and see if the conversations, support and friendship help you miss it even less during, for example, the next month or so?

You certainly can't lose anything by trying this, and it might help you to answer your question for good.

Anyway, I mustn't ramble! It's lovely to have you here again, Angelica, and I'll look forward to seeing you around ;)?

Best wishes,
Mark
"I once thought that growing up *meant* smoking and drinking. It looked so good, but I don't want to die from it."
~ Marianne Faithfull

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KraftyKat
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by KraftyKat »

Hello Angelica :\: Well done on returning (in a returnee as well) and already 4 weeks AF.
Hope to chat again soon x
One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.
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ExiledHighlander
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by ExiledHighlander »

Hi Angelica,
Every evening about 5pm I long for that lovely clear glass of white wine. That gorgeous feeling of relaxation and harmony. Will that ever go? Should I resign myself to total abstinence?
I hadn't been in this part of the forum for a long time as I've only been frequenting the Sobriety Challenges, but reading your post turned my mind back to how I felt before I became AF almost 15 months ago. After a long stressful workday, that first glass of wine, or beer in the pub (if I was down in London on business as I was most weeks) was hugely relaxing, but after a bottle or so, or many pints with workmates, that relaxation had worn off. Like you, I enjoyed socializing in the pub with friends and the thought of never drinking with them again filled me with dread. Now, 15 months later, I don't really miss it at all. I can drink AF beer if the mood takes me, but the best part is the greatly increased energy, the improved mental acuity and best of all the amazing sleep quality.

Like you I approached it with resignation and dread and it felt like a prison sentence as I counted the AF days, 1, 3, 7, 14, 25 etc and I said as much on the various Sobriety Challenges on here, but then, over time, there was a creeping realisation that I wasn't missing it all and I found myself embracing being AF, being free of the grip of the need to drink. Don't get me wrong, I still have thoughts of going to a pub (when they open anyway) and having a couple of pints with friends, that hasn't fully gone but it doesn't dominate my life or my daily thoughts anymore and I know when I do go, that I will drink something AF and be perfectly content.

Hopefully you don't see this as some sort of lecture, it was just that your story resonated with why I came back on here at the end of 2019 to get the support I needed. Good luck on your journey.
"If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse." - unknown

"If I'm an alcoholic, I shouldn't drink. If I'm not, I don't need to." - Caroline Knapp

Angelîca
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Angelîca »

Hi Mark, KraftyKat and Highlander

Thank you all so much for your replies... it means a lot to me. All really helpful thoughts and advice.

Mark, I found a few of my old posts, from 2010, when I was Angelica too but I had to reregister with a ^ over the i as I must have been using an old email address then. So now Angelîca! I hasn’t realised it was quite so long ago. There was a long thread then which I can’t find anymore. Anyway, challenging thoughts from you. My life is good now and I want to live a lot longer. If the drink causes more health problems and I don’t take the problems I’ve been having recently seriously, then what regrets I will have.

Congratulations Highlanders on 15 months AF. So glad to hear that you’re finding so many positives and not missing it any more. My sleep is so much better too. I used to have terrible problems with insomnia.

I got through this evening and didn’t think about wine one bit. It’s beginning to get easier.

Take care all and see you around.

Angelica

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Mark.
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Mark. »

Angelîca wrote:
25 Feb 2021 23:08
If the drink causes more health problems and I don’t take the problems I’ve been having recently seriously, then what regrets I will have.
True, Angelica. I recently stopped smoking and the thing that really helped was the realisation that I was entering a stage of life where any further damage I did might well become irreversible. I could feel it in my lungs and in my general health. So, despite enjoying smoking, I knew I had to stop. Better that than, at some point in the future, deeply regretting not stopping sooner.

I'm really glad you had an easier evening ;)?
"I once thought that growing up *meant* smoking and drinking. It looked so good, but I don't want to die from it."
~ Marianne Faithfull

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Angelîca
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Angelîca »

Wow Mark. Giving up smoking too! What an achievement.
I gave up smoking in my mid 20s and had wondered then how I could possibly live without them. I can’t imagine smoking now. So horrible. I would have the occasional fag when I was drunk, until they got to taste too revolting. I’m hoping the urge to drink will eventually completely pass too.
What a beautiful morning it is out there. Here’s to a long, healthy and happy life for us all xx

smh1
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by smh1 »

Hi Angelica and welcome back. I like you tried many times and thought I had it cracked but when temptation came or I saw others enjoying a nice glass of wine, I instantly went back. Even when I gave up for 3 and a half years I still felt cheated and resentful of others drinking. So inevitably after that long time I weakened and started again. I convinced myself that it would be different this time that I would never get like that again, but addiction is addiction, a bottle is never enough and a glass is too much.

What changed for me was following self help books by Alan Carr and Jason Vale. They helped me change my whole mind set from liking alcohol and all its related feelings to loathing it. When I stopped seeing it as my best friend and saw it instead as an abusive 'lover' no way did I want it in my life. Your symptoms of gastric issues were similar to mine, I had an ulcer which caused all sorts of problems plus very high blood pressure. Now I am fine. It is so good that you came back and reached out for help, you won't regret it. All good wishes Sue <:)>
Keep on keeping on. It might be your last chance. :)

Angelîca
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Angelîca »

Hi Sue
Thank you for your welcome, support and advice. I’m still in the early days, doing some reading (I’ll give your suggestions a try), taking it day by day with short term plans/ intentions of staying off the drink for another few weeks, maybe two or three months in total then I don’t know. I’m getting my head round stopping for ever... it may happen, I’m not wanting to think that far ahead. Each day gets just a little easier with the occasional low time, usually evenings. Sleeping well and much less anxiety is a huge plus. The stomach pain is improving. The attraction of losing myself in the oblivion at the bottom of a bottle lost its appeal quite a while ago.
The thought of long term abstinence no longer seems quite so dreadful.
Angelica x

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Leslans
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Leslans »

I resonate with so much which has been said here. Sue like you I kept caving in as you know after decent lengths of sobriety. It’s almost like not all the pieces of the jigsaw were there.

Going back to Angelica, you know this is a journey and it’s one day at a time. As you have been here before it really is about trying to live in the day, although I agree it’s so instinctive to ruminate over how life will be without our old friend “booze”. Sadly those rose tinted glasses can stay firmly affixed sometimes and as Sue says understanding more about addiction and addictive behaviour really does help. We try and fill a void in our life which can be anything from loneliness and anger or mistakenly believe life will be even better with a drink.

For those of us who are treading the path before you we can collectively say that your mindset will shift when you see the benefits and as those benefits manifest themselves into a more fulfilled life it’s more difficult to walk away from sobriety. Having gone back and forth I realise that those down days during sobriety can be work d through and ultimately life is so much better without alcohol. You have to experience those highs and lows in sobriety and work out that alcohol will never fix anything.

I wish you well on your journey, I still sometimes wonder how nice it would be to enjoy that glass old wine, but in my heart I know it will never be just a glass and life would just be a crazy whirl of self hatred, anxiety and a constant battle. Nothing changes if you keep drinking the same old shit just keeps coming around.

I’m Day 477 today in what I hope will be my final journey and despite some tough times of late I’m ok, stuffed full of chocolate but ok.

Happy Monday everyone
"Don't look back, you're not going that way"

Angelîca
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Angelîca »

Thanks Leslans and all
Day 477 is so impressive. Congratulations. In some ways it’s much easier for me in lockdown as there are no social events and on zoom get togethers no one knows that you’ve got elderflower in your wine glass. My husband is happy not drinking and we’re getting into zero alcohol beer (the alcohol free wine is pretty disgusting). But what I want to know is how you cope at parties and meals? Going for supper with friends who enjoy a few glasses of wine? We go skiing most years with a crowd who start at 5pm with cocktails then move onto the wine. I don’t want to spoil their enjoyment. I know in the old days I hated having people round who didn’t drink (it made me feel uncomfortable... my problem I know). Advice please.
Happy Monday and happy March
Angelica x

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Leslans
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Leslans »

Hi Angelica, your lifestyle is very similar to mine. I ski too. I ski with a group mainly chalet based. I found it a bit tough but for me it’s about the laughs and even more so the skiing itself.......not to mention the food. I was grateful one person didn’t drink it really helped because at least I wasn’t the only one. I guess I’m lucky that we weren’t partying into the early hours those days are gone.

As far as social events are concerned the good ones will still be good and the bad ones will still be bad. Usually the preparation for a social event for me anyway is more testing than the actual event. Thankfully there are a lot of Af gins and beers which are very palatable today. Can I suggest you also take a look at the LoveSober site on Facebook which is aimed primarily at women who are sober curious and I’ve found that helpful. We hook up on zoom with or without a camera and share a lot of help and advice.

I do hope you hang around, I can honestly say that despite the ups and downs removing alcohol from my life has been a very wise move and I am so glad I don’t have the worries which go with it today. <:)>
"Don't look back, you're not going that way"

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Cowboy
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Cowboy »

Hi Angelica. Love to ski as well. We have a chalet in the Collingwood area of Ontario (Canada) and are members of a local ski club. I was more of an ice hockey guy but my wife grew up skiing and I learned from her and other family members. My kids all raced and as parents we attended all of their races as they grew. We used to call ourselves "racer chasers" because our jobs were to run the kids coats down from the starting gate. You may recall how thin those racing suits are so you really don't want to ride the chair back up with only a skin tight suit on a cold and windy day. Our kids all love skiing so much they have all moved out to BC and live in the Rockies were there is real skiing - at least compared to our neck of the woods here in Ontario.

I can't offer any better advice than you have already heard. Especially, since I have just relapsed after a good 4 month stint of sobriety but I can say that - for me - the sober life is the way to go. I have been in these parts for over 10 years and had long stints of sobriety. Even had a 1 year run. I don't know what brings me back to drinking because after the initial relaxation it goes downhill (see how I got that skiing reference in there - ha). I know what damage I am doing to my body and my soul but I still choose to drink. I'm back on track with a couple of days of sobriety (day 1 is always the hardest for me) and I intend to stick it out for the long haul. I have been here so many times up but there is a feeling I get when I know for certain I am going on a long run of sobriety - maybe even THE long run. I feel that way today. My sober toolbox is full and it's about using all of those tools to get where I want to go.

Anyways I hope that you stick around because your posts really resonate with me. I'm in my early sixties as well.

I wish you well on your journey. Cowboy.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain.

Smithster
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Smithster »

Angelîca wrote:
25 Feb 2021 15:33
Hello
I joined BE about 8 years ago and found the support incredibly helpful in cutting my alcohol use back. I posted regularly then and made some lovely online friends. I think we helped each other a lot, it certainly helped me. I had been drinking heavily then for over 30 years, usually a bottle of wine a night, occasionally a lot more, during which my destructive first marriage broke up. Lots of blackouts and nights of shame over the years. I was somehow able to continue working but was also having regular horrible hangovers, getting irritable and feeling nauseated a lot of the time. After a few months of stopping completely I started drinking again and although my use was not as bad it still caused occasional evenings of embarrassment. I got married again and my lovely new man, who doesn’t drink much, hated it.
Now in my 60s I have heart problems and am getting horrible indigestion symptoms and have realised how much alcohol disturbs my sleep. I’ve managed to stop completely now for the last 4 weeks with only a couple of minor hiccups. It’s been a struggle with lots of anxiety symptoms along the way. But where do I go now? Part of me loves drinking... mostly I can socialise with friends and enjoy it (or would if it weren’t for lockdown) although I’m always the one who drinks fastest and has just one more glass of wine. Every evening about 5pm I long for that lovely clear glass of white wine. That gorgeous feeling of relaxation and harmony. Will that ever go? Should I resign myself to total abstinence? I just wish I’d not ruined so much of my life by drinking it away.
Sorry about the essay. Love and hugs to all of you struggling too.
Welcome back Angelica,

Similar themes to my own

Like others, I was a member here from quitting in late 2012 through to Jan 2014, and stayed off the booze until 2016, so around 3 1/2 years in total.

I started again because I thought I was back in control, but it doesn't really happen like that with me, and within a year I was back up to craving a bender at any opportunity. Along with the benders came the blackouts, the embarrassment, the loss of friends, health, weight gain, empty bank balance etc..etc.

I quit again 5 months ago, as to me, it's easier to quit than to moderate and fight that constant internal battle. Especially the further away I get from the booze.

After 5 months it is getting easier, but don't get me wrong. Yesterday when the sun was shining, the first thing I thought about was that back yard drink. But when I ask myself 'is this where it end's'? I know what the answer will be, it's the one where I finish by drinking all day, all weekend, and every then night too for the next week, and I am back to square one with the guilt and self loathing that is all attached to it. Not the romantic ideal of a nice relaxing drink in the garden it started out with is it?

I think if you ask yourself this question, you'll know the answer straight away.

Looking back I have lost a lot of my time to booze too. But try and not look at like that.

Hopefully see you around the threads whatever you decide is the right choice for you.

Stay safe.
Last edited by Smithster on 01 Mar 2021 22:53, edited 1 time in total.

Angelîca
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Angelîca »

Lesians, Cowboy & Smithster and everyone else
I am so overwhelmed by your messages and support, and by your own stories. I no longer feel this is a struggle I have to do on my own. I’ve been exploring other sections in BE on how to cope with social events etc and will keep visiting and posting. I’ll look forward to hearing more from you all. Thank you.
Angelica x

Andyrae1987
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Andyrae1987 »

Hi my name is Andy I have been told I have a drink problem and should cut down/stop I'm new to this forum and looking for help and support

Smithster
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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Smithster »

Andyrae1987 wrote:
10 Mar 2021 14:56
Hi my name is Andy I have been told I have a drink problem and should cut down/stop I'm new to this forum and looking for help and support
Welcome to BE. Lots of posts and threads to have a browse through.

Perhaps have a read through these, you may see some common thoughts and habits to your own.

There are plenty of challenges to jump on board with to help you either cut down, or stop. Choice is yours to decide.

See you around the forums. No one judges here!

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Re: New Members - Please Introduce Yourself Here

Post by Iroquois »

Hello AndyRae :\:

Starting your journey here is a wise choice! Recovery is difficult but you can do it!

How about trying the 7-Day challenge to start and continue one day at a time! Most of us start there!

Get yourself in some good food and nonalcoholic beverages, feed and pamper yourself really well right now!

Keep posting, and ask for advice and help whenever you need it!

Best wishes, Deanna <:)> <:)> <:)>
There isn't enough alcohol in the world to make you happier, calmer, prettier, more clever or less angry.
Only sobriety will help you achieve these attributes.

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