• chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 7 hours, 40 minutes ago

    Sounds like you are doing amazing with your sobriety with so much going on, try not to feel bad about going part time with your study, you are heading towards your goal and that is all that matters!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 7 hours, 52 minutes ago

    Thanks so much for sharing this. It is just what I needed to read right at this moment. I love this space.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 day, 13 hours ago

    Thanks Annie😀

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 day, 14 hours ago

    I hear you and totally relate. I am right there with you on day 13. This site is really great.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 day, 21 hours ago

    Have a great day! I am yet to do the socialising sober thing. Yes the money saving is amazing, also just not having to worry about buying wine. Very different to see my bank account staying the same and not rapidly diminishing through the week.

    • I always spent time planning how I could drink enough while appearing not to drink. It was so devious and such a lie. Shocking. Glad to be guilt free.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 day, 22 hours ago

    I know what you mean about that feeling of dread, what if? Because it was so bad being in that place. I have that too, maybe that’s our insurance policy, our reminder not to get complacent? 26 days is awesome by the way😀

  • Day 13. This is going to be a long post but I need to get these thoughts down so that I can read back over this when I am having a tough day. It is 6.30am on a Saturday. Everyone in the house is asleep but here I am sitting in the lounge by the lamp with our new kitten on my lap purring happily. I am perfectly rested. I have slept solidly and deeply. My body is pain free, my head is clear, I am not dehydrated as I sip my coffee.
    What is really amazing is the change going on in my head. Somehow, through these 10 years of drinking I have managed to build a career. I have had some success, got a reputation for being good at what I do. What I can now see is that my mind was almost manic at work. My brain was so foggy and I felt like I was trying to juggle so many balls. I was always strategising, taking on additional work, trying to be the best. Suddenly I have just stopped. I am focusing on the task at hand and giving myself enough time to do it. I feel calm and happy and almost like (dare I say it) I am enough.
    It is not smooth sailing of course, the people factor is still a challenge; dealing with tense situations sends me down a thought tunnel I have to work really hard to pull myself out of but I was like that before the booze.
    I know it is very early days. I am scared I will get complacent and let me lying mind (yes I am reading Alcoholism in a nutshell) win. One thing is for sure, I am under no illusions that this is just a period of abstinence, time to ‘reset my habits’ as I have said before. I know this has to be forever. The physical cravings have quietened but that mental gymnastics of worry that I can’t do this is there.
    I think what is different this time is that I am not bargaining with myself about how I can make drinking work. I know I can’t, end of story. There are pangs of sadness still about that but no doubt that this is the only way. I am working at this sobriety thing. I am seeing it is something you have to actively do, you can’t p…[Read more]

    • With you all the way as I start Day 12, had a house full of moderate drinkers last night and felt totally relaxed with my Coke Zero. The guilt of wasted time, money and good times is subsiding, my wife is considerably less stressed and life is looking very positive. And money in the bank too. Probably not spending about $250 per week is amazing. A walk in the hills is called for if there is a break in the rain.

      • Have a great day! I am yet to do the socialising sober thing. Yes the money saving is amazing, also just not having to worry about buying wine. Very different to see my bank account staying the same and not rapidly diminishing through the week.

        • I always spent time planning how I could drink enough while appearing not to drink. It was so devious and such a lie. Shocking. Glad to be guilt free.

    • Great post. Good on you for writing it down. And being honest and reading everything you can. I remember when I’d got a few months down the track and felt wobbly and just wanted to drink, someone here told me to go back and read my profile, read some of my posts. And it helped. I knew it had to be forever. Moderation doesn’t exist for me.
      Enjoy the peace, soak it in. Today you’re adding another building block that will strengthen you. Xo

      • Totally. Moderation was my families dream. But sadly an illusion created by me to legitimise drinking that appeared moderate therefore was acceptable. The reality I drank twice as much as was perceived. Awful deceit. Guilt ridden but moving on. Happily and very much at peace with myself.

        • I could have written this post and I’m now on Day 79. Things are good. I feel a calm that I just didn’t have before. Work is still crazy stressful and I’m still learning to cope with that but I know I’m less reactive and have a clarity I just couldn’t get to when I was drinking.
          Managing stress by drinking is such a trap.
          Today I too got up early, made bread, fed the animals, drank my tea in bed and am reading. It’s the best thing for me after a long busy week.
          I am so so glad I didn’t have a bottle or more of central otago Pinot last night, my usual end of week reward.
          Being at peace is worth it

    • Beautiful post @ chasingthedandelion.

    • Lots of true words in there. I like it that you are recognising that this is not a passive change, you have to actively want to be a non-drinker to make it a success. Day 391 for me today.

    • Hi @chasingthedandelion… thank you so much for your post.. i’m going to keep re reading it as I’m back on day 2…. I thought (again) I could moderate.. that bloody voice telling me that I’m ok.. just going on and on… now it is definitely no alcohol forever… need to accept this once and for all… xxx

    • Lovely! Your mind will gain more confidence and stop thinking incessantly about drinking in a few months. Try to keep one thought in the forefront of your mind “I don’t drink anymore”. Everytime a thought of moderating or just a sip pops up quickly say that to yourself. You will settle into the person you truly are soon!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 2 days, 11 hours ago

    That is awesome. Thank you for sharing, that is so encouraging for me so early in my journey.

  • Day 11 down. Seeing some positives and not having to white knuckle it so much. I have avoided the supermarket until today and it wasn’t an issue not buying wine. Might have over compensated by buying 3 different teas though! Noticing much clearer head, quicker thinking and seem to be starting to laugh more. Also I had been having some joint pain (knee and hip) thought I was just ageing too fast at the age of 37 but it seems to have drastically reduced. Anyone else notice that? Anyone in their first few days the second week is easier so hang in there!

    • Re the pain I think from memory it’s because alcohol is inflammatory. Lovely to hear your laughing more

      • Really.? I didn’t know the whole inflammatory thing. I’m going through crazy joint pain. Actually thought I was catching a bug yesterday

        • Highly inflammatory hence the big cancer, dementia and god knows what else risk. For some, the damage is long term and diet change is also needed to reduce symptoms – no sugar! high healthy fats and low carb is also often transformative – check out keto.
          Age is not our friend though 🙁 but I have had no back trouble since being A/F, though way more yoga so that is a big help. Do you have a high carb diet @getclear? Sugar?
          Of course it could be viral too …

    • Yup Chasing the Dandelion, clear head, joints move easier, breathing easier too. Day 10 nearly over in Nz and it’s a great feeling. I’m into the fruit teas too.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 3 days, 22 hours ago

    Thanks for asking. Going well, one thing I have noticed is how much easier work is. I don’t have to be super prepared for every conversation or meeting because I can think quickly with a clear head, so much less exhausting! Hope you are doing well?

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 4 days, 8 hours ago

    It will pass, it will it will it will!! Just ride it out and remember it is temporary. Read your post from yesterday and remember how that felt😀

    • How are you going dandelion? Keep smiling.

      • Thanks for asking. Going well, one thing I have noticed is how much easier work is. I don’t have to be super prepared for every conversation or meeting because I can think quickly with a clear head, so much less exhausting! Hope you are doing well?

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 4 days, 21 hours ago

    I have been seeing a lot of people talk about that in their sober stories, the stunted emotional development. I started binge drinking at 15, started heavy regular drinking in my mid 20s. I am now thinking it must have impacted my coping strategies that would have otherwise developed. All these lessons!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 4 days, 22 hours ago

    Thanks this is true. It is usually just a thought spiral that isn’t based in reality for me!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 5 days, 8 hours ago

    This is true🙂

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 5 days, 8 hours ago

    Sounds like you are in a great place. Looking forward to getting there myself. Go you!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 5 days, 8 hours ago

    Wow thanks for sharing downloaded and only up to page 40 but already it makes so much sense.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 5 days, 11 hours ago

    23 days is awesome, hope you know that! It seems a way off for me. Hope you have a better day tomorrow!

  • It is interesting what I am becoming more conscious of as the alcohol works it’s way out of my system. I am realising how much the thoughts of others (real or perceived) have an influence on me. Challenging meetings, situations where I feel misunderstood or judged by colleagues send me into craving overload. I guess it’s a confidence thing or something but it definitely makes me want a drink or 5. The reality is now I have to sit with these feelings. This is what I choose and I know I am building a foundation of strength every time I walk through these situations and don’t drown them in wine. Wish I knew why the opinions of people who really don’t matter can dominate my thoughts. So annoying! Nice to be able voice these thoughts, helps me process them. Thanks everyone.

    • It is definitely part of the process. https://lyingminds.sixboats.co.nz/links/

    • We all want approval, it’s learning that we can disagree and have divers but still like each other

    • That’s what I read in a book – when we drink we don’t face our feelings, the good and the bad ones. But we need to deal with them to develop an adult personality. To say it clear, we don’t grow up when we drink. We avoid becoming responsible adults who can life a fulfilled and conscious life. We stay “teenagers” somehow who run away when life gets tricky. Good to be 100% oneself, isn’t it?

      • I have been seeing a lot of people talk about that in their sober stories, the stunted emotional development. I started binge drinking at 15, started heavy regular drinking in my mid 20s. I am now thinking it must have impacted my coping strategies that would have otherwise developed. All these lessons!

    • Aw, we all go through that. I think it’s deep down we feel we are unknowingly being attacked and don’t have a way to defend ourselves. At least for me, anyway. I like the saying “what others think of me is none of my business”. Well, no I don’t like that one. But for the most part it’s true. Decide if what others think will jeapordize you in any way, and if it won’t, try to stop worrying about it. This will bring you some peace.

    • So easy to spend our time ruminating or extrapolating when we could be expending our energies in positive ways. I’m starting to recognise it better when it’s coming now that I’m sober, but it’s still hard to head it off.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 5 days, 21 hours ago

    Good to know, I know it’s coming. So true though a couple of hours of good sleep is better than drunk sleep.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 5 days, 21 hours ago

    Thank you, in the last few months I had started to see the contradiction of drinking for energy and poisoning my body at the same time. I definitely have a clearer head and am looking forward to the energy!

  • A good nights sleep would be great. Day 10 today. Last week I had a lot of sleepless, sweaty nights. I was hanging out for that deep trouble free sleep of sobriety but it still eludes me. I spent much of my 10 years of heavy drinking falling into a deep alcohol induced sleep then waking at 3am and laying awake for hours. Ironically in the last month or so that had stopped and I was sleeping through the night. Probably because I was managing stress and emotions more consciously. Take away the wine and I am sleeping badly again. I have read other posts and I know it can take a while for sleep to settle. I also know that sleep deprived and non-hungover days are better than the sluggishness of a drink addled brain. I have got magnesium, sleep drops and I am jus waiting it out. If I am tired today I will take some breaks, get some air, drink some green tea. Tiredness was always a big drinking trigger for me. I would get home and guzzle a bottle of wine so I could perk up for the night. Now I want to just listen to my body and if I am tired go to bed. Here’s to day 10 and double digits!

    • Congrats on double digits! Yep, I didn’t sleep well the first couple of weeks. But even 2 hours of sober sleep was better than 8 of disturbed alcoholic sleep. Beginning about week 3 I’d go every other day with a deep, deep sleep and then insomnia. About 3 months I began settling into a reliable sleep.

    • the beautiful sleep will come soon, very likely. Energy can take a while for some though – I think the 200 day mark meant a difference for me. Before that I couldn’t understand how chirpy and alive others were feeling – running bloody marathons!
      I used to manage with wine – sugar energy? a kind of blind daze getting me through a ridiculously crazy workload and kids – but I had to sip very slowly and measure how much or the energy benefits would turn to illness – now I think I was allergic to the toxins therein! I guess we all are – poison. Poor bodies.
      Keep going. Read up on PAWS, may help.

    • Congrats on day 10. you are smart to listen to your body. as bad as i felt for a long time, i knew that the alternative was why i was feeling so bad. concentrate on healing. sleep will come.

      • I still have bad nights I had one last night, I woke up bout 2pm, heart racing, hot sweats and mind going at many miles per hour the difference is I know I’m just having a bad night. There’s no self loathing or raging thirst or fear about what I’ve done to myself. I don’t get up and look at the wine bottle(s) to see just exactly how much I did have then worry about it. This is just a bad night and in the morning I will be ok not ill from a hangover. So often I can relax and go back to sleep. Stick with it you are doing well @morgan is right I read up on PAWS and it really helped me to understand that giving up the booze can bring other problems and not the instant euphoria we are often lead to believe happens.

    • Thank you, in the last few months I had started to see the contradiction of drinking for energy and poisoning my body at the same time. I definitely have a clearer head and am looking forward to the energy!

    • Well done on getting to ten days. The body goes through a lot in those first ten days, so in some ways, they are the toughest. These next ten days should be much better for you.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 6 days, 8 hours ago

    Haha. Very true. I know Allen Carr in his quit smoking book says ‘if you don’t feed the monster it will die’, your cat analogy reminded me. Thank you!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 6 days, 8 hours ago

    Love this!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 6 days, 10 hours ago

    Yeah I think I need to get my heart pumping and get some of those exercise endorphins flowing!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 6 days, 10 hours ago

    Thank you😀

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 6 days, 10 hours ago

    Yes that is a good point. This is what I want got to remember that.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 6 days, 10 hours ago

    Thank you, reassuring to know this will pass!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 6 days, 12 hours ago

    I hear ya! I have been trying the fast forward thing this afternoon and imagining myself at 8pm happy I haven’t drunk because if I had the wine would be all gone by then anyway and I would feel like crap.

  • Arrrggghhh!! Day 8. Had a great few days with minimal cravings but now I am back at work and it’s coming up to 4 and the cravings have hit! I don’t want to drink but I hate the sad and deprived feeling of knowing I can’t. I am so looking forward to the day when I get home, do dinner, bath time and bed time with my little boy then sit on the couch with my Husband and think ‘hey! I haven’t thought about a drink all day’.

    • Went for a hill walk, feels good getting back and over the worst of the days cravings.

    • I recon the first few weeks cravings/habits arise quite a bit. Change up your routine, delay distract. And yes one day will come where you realise you haven’t thought about drinking

    • Always helped me to empower myself. It’s not that you cannot it is that you choose not to. 🙂 Hang in there….the detox is almost done. 🙂

    • Promise it happens xx

    • it will happen as long as you don’t drink. I don’t know if you’ve heard the stray cat analogy for cravings – if you feed them they come back more often – if you cut them off totally they’ll eventually go away (actually now that I’ve written that down I’m not sure I like it any more – poor cat!)

      • Haha. Very true. I know Allen Carr in his quit smoking book says ‘if you don’t feed the monster it will die’, your cat analogy reminded me. Thank you!

    • Oh @chasingthedandelion, that day is right around the corner. You’ll find that those urges begin to fade away rather quickly – and when they pop up again, they’re brief and fleeting, and you’re all the stronger. You’re doing the hard part now, but it will get easier and more joyous every single day … promise!

    • That day will come. I promise. I used to count the minutes until 5:00 and now I very rarely think about it. What helped me in the early days was playing it forward.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    I totally feel what you are saying. It is so easy to listen to that little lie in you head that says it is all fine and safe to drink again. It has caught me many times before. As you say it is because it has never been a forever intention. This time I have said it is forever, I am under no illusions that I can moderate but it is very early days and I am not totally confident. 333 days is amazing, you can do this! Remember how good it felt without the alcohol for all that time…

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    Congratulations on 7 days. Same place as me. Enjoy waking up with a clear head tomorrow.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    Thank you!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    Thank you; feeling confident. Hope you are too?

    • Thanks…one day at a time….so far so good. I’m gonna stick close here. Hope you do too!

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    Thank you! Looking forward to feeling better physically for sure.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    @Andlan we are in similar places and for me day 4 was extremely tough this last week. It is a lovely day to be hangover free in NZ today.

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    Thank you! Yes I think this week’s strategy will be making a list of distractions! Your statement ‘visions of being a normal drinker’ rings so true. For me I think the biggest thing is admitting to myself I am not capable of normal drinking.

    • Yup. You mentioned being pregnant – a light bulb went on for me when I realized my pregnancies were a time when I was really in a good head space. Also not drinking – hmm. One of my best helps early on (just passed two years sober) was to believe I was allergic to alcohol. My dad used to have to avoid shrimp because it would send him to the hospital. We ate it – he didn’t. That’s me and alcohol – other people can – I can’t. I live in the American South – so there’s always sweet tea! 😉

  • chasingthedandelion posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    Thanks for your encouragement, so good to hear you have two years under your belt! I feel like I have come to the right place😀

    • Ro replied 1 week ago

      A few months into my sobriety someone here mentioned Rational recovery. Google it. May resonate with you like it did to me. Declaring abstinence to yourself and meaning it, then getting on with living is about the crux of it. It has really helped me and others so I try to mention it at least once a week around here so newcomers can check it out 🙂

  • Hi everyone I am new! I am 7 days alcohol free. I have been an everyday, bottle of wine a day drinker for about 10 years. I have done a couple of months off here and there, a year off while pregnant and with a new baby. Each of these times has been followed by a period of moderation which has inevitably led back to a bottle a day. Lately that bottle doesn’t seem to touch the sides. It was either quit or drink more and I knew the latter wasn’t an option. So here I am. The first few days were really tough. I don’t remember this from my last patches of abstinence. I felt like I wanted to jump out of my skin. I have been reading lots and all signs point to a community being essential to sobriety so really keen to be involved in this one!

    • Ro replied 1 week ago

      Hello and welcome @chasingthedandelion
      7 days is AMAZING well done you 👍 you might be feeling it harder because you’ve made a conscious choice to deny yourself something you think you really like. It’s always easier when the choice has been made for us (like when pregnant for example). I was a bottle a day too. Two bottles a night on my weekends. I’ve not long clocked up two years sober. I’ll never drink again. You’ve come to a great place. Looking forward to getting to know you 😊

      • Thanks for your encouragement, so good to hear you have two years under your belt! I feel like I have come to the right place😀

        • Ro replied 1 week ago

          A few months into my sobriety someone here mentioned Rational recovery. Google it. May resonate with you like it did to me. Declaring abstinence to yourself and meaning it, then getting on with living is about the crux of it. It has really helped me and others so I try to mention it at least once a week around here so newcomers can check it out 🙂

    • @chasingthedandelion – A week is behind you – amazing! I can totally relate to your pattern: Some stretches of abstinence for particular reasons, visions of being a ‘normal drinker,’ then sliding back to a bottle/+ a day. Hang in there – that white knuckle feeling will ease up. As they say around here – ride the feelings. Distract, distract, distract. Checking in here and reading the feed is a great way to do that. *hugs*

      • Thank you! Yes I think this week’s strategy will be making a list of distractions! Your statement ‘visions of being a normal drinker’ rings so true. For me I think the biggest thing is admitting to myself I am not capable of normal drinking.

        • Yup. You mentioned being pregnant – a light bulb went on for me when I realized my pregnancies were a time when I was really in a good head space. Also not drinking – hmm. One of my best helps early on (just passed two years sober) was to believe I was allergic to alcohol. My dad used to have to avoid shrimp because it would send him to the hospital. We ate it – he didn’t. That’s me and alcohol – other people can – I can’t. I live in the American South – so there’s always sweet tea! 😉

    • @chasingthedandelion – yes, having a community was essential for me, welcome.

    • @chasingthedandelion, glad to see you’re here. I’m right there with you…trying to make this time stick too

    • Fantastic move ! Health benefits galore an such a different life without the poisonous carcinogen