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

    I love the changes as well. I feel like a mindfulness guru some days: the senses suddenly bolster; leaves on trees stand out, the cut grass smells out of this world, the mountains are showing every crevice clearly, even the rain down the back of my neck. Loving it all.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 6 days, 22 hours ago

    Absolutely! Laughter is the best medicine. I’m laughing a lot more. Feels great.

    • So true! I’ve made my self laugh more today and it has become more and more genuine as the day went on. Downright cackling by 3pm!!!

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 6 days, 22 hours ago

    I like this! I’ll have two bottles please. Makes me gag! Cheers!

    • I know, in the last decade i cd stick to one, bottle that is!, but when i was young it was a lot more, yeuch

  • Day 10 – happy week to all. This week I’m going to achieve … Actually I think I might clear up my finances. It’s weird (and good) seeing my bank account not move. Have a great week aiming for your achievement.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 6 days, 23 hours ago

    Yeh I meant on my travels going past day 25 I always noticed it but I’m not inspiring, I keep slipping too. I’m back at day ten today. I can travel with you. 🙂

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    Libby your story is heartbreaking. You were so strong. Can you remember how good your life was sober? Can you write down all the wonderful things? Nasty wine witch. Sending you hugs.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    Hiya, yes you are rehydrating and healing. You may be missing the sugar. I gained weight when I had an ice-cream as a treat each night. I am not going cold turkey on sugar, I’m naughty and have one glass of coca-cola each night but not the ice-cream. I’m levelling out and losing it slightly. But I only know this from all my stops and starts. Right now I’m sulking and eating decadently. I don’t care. I’m not drinking. I’ll care tomorrow.

    • Feee replied 1 week ago

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve never known what ‘normal’ is in most things, as we are all so different, but with alcohol I think we are all similar in that it is a devil amongst us in our lives. My instinct was to treat or reward myself for hitting my own particular wine devil square on the nose by ignoring him & tucking into a plate of cheese & biscuits instead, as I’m so grumpy. Thank you for sharing your own experience with me, it is greatly appreciated.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    Good girl. You are doing well. I find day 25 switches from the mundane to the ‘oh my God I’m alive!’ moments.

    • Really? @MissBennet? I hope 25 is true! I slipped at 23 so working upwards again. Keep inspiring us please!,

      • Yeh I meant on my travels going past day 25 I always noticed it but I’m not inspiring, I keep slipping too. I’m back at day ten today. I can travel with you. 🙂

  • MissBennet posted an update 1 week ago

    Golf update: disastrous golf from myself and having the comfort food – chips and dip – instead of alcohol. Yum. Listened to the loosened lips slowly sinking all their ships all the way home. Quite enjoyed not participating and quietly listening. @Ro we played Pirongia today. I’m at the base of the Kaimais.

    • k1W1 replied 1 week ago

      I suck at golf but when I play I have so much fun because I play so bad. I like your phrase about loose lips

  • MissBennet posted an update 1 week ago

    Day 9 – morning all. Enjoying sobriety now and back on track. Thanks for everyone’s support yesterday. Yep I’m doing the consecutive count. Today is golf in the wind and rain under one of our beautiful mountains. A great chance for practicing mindfulness. Have a wonderful Sunday peeps.

    • Ro replied 1 week ago

      Have a great game out in the elements! Are you in Taranaki? I love it up there…

    • congrats on day 9, @missbennett. your day sounds fabulous.

    • Good job! Day 9 is great. I’m working towards my next day 9

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 1 day ago

    That was me yesterday and I didn’t and I’ve had a great day today. Worth it!

  • MissBennet posted an update 1 week, 1 day ago

    Day stupid 8 and day 34 if I hadn’t missed a hearbeat and drunk that glass. I’m still in disbelief. I was miles away from thinking about drinking and wham, it smacked me in the nose. My resolve was adamant until that point. Last night, being a week from, I recognised just how tired I must have been. Same scenario without the storm. No worries. Saturday morning, pink clouds lol. Now I’ve vented, have a gorgeous day relaxing.

    • HALT, hungry angry lonely tired. You seem like you id’d the problem, and are moving on. congrats on your resolve to say no more alcohol. be well.

    • Oh that wine witch is so bloody sneaky!!! I have had this happen previously- I didn’t even mean to drink and then wa-o. Day 8 though- nice work you have to give yourself credit for that!

    • Shows how easy it is to go back to automatic behaviour, but at least you now know what to look out for, so that’s a bonus

    • I’m glad you posted this MissBennet. This is the raw honesty peeps like me need. Very grateful. Plus, it is really helpful because extra experiences and wisdom are posted too – like @kitten and @agirl . I had never heard or considered “HALT” (hungry, angry, lonely tired) – these are the very states that I seem to falter at.

    • So really Day 42. Hold onto that. Very precious achievement. They dont have to be all in one straight line!

    • Glad you’re not letting it stop you from coming back! @missbennet….and also I like the way you think @morgan, but I’m still going to reach harder for the consecutive count. Reach AGAIN that is

    • Yes, HALT is one I use all the time to assess how I’m doing. It’s amazing how we can not even be thinking about it and like you said WHAM! So great you are just getting back on the horse. That’s truly the way to be successful no matter what.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 1 day ago

    Congratulations. What a wonderful achievement!

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 1 day ago

    Isn’t it awesome! You’ve reimaged it for me. Like you, I couldn’t get enough. We went up into the dome. That’s an awesome experience. You can do that for free I think. The whole Vatican church where the Pope preaches now was mind-blowing. I sat there for ages soaking it in. I hope you got/get there. Sorry, I can’t remember what bits were on tour.

    • Yes that is St Peters Basilica and I went there @MissBennet, unfortunately my phone battery had gone flat by then. But I am still in absolute awe of that church. Magnificent. No words really can describe the incredible intracacy and detail, and all in marble and OMG it really did have a power all it’s own. Shame I didn’t get a chance to have a chat with Pope Francis, I reather admire him xx

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 1 day ago

    Woohoo you are a winner! Congratulations honey!

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 1 day ago

    Welcome! Adore the name!

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 1 day ago

    Catching up the last few posts today and checking out the map. It must be so nice waking up sober on holiday. I’ve never had a sober holiday but I will. You’re inspiring me! The senses must be doing overload.

    • My senses are getting a hammering, Even smell and taste! I’m sure alcohol deadens the taste buds. Mine are now tasting whole bunch of new flavours.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 4 days ago

    Crazy spring weather, we have it up north too probably minus your sub zero chill factor but I can feel the sisters (our mountains) in the centre sending their kisses. Hope you don’t get too soaked.

    • Heard a big bomb is heading for the North Island. Sorry about that ❄️❄️❄️

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 4 days ago

    Lol I’m loving my trip alongside you. I’ve been reading all your posts and really enjoying Europe on the Sober Side. Thank you. 🙂

  • Day 4 – finally stopped sulking from my slip. Climbed a mountain. Breathed fresh air. Sat, contemplated @prudence “make the decision”, talked to the gods, watched the world go by, and thought yup, she’s right. A bit like @mari135 Russell Brand always thinking about the “what if”. Time to call it a day on the drinking and “see what life has to offer”, or as Kate at Sober School says, “go all in”. Instead of the passivity, go on the ‘this is how it is’ and roll. So end of. I don’t drink. I have a problem. Full stop. Bring on brighter days. (Oosh that accepting I have a problem out loud is eeeek!)

    • Well done you. The decision is everything. Don’t worry about all the how’s and what if’s – they get worked out along the way. Soak in the good experiences you can have and slowly you’ll start seeing potential. Even the hardest days sober are better than any drinking day when you consider the big picture.
      One foot in front of the other. You can do this! Xo

    • HI @Missbennett “Oosh that accepting I have a problem out loud is eeeek!” Isn’t it just, but it is also really important. The reason we don’t want to accept that we have a problem is because of the shame that comes with it; we don’t want to be an Alcoholic because that’s shameful! But this is a completely incorrect accusation. People who are bi-polar aren’t shamed, not are people with depression or anxiety disorders, and alcoholism is no different… they are all conditions where the brain is working in ways that are unhelpful and unwanted. Shame only exists by the consent of the shamed. Our brains are mis-performing and we haven’t chosen this to happen, and this means that shame is not attributable to us. Shame is only attributable when the actions of the individual are freely chosen… not when they are enforced. There is nothing shameful about being an alcoholic and anyone casting shame does so through lack of understanding. One of the big things we can do to help ourselves early on is to not be one of those people casting shame. Our condition is not chosen it is inflicted on us and as such this warrants compassion not shame. Alcoholism attracts shame through ignorance and when we stop looking at our problem as failure and start recognising is as illness then we have something to work with that isn’t crushing us. When we recognise it as illness then we can look at ways to treat the illness… and shame disappears! Something I did was I put a post-it note on my bathroom mirror. It read “I am an alcoholic”. Then each morning in the shower I would think about that and follow the thought wherever it went. I am an alcoholic… what does that do to how I think, what are my challenges going to be today, what am I going to meet, what am I going to do about these to stop them or get past them… etc.
      There is no shame in being an alcoholic. People that cast shame do so from ignorance… I learned to forgive them their ignorance. That was their problem to deal with not…[Read more]

      • Mm debate that of being ashamed of being bipolar, huge stigma still out there, and huge regrets of spending approx 5 yrs in n out of looney bins, rehabs, residential care, over today of shitloads of meds, as meds added to, since op and hit depression. So..
        Depression more accepted out there b4 bipolar or schizophrenia, as i used to say i was, with lol violent sexual tendancies to scare the bajesus out of people when in care, left me well alone lol 😁🤔 @DaveH

    • Good for you! What helped me with the decision is that I only drank for the buzz. Once I accepted that I needed to give up the buzz, it was easy to stop drinking. I still wanted the escape but chose better ways to handle things than just escape. Making the decision is so freeing!

    • Kitchen sink recovery! Throw the kitchen sink at it 😀

      you sound like you’ve made a decision 🙂

    • Proud of ya @MissBennet
      You are in for some surprises. Good surprises. Shrug that booze shit right off and embrace the real you. Honestly, if you are open and accepting, it is not boring at all, it becomes quite exciting, and so fucking convenient to be so on point and together all the time. You get to do all sorts of stuff you wouldnt usually get around to. Being normal can really be pretty cool. Roll with it, and watch yourself shine xxx

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 4 days ago

    Congratulations! What a wonderful achievement. 🎂

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 1 week, 5 days ago

    So cool!

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks ago

    Thank you. Such kind people. 🙂

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks ago

    Lol I’m glad and you’ll be glad we didn’t drink last night. 🙂

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks ago

    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.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks ago

    Thank you. 😍

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    Love the analogy. Thank you. 🙂

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

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

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    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

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    🙂

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    🙂

  • 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!”

      oxxoxoxox

    • 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

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    Congratulations Mari! Peace of mind.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    @morgan sorry for the late reply but I know your feeling. It did get bigger and more heavy going. I ended up changing jobs. I should have done it years ago. I’m in the best job now, absolutely loving it. I was under so much pressure and they piled more on because you become duper efficient trying yo cope. Catch-22. But I wasn’t coping and that’s where the drinking came in. Talk about high functioning! Sorry buddy but you’ll be correct.

  • Day 25 – starting to get into habits now. The weather is rough and ready these days so nesting season for us. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad today. I feel funny. I’ll just get through it. I’m not craving or reminiscing, I think it’s back to work blues after a day off. Just blah today! I’m going to practice mindfulness.

    • Great progress! I have work fears at present, rather than blues. It just seems too hard, too worrying, too much driving to and from and about, too many meetings – and I am only just at the start of something that is going to get waaayyy bigger and more heavy going … oh dear

      • @morgan sorry for the late reply but I know your feeling. It did get bigger and more heavy going. I ended up changing jobs. I should have done it years ago. I’m in the best job now, absolutely loving it. I was under so much pressure and they piled more on because you become duper efficient trying yo cope. Catch-22. But I wasn’t coping and that’s where the drinking came in. Talk about high functioning! Sorry buddy but you’ll be correct.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 4 days ago

    Hey my friend, you are hitting the negatives. I’m definitely no expert but I’m going through a load of social stuff too and I turn it around. I play a game where I spot the first to visibly relax, the first to breathe fumes in my face, the first to slur their words and the one who is quietly refilling quite a bit. I have the one whose paunch is all alcohol, the sweating one and the not so glamorous one now. I play it forward using other people and start relaxing myself feeling rather sanctimonious inside. The ultimate is the one who will be the old me in the morning and then I know I’ve made the right decision because my morning will be great. I sound like a crappy friend but it’s self-preservation because all these people are me. I would love to know any other tricks people use. I just think it’s better than crying in the toilet. Also, you can have one tomorrow if you still really really want one but not tonight. That helps me too.

    • @missbennet, I love this idea! I think you’re right that it’s about self! There’s lots of times during the day for kindness but drinking social events are about self preservation. I’m gonna try your idea

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 4 days ago

    Happy sober birthday; an extra special one in so many ways. 🌹

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 4 days ago

    Sounds wonderful! Enjoy. 🙂

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 5 days ago

    Welcome back. It’s be kind day to yourself today. You will be strong again.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 5 days ago

    18 months is wonderful. Congrats. I’m in awe.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 5 days ago

    What a great idea. I will join you, though not in the tub, you can get out first. A kind thing for myself without spending money because I spend lavish amounts being kind to myself then feel sick.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 5 days ago

    Morning and welcome.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 5 days ago

    Hi and welcome.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 5 days ago

    Welcome!

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 6 days ago

    Get better and no more kissing strangers. 🙂

  • Thank goodness that day is over. Bedlam. Found cat two doors down in garage but no-one home and electric door. She is very lucky she’s not fat (cat not next door neighbour). I levered the far corner out as much as I could and she pretended she was slinky malinky and wham, out. Carried bad cat all the way back down the road in a walk of shame lol. Lucky too as the lady goes away for weeks rather than days. You may all rest easy tonight @mari135, @agirl, @juliana and @shez. ?

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 6 days ago

    Morning, I think she is in someone’s garden shed but can’t give them a 6am wake up call. Sunday yesterday so pottering around in the garden day I hope.

  • D22 – Bad Monday. Cat is missing.

  • D20 – feeling on top of the world which is good because we are at the bottom lol. (New Zealand) Even amusing myself! Have a wonderful day all. The posts this morning are invigorating.

  • MissBennet posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 1 day ago

    Mines being naughty and running around the house like a lunatic. She’s very excited.

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