Life without alcohol

575 posts in this topic

Okay well here's my update. I was "clean" till I got back home to Blighty, then my Dad had left a few bottles of Stellawhich I got rid of. Then an old mate whom I hadn't seen for 25 years took me out to a nice pub - I'd missed the taste of old bitter and sank 3 of them. I admit I enjoyed them.

 

Now I got back here and I had a week's skiing with the kids. Now up on the huts there is a traditional pint after a hard ski tour up to the hut, so yes I sank one, then in the evening I'd sink some to wind down after an exciting day, either Nordic skiing, ski touring or piste skiing. I did however buy a chunk of beer and sank it last weeekend and thought "Ah, hello...here we go again." I've been back on the alcohol free again this week. Tonight I sank the last two of last week's haul, in spite of being in the gym/sauna this morning, but hell I'd had a day chauffering the kids to various appointments. Good job there were only two in the house!

 

So to recap I'm still off it technically, but do wobble! I'm only human! There's a lot of stuff Alistair Campbell says in Panorama which gave me new respect for him.

 

I think it's worth watching the second part of this programme, thanks LIAB. I knew it was on and I wanted to watch it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7joHUB15WY&feature=related

 

Back to the straight and narrow!

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I agree with dd: Instead of indiscriminately pouring booze down your guzzle choose one drink per night/every three days/per week, sit down in a relaxed mood and really enjoy it.

 

Due to medication I have been mostly off the booze for any time between two years and four months now; I find that consciously enjoying the few drinks that I am allowed stops the craving for moremoremore every time I pop a cork or plop a cap.

*Not being able to open a bottle by myself for two months really helped. Imagine having to ask your teetotaller daughter to uncork your wine bottle ...*

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Auntie Dessa - nope you're right! And after I'd written it I realised it did ramble on a bit, yup you're right dear. Thank God the stuff which was in the cellar has now gone!

 

And you can't be a dick, you're a lady! :)

 

If you take the time out to watch the second part of Alistair Campbell's Panorama (Dessa he was the right hand man to our Tony Blair, kind of like a Cheney to your Bush bloke back then) an an ex-Fleet Street (media) man so we all in UK know of him - not many Amis may know who he is. It was interesting to see how he's taken up jogging. I also do jog, but not in icy conditions - if our frost abates I'll be out there, but I'm in the gym usually - was in there yesterday.

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Absolutely, everything in moderation. Never party heavy more than two nights in a row and especially don’t take that second, filled to the brim, bowl of Hercules. That even did Alex in.

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Either you are "on" or you are "off" booze. It is like being "sort of" pregnant.

 

The delusion of justifying each drink is the dangerous part. Our brains can always find a good reason to talk ourselve into having a drink. I was tired, I wanted to celebrate, I deserved it, if you had my wife, husband, family, boss, job, etc. you would drink too. That is the tricky part.

 

Glad to hear you are doing well Schotte and not using excuses to pick up a drink, realizing it never, ever makes the situation better. It will get easier as time goes on and you start feeling free and enjoying life without the need to have a drink to go along with it.

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Just managing to watch these videos now. Really good find thanks to the 2 of you who posted. I will watch again I'm sure.

 

Not sure what to say but yes see the arguments about the "you are either on it or off it" I think are probably fair.

 

Although I know lots of people say they havent had a drink for years, but "try" the odd one just to see if they like it or to not offend someone, I would still class these people as being "off it" though? For me though I started posting number of days on here, that was good initially but truth is I am sure I will have beers again, and probably relatively soon.

 

I think I have beat myself up over bad behaviour after a session a little while back and probably being too harsh on myself. I still want to be a social drinker I feel, but probably one who drinks even less than the normal definition of "social drinking". I am certain I can achieve this now after my time away from home and time "off it". Will likely go somewhere on my own though, resist any peer pressure and rule out factors like that.

 

I said on the happy thread about my nights out in Dubai on way home and these were the triggers I was bothered about. Got over the usual flak with my soda n limes but then incredibly glad I wasn't the drunk one when I saw the way some people around me were behaving. Still had an amazing time being sober at a beach party and I was still able to kick my shoes off on the beach and throw my hands in the air like a mad eejit :D I think it was the music that did it!! I did pretty much go straight from beach to hotel to airport and a bit peeved everyone assumes I must have been wasted, but to be fair I guess it takes time to rid a reputation. Beyond caring what most people think anyway.

 

I would still very much enjoy a few in moderation I think though. I still think I will go for a couple at some point in a controlled environment. I really am confident I can do this though, I had a jaegerbomb thrust in my hand repeatedly the other night and still blanked them off. Normally it is me who buys them first so I was well chuffed :)

 

I have definitely changed my attitude towards drinking, realistically I am likely being complacent here and will have to be more careful than ever if this is the case.

 

Admittedly I have been 3 or 4hrs ahead time wise for the last few months but I have woken up today, on a Sunday no less at before 7am, actually sorted out my expenses and organised laundry and daft wee things already. I didn't even bother doing expenses last few trips, and definitely wouldn't have been out of bed at this time either. I don't think its coincidence and I definitely feel cleaner or better and still with that spring in my step. Really feel a different person after such a time not drinking.

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Good to hear you made it home and are enjoying it so far. I am nothing but jealous of the bacon sandwich you mentioned in another thread.

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It has been my personal experience as well as for many others, that this is the sly and dirty trick alcohol plays with in our brains. We feel like death warmed over in the morning, we feel regret for hurtful things we have said or done while drunk, or we may not even remember what we did or said last night, and we say that's it, the booze is costing me more than just money. So we stop.

 

Slowly but surely, time passes, we start to feel good about ourselves, life improves, and then these little thoughts start creeping back, that maybe I wasn't that bad, surely I can control my drinking better than I used to. I will just have one or two, enjoy myself and there will be no problems.

 

Guess what, the whole chain repeats itself. Over and over and over again. Each time, we think we will learn from our mistakes and not do the same thing again, swearing, This Time I Really Mean It, Never Again.

 

Oddly enough, we forget all about this in a month, 6 months, a year or even more. It is insiduous. We get disgusted with ourselve, we lose our self-respect, and constantly wonder why we can't do what seems to be such an easy thing for many people. The answer does seem too easy, just don't have that 1st drink. Our brains try and talk us around that though, and we are easy prey, we fall for it. This time it will be ok.

 

Only once have I had anyone be offended that I haven't had a drink with them, and that was when I owned a bar & that was just 1 man. We are talking over 10 years. If someone is offended, you have to kind of wonder why.

 

Just as a suggestion, go back and read the thread from the beginning and see if what I have just written makes sense or rings true.

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It's interesting what you say, Moondancer. I have similar problems with food. I eat healthily for a while and then, when things are going well, I seem to sort of sabotage my efforts by stuffing myself with crisps or cake. And I know I shouldn't do it but it seems that I almost want to sort of punish myself so I can tell myself "see? Told you you couldn't lose the weight".

 

Personal sabotage, that's what it is.

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I will just have one or two, enjoy myself and there will be no problems. Guess what, the whole chain repeats itself. Over and over and over again. Each time, we think we will learn from our mistakes and not do the same thing again, swearing, This Time I Really Mean It, Never Again. Oddly enough, we forget all about this in a month, 6 months, a year or even more.

 

Indeed, and as a theory would be fine. But once you get on that spiral each time it gets worse. And each time it takes just a little bit longer for the liver to function (sort of) properly again. And eventually....

 

Nice post, Moondancer.

 

Anyway, just found this on the BEEB this morning. LSD, anyone?

 

 

LSD 'helps alcoholics to give up drinking'

 

A study, presented in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, looked at data from six trials and more than 500 patients.

 

It said there was a "significant beneficial effect" on alcohol abuse, which lasted several months after the drug was taken.

 

An expert said this was "as good as anything we've got".

 

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I saw a documentary a few years ago about LSD being used to treat alcoholism and depression in the fifties and sixties. It sounded like it had really been quite successful too. Very interesting topic.

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Have gone a bit nuts of late to be honest. Pretty disappointed with myself, far too many triggers in such a short time and too easily influenced to pass them by. Bad excuse though.

 

I have been sticking to pints though. This is maybe one bonus, as I have said before for me it's spirits and silly juice (jaegermeister/red bull, things like that) which seem to bring out the complete c*ck in me and result in me getting in bother/black outs/horrendous fear etc.

 

Seem to be an altogether more happy and calm drunk after even plenty pints.

 

Dunno if I should hang my head in shame or be quite pleased that this is some sort of improvement. Not sure where I go from here though.

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Start by reading through the whole of this thread again and see how much of it still rings true for you. :) (I suspect that the fact you are posting here again suggests that you're not really too happy about your decision to start drinking again).

 

By the way, on an unrelated note - have you read any of the Ross O'Carroll-Kelly books? Since you've spent a bit of time in Dublin you might be able to enjoy the humour. Reading the kind of books you can just fall into has been my saviour on more than one occassion.

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Ola!

 

I am grand, thanks for asking :) Still having a blow out now and then but not as bad as before.

 

Have started training with a bit more passion in Muay Thai and BJJ with the intention of having a go at MMA. Found a great gym 10mins from me with a good team and can take you from a relatively inexperienced person and is open all day every day. I am really pleased to have found this and enjoying it so far.

 

I do wee things like picks times to train in the evenings as well as mornings. So if I finish at say 9 or 10pm, I can reward myself with a few pints but no more than that thanks to closing hours. Once I even slinked out the pub "for a cigarette" and just went somewhere else without telling anyone when I had that sinking feeling the place was getting a bit rowdy and right up my (old) street.

 

Jeanie, you were spot on with doing stuff around the home. Had a guy in doing work on my flat, left myself simple stuff that I could do myself so it has been nice doing that too at a leisurely pace. Is a great feeling a bit of "I did that". Good for the mind!

 

And of course with the great weather in the UK of late I've been going on long bike rides.

 

So yeh, not bad. I think truthfully I was never going to give up beer forever, but feel I have a not bad happy medium at present. Long may it continue :)

 

What about everyone else?

 

The key is keeping busy, and I think I've done quite well given I'm currently on my 8th week off work thanks to a visa issue!!! :)

 

Edit: Not a fan of Paul Gascoigne, but have much respect for his quote:

 

"I don't know whether I will drink again in my life but I didn't drink yesterday, I am not drinking today and I'll try not to drink again tomorrow."

 

(Someone else must have written that for him surely?!)

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Schotte,

 

Sorry I didn't find this thread sooner so I could have commented and given you a few words of support. I was a heavy drinker in my twenties and early thirties. I never even considered that I might have had a drinking problem until I wrapped my Chevrolet truck around a palm tree one evening. There's an old saying in the alcoholic community that "God watches out for drunks and dumb animals." I lived through it but the judges and courts persuaded me that it was time to look at my drinking habit. Since I quit I have never felt better. No more hangovers, arguments, fights, pissing people off, embarrasing myself, damaging things, etc. I still drink a little but only on vacation and that is all.

 

If you're trying to quit and stay sober, more power to you and I hope that you succeed. Life is much better when you're not drunk or hungover.

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I have a father who is an alcoholic and who I beleive started out much in the same manner as you desrcibe. It got to be more and more and more, first without it not being noticed, especially not to the family as he was traveling a lot with work and as children we remained innocent for quite a few years. It was, i guess, his comfort when he was on the road. All started as an innocent and harmless drink in the hotel bar after a long day working and ended with...years and years later...poring down 16 liters of whine, 10 beers and a bottle of Liquere in one week. I kid you not!

 

It is great that you notice this yourself, that you have thought about it, reflected and are willing to do somethigng to control the situation. Alcoholism isn't something that just pops up one day like a flue. It's a nasty devil. It sneaks up on you and before you know it you are in a grip so tight that noting seem to be able to pull you away from it. Not your wife, not your children, noone.

 

You are obviously not as far gone as my father, who to this day refuces to "accept" the ordeal the alcohol puts the family through. I am not going to say "he" because it is the alcohol and not my father that causes the tension in the family. I love my father but i hate the alcohol he is drinking. I am not too found of the genes I have gotten from him either, knowing i too have to be carefull. I don't drink a lot and my rule is to never have alcohol at home unless i am expecting guests. I think it is just too good and too nice to have a glass of wine in the eveing...which could easily lead to two glasses and three and so forth. My father knows we share this gene so he constanly worries about me. He is aware of him being an alcoholic but the grip is just too tight on him already and he can't seem to get out of it...or he chooses not too...but there are times when he is pestering me and asking about my drinking habbits (I feel like a school kid when he does). My answer is always the same..."I am careful, i have seen how it can go. I have learned that from you".

 

I wish you best of luck and if you need support, please come back to TT and ask for it. Its great of yuo to be posting. Let us know how you are doing.

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