The truth sounds simple and I know it isn’t but it is never the less the truth. You just need to Decide. That decision is not negotiable. From that moment on your life changes, you change, everything gets better, and we are all here to give you support and help and encouragement. You can do this. The only way to do it is to be brave and just do it. Xxx
I also come from a past of addicts. I spent well over a year with a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I was struggling with addiction and was no longer just a “person who liked to drink”. So many mornings on my way to work I would be thinking to myself “Okay seriously tonight you are just going to stop drinking and that will be it.” And then I would wake up the next day hungover, ashamed and guilty. I woke up one day after another drunken night, got on my computer and googled “help quitting alcohol”. I found this website and I started to read. And then I stopped drinking, told myself that was it, no more, didn’t care how much it was going to suck to have to quit and how difficult of a struggle it would be. You have to commit, mean it, and just get on with the fact that you are no longer going to drink. And then as time goes on…. it DOES get easier.
Wanting to change for future generations and my future is my motivation Don’t drag the last with you. Make the decision, imagine often how you want your future to be with out alcohol, find some good role models
Hello @startingagain Your post is very short but you ask the most telling question of them all… “how can I make the change?” This question shows that you no longer deny that drinking is bringing more harm than good and that you have recognised the need to change this; and those words “need to change” are absolutely crucial. It is THIS recognition is what will propel you out of the downward spiral: stopping drinking is NECESSARY.
While we can see all the harm that alcohol is inflicting on our lives what is not immediately apparent to us is the emotional toll it takes. The more we drink and the more regularly we drink the greater are the changes that our brain makes in response to all this alcohol, and these changes have serious consequences: they alter us emotionally. We feel increasingly miserable, anxious, fearful, stressed, depressed, on-edge and lonely, and the more we drink the more severe these changes become. Alcoholism (addiction) is a progressive condition and the longer we continue the deeper into hopelessness we fall. The more we drink to relieve our distress then the more pronounced our depression, anxiety, and loneliness become. This continues to worsen and left uninterrupted this downwards trajectory will keep us drinking until it kills us. If we don’t die from organ failure or traumatic accident then eventually we will kill ourselves to escape the depression.
Alcoholism is progressive, and that is the fundamental reason we have to stop. Stopping drinking isn’t just desirable, it is essential. If we do not stop drinking then we will die, and we will die miserable. As the others that have replied have said, what’s required to stop drinking is that eventually we make the decision to do so. But the firmness of that decision is paramount, it can’t be a half-hearted decision, it must be deeply committed. It must be committed because the challenge ahead is an intense one.
The decision to stop has three parts to it and the stronger each of…[Read more]
The important bit is that you are here @startingagain – well done coming back. Everything that you learned in those 76 days you can apply to your life now. Take a close look at what the trigger was that caused you to relapse and make sure to set guard rails in place for that particular trigger. For me, when I relapsed at 150 days my trigger was wanting to fit into the crowd and not wanting others to think differently of me for not drinking. I had to do a lot of work in the area of people pleasing and not gaining self worth from what others thought of me. Now, I order soda and juice with drinkers all the time and don’t care at all what they think of me. You can do this!! xo
oh @startingagain I’m sure that is hard. i am only on Day 2- so the fact that you got to 76- is wildly impressive! Im so glad you came back. I wish I had more wisdom, but just two days ago I was the “party girl” So all i can offer is YOU have done so well, being back at day one does not define you. We maybe be technically starting at the same time, but you are light years ahead of me. i don’t know you, and I still believe in you.
I think it’s great that you see it as a new Day 1. 🙂 Don’t beat yourself up or feel regret. See it as a learning experience and a part of your journey. Analyze it…why did you chose to drink, how did you feel after, etc. Well done on getting to 76 days! Keep checking in here and look into adding other things to your “sober toolbox”. What other supports, outlets, etc. could you add? Listen to a podcast on the topic of relapse maybe? To gain better understanding. Hang in there! Hugs.
Minor glitch @startingagain, as you ARE starting again! Yep, I get it though. Sucked all sorts to see my number go from 127 to 1 but hey, it’s not a race and we don’t lose what we’ve gained in that time. We learn how awesome life is sober and then just do our best to keep it that way. Chin up. Forward march 🙂 Oh, and everything that @jmtn just said!
Tomorrow will be 4 weeks AF. It has been much easier than I thought it would be. Walking by the alcohol isle in the shops hasn’t caused any issues and having only soft drinks in the evening has been pleasant. Waking up without a hangover and the shakes has become the norm and a joy. Being sober to deal with problems as and when they occur has been fantastic and has made life much easier and being able to give my time honestly and willingly to others has made me feel much better about myself. So when I was out today and saw someone at the next table drinking a glass of wine, I was surprised by the pang of jealousy I felt. Then back at home, hearing the neighbours laughing with friends in the garden and hearing someone say “another glass of wine?” ” No, just bring out another bottle of white”, I couldn’t understand why I felt so unhappy. For a few mins I kept thinking, why is it ok for them and not for me? Why can’t I be like that? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I have a few? On the plus side, I didn’t even consider going getting anything. Now I’m happily sitting with a nice cuppa. I hope those dark feelings will be few and far between. Well done all of you out there who have managed through these feelings and come out the other side long term. And for any other people starting out like me, let’s keep going…We can do this.
Very well done! Remember the romantic perception of alcohol and it’s so called fun is a guise! Some of the people you saw and heard may well feature on this site at some stage. Lots of people who don’t seem to have a problem with alcohol on the outside are hiding a dark secret. Remember the drinking alone that apparently no one notices??? ❤️❤️
congrats on getting through the day, that is actually really tough when we are triggered. i actually find it very exhausting to go through a period like that, the good part is, i sleep well, hope you do too. it was a triggery weekend here, too, with the memorial day holiday going on.
That is exactly what triggers me @startingagain that feeling of jealously why can’t I have that glass of wine out with a yummy lunch. Why can’t I sit out in the sun enjoying those wines ….. And so on, it really pisses me off. BUT then I think of how good I feel, how present I am in my kids lives, how I can bloody well drive anytime I want now. It’s so much better, living sober.
Two weeks done. Who would have thought it. I still can’t believe it. Need to pull in all my strength tomorrow. I will be with my best friend tomorrow when she finds out if her recent op has successfully removed all her cancer. Scared is an understatement. I can’t imagine how she’s feeling tonight. But…I will be strong and I will be there for her with a clear and sober head.
@savtadontdrinknomore goodness I can relate so strongly to the not believing I can stay sober ! I initially set myself a one month goal of sobriety because to think past that seemed impossible ! I’m gratefully 38 days sober today and so much has changed within myself already and externally, my thinking is clearer and brighter. The list of massive benefits is long ! I share them all here and here https://sobernotesbyangie.blogspot.com/ Staying close to this community was advice @DaveH gave me not long ago and its great advice. Reading others stories and sharing my own here, attending AA and my faith in God have all helped keep me sober this time, I can’t do it alone, I’ve tried and failed so many times so stay close x
A new personal best (Well for a long while anyway), one whole week complete. Still feeling good. Really stressful day today. Would normally have grabbed a bottle at first chance. Not today though. Happy days.
One week is awesome! Take one day at a time and you will make it! We all have those stressful day’s and want to drink. (I’d make a cuppa and have a chokkie bikkie or 3) You can do it. We are here for you x
Thanks for all your help and advice about rehab. The s out I won’t be needing it just now. I finally came clean to a friend (after I got found out). My support group has grown and I’m now finishing day 2.
@startingagain, you have a huge number of options. First question: What have you been trying, and what has helped? Second question: do you need medical support to detox safely? Not everybody does, and I’m not an expert on that, but someone else here will be able to chime in and help you. But some ideas about alternatives to rehab:
You may be able to find an outpatient treatment center that works with your work and family schedule. You can certainly find AA meetings; I joined in January after being sober 3 years, and it has been a surprising, great addition to my sobriety toolbox and brought my personal growth to a new level. It’s so great to have the support of the women in my group. People there have been saying the same things we’ve been saying here since the 1930s, if you can get past the archaic language of the Big Book and hear the life in the stories and information shared. (Listen for the similarities and not the differences, people say.) But that’s not everybody’s cup of tea. There is Refuge Recovery if you want to have a meditation emphasis (AA also encourages meditation), or Smart Recovery,, or Women in Recovery, or Life Ring. There are a number of Facebook groups, like Recovery Elevator or Soberful. You might find a recovery yoga group somewhere near you, or a recovery meditation group, something that’s not as organized as the other groups.
Podcasts helped me a lot: The Bubble Hour, Recovery Elevator, Recovery Happy Hour, and on and on. Fill your ears with those, and you’ll soon start to see that you are not alone, we can do this, and life without alcohol, although not perfect, is soooo much better than life with alcohol.
In short, @startingagain, you have a world of options, and we are lucky to be giving up alcohol in such a time when we can refuse the shame, give up the booze, and support each other in becoming our best selves, the people we were meant to be. Good luck!
P.S. Oh yeah, alcohol sucks, and I am so glad that I am free of it! And therapy is a great addition! A lot of us have a background of trauma and need and deserve help with THAT. We don’t need or deserve the punishments that alcohol delivers.
Hi @startingagain! I know, it’s so difficult figuring out how to approach stopping. And that’s what kept me drinking long after best before date expired. Along with the suggestions above – seeing your doctor + outpatient – there are great online resources that could add to your ‘sober toolbox’. Great reading, good distraction from cravings and helps to rewire your brain – the part that thinks drinking is a good idea. Here are some of my favourite sites: thesoberschool.com, hipsobriety.com, lauramckowen.com, unpickledblog.com and the one that helped me so much w accountability is tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com. There’s a world of support online, it’s amazing. Hang in there, keep posting. You can do this. : )
I read the news feeds and I admire your stories. One day I hope I can share an amazing story too. Right now I seem to have totally back tracked. Um dealing with 2 family members with cancer and a life that sent panning out as expected. Help! Please!
I felt hopeless when I joined here almost 2 years ago. If I can give up alcohol, you can too. It helped me to give up any obligations I didn’t have to meet to reduce stress. Hard to do with 2 serious illnesses to deal with in your family, I know, but do whatever you can to lighten your load.
Blew it again at the weekend. Had a day with friends and while I managed to politely refuse the numerous offers of a drink, even after I reminded them I’m not drinking, when faced with an open bottle and no one else around, it got too much. Just a taste became just a glass, became repeated excuses to go into the room with the bottle. Can’t remember the end of the night. Felt like death warmed up the next day. Can’t believe no one noticed. And yet they didn’t. Day 1 again. Onwards and upwards.
That alcohol thrives on dishonesty…glad you can now pinpoint the ‘open bottle’ caper. It won. Next time, call it out, right then and there. Alcohol recoils at being called the liar it is @startingagain. Something you may already know.
HI @startingagain You’ve hit upon one of the important features of drinking triggers that we need to know in order to help ourselves. i.e. the closer we are to alcohol, the greater the intensity of the craving.
Cravings are created by parts of the brain known as the reward system. Our brain remembers events it considers important for our survival and instructs us how to behave the next time we encounter this event. If it is good we get an urge to approach, if it is bad we get and urge to move away. Things we should do again are encouraged by feelings of wanting, longing for and desire, and things we should avoid are discouraged by feelings of disgust, revulsion, fear etc. In our case we have lots of circumstances that have resulted in us getting alcohol which our brain has identified as a good thing. Each of these circumstances is remembered and when we encounter that circumstance again then we get the urge to approach and drink. It is an entirely automatic function of our brain; it happens without our knowledge or consent… we aren’t offer any choice, we only get the longing for. We call these circumstances “drinking triggers”.
There are two things that change the intensity of the urge that we get from a trigger. This first is repetition. The more often we drink in response to a trigger then the more powerful it gets. And when a trigger gets more powerful then the intensity of the craving we get from it also increases. The second thing that changes the intensity of the craving is closeness.
The evolutionary origin of this is simple. If we see something we have a trigger for that’s a long way off then there’s considerable effort required to get it, and it may no longer be available once we get there. But if it’s so close that we can simply reach out and take it then there’s virtually no effort needed and acquiring it is assured. It is more efficient to concentrate on the close rewards rather than the distant ones. So the reward system increases the imp…[Read more]
Hey @sandyb, well done on the diary. I hope getting it all down on paper can help with those emotions. Have a great rest of day 4. I’m about to call it a night on 3. Got a tricky day coming up tomorrow with family but hey, I’m looking forward to checking in with you to hear about the start of your day 5 and the end of my day 4. We’ll both keep doing what we did yesterday.
What an amazing memory you will be creating for your son. A mummy who didn’t want to spend all night around alcohol bit chose a road trip and time with her son instead. Well done you. He will treasure these moments and so should you. A strong, loving, dedicated mummy. Because you are.
All good here @startingagain altho day 2 seemed very long. I have out to a coursevfor work this morning and visted A and D services after that. Not sure if that is for me or the group’s but will seek out support if that’s what it takes.
Good mantra, @SandyB! Here’s another one, free for the taking: When in doubt, go ahead and go to bed. Hmmm…. I don’t think mine will ever wind up on a bumper sticker, but I have found it to be good advice.
Congrats to @sandyb on day 2 and to @startingagain on day 1! Here’s looking forward to another sober day tomorrow! It will get easier, and your life will be much better without the wretched booze. Your body and mind are already taking baby steps to mend.
So, I’ve basically spent the last 2 days drinking. On the first day I had blackout by the time I went to bed. I woke up feeling so dreadful. Everything hurt. Although I realised how much damage I was quite obviously doing to myself, I went out and got more. Yesterday, I don’t think I had a single non alcoholic drink from 12.00 until bed at 11pm. I drank slowly, just about keeping the hangover at bay. I didn’t feel drunk at any time and can remember the full day. Sleep was horrible. Dreams, feeling wide awake at stupid o’clock, more dreams and anxiety moments. Tired this morning but feeling ok. No desire to drink at this point and really need to not drink. I’ve been reading some of your stories and only hope that one day I too can find the strength and courage to fight this battle as well as you guys.
You’ve got this, @startingagain! I, and probably many folks on this site, have been where you are and completely understand. This is a wonderful, supportive place. Stay close and b kind to yourself. I’m so glad you’re here!
Give yourself some treats today: hot bath, ice cream, new magazine, book a massage. Treat yourself with something not alcohol related. Find some sober podcasts to listen to: The Bubble Hour is a favorite. Pick up the book, “Blackout” by Sarah Hepola. She gives such a well written account of her drinking story. Best of all, you reached out. Well done. You are going to be okay.❤️
So glad you are here, @startingagain. You have had a rough couple of days, and, as @cleareyes said, we have all been there! Do what you need to do to protect your sobriety. That might mean you change your daily routes and habits, come in your house a different way, at a different time of day, go home a different route. Put something non-alcoholic in your hand, make sure you’re stocked up on alcohol-free drinks. Now is a great time, while this memory is fresh, to give away your alcohol and pour out open containers or get someone else to pour them out for you. Remove temptation until you see alcohol as the lying shite it is. Maybe go to a meeting or pick up a book like Mrs D’s or follow @ChardaNo‘s great suggestions. You want to build your sober muscles and fill your sober toolbox so the next time alcohol lies to you and says, “come on, you can handle it. It wasn’t so bad,” you’ll recognize the lie and know that you don’t deserve that punishment, you don’t want to drink that poison. Like all of us here, you deserve recovery.
Ok. So day 2 not quite as good as it could have been. Kids bickering with each other(normal) and partner joining in (rediculous) led to the fateful “i need to pop out for a mo.” Mistake 1- took purse with me. Mistake 2 – went to wine shop. Mistake 3 – bought wine. Mistake 4 – drank wine. Mistake 5 – needed to find excuse to go out and get more later. On the plus side, they were small bottles and I’m not pissed and now have no further excuses to go out. Lesson 1 – next time I need time out don’t take purse. Lesson 2 – go somewhere where there are no shops. Lesson 3 -tomorrow is a new day 1. Lesson 4 – this time let’s make it to day 3.
Hi @startingagain….s’pose a lot of us have to go through that grueling, torturous practice of start/stopping before we actually realize what we’re up against and pull-out the big guns. Good news is….you’re still here. Prayers for courage & cleansing as you go through the day.
Yep, lessons learned, just pick yourself up and move on. Do you have a plan for fatigue from bickering?That was a big trigger for me when my kids were young. I knew someone once who kept a sheet cake in a kitchen drawer with a fork stuck in it so she could eat cake when the kids were arguing at about 5. That’s better than drinking when times are tough!
Yes, I’ve done that sort of thing quite a few times. At least in your case it was small bottles of wine, in my case it’s been a “small” bottle of vodka, and I do get pissed. We just have to pick ourselves up and keep trying. On day 10 today. Good luck with day 3.
Thanks everyone. How long does it take for normal sleep patterns to return? Found it hard to get to sleep and woke up a few times in the night. Although I don’t have hungover head this morning I do still have a headache.
Awesome! It can feel pretty raw, just remember you are healing. Lots of self care right now, hot bathes, yoga, stretching, drink bone broth, have some treats on hand, sleep as much as you need to as you are recovering and your body will thank you. Just know that anxiety and depression can be normal for most people and it gets better. It’s all part of the process. xoxoxox
Day one nearly done and I’m going to be getting into bed totally sober for the first time in, well, I can’t remember how long . Had a couple of tricky parts of the day where I could have easily found a reason to pop out and have a sneaky drink. But, I didn’t. Thanks for all of you being so honest on here. It really does give strength knowing I’m not alone.
Thanks everyone. How long does it take for normal sleep patterns to return? Found it hard to get to sleep and woke up a few times in the night. Although I don’t have hungover head this morning I do still have a headache.
I have been telling so many lies to so many people that I can’t remember what I’ve said to who. And all so that I can secretly drink. I’m not sure what’s worse. That I’ve lied to the people I love the most of that I’ve lied to myself that I can control the drink. I’m sick of all the lies. I’m sick of not remembering the night before or how or when I went to bed. I’m sick of feeling like crap and trying to hide my shaking hands. I’m just sick. I need to stop and it needs to be now and forever. Seeing some of the posts on here I see a supportive community and I hope I can be part of it.
@startingagain glad you’re here. I know what you mean about the lies and the hiding and feeling sick. Arm yourself with a plan and sober tools and treats during your trigger times. Be kind to yourself. The awesome thing is you CAN do this and the freedom from that awful way of life is magical. You gain your self esteem back because you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of who’s looking back.
@startingagain. Ditto on what @freedom1025 said. It can be hard, but take it one step, one minute, one day at a time and you’ll begin to regain trust in yourself (and so will others) and your ability to overcome this. I used to give in so easily to cravings because I had lost confidence in myself to get through without drinking. With time, the trust is regained. I finally got a sober coach to help me be accountable and provide the extra support I needed. This made a huge difference for me.
Welcome here @startingagain! You’ve come to the right place for support. I know all about sneaking and hiding and the shame and guilt. You can kick the booze. Check in daily. Explore the rest of the site. Sober toolbox and Mrs D’s blog are two of my favorites.
Welcome @startingagain , when i first posted on here i felt exactly like you . This is a great community of incredible people who understand what we feel as alcoholics / problem drinkers / no control drinkers . Tomorrow , i will be 11 months sober , so glad you reached out here , stay close , post , read , write a journal , get books on recovery . Just don’t drink that FIRST drink . Looking forward to getting to know you .