• jmtn posted an update 2 months, 1 week ago

    I could use some encouragement. Tomorrow is my first birthday since deciding to truly stop drinking, and my mind keeps telling me that 1 (honestly, just 1!) glass of wine at the nice date night dinner my husband has planned will be okay. That only having 1 won’t really count or harm anything. But…I know from all that I’ve read and listened to, that I really just need to not have even a little. Why??? I’m pretty frustrated right now. I will plan to get a fun mocktail, but I could really use some words of encouragement or something. I’ve been failing at moderation, on-and-off binge drinking and generally just over drinking for the last 4-5 or so years, so what I’ve learned is that the thing to do is just not drink any more. Tomorrow will be day 8 of me finally taking this completely seriously. All week I’ve been mostly positive and relieved, enjoying how great I feel, how focused I am, along with all the other benefits of cutting it out, and not the negative “I’m being left out” part, but being my first birthday being sober is presenting some frustrated feelings.

    • Hi @jmtn You say yourself… “I’ve been failing at moderation, on-and-off binge drinking and generally just over drinking for the last 4-5 or so years, so what I’ve learned is that the thing to do is just not drink any more”. The “just one” thing is quite appealing, but in reality it is a trap. When did you ever have just one? Why will this have suddenly changed? or will it still be the case? You know the answer to this… it will still be exactly the same. When you have one drink it dissolves all objections to having another…. “Well I’ve done it now, I may as well carry on”. Then it’s straight back into the old routines… And how will you end up feeling about yourself?

      “Just one” is no use whatsoever to anyone accustomed to drinking regularly… that’s not how we drink… so it’s not true is it? Your brain is lying to you. “Just one” will not make you feel better, it will make you feel like you better have another. Call out the lie and let your brain know you’ve seen it and you’re not falling for that one any longer.

      • Thank you so much @DaveH. I needed that. I know everything you just said, but I really needed it to be told to me. All the research that I’ve been doing has taught me about the alcohol voice and I know this is it that is talking. And you ask “And how will you end up feeling about yourself?” Such a good question…not only is it my birthday and day 8 of a really great healthy feeling streak, but it’s Mother’s Day the next day and I don’t want to wake up feeling like I let myself and my kids down. I really appreciate your words. Thank you again! I hope you’re weekend is off to a healthy, awesome start.

    • Two things always help me in that situation. Playing it forward … one drink leads to 5, slurring my words, saying something idiotic, waking up at 3 am filled with shame and loathing. The second is something Mrs D writes about a lot in her blog and books … alcohol does NOT enhance the occasion. It doesn’t making anything more fun or celebratory. Connecting with others is what counts. You CAN do this!

      • @freedom1025 This was really helpful. Thank you, sincerely. I will remember “playing it forward.” I also like the point that it doesn’t enhance an occasion or make it more celebratory. I will use these tomorrow and in the future. I’m so thankful I found this group!

    • @jmtn Hi why not try thinking of this in a different way. How about saying this is my first birthday since deciding to truly stop drinking…..yeah that great, a wonderful milestone I can plan to be sober for another year till next birthday and I’ll have given myself the absolutely best birthday present, a clear mind, a healthy body , a life in more control. I’ll toast myself with the nicest non alcoholic drink I can, I’ll make heaps of wonderful plans for my life. I’ll use my AF birthday as an affirmation of having a great life.

      • @gage Well said. Thank you. 🙂 I love the positive view of it. I’ll do that. I really appreciate you sharing those thoughts.

        • Yep I definitely play it forward ….. I struggle when I’m out in social situations and think just one BUT I know that what will follow later that evening or in the morning will be regret, frustration and disappointment in myself…… this then spoils the potentially good memories of a nice evening out . Make sure you order yourself a special non alcoholic cocktail or something …..or even if it’s tonic water/lemon lime bitters I always ask them to put it in a wine glass !! Otherwise they give you a tall glass and a bloody straw and I feel like a child 😂

    • Sometimes you need to find it out for yourself that it is not just one @jmtn – for some reason we all think we will be the one who can moderate. I did just one drink to celebrate my graduation 3 years ago, after making it to 6 months, and did just one that day, but by the next week I had another reason to have just one, then just two and actually I can’t see the point of JUST ONE, can you? I finally realised I can’t do just one, and now I am at 356 days AF – it’s worth it.

      • Congrats on 356 days! Almost a year! That’s awesome. And you’re so right…what’s the point of JUST ONE? It’s the alcohol voice in my head that sugar coats it and makes it sound so great, but I know it’s not. I’ve proven to myself too many times that I am not one that can moderate. Thank you for sharing. I really appreciate it!

    • if you’re taking this completely seriously and have decided to truly stop drinking then try to see this as a huge opportunity to achieve remaining alcohol free during a very challenging moment.

      we have always drank alcohol on our birthdays, on our date nights. this is a chance to remain alcohol free and build some serious sober muscle!

      • You’re so right! This will be my first alcohol free birthday in 24 years. It’s always there, but I’m growing to appreciate that it doesn’t need to be. Thank you for helping me see it as a serious sober muscle exercise! I appreciate it. 🙂

    • Some great advice from people I really respect below! For me I would really enjoy just one and then spend the rest of the evening having an internal battle about having another one and miss out on the entire evening! It’s better to decide before you go that drinking is not an option and be very present during the entire evening! Moderation is so exhausting and takes up so much energy!

      • You’re so right. During the times in the past that I’ve had just one when I was “moderating” I did keep wishing I could have another (which would obviously turn into 3 more) and then after I just waited, annoyed, for the effect to wear off, wishing I could keep it going. Thank you for telling me what I already knew…I really needed to hear from someone else. It helps.

    • Happy Birthday jmtn!!!!

      Give the piss a miss and experience bliss.
      How about after all those boozy birthdays we try just this one sober…no clinking glasses with alcohol….have yourself a fancy mocktail instead. Just this once. Alcohol won’t go anywhere and we can drink again next year on your birthday if the time in between sober sucks bad enough.
      Nothing to miss out on.

      If it’s too much to explain to others you don’t want to drink use a white lie like “I am on antibiotics” or anything that keeps you safe and makes today easier.

      We’re here for you.
      Stop by throughout the day if the cravings become loud.

      • Thank you so much! “Give the piss a miss and experience bliss.” I love it! 🙂 Your comments along with all of the others have helped my mindset click into being really excited about my first AF birthday in 24 years.

    • @tewy I’m laughing about the bloody straw and feeling like a child. I like to ask for a fun glass, too. Thank you for your comments. I will remember them.

    • @DaveH @freedom1025 @gage @tewy @rise2015 @enzedgirl @Hammer123 @Mari135 I wanted to thank each of you again for your words the other day. You each helped me so much. I had a frustrating internal struggle a few times while out on that birthday date night that is typically filled with drinks pre, post and during dinner, but I had none. It really was healthy to exercise these sober muscles. Yesterday we met our group of drinking friends for Mother’s Day at a local brewery, and I didn’t have a problem ordering kombucha instead. Ultimately, I am so happy with how this first sober weekend went, that happened to be filled with two celebrations that usually would have been filled with mimosas, wine and beer. Now it’s Monday morning and I feel great physically and mentally. Thank you again and again. Have a great week everyone!

      • Yay! Now you know what a sociable AF weekend can feel like – and you know you can do it!

      • Well done!! This is where the change starts to happen … you prove to yourself that you CAN go out and have a nice time without drinking. Alcohol is such a liar. It tries to convince us we can’t do anything without booze in the mix. SO NOT TRUE! I’m so very happy for you. Keep going. 😊

Living Sober by NZ Drug Foundation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Built with love by Bamboo Creative and powered by Flywheel. 2019.

Forgot your details?

Create Account