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The Nine Month Challenge

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Mooths
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Mooths » 31 Jul 2019 10:16

Fiz, that sounds like a great motivator: go for it!

I've managed two extended AF stints before - 5 months in 2014 and 9 months in 2009 - so I haven't quite met my previous PB. That will be the end of September. This time genuinely feels different, though, because in the past I always kept open the option of returning to drinking whereas now that just doesn't cross my mind. I have thrown the book at maintaining and relishing my sobriety and I think it's a zeitgeist thing too: there's been a real shift in collective mentality towards healthier lifestyles (look at the explosion of veganism) so that people who choose not to drink are no longer considered pariahs.

That said, I spent a shed load on booze yesterday in preparation for a joint party I'm hosting next month with one of my children. We are doing a booze run to Calais on Friday - the cheapest option by far, but it's going to cost me as much as a second-hand car!
“Being extremely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” ~ Sigmund Freud

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fiz
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by fiz » 01 Aug 2019 05:06

Good morning 9ers
Mooths, I can’t wait to celebrate you smashing your pb and beyond. It does seem to be getting fashionable not to drink, this can only be a good thing, especially for us. ;)?

I hope you and your daughter have an amazing joint birthday party, I’m not sure I could trust myself in Calais with a warehouse full of booze, or a big birthday bash. Well done. (::) you will have a lovely night, then wake up hangover free, double the pleasure. X

Ed, I hope you’re ok, I’m sure I heard a faint fiz in the borders yesterday? I hope you didn’t get soaked, I was out with my dogs and felt like someone just opened a rain cloud on me.

Have a great day everyone. <:)>
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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Ed
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Ed » 01 Aug 2019 07:35

North Yorkshire and Northumbria was incredible fiz. I've never seen rain like it. It was a shame as it's so beautiful. Now in a house with a couple of cats and a view of Arthur's seat. More like Arthur's bum if you ask me.
Enough time wasted on this.

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fiz
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by fiz » 01 Aug 2019 10:56

Ed :lol: let’s hope Arthur’s “bum” stays dormant and doesn’t erupt then. :lol2:
Edinburgh is a beautiful city, enjoy it, you will be much fitter when you leave, I was knackered just going up to see grey friars bobby. At least if this rain keeps up you’ll be on a hill somewhere, so won’t get flooded. Unless, you’re at the bottom of course.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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Ed
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Ed » 01 Aug 2019 15:45

I don't think so Fiz. I've been on the tunnocks and moving on to the millionaires shortbread and irn bru. I'll be lucky to make it to Gregg's for a wee scotch pie. #scottishgastroexperience
Enough time wasted on this.

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silvergirl
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by silvergirl » 01 Aug 2019 16:12

Stovies for yer tea an a deep fried mars bar for pudding is it?! :lol: ()o

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

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Ed
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Ed » 02 Aug 2019 13:40

I dinnae ken stovies!

How you doing SG?
Enough time wasted on this.

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silvergirl
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by silvergirl » 02 Aug 2019 20:45

Aye I’m alreet, thanks for asking. I’ve been continuously sober now for 4 years and (counts on fingers) nearly 5 months which is frankly astonishing given my history but lately I’ve been a bit out of sorts and contemplating drinking again. “Was it really so bad?! I’d be magically better now wouldn’t I? Just keep it to special occasions an stuff... a blowout once in a while! Sobriety’s not that rocking anyway!” :roll: :lol:

I’ll probably stick it out to 5 years, to see what that feels like and at one point I promised myself if I was seriously going to drink I would firstly go to an AA meeting. I’ve never been to an AA meeting tho I’m not averse, merely apathetic. It’s crazy even to think about drinking as my life has changed quite a lot since I stopped and a lot of the changes have been incredibly positive. I also suspect I may have some brain issues probably caused by alcohol, I’m not as clever as I used to be, I find myself struggling sometimes with fairly basic spelling or finding the expressive word I want to get my point across. Even just naming words, I point at things and say what is that called? Box, yes that box. There could be other reasons this is happening rather than alcohol damage such as old age and medication so I guess the jury is still out on that one.

So I guess drinking is a moot point for me really, the logic will always dictate that sobriety is the better option and it’s of course true what they say about the thoughts and cravings going away the longer one stays sober. I’d say it took a good 18 months before it really happened though, but it’s hard to gauge now because for a fairly lengthy time in my earlier sobriety I was suicidally depressed and I knew that I couldn’t allow myself to touch alcohol because I was genuinely afraid that I would slit my own throat with the scalpel blades that I pinched from work for that purpose. Conversely this made not drinking a walk in the park because chimp brain would say “drink” and I could instantly squash that want with the thought - I can’t. I won’t be in control and I might not wake up in the morning and I just can’t do that to the spawn. I suppose it’s a bonus really that now I can consider drinking and the worst thing that might happen is I talk shit, possibly cry (or start dancing on tables haha!) and that I will still be around to have a stonking hangover the next day. \:)/

I can empathise with the slight feelings of boredom or what now though. There’s much less dancing on tables as a teetotaller. I’ve gone through phases of introducing various activities in to my life, some have stuck and some have not but it’s a fair bet I wouldn’t have even attempted any of them when I was sinking a bottle of wine a night, unlimited on weekends. I guess I’m gradually increasing my comfort zone which is no bad thing but at the same time am accepting myself as an introvert and am happy to potter at home with things. I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been with my life right now though, so that’s a fairly big stake to risk on throwing the dice of addiction one last time. I’m hoping to carry on being sober tho I guess maybe this never leaves us completely. I’m well aware of the risk of complacency and so stick around sporadically reading here and using other online resources. I make it be so I have daily reminders of how good my life is and how far I have come and that I have the potential to keep on growing emotionally and spiritually, but anxiety, depression and the concomitant alcoholism are deeply ingrained since childhood really so I guess it’s not too surprising that it takes a while to bed in. Aye, that’s me.

How long are you in Auld Reekie? Could probably arrange to be in the pleasance courtyard (other venues available) for a pint of soda and lime at some point over the weekend if you’re up for that?

Fiz <:)>, mooths <:)> this is a really good thread to read, youse are doing it in style ladies. \:)/

Love to all,
Sgx
you can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
~jon kabat-zinn

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Mooths
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Mooths » 03 Aug 2019 13:36

Quick check-in from me to say I loved reading your post, SG, and am hunkering down for a rest after yesterday’s trip to Calais to stock up for my party. It was not without incident (I put petrol in a hired diesel van) but much booze was bought and none consumed by me!
“Being extremely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” ~ Sigmund Freud

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fiz
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by fiz » 04 Aug 2019 18:13

Sg. That’s a fantastic post, thanks for sharing. <:)>
Oh no Mooths, what happened to the hire van? Did they drain the tank?
Well done for not drinking. X
Ed, I hope you’re still enjoying Edinburgh?
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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Mooths
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Mooths » 05 Aug 2019 21:21

Hi, Fiz, Ed, SG, anyone else.

So yes, the AA were brilliant on Friday - drained the tank, flushed it through and I refilled with Diesel so didn't need to get a replacement van. But I did miss my ferry and had to buy a whole new ticket so it was not a cheap day out. Gah!
“Being extremely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” ~ Sigmund Freud

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fiz
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by fiz » 06 Aug 2019 08:24

Hello all,
Mooths, although what happened is bad now, you will laugh about this for years to come, and it will always come up in conversation whenever your joint b-day bash is mentioned. <:)> :lol:
I hope everyone is well. Holiday season is always hard work for me, if I run any faster, I’ll catch myself coming backwards. :shock: the pay off though, I only work 3 days a week in the winter months. \:)/
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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fiz
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by fiz » 06 Aug 2019 15:04

Less than 2 weeks to go, to complete this challenge. It’s been an odd three months, I started off all emotional, then I kind of just felt flat, then I felt I was having mood swings. But, hey ho, I just stuck with it, and I can’t wait to start the 12 month challenge. I never thought I’d get there again. \:)/
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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Mooths
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Mooths » 06 Aug 2019 23:41

You have done so well to survive the rollercoaster, Fiz. How exciting that you’ll soon be moving on to the one-year thread!
“Being extremely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” ~ Sigmund Freud

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fiz
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by fiz » 07 Aug 2019 05:08

Good morning all.
Well, I have been talking and thinking about reducing my business down since January, I didn’t really want to make any decisions back then due to me not being sure if it was just alcohol withdrawal related. Well, I’ve spoke to my accountant and my solicitor, and once I see me busy season out, I have decided to reduce down and let go of all of my staff except 3 and most of my holiday cottages. I will keep my commercial cleans and some of my private cleans, but it’s time I started just winding down a bit. I will officially announce it to the staff at the end of this month and hopefully it will be all tied up by the end of October. I know now that this is the right decision as I already feel less stressed. ;)?
Just thought I’d share with you guys.
Have a lovely day. <:)>
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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Pork
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Pork » 07 Aug 2019 20:31

Hi,
Room for a pig? 🐷
Three months done ✅
Six months to go 👍😎

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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Cowboy » 07 Aug 2019 22:17

Awesome Piggy.

That sounds like a very good strategy fiz. I have done virtually the same and the reduced stress level really makes a difference to my lifestyle. Well that and abstinence. And I figure if it doesn't go well financially I can always go back to where I was. It's amazing how well you can do when you work hard and have a good reputation. Sounds like you are in that boat.

Annnd ..... your little cabin in the woods is ready (and already cleaned) on the one year thread.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain.

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Mooths
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Mooths » 08 Aug 2019 00:19

That is good to read, Fiz. Sounds like a wise (and sober) decision. Welcome, Pork, come on in!
“Being extremely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” ~ Sigmund Freud

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Pork
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Pork » 08 Aug 2019 07:23

Thanks mooths.
Parked my ass over in the corner by that pot plant.
Have a nice day all 👍😎

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Winkler
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Winkler » 08 Aug 2019 08:16

Room for another? I’m about 4+1/2 months in, 6 month thread is empty, apart from porkie :\:
Was good to read recent contributions and see people making positive and considered plans for the future- I think perhaps ditching alcohol is a large part of making forward thinking possible? There’s so much treading water goes on instead of progress when you’re stuck in that drink/recover cycle, isn’t there? I’m finding reduced anxiety and shame and better physical health has left me in better shape than a few months ago. More relaxed generally.

SG - thank u for sharing. I do hope u don’t return to drinking.
My PB was around 15 months but it was a few years ago now. I was feeling a bit isolated and thought returning to occasional drinking would help with that. I had that very wrong. I do consider myself very lucky to have a few good friends who appear to accept my not drinking fully. I cultivate them! A couple of them regularly try to cut down their drinking. I try to tread very lightly there, I think we all have to find our own solutions and way.

Having been careful all my life and not, I thought, run the risk of becoming addicted by drinking every night, I’ve realised that it isn’t that black and white where alcohol is concerned. I have managed a few weeks AF at best ever since my PB and the problem/binge drinking returns and worsens ever faster each time I reintroduce on what is meant to be an occasional, moderate or social basis 🙄I’m done with it I hope this time. As, was it mooths (sorry) said, I detect a change in thinking around alcohol too. I think many people are questioning its place in their otherwise good life, or maybe that’s a natural consequence of aging? I also see young people (including my own children) who do not appear to have any worries around binge drinking, see it as normal and desirable. I wish they didn’t but hey, I was also there once, in spades. I am working on making them feel uncomfortable about it 😉
Sry to go on - I’m currently on holiday, first up and sitting on the decking with the birds and sounds of other people around gradually getting more active. Tis relaxing!
Alcohol is an addictive poison

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