• Wow, this is one of my rare posts but I had to share this amazing milestone not only because I’m super proud of myself but it might inspire even one person to carry on with the sober life.
    Today marks my five year sober anniversary. My thanks has to go first and foremost to Mrs D for the documentary five years ago which prompted my final decision to give up alcohol but I have loads of others to thank as well. Of course it goes without saying my wonderful day twin @hetiheti whom without your neverending support and encouragement I probably wouldn’t have made five days. You are such a godsend and I still remember that one day when I was sooooo tempted and was about to pull into the pub and then you texted me for something completely random. It was like you knew!!!
    @mac007 our friendship gained through this forum is so special and there are so many other friends that I’ve made on here that it’s impossible to mention you all plus I have forgotten most of our usernames as I know you all so well with your real names now lol! That first get together was so special and I treasure it with all my heart!
    BUT…..it isn’t all a bed of roses!!! Oh no! so if you are reading this thinking that I had it easy then you are waaayyyy off. There are days, especially in the early days when I would have sold my grannie for a drink BUT I didn’t. I wasn’t dependent on alcohol but I was a very heavy drinker. I could go days, weeks without it then go on a big splurge in the weekend and wake up wondering who’d I’d offended, what embarrassing thing had I done, where had I got those bruises? Was my hubby/family/friends still talking to me??? So was I an alcoholic??? Yes!!! It changed me, it changed my easy going personality to a different person, one that nobody really liked most of all me!!!!
    I look back at those drinking days and feel nothing but guilt. I nearly lost everything that I hold dear but now, living the sober life is the BEST!!! I don’t hardly count days now…[Read more]

  • ckincade posted an update 2 weeks ago

    Hello all! I stumbled across this site today & tried to register, however it said my email already existed. I got in & saw that I was on here almost 4 years ago & I don’t even remember. Wow! Just another example of the fact that I need to realize that I need an alcohol free life. I’m so tired of this vicious cycle. It’s exhausting. I would like to ask for your help, please.
    Would you share your best tips you’ve used early on to get some traction going? I can’t seem to get past 3 or 4 days.

    • Hi Lucy! Great ideas. Thank you so much!! I definitely need to up my water intake for sure! My worse time is when I get home from work. I feel like I could just go take a nap, but have to get supper, clean up supper, get the kids showered, etc, etc. I need to find a way to change up the evening routine & make it less hectic/triggering.

      • @ckincade – Making some routine changes will help – not everything can be changed all at once, baby steps. Decide what wee tweaks you wanna make this week and enjoy the benefit of those – can’t believe you already registered – oh yes I can – any of us on here could have done that! Good luck 🙂

    • @suzkep – Thank you! Yes, & I am horrible with the all or nothing/go big thinking. I have to get outta my head & go slow. I think meal planning is going to be my tweak this week. That way if I have something prepped or in the crock pot then I can sit or read or watch something for a bit & not feel so overwhelmed & stressed in trying to get things done.

      • Crock pots are brilliant for that and saves on washing up too XX

    • Listening to podcasts and sober talks, books, help… try Katherine grey or Claire pooley, I find when I waiver or feel like wavering I listen to sober stuff… also alcohol free beer helps, feels like a grown up drink and tastes good… you can do this xx

    • I started keeping a journal and it was really helpful, if I was having a rough evening I could just pour it all out on paper, and I started taking morning walks, getting outdoors in the morning set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Taking a good magnesium glycinate supplement can help, you’re body needs it to deal with stress hormones and heavy drinkers are usually magnesium depleted.

    • Hi and welcome @ckincade. Here’s a link to an article written by Mrs-D. It was a huge help for me in the early days to get some traction. Hope it will help.

      Strategies for Early Recovery

    • @ckincade I did that too, tried to register then realised I had a few years ago. This time I was ready though and this could be your time too! The first 4 days were hardest for me so if you can stretch past that you will see it does get easier. Try and get rid of any non essential commitments and give yourself a break for the first couple of weeks. You can do it!

    • Thank you so much everyone for sharing!! So far so good! I’ve got my evenings (which are my worst witching hours) planned the next few nights, so hopefully that will give me some traction to surpass that first few days where I usually get hung up.

  • jmtn posted an update 2 weeks, 4 days ago

    A question for those of you with more sober days than me: Does the frustration of not fitting in when all of your friends/coworkers are drinking go away at some point? I’m trying to train my mind to be proud of my choice in these situations, but it’s still annoying/frustrating to me. Today is Day 47. My confidence in sobriety (that has been strong lately) was shaken a couple of days ago when my therapist, rightfully so, warned me to not get too confident because most people relapse multiple times in their recovery journey. Since I can tell that I get a little bummed out when I’m with others that are having alcohol, I can understand her warning. My NA beer or club soda that I truly enjoy still make me stand out as “not drinking” among my friends and coworkers, and I don’t like that. At the same time I am benefiting by not having alcohol in my life: my sleep is great again, I am engaged with my husband and kids in a great way, my fitness goals are back on track after years of sabotaging them with alcohol binges, the list goes on…. Why is it that fitting in means so much?! I am working on shifting this mentality that I’ve had since I was a kid, but it’s the single most difficult thing about not drinking for me at the moment. Not the “fear of missing out” on future events, but the not fitting in during current moments.

    • Hi @jmtn! Congrats for 47 days and your huge sober moment! You have just guven your son the gift of yourself but also are teaching him that hangovers are not a part of normal life and you can beat the drink. FOMO, yeah, that feeling does go away. I watch others drink and get blurry in the eyes and thank God I will go home sober. It always helped me to watch others disintegrate into a haze because I never want others to see me do it again. Especially children. I’ve found staying off social media has drastically decreased my fomo and increased my peace. I also know that talk of how much we drank or will drink is others begging for acceptance of their own drinking, not a judgement on us. You’re doing great!

    • 47 days is awesome, but still early…allow yourself time to adjust to being “different “…which segues me into saying what is in your glass shouldn’t matter. Try not to focus on that part! Human connection is what really matters. Have faith you’ll get through these early awkward social moments…they don’t last, the longer you are sober, the more comfortable in your own skin you become. Xoxo

    • Mainly, it becomes more and more of a joy to be free of the s#@t. The biggest problem for most, is that as a lot of people drink, they become increasingly boring and loud, repetitivive and thinking their ideas are fabulous. Sober, you can only take so much of this …:( Escape routes recommended

    • Hey @jmtn. The frustration you feel at not fitting in does go away. What I noticed was that I was only imagining people noticed what I was drinking…. people generally don’t care what’s in your glass. I think our previous obsession with booze meant we were so focused on drinking and watching what everyone was doing we assume they do the same. Relax and know you can still have fun and sooner or later you’ll see that the people who are worth hanging out with will make you feel comfortable and part of the group no matter what you’re drinking. D47 is awesome! Go you!

    • I really don’t think anyone is paying attention to what I’m drinking as a rule, especially after they get a few under the belt themselves, as problem drinkers and newly sober folks I think we are hyperaware of what others are drinking and often assume others are watching our glass.

    • I hear ya, though I’m starting to think these social events maybe just aren’t my bag after all?? For me they were purely there for me to attend, get totally wasted, make an arse of myself and leave, at some point, usually last 😢 Even the friends on the whole don’t seem to have the same attraction. Bottom line is I’ve changed, and they haven’t and our relationships maybe stand on ground that isn’t there any more. The situations I’ve found myself in socially that I’ve wanted to be there for I’m focusing on the purpose, like art exhibition openings, usually fuelled by alcohol and bullshit conversations (on my part), now I can actually remember the work and talk to fellow artists about their work without looking like an old drunk lush who knows zilch about art. At a recent dinner party I ended up playing board games with some kids, then some others joined in and we had a really good laugh. I even just take my crochet along and get cosy and chat whilst I crochet away, not just propping the bar up pouring drink after drink down my throat. I suppose it’s all down to making it work for this new you, and accepting it is going to be massively different, you will be massively different. But different is all good. In fact different is wicked 😉

    • Hi @ jmtn I used to really struggle with what other people thought. But in the end I just tossed that all that stress in the bin; their opinions on this subject don’t matter one tiny bit. They can drink safely, but I cannot. This is an immovable truth. If they have a problem with that then I don’t need them, but mostly the issue was actually not the other people, it was in my own mind. It was ME feeling uncomfortable that was the problem, not what other people thought.

      I do not have to drink to “fit in”… that is nonsense. It is simply a product of my alcoholic mind; the part of my mind that still wants me to drink. I can’t stop my mind from producing this nonsense, but I can recognise it as such when it comes and drop it into the mental basket labelled “Lies my mind tells me to get me to drink”.

      Some people that drink don’t understand why I can’t; they don’t understand the terrible consequences for me (and those near to me) of me drinking. If they did then they would not want me to drink either. But they do not know this, nor do they have any need to do so. It is me that has the problem to deal with, not them. What I have to do is to learn how to live successfully in a world awash with alcohol and this is MY problem to fix.

      It sounds harsh but if people didn’t want me around because I didn’t drink, then really, I don’t want to be with them either. I want to be accepted for who I am; what I say and what I do, not because I drink. But for the most part my problem isn’t actually other people or what other people think, it is what I think and what I IMAGINE they think. And that is my problem to fix, not theirs. I am the one who’s mind is obsessively preoccupied with thoughts of drinking, not them.

      It took a while to gain confidence socialising when sober, but it did happen. It took time for the obsessive thinking about drinking to fall away, but it did. I also had to learn to engage with the occasion and not the booze, and that took time. But largely it…[Read more]

    • Once again @daveh has nailed it, what a great response!
      Let me add that when I was drinking I used to pace my drinking with everyone else, but if they were to slow for my liking, which they almost always where, I would slip away and top up my drink. When I stopped drinking I was worried that people would think I was a loser because I couldn’t handle my booze. Now I realize I am the strong one for kicking the booze and no longer poisoning myself. Overtime not drinking became my new norm and I don’t care what others think about that!
      People usually have one of three reactions:
      1) they don’t care as long as you don’t interrupt their drinking.
      2) they want to talk about how you quit, because deep down they want to quit
      3) they don’t care because they are a normal drinker

    • Thank you! You all have really good points and it helps me put it in perspective. I appreciate you taking the time to respond! Great job to all of you on being strong and getting to where you are. @hammer123 @lucy @daveh @noodle71 @wakingowl @elsa1202 @morgan @jocord @scared

    • @jmtn There is absolutely no need to kiss the frog. Live and let live, be and let be. I don’t allow anyone or anything in particular to sway me. It’s more of myself that I need to worry about at this point. I can do enough damage on my own.

  • kjpeche posted an update 3 weeks ago

    What do you do when you “ride out” a craving?

    • Hello, for me getting outside for a trail run was the key. The fresh air and cardio does wonders for my mood and inner strength.

    • I keep my mind concentrated on something else, reading, sorting a cupboard, cleaning something, putting out clothes for tomorrow, scheduling my diary, reviewing the day, planning for tomorrow, reading this site, writing a shopping list, and i have something really nice to drink to help the taste buds. This not only gives my brain something else to work on but doing these things gives me back my control and makes me feel good about myself and cravings are always easier to deal with when you feel positive. Remember the actual craving does not last long someone told me 2 minutes but I’ve never timed them.

    • On the SMART Recovery website, after registering, look under the RESOURCES tab. There is a boatload of tools,techniques, and exercises for getting past craves and so much more. A favorite is to play the tape forward. Another is to jump into a task like clean out a drawer or Marie Kondo the whole house one craving at a time.

    • Hi @kjpeche This is a great question… “What do you do when you “ride out” a craving?” We spend a lot of time talking about how important it is to stop drinking and how things get better eventually, but we easily overlook one of the absolute basics… how to overcome the cravings that are driving the demand to drink.

      Cravings don’t come randomly, they are “triggered” by a part of the brain called the “reward system” It is a part of the brain that operates completely automatically; we can’t stop it happening, we aren’t aware that it is happening and we can’t ignore what happens.

      Cravings are an urgent sense of wanting, desire or longing for. They have no words, sound or shape; they are an intense feeling without form. Cravings may appear to come and go in a fickle manner, but they don’t come randomly at all. They are the results of processes which happen inside our brain, and these processes operate completely automatically; we have no insight into the part of our mind that generates them, and have no direct control over it. We can’t see what’s happening there, we can’t modify these actions by applying judgement or deliberate thought, and we have no way of turning them off or ignoring them.

      Cravings come from the cooperative action of several parts of the brain, and these are collectively known as the “reward system”… it is where our problem with alcohol begins.

      The reward system isn’t new, nor is it unique to humans. About 500 million years ago there was a significant evolutionary advance that gave certain animals a major advantage over others. This advance was an automatic system in the brain that encouraged doing things that were beneficial to survival and discouraged doing things that were harmful: the reward system.

      The reward system works by invoking feelings of wanting, longing for, or desire for things that are beneficial to us, and then motivating us to approach them. For things that may be harmful we experience feelings of disgust or fear, and…[Read more]

      • Thank you for this information.

      • @DaveH Thank you so much for this wealth of information. I will be re-reading this often! It helps to understand the reasoning behind why we do things.

        • Hi @kjpeche If you would like to understand a bit more about “the reasoning behind why we do things” then you can download a free copy of my book “Alcoholism in a nutshell” here (written under the name Stan West): https://lyingminds.sixboats.co.nz/links/ It was written to explain to people how drinking alters our emotions, distorts our memory, dominates our thinking and makes our brains lie to us. The ebook is made available for free to anyone that has use of it.

    • I find nothing much actually distracts me from the craving and despit all my mechanisms, the craving is still there. For me it’s more about what makes the time pass most quickly during the craving. I have a good AF drink on hand always. I sometimes eat some junk food. TV. A book. Drawing (or whatever hobby). If it’s really bad and I think I’m going to cave and read sober blogs endlessly. And I repeatedly tell myself “welp, too bad, you’re not drinking so just get over it” (Of course, I can’t JUST get over it – but this statement helps because it pushes away any waffling thoughts I might have. Decision made. Whether I like it or not.

    • In the beginning I used to bargain with myself and delay. I’d make little deals: I’ll just wait a few more hours and see; I’ll decide in the morning whether I still want to drink then (I never did want to drink the next morning); I’ll just do another half hour, well now it would be a shame to spoil it and I’m almost through this evening, so I’ll just do one more half hour…. yes, play it forward is a great one, yes immersed myself in blogs and this site so I had a perspective that supported me.
      Mostly now I take a mental step back and try to notice it as if it’s a train passing through. Here it is, I might be shaking from the impact but it’s not me, it’s passing through. I try to make as much mental space around the craving as I can. I’m feeling it but it’s just a feeling and if I don’t latch on, it will go. I slow my breathing and breathe into my belly, ground into my body.
      I try to focus on something in the room, the shelf, the window; whatever. Somehow that helps. Mentally I try to observe the gap between me and the craving, or the craving and my reaction. A member once here described that as ‘mind the gap’. Hard at first, it was such a strong sensation and there wasn’t a gap. But with practice it comes, I can have the experience and see the experience at the same time. In that gap I try to feel into what else I’m feeling, or needing or wanting. Mostly I want something else. Connection, touch, not to feel, shame…. For me paradoxically what sometimes works is to give myself permission, because above all I don’t want to be trapped. I tell myself as kindly as I can that I can choose, I can have a drink if I really want. Often it fades the minute I do that. Because I don’t want a drink. I just don’t want to be trapped.
      Well this turned into a book didn’t it.
      Mrs D wrote an article on ‘surfing the urge’ – you could find that on a search under the blogs here if you wanted to have a read.

      • I love this gap idea @liberty and will try to practice this when necessary. I don’t want a drink anymore, never did. I always just wanted to be drunk instead but how else does one get drunk. The ancient Romans were known for standing on there heads and injecting alcohol enemas into their bottoms. Sounds a bit messy to me.

        • How did I miss this great comment @lee-2 😀
          Chortling into my soup.
          Definitely messy.

        • My daily drinking rituals may not have began so seemingly difficult @liberty but would end up way more ridiculous than that at times. Equally as messy if not much much worse.

    • @kjpeche. I think this is the article @liberty is referring to.

      Strategies for Early Recovery

      I keep it handy.

  • In replying to the support you guys provided me, and in replying to a few other recent posts from this wonderful community, and then writing in my journal I realized that I am very angry right now. And I thought I was angry at myself, for being weak and for drinking too much and getting myself into my current situation via years and years of abusing alcohol… I have been angry at myself for not being “normal” and “stronger” than this.
    All of a sudden I realize I am really really angry at alcohol. I’m angry that it has stolen so many years of my life and been such a manipulative substance so full of fake fun. I’m so so so angry that drinking in general is so normalized. That it seemed just fine what I was doing because everyone else does it to, in life and in the media, in TV and movies… I fell just so filled with rage at alcohol in general right now. I’m not sure if this is a normal feeling during sobriety, or if it’s justified or if I’m misdirecting my disappointment in myself for recently slipping up and for suffering through stronger temptations since that slip-up.
    All I know is I desperately need and want to be free of alcohol for good. I was telling myself “don’t think about the long term because it seems impossible to give up booze for life.” Now I honestly feel like I want to give it up, never look back and be free of it. Forever. I never want to have to wonder if I’m going to pick up a drink again. I just want it to be done.

    • This. is. AWESOME!!!

      I know anger can be hard to deal with, it’s hard to know what to do with it or how to handle yourself with such big BIG anger.

      But this is right. This is true. Alcohol steals so much and gives nothing. Our society is in an abusive relationship with alcohol, we are DRUNK on that abusive relationship. There are victims and rescuers and persecutors in this relationship! You have every right to be full of rage at this completely fucked up situation.

      And in your words it is apparent – this anger is propelling you towards real freedom! You want this shit out of your life for GOOD!

      Halle-frickin-lujah 😊👍🏼❤️👏🏼

    • Powerful! I don’t think your anger is misplaced at all.

    • I’m so happy to see this post @Leslielily! A little while ago I was trying to read between your lines because your posts were so upbeat and positive despite your struggles. It didn’t feel right. Now I feel like you have moved into a phase of not only recognizing the dragon but you want to grab the damn dragon by the tail and are ready to shove the sword down it’s fucking throat. You never have to wonder about picking up again. Slay the dragon and tell yourself you are a non-drinker. Go you!! xoxo

    • @leslielily I wrote an angry letter to alcohol and my addiction then ritualistically burned it in a fire in my back yard. It was cleansing.

    • @Jocord @WakingOwl @enzedgirl @whynot Thank you for your replies… I was trying very hard to be positive initially. Floating along at almost a month sober thinking “see? I don’t have issues.” That slip up I had last week was like shattering glass. I didn’t realize how fragile everything was, how much my mindset was shifting, until I woke up the following morning utterly pissed at myself and depressed by having had alcohol. That evolved into wanting to just scream because I feel like I am handling the monumental changes in my life pretty well, considering – and yet this one stupid thing I couldn’t fix. I am eternally grateful for your support. I would not be in this place were it not for all of your words. Fuck alcohol. I’m just so done with it.

  • Happy2019 posted an update 3 weeks, 1 day ago

    I just read about the effect of one’s attitude on life. A negative, pessimistic attitude often leads to failure and in the end one says “I knew it wouldn’t work, I was prepared to fail” believing that he’s just been realistic. That is really sad somehow because a positive attitude in the opposite often leads to success. Positivity (and gratefulness) is a powerful attitude and if we create the optimistic and clear vision of a sober, healthy and happy life, we support ourselves! That’s a great source in everyone of us, so tell the person in the mirror (even in weak moments, even louder then!): I will never drink again. I am sober and will stay in future. My life will be AF beyond any doubt. Even in my weakest moments I am so much stronger than addicition. Sound like a Guru, I know 😉 but I believe it can work

    • So true!

    • Absolutely it can work. And I like to add in the “no matter what” rule…..no matter what happens, no drinking. No matter what. Add your positive attitude to that, and you have a real force.

    • I recently read an article that talked about how negative thinking will actually re-wire your brain to think more negatively in the future, and same for positive thinking. I have been subjecting my brain to negative thinking for a very long time, and alcohol was making it easier to think negatively more frequently (it is a depressant, after all!) In being sober, I think longer about how I’m going to react to a situation. I am working very very hard to re-wire my brain to view situations in a positive light and to think critically about how I’m reacting to any given situation before making a snap judgement or decision. I believe this will create a better life not just for me, but for my kids and husband as well. I agree 100% with everything you said – and I literally just came out of the bathroom after giving myself a pep talk about how I CAN do this, and then read your post! Talk about reinforcement! 🙂

      • Thanks for your reinforcing comment! I also have to work on avoiding fast and wrong reactions. Negative thoughts often come much easier than positive ones, but I noticed that it’s a question of practicing. Like you I train to react calm and slowly, try to avoid feeling under pressure by anything or anyone. It’s getting better and it makes me feel authentic, light and positive. When I talk to my very lively daughter she sometimes interrupts me and I say “I haven’t been ready yet”. She says “But you stopped talking?” and I say “I stopped talking to start thinking – about a helpful answer, a good argument, a supporting example, whatever”. This calmness helps me to be myself and to keep a positive view 🙂

  • Prudence posted an update 1 month ago

    Hello team, howzit going? Holy Heck it’s 5 years tomorrow Saturday 20th July for me. And a wee shout here out to my day buddy @Normaleelucid, it’s been great travelling alongside you and getting to become “old friends”. Hahaa old friends who are going to Bali to celebrate in style, along with @Mac007, also coming up 5 years and her partner coming with us too, in September. We shall have a chef come into our villa to cook for us some nights, people to come in and massage us, we have an infinity pool and plenty of luxury. Haha Yee Haa!! Through not drinking all this time I’ve saved (very conservatively) $26,057 so I think I deserve this extra wee holiday. I was only back 2 days from my Italy France holiday when this idea came up. I say Yes to everything within reason these days, and I love it. Because I can. Never worried about how booze might effect the situation “what if I don’t feel like it when the time comes”? Always feel like doing good interesting stuff, and especially with treasured friends.
    I have come home from Europe to what feels like a world full of hurt. Friends struggling deeply with big life incidents, death of a Mum by hospital misadventure, broken hearts, and some deep struggling within my own family as well. I am SO GLAD I am full of calmness and clarity, and can help support my friends and family as best I can. This last five years has been both a long time and a short time. There have been many changes, mainly all positive. I struggled with the changes in my friendships in the beginning, I’d been a laughing drinking fun party girl all my adult life. I missed that part of who I am, and I missed the fun and stupidity and humour I had with my friends. I am happy to say that all of the important friends are still here in my life. A few I have let go of. Many more I have made right here through LS, friendships that are now up to five years old and that I know will last forever. They are made out of being real, raw and true honest versio…[Read more]

    • Oh that is amazing!!! Yes I’m holding on!! Congratulations on 5 years that is incredible, thanks for sprinkling so magic around and your holiday sounds like heavenly bliss, hope you all have a beyond wonderful time xxx

    • What a great idea to celebrate together, love it. 🙂 xx
      Sorry about all the struggles around you. At the same time I know all those around you and struggling will be lifted by your presence in their lives. You are glorious xx

    • Absolutely beautiful, blissful and glorious all rolled into one joyous life affirming post. Happy happy you!

    • So inspirational. Thank you so much for your words and for sharing your journey. This fills me with so much hope and a desire to stay on course. I agree with @Noodle71 – thank you for sprinkling some magic!!!

    • Thanks for sharing Your post is great as always. Congrats on five years. My one year is on Saturday. Love the July 20 date. I just need to get up and click my heels like u r doing. Have fun in Bali.

      • Oh cool! I will think if you tomorrow @Kitten. The one year is a huge important milestone. Be wary of possibly feeling a little flat in the weeks after. I did. A kind of anticlimax like “is this it?!!”……but dont worry it passes and you feel all strong and solid again…and happy as xx

        • I second @Prudence, @kitten. First of all congrats in advance, woohoo! And @daveh advised me that I was moving from learning how to be sober to learning how to live sober when I felt a bit flat after my one year. That helped.

        • Thanks @prudence and @jocord. I will keep that in mind. I have been thinking about that — learning how to be sober to learning how to live sober. always wise that daveh.

    • Congratulations on 5 years! Your celebration sounds amazing and well deserved!

    • Gojo replied 1 month ago

      Great post as always @prudence ! The 5 year celebration sounds like a great plan.

    • Ro replied 1 month ago

      International jet setter! Why not? Wish I was carrying your bags-I’d never leave that Picasso museum. I told Mum to go there, she is in Paris now. They sent me a ton of pics from the Arc today lol. Wonder how they’ll find the French? Sent me pics of some delicious cheese also. MMmmm cheese. Yeah I’d never leave ha ha
      Congrats on 5 years tomorrow 🙂

      • Thanks @Ro, I didn’t put every pic up on fb from Picasso museum. Happy to PM you the lot if you want? Yes the Arc was fascinating, I enjoyed going right up inside it and having a look around. The best food in France was on the last day when I had those profriteroles with the real French vanilla home made icecream inside them, and swimming in chocolate sauce. So sinful. It was almost as good as a big snort of coke!! Baahahaaaa xox

        • OMG I am on my way there soon 🙂 🙂 !!! It IS the same as a snort of coke apparently, powerful brain rush – I sure notice it big time since keto and almost freeing myself of the white death.
          Great post btw and congrats – today!!!!!!! How about a couple of your amazing inspirations put up for the new ones – the goat track comes to mind, and a couple of you make-the-bloody-decision-and -stick-to-it ones – was just thinking about you the other day, the total commitment with smoking too – such power.

    • Very big congrats on 5 years, July 20 and thanks for stopping by to keep us abreast of your wonderful, raw life!

    • Congratulations and thanks so much for the inspiration

    • FIvE yEaRs !$&@*#%£€#?!

      So amazing ❤️❤️❤️

      LOVE the shared celebration plan! What a fantastic idea 😊😊😊

    • Welcome back home @prudence. So lovely to hear from you as always. Your trip sounds amazing. Congratulations on your 5years and be sure to live it up in Bali. Much love to you and your family.❤️💐

    • Oh congratulations @prudence, bloody fantastic.
      What a lovely idea re the trip to Bali, well deserved I reckon.. lap up the luxury!! Sorry to hear about your friends and families troubles xx

    • Why didnt you tell me thats awesome @prudence. Its going to be full of laughs xo

    • jo14 replied 1 month ago

      Congrats on your soon to be 5-years of sobriety milestone! Yay, you! Traveling is way better than drinking. 💕

    • @prudence congrats on 5 years and a HUGE thank you for your presence on this site … your leadership and wise counsel have set the course for many of us. I’ll be 3 years in September and your shining example is a big reason for that. You are a gem! ❤️😊

      • Oh thank you so much @freedom1025 for your kind words, and huge congrats for your 3 years coming up, that’s epic. Man time flies doesn’t it! Keep up the great work xoxo

    • First, big congratulations on 5 years, so happy for you and the great life you have cultivated! Also it shows us that being AF can be done but your life can flourish being sober!
      Two big concerns when we try to get sober, I can’t do this forever and my life will be boring. You show us that not only can you do it, you will want to continue because your life is anything but boring! Thanks for being such a positive influence!

      • Yes you are right about that @Hammer123, all it takes is a bit of time, and determination to continue, it really does get better and better. “Getting so much better all the time” old Beatles song just came to me. What I really love is the clear headed motivation to do things, and the massive amount of money saved making it possible to acheive what you want. xox

    • JM replied 1 month ago

      Hi @Prudence! Always a treat to hear from you. I’m sorry about the world of hurt in your world right now, your family + your friend’s Mum.
      Ooh your Bali trip sounds so delicious. You’ll have to tell us about that one too. xoxo

      • Hi @JM I’ll try and write ya’s a post while we are all there having fun and humour.
        The hurty stuff is settling down now, thanks for always being so caring of me and others xo

    • Love our sunrise chats when all is quiet in the world ( apart from my hungry cats). Who would have thought that 5 years ago!! Love ya mate and can’t wait too see you again xox

      • Yeah me too @Normaleelucid. Today I’m lying in bed at Glorias house in Lyttelton after a shit hot party last night, plus a day shopping with dear lil daughter! Let’s have another chat int he morning xoxo
        September gonna roll around real fast

    • Prudence, massive congratulations on 5 years of sobriety!!!!!
      You are a legend. Nothing short of that, in fact.

      I loved your updates from the day I signed in, and it is people like you who “shine back the light” and let those early on the path know it is worth it to keep on going.
      You go spoil yourself, girl. So deserved. All of it, and then some.


      • Oh why thank you ‘mam! Your kind words warm my heart @Mari135, and yes, we are all SO looking forward to our trip to Bali, it’s oging to be wonderful to be away with these special ladies. I’m thinking one day we should all do a gathering there. A well planned one with luxury houses (cheap as!) close by each other. We ciould make it 2 years away or so, to enable people to start saving for it. This way some from near and far really could meet up. xx

    • Congratulations on 5 years sober @ Prudence! I always appreciated your posts and Kiwi sayings like Give the Piss a Miss and find your Bliss. I’ve just wanted to let you know that I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. You really have a way with words. Have a wonderful Bali celebration. It sounds delightful.

  • mm, yep I am back. Even moderate drinking does me no good. I don’t like it’s effect. So day 1…. 16/7/2019.. Here we go.

    • Yea me neither @lynnelowe. Every Monday is day one for me

      • Yep don’t know why I do it, a habit.. even 1 glass of wine makes me feel not good next day now…. getting older. It is something to do with association of having a treat, of fun… I am not good at steady habits .

      • Thanks for this, yep, have been for months before, but slip into old habits. Let’s do this.

        • @lynnelowe, after many many years I finally accepted I can’t mod either, I’m either on or bloody off, like an electric switch. And Yup I don’t know if it’s age that make the killer hangovers or in reality are we just snowballing with the booze and not acknowledging that? Maybe both 😕 great your back in the saddle and positive, you got this xx

    • Good on you for coming back. I’ve tried moderation umpteen times…. never works.

    • Day 1 is where we all start. And yep I think all of us here have attempted moderating. It’s more complicated and more mind messing than abstinence I find. But we try it don’t we.
      Lots of yum food and plenty of hydration for day 1, and lots of support from us too xo

      • Thanks for that.. Yep I know this and have given up for months before….. so here we go…. long term, but day at a time

  • I’m back and tremendously regretting ever drifting away from this site. From Christmas Eve until early April, I stayed close and was AF. Spring break hit, I went on vacation, and gave into the old thought processes that convinced me I deserved to have a little fun and a “few” drinks. Well, those few drinks turned into a nightly ritual, once again, and it’s taken me until now to admit it. So, here I am at day 2, again, ready to cling to this support system and regain my freedom.

  • Day 1.


    That glass of wine you had 2 weeks ago in public with a friend….. that you thought meant nothing. It does.

    I am so stupid sometimes. I had awoken the beast again….

    And this past 3 days I listened to it. Drinking something I actually never had before! Vodka. I saw someone post something on fb last week talking about cranberry juice and vodka with lime bubbly water. And it stuck in my head. I even had a bit of blacking out last night…. with my daughters here (26 and 21). I “looked” awake and functional according to them, but my memories of the night are mostly not there. Even my brother coming over and having me sign an important document related to my father’s estate. He told me a lot of things about it but I don’t remember most of it. I just signed it. I don’t even have a raging hangover to punish myself with. Just thirsty and craving carbs. Sigh.

    I do not consider this a slip. It is a fall. So day count is reset. I am so ashamed. 223 days gone. Plus almost 9 months before that…..I know they’re not really “gone” but man I want to make that one year mark!!! I’ve been at this since 2016 for petes sake!

    The initial trigger was obviously that “innocent 1 glass of wine” 2 weeks ago. But also the stress of the investigation involving crazy-narc man in Oregon and also being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Also, yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of when I went out to Oregon…… Triggers. Not excuses. I know.

    I don’t feel I’ve been trying to “cover up” the pain.. man, I’ve cried more tears and felt more feelings in this past year than I ever have! I think I just feel really alone. I’m not used to this. Plus even though its been 7 months, the experiences I had in Oregon still haunt me. I’ve used up my quota of “talking about it” to others so I just keep quiet now and journal. I don’t have insurance so I can’t go to a counselor, but I do think I need to. I feel like I got really clear there for awhile…[Read more]

    • A mental or confidence reset perhaps but don’t underestimate the good you have done for your body and soul in that 223 days. That is still there, it is still a huge accomplishment.

    • Yes, I agree with CascadeClimber, you have done really well, and can continue to. It’s okay. Go easy on yourself. xo

    • Ohhh, do I understand this! The main thing I’ve learned is that it is really fing hard to get back up. However! If you stick with it now it will be easier, so stay here with us. And you can change things today by not drinking! That way you can have this beast in chains by the time you start school, instead of getting going at sobriety AND school.
      Take good care of yourself; tell yourself the nicest things today, and rest up. xo

    • Glad you hopped right back in with us @tipsytoegal. ❤️ Xo

    • Sorry for the fall @tipsytoegal but its just another bump in the road. You know how to do this. As someone on here once told me, throw your whole sober toolbox at it. You’ll be racking up those AF days quickly. You got this!

    • Ah vodka, my wicked old ‘friend’. It’s like silent brain surgery.
      No no no no no. @tipsytoegal, it was not your fault. When we invite someone into our lives and they turn out to behave like a monster, the monster bit is not our doing. The invitation was just an invitation to care and be cared for. Not an invitation to this. The hole at his centre was not your doing. You could never have fixed it and you didn’t put it there. Recognising his pain does not make it your fault or your responsibility.
      You are not responsible for his behaviour.
      Alcohol will only confuse that issue more btw, but you know that.
      I don’t understand how the system works in the US. It’s not possible to see a counsellor without insurance; to just pay for the session? That seems obstructive.
      Anyway. 223 days are not gone. You’ve got some morse code going on is all. Lot of dashes (AF times) and a few dots. If you’ve been doing this since 2016 then you know you can do it again.
      Watch out for the afternoon crash. Take extra good care of yourself today, rest when you can, hydrate. xxx

    • Try to go easy on yourself. You’ve been through a LOT with your divorce, your father passing and the whackadoodle in Oregon. Get right back on the wagon with us. Plenty of room. xoxo

    • That bloody addiction… it lurks there, I guess forever. I have had ‘thoughts’ lately – “oh, I’m fine, never blacked out or anything like that ffs – be normal, you were fine, have a glass” etc etc But I know it is no way to live and before long, one slow glass would turn into a fast first, then two more, then, who knows? I was scared, that is what I need to remember. Scared of all those evenings I meant to resist, and somehow didn’t…

    • So glad you’re back @tipsytoegal. I will just share something that has helped me and will be called on again this week “don’t stumble over something behind you” You have done the hard yards, leave the past behind if it is not serving you well today. Be proud of your achievements and know that you are loved and respected here. ❤️

    • Not gone – not at all. Think of alllll those sober days. They are still there regardless of this blip. I’m not familiar with your story as I’m fairly new, but hoping you are able to find peace of mind.

    • addiction sucks, @tipsytoegal. glad you got right back to it. look forward to your posts.

    • You are a strong girl, and I know you will make it.

    • Big hugs to you lovely, you are here and you are trying and that is all you can ask for. You are amazingly strong and have been through so much this past year and you are still here surviving, so massive hugs and love coming your way from me xxx
      Be easy and gentle on yourself, you can do this, i dont doubt it ❤❤❤

  • Shells7 posted an update 1 month, 1 week ago

    Hi there, so this is my first post after joining a few days ago. That night I still had more to drink than intended & woke up with a hangover the next day, I still however reached for the bottle that late afternoon, thankfully I guess something was triggered because I didn’t have as much that night. I did a little reading yesterday of some sober stories but that didn’t stop me from not picking up the bottle last night either, also happy to say I didn’t drink again as I normally would have.
    I feel like I have been in such a battle with alcohol for many years now!! I started off disliking it because I grew up with a father who drank to excess also & so I’m well aware of the affects it has on not only a family situation but what it’s like to see from a child’s point of view. I did have a drink every now & then through my 20’s but it wasn’t until I got into my 30’s in particular late 30’s that it started to take control. I had my 3 gorgeous babies in my earlier 30’s so it wasn’t an issue to stop.
    But ever since then over the years it’s now gone from 1-2 glasses not necessarily every single night but more like 1-2 bottle per night.
    I’ve woken in the middle of the night going seriously you’ve done it again even though I promised myself I wouldn’t. I hate myself!!!!
    My husband goes out of town for work a lot which adds pressure to me while he’s away and although I try to obviously make more of a big effort to tame the drinking my plan hasn’t always worked. I’ve had so many moments of telling myself “right that’s it” , but what has brought me here on what will hopefully be the start of my sober journey is a couple of things, not only have I also hidden bottles (trying to hide how is being consumed & being found by the kids but last Sunday night I got sloshed & so around 9pm my son found me sound asleep on the floor in my bedroom, when I woke the next morning I couldn’t remember him finding me, I was still wearing my clothes in bed, even though I struggled to get…[Read more]

    • My advice is to have a heart to heart with your husband and open up to him. My guess is he would love to help if you let him in.
      My other advice would be to make you ask yourself what role model are you setting for your kids. They need someone strong and dependable and reliable. Do it for them.

    • Help is here 😊 a lot of people have gotten alcohol free using this community of support. I’m sure you can too, if that’s what you really truly want for yourself xxx lots of love to you. Post every day – it really really helps.

    • You are still drinking because your body is addicted to alcohol @shells7. The fantastic news is that you have decided to do something about it-that’s the most important thing. There are many different ways to sort this out and you will need to find out what suits you best. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time. Post here every day, you are surrounded by kind and lovely people who are experts on this topic. Sending you lots of love, you can do this xx

    • I knew I needed to stop for a while before I actually did and then I planned for it. You seem to be in that phase of knowing this is totally unsustainable. My biggest fear was that life would feel empty and boring without alcohol. What would I do instead? How would I fill that gap? The thing that got me through was knowing there was light at the end of the tunnel. Yes giving up causes discomfort. It isn’t a walk in the park but all you have to do is not have a drink and walk through the discomfort to come out the other side. I am still early in the journey but I can tell you at 41 days sober I have not one single regret about quitting. It is very much still a work in progress but it is work I often enjoy. When I was in the rut you are in life without wine seemed untenable but now my only fear is picking it up again. Alcohol free life is better. In every way. Read the posts of long timers, read all the sober stories and you will see that there is a world of happiness once you wade through the tough bits. If I can do it do can you.

    • Hi @Shells7 When I said “I need help” was when things changed for me. I spent years trying and failing to control my drinking. I hid alcohol, I drank secretly, I drank more than people around me knew, I drank when I shouldn’t and when I could drink I drank more that I should. It didn’t seem to matter how earnest I was in deciding to “just have a couple” I never did. Once I started there was always a good reason to have another, and if I wasn’t drinking there was always a good reason why I should. My waking thoughts were of a drink… did I have any nearby, when I would get my first drink of the day, where and how. My drinking was quite beyond my control and I couldn’t understand this at all. I was a capable, organised person who could do most things I set my mind to, but it didn’t matter how hard I tried I couldn’t control my drinking. Nothing I tried worked and I was completely lost. It wasn’t just the drinking though, everything in my life was slipping; at work, at home, everywhere. I didn’t do anything or go anywhere any longer unless it involved a drink. The most terrifying prospect of all would be that I might have to pick up some visitors from the Airport late at night… How would I do that? How would I stay sober enough to drive until night-time? And then there was the fear, the constant anxiety, the restlessness, frustration, stress, hopelessness, and loneliness.

      It didn’t matter what I did I simply couldn’t keep the promises I made to myself about drinking. Sometimes I managed to stop for a day, occasionally two days and on very rare occasions I managed three days, but what followed was always the same… back to the bottle just as much as before. I’d given up giving up, it was impossible, I was out of ideas. I consigned myself to the prospect that drinking was inevitable… I was beaten. I finally acknowledged that I didn’t know how to beat this and finally realised… “I need help”.
      That was the point when things changed for me. I realised I was compl…[Read more]

    • Hi! I joined this site a few days ago too… And I’m on day 21 of not drinking. So, only 3 weeks ago I was in my own unsustainable situation. Outwardly I appeared to have my shit together but inside I was fit to combust with the conflict of drinking a bottle of wine every night and more at weekends. The truth was staring me in the face and I was terrified at how little control I felt over my decisions. And the guilt! I just kept thinking, I know better than this! Why do I continue to do it? For me, it was a way to check out of overwhelming emotions and fear over my future. I was feeling insecure and scared and didn’t feel ready to face my truths. So I’m not beating myself up for wanting to hide. I needed to have support and self compassion and courage and I’ve found that and I’m sure you can too. I have a dear friend who is doing this with me and led the way really. She’s taught me all about self care and self forgiveness and that is ok to make mistakes. Everything is moving forward as it should. You quickly get rid of the inner conflict once you decide to stop. I have told myself that I am not drinking for now, haven’t given myself any pressure. I wish you so much strength and send lots of care your way.

    • @shells7 I can relate with so much that you have written. The never ending loop of promising myself I would take it easy and then drinking too much. First step is to make the decision you are not going to drink and clear your house of alcohol. Next you need a plan for your trigger times. The cravings will strike so you need to know what you’ll do … the dinner hour was my trigger time so I’d go to the gym or get my nails done. I’d also play it forward. I’d envision getting into bed that evening into clean fresh sheets, laying my sober head down for a full 8 hours of sleep, waking up and not cringing at what I had done the night before. Next you need support. This place is great for that. Post any time and people will help. You’re not alone. Blogs and podcasts are great too. I still read and listen to them. And finally you need to love yourself and treat yourself with kindness. Treats, bubble baths, a facial. Be so, so good to yourself because you’re doing something amazing. We’re here for you. You CAN do this.

    • @shells7 well done on joining us here. Asking for help is a great place to start. Can you talk to your doctor to ask for support. There are meds available that may help you. Remove all alcohol from your home and stay away from any places you can purchase it. Have access to non alcoholic drinks. Read and learn about addiction. There are recommendations on this site and just don’t drink today. Use this site often. Take care you are worth the effort it takes to change and there is help available.

    • Well you are doing better than I when I was in your shoes! My stepdaughter and her girlfriend found me passed out on the floor of m6 home office one Friday night and took pictures of me and helped me to bed. My wife made them delete the pics in the morning. It took me another 4 years to decide to get sober and that was after my wife found me passed out on the couch and left me a note that it was me or the booze! I stil” have that note in my wallet! My wife was very supportive when I stopped drinking and it sounds like your husband will also support you. I would have a very frank conversation with him about needing his support to stop and then check in here every day, try AA or smart recovery, read books, listen to podcasts. Throw the kitchen sink at this problem. It is only a problem and problems have solutions, moderation is not a solution sobriety is the best solution! You can do this, if you have had enough of living in this hell!

  • Next Saturday is my five year soberversary and it’s around now lots of us old timers began and joined this site. It is making me take stock and look back and see how far I have come. I know it has been the biggest personal growth period in my whole adult life. I could not picture the me that I am now. I never thought I could do this. But I did!!
    I am going to shout myself a good holiday. I haven’t been on here for a while and can’t seem to locate the days and money widgets we used to have so I am not sure of my savings any more but many many thousands for sure. For those who just joined today watch out for each other like many of us did back then and still do now. It’s great to have a day buddy or two.They become like new/old mates. Thank you to those dear hearts who are that to me. Happy sober Sunday tribe.

    • Amazing @normaleelucid! You inspire me.

    • Totally love you being my day buddy, and going on a 5 year celebratory holiday with you! Yee Haaa!

    • Congrats on hitting year five, it’s such an amazing achievement and gift.

    • Oh five year holiday together! Wonderful idea 😊😊😊

    • Thanks for sharing, these stories of long term sobriety are so helpful to us newbies.

    • Ohhh wow congrats on the upcoming 5 year soberversary!! That’s so inspiring!!

    • Congratulations @normaleelucid. Brilliant achievement, you should be so proud. ❤️

    • Hey you, fellow “old timer” isn’t it amazing? There’s no way we could have even comprehended 5 years sober when we started out, but here we are. I seem to be taking stock and looking back a lot too just recently. Change takes time doesn’t it.
      Hey the calculator thingy is on the home page. Tap on ‘living sober’ up the top and then scroll down. It took me ages to find it on this new format. The Living Sober heading doesn’t even look like a link but it is.
      You can check out all the 1,000’s you’ve saved then wonder where the hell it is haha xo

    • Big Congrats on your soon to be 5-year Soberversary! I have my own 5-year Soberversary coming up in 18 days! Life is good sober…enjoy your special day and pat yourself on the back…well done you! 💕

    • Congrats on 5 years!! So inspiring.

    • Fabulous!!!!!! HUGS HUGS HUGs you great success story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Massive congrats to you on your soberversary. I love that you, and others who have years of sobriety under their belts, are still here to offer your wisdom and support. I remember when I first joined here that you really helped me to stay sober. Have a fantastic holiday! Arohanui xo

    • congrats, what a wonderful soberversary, five years. enjoy your holiday. @normaleelucid – thank you for sharing your own insight.

  • Good morning my brave fellow warriors. Starting day 132 with a clear head and hopeful spirit.

    Vacation day 3 here and enjoying my solitude at the beach. I lay in bed this morning contemplating my day ahead and thinking back to one morning last summer when I was here alone. I remember waking up, afraid to move for fear the rumblings in my stomach and the banging in my head would materialize on the floor. Judging from the empties in the sink, I had been particularly thirsty the night before. I don’t remember the night – but I do remember that morning. Lying there, berating myself, hating every cell, feeling like absolute shit physically and emotionally and thinking – knowing in my core – I’ve got to do something about this. I laid there searching sites for hours, reading about addiction and recovery and different options and online supports and all kinds of things. And feeling very afraid. How do I do this? … Can I do this? … How long will it take … which of course over time turned into – Do I really need to do this? Am I really this bad?

    As the day progressed, morning became late afternoon, and I began to emerge from my alcohol induced fog. The inevitable dealmaking started in my head … I won’t drink tonight. Then … I”ll just have one…. And finally….Well, I may as well just finish this bottle … You know the drill. Wash, rinse, repeat. But looking back this morning, I realize the seed was planted.

    It took me six more months to finally say ENOUGH. I don’t know what it was about that particular cold February Monday morning, but it stuck. I got up and washed my bloated red eyed face, dragged my foggy head to work looking like a dishrag, where I drank copious amounts of water in an effort to put the fire out, just like I had done a thousand times before. But that morning something was different. I decided – ‘Today is the day I wrap up my final hangover. No more of this shit!’ The realization hit me hard. If I want to feel better,…[Read more]

    • @aprilsfool….great post. I for sure can relate and hope I have the strength this time to keep going. Congrats on your AF time! Wonderful! I want today to be my last hangover and will think about you as inspiration!

    • @aprilsfool you’re an inspiration. And such a great writer. I want more. Is your memoir in the works??

      • Thank you @dorothyparker. Maybe someday, if I can work through all stuff in my past, I’ll put it down on paper. I appreciate your support and wouldn’t be here without it – and everyone else’s.

    • Awesome inspiring post❤️❤️

    • @aprilsfool I cried this morning reading this. I cried for many reasons. The first being that I am visiting places and having the flashbacks of my past behaviours and working through and past those emotions.
      Secondly because I know how hard it is to give up something so entrenched in ourselves and the constant negotiating.
      And thirdly , like you I know my journey of sobriety would have been much more difficult without this community 🙏🏾 Thank you for your post & congratulations for your 120 days!!!!

    • AprilsFool you’re a bloody legend xxxxx

      @prosecco AprilsFool is talking about the “bullshit moderation argument” here.

    • You are DOING it! Yes! 😊

    • Love your post thanks x

  • kitten posted an update 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    Good morning. It is a US holiday and I am not working at the office today. Instead I am sanding and painting, it doesn’t get any better than that. New color in the home. I am happy for the motivation and the energy. Do not even want to tell how long I have put off these projects that I am now actually enjoying. I notice that there are a lot new names joining the group and that is just awe inspiring that so many can find the group and participate and hopefully try there long term hand at AF. If you are like me, it was too overwhelming to do alone AND despite efforts in the past to loosely say I am not drinking, I never took seriously because all my friends and most of my family drank so there could not be anything wrong with it, everyone must just get through the daily sickness, dark eye circles, nausea, anxiety ridden mornings and heart pumping nights. Not that I ever asked anyone if that was the case. So, to understand from all of these fine members that there was another side to life and that alcohol would become less and less important as I moved forward without it, was possible. A bit ago someone asked on here whether all of the time would fill in because without alcohol, there is a lot of free time. When I first quit, there were days that would have a holiday and it would just loom in front of me, like what do I with all that time, even if I walked three hours in a day that still left a lot of hours, clean another hour, still a lot of hours, I just could not see how I could fill the time without the drunk, mindless passing of time. What was I going to do? I write because at 350 days AF, there are still a lot of things missing in my life, things that I would like to add, like more community, more AF friends, more love all the way around, etc. I mean things that I have probably asked for forever, but now, sober, I actually feel like I know how to ask for things. Now, to today, my world has changed and I did not even know it. It is…[Read more]

    • HI @Kitten. Happy holiday weekend. Thanks for the vote of confidence yesterday. I got through it all with flying colors. You’re so right about filling time and having more of it. Now I treat time as a gift. Instead of wasting it biting my brain into oblivion, now I use it carefully – even if that means just sitting still sometimes and feeling it pass, observing what’s going on in my own head and heart and taking a moment to just be sober. Yup. Good stuff. 350 days sober! Almost a whole year’s worth of precious time given back to you. You’re an inspiration. Happing sanding and painting. Here’s to new colors in your world.

      • Thanks @aprilsfool. Yes, sitting still and watching time pass. I will have to try that without the impatience. Not quite there yet, but love the morph of time without alcohol.

    • Beautiful post @kitten! Life is a lot richer now. For years I wanted to learn and begin meditating and now I do sometimes, and it helps to calm my anxious mind. Congrats on 350 days!! 🌈🎉

      • When I quit, I wanted to yoga and meditate. I still do not have this as a regular practice but I continue to put my life in order for this to occur. Love that you have begun the practice of meditating. Life is richer, has depth, more colors than black and white. Be well, @jm.

    • Life is most certainly more fulfilled on the other side @kitten! Lovely post!

      • Thank you, @jessi, love when you bright face pops in. Life before alcohol and life after alcohol is certainly a line drawn in the sand.

    • Hitting “save” on this post – beautiful!

    • So much more room for living, @kitten. Think I might file this post aside, too @freedom1025.

  • Frog posted an update 1 month, 3 weeks ago

    If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s what I’ve been doing these past four months. Just got the absolute fuck its and decided to stop trying sobriety, stop struggling with it at all. At first I was able to keep it to a few beers on the weekend, maybe 3 at max in one setting. But now I’m back to all except the black outs and major hangovers. Five drinks is starting to be my max-norm, which gives me the wiggle room of 6 on some nights. It’s at the point that I’m drinking four to five nights per week.

    I wasn’t going to come back to this site. Coming back means facing the fear of never fully getting it, continually relapsing and failing failing failing to fit in. It’s the schema of not being good enough that keeps me hiding away in the booze.

    So, anyway. I’m back. Maybe a little bit of sobriety is better than none.

    • Frog, so so good to see you back here! xoxox
      And it’s also ok to stay away. Whatever YOU need and what feels right for YOU.
      If that meant going back to drinking, so be it. It’s not your fault.
      If this means now you would like some more of that sobriety-thing, so be that.
      With any addiction I think you have to want to do it.
      And you have to want to do it for yourself alone, and nobody else.
      That’s when we seek out and let in help, if need be.

      It might be a good time to at least tell your doctor about how much you drink (if he/she doesn’t know it yet) so that if you do want to let in more help, he/she is already informed and that step across “the shame of being honest about ourselves” is low.
      Sometimes kicking that door open a wee bit can feel good. It’s out there and that doesn’t mean we have to change, but it means the fishing line is hanging in the water for a day when we may feel ready to bite, if that makes sense.
      A good doctor won’t shame you. He/she will simply offer advice on how to be as healthy as possible while drinking. Kind of like how to best manage other chronic illnesses.

    • Good to see you Frog. i’m glad you’re here. Glad it hasn’t been a horror show but i can hear that you’re not happy with how the drinking has been.

      Welcome back x

    • Welcome back @frog, good to have you here. Hang out and chat along with us.😊

    • Hey there @frog nice to see you 😁

    • Welcome back, @frog. Missed you , your insights.

    • Love seeing you, @frog. Wish you could we you are never a failure.

  • Kathryn posted an update 1 month, 3 weeks ago

    Back again. Last time I was on this site was a bit over a year. I had made it 250 days sober and then blew it. I was totally on top of it for a whole 2 weeks before alcohol began taking control. By 3/4 months I was drinking every day. By 5/6 months I was hiding vodka bottles. I am 3 weeks in and feeling hopeful.

  • I am such a freaking IDIOT!! I threw away sober last night for no reason, except I was bored. I woke up so depressed that the first scary thought I had was “I would rather be dead than have to continue this battle”. So I am up, feeling shit and depressed/anxious, but I will get right back on that wagon and move forward. Today I wish I had the ability to move to some deserted island where alcohol was just not available, but there is no place on the planet to hide from the poison. This too shall pass, and I have to focus on all the long sober days behind me and the ones AHEAD of me. Never let you guard down! Kia Kaha!!

    • Big hugs Lydia. Be proud of your journey to date – it hasn’t been for naught … you’ve learned so much and now you can learn from your slip. Lots of kindness and self care. It really does help. xoxo

    • It’s just a bump in the road for you @lydia727 but I fully understand/get the pain. It’s the big WHY? Why do I keep touching the hot object just to make sure that it is? For some of us this takes a while to learn, certainly has for me, but you should give yourself a shit ton of credit for your sober time and for being able to stop again. My last binge ended 107 days ago and it’s finally becoming clear, after 30 years of drinking, that I need not drink under any circumstances and that the result is always the same. I’d narrowed it down to drinking roughly 3 times a year, for the last 5, but it would always become a drinking marathon that I would lose and fall flat on my ass again, because I cannot stop and that’s where it takes me. Dust it off. You know what’s best for you and are doing it! xo

    • Good on you for coming back on here, posting that amazing honest post and ready to move forward. That is super super brave, so give yourself a heap of credit, and thumbs up to the sober days ahead ❤

    • @lydia727, you’re not alone. Lots of people have had this experience, so it’s safe to say that this sort of experimentation is often part of the process of giving up alcohol, right? Self-care, self-care, self-care today and moving forward, now stronger than ever.

    • Yes, that guard needs to be there. Perhaps this will add to your guardedness – a powerful reminder. Kia kaha e hoa (my friend xxx)

    • Chin up! You can’t take away all the sober learning you have achieved on this journey lovely. ❤️

    • Thanks guys! I am better now. I cleaned house, had a good intense workout at the gym and went to a friend’s one year old son’s birthday party. Going to make zucchini bread (some with and without chocolate chips), as my squash plants have taken over the entire back yard. I have run out of recipes and my neighbors and co-workers are sick of squash at this point. I made a one night mistake and I am back to sober me. Need to stop being so pissed at myself and move on. oxoxo

  • Gigi47 posted an update 1 month, 4 weeks ago

    Shame sets in this morning. After being sober for over a year I thought it would be ok to have a drink. That drink happened in November and I have been drinking pretty much every day since then. I have been reading all my past posts to remind myself how wonderful being sober is. I wake up every morning with the mindset that I will not drink but by 3 o’clock I’m reaching for a glass of wine. I need to stop ! I have been successful before and this community was a huge help. I am committing to being here every day for inspiration and guidance. I fell back in to the booze trap and I am having a hard time getting out of it. Today I will not drink,. I am hoping by posting and making myself accountable it will give me what I need to be sober once again.

    • Hi @Gigi47 I’m very new to this. Only 5 days in to this, but I can definitely relate to those feelings of shame. So awesome that you are back here, heres to your new start, not only that but I bet your story and journey will help others. I too have thought Im gonna post everyday, especially in these early days to keep me on track and accountable. I’ll look out for your posts too. Be kind to yourself ❤

    • Hi @gigi47. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, it happens. I love this post from Mrs D’s blog:
      https://livingsober.org.nz/youre-not-a-bad-person-youre-addicted/. You’ve done this before and you can do it again with the tools you’ve used in the past. Congratulations for making the commitment today. You can do it!

  • Hammer123 posted an update 2 months ago

    Day 418
    Today’s thought from my big comfy chair: “You have the power to change everything “

    This is so true, so many of us on LS have said “I never thought I could quit” but we are doing it! We can all do it, we just need the proper motivation:
    I am ruining my marriage, I don’t want my kids to see me drunk anymore, putting my safety at risk, drinking and driving, shame, hiding, losing my job, not being my authentic self, horrible hangovers, feeling sick, lying to myself, adding to my depression, unhappy, unfulfilled, hitting rock bottom!

    Some where deep inside we have the ability to say that is enough and when we do that there is a fundamental change. I have heard that here and felt it myself “this time feels different”! That’s why it’s ok to have many day ones because eventually you will have a “this time feels different moment” and it will stick, it won’t be easy but you will find that little extra that is hidden deep down within you and that will push you through that fuck it moment! You have the power to change everything!

    Build and flex your sober muscles, get help, this is a fight for your life and your happiness, the more help you have the better chance you will have at success! Podcasts, books, meetings , friends, spouses, sober sites, play it forward, delay, the whole enchilada, what ever it takes! You have the power to change everything!
    When I hit my 500 days, my wife will celebrate her 1st year AF! She doesn’t have a drinking problem, she however is smart enough to see how happy I am and the thing that changed is that I am no longer poisoning myself! She is also much happier not drinking and doesn’t miss it at all! We have the power to change everything!
    Happy Fathers Day to all you dads, step-dads and single moms!

    • Thanks for the inspiration! Happy Father’s Day.

    • Loving this so much!!!!
      And happy 1-year soberversary to your wife!!! I bet as a nurse she sees a lot of examples of how much suffering alcohol causes all around us, no matter where we come from or are.
      I’ve been genuinely enjoying your posts here from that comfy chair and hope you keep them coming!!!

  • Morning, everyone. Is there anyone out there that had more day 1’s than they could count, and then all of a sudden there was a final Day 1 for them??? If so, what do you think made the difference? Really want this, but struggling. I will NOT be drinking today!!!

    • Well, 3-4 day 1’s….for me. The last one my depression, shame, and fear got so damn bad that I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew something was different that time. It wasn’t more so about fighting against myself, I had stepped across that line and got both sides onto one, if that makes sense. Not-drinking stopped feeling like a super big sacrifice and missing out on fun (for the most part, I still had cravings).


      • Thanks, @Mari135. I love that about getting both feet onto the other side of the line. I’ve spent way too much time with one on each side, and that leads to disaster. Love the line that Annie Grace and the authors of The Sobriety Solution use in regards to commitment. “99% is a bitch, 100% is a breeze.” So true! 🤗

    • I’ve had loads but I really feel that I am never back at my very first day one . I have learnt things . I have tried again . I keep wanting this . I know how much freer it is and how much happier I am once I gather sober days together . I see my sober path . I slip up but I still know it’s there. I learn more . I fall . I get up . Start again . I want the sober life . Let’s do it together . Day 2 for me

      • Hi @ClaireT. That’s a good way to look at it. We learn from each attempt at this. Like you, I know how much better I feel sober than when I’m drinking, and I want that life back. I’m on the path with you. 😊

    • Hi @barnmomma! For me, every day is a new commitment to an alcohol free life. No looking back, just a fresh commitment every morning. For me it hasn’t been a one time spiritual awakening so much as a growing daily commitment and ‘aha’ moments time and time again each time I decide not to drink through a situation or a problem. A trust that the answer to my issue or craving or trigger will be revealed in time but to get the answer I have to maintain sobriety and faith xo

    • I’ve had too many to even guess. I had a year and a half sober, and what changed for me is really sinking into supports. I had accountability (Belle and LS), treats, reading, audios, doing as little as possible, replacement drinks, if you can think of it, I did it. At 18 months I had stopped with the supports and fell off. And you guessed it — I’ve had a hard time getting back up. I’m doing it, though, and you know how…SUPPORT!
      It’s the beginning that’s really difficult for me, but once I get momentum it’s just the new normal. I’d really recommend Belle’s book, it has helped me a lot and makes it very approachable + she has a section with some 60 supports. If one doesn’t work, try two others and “layer them on” as she says. And you have to do it daily.
      You can do this. Almost everyone here has struggled to get momentum, so you are not alone in that. You are definitely worth it, so just throw supports at that drinking voice to quiet it. And the further away you get from day 1, the softer it becomes.

      • And in case you don’t know Belle, her site is http://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com

      • Hi @Lars. I could have written your post myself. With the help of Living Sober and some great books, I had 154 days of sobriety a couple of years ago, and loved it. Managed to get through Thanksgiving, Christmas and even a trip to Las Vegas without even wanting a drink. My dad became very ill, and I had to travel home to help out and accepted a glass of wine as soon as I got off the plane and was off and running. I’ve had a really hard time getting momentum back, but I definitely think it sure helps when you have some. You don’t want to lose it. And it is also much harder to get it again, after you’ve thrown it away. But it can be done, and we will do it! Looking forward to seeing Day 1 far back in the rear view mirror! I love Belle’s podcasts and especially loved her story about comparing sobriety to a cross country trip in a little sober car. I think I’ll go back and revisit it. Thanks so much for the advice. 😃

    • Yep. The difference for me was that I didn’t proclaim it to anyone, not even myself, despite the advice to tell yourself and another person. I don’t do well with being beholden to someone else for accountability. I don’t like that approach. This time it was all about me, for me, and done my way. It began as a quiet experiment to see how I would FEEL and how long could I go, no goals, no pressure. I stayed home in my cocoon spending a lot of time with sober material. I subscribed to Belle, and Jackie, at Running on Sober, Annie Grace, this site, and Rational Recovery. I think this site made the difference because I could get almost instant replies. I got to a point after 4 days that I realized giving up alcohol for good would not harm my life even tho’ it was scary. Side note; I had the good fortune of trying naltrexone before this point so I could drink on that and not get high. That experience showed me how absurd it was to drink. End side note. But I wanted to get high so stopped the naltrexone. No more fooling myself, I drank to get drunk. I had told my dr and tried the naltrexone and was still drinking. It was harming everything in my life. I didn’t even like the taste anymore, I was just an addict. If I stopped for good, I would not lose a thing. In very convoluted thinking my brain flipped that switch from giving up drinking to I’m a non-drinker. After that I took every day as how do I move forward and handle life without booze? I didn’t even tell my husband for 2 weeks. He knew right away. I told my Mom at 3 weeks. Many people still don’t know, but after a year I’ve seen everyone who saw me drink regularly and they now know. This time I admitted to myself that I just wanted to get high everyday and because of that my life was spiraling downward. I gave up all reasons and excuses as just noise allowing me to drink and focused like a laser on just not drinking saving the excuses for resolution at some future point in time. I got…[Read more]

      • Awesome post @Jocord.

      • Love that post @jocord.

      • Great post @jocord, especially “ not giving up anything to I’m a non drinker “. It took me a while to flip my thinking, I am really only giving up bad shit, I am not a quitter I am a non drinker. Why it is a healthier choice for me and drinking is no longer an option!

      • @jocord, that was awesome. Thank you!!! I haven’t heard of a couple of the sites and resources you mentioned, so will check them out today. I also don’t like the idea of being accountable to my husband, or someone else for my sobriety. I’ve tried it in the past, and it kind of made me want to drink even more. I’m a little bit of a rebel, I think. Love the idea of kicking the booze to the curb just for myself and not for someone else. And flipping the switch to just saying I am a non drinker, and not that I’m giving up anything. In reality, we aren’t giving up anything that serves us, but we’re choosing to gain freedom and health. It’s society that lies to those of us who choose to stop drinking by telling us that we now have to deprive ourselves of something. Thanks so much for the great post! 🤗

    • Yup, I had a Day 1 every week for ages. I had a bike accident, my son had a pop at me drinking, and my shirts were feeling tight, and I thought that’s it. Kept it quiet and then about day 4 my wife sort of noticed and here I am starting out on day 11 feeling that this is the start of something new.

      • Hi @Andian. Congratulations on Day 12 today! I know what you mean about clothing feeling tight. All those empty calories sure show up in the body, don’t they? Here’s to new beginnings (and looser clothes!) 😊

    • The difference for me is I had done something very stupid – not dangerous or terribly embarrassing – or even that anyone else saw or was aware of but myself – but made me think, – ‘yes, that was really fucking stupid and this has GOT TO STOP.’ I actually embarrassed myself to myself! I made the decision right then and there that morning and began researching help in earnest. I bought This Naked Mind that afternoon, read it cover to cover, and began soaking in all the advice and counsel I could get. Like @Jocord, I didn’t share it with anyone, I just started doing it – not drinking – quietly by myself. Then by the grace of God I found this community and started coming here everyday. Like @Sensi123, I realize that alcohol is the enemy. I’m not weak – it’s a drug and I became addicted. So no more for me thanks. You can do this. Sucks as it may to admit it – but only you can do this.

      • Hi @aprilsfool. I have that book, but haven’t read it yet. I will start it today. I did something embarrassing myself. Like you, nothing horrible, but really struck me that I definitely wouldn’t have done it, had I not been at the bottom of a bottle of wine. Alcohol most definitely IS the enemy, and only wants our destruction. We aren’t weak, as you said. We became what alcohol set out to do…addicted to it. No more for me, either. I choose sobriety and health! 😊

    • Yes, the difference for me was that I was doing it for myself and my health. I did not keep an idea in my head that if this didn’t work I could drink……I had to make the decision that I was never going to drink alcohol again one day at a time.

    • @Seni123, that is a great way to put it! It feels exactly like drinking/alcohol is an enemy that we are fighting against. Comparing it to a virus (foreign invader in an otherwise healthy mind and body) was great. I’m going to start thinking of it like that. I want it out of my life, too. Amazing how widely accepted and encouraged it is, given all the damage it causes.

  • ClaireT posted an update 2 months, 1 week ago

    And so I try again . Just been rereading my posts around xmas and recommitting myself to stopping drinking . The wine chatter is so tiring. The chains that are wrapping themselves round me will be broken and I will set myself free. Feel so embarrassed once again asking for support but I know it helps so here I am .

    • Welcome back! I know you can do this. Just keep focusing on all the benefits sobriety brings. Punch the wine witch in the nose when she starts yapping.

    • Glad you’re back! Sometimes it just takes someone else to give us a kick in the rear to jump back on that wagon. Here you go!

    • Try not to feel embarrassed, I’m so glad you are here and reaching out. I will support you by cheering you on, believing in you and telling you not to give up before the miracle happens. A life of sobriety is worth fighting for, one day at a time.

  • Hi Everyone. Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve been on here because I fell into the trap of thinking I could moderate. I know…what a lie that is! I absolutely have no off button, when it comes to alcohol. I think I finally understand that deep in my soul. I’m done with this stuff, and ready to do the work so I can live a full and healthy life. With the help of this group, I had my longest stretch of sobriety a couple of years ago. I want the freedom and joy I felt then back, and today is the first day of a beautiful alcohol free life for me!

  • NK posted an update 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    Well I am back here having not posted for about a year. I managed 5 and 1/2 months of sobriety but over the last few months have started drinking again and despite telling myself I want to quit for good have only managed a few days. Anyway today is day 1 again I am sick and tired of feeling ashamed, disappointed in myself and just plain yuk. I am also worried about what I am doing to my health and setting a bad example to my children. I want to be a better version of myself and I know I can only do that if I quit the booze for good.

  • Day One – triggers: wild, wet day, tense during an event I organised (ensuring it goes well), tired and wanting to relax. Cue romantic vision of bar, people and warmth when colleague says ‘I’d love a drink’. Not my usual haunt so mmm… Reality; staring at a cold glass of white wine knowing I shouldn’t but ‘get it over with’ attitude like diving into cold water. Result; wanting more, battling the idiocy in my head. Actuality: rubbish bar, worn out and smelly, company boring and talking nonsense the both of us, I’m hating myself and crying inside, watching all the drinkers around me thinking I’ve ruined it. Out of my depth. Fighting inner demons not to go to buy bottle/s for home. Hot shower, pyjamas, tears. Morning: depression and anger for not seeing dawn on day twenty-seven. Just a fledgling but I was making good progress. As @Dave says, do not get out of the carpark, do not go into the bar, do not drink that first drink!. Not my usual company, couldn’t cope, should not have gone. Learned my lesson. Not going to forgive myself until I’m past day ten and the toxins have left my body. Will keep Dave’s mantra in my head but I’m not entirely sure what the triggers really were; lonely and tired? I wasn’t hungry or angry. The weather seemed to be the key. I fancied my house as cold and quiet. More nonsense. Don’t pity me. I’m blaming me, picking myself up, dusting myself off and up on the horse again. I’ll be fine. For another metaphor, it’s like the sheet I ironed is never going to lose its bloody creases.

    • Yes, you will be fine @missbennet – you got this. You know where you’re heading and what you need to do.

    • When I was little, my brother and I got to take horseback riding lessons. I remember the most important one: “It doesn’t matter how often you fall off, you get right back up there!”


    • I reckon all you’ve got to do is to truly decide. It is then not negotiable and therefore takes all the angst out of it no matter what the situation. My mantra from day one, to myself or anybody else “No thank you, I don’t drink”. Keeps everything simple. I do realise the reality of giving up booze is not simple, but if you give yourself the option to drink, you probably will. Just forget about last night, forgive yourself now and move on. Go well xoxo

      • Yes I do need to truly decide. I can’t keep flopping over. I know I gave a problem but haven’t accepted that yet either. Therein lies the issue. It’s a tough ask – forever.

        • It seems it to our brainwashed, twisted minds, shaped by a booze culture. But really, forever is wonderful. It is health, growing up, a vast opening to new experiences, a huge relief, FREEDOM!!!

        • Do you know what @MissBennet? Making the Decision to give it up for good is what made it easier for me. It’s hard to explain but there is a freedom in it. A certainty. It is done. Decision made. I don’t drink. So what? Better get on with living then, see what life’s all about without booze. I was honestly in for the most pleasant surprise. The biggest surprise was that you really can have a beautiful more happy, contented, productive fun and calm life without it. I am at nearly 5 years now, I would never have believed I was capable of this. I choose it. It’s bloody marvellous xox

    • I don’t pity you, but I can relate to you. Yep pick yourself up dust yourself off just another bump in the road xx

    • @missbennet – day 1, with a purpose, a meaning, a quick drink or how many and back at it. seems to me, you were not so quick to get back at it before. If you are not comfortable around booze yet say, no thank you, i don’t drink, you can say, no thank you, i am not drinking today. you can still go to the bar, stay shorter, have a drink in your hand, it is just not alcoholic. congratulations on day 1. it truly is one day at a time.

      • Yes. The sober lifestyle and freedom is soooo much better. I love waking up feeling comfortable. I’ll get there. Thanks. 🙂

    • Hon, you’re posting here, and you are hearing others here whose words have stuck with you….. this is good! You are processing it all.. working it out… asking the RIGHT questions about “why/where/how” and will add this all to your research that you are doing… it is a process and it is NOT perfect…..you are in the storm and you are NOT drowning… even if it may feel like it.. keep swimming hon…. the shore is out there!

    • Hi @MissBennet You are getting closer and closer to making this stick. You say “couldn’t cope, should not have gone. Learned my lesson” Your self-awareness is getting much clearer, it even made you realise that sitting there was not what you wanted… that actually it wasn’t even good at all. You saw right there the big lies… “drinking is fun”, “drinking is good”…. these are not true! they are illusions. Your mind is lying to you and you are becoming able to see this more clearly.

      You say that you don’t know what the trigger was that you succumbed to on this occasion but drinking triggers don’t form a nice orderly queue. You are still in the time that individual triggers can’t be seperated from each other; what we experience is the noise of many triggers being fired and climbing one on top of the other. As cravings expire new ones take their place.

      We make the power of the triggers diminish (i.e. the intensity of the cravings gets smaller) when we experience them but DON’T drink…. that’s what makes them smaller. But at first, and quite literally EVERYTHING triggers us to drink.

      When we drink alcohol alters how our brain works. Principally alcohol acts as a sedative, but it also makes us happy and sociable. The “happy and sociable” comes from 2 chemicals that alcohol causes to be released: dopamine and serotonin. But the brain recognises that it gets more dopamine and serotonin than it ordered, so it thinks it’s over-producing them and slows down their release and detection. When we drink regularly this down-regulation of dopamine and serotonin become our starting state and these leave us unhappy and lacking social confidence when we are sober. The other changes that happen when we drink regularly are that our brain is speeded up to offest the alcohol that will be coming soon, and our flight-or-fight response is cranked up so that it will still work when we are under the influence.

      This leaves us in very poor shape when we are sober; we are u…[Read more]

      • Hi @DaveH, thanks for your reply. The triggers had been along the lines of H.A.L.T earlier and because I could see them for what they were, no worries. I have also, like @Morgan (and thank you for your kind words), been going to and am going to club stuff and could handle being around booze. But this was triggered long before I got to the bar and I think I was trying to win a colleague over. When she suggested a drink, I stupidly thought yup, that will be a bonding session. Unfortunately, I don’t trust her, it was her environment, not mine and she is a force of nature. Hindsight is like, come on, what were you thinking? The lack of trust and lack of bonding grew. She used to be a really good friend and we used to drink together all of the time but the job took us separate ways. Now I feel an undercurrent, something I can’t put my finger on. Anyway, as you say, it’s made me stronger. Gosh I have a conference with her and her friends in November. I’m dreading it. I have my own room thank goodness.

    • Small blip on a bigger journey!!! If anything you saved me heading to the supermarket for bottle of red to enjoy on this stormy night, so please be kind to yourself, you will be back up to 27 days sooner than you know!!!

    • @MissBennet as you helped me on my last Day 1 – it’s a be kind to yourself day xx and you too will be strong again x because of the kindness of this group and you’re comment that day I’m on day 6 x we will carry you through x keep going brave sober warrior x

  • “Two days in a row. I drank way too much two days in a row. I was pretty drunk both nights and feel like absolute crap right now. I’m tired, my stomach hurts and my mouth is dry and my head hurts. Why do I continue to do this to myself? I so badly just want to stop but can’t.”

    Those are the words I wrote in my drinking journal three years ago today. After writing that journal, I took the dog for a walk with my wife and told her I need to stop drinking. And I did. No, it wasn’t easy at first. I had a panic attack the first week just thinking about the weekend and not drinking. I thought about all the upcoming events for the rest of the year and the holidays and my thoughts were “there is no way I can do this.” I thought about alcohol each and every day for the entire first month. For those new to this journey, I had every thought you now have felt every emotion you’re feeling.

    After the first month I decided to stop thinking about the future, which was the source of all my anxiety. Instead, I forced myself to only focus on the current day, and told myself “I just need to make it through this day without drinking.” I went to weddings and didn’t drink. Holidays, didn’t drink. Bar with friends, didn’t drink. With each passing day it got easier.

    When I first started this journey, I would see big numbers from people and think “there’s no way I can do that.” I was envious, I wanted it to be me. However, my brain tricked me. It said “I’m not the same as those people – They have more willpower – Whatever they did there’s no way I can do the same.” But it was all an illusion put on by my alcohol brain. Again, for those just starting this journey, know that I’m not different from you. I don’t have any special powers, I don’t have more willpower. I struggled and had to live with my thoughts for a long time.

    The best advice I can give is just take it one day at a time. Don’t think about the future. Don’t think about parties, holidays, weddings etc. Just focus o…[Read more]

  • Hello team. I’ve had a lovely weekend. The sun is shining and the sea is calm and beautiful. I got all busy yesterday morning and made seed crackers, then a mushroom, spinach and blue cheese lasagne with a bit of roasted red capsicum for a colour infusion! My friend Gloria came over in the afternoon. We talked and talked, about our lives, our kids, about sobriety, about being alone, about that feeling of wanting to give, to love, and about trying to direct that giving and loving to ourselves. We talked about vulnerability, and about strength. We talked about Buddhism, yoga, meditation. We talked about trust. We talked about sitting with uncertainty, trusting that life is going as it should be, and if purpose is lacking, perhaps the purpose right now is simply to be. To be still, to allow purpose to be revealed. These last two years have been an interesting time for me. If I second guess my decision to come and live here quite isolated and alone in a beautiful place, and if I feel confusion at times about this, and too much alone, then I also feel very grateful to have such an excellent quality of problem! It has been a wonderful weekend, walking, talking, eating, laughing, some truly excellent communication and I am feeling richer and happier for it. Happy days and nights everyone xoxo

    • It’s all about balance, aye. @Prudence. I think we’re meant to trust nature to unfold her timing ~ it takes practice (for me) and, feels right to catch the odd rhythm here & there. From what you write, you seem to appreciate and pay special attention to the richness around you.

    • Hi, sounds like a very profound chat – I so believe things happen as and when and to take things slowly and just be… 🙂

    • Beautiful post from a beautiful soul. I think you’ve hit upon something quite wise … sometimes we need to be still and let purpose reveal itself. You’re one very awesome lady. 😊

    • thank you for sharing, so well said @prudence, lucky to have such a great friend to be discussing these important and sometimes unmanageable topics. best.

    • Beautiful post. xx

  • Mrs D posted an update 3 months ago

    I need to go really gently in the days ahead because I am feeling sooooo stretched and it’s starting to impact on my self-talk (lots of negative ‘woe is me’ thinking going on). Not sleeping great.. just need to make sure that I eat well, practice mindfulness (not get lost in my head, ground myself regularly in my body and the moment by looking at what I can see/hear & what my hands are doing), be grateful for all that I have.. and move my body! Will try to get a walk in with the dog today. And might have a bubble bath before bed tonight. All simple things but they’ll go a long way to help calm me down so I can get through this hyper-busy phase. Just parenting stuff and work and household and lots of helping friends in need with childcare and stuff.. it’s all good but BUSY!! I was awake at 4am listening to Tara Brach which was soporific and lovely. I know now after 7+ years of being sober how to look after myself when the going gets tough.. still hard going but all these little things will make it a bit better, AND send messages to myself that I’m worth looking after. Also.. I know time will pass and things will even out again.. I just have to hold on and go gently. Today is a fantastic day to be sober that’s for sure!! x

    • Awesome inspiration ! Go you! Hope things settle to a more even keel soon. Ooh I miss not having a bath! On my list! A nice big deep bath with lots of bath bombs containing rose petals and essential oils @mrs-d! Heaven! ❤️

    • Oh @MrsD, how I remember those days well! No end in sight then whoosh they are gone! We always led a very busy life with our boys, sometimes I feel I grieve for those days again,oh how I miss them! But keep up the excellent work,it is so so worth it! I sit back here(in my old rocking chair) lol, and feel such a wonderful sense of pride every time I look at my two boys and their lovely families! The rewards are absolutely endless so even though you need the odd bath bomb to get you through you will see the rewards! Talking of bath bombs, I’m set up for the next year after Mother’s Day! My family know me so well! Enjoy your day,xx.

    • Hi @Mrs-D, yes please do give yourself all of those things and more. You will get through this because you always do, but I want you to remember that it is okay to say no to people too. You juggle a hell of a lot all of the time, and it is a hard thing to learn that sometimes disappointing someone else by saying no, is vital to looking after yourself. Hugs xoxo

    • Create your boundaries …stick to them. I’m new to this and you’re oh so experienced but I think we all forget that if we’re not present for ourselves were no good to others either. Be kind to yourself ….

    • What Prudence said. I think I will try the gently gently thing too, good reminder as I get on my charger and try to save people rather than just be with them and encourage small step.
      And you have soooo many balls in the air… major things. Xxxx much love

  • dreamer88 posted an update 3 months ago

    Hello everyone. Havent been on here in a while. I got to 82 days sober, and relapsed. I dont remember getting home, or anything. Last thing I remember was being in the bar and taking shots. I woke up with vomit all over my bathroom and my shirt. I am so disgusted with myself over this. I knew better. So now I’m on day 4. I will say this….for anyone who’s thinking they have it under control and can just have a few…..or for those who are thinking they can go and not drink……let my mistake be your sign not to do it. It’s been 4 days and I still dont feel recovered. It’s not worth it. In need of prayer and good friends. Much love. ♡

    • @dreamer88 glad you’re here, it doesn’t erase all the time you had and all the learning. It can be a push forward to continue, lots of day ones here too. You’ve got this, sometimes we have to try to moderate to remind ourselves it really doesn’t work. What can you do to be kind to yourself today?

    • Was thinking about you and happy to see you pop up here @dreamer88! Your 3rd sentence and the fact that you’ve stopped speaks volumes! You got to 82 days which is awesome and you will get there again and much further! Relapse is very common so try not to feel disgusted although I know all to well how shitty the booze makes us feel, especially physically but each time you get back on that horse you have new armor. Hard lessons learned, yes, but will go a long ways with the faith and courage that you already possess. Put this behind you and move forward! We are all here behind you and have your back! GO! xo

    • oxoxox So much love and prayers your way, girl!
      Just know it is VERY very very NORMAL to lapse…I did it 3-4 times…Thought I could moderate since I’d been sober for so long…and quite frankly felt “bored” with this sober life….went out and got hammered. Puked my guts out the next day. It was awful.

      You got this.
      The sober days you had still matter.
      Right back up on that horse you go.


    • Hi dreamer I was wondering where you were!

      Welcome back x

    • You have both here,good friends and prayers! Stay real close! I’m just Day 3, a newbie so lead the way! Will be great if I can learn from other people’s mistakes,lol! Then I don’t need to make them!! Take care @dreamer88,xx.

    • You are back and know that we have all been fooled like you by the booze . You are here and that is all that matters . Stay close to us . xx

  • Daisy posted an update 3 months, 1 week ago

    OK. I am just throwing myself out there again. Day 1 again for the hundredth time and I am so ready to call it quits. Im so tired of feeling this way and desperate to stop. My anxiety and depression is worse and feel out of control on the inside but Im calm and collected on the outside no one would know what Im going through.I have to listen to what people are telling me to do starting with posting more. How are others doing?

    • If I can get to (almost day 6) anyone can! I’m finally getting control of my bubbles (drink of choice) voice and feeling a bit more empowered. However I wouldn’t trust myself in situations around alcohol right now. I’m just staying home where getting alcohol is incredibly difficult.
      Keep thinking about how good it feels to wake up without a hangover. I really enjoy my morning coffees now also. All the best xx

    • oxxxoxo
      It’s not your fault. It really isn’t.
      Nobody wants to relapse and feel depressed and anxious. If we could press a button to make it all go away, we would.
      I found that therapy helped me the most with my mental health stuff (also anxiety and depression) and I might try meds for a short while in the near future. But for now…therapy and this online community, the gym (swimming and walking, I don’t do hardcore workouts or group things there), and walks in nature…enough sleep….lots of water throughout the day.

      Some days it still feels like I am wading through mud….but it is like night and day compared to when I first got sober.
      It really gets easier the longer you’re without alcohol.

      Not all day every day, some days can be hard, but overall the line on the graph goes up and up and up, slowly but surely…one next best decision at a time. And those could mean “Instead of picking up that first drink tonight, I eat cheesecake.”
      I used sugar to get me through early sobriety. For a good 6 months.

    • A week ago I was exactly where you are now. Hang in there! In order to stay back “on the wagon”, I throw myself into all things sobriety. I binge listen to recovery podcasts, read sober blogs, snack, and recently decided I needed to engage more with the sober communities I have been lurking in for year. Just in my few posts here I have been amazed at the response and support I have received. It really has been moving. Meditation has become essential for me as well. And there are so many tips and tricks that work for others that I will be incorporating into my routine to see if they help. I have also learned though it is when I become bored or tired or annoyed with these healthy tools I have put in place that I know I must be most vigilant in order to stay AF. Sending love and light your way.

    • Post daily :)! A ridiculously effective sober tool. Glad you are with us!

  • One week…… that’s all I made it and the wine glass called me back. I can’t even identify the reason why. Just got home from work and knew I was gonna drink that glass and of course as usual it didn’t stop until the whole f………bottle was gone, hating myself.

    • Easiest way i found to try and avoid alcohol at home, was to not have any at home. Sounds easy, but it’s not. you’ve got to make that decision to tip all alcohol out and not buy anymore. I don’t know your home situation, but if you live with other adults, you’ve got to tell them that you’ve given up alcohol and you would appreciate it if there was NO alcohol in the house for the next while – however long that takes 🙂 You can do this!!

      • I’m coming to understand that in order to kick this shit I may have to eliminate more than just the wine. My entire existence may need to change. And that is scarier than anything. Almost incomprehensible…

        • I hear ya. 8 months ago there was no way i could even think about giving up for good – that was scary and seemed too forever, too finite. Start small, think about not drinking for today and then think about not drinking tomorrow and then the next day – it really is about getting through one day at a time. You/your existence may change and no one is saying that life is easier without alcohol all the time, coz it’s not, but it is a lot easier when you don’t have to think about drinking. That’s what i’m really enjoying – not having that constant battle in my head and all the BS that used to do my head in. Yes, life still happens with all it’s ups and downs and yes you do have to feel all those emotions that you used to drink alcohol to numb, but at least you can start to deal with the ups and downs without a hangover and without that ghastly dry mouth and queasy tummy feeling. I’ll stop rambling now 🙂

      • Appreciate the wisdom from all , and it so helps to see the number of you who have beat this and are living fulfilling lives. I’m starting the count of days over. I’m gonna get this!

    • Clear the house of alcohol lovely! ❤️

    • Yup. Agree. My advice is to clear the house of alcohol and make an unscheduled stop on your way home till the thought passes. It’s amazing how much silly stuff they stock in chain drugstores that will hold your attention for just a little while. Then when you get home EAT something right away. I’ve discovered that HALT is the key for me: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (or thirsty) are often triggers of mine. So when an urge hits, I think carefully about what’s going on with me. Give it a try. Might help. Good luck.

      • Thanks @aprilsfool….good advice. Sadly I cannot clear the house of alcohol as not all here are non drinkers. And they seem to think since it’s my choice I should just be strong so guess that’s what I’ll have to be.

    • Sounds like you need to keep a dry house for a while just for your own sake. It’s not easy but it can be done.

  • Day One. 🙁 Taking care of a big fat hangover after deciding I like sobriety so it’s a permanent feature come Monday. My final bottle of wine will be swilling around inside me for a month I think. My poor head. Anyone want to remember what a hangover is like, I can tell you. I’ve got the shakes, my heart is pounding, my eyes are bleeding, my neck can’t seem to hold my head and my whole frontal lobe feels like it has rocks and water in it. I feel awful and stupid. I can’t move very far or I get nauseous. I took a selfie. Horrible! Lol. I’m going to look at that beauty in 90 days time and pity that fool.

  • Good morning Tribe. Thanks for your shout out yesterday @Morgan. Truth is I’ve been feeling a little uninspired this weekend. It’s up and down, living here. Yes it is a beautiful paradise but my life itself is rather dull most of the time. It livens up when people come and when I go to the city to tend to other things like my businesses and music events, catching up with friends. Most of the time I am fine here, but sometimes it just gets to me how I have isolated myself to the point where I spend 90% of my life alone. I don’t know quite what to do about it, maybe give it another year and then decide. I don’t think it would make a hell of a lot of difference if I just moved back to Christchurch either. Maybe I need to give myself a wee stint in New York or somewhere big and vibrant and full of activity. Then I could come screaming back here with vast sighs of relief, and feel deeply the serenity and peace I have created for myself. A bit self obsessed! That is why I haven’t posted. Having a wee struggle. All while living in these beautiful surroundings in good health and with no particular financial worries. Haha poor me!! As for the keto, I really do feel sorry for myself about that. Sorry for all the deprivation of the last 3 months, sorry for the huge effort I made, sorry that in spite of that effort I mustn’t have done it right coz it didn’t work, not one tiny little bit!! I still weigh exactly the same. I reckon it must be in the counting of the macros and carbs which I didn’t do but ate very little and did a lot of intermittent fasting and even one 48 fast. My weigh is stubborn like me, it holds on!!! I have now given up, had a pizza in town with Georgia and Dane on Thursday night…..and a chocolate fondant dessert. OMG so good. But still trying to be low carb and very healthy. So I guess I’m not going to be looking too hot in my swimmers on the Italian Riviera next month!! Hahaha oh yeah…….I’m sure you’re all almost howling with pity for me by n…[Read more]

    • I know how you feel @prudence. I did the same thing to be close to my folks but it’s too far out. I won’t be doing anything about it any time soon sadly as things are too spendy here.

    • I always read and enjoy your posts @Prudence. I’ve noticed that when I’m in the middle of a really horrible situation, I promise myself I will never be bothered again by medium or small problems, but that feeling doesn’t last. When the crisis has been over for a while, that perspective changes. You do always seem grateful for what’s good in your life. I hear you on the weight loss! It’s our age and slower metabolism, minor in the whole possibility of problems, but so very exasperating. I try not to waste time being preoccupied with it, but I can’t relax about it really.

      • Yeah same @Juliana, on the one hand I know I should just embrace my curves. But on the other hand I know how much happier I would feel if the tummy one was gone!! Oh well those raspberries cream and zilch iceream I just had were damn fine…haha

    • I don’t know @prudence. I was wondering what would be different if you moved to Chch, read your post again & I see you don’t think much would be different. So then… have you isolated yourself? It doesn’t seem that way to an outsider.
      I think maybe isolation is a factor of getting older, in the cultures we’re in anyway.
      If you feel uninspired, does that mean you’re aware of what inspires you generally?
      What is missing.
      It certainly might be easier in a city to pop out just to be around people or go to a movie. xxx

      • Oh spot on once again I guess @Liberty. I shall try to respond. I can pop out to the small Akaroa movie theatre and have done so occasionally. For A Star is Born there were 2 people altogether, me and one other. I am rather afraid I will go one day and there will be only me…..so I tend to stick to the tele/Netflix/google etc. Thanks by the way for showing me how to get TVNZ on demand, I’ve been LOVING Killing Eve.
        If I moved to Christchurch I imagine it would be easier for me to avoid myself better by being perpetually busy. When I had finished my work I could then see if anyone wants to go hear some music, do dinner, or I could just be by myself there, and now that I have been here nearly 2 years that might well be how it would be. I have taken myself away from my social life, it is not so easy to just slot back in. The thing is I don’t always mind being by myself, I sometimes imagine myself living with an imaginary man that I was in love with, and how annoying that might be to not have my space and not do exactly as I please when I please! haha I think you are right about isolation being a factor of getting older. But I also believe that we make our own luck in this world. Sometimes this feels like the best thing I’ve ever done, it is calming and tranquil, and most of all I have achieved this huge thing I wanted to do, to add to the legacy my parent’s left to me when they gave me this land. Perhaps I wasn’t meant to move here lock stock and barrel and live here alone in a tiny community, I just did that coz I couldn’t afford to have a house here and run one in the city as well.
        What inspir3es me generally? I am a people person. It is people who inspire me. Talking and listening and laughing and knowing people. Music inspires me, but just the listening of it and the appreciation of other’s talents. Business inspires me. Creating a business from nothing. Cooking, feeding and nurturing others inspires me in a very homely way. As soon as I feel under…[Read more]

        • Spoken like an extrovert dear @prudence. 🙂 If being around more people is needed, well, being around more people is needed. (It would be my idea of heaven to have the movie theatre all to myself.)
          Yes maybe it’s not easy to slot back in, but it might be easier than you think. 2 years goes by in a blink, people don’t even realise it’s been that long.
          Glad you got on to On Demand finally – you’ve got some catching up to do! We’ll be writing more lists. xx

        • Interesting musings, you are always thinking and moving forward. That brain of yours … you do need to keep it occupied, has to have a project, a dream – I guess your travel, then…????
          Damn about keto. It seems to be the go to when all else fails, but nothing works for everyone. Perhaps the Brightline may be better, though highly similar. I don’t feel deprived, but then, I am very careful to plan, have alternatives when temptation is about, and to fast forward to how ghastly I will feel after that delicious bread or cake or whatever. (OMG so like giving up wine – plan plan plan.) I think the feeling awful (gluten intolerant?) is helpful in the way hangovers are.
          My new office is so bloody food/celebration focussed. I have never seen so many luscious looking cakes and spreads in such a short time. Great practice for me 🙂 🙂

          As more and more of an introvert @liberty, all the meetings, open plan office, full time work, more meetings, crammed lunch room, chat chatchatchat is crushing/numbing and driving me demented. Thank go, soon I will be out and about doing my own thing a lot more … I have been walking at lunch time, and headphones in, Chopin …
          Best wishes for your time with your friend Lizi XXXXX so hardXXXX

    • Hiya @Jesss yes I’ve been to NYC but just on a flying visit up from Newport Rhode Island, I took my friend Jen up there on the train and we stayed right off Times Square and did the tourist thing as best we could for the few nights we were there. We actually lucked out as I wanted to go to theGuugenheim as I ama huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, and we got there and there was a Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition on to celebrate 50 years of the Guggenheim. Big movie screens showing the Falling Waters house (so amazing if you haven’t seen it google it) and the whole museum was dedicated to his scale models and all his drawings. I HATE cancer too and if it was a person I’d get the large gun out and shoot it in the head!!! I’m okay, fine really, those are just my weekend musings. Today I am busy as all hell and tomorrow up up and away. So, it comes and goes. Haha I should try “rent a crowd” every now and again!! xo

    • Interesting post @Prudence. You certainly have an idyllic spot to live, but I know for me even though it is fantastic I would find living by myself in a small village that is a long drive to the next city with events, music, movies and shops isolating. Like you, I need to socialise and frequently, but i still treasure time alone too. I think your holiday will give you a bit of a refresh, often we do some different thinking when we are not in our usual abode, so maybe an idea will come to you while you are away. Could you afford some weekends in CHC more frequently so you can catch up with old friends? You have obviously achieved a lot with your businesses, home and family, so maybe you just need a new ‘thing’ – whatever that may be.

    • It’s lovely to hear from you, @Prudence. I’m sure that your friend is so looking forward to seeing you.

  • I was here before! I loved the community and lots of you lovely people gave me advice and help. I thought better 😢 I thought I could “moderate” I thought I could deal with feelings and I thought I “had it licked”. I even had Kia kaha tattooed on my wrist!! Stay strong I did – and then I didn’t – and still don’t 😢😢over the last 6 months I have repeated day 1,2,3…. so many times – that’s moderating right?? No it’s 1,2 bottles of wine maybe more – the horrid full watery feeling you get every morning, the irrational irratabilty you are … I was free for a while … then trapped in excuses 😰😰 I have no friends, I live far away from my family, I’m not very Likeable! I don’t attend social events as I’m awkward – how do I continue and refuse “company” because I can no longer drink??

    • You can socialise sober! That moderation bad arse rabbit hole! Aaaaggghhhh! It never works. Alcohol is and always will be a thief of life, love and time. Kick it to the curb for good lovely. Welcome back . ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • First of all, you seem very likeable in your message! I’m sure you are likeable in person too. Many of us have tried to drink moderately without success. It certainly didn’t work for me. I feel such relief to have put that struggle behind me for good! I don’t go to many social events either, just because I don’t enjoy them much. I like reading at home much more than visiting in crowds. I think we all have to figure out what works best for us. I do go to some events to keep up contacts with friends and family I love. No one ever asks me why I’m having seltzer instead of wine. Keep moving forward! You can do this.

      • Thank you @juliana these social events are concerts! I’m am absolutely sure if I said to my friends they would be ok with it – I just don’t feel ready to tell them that I have a problem with alcohol! X

        • I’ve only ever told my husband and an old friend because his daughter is having a big struggle with alcohol. I figure as long as I tell myself, that’s most important! The support here is critical for me though. If anyone asks, you could just say you notice drinking isn’t agreeing with you or makes you feel tired. That’s advice I read from someone here. @zoeobs04

    • Welcome back @zoeobs04, moderation doesn’t work for us – no matter how much that alcohol bitch tells us we can – we simply can’t. Now you’re back on track and back here again – that’s awesome – stay close and for the time being just look after yourself and keep yourself sober – don’t try and socialise at the moment as you’re probably still very vulnerable and easier to give in to alcohol. give yourself some time to get used to not drinking and then see how you feel. Good luck 🙂

      • Thanks @ladyhawke I don’t feel back on track – I feel tearful, lonely and an annoyance for some reason 😰

        • I hear you – the first few days of not drinking can be like riding an emotional rollercoaster. This will pass, you just need to hang in there, not drink, do anything you can to distract yourself to not drink, keep posting here. take a bath/shower, go for a walk if the weather is suitable, read a book/magazine if you can concentrate, cook a nice meal, fix yourself a nice AF drink, go to sleep early – you can do this 🙂

    • @zoeobs04 – remember it so well, the 1 day, 2 day, feeling good, seeing the light, believing this could be me, the self hatred, then the bargaining, i can drink, beer on weekends, wine during the week, maybe vodka every once in a while. none of it worked. so much more peace, not drinking. all that inner discussion and turmoil, —— gone. i still have problems but it is nothing like the self hatred of alcohol angst. be well, you do have friends, you just don’t feel like you do right now. you will figure out your socializing without alcohol as you go. I socialize around booze all the time now, but doesn’t bother me, but I would never have done that early days or even months. stay close.

    • Stay close and hang in there @zoeboe04. The first few days suck, but every day takes you farther and farther away from what you’re feeling right now. Moderation was just a mind game I played with myself to buy time between denial and reality. I made all kinds of deals and promises and excuses, but I always ended up in the same place….drunk. Please be kind to yourself. I bet you’re quite likeable – and I bet you’re going to find that you like yourself more and more as the sober clock keeps ticking. Good luck.

    • Thank you all for your kind words and support I really appreciate it – I’m still feeling low but I’ve kept myself busy today and looking forward to AF sleep – I’m planning a long walk tomorrow and start to redecorate my bathroom x thanks again xx

  • I can’t do this sober jam, I hate myself, I just can’t do life…when will I change, when will it stop, how do I keep this crap up? I wake up and I am wanting change, but come nightfall, I loose all motivation and continue on the same stupid path that I can’t seem to find the exit ramp from. My brain is broken. My spirit is broken. I am broken. Tomorrow I will try once again to figure this life out. Please pray for me.

    • @gagirlatheart77 I’m praying for you. If this were easy then we wouldn’t have groups like this and recovery help and treatment centers. Try to understand you aren’t alone……I had so many day 1’s I couldn’t even count. Try not to overcomplicate with figuring it out. It’s simply do not drink no matter what. Definitely seek out outside help if you need to ….I had to several times in my life. xoxoxoxxo You can do this!

    • Hi @gagirlatheart77 Your spirit is not broken . You say “tomorrow I will try once again” so you still have plenty of determination left. You just haven’t found the things that give you any traction yet, or as you put it “the exit ramp”. I’ve no idea what you have and haven’t tried, but here are a bunch of things that helped me get going.

      – Don’t have alcohol in the house, don’t go into bars or restaurants that sell alcohol, don’t go into liquor outlets or anywhere you can buy alcohol, don’t go near the places you used to drink after work and don’t go to anywhere you used to drink. Don’t even pull into the car park of any of these places.
      – DON’T PICK UP THE FIRST DRINK. Do anything at all to prevent you from picking up the first drink. The first drink dissolves all objections to having another. If I don’t have the first drink, then I can’t have 10!
      – Radically change your daily routine and most especially fill up the slack times when you used to drink. Plan to be doing something else somewhere else at these times. Make a commitment to them and turn up.
      – If you are somewhere and you can see drinking and feel it pulling then leave IMMEDIATELY. If you are going to somewhere where there will be drinking then be accompanied and prepare an exit route so that it’s there if you need it.
      – Have snacks handy, have alcohol-free drinks handy, and take deliberate time out to exercise every day.
      – Be kind to yourself… you deserve treats, and alcohol is not “treats” and it is not a reward. Alcohol doesn’t make things better; it puts us back in the misery-hole (alcohol isn’t making bad things good… if it was then there wouldn’t be a problem).
      – Have lots of things prepared in advance that will occupy your mind and hands. Use them when the cravings come on hard. Simple books and puzzles probably won’t cut it as at first we can’t maintain enough concentration through the roaring of our minds… physical “doing” is good though; tidy something, pack/unpack somethi…[Read more]

    • I will pray, but you are not broken. This is something that can be changed, but you need a plan. Non alcohol drinks, a look around in the Sober tool box. Pick a day. Do you need medical help to detox?

    • Praying for you @gogirlatheart77, tomorrow is a new day, take care 🙂

    • @morgan thanks! I love Leonard C and had a bit of a giggle at 4.30 am. He’s/it’s so dark! Perfect sound track for a pity party end! @gagirlatheart77 your going to feel like shit, and depressed until you stop poisoning yourself. No one hear has woken up after a binge and said, ” Thank God I drank! I feel fantastic! Wish I’d drank more so I would feel even better!” IT will stop when you stop IT and then will you experience some positive change. Take @DaveH‘s wonderful advise but if you cannot muster up the enthusiasm to do this perhaps rehab could be an option. Read some of our day 1’s. My most recent one reeked of desperation. You are not alone and certainly not hopeless but you must take some sort of action.

    • Thank you all for taking time to reply, send prayers and giving advice. I feel good today, positive. I have had over 200 days sober in the past, so I know it can be done…I just need to find more strength. That had been evading me. My brain has been struggling with itself, and the bad guy is winning. I will work hard to not let the bad guy win today. Just today! ❤️💪🏼 Thank you again…it means so much to have a place to fall down, and then be picked up (again).

  • Chaves posted an update 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    I relapsed 2 days ago. I was feeling really good and then I just blew it. Drank 2 bottles of wine – no provocation, no excuse just got that mindset – I’m having some wine and I am fine.
    No recollection of getting to bed – just woke up in the morning to the cold silence of my family – as per usual I behaved badly 🙁 So sad. I am forgiven they tell me, but it’s awful, I know it is. Somehow this last relapse has really taken a toll on my mind and body. Not like other times (and I have had bigger benders)….this time I haven’t bounced back. I feel exhausted – wiped out. I’m glad to be here though. I’m glad to be in recovery. x

    • Day two is twice as far as Day one. What have you learned that will prevent to falling at this hurdle next time you meet it?
      Deep breath, head up, step forward. You can do this.

      • I think I have learned to take it easy, take it slow. That even feeling really, really good is somewhat an extreme and that extremes for me, mean relapse. Extremes always drove me to drink either for the escape of them or the desire for them. This is what I have learnt. Thank you DaveH for asking the question so I could truly learn from this experience.

    • I’m sorry @chaves – you were feeling so good even thinking about goals and dreams. Did you feel celebratory in nature or did you feel you needed a reward? It is hard to go through but I had so many relapses and day 1’s. You know you can do it which is awesome so glad you just came back and are jumping on the horse! Don’t give up. 🙂

  • Hi all and thanks to those of you that have checked in on me over last couple of months. I can’t believe how badly things have spiralled out of control. I have finally hit my rock bottom. I decided yesterday enough was enough so I just went for it as one last hoorah. I somehow managed to consume a massive 3 bottles of wine. I used to be one and a bit. Then over summer it reached 1 and 1/2. Then recently whilst on school hols it moved to 2. This was achieved by finishing off the remaining 1/2 round lunch time. But 3! Omg. Who is this person. I started in the morning and before I knew it had polished off a bottle before lunch. This was followed with another bottle before dinner with a Chardonnay that I didn’t even like. Then my beloved Lindauer arrived with the groceries which I consumed in the evening. Needless to say today I feel miserable and lethargic and have a headache. I am mortified and disgusted with myself. I have gained heaps of weight over the summer, look bloated and have bags under my eyes. All in all I am just so so disappointed with myself. Why can’t I get it through my thick skull that I can’t do moderation.

    • If it’s any consolation my skill is thick too, easier said than done to try and wise up to just not drinking. Tomorrow is a brand new day @squizzi. We have got this x

    • Fucking hell if that’s moderating maaateee woohoo 😉 Shit you will be feeling poorly you silly bugger. Best you rest up today and figure out what your plan is going to be. You can’t carry on like that you will do yourself damage! Recoup and move forward. Hope you feel better soon, make sure you hydrate with water or nice cups of sweet tea

    • 2 words … OH SHIT! Climb back up! You don’t want to make this a regular routine!

    • Wow Squizzi, take care of yourself today. hope you feel better soon and tomorrow will be brighter… take that lindaur off the grocery list and replace it with something AF so that tomorrow when you feel like a wine you can pour yourself something that’s not going to make you feel like you do now… big hugs, new day tomorrow xx

    • Well got through today. It was a long hard slow day. Told my husband that I intended to give up and he’s supportive. I had to work late and came home to a real comfort dinner on this cold rainy night of Old Devilled sausages, mashed potatoes and veges and a large glass of sugar free L & P waiting for me. Very thoughtful. But I’m buggered. I know I suffer badly from insomnia when I first go alcohol free so I’m having a soak in the bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil and reading a book before heading off for bed. Fingers crossed it’s not too bad a night.

    • Time to kick it to the kerb @squizzi, I have been where you are and its a slippery slope to hell. Take care of yourself and put plans in place and come on here for assistance and help. x

  • Ok, so this is for the lamp lighters on here. @hetiheti, @quietlydone, @prudence, @behind-the-sofa @suek @mrs-d. @morgan
    Nothing against newbies and not-so-newbie, your input is also welcome, but this ones for the old school guys, those of you that were around in 2014 at the start of my little goat track.

    4 1/2 years in and for some reason tonight I am missing feeling tipsy and need you to remind me why we don’t even think about going there.
    Not slurry, fall over drunk, or even fall asleep drunk, just the feeling of being light(er) headed and happy drunk.
    Oh… no…wait.
    My Toddler has just been whimpering in her sleep.
    A sober me has just gone in and placed a hand on her back, she has drawn a deep breath and let out a content, relaxed sigh.
    That’s why I need to stay sober.
    For her.
    But still I have a niggle.
    Please can you give me a gentle nudge and reminders of why we are doing this?

    • Thank you for calling me @Brummiebird, it’s been ages since I’ve been here. For no particular reason I drift in and drift out. I’m still sober, coming up for my seven year anniversary in October. Why am I still doing this? Because there was once a time that I used to wake up in the morning full of hate and loathing — for myself. That thought is so so so sad to me, that I treated myself so badly for so long, to the point that I lost sight of my true self. Now, sober, I wake up every morning and feel glad — glad to be awake, glad to be me, glad to have a day ahead that can be full of things I chose for my own well-being. Glad that no matter what happens, I will choose to stay clear-headed and keep on looking out for myself. This might read as being very self-centered, but I’m absolutely no use to anyone else if I’m not taking care of myself. Staying sober is my number one self-care strategy!!! Lots of love to you. XXX

    • I love that picture of sober you with your hand on toddlers back, in the dark, knowing you are both safe … that is why we do it.
      So many of us this year reaching our 5 year soberversary … I had my first real, and only to date thankfully, attack heading into my 50th wedding anniversary in March … for weeks I saw a glass of champagne in my hand, Moët bubbles, a long beautiful glass with cold water beads on the outside etc etc … this went on for weeks til I sat down and thought it thru … it was the romance I wanted not the booze … and I got over it.
      Recently after a long discussion about depression with a friend, I was reminded of myself 5 years …. I was so unhappy, so miserable so not me …. then that magic day everything changed … yet nothing changed … I still missed my kids, I still had problems, life continued but I was ok … over the next few years I regained my confidence, my inner strength, my health but best of all my happiness …. and that is why I do it.
      Please find the time to sit down with pen and paper and write to your old self and tell her how good your life is now …. and how much better you feel … and look forward to your 5th soberversary ….. we are a powerful tribe and I am glad I am part of it … big hugs brummiebird xxx

    • Hi lovely : ) I’m around people who relapse all the time… And trust me it’s not fun… It takes you down to a very dark place, very quickly… The fun tipsy moment is just that, a moment, after that the negative feelings and the negative consequences go on and on… Well done for reaching out… Love ya xx

    • Hello Brummie, thanks for thinking of me. I too am heading towards 5 years sober soon. I too sometimes have thoughts of how good and what fun it might be to get a bit shitfaced. I immediately see what it would really be. An anti-climax. Good for an hour or so, having that feeling of the drinks starting to take effect, enjoying that. Then I follow that through, have more drinks, lots more, get pissed, if with company talk too much, if not play music, keep drinking, whatever, then eventually go to bed. Wake up middle of night……thirsty……still a bit pissed…..try to go back to sleep, evenually do, wake up again, feel crook as all hell, drage myself out of bed, probablyy can’t be bothered having a bath or shower, don’t care enough, just have to get through the moment, getting dressed, trying not to look as bad as I feel. Do what I have to do, the bare minimum. Later a wee lie down coz I feel like shit. That is the physical side. Inside I feel a deep disappointment and some shame. Inside my head I become confused. “Well I’ve done it now, I’ve blown it anyway, so I might as well keep doing it, for a while anyway. When shall I get some more? How much will I get? How often will I drink?” From this moment on I will be obsessed with alcohol. What will I do? Will I boldly tell my friends “Yep I’m back on it. Did 5 years without, giving it another whirl”. Will I ditch my LS friends? Will I tell them I’m taking a boozey ride for while and I’ll get back to them again when I need them! Will I drink alone defiantly in spite of the downward sprial I know I’m on? Will it actually be fun? To be less of myself? More of an idiot? To lose the self respect I have gained? To lose the contentment? The feeling good about myself? The dependability for others? The heightened capability, the raw realness of me as my true and honest self. Never mind all the money I’m not throwing down my neck, and the sober holiday I have planned in Europe.
      I stay sober because in all ways it…[Read more]

      • Hello lovely girl,
        So smart of you to give a little shoutout, it’s an honour to be mentioned, thank you!
        Love, joy, peace, pride, health and contentment. Your hard work has paid off in beautiful ways. Your little angel feels your full attention. She is blessed, as are we who know you.
        Sending love and strength across the miles. And a ginormous hug too, love you!

        • Hello our lovely and gracious @Quietlydone and how we do miss you here. Lovely to know you are still around and still off the booze and feeling contentment and happiness in your life. I hope all the grandkids are doing well. Lots of love and peace and good energy coming your way. I often thnk of you xoxo

        • Omg there you are @quietlydone you been ok? Brummie nice to see you here, and your toddler deserves you. I like probably all the oldies think of you both with, oh i dont know, love i think, even though never meet. But hey words speak volumes. Take care @brummiebird kiss thst wee girl shitloads!..quietlydone 👋

      • What Prudence said. Lots of love to you @Brummiebird. You go on being a great mum and a powerful woman free from that toxic shit. I have faith in you beautiful and I think you have faith in yourself, yes? XXXX

    • @brummiebird I remember you joining here, we are doing it for s better life, so we can teach others, and for those moments like your hand on your toddlers back. I remember a ex smoker who said after 20 years he gets the odd niggle, he said its natural and he lets it pass, I too at just over 5 years have the odd niggle and like the smoker I let it go.

    • Not one of the old members….but wanted to thank you for reminding me that it can always happen, those thoughts, and that it is always good to stop back here and check in if it comes to that. oxoxoxoxoxoxo So glad they all replied. Lots of special people on here from those early days of the forum.

    • Hello @Brummiebird – I joined in 2015 (so remember you), but fell back into my old habits in 2016, then restarted my day count almost a year ago now. I’m glad your shout out woke up @QuietlyDone as I hadn’t seen her pop in since I’ve been back and hoped she was okay. Now I know. Also, well done on 4 1/2 years – it certainly is a number to be proud of and I’m sure an alcoholic drink now would actually be anti climatic once you were passed that first glass. Don’t forget how amazing you are for living this AF life. Take care.

  • Living and drinking is not compatible. At least not for me.

  • I’m back here again after four months drinking again. At the point where I’m so sick of it – again! I lasted eight months sober but things were bad just before Christmas and 2019 has not been great so far. But up to me to turn it around so here I am – back at Day 1. Having done long periods without alcohol, I know how much better it is so want to get back there. Does anyone know of any support groups in Auckland? Keen to catch up with some people in the same boat. x

  • R51 posted an update 3 months, 4 weeks ago

    I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been having drinking thoughts after a year and a half AF. I think what I have to remind myself is that although this is a remarkable – and I mean REMARKABLE/EXTRAORDINARY/AWESOME, etc. feat for myself, my drinking behavior as been around 30+ years (minus 4 pregnancies and nursing stints). So, of course, the devil on my left shoulder and the booze marketing professionals won’t leave me alone that easily. I’m trying to take the “been there/done that” approach – you know – the “drinking thing”. Time for something new for goodness sake. I’m just too cool to stay stagnant and so are you!! We are the brave souls here. We are willing to stare our vulnerabilities and deficiencies straight on and go head to head. We are amazing people. Resilient people. This is no easy lifestyle change. Some days you just have to fake it until you make it. I think I assumed that by now all these drinking thoughts would have disappeared. Not much I can do at moment except listen to all your tips and advice and scream “Not today, Satan” and not drink.

    • I drank after a year and a half, and as I’m only on day four now, I tell you DON’T DO IT!!! It isn’t what you think, and everything that everyone says is true. I told myself I’d be different (sound familiar), but after a couple months of “trying to drink” (I was hungover after one drink), my body got used to it and my drinking went right back to where I left off. I was constantly sad, absolutely miserable, always wanting more and now I’m back to sobriety. I got kind of pissed that what everyone says applied to me too, but the truth is, it’s said for a reason.
      My advice to you, which I wish I would have given myself, would be to implement the tools you had when you started. Daily check-ins, listen to TBH, buy yourself treats, get outside, take yourself on dates, feed yourself activities (and food) that you genuinely enjoy, make it your mission each day to treat yourself like the royalty you are!
      Perhaps there’s a hurdle at the 1.5 year mark that a lot of people have to get over. Gear up and get over it! You can do this. 🙂

    • I’m definitely think about drinking more than I’d like to admit to at almost a year.. I’ve even talked to some friends about considering getting back on the wagon. But.. it’s kind of funny, there’s never a good time to do it. I think oh, I don’t want to start while I finish school, oh I definitely don’t want to start while I’m adjusting to being an officer on the road, oh who knows what hurdle may come over the bend. It’s really funny actually that anticipating major transitions and hurdles is making me not want to start drinking again. Because I know I’ll handle everything better without alcohol. But you’re definitely not alone in these thoughts. When I first started sobriety I turned to a ton of books and resources then kinda fell off doing that. I’ve revisited and found some new resources which have bolstered my beliefs a little more which has helped. Much love!

    • I can relate @R51. But, just remember this: If drinking was such a good thing why did you decide to quit? When I finally decided to quit I made a list of all the reasons why and I refer to that list whenever I get wobbly. The list of cons is a whole lot longer than the list of pros. You don’t want to go back.

    • Yep stay strong! After blowing three years sober thinking I could moderate I can assure you it was not worth it. On day 257 now and roll on a lifetime af . Never want to go back there again! ❤️

    • I just wonder if we undermine ourselves sometimes with our expectations. I’m not convinced drinking thoughts ever go away @R51. It doesn’t mean you’re not doing it ‘right’ but if they’re strong or crowding in, that might be your body’s way of signalling that you need more support for a while.
      They served us well for a long time – was it in @daveH‘s post recently about brain changes? – it was a great post and I recommend going to his page and reading it. If so he said those neural circuits we’ve grown as drinkers don’t die, but are replaced by other habituated responses. It’s a really great read.
      I still have drinking thoughts at over 3 years, I think I always will. They bubble away. Sometimes the strength of them is unpleasant, but why wouldn’t I, our brains come up with what used to work when times get tough. That’s how our brains are built, that’s how our psyches work. In every area of life.
      Just don’t take them too seriously! What do you need? What are they flagging to you? Does it help to see them as the signpost, not the road? Not something to act on by drinking but a pointer to something else. xx PS: Damn right we’re amazing.

    • Gawd , drinking sucks …and it sucked the good stuff outta me . There is something to be said about that ROMANCING THE DRINK FANTASY . The fantasy ( like most fantasies ) is way better than reality . Reality is you stopped for a REALLY GOOD REASON . You ! A better life , real life , it sure ain’t easy but so much better …I did too drink exactly at one year and half sober 15 years ago and now i am at day 403 . It just ain’ t that fun . ( understatement here ) .xx

    • @r51. So happy to read your message. It’s weird that alcohol keeps calling. I hate it. There is one “out of control” memory that I keep playing in my head when it happens. I do not need that to ever be part of my life again.
      And one member said it so well today: “Alcohol…. It’s not working in your life because it’s doing what it’s supposed to do and your soul doesn ‘t want that for you”
      Good luck and stay well.

    • oxoxox Not today Satan, not today.
      You put that wine witch right back where she belongs…far far away from your boundaries. Kinda like keeping that night king away from Winterfell…Sorry…lots of Game of Thrones this past week haha.

      In all seriousness..cravings suck. You have my compassion. They can get quite scary.

  • JSAC posted an update 3 months, 4 weeks ago

    Back to day 3 for me after being 176 days sober. Having a family gathering for Easter and had one glass of Prosecco and then 3 more and 2 bottles of beer. It wasn’t worth it and woke up more determined that that life is not for me. Haven’t slept well since and been on the biggest downer since. I felt pressurised to ‘join’ the party. Today I am feeling positive and back on here to read your amazing stories and advice x

    • Those 176 days count for something. Back on the sober horse and onwards! ❤️❤️

      • @JSAC @winner – agree with @winner, those sober days are flexed muscles. They come back much easier. I have been there with new day 1s at times, and have found, I learn from it and move on. Shaming yourself does not help so glad to hear you are positive and back here!!

    • youve already proved to yourself you can do this.

    • Oh that sucks!! But you’re back up and on the train again. Please don’t beat yourself up. 176 days is phenomenal – and you’re already 3 days beyond and heading in the right direction. Thank you for sharing. I learn so much from other’s struggles. I understand now how much work it takes staying AF. You got this!

    • So glad to hear you are back at it. And that you are choosing to be AF.

    • Good decision to get right back here! Sometimes you have to take a step back to gain the perspective you need to charge forward!

    • Don’t beat yourself up, it’s just a small speed bump @jsac. You know what to do now.

    • Thank you for all your replies 👍

    • tried it, not worth it. a good learning experience.

    • Never going back to that nasty poison. The quiz is over. Now. Move on. And never ever look back again. You can do it. I believe in you and I’m sooooo proud of you for coming right back home to us. You are worth this af lifestyle. A few drinks that gives you a downer day after just isn’t worth it. I can already see day 2 for you and it looks great!

    • It’s a journey, and sometimes we go off track, but when you get back on track you’ll find you’re still close to where you left it… not back at the start line. Keep on building those sober days 176 + 3 🙂

  • ChrisL posted an update 4 months ago

    4 years since i was last on this site and im still stuck in the viscious circle of wanting to not drink but then 5pm comes along and it happens. Friday night drank way too much and as a result yesterday was a waste of a day except for the fact that i didnt have a drink. So today the sun is shining and today will be day 2

    • Welcome to day 2 @chrisl. That 5 o’clock trigger is just the worst isn’t it. So insidious, so apparently reasonable at the time. What do you do to distract yourself?

      • I try to keep busy but havent succeeded … yet. Will work on strategies maybe exercise or something i will see that ive achieved as a result of not drinking

    • Hi @chrisl You know that 5pm is going to be a difficult time for you. You know with certainty that you are going to get challenged then, so how about preparing to get past it? Can you plan some activity at that time that will require your mind and hands fully for about an hour: prepare to be doing something constructive in that time. If you can find something to fully occupy your mind then there’s no space for the drinking thoughts to come in… and it is the time alone in our heads when the challenges come the fastest. Day 2 is great… the challenge is to not drink for the rest of the day, and you know you can do that; you’ve done it before and you can do it again. Remember, you aren’t doing this because it is fun, you are doing this because this is what MUST happen. Stopping drinking is possible, it is worthwhile, and it is essential. You can do this. Don’t drink for the rest of the day. Next stop Day 3!

      • @DaveH thanks for the message .. I can do it I know I just have to stop thinking drinking is relaxing drinking is fun .. because it’s not really any of that and I look forward to day 3 and feeling just a little bit stronger

    • I’m with @DaveH. My trick in the beginning was plan, plan, plan. Put obstacles, physical if necessary, in between you and the booze. Change your driving route, leave money and credit at home, I kept a packed cooler of AF drinks and snacks in my car at all times and made sure I opened one immediately upon entering the car, then I drank it!, plan something at witching hour, find a mantra like “just do the next right thing”, remember HALT-don’t get too Hungry Angry Lonely Tired (Bored, FOMO), immerse yourself in sober materials, go to bed early and eat early, binge watch tv. You can do it, don’t waste 4 more years. xo

      • My mantra was “One is too many; ten is not enough!”. I can’t count the number of times it saved my ass! Distract, delay, deny.

    • @seni thanks yes its a start and i cant stay stuck in the viscious cycle its paralysing

    • Been trying to quit for at least four years, huh? Time to enlist some external support. Do it however it looks for you, but your GP, a counsellor, twelve step group, online meetings, SMART Recovery, rehab, and the list goes on, could be some ideas for you.

  • DaveH posted an update 4 months ago

    I knew for a long time what happened if I didn’t drink in the evening… I wouldn’t sleep. But what I didn’t realise was that this only showed me one of several changes that had occurred in my brain and body as they adapted to a daily assault of alcohol.

    What follows is a description of what happens to us when we drink heavily over an extended period and then suddenly stop.

    Alcohol in the brain changes how we feel and it acts as a sedative. Alcohol changes our mood in two ways; we get happy and we become more socially confident. The happiness is caused by an increase in dopamine, and the social confidence comes from an increase in serotonin. The slowing down in the brain comes from changes in two other chemicals; GABA and glutamate. When we drink we get happy, and if we drink enough we will become so socially confident that we will dance on tables to show everyone what great dancers we are. Unfortunately, just when the alcohol is making us feel great it is also slowing down mental function… and we stop being able to do complicated things quickly enough to complete them successfully, things like maintaining balance and speaking clearly.

    Anyone who drinks enough will experience these effects. But when we drink heavily AND regularly then some changes start to occur in our brain and our body, and it is these changes that cause us so much trouble.

    The simplest change happens in our stomach and intestine. Alcohol is broken down there by an enzyme, and when we drink often then our body produces more of this enzyme. This means that our bodies process away alcohol more quickly, and we have to drink more to get the same effect. We drink more, and we drink more quickly. But it is the changes in our brain that cause the real trouble. Our brain recognises that it is getting more dopamine and serotonin than it ordered and it regulates down the amount of these. This makes us less happy and less socially engaged when we are sober. Our brain also reacts to the daily…[Read more]

    • I went and fixed a typo in this and it promptly disappeared itself into the ether. Fortunately I had a copy. This is a re-post

      • Thank you for this priceless information @DaveH. This was so helpful for me in the beginning and will always be as a reminder of what I never want to repeat again.

    • Thank you for this post. This is a whole book condensed into one clear article. I found it particularly helpful to learn that some changes happen over the course of months. I was a fairly outgoing social person before I began regularly dousing my brain with liquid insanity. I do feel like I’m starting to regain some of my real self. Knowing that I’ll eventually heal is comforting. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

      • Hi @aprilsfool That is remarkably perceptive of you; yes, it is a synopsis of a part of a book. It is called “Alcoholism in a nutshell”. It is written so that people can understand the beast they are fighting and not be suddenly surprised by the challenges it throws at us: forewarned is forearmed. It is written to help people who are trying to stop drinking and anyone is most welcome to download a copy of the eBook from my blog, here: https://lyingminds.sixboats.co.nz/links/

    • This is gold…yet again..Thanks so much for sharing this! oxoxx

    • Oh my goodness DaveH your timing on posting this is spot on – you made me cry (from relief that someone gets how I’m feeling) ….I’m only day 4 today and I feel all of of the above …..I’ve had a crap nights sleep, my head feels like it’s in a vice and very foggy…… and emotional 😭. And I have to carry on today (family all coming round for an Easter dinner celebration) pretending to everyone around me life is good and hide this raging internal war that is going on inside . I think I will re read your post a hundred times today, thank you thank you 🙏

    • Thankyou @daveH for this informative post with such vital information. So importmant to be reminded of how our brain reacts to the onslaught of alcohol consumption!! How do I save this post for later reference anyone??

      • Why not copy and paste it to a notebook on your computer @annie?

      • @Annie do you see the outline of a star under Dave’s profile picture in this post? Click on that and it will fill in. By doing that you will have saved the post to ‘my favourites’. Look under the text box at the top of the webpage where you can write a new post. You’ll see ‘all members’, ‘my favourites’ and ‘mentions’. Click on ‘my favourites’ and you should see Dave’s post saved.

    • Awesome post! ❤️❤️

    • Perfect!

    • Love this Dave! What I know now though is that when I was drinking daily (and a lot) I wasn’t sleeping. I was passing out. I would literally be gone in about 3 seconds. My husband was always amused at how quickly I could “fall asleep”…but then awaken suddenly 3-4 hours later and be wide awake for the next several hours. I’m finally sleeping at night. I am tired from the day and genuinely fall asleep. I don’t sleep well but I’m hoping it improves. Beats waking up with a hangover any day. ox

  • tamsil posted an update 4 months ago

    It feels great to wake up to Day 4. Last night I felt a tiny urge but not much….I put on one of my favourite sobriety podcasts and went for a walk with our sweet dog. (The Bubble Hour in case anyone hasn’t heard of it) I’ve been on this journey for over 4 years. The first time I got sober was for over 2 and a half years. I’ve had a few other longer periods as well. I have to keep reminding myself everyday that living a sober life is what I want, there’s a reason I keep coming back to it. When I have relapsed it feels like I have a voice in my head that takes over saying all sorts of things to me, “just tonight “, “you can start again tomorrow “, “you’re not that bad”, “you deserve this”, etc etc. This time I have closed the option of alcohol or moderation, I never want a Day 4 again. 💛💛💛

    • R51 replied 4 months ago

      Moderation very rarely, if ever, works for types like us that are on this site. Obviously, myself included!! Let’s just try something new. Something that promises no shame, guilt, remorse, unnecessary calories, no hangovers, no dry skin, dehydration, no next day apologies, etc. etc. etc. Let’s try something new that actually has positive enhancements to our already stressed and busy lives. Let’s try sobriety. We’ve already done the drinking thing – so been there, done that!! Let’s move on like super cool trendsetters and actually take care of our souls, minds, bodies, passions. Let’s find out what we like about ourselves, what makes us happy and eliminate what/who doesn’t add to our happiness. You are rocking this. I believe in you. You’ve done it before. Now do it like you mean it and really find your sober self. Awesome job waking up to day 4!!!!

    • Good for you. My story sounds simlar. Maybe I can check out that podcast. Have a great day, time with pets always helps too!

    • That’s a great way to think about it! I think I have his book, I’m going to look for it! Thx! 💛

  • JS123 posted an update 4 months, 1 week ago

    Day 51. So happy to be home after being away. Crashed at 9:30 and slept a solid 9 hours-heavanly AF sleep-the best one so far. Very pleased with myself for not drinking. Just amazed that I had many wonderful experiences and connections AF despite some occasional cravings and physical demands (maybe aging out soon of squatting on porta potty and dragging my chair and backpack around). Certain I wouldnt have enjoyed myself more drinking-in fact would have enjoyed myself much less. Still amazing to me. Wish I could tell my younger self that all I needed to do to have less anxiety (especially that awful social anxiety), feel more content, have better mood, enjoy food and sex more intensely, feel closer to others, feel better about the the vanity stuff-lose weight, better skin and hair-was to stop drinking-I would have done it in a heartbeat. Just didnt know. Drinking is such a waste of time and life. Cant go back in time. But I can tell you-you who are in even earlier days than me-just keep going. Savor and put all your focus on the benefits and try not to dwell on what you think you are giving up which is in reality nothing. Nothing except a few hours of numbness. All that for all the downside. Resolving now to not have regrets but focus on how fortunate I am to have not gone any further down that slippery slope. And be appreciate that I have this period in my life now to live it to the fullest-the awesome and awful parts. Each of us here-we are the fortunate ones.

  • Hi everyone, I blew it, thought I could have a glass of wine but for the next 4 days I had a bottle every night and was hungover at my work. I can’t believe I did that again. The feelings of shame and hopelessness are all back. I just feel worthless. I was doing so good as well. I was 2 months in to being sober and life was good. I don’t understand why I keep on screwing it all up. What the hell is wrong with me. I just can’t touch it again. More broken promises more heartache. Feeling so depressed today. I am not touching that stuff today.

    • Hi kissinhmyrainbow .please don’t be too hard on yourself.you say you are not touching the stuff today .that’s a very good start.you are certainly not worthless.just by sharing your thoughts and feelings are of benefit to a lot of other people who struggle with alcohol myself included .best wishes

    • Thankyou so very much. Very wise words indeed. I will be re reading that post a good few times. Hope all is well with you at your end.@daveh

    • We’ve all been in one version of that shitty place of another, lots of sympathy for how you’re feeling kissingmyrainbow

      Do you know that most people try lots of times before they get alcohol free?

      So you just ticked off another try. On to the next try 😊👍🏼❤️

    • Don’t beat yourself up, you went two whole months without a drink… that is amazing in itself. You can do this and you have us all on here for support. Today is a new day xx

    • Wonderful reply @daveh for @kissingmyrainbow. and ive also taken on board your wise,sensible and compassionate words. im feeling better after my relaspe. Lets keep going best as we can @kissingmyrainbow.

    • I hear ya @kissingmyrainbow. i was there a week ago. @davehs post is excellent for both of us. x

  • Good morning team. A new week begins. A fairly hectic one for me but I’ll get through it. Winter is well and truly on it’s way, spent most of the day by the fire being lazy yesterday, throughly enjoyed it too after a busy week. No guilt Sundays! Been thinking a bit about my sober life, how completely different it is to the life I had before. I love the energy and the clarity the best. And the patience I feel. I think before I was always “running too fast and you end up running to far”(song lyric). I have the patience to allow my life to unfold. I have the patience to allow the changes within me to take place. To allow the growth without pushing it. To allow the time for new friendships to deepen. For new ways to find contentment. I trust myself, I trust my life, and I will be loyal to myself and to this life I have chosen, to be here quite isolated and on my own, and one day I will understand fully the purpose of it all. I have a feeling my life here will fill up bit by bit with quality people, including grandchildren some day, and I will come to have a real sense of community here, even if it does take years, and I will be forever grateful of such a peaceful space to grow old in. I did not ever feel a sense of community in Christchurch. You need to be in a smaller community, like in Diamond Harbour it was amazing all those years ago and I have never forgotten how good that felt to be a part of. So yeah, I’m still feeling the pains of adjustment to my new life, but with some grace and patience I hope. I’m not sure I would have coped without all you lot to share my feelings and observations with and to feel connected to. Have a gorgeous day and night everyone xoxo

    • oxoxoxox I always dream about growing old in a small Australian beach community like Forst, NSW or Byron Bay or so (can’t ever afford that place though, lol, but maybe Sunshine coast…). We all long for that…don’t we…That “village tribe”…I had it growing up in my small village of 500 people…everyone knew everyone….you could still get stuff at the local wee store and pay the next day…they just kept the receipt…..because they knew where I lived and who my parents were….all kids running around the neighborhood all evening and weekend long…precious memories for sure…


      Busy week high five to you! Off we go into the work week, Hi-ho.

      • Yeah @Mari135 belive it or not Akaroa (which is the village community just over the hill, an 8 minute drive, has a permanent living population of 600. Where I am in Takamatua it would probably be 50 or so.
        Have a good week. If you want my opinion on your career moves…..or even if you don’t……haha…..here it is in a nutshell……Due to your uncertainty of your future with your husband, I would go for whatever opportunity gives you the most money and the qualifications you seek, the fastest. Time to look after YOU. Another thing I would add is that to apply is seizing opportunity, the outcome is just trusting life to dish up what you need, so it’s good not to be too invested in the outcome. Be guided by it instead. xoxo

        • oxoxoxoxo You keep that unsolicited advice coming because it is solid and makes complete sense. oxoxoxo Have a great day!! 🙂

    • @prudence you have such a beautiful way about you and are wise and kind and generous with your lovely approach to life … I have no doubt you will build quite a fine tribe of connected friends who will be grateful for your presence there.

      • Hi @Freedom1025 thanks so much for your kind words. Yes I think you are right that I will build a tribe here. I just expected it to happen sooner, and now I understand that it will take a long time. And that’s okay. I still live in paradise in the meantime and it is quite interesting being an observer in one’s own life, watching it unfold bit by bit. Hahaha and a trip to Italy and France in June will no doubt add some awesome wonder to it as well, blow a few cobwebs out for sure I’m thinking!!xoxo

    • Beautiful post @prudence. There is something about being in a closeknit town. Another part of me loves access to shops,cafes, and people –even if I dont talk to them

      • Hi Annie and thank you. Christchurch city is jsut over an hour away and a beautiful drive and one I do at least once a week. I have business interests there and my daughter lives there, and soon my son will be finished building a house for a client here and he and his girlfirend will also be back in Christchurch, plus most of my friends, and all the good musc gigs. Ideally, and what Iwill work towards is having a wee bolthole of my own in Christchurch, just a wee one b/r something so it’s easy for me to choose randomly to stay the night or weekend. When I have time spare on my trips to the city…what is my favourite passtime? Shops, cafes, people haha xoxo

        • @Annie I forgot to tag you above

        • Hi @Prudence.So lovely for you to have your kids around you. i live in the North Island but my 3 adult children and grandchildren all live in Australia! Im here at the moment and sooooo not looking foward to going home! You have lovely shops and cafes in ChCH. I adore the social activity evenas an onlooker. Go well @Prudence

    • Hi @Prudence! I always appreciate hearing (well, reading) how you’re doing. I like how you know good things will continue to unfold in time. I feel with sobriety, the universe has my back more. And I can trust the decisions I make. Have a great week ahead! xo

    • I love your post @prudence it feels full of peace and acceptance. Winter is also making itself felt in Auckland but no fire to snuggle up in front of yet. I am pondering the benefits (or lack of) of city living and the loss of the sense of community but I’m hesitant to move too far from our Children and grandchildren. Living AF is giving me the clarity and patience and faith to trust in myself to make good decisions. xx

    • Two years I reckon, to start to feel connection somewhere new. That can feel like such a long time. Quite a lot longer to build community and belong.
      How and where do we form that community aye, So beautiful you’ve found your place @prudence, and I think your’e right about all that. Such wisdom and grace, love it. xxx
      I ponder this often. Where to be. Some of my good friends are dispersing around the country and I feel really sad for the loss of the community I’ve had with them, and wonder where I’ll go and how.
      I too long for that place where I fit, where I’m not just perching on the earth…where I can put down roots in some way and belong.
      I know life isn’t certain and I no longer know if that’s on the cards for me. Perhaps not. Or perhaps I’ll surprise myself.

      • I hope you will surprise yourself @Liberty and I believe it is always worth taking a chance. Even if that chance does not bring the exact desired outcome, it does bring change and growth and stimulation and something new and real.
        I guess moving here was an easy decision for me coz it’s an hour from Christchurch and I inherited the land and I had my childhood here and it’s beautiful so it was a bit of a no-brainer really and I do realise how incredibly lucky I am. I believe that if one is lucky enough to inherit anything, that it is their job to preserve and add to that inheritance. I have honoured my parent’s gift by building this home on the land they left me, and this is what I will leave behind for my children, and hopefully they will keep it for their own children. Where are your parent’s @Liberty? Are they still with us? I wonder if you would like it down here in the South? How are you feeling lately? I think of you often and wish things were easier for you xoxo

        • I love that value of yours @prudence, it’s deeply respectful.
          Just Mum; she lives near my sis on the Kapiti coast. Nothing to inherit and that’s ok, I didn’t expect it.
          I thought I might like it round that area, lots of people do, but I don’t feel a connection there at all.
          South is beautiful! Stunning. I think the thing to do is what you’ve done – pick a spot and plant yourself. 🙂 And bloom.
          And you’re absolutely right about taking a chance.
          I’m doing okay Ms P 🙂 Touches my heart to know I’m in your thoughts. xxx

    • I reckon that’s the way too @Liberty, just pick a spot and plant yourself. And bloom. Love it. The Coromandel is very beautiful too, but maybe there is a wee Southerner in you……xoxo

    • Absolutely love your post@Prudence and “when you run too fast, you run too far”. Wondering what song its from?

      • @JS123 it is a song from the 70’s by and band called Max Merrit and the Meteors but I don’t know the name of the song. Tried to google it for you but haven’t found it. They had another lyric in another song I loved too. Something about “the dust of the legacy you left behind” it was beautiful, about the ending of a relationship. Just little snippits of memory from the mid seventies!! x

    • Love your post @Prudence we also live in a small town and I love it and feel so connected here my heart truly belongs in this little coastal town even with so much burnt down but with the winter rains already started it’s all regrowing already.
      Not cold enough here for a fire yet but soon will be – strangely it normally always gets cold over Easter weekend even though the date changes every year.
      I love to hear how contented you are within yourself – such a good place to be.
      Lots of love to you x

      • The restoration of your beautuful village will be a sight to behold as it re-claims itself after the fires @Ellisou and it will restore the faith of many souls as the beauty returns. Lots of love back to, I often think of you, I will come and see you one day xoxo

        • That would be wonderful @prudence and bring @Ro and @Janus2 with you Janus needs to learn some afrikaans and xhosa swear words 😉
          It truly is a very beautiful warm hearted country with such incredible diversity you need at least 4 weeks just to get a taste of it all.
          How lovely it would be to meet 💜

  • Annie posted an update 4 months, 1 week ago

    Big bloody relaspe–alcohol and sleep pills!! Day 4 again. Hate myself.

    • @annie you can’t change the past, all you can do is move forward, Don’t look at this as failure, see it as a learning experience. Keep on keeping on!

    • Day 4! Forgive yourself, then be as good to yourself as you would be to someone else if they came to you after a relapse. You are worth it. Don’t lose hope.

    • oxooxoxo
      Day 4 and you are back on that horse! That is all that matters right now.
      Easier said than done…I know.

      We truly deserve compassion the MOST when we feel the lowest.

    • Don’t hate yourself, hate the addictive drug. It’s not about willpower, it’s about learning about addiction, and then using that learning to beat it. You’re on day 4 – well done xx

    • @annie I relapsed last night too. I was at Day 12, now I’m back to Day 1. I am looking at it this way: what did I learn? I learned that I can’t just have one or two. Moderation doesn’t work. I just confirmed that I need to go completely free. At least I know now and I don’t have to wonder anymore. Whatever. I am hungover today and I know I’m going to want to eat constantly 🙄. Just know that you are not alone and you hating yourself because you were human last night and didn’t feel like being strong is ok. Who cares. Just start over. Here are some hearts: ❤️❤️❤️ Go for a facial or a massage or a blowout so you feel better. I would, but I have stupid tradespeople in and out of my house all day 🙄

    • Come on @Annie you can do this. Learn from this and move on

    • Day 4 is great it’s better than day 1 ! Stay close here lovely you know you can do this. ❤️❤️

  • Hello All! I have not logged on for some months. So many new people! I was doing really well – staying on the sober train. Unfortunately, the past couple of weekends I drank on Friday or Saturday night. Woke up the next morning feeling like shit, regretful and ashamed, said those words “Never again”….. There is NOTHING even remotely fun anymore about drinking, so WHY??? Last night (freaking Wednesday!) I had several drinks, ordered crap I could not afford online, and woke up at 3:00 am so depressed and anxious that I thought I would die (you guys KNOW that feeling). Now I am at work, feeling horrible and trying to get motivated and not hate myself. I know I should not stay away from this site just because I am doing and feeling great. I need the constant reinforcement of my Tribe to lift and HOLD me up! So, here I go. Just when you think you have that MF monster licked, it rears its ugly head! Thanks for being there!

    • Feel for you Lydia, don’t beat yourself up about it though. Like you say, we all know what it feels like. Tomorrow’s another day x chin up buttercup xx

    • Day 6….just starting. I’m told…..”Yesterday is over, thank goodness!! You have a brand new day 🙂 What is done is done and gone so go treat yourself with some loving care instead of the harsh “voices.”. Your worth is greater than the harsh words we beat ourselves with.” Virtual hug .

    • Hey @lydia727 it’s so great to see you back again yay!!! Why? Because alcohol is a very good lier. It pretends (along with the rest of society) to be your friend. A comfort and a prop. Well it’s not. You already know that. It’s just soooooo insidious. Please don’t beat yourself up- this is a tough ride!!!! Be kind to yourself, you know the drill. So glad you posted 🙂

    • I know, there comes a point where there is no point continuing to drink! im early days again too but this time im really digging deep, why drink when it hurts so much afterwards, what do we get from it, a very short escape at a very hugh price. i think its not a goid deal any more is it? hope you feel better soon, keep going

    • Hi beautiful – that is exactly why I check in, need the reinforcement. However I am sure now I could not even get through a glass of wine as the ethanol taste predominates, and even A/F stuff gives me a headache and vague nausea in the morning – sulphites? sugar? @pooks45, give it enough time an you may heal your taste buds enough to loathe the taste too – it is helpful 🙂

    • Welcome back! ❤️❤️

    • oxoxoxx I can SO relate to the feelings you described. oxoxoxox Just know you’re not alone…this relapse is not your fault…and you are oh so welcome here. oxoxoxox Come as you are.

  • R51 posted an update 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    I’ve been having drinking thoughts recently. Actually pondering if I did, what my “rules” would be. Soooo. I’m thinking. Only drink while out. Never in the house. Only 1 or 2 glasses of amazing wine. Never drink alone. Never drink hard liquor. And never ever bring any form of alcohol into my home. Sounds like a great plan, eh?

    NOT!!!!! But these thoughts are swirling around lately – a lot.

    • Well, if you have a drinking problem, then I think you shouldn’t drink. A good way to ruin your progress is to think you’re “cured”. Why would the future be different from the past? Not to mention, drinking really isn’t that much fun. It just scratches an addictive itch. Latch on to the joy of being AF. I get a chuckle out of the “swirling around” image, if you know what I mean. Not in the mood to go there, though, and that’s just as well.

    • It all sounds very tidy and controlled @r51. Except the bit where after 2 glasses of wine you decide to have just one more, because, well you’re in control and can moderate so you’ll be fine to have just one more this time. Or the bit where after two glasses you buy a bottle and take the rest home to drink. Or the bit where having had just one or two glasses the night before, you have another one or two tonight, then the next night, then the next. At least, that’s how my rules used to work out. Plus I’d be thinking about it all, non-stop. Not that controlled after all. Actually quite consuming. It sounds quite consuming for you now.

    • The operative word is “Not!” @R51. All those things will “Not!” happen if you do if you’re anything like me.

    • This really hit the spot for me @r51 as after 5 months AF I thought oh just tonight a few glasses of wine won’t hurt then it quickly got to everyday it’s so easy to get right back to where you were. @liberty such true words.

    • I had lots of rules for.myself when I was drinking and that didn’t work for me at all. First of all, I often didn’t follow my rules and also, I argued with my rules a lot and that was exhausting. For me it’s much better to not drink at all. I never want to go through that hell again!

    • @r51 when I have these thoughts and start making rules it’s a reminder that I have a problem with alcohol. Normal people don’t need to think about that! Then when I hit the realization I’m glad I’m sober!! 🙂

    • Over Christmas I had crazy thoughts of “I wonder what I’d feel like/what it would tast like now”. The thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone. I had one swig of beer and one swig of kahlua. The kahlua was AF but I count it because I thought it had alcohol. Those 2 sips on different weeks were enough to quell the questions in my brain and I haven’t had those thoughts pop up since. I think I just had to do it to get rid of the thoughts. No cravings or thoughts since.

      • Hi @Jocord, I was just discussing this with my wife last night! I wonder what a nice scotch would taste like now? It took me a long time to acquire a taste for it and then I started collecting it and researching it, I even hosted a scotch tasting.
        The truth is this is how it all started with wine and imported beer, I tried to make it more sophisticated but what ended up happening after some great discussions I would get wasted.
        So it doesn’t really matter what it would taste like now I would end up wasted.
        We are inside of three weeks until our 1 year soberversary, so glad we are making this journey together!

    • I listened to a podcast about relapse which described the disease as incredibly patient, lying in wait. It doesn’t jump off you to someone else once you’ve kicked it. It waits for thoughts just like these. A bit spooky, but it’s stuck with me.

    • Swirly thoughts eh? Think about how much fun it is to detox. There’s your NOT.

    • @R51 after two years of sobriety I acted out on those drinking thoughts i went out and bought organic wine and waited for the sun set sat alone on my deck and anticipated the pure joy – well first shock was it actually tasted disgusting but i didn’t let that put me off and then that fuzzy feeling came after the first glass but it didn’t last so off course I had to have a second glass and then I realized I felt agitated and off balance and my kids were really annoying me which I hadn’t felt in that same way since I had stopped drinking. I felt so agitated that I decided to throw the rest of the expensive bottle away. I tried having a bath to get my equilibrium back but basically the night was ruined. I slept badly felt so cross with myself and went to bed deciding what a stupid decision that was.
      But guess what ?!?! The next day it was like a switch had been turned on and all I could think about was drinking and “the rules” I kept changing them in my mind so that night I decided I would only drink cider – a bit better than wine but instead of one bottle I had two and yup you guessed it the next night i had four bottles and as @Juliana says the rules don’t work no matter how much we convince ourselves this time they will. And as @Liberty says you will be thinking about it all the time – the should I shouldn’t I uuigh that’s no way to live the daily five o clock debate that makes us feel so crazy we end up going to buy wine even though we promised ourselves we wouldn’t and the warm fuzzy feeling we are after only lasts ten minutes and then its replaced by pure horrible anxiety induced wanting more and let’s not even go down the 3am waking up in cold hard anxiety induced insomnia and the lying there promising yourself tomorrow will be different.
      My relapse only lasted a week and then it was so hard to get my sobriety mojo back again I went back to drinking for another week and now been sober six months or so again but it was hard to get back to a peaceful state…[Read more]

      • I am very grateful for these warnings, thank you so much for spelling it out. That, and the necessary reminders of the increased cancer risks – thanks @rise2015 and @gage, with my genes, not a drop should ever have crossed my lips! For a while a scary, in depth article on breast cancer caused by drinking really kept me very moderate. But there came a time when I stopped reading it; couldn’t face the harsh reality. Arrghhhh – intelligence can so fail us 🙁 🙁 🙁

      • Thanks, @Ellislou. Whenever I have those thoughts, I’m going to read your vivid warning again.

      • Yes, @ellislou, thanks for your words. they are so vivid and most of us here know exactly what you are saying, but i for one could not have said it as well as you did. thank you again for sharing.

    • oxoxoxo I get them too. You’re not alone.
      It’s rather normal,I think.
      Let’s not buy into that liar-voice. Screw that wine witch. Bah!


    • When I get those thoughts @R51, I think: “Would I have all of these rules and conditions if I gave up donuts? Or bacon?” Of course not, that would be investing them with too much power, it would be weird. It’s only addictive sustances that bargain with us – but they’re cheats; don’t do business with them.

    • @r51 – all the bargaining. argh. even when the alcohol is not in the system. imagine if it goes back into the system. be well.

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