Life without alcohol

575 posts in this topic

 

poring down 16 liters of whine, 10 beers and a bottle of Liquere in one week. I kid you not!

 

Bloody hell, that is a considerable amount of wine! Don't think I could even do that in a month.

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I'd be careful about naming alcohol itself as the villain. Just like guns don't shoot people, people shoot people, alcohol doesn't force itself down anybody's throat. Neither is alcohol a ventriloquist or puppet master.

 

I know no one happily blames their parents for their wrongs, especially if you happen to like them, but no one can hold anybody or anything else but the alcoholic him or herself responsible for his or her consumption and/or abuse. A person may have a number of triggers, vulnerabilities and deep-seated issues that lead to them dealing with their lives in a certain fashion, but it's important to remember that what we do is up to each of us. Refusing to accept this is just another form of denial.

 

It's possible and in many cases natural to love somebody who's self-destructive, but making excuses for them does not help anybody involved, least of all themselves.

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I'll have 8 months sober next week and I couldn't be more pleased about it.

 

Dare I say it? Oh why not:I am so fucking proud of myself.

 

Congratulations @dessa! Be proud of yourself, but remember, alcoholism is an ugly beast. It can rear its head long after you've had your last drink, and it never stops trying!

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Thanks! :) Yeah, about the whole rearing its ugly head thing--one thing I am now armed with is past experience/compare and contrast. I'm not saying falling off the wagon is impossible for me or anybody, but at least it wouldn't take me by surprise. I think the problem for a lot of folks is talking themselves into it, which I've done and seen the error of and done again and again seen the error of, repeat ad nauseum. Documenting much of the process here and in my own personal journals has helped a lot to put things into perspective.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ71Tv_u64s

 

 

Alastair Campbell meets some of the increasing number of Britain's middle-class professionals for whom one glass of wine after work is never enough, and asks if we all need to reassess our relationship with drink.

One glass of wine? Is he joking? There was a comment in this documentary about the British comparatively recent adoption of wine being an adoption of "Continental" habits. But the thing is: do the Brits really drink wine like the Continentals? Do they have just one glass with a midday meal shared with their family sitting round a table, or are they downing a bottle of an evening for its "relaxing" effect? The French wouldn't make such a fuss about which wine went with which food if they didn't see wine as an accompaniment to food rather than as a fancy way to get legless. So maybe cultural habits towards alcohol have something to do with the prevalence of alcoholism.

 

Then there's national/genetic susceptability to alcoholism. I read somewhere that a person's chances of becoming an alcoholic if they touched alcohol depended in part on their geographic origin, with people from Mediterranean countries having a fairly low risk compared to Poles, Irish and Scots, who had a surprisingly high risk, and those at very high risk being from indigenous groups, such as Native Americans and Australian aborigines. It had something to do with generational exposure to alcohol.

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Interesting points, Lorelei, and I know the Brits ( some ) have a reputation for binge drinking. The Mediterranean? Well, the bit I know pretty well is Crete and in the one village particularly at least 20% of the population of locals have a couple of rakis for breakfast, followed by a few more. Everytime you walk past them sitting outside in a café or in their garden, they want to invite you for one at any time of day or evening. I knew three of them who died this year alone from alcohol abuse - all locals. In a village of 100 souls!!

By the way, the best way to avoid getting into it is to say " no raki..doctor´s orders ..." that way no offence is taken! ( I actually HATE the stuff!! )

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Hi Dessa,

 

Thanks for your post. Especially as seeing you have some experience. I am by no means totally freeing him of his own responsibility for his action. Hence a bit further down in my post i wrote...he might choose not to quite... Of course a part of him chooses to continue drinking, especially when he is in one of those moods. But he has also tried to quit and it didn't work. He is not abusive but he becomes argumentative which can be a pain when you go visit. Most of the time he just stays silent going over things in his head over and over again. He has periods when he is totally out of it and then he has periods where he is back to being my beloved father. I "blame" the alcohol for the personality change but he is the one responsible for his actions and choosing to drink. If I can choose not to drink, so can he. I also blame my father for not being willing to go to any form of therapy for whatever issues he is dealing with (most likely a rather abusive father). Somehow we have still been able to keep up a good relationship. Part of it is due to the distance. Things were a lot worse when i lived close by. For years he was not allowed to call me and he didn't even have my number and i totally broke off all contact with him and my mother (who does not drink but as I didn’t want anything to do with my father, unfortunately my mother got to suffer too).

 

At the same time, one has to find peace with a situation which you cannot change. I have accepted that my father is an alcoholic. I don't approve of it but I can live with it. And above all, I can see past the "haze" knowing that my "real" father is still there and when he shows up I try to make the most of it. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, and I admit I still listen for the mood swings over the phone. I know my dad is in a downer as soon as my mother answers the phone. She never has to tell me. During those times, he knows by now not to answer the phone. He is accepting and respecting that he is not to call me or speak with me when he is out of it. My mother have in turn chosen to stay with him, obviously the good times weigh out the bad times. She too has learned to accept and more or less just ignore and continue with her life when he is in one of his periods. Perhaps it is easier for me to accept my father’s drinking as he is not verbally or physically abusive. He may try and pick a fight from time to time but he never gets his way. We just tell him to go back to bed. That is mostly what he does...he stays in bed all week(s) and only come up for a drink and a smoke. Don't talk to anyone minding his own business. I know he feels bad about but he is not strong enough to deal with it. When you are young you always believe that your parents, and father especially, is the strongest and toughest man in the world and it is quite a blow when you realize that is not the case. My father is a week man who has a strong family to support him. It has not always been easy. Needing to "care" for your father when you yourself are only a teenager/young woman about to start exploring what life has to offer is though.

 

Have it had any effect on my life? Of course it has. I am 39 years old, single and have in a way substituted having children with having two dogs…draw your own conclusions ;-)

Am I going to blame my father for everything that does not go right in my life, relationships, work or what have you? No because I too am perfectly capable of making my own decisions and forming my own life. And, I still ask my father for advice when it comes to big decisions...I only wait until he is back to his normal thinking self. Only I am responsible for my own happiness, just as my father is responsible for his own happiness, he only chose the wrong path when he was looking for his door out.

 

OPS, got to be long :-O

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I have accepted that my father is an alcoholic.

 

He's in Sweden, right? Then apart from anything else it must be costing him a fortune.

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He's in Sweden, right? Then apart from anything else it must be costing him a fortune.

 

Yep, it's not cheap, but that is really the least of the problem...

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What a great and real thread. Good on you guys for talking openly about this and offering support. The elements of addiction which you raise are also relevant to other addictions (food, smoking, other drugs for example) and I'm sure are helping others who choose not to post too. Warm fuzzy! :)

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Good post Buzzer. I can relate to the friends finding it weird and being a bit unaccepting. I don't know the answer to this. I did tell people to "f**k off" for a while though, that seemed to work! :D

 

I've no idea (8 months on since I decided to stop drinking...for a little while) whether I'm in a better place or not. Starting to have mad few days at a time again, but not quite as much. Occasionally having that horrible "fear"/shakes/beer sweats which is what I hate, still kick myself for going to that extreme.

 

I really thought I would be content with a decision in this time but nowhere near it. I just came back from the US where I was on a course of less than 10 people from all over the world. I was probably the only nationality there who you would expect to be going out and getting pissed if you were to profile everyone.

 

At the end of the trip I looked around the room and indeed I don't think any of them had gone out during it, except me. Which of course I had to do on my own, not that I minded, sometimes you can't beat a good night out on your own. I had some great times, had some great laughs with complete strangers, met some cute girls, was made to feel very welcome in a group of complete strangers. Literally gone home some nights with my face sore from laughing so much. I definitely wouldn't have had the laughs, met a girl I'm still talking to (who doesn't approve of the binge drinking for the record, and very rarely gets drunk - more on that later)or come back thinking "that was AWESOME" had it not been for drinking beer, and too much beer.

 

Looking at the other guys on the course, I'm not sure what they did for fun, but I know I even managed more of the tourist things than they did in addition to partying a bit. I'm sure they didn't spend as much money as me, but I had no idea what they did that made them laugh or smile. I know exactly what I did! Different breed or something. There is nothing they could have done night after night except TV, internet or phoning home. I like the odd night of this myself, but night after night would drive me round the bend. Away from home you can't do your normal routine, whatever that me be. What else is there?

 

I'm waffling, and while I can't sleep (probably for wishing I hadn't turned down invite to go out tonight), am I just addicted to going out and having a laugh and a BS with randoms? I can't be unique in this? Will I even grow out of this "this sucks" feeling on a night I've self enforced myself to stay in?

 

Buzzer, you talk about moving away from Cardiff to get away from the excesses...did it make a difference for long?? I'd hazard a guess that unless you moved to a cave it wouldn't, but I may be wrong? I've no idea where I could move to where I wouldn't be doing exactly what I'm doing right now...

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I'm not sure moving away helps long term. I wanted to get away from the drinky culture that I was surrounded by in Dublin, but I think I just brought it with me. So now I'm having to cope with the original problem in a different place.

 

I think alcohol is more dangerous than drugs (which I don't and have never done by the way) because people often do not realise just how addictive alcohol is. I'm like some others here in that there are some drinks, like wine, which are more dangerous for me as once I open a bottle, topping up the glass is all too easy. I'm much better off drinking beer and I have even started drinking non-alcoholic stuff a lot more often which tastes absolutely lovely and is very refreshing, but best of all does not make me tired the next day.

 

But I'm trying to stay away from wine and spirits. I love vodka with orange juice oh, hell, with any juice...it's gorgeous, but lethal for me as I could down a few of them in no time. Luckily, I don't drink vodka more than once every two months...but still...very dicey!

 

I'm glad to see people posting here as I think the more you read other people's thoughts on this subject, the better you realise that perhaps you need to examine your own drinking habits. I work in a very international place so it's not the kind of thing I want to discuss with colleagues in work who mostly don't drink much anyway.

 

But Schotte, I do miss the truly great laughs I used to have when I was flutered. But I don't miss the guilt the next day ( I don't really suffer from hangovers), but the guilt would be mighty. So I guess I'll have to find other ways to have the great laughs...not easy though. But I guess that's part of growing-up.

 

For me, if I'm feeling very tired after a hard day at work, then that tends to be the trigger. Almost fell into it tonight, got a take-away and was thinking I'd just have one glass of wine...but hey, I know where that goes. I wouldn't drink the bottle, but it could be two large glasses which I think is too much for me these days. But tonight I broke the cycle and went for a jog first, so that I was so thirsty the only thing I wanted was my non-alcoholic beer with my take-away. A happy girl I am now :) We just have to keep trying, don't we!

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I'm back on the anti-depressants; it seems that operations under full anaesthesia have a bad effect on my mental stability. After one fiasco early this year when I turned paralytic after drinking and taking the meds I am being very careful now. I had a shot of whisky in a McD chocolate shake on Monday, that was all the alky I have had since last Wednesday when I didn't finish my second Weißbier. I started the meds the day after that.

 

I don't miss the alky as much as I thought I would, but I know that my abstinence is only temporary.

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But I don't miss the guilt the next day ( I don't really suffer from hangovers), but the guilt would be mighty. So I guess I'll have to find other ways to have the great laughs...not easy though. But I guess that's part of growing-up.

 

Are you talking about the proper guilts/fear? I don't mean the "oh my gosh, who did i text or what did i say to him/her last night?" thoughts, but the crippling social anxiety guilts. The latter is horrible I think everyone would agree.

 

I am on day 10 now back at work and thus "aff it". Had a non alco beer last night, it was really grim. Then again, it came from Iran so that probably explains it! I have kept saying in this thread about waking up in the morning after a wee period off it, the little things where you feel a bit more energetic than you might have otherwise etc etc and this is ringing true again. I wish I could remember this feeling when I'm home and on time off.

 

Sarabyrd, I dunno what exactly you have been through of late, but sounds like you are behaving well under the circumstances, so keep up the good work :)

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OP to remove the metal inserted after last year's compound fracture.

 

I spent an afternoon at the Biergarten yesterday and managed to keep it down to one Weißbier. It was one of the most refreshing beers I have had in a while - absence makes the palate grow fonder.

 

Stick to it, Schotte!

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Are you talking about the proper guilts/fear? I don't mean the "oh my gosh, who did i text or what did i say to him/her last night?" thoughts, but the crippling social anxiety guilts. The latter is horrible I think everyone would agree.

Nah, not the "what did I say or text guilt"...am too old for that! But the oh why did I let my one drink stretch into too many again? Why do I let alcohol take over? Why can't I drink like a normal person? What am I doing to my body? Those nice thoughts keep me going if I wake up in the sweats in the wee hours of the morning. Cheerful stuff!

 

The funny thing is, I'm SO much better than I used to be. But it's through constant berating myself and trying to drink teas or non-alcoholic drinks instead that have helped. And it's been a long journey. I'm not home yet, but I'm defintely en route.

 

As I say, I really don't want to have to become a tee-totaler (or a tea-totaler!), but I want to feel that I can trust myself with a drink and enjoy it for what it is. A drink. Not an escape or a desperate attempt to make life more fun. Just something that tastes nice.

 

I want a normal healthy relationship with alcohol. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

Mind you, I'm bloody awful with crips/potato chips too. No willpower whatsoever. Open a packet of crips...must eat whole packet now, no matter what the size is! Is this a pattern?!

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Nah, not the "what did I say or text guilt"...am too old for that!

 

you mean that goes away? Sweet, something to look forward to in my doddering old age.

 

erm, not that you're doddering... but I'm sure I will be, before that goes away :ph34r:

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I just don't know anyone to text these days!! Left them all behind I did, and good riddance! Man, I haven't been that bad in a long time now...that brings me back. :) Fun times!

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I am (pleasantly) surprised to find this thread as previous TT events I attended incl. Curry Nights involved TTers drinking, some to the point of not being able to stand up without falling over :ph34r: Of course they are not representative of TTers and for a splitting moment, it did make me think if I was being "anti-social" for being a teetotaler and I did stay away from TT events because I don't really want people to look at me weird. I was/am always questioned about my choice but I enjoy my life without alcohol and I have also met (more and more) people who do not like alcohol so actually I don't feel weird about myself. Anyway, this thread is great! I definitely like being sober, not falling over and having people to prop me up and definitely not have a hangover the next day :)

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