• Sue123 posted an update 3 weeks ago

    Not sure this is the right place to ask but I just need to get these thoughts out of my head . I have sober for 2.5 years. I was not a daily drinker to numb my pain… I was your classic social drinker / party girl. Lately I have been seriously thinking about and wondering if I am ready to go back to “normal” drinking. I feel like the only reason I’m not allowing myself to have a drink is cause I’m scared to go back to the “binge drinking party girl” but that’s living in fear and what if I could actually just drink a couple of drinks? is me thinking I could drink normally just a fairytale and not worth even trying? On one hand I’m petrified to undo all my good work and on the other I feel like I won’t know if I’ve “changed” and can drink “normally” if I don’t ever let myself try???

    • What were you telling yourself 2.5yrs ago to make yourself give it up altogether? That’s what I would be thinking about.

      • thanks @suzkep… i guess thats the confusing part for me cause i gave up originally to save my marriage. the marriage has since ended and i am now living a completely different life. My ex was a massive drinker as were all my friends. now my new friends are all just casual drinkers and i think thats why i think i might be able to be too…?

        • @Sue123 – I completely understand and I guess no one really knows the answer to your question – not even you at the moment. Whatever way you go you will get support on here Xx

    • If you feel like you have to “try” to drink normally, you probably aren’t a “normal” drinker. If you are on this site, you probably have a problem drinking normally. There is a reason you are here asking. What is it you actually miss about drinking after 2.5 years sober? What would you gain from drinking again? Not all things you might gain from drinking would be considered positive. Gaining back the hangover experience isn’t really a win. I’m only at a little over 200 days so I’m no expert. I think I feel compelled to answer your question because I can see myself asking the same question too. It isn’t really fear that keeps me from going back to drinking, it is sound research. When I drink, I eventually drink too much. Not every single time, but it is the default setting. There are enough stories of people on this site who have quit for some time and went back, I’ve not seen one where people are extolling the virtues of being able to drink moderately again. I would think it over long and hard. In my experience, it sucks way more to be drinking and want to quit than it does to be sober and want to drink.

    • @Sue123 I have been on this board for about 18 months and I have never heard of anyone being able to go back to drinking moderately. I read posts almost everyday about people who have tried and failed and they are kicking themselves in the butt for trying. We are all different, so maybe you’re experience will be different.

    • Hi @Sue123. I’ve only been at this for 156 days but, for me, there will never be “normal drinking”. I know that if I have one, it will set a reaction in motion to have another – and so on and so on – and back down the rabbit hole I’ll go and It sucks down there!

      You want know if you’ve changed. Well yes. I’m sure you certainly have in a million ways because alcohol is no longer clouding your thoughts and your life. And you made the decision to stop drinking to begin with. But the addiction to alcohol and the effect will have on your brain if you drink again will never change. When one is addicted to alcohol – or anything for that matter – it’s a lifelong thing.

      If you haven’t read Annie Grace’s The Naked Mind, I’d highly suggest it. It really opened my eyes to exactly what I had been doing to myself. This is totally your decision – but if you’re happy now (and I’m willing to bet that you are FAR happier than when you were drinking) why mess with it?? Having a drink is not going to make you ‘normal’ (whatever that is) or happy nor does it define who you are as a person.

      Just my humble opinion….but at the same time sending HUGE congrats on 2.5 years alcohol free. I bet life looks better now than it did 2.5 years ago. Good luck!

      • thank you @aprilsfool i really love your reply. so many things ring true…. “back down the rabbit hole and it sucks down there” . oh boy does it what!! I guess the confusing part for me cause i gave up originally to save my marriage. the marriage has since ended and i am now living a completely different life. My ex was a massive drinker as were all my friends. Now my new friends are all just casual drinkers and i think thats why i think i might be able to be too…? I guess this is just another part of my journey and like all feelings …. it will go …. i guess i just wanted to see if i was “normal yet” …. (whatever that actually does mean)… and why do i have this need to “fit in” and “be normal” anyway?!!?

    • I think this is a pretty good place for asking anything alcohol related – people here have been all over the board in their experiences. There is a lot of really sound advice from those that have been there/done that, and also empathy from those in the same boat as you. That being said, I’m bummed to say I don’t think anyone will have the answer you want – I’m not sure anyone would recommend picking up a drink. I imagine you came to this community because you felt your drinking was problematic, not necessarily because you felt you were an alcoholic (that is how I found myself here though now I’m having my doubts on if I’m really ONLY a “problematic drinker”…. I don’t think you are necessarily living in fear if you don’t want to go back to being a binge drinker. You are PROTECTING yourself from something you KNOW was a problem in your life. Alcohol is a poisonous, addictive substance pushed at us as something we NEED to “unwind, relax, have fun, take the edge off”. But that’s a bullshit lie. If I were you I would cling proudly to that 2.5 years and I wouldn’t look back. <3

    • jmtn replied 3 weeks ago

      I’m so glad you asked because I’ve wondered if I’ll ever allow myself to have a little here and there after I’ve been sober for a while. I think the thing I miss most about it is the fitting in and having more fun options to drink than just club soda at many occasions. All of my friends drink and work events I go to are filled with alcohol. But, then I think “what’s the point?” of just one drink? I jeopardize my no-off-switch coming back strong, I anticipate I’ll regret it, and even if I were successful to keep it at one, it would take so much thinking about it that it seems easier to just not. I did hear on one podcast an idea to consider if you do allow yourself to try drinking again: be completely aware of what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling before, during and after you drink. Really assess it. Well done in 2.5 years btw! Hugs!

      • Great reply @jmtn. I’m of the same mind….what is the point of 1 drink. 0 is easier 🙂

      • thank you for your reply @jmtn. I too am wanting the drink to “fit in” . Your comment about jepodising your on-off switch really resonated with me.. thank you. I also liked the reminder of the energy it takes to moderate… even deciding if i should try moderate again is consuming ALL my thoughts… nad i remember how free i was when i first stop drinking of the endless mind loop of drinking related thoughts. no drinking = no endless thinking about it. thanks for taking the time to share you thoughts and help me in my quest xx

        • Thank you for reaching out with your thoughts! Your post helped me in my thoughts, too. I’ve been wondering the same things about my future and you’re in that future (in years of sobriety). That feeling “free” when first stopping drinking was huge, wasn’t it? Like you said: “no drinking = no endless thinking about it.” And when we consider moderation, even if we haven’t tried it, it starts taking up all that thinking energy again. Blah.
          As a side note…I discovered a fun NA drink last night while out to dinner last night. I asked the served for club soda in a wine glass, and asked for a splash of cranberry juice in it. It was such a refreshing drink that looked fun, too. 🙂 Hugs to you! @sue123

    • why do you want to drink? what is it that you miss? the belonging? the taste? getting a buzz?

      • hi @kitten… ive been thinking alot about what im actually missing and why am i wanting to again… for me its two main reasons…1. to fit in. imactually just sick of being “that person” and get that subtle but relieving buzz of the first glasses of wine….

        • Understood. I don’t know if you looked at any of Annie grace’s stuff, most of it does not stick well with me, but one thing she said she did is that after quitting for a certain period of she video taped herself drinking and after watching that video did not drink again. she started with her first drink, I cannot remember how many she had while she was videotaping. she said just looking at herself drinking was enough not to do it again. I know I cannot moderate, having tried many times before. @wakingowl statement was pretty scary. @morgan has some really good points.

    • This is the perfect place to ask 🙂 All I can say is that I find the no way, never again, brings me great mental peace (and I was a pretty moderate drinker, though of course over the WHO standards).
      However, if the thought will not go away, perhaps it is better to experiment and see if you like it, and are happy living with the increased cancer risk.
      SteveF is right I think – in 4 years – nearly 5, I do not know of anyone who has been successful though of course some would not come back to tell us. Some were ok for a year or so, then WHAM, it hit, a big, shocking binge. Others see it creep up, and their quality of life diminish.
      Whatever you do, make it a studied and measured choice – and stay here to inform us 🙂

      • thanks for your reply @morgan…. i am def going to make a very calculated decision to start drinking again if i do… thank you for your thoughts and the sentence “quality of life diminish” really resonated with me.

        • I think that is really the thing – a decision, and close observation of how it is.
          The other side to consider is the extremity of alcohol addictiveness, and if we have moved further toward serious addiction, our brains are damaged and less likely to make a rational decision to stop again. Those here who have, have done so because they got a hellava fright, suddenly drinking way to much, no knowledge of why, horrified that they would not have been available to their family. Scary business playing with fire.
          However, it is better to play with fire, and learn what to do, than to live a life of resentful struggle, feeling as if you are missing out … oh dear, I have swung to lecturey and anti – I want to say missing out on cancer.
          Oh dear, sorry! I will shut up now and go to sleep

    • I believe you will be worse than before. Might take a few weeks or months, but I don’t think abstaining for some years makes any difference at all to how we were before we stopped. Drink again and your addictive side will show itself loud and clear. I have the same thoughts @Sue123 but I dare not act on them because I have been gifted with a very strong intuition.
      I KNOW how it will be. Please don’t try to prove me wrong xxx

    • It seems you may want to hear that all will be well if you pick up again. It can be a fast fall from ” moderating” back to binge party girl and a fast fall from binge party girl into physical and psychological dependence. I know that after 25 years of sobriety I tried to moderate and was back to daily drinking within months. This time staying sober is far harder even though I was still drinking less than the first time I got sober. All my old triggers came back to join all of my newer ones. If you’re in a good place now…why chance that?

    • Wow everyone, what a conversation this was!

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