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Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Any tips or advice to prevent a relapse, alternatively any of your stories about your own relapses.
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wystan
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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by wystan » 25 Jul 2011 13:51

Diamonddoll and Enfin

Yes, give it time, I guess. At the same time it's hard to feel as good about yourself as you could if you (we!) are smoking. Sinking feeling when you wake up and light up, innit?

I'm finding the stop smoking thread really useful (though it's a bit quiet and coudl do with some new members!) and I haven't smoked for two weeks.

It helps particularly in those tricky times when you feel like sneaking one cos "no one will know" apart from the smoker. Because the people on the thread will!

ciao x
Michael

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." — Dr. Seuss

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by faith2be » 25 Jul 2011 18:37

Good post, enfin, re the love affair.
I totally identify with the pouring thing. The - what do you mean, lets share a bottle. The sneaky refils from the 3l box (or supplementary glasses). Can't wait for ex to go out for his smoke on the balcony so I can chug a couple glasses for fortification when he came back (it was a troubled relationship if you see what I mean).

My new OH is a gem. Instead of ditching me when he found out my problem - he actually "coached" me through an evening, we did share a bottle of wine, and he gave me so much love, laughter and <:)> that I actually found myself not wanting to drink any more, because I don't need or even want to numb this. Any of it. On the contrary, I WANT to be alert with him. Woah. Totally new experience \:)/

Problem is he works offshore 6 weeks at a time, and mostly nightshift :cry: leaving me at the mercy of the EAF. However, I do try to feel his presence and use it to boot the EAF. It works sometimes too, but oh how hard it is!
Hang in there enfin, broken leg sounds horrible. EAF bait too - be strong!

<:)> from CU
Definition of recovery:
1) "a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength"
2) "the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost"

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by Enfin » 26 Jul 2011 15:57

Hi everyone,

Hi come_undone,

Sorry I haven't read back on any of your other posts. Fill me in - have you been able to not drink when the OH is not there ?

Sometime's it's not that hard when we are distracted by a love outside ourselves and sometimes it's so very hard when we are alone within our abyss hey.

I totally understand the joy of being with someone that lights your candles, I'm happy for you. Yes, why do we alcoholics always want more, even if it's numbing. it's crazy !

Six weeks away sucks. In my younger days I had a b/f who worked in an oil rig, same thing, and I didn't enjoy it all all. But I've been divorced for a very long time, and I know whether someone else is with me or not, I'm always alone, that personal relationship with the bottle is mine to own, and no one can stop me from saying yes, or no, it's always my choice.

I want to drink so badly, not just a sip to appease the pain, but 3 bottles minimum. I'm dreaming about it at night and all throughout the day. I'm clinging on to my bipolar site to
keep me grounded during this depression episode. If I can do it so can you !

Hang onto that OH - gems are only found when you dig deep. Good for you !
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ( Nelson Mandela )

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by faith2be » 26 Jul 2011 17:49

Enfin,
Thanks!
You keep off that bottle, gal, you're doing great. You know it's only a ruse to make you THINK you are doing better. It numbs out the pain of those dark places, sure - but it provides a whole different kind of pain. Right? That's why we're all here.
Me, I find it easy to go easy when OH is here. I do still crave, and on occasion have had a sneaky little refill, but not too drastic. During those long absences, well, its hard. Very hard. I do slip. A lot. But I know I'm headed upwards, and I did do an AF night recently, but more importantly, have managed 3 nights in a row, I call them hangover-free. Now that's at least a step forward.

But I know what you mean, I too crave wine, lots of it. Filling the glass before its empty. Chug chug, delicious numbness.
Retrains thoughts. Horrible numbness. Horrible hangovers.
Things of the past

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by Boris Bike » 04 Aug 2011 02:28

Most of my social drinking begins with drinking alone:

SCENARIO 1 - MEETING FRIENDS IN A PUB: I get there 90 minutes or an hour early with something to read to make sure I'm a few pints ahead. If I'm late then I'll go into a different pub beforehand alone and neck a few.

SCENARIO 2 - BEING PICKED UP TO GO TO A PUB: I drink in my room before they arrive.

This will sound totally misanthropic but I'm very much a loner anyway and without meetings that involve alcohol I wonder if I will meet anyone any more. However, I did have a bout of sobriety of 6 months before and I did start to think differently about these things. But then WHAM I took one drink and drank every day again for ages.

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by Rachel » 04 Aug 2011 06:48

I used to to do that too SerialRelapse - also the opposite - not drinking much at the pub, for fear of getting more drunk than others, then going home and drinking more. Then I stopped socializing altogether because I no longer trusted myself in front of others.
6 months is really good - at least you know you can do that. If you did it once you can do it again I am sure. I had two months, then did the lethal 'just one drink' thing then did it again the next night and the next and by week three I was back to lunchtime drinking and the odd tipple in the morning. After a brief period of sobriety the pattern repeated itself for another three weeks. Scary how one drink turns into a couple of bottles of wine in just three weeks. I stopped drinking 13 days ago and am determined to make it work this time, and I hope I am much more aware of the pitfalls, but aware that I am as ever vulnerable to them.
Rachel

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Boris Bike
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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by Boris Bike » 04 Aug 2011 22:11

Thanks REMF and Zoe <:)>

That fantasy thing sounds like really hard work. I never really did that. Either I was with fellow drinking types or with people that silently accepted it. But I have worked in places where the noon drink was smelt on my breath and commented on. One company I worked for was merged with another and we were all made redundant (no biggie for me, I didn't care much). We all met up a year later and this bloke I barely knew just came up and said "So, are you a full-blown alcoholic yet?" So although I thought my behaviour wasn't really being noted, it most certainly was.

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by Josiee » 19 Sep 2011 18:09

When you are alone or with others your not fooling anyone. I notice most people stare at the glass as your pouring. I wonder what they are thinking. Lol. Yeah that is what he needs another drink and another hole in his liver too.

Drinking alone is the worst though. I started going to to store and getting one or two drinks at a time and hoping that the exercise of having to go back to get more would stop me. Did not work.

Eating regular meals, snacks and ice cream, cookies etc. When necessary will help keep your mind off it.

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by davelowe » 22 Sep 2011 20:47

I would like to add my own small contribution to this. Its not pretty or indeed interesting, but I'm going to type it out just for my own benefit if not for anyone else's.

My issue with drink started while I was at school. It was in the most part because of an underlying anxiety. I always strived to be the best, probably because of parental pressure (I wonder these days what they would make of that - also, being a proxy parent makes me think - more later...). This was a 'bog standard' comprehensive school - not some hot house of talent. Also, part of me wanted to be 'included', I was a shy guy and although my lust for the ladies was real, my inaction was equally so. The substantive issue is that I was always a star pianist, and as such could be relied upon to perform in any school concert or other event. At that point in my life, I was too young to drink, and more importantly, had no idea that drink might alleviate the nerves.

A little later in life, when in the 6th form (is it still called that?) I was introduced to beer at lunchtime. I don't need to explain how that felt - I think we all know. I was hooked from the outset - and as others' have related, soon liked the sensation so much that, were I to go out anywhere, I would have to be the most drunk - it made up for my lacking in other areas. Whether that meant drinking before I went out or any other form of covert or overt drinking, it would still happen. At that stage, you might describe me as a binge drinker. The mornings after were not so much brutal hangovers, but more gentle wake up - slowly sober up. We've probably all been there at some point, more likely when younger.

Skip a few years and I found myself at university. I didn't really want to go if I'm honest. Much of my earlier life anxieties pervaded, and I did not fit in. This paragraph and the preceding one probably introduce you and guide you on the journey that I am relating. Beer at the time, was the comfort blanket. Not that I understood why I couldn't sit in a big hall with many people, or take exams - they were just things to avoid (there should probably be a an acronym for that - TTO). What I didn't realise was that I was suffering from social phobia - and it would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between anxiety disorders and alcoholism. I'm sure studies have been done. Avoiding things might be considered the root of all evil, especially when avoiding problems with drink is what occurs. Perhaps there is a trend in all of us here who have a battle with drink for this reason. Perhaps not - do please let me know.

It does not take a lot of imagination to understand what happened at university - I dropped out, preferring to spend the bulk of my grant and time in the bar - copiously avoiding.

Post the agonies of being away from home and my subsequent non-brilliant return, I got a job through a friend. I still felt the same anxieties at work, but these waned as familiarity took hold. At the same time, (this is in the late 1990s), I bought a house and met a brilliant, witty, intelligent and in all other ways extraordinarily beautiful young lady. Life couldn't really have been much better. Yes, she had a kid, and yes I drank a bottle of wine every night. So far so (nearly good) - and I'm not referring to the child (rather the booze). The wine made the night bearable - and by this I mean it dulled the mind from work. Sometimes it takes a very long term view to understand motivations, but this post is an endeavour to try to do so. As hopefully the next paragraph will illustrate.

I moved jobs, grew up to some extent, employed people, did all the usual stuff - holidays, whatever. There wasn't a day that went by though where I didn't fully consider where my nightly drink would come from: then I had a 'cure'. GHB. For those who don't know what this is, it's a hypnotic drug that at the time was not illegal and was not widely understood. I took it instead of booze - and it was brilliant - I slept well and wasn't drinking. My reasoning for taking it were twofold: it was neither addictive, nor did it require the hassle of bothering my GP (an odd stance perhaps, but such is life - you learn).

GHB, as it turns out, is addictive, probably more so than booze; and there is no standard method of withdrawal - it's basically treated symptomatically. Librium (have we all met this friend?) has no effect - barbiturates do - but they are not in vogue these days (for a good reason).

I admitted my GHB addiction to this wonderful girl and soon found myself with a choice of my own making: drugs or the girl. Which was it to be? Well, such is addiction and all that goes with it, it was the drug. If you want a reminder (I know you don't) of the power of how badly chemical can f**ck up your life - this is such a situation: we broke up and I drank for 8 years, ruing every single day of it and casting about from booze ruined and fuelled person to the next. These were not happy years.

To the present day: we re-met! Was I happy about this (and the subsequent two other children)? Oh yes! I'm sharing with the group here - so please forgive all the personal information. I had my soul-mate back and I was in love again. Words don't really allow me to explain this properly, but she, and her kids are at the moment are the star of my life. But, I drink. I still have the same old anxieties and have never learnt how to overcome them without some chemical or another. This (are you still awake at the back) is the problem. Drinking (oh wait, that's why you joined this forum - me too) is still an issue. I'm not a stupid person - I know that my drinking is ruining my life - I think we (on here) all know this. I've been issued with a choice again: the drink or the girl. I know it won't be easy, but I'm going for the girl, her kids, and myself.

Peace - and courage - we need both in this life.

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by renasci » 22 Sep 2011 22:21

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Last edited by renasci on 11 Jan 2012 01:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by renasci » 22 Sep 2011 22:34

I would like to add my own small contribution to this. Its not pretty or indeed interesting, but I'm going to type it out just for my own benefit if not for anyone else's.
And hopefully you'll be making some more contributions - mainly for your benefit but also for everyone's benefit too ;)?

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by silvergirl » 22 Sep 2011 23:28

i got a lot out of it too, and just wanted to say welcome to bright eye davelowe. i hope you'll stick around, i find that being a member here is immensely beneficial in my own drive to be sober, and it can be done. glad you're making a healthier choice this time round!

best wishes,
sgx
you can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
~jon kabat-zinn

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by Sandy » 23 Sep 2011 19:22

Hi Davelow
welcome to BE
Ok you've mad the decision, so what about a plan?
We are all here to help and support you with it
Sandy

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by davelowe » 23 Sep 2011 19:52

I would just like to say thank you to everyone who read my first post - despite it being probably in the wrong section. I have been reading many of your threads, and it's amazing how alike (or perhaps similar) we all are.

To be absolutely honest, the post that I submitted was an excuse to do something/anything that wasn't drinking. It's also why I'm writing this: the distraction is a welcome bonus especially at this time of day.

It worked to an extent: it put me off having a drink until much later in the day - which though not ideal, has given me some control over the situation. Until very recently, I would only ever drink in the late evenings anyway. My 'excuse' for letting it get out of hand just lately has been the stress of finishing a long distance degree course - something that has taken me 10 years to achieve. I was writing on a certain topic, then deleting it, then thinking about the deadline and so on... In the end I just thought - **** it. I've had enough. And, I think it is probably a common issue to have 'an excuse' (they must be legion). Excuses are just that though - not an explanation or a good outcome.

The points made above about AA meetings are interesting wrt social phobia. I'm too scared to attend a meeting for that very reason. Maybe if I was half drunk; but somehow I suspect that is against the rules(!). I'm going to use the University library to see if studies have been done on the topic. If I find anything of note, I'll post a synopsis here together with citations. For reasons of copyright, I won't be able to link to or post large chunks. I'll leave it to my (almost) academic judgement (see notes below).

On Thursday - I see someone from the alcohol action group (probably a community mental health nurse). They will either tell me to cut down slowly, or a detox. I think the detox would be preferable - but they don't recommend it too frequently (my last was five years ago) and hence why I'm writing in the relapse thread.. When I do stop, it's going to be seismic. And good.

According to a paper by Terra, (2006) the authors found the following: "Although the frequency of social phobia is high among alcoholic patients, this anxiety disorder is often neglected because treatment tends to be focused exclusively on alcohol dependence...A total of 300 hospitalized alcoholic patients were interviewed using... the [DSM - IV the standard method of diagnosis used by US physicians] and...[for] Anxiety... and the relationship between social phobia and alcohol use. Results: A prevalence of 30.6% was found for specific phobia, 24.7% for social phobia, 22.2% for anxiety disorder induced by alcohol, 19.3% for generalized anxiety disorder, 5% for obsessive-compulsive disorder, 4.6% for post-traumatic stress disorder, and 2% for panic disorder with agoraphobia. Social phobia preceded alcohol dependence in 90.2% of the patients. The frequency of the use of medication for social phobia among social phobic alcoholics was 20.3%. Conclusions: The study confirms the high prevalence of anxiety disorders among alcoholics, particularly of social phobia. It also suggests that social phobia precedes alcohol dependence but shows that the use of medication for social phobia is still infrequent. Further studies are required to check if the failure to identify this co morbidity can make the recovery of alcoholics even more difficult."

Reference:
Terra, M.B et al, 'Social anxiety disorder in 300 patients hospitalized for alcoholism in Brazil: High prevalence and undertreatment.' (2006) Netherlands: Elsevier Science, ISSN: 0010-440X (DOI 10.1016/j.comppsych.2006.02.004)

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Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by Crackers24 » 23 Sep 2011 20:38

Hi Davelowe,have a look at the first 7 Day thread,been a big help to me,stick with BE,the support is fantastic xx

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by marie-claire » 23 Sep 2011 20:56

Hi Dave,
You won't believe how many folk on here will relate to your post. I spent my teens hiding from others, and still now (despite being a highly qualified professional) many social situations really scare me. I quickly discovered a way to calm my fears - it's not called "Dutch courage" for nothing, is it? But as you've found out, alcohol is a drug that stunts your emotional growth and social development. So I grew older (and older) but no wiser. Then last year after 41 years of almost daily excessive drinking, I found this forum and decided to quit with the help and guidance of others on here. To my surprise, in the past 11 months of being sober I've finally started to develop the coping and adaptive skills I should have learnt in my twenties. It's only the start I know, but I've discovered a new self esteem that brings a quiet confidence with it. Habits of a lifetime die hard, so although I still don't relish the prospect of social gatherings / work meetings etc, they don't fill me with the horror that previously sent me scurrying to the bottle. I don't expect I'll ever be gregarious or super-confident, but then most people aren't anyway. Life is OK - good actually - and still getting better.

I really hope you find this forum as magical as I have. All you have to do, when you're ready, is not drink. All the other problems you have will fall into perspective after that. I spent years thinking that if I could just work out why I drank too much, I could fix it and then be "normal" again. When all the time all I had to do was accept I was addicted and stop. Not easy I know, but you really can do it.

Take care
MC x
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls.
The most massive characters are seared with scars.
--Khalil Gibran

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by davelowe » 23 Sep 2011 22:33

Wow - I'm really feeling the love here! I'm determined to beat this: I guess having a day when I never even think about drinking will actually be a huge relief. Oddly, a while back that was how it was. Still, one can but dream on these matters...

I'm new here and so would like to extend my thanks to all those who have replied - I'm trying to get a grip on scrolling back and forth so will not list names - but you all know who you are.

I'm being very selfish about only talking about myself at the moment, but I am reading about everybody else and taking note of your suggestions. It's, as has been mentioned, like staring into a mirror on here: I see the reflection of another drinker and think - yes, I did that, yes I did the other, yes I can learn from that. There will be a time when the mirror needs to be put down and it becomes me that has to act. Thursday is most likely 'D' day.

Liking this place a lot! Stay safe guys and gals <:)>

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by wystan » 30 Sep 2011 17:04

Thanks Dave. Can identify with your post almost completely. Only differences, really, being gay at school, managing somehow to get through uni with a good degree and having spent a great deal of my life faciing and tackling my anxiety head on. I also had some "fun" with GBL. Yuck.
What I wonder is - what is it you are afraid of? You don't really mention that. What is the worst outcome that could come from, say, going to AA? Or from going to a "normal" event sober? Is this outcome likely and, if it were, what would be the consequences? Of course the answer is really to think about this first and then, well, do it. And see what happens. Even if the worst were to happen, would that be so bad? Why hand other people approval of your self? You need to get this problem in hand otherwise it does not seem likely that you will be able to face the world whole and without the need for drugs that impact your life otherwise.
As for myself, I went some of the way to being able to deal with social anxiety. But I found that anxiety (constant worrying about something be it money or job security) did not go away and got in the way of my life. So I put myself on an SSRI antidepressant which I buy from a good online pharmacy. I had already had prescriptions for these in the past, so I would suggest you talk to a doctor. These drugs can be unpredictable in a few cases. But I have found that it has moved me from generally worrying all the time to worrying now and then about what is going to happen. No one would describe me as carefree. But it's much better.
But this has come as I said after a great deal of therapy and self-help book reading and talking and talking and talking to people. I recommend that so that you begin to see your anxiety as the paper tiger that it really is before or while you resort to recognised MEDICAL drugs which have been designed to help people like us.

fondly

Michael

PS yes you have ruined the thematic integrity of my thread, but you have done it interestingly and are forgiven. ;)
Michael

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." — Dr. Seuss

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by Isobelle » 30 Nov 2011 22:41

If I could never drink alone, I would never drink. Simple. I have messed up, was sober for over 3 months and then just went berserk and haven't stopped since. I'm so mad at myself because I felt so good when I was sober. I have the perfect life, great partner, my own business, a good kid, lovely parents, friends. I have no idea why I feel that I must drink. The only times I drink are when I am alone, and have been that way for many years.

I have done a lot of thinking this week, along with feeling really quite ill I am wondering what the hell to do. I tried AA, I went to CAN for counselling, I paid for private counselling. I enjoy myself when I go out and don't drink. I waste time when I do drink. I just don't understand myself at all. Everything around me is good, yet I insist on letting this thing take over my mind and I hate it. I've been trying to figure out whether I am depressed, but I don't think I am, or whether I am just an addict and can't break the habit/addiction. And also why I need the drink. I just binge all the time, and if I manage to stay away from the drink for a night or two I just eat. I'm frightened now because I feel out of control and hate this hold alcohol has over me.

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Re: Thought exercise: What if you could never drink alone?

Post by Amber8200 » 01 Dec 2011 00:36

Isobelle, I felt so much for you reading your post. I haven't seen you on the other threads before, sorry. I really relate to what you are saying. At any"objective" level my life also is pretty good - but yours sounds even better. So why would anyone want to drink? For the past few days I was away, and hardly drinking at all. Came back and had to go to work. Driving home all I could think of was my nice cold bottle. OH cooked dinner while I sat outside alone drinking and smoking. He was drinking too, finished up worse then me. This morning he said "But what happened yesterday? Did something go wrong at work? How come you were drinking again?" Then he told me that he thinks the reason I drink is because I can't stand to be around him. My main official reason is because I smoke when I drink, and of course this is forbidden in the house. But I realised this was also about being alone. I only like drinking when I am alone, conversely, I like to be alone so I can drink. So much of what others have said on this thread rings a bell. He takes it personally, I don't want to spend time with him and would rather spend it with the bottle. Then of course that's right because it really is a love affair with alcohol, as others said earlier on this thread. So if I am withdrawing from the house and into the love afffair with my bottle, no wonder he feels I don't like him.

Then this made me start thinking about the ways that in fact I don't like him. Spending time with him isn't any fun anyway, his latest thing is to lounge around watching "One Foot in the Grave" on TV. Is that supposed to be fun? We have no friends and he has alienated my daughter and through her my granddaughter. I am dimly realising that if I wasn't alone with my bottle for comfort something much more drastic might happen. Maybe he should be grateful. Sorry, this rant isn't helping you at all. I guess all I can say is that this drinking thing is far deeper and far more complicated than any of us are able to realise. On the other hand, getting over it just requires not drinking. I have been on and off the 7 day thread now for several weeks. I decided absolutely to get off the booze just to find out what it would be like to feel well and healthy and not half crazy with wanting to drink and then trying not to. A few days would be fine then something would happen. Sometimes it was the OH tempting me, "Oh come along then you can have just one, surely". Then off I'd go again. So I got off the 7 day thread, I decided I was a fake and wasn't really serious about quitting. Have been reading a lot of the other threads since, trying to get some more perspective on what to do next. All I can say is, lots of people are in a similar position and I don't think any of us really "understand" the grip it has or the comfort it brings (along with the horror) and least of all do we know how to move our minds and hearts into a place where it just loses its power. If you really want to try stopping, go the the 7-day thread and see how you go. Lots of support and positive messages there. I really hope you feel better soon. Am thinking of you.

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