• mkusch posted an update 6 days, 15 hours ago

    Day 41 and feeling great. Woke up this Sunny Sunday morning ready for the day, no stress, no hangover and loving myself. WOW, what a great feeling. This is what sober feels like.

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

    Thanks for the tip

  • mkusch posted an update 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    Day 30

    It has been here two years since I reached this milestone. The longest then was 43 days. I convinced myself that I could moderate. I convinced myself that I didn’t have a problem with alcohol. A bottle of wine is open, and it must be drunk. Not this time. Moderation is generally not in my DNA. I am either all in or not at all. For something in life that works well. Marriage, family, career. But not with alcohol. Heading out to a golf tournament today. The weather looks good, it should be a fun day.

  • mkusch posted an update 2 weeks, 5 days ago

    Day 28

    Went to the ball game yesterday with the family. I did it without any beer. There are a few things that I learned. One when sitting in the sun and are drinking beer, the beer actually makes you feel hotter. Water is a better coolant. Two you can enjoy a ball game without beer. Beer did not make the ball game better. Came home feeling good.

    Happy Canada Day Everyone

    • @mkusch – and one more sober experience you have under your belt…..love this!

    • Good for you @mkush! I’ll be going into my 1st 4-day July 4th weekend this week and I’m planning to do it exactly as you have – alcohol free. Happy Canada Day to all my dear friends to the north.

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

    Thank you so much for your comments. They really help. Sometimes it is about managing expectations. I will have depressing days.

  • mkusch posted an update 3 weeks, 2 days ago

    Yesterday I was feeling very depressed. Everything seemed to be going south, and nothing was giving me pick up. Clare Pooley book reminded me that I will have these low days. My brain trying to get the chemical balanced correctly. I was weepy, frustrated, angry, looking for something to give me a pick me up. I even tried playing golf (which usually helps) but I even got frustrated with my game last night. I came home and had some chocolate. That helped. It was immediate. I could feel the difference. It confirmed that my brain is working things out. It feels like progress, sad depressing, but moving forward at the same time. That is hopeful. Only 6 days to the 30-day mark

    • Keep up the good progress mkusch. Almost to 30 days. Yes! Better to have a sad day sober then a set of continuous days hung over…

    • Yes, there are some down days – good that you are being logical about how your body is repairing itself. Congrats on heading towards 30 days. It’s really an accomplishment and tells you that you can stay away from booze if you put your mind to it. Well done!

    • Today all I have wanted is chocolate, I’m feeling a bit low and tired.. it really does pick you up and sorts the cravings out. your doing so well xx

    • You have my compassion for the heavy wave there passing through. Those are no fun at all. No wonder you felt the way you described.
      30 days are coming up so soon, well done you!
      oxoxox
      The hardest thing in early sobriety for me was that I expected “utter unicorn bliss forever” and….I had days when I felt high and elated by being sober….but a lot of days …fucking sucked. Pardon my Spanish.
      It was hard. And boring….so boring at times. I even convinced myself somewhere around day 70 that I was less depressed back when I was still boozing and that drinking would help me.

      Hang in there.
      It REALLY does get so much better and easier.

      oxoxox

      And it is ok to ask for help.
      I worked with a counselor after getting really depressed over my childhood and this work has been a game-changer. Professional help is there for a reason and there is no shame in asking for it.

      • Thank you so much for your comments. They really help. Sometimes it is about managing expectations. I will have depressing days.

  • mkusch posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 3 days ago

    Thank you.

  • mkusch posted an update 3 weeks, 5 days ago

    Day 21
    Made it through a conference without having a drink. The conversations that I am having with myself is that I overreacted. I can do this. I can have a drink. Need to remember that I am good at abstaining not moderation. We were in wine country on the weekend (many wineries). Remember that first taste of a nice glass of wine. I also put on a few pounds this weekend. It seems totally unfair.

    • Well done you. You’re not missing out, you are gaining soo much by doing this. You’ll never hear someone who got sober saying they’ve got a duller life without alcohol! It’s always richer and fuller and opens many doors.
      Don’t worry about the weight gain, right now food is better than booze. I put on weight for the first 3 months coz I ate so much. But it went away.
      Abstinence is far simpler than moderation, it doesn’t mess with your mind like moderation does. Keep on going – 3 weeks is epic! Xo

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

    Congratulations on 80 days sober. Hope to get there myself. Thanks for your post

  • mkusch posted an update 4 weeks, 1 day ago

    Day 18

    Away at a conference this weekend. I am looking forward to the change of pace and the learning that will be happening this weekend. The weekend will also be my first big test, and I am determined to pass. These weekend can also be tiring so I am looking forward to waking up Saturday morning without a hangover and feeling alert and ready to learn. It may mean going to bed earlier than usual, and I will have to get over the FOMO (fear of missing out). But I will pass the test this weekend.
    It is hard to believe it is Day 18. Last night coming home from work I had that urge to have a drink. (beer or wine) It didn’t last very long, but it was there. I chose chocolate over alcohol.
    The first day of summer today. Long nights warm days. Memories of having a cold beer out on the deck. I should say beers because I know it is never just one. I am good at abstaining but no at moderation.
    Have a good day, everyone.

    • Hello, @mkusch, congrats on day 18. wow, i know it took a lot to get there. maybe a bit of sleeplessness, maybe a bit of oversleeping, maybe some sweats, maybe some shakes, maybe well, you fill it in. Do you want to do all of that AGAIN??? Enjoy your first day of summer. Make some new memories. 🙂

    • Hi @mkusch Day 18! Feel great, right?? First day of a whole new summer. Time to make new memories – lemonade on the deck … tall glasses of iced tea as the sun sets. Here’s to a peaceful enlightening AF summer! Enjoy your conference.

    • Congrats on day 18 @mkusch!! This weekend try to focus on the interactions with people and really hearing what they are saying. The best thing about socializing sober is being able to be 100% engaged in the conversation and remember everything that was said. It is fun to focus on the people instead of the drinks! One of my tricks for summer nights is root beer in a bottle. It feels festive and familiar because I am drinking something out of a bottle, but it tastes delicious because it is root beer! xo

  • mkusch posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    Thank you. That is exactly what I am going to do.

  • mkusch posted an update 1 month ago

    Day 16
    Last night I came home after a game of golf and I really wanted a drink. It wasn’t a fun game of golf.

    I was playing with a friend (thought to be a friend) that I felt had treated me poorly a couple of days before and owed me an apology for her behaviour. Rather than confront the issue, I became passive aggressive. (i.e didn’t talk very much, left early etc.) (I technique my mother uses on me all of the time) My emotions were raw, and part of me wanted to drown them out. I didn’t. In time, I will forgive her, my generous heart will return, and I will justify her behaviour in my own head as either that is the best she can do, or I was overreacting in the first place, and I need to let it go. But in the meantime, I will avoid her like the plague.

    Part of me wishes I could confront her, but by doing that I would be very vulnerable. Maybe the story in my head is wrong. I am not perfect.

    But how can your emotions be wrong? I feel now that she was mean and snarky, and I didn’t deserve that behaviour. Do I need to confront her, or is okay to move on in time? What is best for me?

    The best thing is I got through last night without having a drink. I vented to my husband who supported me completely.
    Thanks for reading

    • Hi @mkusch – I’m sorry your friend treated you poorly. Nobody deserves to be treated without respect. What I have learned is that often how people react to something has nothing to do with me. Deep down, they are exhibiting a behavior because of something that they are dealing with in their own lives. For example, when I tell people I don’t drink I often get a whole range of reactions. Those that are bothered by it and act out in a mean or even aggressive way often are working through alcohol abuse issues of their own. It has absolutely nothing to do with me. I am not sure what your friend did to lose your trust, but I just wanted to give you a small example. In regards to if you should confront her, I would encourage you to use the verbiage of ‘share your honest self with her’ instead of the verbiage of ‘confront’. I always think an open hearted loving conversation with our friends is the best way to go. Lots of sharing in regards to how her behavior made you feel…(sad, lonely, hurt, etc.). No telling how she will react, but remember, as long as it is said in a loving way and your side of the street is clean then how she reacts is a reflection of what is happening in her life. xoxo

    • Hi @mkusch! Very well done examining your feelings and not drinking. Feelings are skewed by the lens through which we view them. Right now you are still in early days of clarity which will continue to change over the next few months. I like the idea of forgiving but not forgetting. You can work toward forgiving your friend and examine her behavior and your reaction over time. It’s great your husband supported you! I tend to distance myself from people who threaten my sobriety. Perhaps it’s time you put this friend on hold until you feel more confident.

    • The best thing is that you got through last night without drinking. Yes you did!! Whatever the circumstances, you did not let her shit become yours. If she was mean and snarky, so be it. Her shit. Not yours. Don’t waste another second of your lovely sober day thinking about it. Wrap yourself up in how good you’re feeling now. Avoid her. Let it go for now. You may feel different in a couple of days – you know you’re going to continue to feel better the longer you don’t drink one way or the other. So screw it. Let it go. Not worth the energy. Save that for all the lovely life you’ll experience sober. Wishing you a great day.

  • mkusch posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    Thanks

  • mkusch posted an update 1 month ago

    Day 14. Got through two weekends. I attended a family event for a short period yesterday. Lost of Alcohol. My mother likes to drink. Looking forward to the week. Watched the US Open alcohol-free. Had the best night sleep. Mind you it was hard to wake up this morning. I could of sleep for another hour. This coming weekend I will be away attending meetings. There will be lots of social (alcohol) in the evenings. Starting to get prepared.

    • Well done on day 14 @mkusch! Great work attending that alcohol soaked event, every time it becomes just a little bit easier. You are doing great! xo

  • mkusch posted an update 1 month ago

    Made it through Day 11 (out with friends) and now I am on Day 13. It felt so good this morning waking up without a hangover. Happy Fathers Day to all the Fathers out there. Got me some treats yesterday to enjoy while I watched the US Open. It helped to have something special to consume while watching a sporting event rather than beer or wine. You feel less empty or awkward. Looking back on my post, I see I was here two years ago. I think this feels different. My commitment level is different. @pattyw commented on my last post that there are ZERO benefits to drinking Alcohol. That is helpful, especially when you can drink a bottle of wine by yourself in one night.

    • Good morning @mkusch. On to day 13! Tomorrow makes 2 full weeks. Yes you can!! Yup. Agree with @pattty 100%. Zero benefits to alcohol. Life is so much better without – and so is watching a sporting event ;-). Enjoy your day.

    • Hi @mkusch! Congrats on the sporting events. Football was hard for me until I got through the pre-game season. Just need to build need to build new associations there. 0 benefits to alcohol. Not even a glass of wine/day as recommended. I found it helpful to ask myself to find one good reason to drink. A valid, good reason where there are no alternatives. I never found one.

  • mkusch posted an update 1 month ago

    This is day 11. Not my first day 11. I have been here before. It is also a Friday. I really want to succeed this time. I want to live an alcohol-free life. A life where I don’t wake up in the morning with regret and shame. I have been reading, listening to podcasts about living a sober life. I need to remind myself why I want to live an alcohol-free life.
    – having a better nights sleep. Not waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and get a glass of water. No night sweats.
    – waking up in the morning and not feeling embarrassed about the night before. (what did I say, what are other people thinking about my behaviour)
    – concerned about my drinking habits and the effect on my health. (the biggest and most important reason)
    – I want to be a good role model for my children. My drinking habits are not something to aspire too.
    – It is difficult to control your weight when overindulging in the drink

    I am not a writer, I am an accountant. So writing and having other people read my story is a little scary. How many spelling mistakes have I made? Are there grammar errors? Does it make sense? Trying to get past this, it is more important to stay sober and I am hoping this will get me through day 11 and beyond.

    Tonight, I am out with friends. I haven’t told anyone yet. I little nervous, not sure what I am going to say. Planning and being prepared.

    • Hi there @mkusch. The last thing you have to worry about here is your writing. We’re all in the same collective boat here helping each other to row in the same direction. Day 11! Double digits – out of week one!! – And firmly into week two! That’s real deal progress you’re making there. Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this. It gets easier and better every single 24 hours that you keep going. Good luck tonight. Whether or not you choose to tell anyone right now is up to you. But having a plan and being prepared is definitely a great idea. I’ll be thinking of you. Have an excellent AF Friday. Enjoy your weekend.

    • I love this @mkusch and thank you for sharing. I’m not a writer and have been here for over a year and lurk mostly so I get it. Share whatever is on your mind, this place has gotten me through quite a few times when I was very tempted, so much support and inspiration. Your reasons sound very familiar. Have an idea of what you can say tonight in case it comes up, I find it usually isn’t half as big of a deal to others as I think it will be. You’ve got this, glad you’re here!

    • Your reasons resonate so much with me!! Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re perfect right here on day 11! The weekend is not an excuse to drink for making it through the week. They are just other days of the week while you’re building up sober time. Try asking yourself for one GOOD reason to drink. Just one. There are none. That always worked better for me than lists of reasons to not drink.

    • All of your reasons are my reasons too. And the health being the most important as it is to you. Day 9 here and starting to feel better all the way around. I have to keep remembering that there are ZERO benefits to drinking. ZERO.

      Thank you for sharing…:)

  • mkusch posted an update 2 years ago

    Just read post of individuals that have reach D42, D77 and D300. How inspiring. I am at D12. Looking forward to a lovely day.

  • mkusch posted a new activity comment 2 years ago

    Wow, what an accomplishment

  • mkusch posted an update 2 years ago

    Day 10 down. It has been a long time since I have gotten through 10 days AF. I am feeling really good today. Proud of myself. My head has been clear for awhile and now my body is starting to feel healthier. The weekend is coming and we have a barbeque with friends on Sunday. Sunday coming will be my biggest challenge in the next couple of days. Need to come up with a plan. Need to know what to say.

    • Wonderful accomplishment! I am on day 11 and feeling proud of myself and much better physically. We had a tough time on the 4th of July. It was my daughter’s 29th birthday and we were getting ready to have a celebration family lunch when she got news that a close friend of hers was hit by a car the night before and is in a coma. They both just graduated from social work school last month and had a lovely celebration party in a park together with family and friends in Chicago where they live.
      I wasn’t tempted to drink. It is all so sad and terrible, a huge weight on our household now. The friend hasn’t awakened from the coma yet. Drinking would just make it all worse.

      • That’s so sad,@juliana.I hope that she improves soon.

        • Thank you. She has just gotten married, completed an MSW and was about to begin a new job helping teens from poverty high schools prepare for college. It’s heartbreaking.

    • Welcome to Double Digits! 🙂

    • The early days are good days to make something up, like medicine or a physical the next day or whatever. Just get it stuck in your mind that whatever happens, you aren’t going to drink. Maybe it will all be fun, and you’ll have a good time. Think positive, stay resolved.

    • Day 10, congratulations!!!!
      Well done

    • I would just say the you’re trying “Dry July” @mkusch – then afterwards, you can just say that you liked it and decided to stick with it. None of that is a lie, and is an easy, light thing to get out there.
      Make sure that you have good NA treats – at home, I like a virgin daiquiri.

    • Thanks for your message. It’s hard to see my daughter in this amount of pain, especially when I am struggling with it too.

      !

  • mkusch posted a new activity comment 2 years ago

    Congrats on Day 5. Enjoy the wonderful feeling of a clear head.

  • mkusch posted an update 2 years ago

    Made it through the long weekend. Happy 4th to our US neighbors. Golf and a good book got me through the weekend. I am a little bit cranky however. Hoping this angry feeling will stop soon. Not sure want I am angry at. Angry with myself. I need a vacation.

    • JM replied 2 years ago

      Hi @mkusch! Are you also Canadian? Big party week-end here, well done on getting through it. Hope you feel better/have a vacation soon. : )

    • Lol I too am angry at myself for not taking more vacations. I sure could use one, But, congrats on getting through the weekend, and past the first week.

    • Golf and a good book sounds like a great way to spend a weekend. Being angry is cool – better than blotting things out – anger isn’t an aberration, it’s a normal authentic human reaction to our world sometimes.

  • mkusch posted an update 2 years ago

    Had a wonderful Canada Day. Went out for breakfast with my husband, played golf in the afternoon. Went to a barbeque with friends. Did it all AF. My husband asked me what I was thinking about on the way home and I said I was happy doing it without Alcohol. Read a book when I got home. Would not have been able to do that if I was drinking. I would have gone straight to bed. This is Day 6, I know I can get through today, and that feels great.

    • Great job on 6 days. I love being able to go to bed with a book. I used to read every night before the wine habit kicked in. Glad are feeling so positive.

    • Sounds like a beautiful day! Great job and congratulations on six days!

    • Congratulations on Day 6! Happiness is truly a day without alcohol’s interference. 🙂

  • mkusch posted a new activity comment 2 years ago

    You have got this. Sounds like a wonderful day. Enjoy

  • mkusch posted a new activity comment 2 years ago

    Simple things with a clear head. It feels good. Well done.

  • mkusch posted an update 2 years ago

    Made it through Day 5. A Friday night. Played golf yesterday and had dinner with friends last night. Drank Perrier water with lime. Friends never asked why I wasn’t drinking and I never offered up a reason. My husband got tired early so went home early. Not a bad night. Had fun with friends and it was kind of cool listening to everyone with a clear head. So this is Day 6. Canada’s 150th. Will be golfing again today in a tournament. I don’t drink when I golf so being on the golf course hitting a golf ball is stress relieving. It is after golf when the beer comes out. Sticking to the same plan water with lime. Have a good weekend everyone.

    • @mkusch its funny how it seems we are the only one who notices we aren’t drinking 🙂 happy day 5!! hope tomorrow is fun!

    • JR replied 2 years ago

      Awesome! I was thinking about you and so glad to hear you ended well. 1 day at a time and agree about listening to others with a clear head, I found that too last night. Wonderful feeling how much my daughter was talking as I was so attentive

    • Sounds like you are doing great!

    • Day 5 and a Friday night- you rock star you!!!

      oxoxox

      Let’s do day 6.
      You got this.

      Canada is much older than 150 years anyways so it’s all an artificial story we made up and tell ourselves. I love Canada and it’s cool and ok to celebrate historic dates. But even the concept of “1 year =365 days’ is made up by humans. It doesn’t mean it does not feel special, you have a right to feel special about it, as do all Canadians. But it does mean you take back control over the stories, and how you want to integrate them into your life.

      Canada will be special tomorrow as well. And even better than that, you will wake up hangover-free and ready to be part of the country’s future.

      Oh Canadaaaaaaa…….oxoxoxoxo

      PS- If you live in BC you have 100% of my honest and raw envy. I have been to Vancouver Island a few times to hike…..and it is the most beautiful and amazing place on earth. And the people….can anyone be friendlier?!!

  • mkusch posted a new activity comment 2 years ago

    Thank you. You are right. Posting is so good. The feedback is so encouraging. We can do this. I am feeling scared, excited, and really not sure I can do this. I just don’t want to wake up with a hang over again, feeling embarrassed, ashamed and really not liking me. I am worth so much more than that. So are you. Have a really good day.

  • mkusch posted a new activity comment 2 years ago

    Yes, let’s continue on together. It is always easier with a friend. Enjoy you summer vacation. I am an accountant. My very busy season is over and I am looking forward to the summer so I can pay more attention to me. To feel better about myself, to be a happier and healthier person. Have a wonderful day.

    • Yes, let’s continue together! I’m hoping to use the summer to reset, really begin to get my nightly wine habit under control when I’m not so tired out by work. I’ve made a list of all the distracting things I like to do (read, walk the dogs, watch mysteries on TV, visit with friends and family, etc.). I also have been talking to a psychiatrist I saw many years ago for depression. I know I’m not depressed now, but I think I need to address wine in 2 ways: try to figure out why I feel the need for this comfort and a more behavior mod approach of finding more productive comforts. Thanks for answering my message. Good luck to us both!

  • mkusch posted an update 2 years ago

    This is day 5. The longest so this year has been 43 days. The weekend is here. The toughest part is coming. A Holiday weekend in Canada. I have been on this site many times. I think this is the first time I have posted. I am scared.

    • Go for the week @mkusch! You’ve got this! And congratulations on the 150 years! Canada has a great history and lots to be proud of – make your dry celebration one more victory for a marvellous country.

    • This is day 5 for me also. I have struggled with this problem for so long and I’m really working to make a change. I was waiting until day 7 to post, just to convince myself that I could really begin. Let’s continue on together. I’m in Washington, DC, a teacher on Day 1 of summer vacation.

      • Yes, let’s continue on together. It is always easier with a friend. Enjoy you summer vacation. I am an accountant. My very busy season is over and I am looking forward to the summer so I can pay more attention to me. To feel better about myself, to be a happier and healthier person. Have a wonderful day.

        • Yes, let’s continue together! I’m hoping to use the summer to reset, really begin to get my nightly wine habit under control when I’m not so tired out by work. I’ve made a list of all the distracting things I like to do (read, walk the dogs, watch mysteries on TV, visit with friends and family, etc.). I also have been talking to a psychiatrist I saw many years ago for depression. I know I’m not depressed now, but I think I need to address wine in 2 ways: try to figure out why I feel the need for this comfort and a more behavior mod approach of finding more productive comforts. Thanks for answering my message. Good luck to us both!

    • Ro replied 2 years ago

      Hi @mkusch good on you for posting. Just hang in there-it’s scary to start with, but it’ll get better. Come here everyday. I post my day count everyday Im only on day 36 & it seems to have taken so long to have get here but the daily encouragement really helps 🙂

    • good job for making it to day 5!!! I get scared too!!!

    • JR replied 2 years ago

      @mkush -wow, what timely post! I was just logging in to post the very same thing. Today is Day 6 for me and my first weekend as I last drank with my bender last Saturday night. We can do this, take 1 day at a time. How are you feeling? I am feeling my energy coming back and truly more engaging and jovial with people. I am trying to find joy in little things throughout my day instead of wishing to get everything done so I could begin cocktail hour (s). I am realizing how I wished away so much to get to my wine’oclock hour and just not enjoying people, conversations, or just enjoying being present with my kids. I will be thinking of you and praying for you.

    • JR replied 2 years ago

      @mkush – additional note….so happy to hear you are posting. I just began too and was nervous to post at first, and then received comments back, encouraging me. It was very helpful, and just 1 week in, I find when I read some posts in the morning or at the end of day and encourage others, it actually helps me too. We all need encouragement, so post away of what you are feeling and going through. We all are there too, or have been there.

      • Thank you. You are right. Posting is so good. The feedback is so encouraging. We can do this. I am feeling scared, excited, and really not sure I can do this. I just don’t want to wake up with a hang over again, feeling embarrassed, ashamed and really not liking me. I am worth so much more than that. So are you. Have a really good day.

    • Day 5 is great! You are in the thick of it right now but it gets so much easier (I promise).

      Are you trying to take good care of yourself? I probably drank my weight in nice AF drinks during the first few weeks. Taking walks helps. Sleep when you can. Don’t be afraid to just curl up in bed if your family situation allows it. That may sound a little boring but the fatigue doesn’t last- the wonderful clear headed mornings do! Exercise is a nice distraction if you are holding on during the early days.

      Just keep doing whatever is working for you.

    • Day 5, well done!
      How about stopping by as often as it feels comfortable this weekend?
      We are here. I am so glad you found this forum!

      oxoxox

    • Hi @mkusch – being scared means you’re paying attention – a good thing – make that decision – no alcohol drinks for me on this trip. But – take lots of special AF drinks with you – lots of treats of a different kind. Books to read – walks to take – shopping to do while others are drinking. There’s a whole lot of life to see out there when you have a clear head – go see it. Stay as close here as you can and ask for support if you need to. But focus on all the beautiful things you can see and do without a hangover. You can do this – you’re worth it!

    • @mkusch keep on keeping on! Yes the July long is a tough one to avoid the booze for sure. Especially this year. We’re I’m from we have one of Canada’s largest rodeos this week every year. Talk abut a booze fest!!! So for me on day 83 even though it’s pretty easy for me to not drink right now, avoidance of certain situations is still an important tool for me. So instead of rodeo and beer gardens it’s off camping and hiking in the mountains. Situate yourself somewhere this weekend that is not alcohol friendly. (Good luck!) and enjoy yourself. Conversely what I often do now is really watch and pay attention to people when they are drinking and ask myself, is this how I want to be??? It can really open your eyes to how we think we are compared to how we really are when we drink. Enjoy Canada Day and don’t be scared to reach out!!