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successful cutting down?

Any tips or advice to prevent a relapse, alternatively any of your stories about your own relapses.
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Ruby&Tilly
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Ruby&Tilly » 12 Sep 2019 17:47

Condor wrote:
12 Sep 2019 13:36
Ruby, I’m sure you know what you’re doing and I’m sure you’ll know what to do if things go tits up, hopefully they won’t. I think you’re very brave a disciplined right now and I hope you’ll keep it up. Everyone needs to do what’s best for them. Xxx <:)>
Thanks Condor, don't think i'm brave or disciplined at the moment. :? I'm a day late but I've started the 100 days, hope I can complete it. ;)?
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Condor » 12 Sep 2019 17:49

Ruby, great stuff!!! Xx
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Ruby&Tilly » 24 Sep 2019 00:58

Well the 100 days is out the window for the moment but I'm fairly happy with my drinking, only had 2 glasses of wine yesterday and 1 the other day, shame about the smoking though! :? Never ever thought I'd be happy stopping after 2 drinks but I've learnt a lot in the past year and a half. Hope I can keep it up. :D

Ruby xx
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Spats » 24 Sep 2019 08:01

Come on Ruby, get back on track and throw those cigarettes in the bin :D You deserve better than to start smoking again. Join me on SF journey ;)?

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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Ruby&Tilly » 24 Sep 2019 11:30

Spats wrote:
24 Sep 2019 08:01
Come on Ruby, get back on track and throw those cigarettes in the bin :D You deserve better than to start smoking again. Join me on SF journey ;)?
Hi spats, I only had 3, still on the lozenges though. Hope I never smoke again. How are you doing?

Ruby xx
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Ruby&Tilly » 07 Dec 2019 19:56

What's a relapse and what's moderating?

I was humming and hawing about having a drink after seeing the psychiatrist on Tuesday to relieve stress/celebrate but I didn't. But that's when the permission thoughts came flooding in, I had to go to my sister's to achieve it, as then I was on holiday. ()o Drank far too much on Thursday (about a bottle and a half of wine) but found it fairly easy to avoid the drinks cupboard the next day and now I'm home, I'm not really thinking about it. I do think I have a faulty off switch, but not to the same extent that I hear others speak of. Am I deluding myself that I can drink moderately?

Ruby xx
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by martha » 07 Dec 2019 20:18

Ruby&Tilly wrote:
07 Dec 2019 19:56
I do think I have a faulty off switch, but not to the same extent that I hear others speak of. Am I deluding myself that I can drink moderately?
Hi Ruby, I don't know the answer to your question :D I do believe that everybody is different and that there's not just one way of doing things. There are possibly as many ways of doing things as there are people.
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Ruby&Tilly » 07 Dec 2019 20:27

martha wrote:
07 Dec 2019 20:18

Hi Ruby, I don't know the answer to your question :D I do believe that everybody is different and that there's not just one way of doing things. There are possibly as many ways of doing things as there are people.
Thanks Martha, most of the time I'm quite happy moderating (although I do drink more than intended at times). I intersperse it with periods of sobriety, Christmas/New Year is a difficult time for me (and everyone else) so I spend most of the time abstinent.

Ruby xx
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by SoberBoots » 09 Dec 2019 15:51

Moira, I think you've done a great job of massively reducing your alcohol intake since you came on here, and that's a huge positive.
My caution is always that alcohol, mental health issues, and especially suicidiality are a really terrible mix. Anyone who experiences any sort of mental health isses should I think steer well clear of all mind altering drugs (except the prescribed ones - and even some of those are suspect!). Also, while I haven't been keeping check on your posts, it does seem that you quite often drink more than you intended/drink when you didn't intend to/change your goals, and have generally struggled with moderation. Those are all indications of an underlying problem, in which case it doesn't usually fix itself...
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Ruby&Tilly » 11 Dec 2019 00:37

SoberBoots wrote:
09 Dec 2019 15:51
Moira, I think you've done a great job of massively reducing your alcohol intake since you came on here, and that's a huge positive.
My caution is always that alcohol, mental health issues, and especially suicidiality are a really terrible mix. Anyone who experiences any sort of mental health isses should I think steer well clear of all mind altering drugs (except the prescribed ones - and even some of those are suspect!). Also, while I haven't been keeping check on your posts, it does seem that you quite often drink more than you intended/drink when you didn't intend to/change your goals, and have generally struggled with moderation. Those are all indications of an underlying problem, in which case it doesn't usually fix itself...
Hi Sally, thanks for your reply. I well admit to having an alcohol problem, I sometimes wonder if other people think that that was them a few years ago and I wonder whether the slide is inevitable.

The way I've been tackling it is that I can drink as much as I like, when I like but I choose not to most of the time. It works up to a point, I didn't raid my sister's drinks cabinet for example and my limit is still 300 for the year (ending in April), I'm over 200 at the moment. I don't crave alcohol like I used to, but the off button is quite faulty, in that I tend to drink all that I've bought, so most of the time I just buy 1 bottle of wine. As for more often, things come up and I adapt my drinking to different occasions, I still find socialising sober difficult.

I can see where you're coming from re the mental health angle, but, when I ended up in intensive care last year, I hadn't drunk for 5 weeks and I know it can effect the medication but I guess I'm prepared to take that risk. I do appreciate your thoughts and I'm sure you'll think I'm in denial, maybe I am.

Ruby xx
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Winkler » 11 Dec 2019 07:25

Ruby I think I see reflections of how my alcohol problem was in some of your description

I think it shows how an alcohol problem can change in order to make sure we keep drinking and leads us to think we have more control and choice over it than we do.

There’s always a tendency to think ‘yes but.....’ when it comes to quitting forever but I don’t think there’s any way of becoming a ‘normal’ drinker once you recognise you have a problem. I’m not sure it’s inevitable you become a dependent drinker but I think it’s likely over time. I think the fear of quitting forever becomes less over time though, with practice.

I have more peace of mind now I’ve stopped longer term and the ups and downs are less extreme. It seems strange that I desperately hung in to it for so long - I see that as being part of the addiction now.

Socialising in the way we used to is without a doubt difficult without drinking. It’s absolutely been my main stumbling block over the years. I think it takes acceptance in your own mind that you want to be AF. I hope you come to that acceptance in time. I won’t plan to put myself in the company of heavy drinkers now, won’t stay for long around people drinking and don’t see a couple of glasses as harmless - not for me anyway. It always leads me back to the same place. I am beginning to enjoy socialising more as a result. Truly 😄

Life is so much more enjoyable without alcohol’s nagging or the perceived pleasure of future drinking. The pleasure is an illusion, it’s just a brief intensity of a dopamine high followed by the crash. So not worth it. And the nagging stops. Heaven :)
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Leslans » 11 Dec 2019 07:52

Winkler, you and I being pretty similar i couldn’t have put that better myself. Ruby I’m not one to say you are deluding yourself or holding onto something you are afraid to let go of. You will find this for yourself. Not everyone slips down the addiction route to absolute dependency 24/7 drinking but I do believe for some it’s the mental health aspect which tips the scales. Certainly for me anyway. As the years of heavy drinking went on, very similar to how you describe yourself the worse my anxiety and depression became. I found some regular excesses creeping in when I hadn’t planned with no consequences. It began to eat into my wellbeing. Slowly but surely I’ve realised how alcohol is a scam and only you can learn that for yourself. I’ve been to AA and found that sometimes so extreme in some cases but there were some similarities. Everyone is different, this is your journey and you will know when it’s time to throw in the towel completely.

In the meantime stay safe, enjoy life and stick around here <:)>
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Ruby&Tilly » 29 Dec 2019 00:24

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. I know I'm not a normal drinker and don't ever expect to be but I'm fairly happy with my drinking and most of the time I find moderating quite easy and don't get cravings. Like Martha says everyone's different. I realize that abstinence is preferred by most people on here but I don't want to end up on the road which is why I keep monitoring my drinking and have periods of abstinence. Much of my lifestyle has changed, I don't go out with heavy drinkers anymore and only go to the pub for food. I don't get the guilt, remorse or even hangovers that other people talk about, so I see it as fairly harmless.

Unfortunately I feel I'm the odd one out on BE as almost everyone is aiming for abstinence but I'm glad there is room on here for a moderator, I post on personal goals mostly, still on track for 300 AF days a year.
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Rachel » 29 Dec 2019 10:51

It's probably not a preference, for most, Ruby, but a necessity. I couldn't moderate. God knows I tried, but the daily bottle or two of wine always crept back, even if it took a few months.
I suspect a lot of others are the same, and for some of us it took far too long, too many wasted years, in which our problem gradually got worse, before we worked it out that moderation just wasn't the long term solution, or indeed any solution for us. This is the path that many alcoholics take, so not surprisingly, it's very hard for many who have gone down this path not to see others attempting moderation as being on that very same path. From the outside, it looks the same. The idea that abstinence is best thing to aim for isn't propaganda from AA or whoever. It really does seem to be what works best for many (most?) alcoholics, as opposed to heavy drinkers.

But at the end of the day, if you are comfortable and happy moderating (I was not. I hated the constant tension of having to try to moderate - it never came naturally - and the intermittent guilt when I failed) then that's all that matters, provided no one else is getting hurt. Drinking itself is not intrinsically bad or wrong. Our aim is surely to escape the unhappiness that drinking brings, which may not necessarily mean stopping drinking.

It's hard to express all this without it sounding potentially judgmental, and that isn't my aim or intention at all. I am just trying to explain why people might be so sceptical - and indeed feel really uncomfortable - with moderating and the cutting down thread. Not sure I have done this well...

<:)>
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Ruby&Tilly » 29 Dec 2019 11:42

Thanks for your reply Rachel, I think you put it very well, that's why I don't post on some of the other threads. I may find in the future that moderation isn't for me but at the moment I'm comfortable with it.

Thanks again.

Ruby xx
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Topcat » 29 Dec 2019 12:35

Rachel wrote:
29 Dec 2019 10:51
But at the end of the day, if you are comfortable and happy moderating (I was not. I hated the constant tension of having to try to moderate - it never came naturally - and the intermittent guilt when I failed) then that's all that matters, provided no one else is getting hurt. Drinking itself is not intrinsically bad or wrong. Our aim is surely to escape the unhappiness that drinking brings, which may not necessarily mean stopping drinking.
Very well put Rachel ;)? For some, moderation is possible, but not for those of us who have crossed the line into addiction. For us, abstinence is actually the easier option.
Ruby&Tilly wrote:
29 Dec 2019 11:42
I may find in the future that moderation isn't for me but at the moment I'm comfortable with it.
If you are comfortable as you are Ruby, then keep right on doing what you're doing ;)?
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Shadowlad » 29 Dec 2019 12:41

Rachel you are never judgemental and you put all that better than i ever could. <:)>

Ruby <:)> your post was very well put too. It highlighted that we are all individual indeed and have different needs. That's why the forum is set up to help all people who want to change their drinking habits. Whether we have a history of heavy drinking, binge drinking, dependent drinking or whatever, it is personal to each and every one of us to work out whether we need to abstain or cut down on our drinking. I think as long as we all do what is best for ourselves (and our front line loved ones), and utilise all the support here, the forum can prove to be a huge safety net in damage limitation/elimination. So many lives have been changed for the better :)
Ruby&Tilly wrote:
29 Dec 2019 00:24
Much of my lifestyle has changed, I don't go out with heavy drinkers anymore and only go to the pub for food.
That's a huge positive for you ;)?
Ruby&Tilly wrote:
29 Dec 2019 00:24
still on track for 300 AF days a year.
Well done Ruby xxx

Crossed with TC <:)>
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by Ruby&Tilly » 29 Dec 2019 23:35

Thanks for your replies TC and Nicky, I really do appreciate your comments even though moderation isn't your chosen path. I wonder what happens to other people who are only on BE for a short period, I do know of some who assume they're cured after completing some of the challenges but come back years later, often in a worse state. I know I need to check in daily to keep my drinking in check, so I won't be leaving BE in the foreseeable. Planning on dry January, so hope to see yous there.

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to reply, it's all food for thought.

Ruby xx
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by SoberBoots » 30 Dec 2019 08:23

I think it's great that you've stuck to your target number of days drinking. Perhaps the New Year goal could be to also stay within a number of units? It's when you go over that it's likely to have a bad effect on your mood, which you could seriously do without.
Back in the day I moderated fairly successfully for quite a long while, counting units and having a minimum of two AF days a week. Over time it became harder to maintain and eventually crumbled. This doesn't mean the same will happen to you of course, but the points I wanted to make were a) that I had no outside support or accountability, so I think sticking close to BE is an excellent plan b) alcohol remained my go-to way of "coping" with stress, and I think that pattern is really unhealthy. The last couple of years have been a revelation to me in terms of developing other coping strategies and increasing my distress tolerance, and when you choose to drink or not I think it's an area well worth paying attention to.
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Re: successful cutting down?

Post by thewho » 06 Jan 2020 19:52

Hi Ruby
It's been awhile since I posted on here - mainly cos my time here was usually lurking! I guess I'd fall into a 'moderate' drinker now, after using alcohol for a long time to deal with anxiety, which actually was a self fulfilling cycle.... Which I guess you know about? I havent really read any of your posts but have seen the last few in this thread, and for some reason thought I'd reply. So... for me my drinking really changed after I'd had a major 'crash' as it were, my dad died a few years ago and my drinking came to a head. My OH discovered my issue, and basically I had to address it! This is after driving down a major motorway during the day, whilst drinking a bottle of wine/finishing it half way down the journey. I dont know how I made it home without a crash/being stopped. Anyway, now I can drink once or twice a week at home if I want to, usually 2-3 beers. The evil alcohol fairy isnt usually around now, although over christmas the secret drinking/gulping of a few swigs very early in the morning happened a few times. What am I saying? Not sure really but, life without alcohol most of the time is far better now, moderate drinking can be doable, but at the risk of misuse rearing its head again very easily. Would I recommend anyone take my approach now on here? Knowing why I ended up here, and the battles I saw/I had, I'm not sure. I know that a good period of time 'off' has helped build some safer attitudes and given me a chance to sort out my own MH (was dire, but very hidden from sight). No meds, but didnt really want to be on the earth for most of my drinking career. I guess if my dad hadn't died a) I could still be drinking like I was/suffering with mh stuff b)would in no way be able to drink moderately now. I wouldn't recomend having a parent die to solve things! But a major event did help me 'reset'.... Not sure if my ramblings help or not, not sure they give much of an answer either.
thewho

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