Life without alcohol

575 posts in this topic

 

Yes there is life after alcohol.

 

It's called death!

 

Doc: Give up alcohol.

 

Patient: Will it make me live longer.

 

Doc: No, but it will bloody well feel like it.

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It's good to know that your behavior modification is working.

 

"behaviour modification" - love it! seems a lot more acceptable this term and going to start using it, thanks :)

 

 

I think what you have to remember schotte is that alchohol is a depressive, it took me absolute years to 'click' that that was the case! I was always depressed on a Sunday, hated my thoughts, couldnt see the good things in my life, was negative about everything,but always just thought it was a Sunday feeling, never EVER thought it was anything to do with drinking the night before! I've been reading your thread from the begining and can see a difference in your mentality already. Clarity is coming through. you really are doing such a great job....Yes there is life after alcohol.

 

I never realised it before this either, I'm wondering if you need a good few weeks or so before you can. To distance yourself from it. I must be on day 38 or so now (going to try and stop being so obsessed with number of days) and I think about the "clicking" thing at least once a day. It bothers me I wasted years not realising this. :(

 

I'm not sure if I'm sleeping better anymore to be honest, could be because I have a snoring roommate though. Definitely find waking up in the morning a whole different ball game. So much easier. This is the most noticeable thing in fact. Gym sessions are definitely more productive and more energy for that. Doing 30km on bike every 2 days then 3-5km run on days in between find this making a world of difference. Not sure about the clarity, still have some "off" moments. My latest off moment is saying to myself "I'm sure I can have a few beers in Dublin" when I go in March. Then I snap out of it and think this would be a disaster. Or would it? I don't know, I don't know when is safe to try it again and this trip looming ticks all the boxes for being a complete disaster for me. Would be almost 3 months since I'd had anything to drink at all by that point though.

 

Today will be the first Burns' day I've had in a while without a whisky over my haggis that's for sure :S

 

Jeremy, how are you doing?

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Fine. In fact I'm starting to figure out a little of how it works. Demand and supply.

 

Demand: It's the "triggers". A particularly hairy day at home, maybe a big birthday party to help organise with screaming kids might be one, an inlaw visit, or a shite week of ill kids (I have this in fact right now - kids not in KG/school since Monday with colds) would usually send my mind in overdrive. A Friday evening after a shit week. Now I am aware of the triggers, I know they are shit moments and just wait till things get better. I'd actually been not drinking much last year (to my perception) had drank low alcohol Tegernseer Leicht a lot in summer, radler etc. It ran away when my Mum was "on her Way" there was simply no other way for me to cut off my brain from pending grief. Christmas I had a few but in the grand scheme of things I was actually on the way to low or no alcohol apart from then.

 

Supply. Best thing is not to have it in the house in the first place. I used to buy whole crates of beer along with a crate of alc free Erdinger. Then I'd buy two bottles for Top Gear then a few in the week, some weeks more than others. The last 2-3 times I've just bought alc free only, one crate to share with the wife. We sink one of them and get another, job done.

 

Just been reading Keith Richards autobio and his account of how he got off heroin, obv a different kettle of fish but the way he describes his addiction and how "comfortable" it was to be seduced by the stuff, rang a few bells. It IS easy to go back and enjoy a bit, but I am now so long away that I really don't miss it anymore. I now know what those triggers were so I have more control over it.

 

I don't think I was that strongly addicted looking back. I am also not sure I ever want to touch it again now.

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But one will lead to another will lead to another and you will wind up where you started.

 

Great post Dessa. However he will not end up where he started if he gives in. He will be even further back down the road to recovery than when he started, this time with an additional reason. Keep strong. I would be giving deep consideration to the Dublin thing. Being in a 'Käseglocke' helps initially. I realise that at some point you have to meet up with your mates again. Do they know? I would certainly NOT consider going without telling them you MUST stay off the 'Sprit'. Happy Burns night!

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I don't think I was that strongly addicted looking back. I am also not sure I ever want to touch it again now.

 

Good job so far Jeremy. However, does your line tie in with what dessa says? I only say that because I too have had the "was I that bad before" line. Not criticising at all mate just as I say I've thought this as well about myself. I'm going to get myself a rowing machine and/or bike and big tv for the spare room to go on whenever I get a trigger at home I think. Will be spare change out of what I'm saving right now to be fair!

 

Do you never think about special occasions where everyone might have a glass of bubbly and wonder what you will do? That's something I ask myself too.

 

 

it won't be. You know that. You've already made that decision.

 

The booze will whisper in your ear from time to time, sometimes pretty loudly. That's normal. I think you're smack in the middle of that dangerous bargaining phase I was telling you about. Whether you having a drink in Dublin will be a disaster or not, who can say? Probably not. But one will lead to another will lead to another and you will wind up where you started.

 

Don't listen to the alcohol whispering in your ear, in your brain, in your gut. Giving in will only weaken your resolve. You can get through this.

 

I couldn't remember where I had heard this "bargaining" line before (I regularly google different things about drinking!). I reread your older post on here and you are exactly right.

 

It's going to piss me off no end knowing I didn't make it to the Guinness factory because I was utterly wasted last time and now I won't go because I can't allow myself to have any!! :D

 

 

Great post Dessa. However he will not end up where he started if he gives in. He will be even further back down the road to recovery than when he started, this time with an additional reason. Keep strong. I would be giving deep consideration to the Dublin thing. Being in a 'Käseglocke' helps initially. I realise that at some point you have to meet up with your mates again. Do they know? I would certainly NOT consider going without telling them you MUST stay off the 'Sprit'. Happy Burns night!

 

I will pre-warn the Dublin crew. I've flights booked and a ticket and everything I'd be a bit annoyed with myself if I couldn't go and trust myself. If I can't do it after 3 months and presumably feeling even more different still I will never do it!

 

 

Happy Burns night!

 

Tae a moose! :D

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If I can't do it after 3 months and presumably feeling even more different still I will never do it!Tae a moose!

 

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley. Fingers crossed for you.

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It's going to piss me off no end knowing I didn't make it to the Guinness factory because I was utterly wasted last time and now I won't go because I can't allow myself to have any!!

 

The Guinness brewery is probably one of the worst spots for drinking in Dublin though. Okay, so if you do the tour, at the end of it you get a glass (just a glass, not a pint as far as I remember) of Guinness. But that's it unless you want to pay silly tourist prices. By the time you get to the bar you can just leave because the tour is basically over. Or do a bit of research and find out some of the places in Dublin where Gusiness built houses for their employees and have a wander there instead. :) I used to live on one of those roads - hilarious listening to some of the residents who'd lived there for years talking about how different their road was from the council houses around the corner.

 

Oh, and about the bargaining thing and trying to convince yourself you might be okay if you have another drink, one method my therapist told me which can be useful is to think of it like a circle. At the top of the circle you're thinking about it (it in your case being having a drink) and as you move around the circle you get to the point where you have to make the decision to do it or not. But the important part is to realise that that point does not complete the circle, it's only halfway round and you need to make sure, before you make your decision, that you are clear on what happens with the rest of the circle (with drink then it'd be hangover, broke, feeling 'weak' for having given in and so on). It's only when you look at the entire circle that you can really make your decision. Sometimes you'll decide that the second half of the circle isn't worth it and you'll walk away from the idea of having a drink. Sometimes you might decide to have a drink and take the consequences. If you do that though, it's really important to remember that one drink (or one drinking binge) doesn't mean you then have to keep drinking. You're don't have to feel embarassed or weak or humilated or any of that - you can just start not drinking again. But life is hard enough without letting the guilt get to you.

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I liked the Richard Burton film clip. He was very upfront and honest about his drinking problem.

 

This video, from Craig Ferguson, is one of my all time favorites though. It is about as brutally honest as you can get, but funny at the same time.

 

 

 

The one thing that I thought I would mention, is that it has been my experience that people who aren't alcoholics never question themselves about their drinking behaviour. It just never occurs to them. They may get drunk here and there, or wake with a hangover, but they know it isn't a problem and don't wonder about it.

 

Alcoholics on the other hand, do.

 

They will justify the need to have that one drink whether it is for good times or bad, they look at those who walk away from a partial glass of booze and wonder how they could just leave it, they will wake in the morning feeling disgusted with themselves and wonder once again how they ended up drunk when they had only planned to have just one, and on days off from drinking they will still think about drinking all day long wishing they could.

 

Alcoholism is insiduous. It creeps up when you least expect it. One has to be aware of it all the time. You can't take a break for a few years and then decide to drink again. The disease progresses. People end up dead because they thought their alcoholism had gone away after they hadn't drank in 20-30 years.

 

For those who don't want to drink again, the thing is to work on being happy about it, to feel the freedom from this obsession. Feeling joy every morning that you wake up without a hangover, feeling thrilled that you haven't made a fool out of yourself at the bar once again, happy that you remember everything you said the night before and that it wasn't cruel or mean.

 

For those who like to read, try Eric Claptons autobiography. He addresses his alcoholism pretty well in his book.

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Thanks for justifying Dublin in my head Jeanie :) I think I was making an issue out of it too much. Definitely going to go and sure I will behave. Moondancer, your words hit the nail on the head many times and like the other posts here it is encouraging to read.

 

I must be day 44 or so now, not too sure. Don't want to check.

 

Noticing the epiphany moments dessa mentioned. Had a meal with a guy tonight is ex forces from some pretty elite unit, seems to have it all. I used to get some drinks from him for me and some coworkers. First time I'd seen him in a wee while so he was asking if I wanted anything. I said no, I'm having a break for it for a while. He said he was too, 6 months in he is. I didn't ask anything of him - he announced this (it was just myself and him eating). For a start he looks brand new, looks bright eyed and bushy tailed. Looks fit and healthy and full of beans. Few things he said:

 

He was so much happier. He didn't realise how messed up his head was.

It took a few months but now he enjoys social environments more, in the pub etc. He is more funny he reckons than before too!

Is super confident he feels.

Doesn't feel guilt/shame/like he has wasted his 4 weeks at home after every 8 weeks of work. Has more time for family, relationship with them is much improved.

He just gets loads more done around the house and that sort of thing.

 

Was an inspiration again, like some posts on this thread. Always thought he was a great guy and had no issues with life from when I met him months ago, was always impressed by his stories from the unit he was in before, his home life in the southern hemisphere etc. And there he is, openly admitting to someone he doesn't know all that well all the things I mentioned above.

 

I said what I was doing myself. He said you will probably go off the wagon at some point again, but then you will REALLY go back on it. Not sure what he meant exactly.

 

Amazing. Hope that anyone who reads this and thinks of stopping drinking gets something from that, I know I did :)

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I said what I was doing myself. He said you will probably go off the wagon at some point again, but then you will REALLY go back on it. Not sure what he meant exactly.

 

Yeah I think you will briefly fall off the wagon, no harm done, but the length of time without will help. I'm still off it, and not missign it. I'm def calmer than I used to be.

 

Schotte do you reckon this is something that's growing, lots of other people cleaning up? Anecdotally I mean. I know sales of full strength beer are down at my locall offy.

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Maybe, if I hadn't ended up messing up big style 10 days before Christmas I'd have probably carried on and made some half arsed effort to cut down in the new year like lots of other folk. Over indulgence etc etc and that time of year isn't it?

 

I don't miss it either I'm still in the wild west and its easy to avoid. Still doubt if I really need to do this and think "I don't deserve to do this to myself" I really hope I can knock this out of my system in the next 4 weeks before I get home. If I don't keep running and cycling and looking at dates for running events I can schedule in with work I really don't know what I'll do though. Why am I still thinking that going abroad for a few days and getting messed up is something that would be fun? I can't believe I haven't got this out my system yet. Will it ever? 90% of my coworkers are probably pissheads as well there is mention of drink every day. I like it here and the money is good so I don't want to change, but really struggling getting a focus that is enough of an incentive to stick to?

 

I agree completely with being calmer. Is one of the best advantages for me so far.

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YOU and your essence are miles more important than booze or the money, Schotte! Be calm and enjoy becoming a new man. You will get the " old " out of your system if you want to. Keep posting..it´s good for the soul, it really is! B) Fingers crossed, pal. ( desert sunglasses smiley! )

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Torrential rain tonight mate, sunglasses on the head!!! :(

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And next time get your rugb :) y predictions right!!! ( Gets his retaliation in first...)

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I'm still off it, and not missing it. I'm def calmer than I used to be.

 

 

 

I don't miss it either I'm still in the wild west and its easy to avoid.I agree completely with being calmer. Is one of the best advantages for me so far.

 

Just wanted to say that I am proud of you both!

Keep up the good work!

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I think what the ex forces guy meant by "REALLY" go back on it is having that long-term comparison, the one I needed to REALLY realize not only how much better my life is sober but how shit it was when I was drinking. You lose the pain and grief you go through saying goodbye to your old life, stop asking yourself "how come they can drink and I can't?" A second time around it becomes more clear.

 

The risk you run, and I refrained from commenting on Jeanie's (IMO potentially very harmful) comment btw, is that it might not be a second time, but a third or a fourth or fifth. Or never. Every time you fall off the wagon it is harder to get back on. The older you get, the harder it is to break old habits. I kind of want to tell you that yes, it might be something you have to experience for yourself, but another, more rational part of me wants to tell you: believe me. You are not missing out on anything by not drinking (this is what you have to learn by falling off the wagon and then REALLY going back on it). You are missing out by not starting your alk-free life as soon as possible.

 

You seem to be taking this very seriously though--maybe more seriously than I did in 2010. I mean, I knew I needed to stop, but I was always thinking to myself, maybe it's been long enough now. Maybe I can manage this now. But I didn't have anyone around me to tell me, if you were capable of managing booze, you would have figured it out some time in the last thirteen years. You're quitting because you realize you can't manage. You can only abstain.

 

Instead, I had a bunch of people around me making light of the situation. Nobody took my not drinking seriously, so in the end, neither did I. I really wish I'd known somebody who'd gone through the same thing at my age. But it's OK--it only took another year to quit again.

 

I think I just want to save you that year of your life, cos even if it means you REALLY go back on the wagon, you ain't never getting that time it took to realize that you were right all along, back.

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Sobriety is just an illusion caused by a deprivation of alcohol. Cheers.

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