Life without alcohol

575 posts in this topic

 

Have you ever walked up to a bar of chocolate and said, "Bar of chocolate, I am going to have exactly one square of you"? How does that usually turn out? Mind you, sometimes it works, but more often it doesn't. You have at least another two squares, or maybe even half the bar, before you feel guilty enough or sick from all the sugar, to stop. And this was a risk I simply wasn't willing to take.

 

Good for you Dessa. I have noticed that I've replaced my alcohol want with an occasional evening lust after chocolate and sweet shit. I buy bars of chocolate for the others - I never used to want it much, and well - nick it before they do! I also buy white choc for myself. The other night i ate more or less the whole packet but it was weekend.

 

I'm also now more aware of other addictions like the Internet. I don't sit online surfing crap so much as earlier, rather deleting mountains of old MP3s and images.

 

I just thought - those who regularly imbibe including smoking - must have such dirty teeth. My teeth have never been this clean!

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Just thought I'd pop this here for all you dry drunks as further encouragement to stay on the wagon. Your welcome.

 

Der Trinker, starring Harald Junke

 

 

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Cool! At 0:38 I learned a new place to hide it - in the toilet cistern!

 

Only joking! You must admit it's a bit bloody long to watch though!

 

I have a mate down the gym who has 2 weeks ago given up alc based on what I told him. He did go through the choccy binge just after giving up too!

 

This is the most shit time of year when everyone is stressed and overdoes it. I am not nearly so anxious about Christmas as usual this time.

 

I know exactly what triggers it - family stress and the inescapability of it. This morning we had a barney at the breakfast table and although it was miserable, I know it would be ten times worse if this evening I washed away the stress with a beer or five.

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I am on day 4 of a 30 day break (maybe longer if I feel good about the break at the end!) I woke up last weekend after a few drinks, muggy-headed and realising the incredibly negative, angry dreams I had had in my sleep. More and more over the last few months while awake, I have realised that alcohol is making me moody and inactive. Alcohol is really affecting my quality of living as my feelings are slightly dulled whenever I have a drink and then I am always waking up exhausted due to the poor quality sleep.

 

The last straw was towards the end of last week at a function when I realised that the 2 glasses of champagne I was having were putting me in a very dull mood. I thought back and realised that I can not remember the last time that I actually REALLY enjoyed a drink. Yes, the inevitable relaxation and escape is nice but I wonder if it is worth it given the exhaustion, moodiness and dulled feelings... I think not!

 

So I am giving 30 days a go and have added to the plan a no (obvious) sugar challenge as well to 1) give me an excuse to give to my friends over the christmas/new year period when I say no to a glass of champagne/apfelwein etc. and 2) to (hopefully) feel awesome at the end of it.

 

Wish me luck! Don't feel like I need it yet, but it IS only day 4!

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Aussie - in my experience - I'm 5 months away from it - it takes in practice about 3 months to not look at alcohol and go" Hmmmm, that looks as if it might make me feel warm inside" and realise nope it won't. It takes that long for the insidious effects it has on your subconscious to kick in.

 

In my opinion most people aren't alcoholics (I define those as who wake up and need it to function, then the vast category of "functioning" alcoholics who like one in the evening then it turns into a bottle of wine in a night, down to those who "like a drink" - most people are in the very last category, what I might term mildly addicted).

 

I can tell you you will sleep so amazingly when you give it up, your mind will be clearer, and you will want to use other means to chill. My case - it's the gym and sauna, or cross country skiing this time of year.

 

I recently purchased Sandor Ellix Katz's book "The Art of Fermentation" and it is my theory - I may be wrong - that the reason we binge drink, especially this time of year - is industrialised food has taken all the vitamins and goodness out of our collective diet, that our bodies - did you know your stomach has a nervous system, almost a "brain" of its own? - is that we still need fermented foods and drinks inside us. Our stomachs need these substances and in times gone by we used to obtain them from traditional diets. In that book lies perhaps a solution for binge drinking even.

 

http://www.wildfermentation.com/the-art-of-fermentation/

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I've stopped consuming alcohol all together since the end of September.

I agree with Jeremy. I sleep much better and I feel much better.

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Thanks for the positive reinforcement, Jeremy and LiaB!

 

Jeremy, I realise that 30 days might not be enough but I'm not sure that I can handle the psychological pressure of taking on a longer period! I figure, step by step and, to be honest, I am proud I have even started the whole venture ;)

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Aus - don't be hard on yourself! It's highly likely at this time you will relapse! This is a very hard time of year to give up - even I had thoughts whilst in Lidl this morning, but I thought no fuck it.

 

You may be tempted - it is fucking hard to stop I grant you.

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I feel more alive already though!

 

Just to add - I've also started keeping a fun little diary which a girlfriend gave me - it's Keen's Diary and it prompts bizarre questions about your day for you to answer. It's a way to look at the world in a fun way and I was thinking it might help me take on this new approach with a sense of curiosity and fun!

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I agree with Jeremy again. I mean most of the meetings or get togethers over here start with Sektempfang. It's like the minute you arrive at a social event, they are already tempting you with alcohol consumption. In other countries it is more like "Would you fancy some finger food etc?"

Edit: The diary thing will help you a lot.

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Why don't you write it online in a way - a blog perhaps?

 

I blogged about it a while back and drew it all under a mini-project of decluttering I called "Walden Two". See this:

 

http://iamrogertheshrubber.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/walden-two-addiction/

 

Oh and LIAB is right - Sektempfang is normal round here - I did actually have a glass of it at my brother in law's the other day during K and K - don't think one glass of champagne will actually harm considering I have been totally dry for five months, apart from one glass of it during my son's school start big day last September.

 

Two glasses of sekt/Champagne in 5 months isn't bad imho.

 

Alcohol is heavily glamourised, especially in Bavaria, and none more so at Oktoberfest. As far as I am aware, the main beers brewed are all in the hands of six major brewing corporations who want you to get ill, sorry drunk as much as possible.

 

We've come a very long way since beer was brewed in small local monasteries, with locally harvested barley and hops. It is all now sadly a sterile, mass produced product which imho may taste okay, but I am sure doesn't thave the "goodness" it used to possess.

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Okay bump this! Last night whilst on the way to Lidl I felt a reasonable pull towards the stuff but quickly rationalised it and didn't buy any.

 

For those who are on their self destruct cycle which is usually at its worst this time of year - good luck and see you on the other side in January!

 

Take some comfort in this Graun article:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/23/addiction-sufferers-christmas-dangers

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Well, it's 48hrs shy of this thread being a year old...How time flies when you're constantly assessing your drinking habit!

 

I'm interested by your take on modern beers Jeremy, and the binge drinking aspect you mention. Thanks for sharing. I think I read it in another thread where you commented as well.

 

Christmas was a bit messy for me, I was resigned to that fact so not bothered too much nor feeling overly guilty. 'Tis the season. Only smashed my iPhone once this time! :)

 

I'm a week into the 6 times a year stint in the dry place. Always amazed how after such a short time the sleep (as you all are saying) is vastly improved and that lethargic feeling has gone. Amazing!

 

On a more serious note, a guy I work with and went on my days off with after last trip away was in 'party town' at the same time as me for 2 days of R&R on the way home. I hung out with him for brief periods each night (before losing each other - I'm one of those people that wanders off no matter who I'm with!) and arranged to meet him at the bar the first night. I came a bit late, quite a while after him, and he was already on triple vodkas and red bull. Which he drank all night. I did say to him that it couldn't be good, why don't you drink beers? Each to their own, there is only so much you can say. I have read about the effect such drinks have on people and sure it's banned in some places?

 

This guy is not an alcoholic, but a hard hard drinker. Turns out not so long after he got home he had some kind of fit or seizure. It would be wrong to go into too many details, which I don't know the full story anyway, but I have heard of "silly juice" having this effect on people and I wonder if the 2 things are related.

 

Certainly made me sit up a bit and got a fright. The one thing I have cracked in the year since I started this was not being that guy who gets the first round of jaeger/red bulls in, and generally managing to 'disappear' when they invariably come out. I could probably have 10 pints on a day out and wake up and function, it's when anything and red bull/energy drinks/stupid shots of some overhyped new fangled drink surface I can be a rattling wreck, aggressive and completely out of character. I think that is progress recognising what I can and can't handle and successfully avoiding it (more often than not).

 

After 7 weeks abstinence, there is nothing beats that first sip of Guinness. Which is not something I'm prepared to give up and I think I was being far too unrealistic last year. It's all about the balance, for me anyway.

 

Aussie Girl - Stick in!

 

I am delighted this thread exists, I check it often. Long may you all feel happy to post your own experiences.

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Schotte - you are in Iraq still right? Slightly different setup to my old one but I know the feeling. Weeks of "dry" then when you are unleashed you go bananas. Yep know it well. In fact I gave up alcohol for three years in Saudi, as I loved desert exploring and carrying alcohol in your car was a deprtable offence. In fact the Lada Niva I bought was from a bloke nicked with drink in his hand, he was in jail selling me the car while his collegue handled official matters. So I stayed off it a very long time. Twas in my last year I befriended a Saudi who lived on Bahrain (not dry) and I used to party with his friends who were all very very rich and liquidly generous!

 

so in your case it is very very hard to give it up comletely, unless you get into desert travelling like I did. Most likely a change of lifestyle (the itinerant one I left behind and you are still in) is fecking hard to give up - I did it cos I got kids. Especially if you go out to socialise with only drinkers. However - I wished I'd realised this - there is a whole world beyond the pub, with people who don't like getting sloshed. I was too foolish to realise these are better people in the long run.

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Schotte - you are in Iraq still right? Slightly different setup to my old one but I know the feeling. Weeks of "dry" then when you are unleashed you go bananas.

 

Yeh, you're on the money. Think I wasted a long time realising this, hopefully not too long in the scheme of things. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's bad going bananas for a few days, get it out your system if so inclined. As long as no one is being hurt or arrested! ;) But there are other people I know who do nothing but this on their time off. The thought of being old and having wasted a life on this scared me.

 

I just needed a focus and, despite a temporary set back, have found one or two that fit in well :)

 

I think that's all I can do as long as this schedule keeps going? Better not be doing this 5 years from now! :D

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Is it just me or is the combination of thread title and subtitle unfortunate? Life without alcohol -- never again..

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I might have missed on a joke there but if not I said this in Post #1:

 

 

Don't know if I will ever drink again but do know...
:)
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Yeh, you're on the money. Think I wasted a long time realising this, hopefully not too long in the scheme of things. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's bad going bananas for a few days, get it out your system if so inclined. As long as no one is being hurt or arrested!

 

Here's how I survived. I was teetotal for 3 years then started brewing my own again. One golden rule for anyone in the Gulf where its tought o get hold of liquor is STAY OFF THE SPIRITS. Many expats owned stills and made their own "Glen Achmed" with oak chips or whatever they smuggled in. I never drank any spirits whilst there. I used to party on a compund called Al Gosaibi which is now a very open secret though for year we were told to keep schtum about it - yet every expat and air hostess who's passed through Saudi knows about the place. It was a veritable house of sin with 30 bars rocking all night till dawn men and women. You can save lots of dish by brewing your own with some liquid yeast obtained from a fellow expat. Grape juice in a 19litre water bottle job done. i can PM you more precise details if you need.

 

Beer or wine are fine but do not touch the spirits - that's the only rule to follow. Lots of expats ended up either dead early, deported before end of contract or jailed running over a Saudi (they were usually on 24 hour notice to get out of Saudi in minutes - that is why they were paid above 40 grand a year. The spirits will at the least mess with your mind. I am mostly talking about the home made stuff though.

 

So this advice goes for anyone who flies on from here to any Gulf Fiefdom.

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Not a joke. See the snapshot:

 

post-206951-13579125516365.png

 

It just sounds like someone tried "A Life without alcohol" but came to the conclusion that s/he never again will try that.

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Well you wouldn't be wrong!

 

@ Jeremy. Funny you should say that. About the only available booze is 300ml cans of "whisky" for $10 or $15 a pop depending who is selling it. It's grim to say the least and only tried it a few nights. Absolutely bonkers though. Caught one guy running around camp naked singing, and another one slept outside his front door in the sand and promptly wet himself! Shouldn't laugh really but...

 

Thanks for the offer of recipe, but one guy got fired a few months back so it's not worth the risk. :)

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