• day 39 af, so happy to still be here sober. family ‘holiday’ was interesting, thought it would be difficult as havent yet spoke to my parents about my decision to quit. anyway as soon as i arrived there in the morning, mother was still hammered from the night before, realised its a waste of time to talk about it and simply said ‘no thanks, i dont drink’ when offered a beer. overall though still grateful every day to have a clear head space and be in control. i wanted to know if anyone here went through a spell of anxiety when they quit? recently just been anxious every day, all day, 24/7 and i have no idea why. nothing comes to mind when im wondering what caused it, but all the confidence and calmness i had when i first quit has been replaced by this nervousness..

    • Hi callumbrown. Perhaps underlying anxiety was one of the reasons you drank…to numb those feelings and now they are coming up to the surface. Natural remedies, lots of sleep and mindfulness (meditation/yoga etc maybe…) may help. I’m reading a book about coping with anxiety (its funny too…not too deep and meaningful)…it’s called “Calm the F**k Down” by Sarah Knight. Give it a try…lots of practical, easy strategies. 🙂

    • Drinking overloads your system with stress hormones and it takes a long while for all that to get back in balance. I have always had anxiety issues and now take Ashwaghanda every morning, a natural cortisol blocker and I honestly feel it makes a difference.

  • day 24 AF. need to vent a little (sorry)… im struggling alot more the last few days with wanting a drink. its a bit like my brain is saying ”ok, you’ve proved your point now, time to get back to normal” and i know full well that ‘normal’ hasnt worked. i went through such a great few weeks to start with and have felt overall so much better since i stopped drinking. i even went to a christening last weekend with my old drinking buddies and survived it, it felt so good at the time. tommorow im off on holiday with my family which is great, but were also off on holiday with my parents, brothers ect which while is still lovely i havent breached the subject of drink with anyone yet (if anyones followed any of my posts you’d know its a sore subject). im really not looking forward to it if im struggling not too drink now on top of that to deal with.

    • Day 24, well done! And it is completely ok to vent. Vent away, anytime!
      Now might be a good time to prepare yourself mentally for the holiday with your family. It is also ok to skip these events, especially in early sobriety, if you feel anxious about it and believe it could contribute to risking a relapse. It’s ok to use a white lie (“I have a bad migraine”) to protect those 24 days if need be.

      Give yourself permission to put your own needs first.


    • sounds like a lot of drinking triggers that you are overcoming, @callumbrown. @daveh wrote a great trigger post the other day, i think it was last Wednesday or Thursday if you want to look in his feed for it. A lot of us were mentioning that we were being triggered. If you can get through the trigger wtihout drinking it is one less time that you will be triggered. I am not sure what tools you use to get through the triggers, I, unfortunately, use eating. (I am going to have to change that). Perhaps you can go for a walk each time that you feel as though you don’t want to talk, drink or deal with your new sobriety with others. I can tell you this, if you can just keep going and learn to get by the triggers, things really will change for you. also, remember get sleep, passing on the drinks was really tiring for me. and don’t forget, keep your own AF stash full to the brim during this time. Whatever it is you like to drink, make sure you have plenty of it. that helped me, at least. best.

    • Hi @callumbrown, I hear you about when to tell people you are AF, difficult decision. I have no issue with a few little white lies for the time being. Taking the month of August off the drink, on medication that doesn’t agree with drinking, doctor wants me to abstain before I have some blood work done, feeling @ little under the weather and the booze makes it worse. Leave when it gets to be too much, check in here, listen to some sober podcasts and then head back. You will feel a lot better when you get through this holiday sober. We can do this!

    • @callumbrown – I’m gearing up for big family thing – 85% of time I’m dreading it – make that 95% – I won’t be joining in and that will make things awkward for others – and I will feel the baddie. I’m imagining leaving politely when it gets too much and then coming on here and maybe having a wee cry and then a big sleep. And to fly overseas for that – I must be mad! 😁

  • callumbrown posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 2 days ago

    day 44 well done 🙂

  • thought id check in, day 16 for me. thought id write down what i miss and what i dont miss about the drink.
    il start with dont miss:
    dont miss the dependency or reliance on a release at the end of the day. dont miss the low lows and the high highs. dont miss the low energy levels. dont miss the total lack of sleep.
    dont miss the short memory. dont miss the fuzzy head or lack of a clear head. dont miss the guilty conscience. dont miss the constant anxiety. dont miss the loss of control. dont miss hangovers. dont miss the cost. theres more but thats all i can think of for now.
    what i do miss:
    the taste.

    whenever i do have this feeling of missing it, i remind myself of how much better my life has become in just 16 days. its not perfect, but its a damn site better.

    • @callum great list. Isn’t it interesting how much we’ve put up with for such little return?
      Alcohol free drinks can be contentious, but for me I love having a Heineken Zero if I’m out, or watching the rugby at home.
      My drink of choice was generally a central otago Pinot or martini, so beer is not a trigger for me at all.
      For some people though, AF drinks send them down a slippery slope.

    • I agree it is the taste, but I have found lots of alcohol free alternatives such as gin and tonic, erdinger beer, Heineken zero and rose lemonade. I am completely stocked up, and a little very hot chocolate before bed, it works wonders xx

    • Thanks for that! There is a lot not to miss. Truth be told l never actually liked the taste of alcohol. I just used it to self medicate. While guzzling wine, l’d often think that l would really prefer a cup of tea. The craziness of it all!

  • day 14 af. i did it! despite temptations overall id say its the best two weeks ive had for a long time.thank you all for your help to get me here, it means alot. ”i dont drink” is my new favourite saying.
    day 15, into the unknown….

  • callumbrown posted an update 4 weeks ago

    Day 12 af. i really wanted a beer today, my dad was over helping me fit carpets for my kids bedrooms (sounds great right). proceeded to spend the next 5 1/2 hours talking about my mothers alcohol abuse, how she has twice attempted suicide overdosing, how he used to drink 2 special brews a night when we were kids because he couldn’t deal with her or us ect ect. i don’t want to go into too much into this and i’m sorry for babbling on here. basically mum is in severe stages of denial over drinking where she just outright lies that she doesn’t drink. we have tried everything possible to help her but she doesn’t want to know. basically past = pain that im sure i drank away in the past. this is the time when i would walk straight to the pub and get wasted, because im not good at dealing with stress. i havent told my parents or family for that matter that i have decided to quit drinking, i will in my own time but right now i would rather not give them a chance to belittle me in anyway (i sound like such a teenager moaning about about my folks sigh, its really not like that)
    right now im feeling a bit better, my wife and kids are home so im trying hard to focus on them. real hard battle going on in my head currently though.
    i know are alot of you on here are facing WAY tougher problems compared to mine and have stayed strong, i just wanted a place to vent, sorry. heres to a better day 13

    • R51 replied 4 weeks ago

      Babble away!!! That’s why we’re here!!!! If babbling lets you vent and help you dissect your drinking habits then good for you. Today just do absolutely whatever is necessary to help you not to pick up that 1st drink. You can do it. You are stronger than you know – hey – if you can slay bedroom carpeting then you can do anything! Just do NOT drink today.

    • I agree with @r51 this is THE place to moan… no judgement, and no belittling- it has been my buoy! And FAMILY issues- oh boy I am in the THICK of that currently- pretty sure that is a #1 trigger for MOST people. You are doing great, and hearing about your Mum’s struggles hopefully can be a good incentive to stay AF through Day 12! best of luck.

    • Congrats on day 12. I’m sorry about your mother. Maybe you can be an example for her of how much better life is without the booze. It’s nice that you and your dad can relate. It helps to talk.

    • Family alcoholism is really hard to deal with, lots of us talk about it here. I find as I get further into sober life I feel even worse about my Mum’s drinking because I see how happy she could be. All you can do is focus on you and it sounds like you are doing a really good job. That pull to alcohol will reduce massively soon. Keep going!

    • Sorry you’re having a tricky time, and I just really acknowledge you for doing all that you can and recognising that this is the journey. This is it! You’re doing it!

      I would also like to invite you to stop apologising for yourself. Your story is just as important and serious as anyone else’s. This is a place for you to do exactly what you are doing which is talking about how you’re feeling and what’s going on for you as you move into an alcohol free life.

      So good job! You’re doing it! I support you 😊

    • This sounds a full on time, and expressing it here is a good thing to do. Never apologise for doing this. It def sounds full on to me. Stay strong. I am at day 12 too…

    • You don’t sound like a teenager, you sound like an adult dealing with a tricky situation – good on you for not being a teenager and locking yourself in your room 😀

  • callumbrown posted a new activity comment 4 weeks, 1 day ago

    well done @womackm, your going through a hell of a lot. your very strong to stay AF despite all this 🙂

  • callumbrown posted a new activity comment 4 weeks, 1 day ago

    i can relate to this alot, think there are many of us who drank through important life choices in the past. funnily enough this was something i was thinking about today. im sure my life would be very different the last 12 years if i had stayed sober, but id rather take the positives from being in a position where i can look forward to my new sober self and the choices ahead 🙂 so pleased your feeling great AF, it really is worth it.

  • callumbrown posted a new activity comment 4 weeks, 1 day ago

    @womackm, just read through this post. wow that took some guts, well done for hanging in there, what you mentioned about your reason for not drinking is a great point. keep going 🙂

  • callumbrown posted an update 1 month ago

    hey all. day 10 af, nearly half way through the dreaded second week. really cant state enough how nice it is to feel in control, to have a clear head, to get an actual sleeping pattern. is this a honeymoon period? some days it just feels too good to be true. so far this week its been pretty stressful alongside a few attempts from friends to go down the pub, however there exists this new found calmness and determination in me to just say no. i really hope it sticks because it feels great. i’m sure tougher days are ahead, but being able to talk openly to you all about alcohol is a game changer for me, wish i had found this site years ago. thank you

    • I might be the ‘pink cloud’ period – heard of that? However we are all so different. I didn’t drink much (way over WHOrg limits of course, but got sick if over 1/2 a bottle – of wine, not spirits 🙂 🙂 ! ) yet it took me 6 months or so to feel much better. Others who drank like fish started marathon training immediately.
      Calmness and determination sounds fantastic. Just dash here the minute you feel yourself wavering. I think one problem with feeling fine so quickly is the Oh well, I can give up, so I will have a few drinks … baaaad scene for most and I think there is some research no about how it gets harder when we go back and forth. Best to build new, strong, “I don’t drink pathways” and hold on to them.

    • i always feel better at day 10, ive heard it takes about 10 days for the alcohol to leave system i hope my next day 10 is my last!

    • Could be a ping cloud period… but could also be your resolve this time around. I know I’ve talked to myself about quitting alcohol about thirty thousand times and this time I just finally did it, and I have been very resolved as well. I have temptation to drink, but the temptation to wake up hangover free is much much more powerful for me this time around.

    • I know this feeling. It is so wonderful and true. As time goes on, it becomes difficult to remember how bad drinking was or how good real the joy of not drinking is by comparison. So, it’s helpful to me to have this reminder. Thanks!

    • Im so happy to hear this @callumbrown. I am also on Day 10- mine was not as smooth as yours! haha, so Im happy to hear you had a successful day. we are definitely in this one together! congrats….

  • callumbrown posted an update 1 month ago

    day 8. Today has been the worst day so far, had a great morning again clear head, then a huge trigger point and wave of anxiety came over me in the afternoon, and whenever that happens in the past, my go to would always be beer. it was on my mind for a while until i decided to go home early back to my safe space and just grab some lemonade. much better this evening but today was mostly a fight with myself. still AF, day 9 bring it.

    • The second week was by far my most difficult. I REALLY struggled. Hang in there. It’s getting better and better the more days stack up! 🙂

    • wow– GOOD FOR YOU! Im sorry it was so hard. but reason to be EVEN more proud of yourself. getting stronger!

  • callumbrown posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    please dont put yourself down, 112 days AF is an amazing achievement. im on day 8, i have such a way to go before i can even match that. i bet you overcame so many challenges during those 112 days. heres to the next 113 🙂

  • callumbrown posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    im into my second week AF, v busy week ahead. reading this made post made me smile, ice cream and pyjamas sound like the perfect solution for my evenings this week 🙂

  • callumbrown posted an update 1 month ago

    Day 7 af. made it through the first weekend. not going to lie there were a few brief moments when the thought of a drink popped into my head this weekend but its a very quick NO afterward , which is a good start. i had a whole 7 1/2 hours sleep last night, which is the most ive had this year , woke up again, clear head, feeling good. been busy with doing a food shop for the family today amongst other things , wondered how i would feel walking past the booze section but was totally fine, no urge or thoughts at all (i know its only a week mind). i should mention i told my main drinking buddy (my wife calls him my enabler) about me quitting a few days ago, and whilst initially supportive, seems a bit mortified that i am serious about it when we spoke today (”what, your never having a beer again?!?”) guess thats all part of the challenges ahead.
    p.s thanks for listening to my ramblings, i have been reading the feed and have been really encouraged by how strong everyones resolve is, have a great day 🙂

    • Congrats on one week! On to week 2. 6 months in my sister said “What!? Everything?!” She’d steal my drinks at family gatherings so her husband wouldn’t know how much she was drinking. At Christmas she gave me 3 bottles of Merlot knowing I really stopped. She knew I’d leave them with her. Watch out for those sneaky attacks. They are intetested in keeping you drinking so they can. You’re doing great! Love your sleeping.

    • Eola replied 1 month ago

      Keep on the good fight, Callum. As someone told me years ago, while in one of my many attempts at quitting smoking, enjoy the small pleasures, that’s where real life is. And I’d add, don’t give a damn about how the world around you reacts to your decision of living without booze. One million ppl plunging down a hole don’t make them right in their decision.

    • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

      Congrats on 1 week @callumbrown! Sounds as though your wife has been doing her own research! Good job on telling your friend. Nearly all of my friends were alcoholic and most incredibly functionable. I’ve had to leave some behind. @jocord One of my sisters is the same. I try not to put to much thought into it, it becomes their problem. Mine would never give me 3 bottles though, she’d keep that for herself.

    • congrats @callumbrown on 7 days, your enabler went right to the heart of the matter, forever, who knows about forever, don’t worry about forever, just figure out today, right? maybe figure out how to get through the next ten minutes, that how i have to do it sometimes esp early days. lots of luck and strength to get to 7 days, keep on.

    • Congrats. I am at Day 7 too. Hard when friends don’t quite get it, but hopefully they will get used to the idea and be supportive

    • Hi @callumbrown 😁 7 days is great! Yes the sleep fa Tor alone is such a huge bonus! Even on the nights when sleep isn’t the best it’s still mega better than a hangover :). I have the same friend, unfortunately, but her need to have me have ‘just one’ makes me so much more stubborn not too. I am too far in my resolve now to go back. Had her bday party a few weeks ago and danced more than anyone else there. I had the best time. I digress, congrats on the first week down, here’s to fabulous sleeps! 🙂 happy day ✨

    • Well done making it through the first week. Keep up that resolve! I struggled a little more on week two when the newness of being sober had worn off a little, but making it through week 2 really motivated me for week three. I’m feeling better every day!

    • Beautiful positive post @callumbrown!

  • callumbrown posted an update 1 month ago

    Day 6 today, not quite as good as day 5 so far but still sober so that’s the main thing. my wife has said she has seen a more determined side to me this time (regarding quitting alcohol) but she will only believe it fully until after week 2. shes right to say that as that’s all i’ve ever managed in around a decade.
    woke up this morning feeling really nervous for no reason, not sure why. its the first weekend AF i guess so maybe its that. Enough mumbling from me anyway, have a great weekend whatever your up to 🙂

    • “You never know how strong you are…until being STRONG is the only choice you have!”. Have a great weekend!

      • @lydia727 love that- it’s so true. Thanks for your insight. Our struggle continues and staying strong is the only choice we have. Day 344…….deep breath as I NEAR a year!

    • Stay busy @callumbrown ! Be on the lookout for the times where you’d usually drink. Change it up. Remember, you’re doing this for YOU.

    • Promise yourself right now that no matter what there is no alcohol today. Have lots of nin Al drinks available, keep one in your hand always if that helps ( it does for me). And plan out your day with as much as you can. When you feel an urge coming go to your list. And don’t be afraid to walk away. Those first couple weeks I spent a lot of time alone. Your sobriety is all that matters right now. Do whatever is required to keep it safe. You can do this!!

    • Just getting caught up on your posts, and I see some strong similarities between your story and mine. I didn’t drink very often while we were raising the children, but in 1995 I started up more regularly. Eventually is was everyday, and 4 would have been a rare small number of beers. I don’t know how long I questioned whether or not I had a problem, but it was at least three years, and I think longer. Nagging little thoughts at first, eventually doing “am I an alcoholic” tests on the internet. Years of mornings when I told myself that I had to quit. Then, about 4 random events, little things really, happened, and one morning after staying up drinking until about 3AM, ….was supposed to be at work at 8, but didn’t care….I said that’s it. It has to stop. So that’s the short story, but I knew that I had to quit drinking forever. It was the only way. I had been trying different things to limit my intake, but the amount I was drinking was actually increasing. Anyway, from the outset it was never drink again, no matter what; and that has proven to be a good rule. I’m now at day 956, I am very happy with my sobriety, and I will never drink again. If I had gone into quitting with the though that it was temporary, then I would be drinking again. I really feel that it’s easier to give it up for good, a scary idea I admit, and then learn to live with that.

    • A full week is just around the corner!

    • Congrats on day 6! You are in the normal progression, feeling nervous right now. You’re just where you should be. Keep repeating to yourself “just do the next right thing” when you are at a loss of what to do. I’m with @tom4500, if I had left the door open just a bit to drinking again, I’d be drinking now. I didn’t tell myself forever, I told myself I don’t drink so let’s see what else I do. You’ll be constantly thinking about not drinking. Know that is normal,too. On to day 7!!

  • callumbrown posted an update 1 month ago

    morning all. day 5 AF for me, i woke up feeling… good?!? head-space feels clear, feels like the alcohol has left finally (day 1-4 has been sweats mainly). all your comments yesterday were so helpful, thank you all for the support. really does feel like a weight being lifted off. hope you all have a good weekend

    • Good on ya, enjoy your sober weekend now you are starting to feel brighter!! Just rest as much as possible, I’m day 20 and still feel knackered so I’m just going with it. Your body will already be repairing so I think that has a lot to do with it, I obviously need rebuilding. Chill and enjoy being you again 😀

    • im on DAY 5 as well @callumbrown and we seem to be having a similar experience. I woke up feeling great today as well. kind of afraid to say that out loud! And Ive been wondering about the tiredness, but what @Noodle71 just wrote about our bodies “repairing” makes total sense. of course its exhausted. its healing itself. wow. the body is an amazing thing. I am prepared to take good care of it from here on out….

  • callumbrown posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    yeah sorry, i just meant well done for managing 30 days af thats all 🙂

  • callumbrown posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    dreading the same feeling, im only day 5 so congrats on 30 days

  • callumbrown posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    thats something that creeps into my head still @Hammer123 (its only day 5 mind) i feel like im going to have this ongoing battle with my brain that eventually i can return to being a normal drinking person, that my life will be boring without it. thank you for this post though, its really encouraging to see what a life without drink can look like. in fact thank you all for the posts, its such a relief to talk about this openly and share it with people who understand. day 5 today, clearest head ive had for a long time. il be needing this site in the coming weeks, i normally have a craving after a week or two, so i know where to come now when that happens.

  • callumbrown posted an update 1 month ago

    Hi there, this is my first post. not quite sure what to say but here goes :
    I’m a 32 yr old husband to my wife and 2 kids, have been drinking regularly since i was around 18. its only recently i started to question if i was dependant on the beer (its mainly beer for me). I would always convince myself that i am in control, i can stop when i want, and it is not a problem, but the last year or so ive tried a few attempts to stop completely and its lasted mere weeks. normally a familiar pattern i go through is i will drink on and off in the week say 3-4 days (which is my normal routine) then find myself drinking at least 4 beers a day after work, which on weekends turn into sometimes 8, also once a month or every 2 months, there will be some kind of very heavy binging involving lots of regret, for some reason or excuse. Im just beginning to realise how dependant i am and basically really want to stop entirely.i dont really have much of a support network as my mum drinks alot and its been a sore subject in and around my family. my wife barely drinks at all but she is supportive. anyway i found this site and its real helpful to read other peoples comments. Im on day 4 currently AF, hoping i can do better this time around.

    • Ro replied 1 month ago

      Hey there Callumbrown 😉 Thanks for sharing. You’ll find heaps of support here mate. In the beginning up until recently I posted here everyday, and I found that it really helped me and I made some good friends. I still visit everyday but may not post everyday.
      Have you heard of Rational recovery? If you google it and have a read…it struck a chord with me, you never know it might with you too. I hope you have a good day -keep strong like King Kong!

    • jmtn replied 1 month ago

      Well done on 4 days and trying to get on top of this now before it sucks you in more, which is all it can do. I’m a mom of 2 kids and had started to slip down the slope much further than you. Like binge drinking to point of blackout multiple times a week after the kids were in bed and worse… I’m 31 days AF now and in addition to interacting/posting on this site I also have been helped a ton by listening to different podcasts episodes that were relevant to me at the time, reading books, blogs and sober stories on the topic, and tracking how I feel and why. The key is retraining your brain to see alcohol for the addictive poison it is. It takes time, but you’re already 4 days in. Stay strong. It’s so worth it. It’s great your wife is supportive, too.

    • If it is time to quit for u then it is time to quit. Posting here and reading others posts at the different day counts has really helped me continue moving foraward alcohol free.

    • Hi @callumbrown and Welcome. i am also on Day 4 AF- so- im a newbie as well. So happy you are here. it is quite helpful and feels so welcoming. Best of luck!

    • I’ll invoke my day buddy @hammer123 to chime in with some guy advice. My husband was similar to you increasing his beer drinking bit by bit. I knew it was a problem when he said he was starting to get a tightness at the thought of not picking up beer on the way home from work. He’s only increased since then. I did the same. You’re giving your kids an awesome example if you quit now. My parents didn’t drink and I knew I could call them at any time day or night, and they would be there for me, with a clear head. I think that’s a priceless gift of sobriety. The ability to be available and fully present at all times.

    • Hi @callumbrown, I had very similar situations, drinking at 14, binge drinking on weekends, then slipped into a few drinks during week days, then every day. I ended up passed out or trying to get to bed before my wife came home from her evening shift. I finally gave it up for good 450 days ago, just after my friend @jocord went AF.
      It was truly the best decision for me, I am happier, easier going, healthier, a better, dad, son, husband and friend. I have been through all of the trials, worrying what others would think ( they don’t care as long as you don’t interrupt their drinking). Worrying about socializing sober, that turned out ok, I just leave early if people start to get sloppy drunk or if I feel uncomfortable. Worried about how boring my life would be or how boring I would be. My life is a lot more exciting than when I was drinking I have more time to try new things, like guitar, yoga, writing, cooking etc. I am more interesting since I don’t keep repeating myself or losing my train of thought.
      My wife is happier, our marriage is better, many of our friends have quit drinking or cut down, since I was the ring leader when it came to drinking. Most people are happy for me and are very supportive!
      I would say that since you have found your way here, deep down you feel something has to change. If you are like the rest of this community you have tried moderation and found that it does not work for you! I say kick the booze, even if you kick it for 100 days, you can always reevaluate after that. I know after 100 days I had built up enough momentum that I didn’t want to go backwards! Keep posting and reading here and check out the other advice people such as @ro & @jocord have given you, those people know their stuff! We all want you to be successful! Peace!

      • thats something that creeps into my head still @Hammer123 (its only day 5 mind) i feel like im going to have this ongoing battle with my brain that eventually i can return to being a normal drinking person, that my life will be boring without it. thank you for this post though, its really encouraging to see what a life without drink can look like. in fact thank you all for the posts, its such a relief to talk about this openly and share it with people who understand. day 5 today, clearest head ive had for a long time. il be needing this site in the coming weeks, i normally have a craving after a week or two, so i know where to come now when that happens.

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