Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Being DRY

(992 Posts)
Bigglesfliesundone Sun 11-May-14 09:39:22

This is the fourth thread for those of us who want to abstain from alcohol completely.

It's an arduous path at times, but we're still here!

We know how easy it is to slip, and how hard it can be to stay on the road, but we also know that we can't drink 'just one'.

The thread motto is 'Watch the film to the end'

smile

Come and have a coffee!

nochips Sun 11-May-14 11:23:55

Am here!

smile Just putting the kettle on now. Thanks for the new thread Biggles.

Fuckitthatlldo Sun 11-May-14 11:24:10

Just wanted to post some virtual moral support to all those trying to stay sober.

I will celebrate a years sober on the 5th June this year. It's been a long road to get here, and there was a time I never thought I'd make it, but all so worth it.

In the end what worked for me is going to AA and working the 12 steps. I found that it gave me the tools I needed not to pick up that first drink, but also that it gave me the tools I needed to really enjoy sober life. I've found a level of peace and comfort I never thought possible. I realise a lot of people are put off by what they feel are religious undertones, but I'm essentially an atheist and was still able to make it work for me. Might be worth a try if nothing else is working?

I know what a struggle it can be to stay sober, so one day at a time, and lots of love. I hope you are all well and hangover free today!

dripty Sun 11-May-14 15:37:41

With regards to AA meetings:
There is one in my local town every Monday evening and have contemplated going.
Do. I need to join first or do I just turn up unannounced?
Also, do. I go to a local group where I may bump into someone I knowshock or venture further afield where the chance if that happening is less?

Fuckitthatlldo Sun 11-May-14 19:29:21

You can just turn up Dripty. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. You are under no obligations to do anything, or to keep going if you decide it's not for you.

I'd just go to your local group. If you did bump into someone you knew, they'd only be there for the same reason as you - might be nice to see a friendly face, no?

You should receive a warm welcome. You can ask some of the female members for their numbers (they'll be happy to give them to you) and then you'll have other women in the recovery process you can ring for support if you need to.

HTH

dripty Sun 11-May-14 19:34:10

Thanks that does help.
Think I will go as the more support the better.

LoveSardines Sun 11-May-14 19:44:21

Just marking my place smile

Hope you are all well.

merce Sun 11-May-14 19:59:03

Marking my place too.

Yes, Dripty, I do AA too and it has been total life-saver. So much about finding the tools to deal with (and hopefully enjoy!) life. Dropping the ego, taking responsibility for one's own actions etc. It may sound bonkers, but I am almost glad I got a big booze problem or I wouldn't have stumbled upon this cool way of living. Weirdly not all about booze if that makes sense. And am also an athiest!

Fuckit - well done on your (nearly) year! I am 2 years and a bit. The first year felt like the most massive achievement. Still feel very close to the memory of what it 'used to be like' tho, so no complacency here! Had to do a chair on Sat and was v. good for me to recall the horrific places alcohol took me to.

I have just got one of those wrist band things that measure your daily steps and also (God knows how) monitor your sleep patterns. It charts when you go into deep/light sleep, how many mins it takes you to fall asleep, whether you wake up during the night etc. Good motivator to walk loads and was really interested to see that I get loads more 'deep/quality' sleep than most people my age (apparently - according to some data from them comparing my stats with the ave for women my age wearing the band). I am convinced it's mainly because I'm sober. In the early days I found it really hard to get to sleep like most people - used to passing out pissed….. But once I got through that I found the quality of my sleep was SO much better. I used to fall asleep drunk and then often wake up or be restless during the night as the booze was working its way through my system.

Happy AF evening all!

xx

nochips Sun 11-May-14 20:00:01

Hi everyone.

mab are you here. smile My trigger times is with dinner time with DS also. I am just shattered by dinner and my resilience is low so I am quickly thrown off stride. I hope so that everything is resolved at work tomorrow. Best of luck. thanks

Fuckit thanks for dropping in. Nearly a year! I can hardly imagine it for myself. Day 2 for me today.... but I have 38 pounds in my coin jar so that means 38 days since March AF. Unheard of. Likedripty I am also afraid of running into people I know at AA. I was even planning sitting at the pub next door to see who goes in just in case. blush

I am okay today. No real desire to drink, but so tired and the whole parenting thing has depleted me today. DS is in bed and so am I. I am really enjoying the Ann Dowsett Johnston book 'Drink; the intimate relationship between Women and alcohol'. It is well researched, includes alot of UK-based research as well and goes into topics like why women drink; how the way women drink differs from how men drink and such issues as public policy around health and alcohol advertising etc. It identifies that most women drink in order to deal with depression, moods etc. I am getting alot out of it, and have ordered some books about the links between alcohol and depression now. That is striking a chord in me.

Anyway, I can really recommend it.

venusandmars Sun 11-May-14 20:48:07

Dropping in to wish everyone all the best.

Love the new thread name, although I'd change the way that the Upper & Lower case is ..... to ..... BEING dry

Because I know that ultimately, being is the most important thing - being all that you can be, being you, being sober, being in control, being a conscious and thinking Mum / wife / partner / daughter / friend....

Ad for those at the early part of this journey, please know that eventually 'dry' is the smaller part, and BEING is what it's all about smile xx

behindthescentedcandless Sun 11-May-14 21:01:37

Marking my place. Great to see a new thread, I find the posts inspiring and encouraging. I will be 8 months sober in a few weeks and I feel amazingly proud. I have gained weight as I have mentioned before, but my skin is much better looking, and my moods are more stable. I also sleep much better and am less irritable and angry. I get more done and spend more quality time with kids at weekend. I am also better at my job.

So, hurrah!

hyperhops Sun 11-May-14 21:06:11

evening all.
very brief hello form me and thanks for new thread grin
looong day visiting dsis today. went ok though, although she had bought a bottle of wine for us - but was fine when I declined and said I just felt I needed a break from drinking for a bit. grin
anyway totally exhausted so off to bed now.See you all tomorrow

allhailqueenmab Sun 11-May-14 21:36:01

hi all, thanks for the new thread.

Can't think of much to say right now... just marking place

So grateful to have what I have: my family, my house, my health (I have yet another cold, but you know what I mean). All so precious and so tenuous. Having a cup of tea and holding tight

SlippedDisco Sun 11-May-14 22:26:04

Just marking my place and checking in with Team Dry!

Thank you fuckit and venus, lovely to 'see' you here smile

mab just caught the end of the old thread - you've had a tough weekend by the sounds of it, hope tomorrow goes well. Yep, I'm also grateful for the good things, keep on keeping on, you're doing so well x

nochips £38 is brilliant! I'll check those books out; I've battled anxiety and depression for what must be the majority of my adult life, but I suspect I have been in a bit of chicken/egg trap with low moods and booze. I could kick myself for not stopping drinking sooner, feel like I've denied myself the chance to be happy for years. But I couldn't see the wood for the trees and I've had some pretty awful luck/things happen in life, so I realise that also played a part and I can't undo any of it or the way I dealt with it, just move forward the best way I can.

candles a 'Hurrah' from me too, you've every right to feel proud!

Waves to everyone else - I'm off to bed after a long day, was at the gym by 9am this morning, I'm such a freak these days and I love it grin

Night all!

skippy84 Sun 11-May-14 23:13:37

Hi everyone, day 3 here but am seriously committed to a future without alcohol. I'm worn out from its negative presence in my life. Starting treatment tomorrow. Looking forward to hearing your experiences

Bigglesfliesundone Mon 12-May-14 09:13:42
merce Mon 12-May-14 09:25:07

Hi Skippy - welcome! And well done on your 3 days. The first days are so hard. Totally agree with you about how exhausting and all-consuming alcohol can be in one's life. SO SO worth giving it the boot. I feel I have got my life, sanity, and so much TIME back. Time that used to be spent drinking, regretting drinking, feeling shit, planning ways of staying away from drink (all in vain, obv) and then planning how to drink again. On a loop…… Hope treatment goes well. Residential or day?

And thanks Biggies for posting links to old threads. I think it is hugely helpful to read other people's experiences and realise that we are not alone.

guggenheim Mon 12-May-14 09:30:16

Hey all,

Hope you don't mind me dropping in for some advice. I'm an alcoholic but with AA & the babes I was sober for 13 months. Then I hit a block in my recovery,by which I mean I decided to drink again to see if I could manage the booze.

Nothing disasterious has happened but my drinking has crept right back up on me to the point where I am drinking again on 4/7 nights in the week. I know where this is going and realise that I need to put a stop to this again by getting my arse back to aa.

I think that the point of my post is that I need to be honest and to see that in print and i need some advice.Anyone got anything to say about lapsing and then going back to aa?

When I was sober I dealt with all kinds of stupidity from my past but I got stuck on the ability to deal with everyday life,and crap - I think everyone finds that hard.How do I manage long term sobriety? Maybe I'm the kind of idiot who can only do 6 months or 1 year??? I've noticed that there are lots of articles from people in early recovery - perhaps up to 1 or 2 years and then it goes a bit quiet.

So any advice on staying sober long term as well as getting sober????

Hope my post doesn't come across as arsy- not intended that way smile

nomorequotes Mon 12-May-14 09:32:59

I was going to come on and recommend Cod Liver Oil tablets but I see you are talking about a different type of 'dry'!

As you were...

funkybuddha Mon 12-May-14 09:49:39

Hi everyone, I was here for the first thread, managed about 3 months off it then Christmas came around and I had just the one. I also had just the one several more times and of course slipped back into it. Trying to look positively I have proven to myself that there is no such thing as just the one so the next time I want to have "just the one" I will be able to draw on this experience. So, I've been alcohol free for 3 and a half weeks this time round. My husband has given up too, the last time we drank there was an almighty fall out and something happened which nearly broke our family apart...amazing what alcohol can do to you. We had the choice, choose alcohol or choose our family.
Anywho, hello to everyone, again!

hyperhops Mon 12-May-14 09:53:20

skippy Hi!
gugg hi. can't help with long term sobriety as only on 2 weeks here, but well done for getting back on track. I know exactly what you mean about drinking "creeping" back up. Every now and then I used to cut way back to drinking "sensible" amounts but it never lasted. I was always soon back up to drinking 4/5 nights a week and at least a bottle of wine a go blush

right, just popping by briefly. Am about to head off to my second counselling session. Very nervous and have been trying to come up with excuses all morning not to go, but will stick with it.
will be back later. hope everyone else is ok.

merce Mon 12-May-14 09:57:57

Hi Guggenheim. I do AA and have been sober just over 2 years. Lots of people in my group have come back after a relapse so I would say try not to beat yourself up about it. In many ways I imagine it is just further proof that (sadly)we CAN'T drink normally/control our drinking. So can give you even more resolve. I think it's a good idea to try to find an AA group where there is lots of good sobriety - plenty of people with a long time sober. Meetings can be so varied as anyone who has done AA knows. I am incredibly lucky as I found a 'home group' full of fabulous, smart, funny people - many of whom have 20 years-ish sobriety. I was always advised to stick around the people who have been sober a long time so whatever they 'have' can rub off on you.

And hi, FunkyB. That sounds so familiar. I used to be an argumentative bitch when I drank. The number of times I would row with my DH and end up storming off to sleep in the spare room. ALL to do with alcohol I now realise…… At the time I thought I had 'genuine' grievances when in fact I was just an argumentative drunk. Shaming tho it is to admit….. Well done to you for choosing your family thanks

guggenheim Mon 12-May-14 10:41:27

Thank you - some good advice there flowers

I know that the first thing to do is admit to being powerless over alcohol but somehow with time,my brian convinced me that I knew better. My aa groups are a bit of a mixed bunch too but the wimmin's group is great so I shall head back there.

I'm an argumentative bitch when drunk too,that and stupid behaviour while out with friends was what made me want to get sober in the first place.

It's so strange how my drinking has crept up. I think that the difference is that I know that those 'one or two' glasses really do matter and try not to make excuses even though I haven't been in control of my behaviour. Actually,think I'll stop analysing because I'm beginning to sound nuts!

skippy84 Mon 12-May-14 13:24:58

Hi everyone seeing my addiction counsellor at 3 and have butterflies in my stomach. If anyone has been to a counsellor can you let me know what I might expect from the first appointment.

allhailqueenmab Mon 12-May-14 14:02:03

Hi everyone!

Guggenheim - I have been reading this

www.amazon.co.uk/The-Happy-Addict-Alcoholism-Addiction/dp/0957321716

It's about life after addiction. It's really great about being long term happy without alcohol (or your drug of choice)

I really like this writer, Beth Burgess. She is honest about the fact that alcohol does do a job (she used it to deal with bad anxiety, and got addicted). She is a really credible writer on this stuff and I really like her take on the need to not just stop using, but to be actually recovering.

I don't quite deserve to read that book as it is for those who have really stopped and I am only on day 8! But I am reading it anyway in conjunction with another short one about giving up itself:

www.amazon.co.uk/The-Recovery-Formula-Addicts-getting/dp/0957321708/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y

guggenheim Mon 12-May-14 15:27:17

Ooh- those book look brilliant. Yes,staying happy sober is exactly what I need to learn to do. I've met people who have real serenity and I understand that they only got there after a very long period of sobriety and probably,therapy.

Well done on the 8 days- that's over a week. Bet you feel better.

Fuckitthatlldo Mon 12-May-14 19:33:56

Guggenheim your AA group should welcome you back with open arms. Ever heard the phrase, 'we don't shoot our wounded'? Try to remember that relapse has happened to a lot of us and we understand what it means to have our heads tell us that this time it will be different. It's just a matter of really conceding to yourself that you are an alcoholic, are therefore powerless over alcohol, and using that as your foundation for recovery.

Merce Wow! Over two years! That's amazing. But then I remember a time when I thought one year was not achievable. I have to try hard not to get too evangelical about AA and the 12 step programme it offers. It's done so much for me, and my life and outlook have improved so much.

Thanks for the lovely welcome everybody :-) Hope you are all having a good day.

nochips01 Mon 12-May-14 19:54:45

Hi everyone. Just checking in to mark my place with a slightly new namechange.

Welcome everyone new. smile

I am trying not to get too distracted my MN today- have a work deadline set a few weeks ago when I was in the middle of starting my sobriety and it totally escaped my notice as I was focusing on myself really! Due this week. It is not a disaster but does mean that today I went to our local library to work (no internet) and have to get stuck in tonight. But, still AF. Day 3. smile

Thanks for all the book recommendations. I have 3 ordered from Amazon which are wending their way to me. I find reading everything i can get my hands on right now feels empowering.

So, see you all tomorrow. Thank you all for your wise and honest words.

MistressofPemberley Mon 12-May-14 21:23:47

New thread, and I'm still here!

Back from a hen weekend with old friends. Totally sober still. It was great, and it really didn't matter that I wasn't drinking. I had so much fun. What was interesting was how many people told me they were proud/impressed of my not drinking.

Once you've declined that first drink (and you must be completely full of conviction even if you're wobbly inside), most people accept it. And if they're arsey about it, then they're not worth knowing.

10 weeks now, and I'm actually starting to believe this really can happen; I can live my life AF. Exciting stuff.

skippy84 Mon 12-May-14 21:41:31

Had a counselling session today. One thing I found really difficult is the realisation that there have been nights where I haven't been there to respond to my daughter when she cried for me because I was too drunk. I put her in so much danger. What if she got sick? What if there was a fire? It was just me and her, she was essentially on her own at 2/3 years old. How can I ever live with myself for doing that?

merce Mon 12-May-14 21:49:02

Skippy, my love, I suspect all of us on this thread have done the same…. Nothing to be proud of, but it's in the past and we can't change it. What we CAN do - is to make sure we really fight hard to change our lives to make sure we never do it again. There wasn't a fire. It was OK. You were lucky and have a second chance. I feel just the same. A miracle nothing terrible happened….. You can totally live with yourself because you can be determined to have the backbone to ditch the booze and become a mother she will be proud of. Brilliant that you are sharing. No one on this thread will (or I suspect is in any position to) judge you. Try to be kind to yourself too - it will help you stay sober!

skippy84 Mon 12-May-14 22:42:08

Thank you, I just feel so sad

nochips01 Tue 13-May-14 06:12:56

skippy I can relate also.I think what is important is exactly what merce says- using the experience to be the mother she will be proud of.

I had nights where the best I could do for my family was think 'everybody's fed, no-body's dead'.

I'm not proud of that. But I hope to be able to remember it so that when I think that 'just one' can't hurt I remember.

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 13-May-14 08:23:35

Skippy, you are quite ok to feel like that. I did some appalling things to my eldest daughter when I was beyond drunk. Physically, she never came to any harm but emotionally she must have been so scared at times sad.

Luckily she has forgiven me and knows I was ill - but it doesn't take away what I did, nothing will do that. All we can do is forgive ourselves and know it will never happen again.

It's fine. It's over now.

allhailqueenmab Tue 13-May-14 09:12:59

Hi
More books - I am now reading this

www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008SG01RU/ref=oh_d__o00_details_o00__i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Lots of stuff - as in all addiction stuff - about honesty and authenticity, which I am really working on at the moment - it's hard for me.

Dealing with anxiety is hard for me too. One of the books I linked to yesterday stresses how you must replace alcohol when you give it up. For me, I have lost all sense of enjoyment a while ago (mostly - in most contexts) and what I need to replace is the anxiety crutch and the stress crutch. I don't know how to clear my mind of the thngs that whirl around and around in it.

I think this is related to the honesty and authenticity thing too. I am so so so afraid of being exposed, and have been since I was a child. I feel so vulnerable when I put things out there. there are lots of things going on at work which are requiring me to speak up for myself and every time I do, my response whirls around in my head for days as I imagine what punishment will be coming my way for it; what will people think of me? What do they think of me already, that I am being treated like this? (nothing - it's not personal - nobody cares about me, but nobody hates me, I guess, or even thinks much about me - I keep being left out of important discussions and this is because I am forgotten not because I am despised - so I keep telling myself - but it's hard)

Sorry to ramble on like this. I have a stinking cold and another long day and UGH.

Guggenheim thaks for the well done on day 8 (day 9 now). Day 0 was a one day relapse after a little while not drinking so I am feeling good, but also getting into the "is this it?" mind set - the feeling that all my problems are still there - and now I have to work out how I will deal with them or live with them

I am allowing myself to eat though. This is a new thing for me as I have been dieting or breaking a diet since my teens. I have consciously put aside all calorie counting, all notions of fat and carbs and so on, and I eat three normal meals a day, not trying to limit the amount. I am piling on the vegetables and salad but not because I am trying not to eat other things, just for taste and health. It is amazing how not being hungry boosts the mood. And looking at the fridge at a meal time, knowing I can have anything I want. Boiled egg and toast and butter! Go for it, girl. Crazy times.

guggenheim Tue 13-May-14 09:40:34

mab great nn btw, I really get your point there. The anxiety thing is hard but sobriety massively helps with that. My self esteem and self respect has dipped again because I've been drinking. When I wake up sober it's like a point against that vile little voice in my head which tells me how stupid/mad/fat etc etc I must be.

I've managed to pick up a few hobbies which take me away from drinking,most of my life has been spent socialising + drinking so it's been an enormous change to go and do things which change that pattern. I also know that I have the kind of mind which needs to be occupied or asleep (or drunk) so quiet calm meditation/ yoga melarky just isn't for me.It's taken a long to time to understand that that is how it works for me.Well worth persuing some hobbies though smile

skippy I'm sorry you feel sad and I can understand that. Might be worth bearing in mind that everyone behaves in ways they wouldn't otherwise,when they have been drinking- it's not something you're in control of. No one intends to hurt their nearest and dearest,although I guess that all of us drinkers have. You are here because you want that to stop and that's great! Feeling sad is a normal process of getting sober and of counselling. I have lots of memories that I was ashamed of but feel more accepting of now- does that make sense? If you feel really down,can you take some time off and just let yourself feel sad?

nochips01 Tue 13-May-14 13:07:02

Such great posts, thanks everyone. mab I recognise the issues about stress and anxiety and panic. Thanks for the book links too. I am becoming increasingly interested in the link between women's depression, anxiety and alcohol and food issues. I certainly have all that.I have terrible food issues.

dripty Tue 13-May-14 17:09:53

Well I had a lapse last nighthmm
However, I think it might actually have been a good thing.
DCs had been driving me mad and it was 9.30 before they finally settled into bed.
I had missed my TV programme and was craving a large glass of red wine soooooo much. So I gave in and poured one. I anticipated the sweet, fruity taste and the warm glow as it slipped past my tongue.
All I can say is it was foulshock The taste was nothing like I remembered after ten days of no alcohol and I found myself literally gagging.
I persisted slowly till the end of the glass, thinking it might improve as I drank more.
Sadly it didn't and I ended up chucking the leftover down the sunk. I didn't get the warm glowy feeling and I actually felt quite sick at the thought if pouring another glass.
So it has shown me that after craving alcohol for ten days I didn't really want it after all. I know now that when I reach for a drink this evening, it will be relief at being non alcoholic ginger beergrin

skippy84 Wed 14-May-14 00:04:00

Hi everyone, just checking in day 5 today was a bit worried about this eve because I was working late and always loved using wine to switch off afterwards. Was very anxious but did really well. Feel so relaxed and happy tonight. What was I so worried about? Hope you are all doing well.

nochips01 Wed 14-May-14 05:57:04

Hi everyone.

It's funny dripty, I have found when I have slipped, that I take a sip and it does not give what it gave me before. I just think 'what's this about then?'.

Hi skippy. congratulations! That relaxed happy feeling is so fantastic. smile

I am okay. I am Day 5. I want to make it to 100 days of no sips and no slips. Yesterday I found hard though. I am reading a book called 'Eating Drinking Over-thinking' By Dr Susan Nolen-Hoeksma who is a professor of psychology at yale University. She writes about what she calls a 'toxic triangle' for modern women who have food issues, alcohol issues and depression- most usually just constant low mood. Apparently we do not even recognise that this is a toxic triangle of concern because it is just SO common for women that it is 'normal'. This really resonates with me. I am only half way through - it is a pretty easy read despite the references to academic studies - but she is talking about how women internalise all the stresses and strains we have in our lives and how this manifests into what amounts to self harm I guess.

Late last year I started seeing a counsellor for my 'food issues' (although I was secretly worried about my drinking) and it is true that now the focus has changed to food/depression/alcohol so this book really rings true for me.

Anyway,last night I was tired and really craving white wine. I had to tell myself that 'cravings only last 10 minutes' many many times. But it did pass and by the time I got to bath story and bed time I was okay, thank heavens. I hate how I feel when I wake up the next day. So much better waking to bright sun!

www.goodreads.com/book/show/588582.Eating_Drinking_Overthinking

allhailqueenmab Wed 14-May-14 06:52:30

nochips, thanks for that book, it looks very interesting. I was going to ask you about it when you mentioned it upthread.

Stinking cold here. having an argument in my head about whether to go to work or not.
dd2 woke up in the night and I left her and dp went to her. I feel really guilty about this because I basically took the unilateral decision that I feel too ill to go and what gave me the right?
I feel a bit better this morning but when I had time off before EAster I collapsed and had a mini breakdown because I was so exhausted and had had sinusitis for so long. Is it possible for me to short circuit that cycle of periodic collapse by taking a day off early when you start getting all the colds?

I don't know I am in a tricky position at work, getting left out of a lot of things. Maybe I need to get in there and show my face.

I hope you are all well. Well done skippy! and dripty, so positive, great to hear it

nochips01 Wed 14-May-14 07:03:59

mab you have every right to be ill and to feel awful, and every right to have DP co-parent with you fully. I bet if your DP was ill you would not think twice about going to your DD.

The pressures we put on ourselves. thanks

Hope you feel alot better soon.

allhailqueenmab Wed 14-May-14 14:29:07

Thanks nochips.
I did take the day off - I am working but it's nice being at home drinking tea.
Had a call from my new boss asking me to put in a meeting about all the things that are bothering me. this is ace as for a very long time, no one has given a shit about anything bothering me.
I am such an emotional twat. I woke up pretty sure I would have to find another job and then someone showed me a bit of interest and I am all "oh this is great, I can do this." I have no idea what I am doing.

How are you getting on today?

Is everyone enjoying the sun?

skippy84 Wed 14-May-14 15:37:46

Hi everyone, day 6 here and feeling a bit stronger every day. I had an information session today which I have to do for four weeks as the start of my treatment. One if the things that strikes me is how different I feel from the others there. When I was sitting in the waiting room with them I couldn't even look at them. Everything in my mind was shouting get out of here you're not like these people but I know that's my addiction talking and even though I might feel superior I'm really no different at all. God this is such a overwhelming place to be at times. Mood swings all over the place.

merce Wed 14-May-14 17:02:10

Huge well done, Skippy. You are being really gutsy and just facing this thing head on. Not running away from doing the work - and it's hard…..

I totally identify with the thinking 'I'm not one of them'. I was so reluctant to call myself an alcoholic. Maybe I had a slight 'alcohol problem', but not some weak, no-hoper alcoholic, surely!!! I suppose it's all part to do with our ego telling us we are 'special and different'. Has to be broken down. Now I really like the fact that no matter what age, gender, class/background, when I go to an AA meeting no one is better than anyone else. We are all just the same - and speak the same language. Actually quite freeing rather than shaming if that makes any sense.

Biggies - how is your poor leg?

Bigglesfliesundone Wed 14-May-14 20:22:59

Hello all - sorry I have been absent. So much great stuff going on! Skippy, the mood swings will go - honest. it's a massive adjustment to your brain and emotions, but stick with it, the rewards are so worth it.

I had a miserable day yesterday - have been feeling physically unwell for a few days, headache, sore mouth ( a weird lump I get every now and then, not sinister just painful) and my mother is getting out of the nursing home tomorrow so of course dh and I have had to get food, take it round, get things organised etc. I took today off work to do everything and am just exhausted.

Leg still on and off. Tried to run tonight and just couldn't get very far what with the pain and feeling really sick and stressed. It's been a pretty rum year what with one thing and another!

I'm afraid I had a lapse yesterday - not drink, but I bought 10 cigarettes sad felt soooo pissed off and just did itsad so stupid. had one and chucked the packet away though. Bloody idiot - £4 down the drain!

ah well. No urge to drink thank god.

Have a good evening everyone brew

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 15-May-14 02:11:04

It's hard not being able to run when that's a good solid mental health assistant, Biggles, no wonder you're feeling low. Not to mention the general sickness! But you didn't drink, and you only smoked one cigarette, which in the circumstances is a HUGE win.

Just checking in here really with nothing much to say. Emotions all over the place still, I feel like I'm either hyper excited or near tears a lot of the time, which is just ridiculous. Work, which is normally calm to the point of dull, is all tension and angst and careful-what-you-say at the moment, which is not great and is probably playing into the emotions. But at least I'm feeling them, right?

hyperhops Thu 15-May-14 21:14:14

evening all
sorry not been around for a few days - just very busy week.
skippy I have done (or not done) plenty of things with regard to dc whilst drunk that I will always regret. Nothing causing serious harm (thankfully) but definitely things that make me feel Ive let them down. Cant change the past though so just focusing on never repeating the mistakes and being the best mum I can be now will have to do!

biggles hope your luck turns around soon. The leg thing is really dragging on isn't it. sad

mab hope the meeting at works goes well and makes things a bit better for you.

those books sound really good - will have to pop over to amazon next pay day! I too deifnitely used alcohol as my crutch for stress and anxiety. But the oddest thing is that since stopping (only 2 1/2 weeks ago mind!) I am finding myself getting less stressed by life...
also very interested in the food-depression-alcohol triangle as all those issues relate to me.

well, I am at 2 1/2 weeks now grin will be 3 weeks on Saturday which in total truth is probably about the longest I've gone without alcohol in the last 2 or 3 years.
Im still getting the odd urge, but it is definitely getting less. Still eating my own body weight (and thats a lot!) in chocolate and other rubbish...but one bridge at a time and all that.

I do however feel calmer and much better in my mood than I have done in years.

I had a dream a couple of nights ago that I come home from work, kids were driving me mad and Id ended up drinking a bottle of white wine. The feeling of regret and disappointment I felt was so real I could still sense it when I woke up and as I fully woke up I was SO happy it had been a dream and I hadn't drunk! It was a really useful reminder of how bad Id feel if I give in!

anyway... hope you're all doing ok.grin

skippy84 Thu 15-May-14 21:53:35

Hi everyone, just to say thanks for the book recommendations, it's great to be able to concentrate enough to read again. Knowledge is power as they say so have been reading like a lunatic. Have gone through 2 books in a few days. I'm just not half measures in anything I guess smile first week done and duster. Has been a roller-coaster but I feel better than I have in a long time. Am completely exhausted though. Just wondering do you have any strategies/tips for non alcoholic Friday night treats? Will be home with my daughter so can't head to the cinema or anything

merce Thu 15-May-14 22:27:30

Good DVD? Indulgent supper? We always have massive bowls of pasta with mountains of cheese. Normally followed off by box of those gorgeous Lindt balls (easily polished off by DH and I....). Not exactly rock and roll, but still feels like sort of treat.

allhailqueenmab Fri 16-May-14 09:14:55

nochips - I have to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this brilliant book recommendation:

www.goodreads.com/book/show/588582.Eating_Drinking_Overthinking

I ordered it second hand and it arrived last night. It is blowing my mind - it is the first book I have ever read that puts things so familiar to me, so clearly.

I haven't got to the "what to do about it" bit yet, which I hope is coming! but just seeing it recognised is great.

How is everyone today?

Feeling much better here, dd2 was up again in the night but my cold is waning and I feel much better able to deal with it.

skippy84 - this might sound boring but I love a good movie. take it seriously, dim the lights, cuddle up, maybe have snacks or just a lovely cup of tea. I know that isn't exactly rock and roll but I love it.

have a good day all x

nochips01 Fri 16-May-14 09:21:16

mab I am so thrilled you are enjoying it!

I agree that it was mindblowing to me that all the things I do are apparently so common.

One thing it has changed for me..... it has made me look at my terribly disordered eating habits and I am giving myself permission to eat- but choosing wonderful, fresh, healthy foods. The links between binge eating and binge drinking really spoke to me.

allhailqueenmab Fri 16-May-14 09:27:33

for me it is really important to see my overdrinking as one side of a triangle. i have always felt a little uncomfortable with the blithe implication that as an alcoholic, all my problems will go away if I stop drinking. I know drinking is a problem and I have to stop - I am not trying to get off that hook! - but I also know that it is part of a bigger picture and it is such a relief to see it written down.

the key thing that has blown my mind this morning is the expression "self-focused coping" - not telling anyone what is bothering you, putting on a show of being fine, and turning things over and over in your head - which leads to self destructive behaviours.

As you all on this thread know, I am an addiction book junkie. But I think this may be the most important book I read this year

MistressofPemberley Fri 16-May-14 11:26:21

Urgh. Feeling horrid today. Went for a very indulgent meal last night and I think it was too much for my vice-free body. I feel like I have a hangover. Very nauseous and a pounding headache. I'm a being a rubbish mum today.

CAN NOT believe I did this to myself on a regular basis up until 10 weeks ago. Never again.

merce Fri 16-May-14 11:50:19

Oh poor you, Mistress!! I wonder if it was too much caffeine, chocolate etc. Just mainline some Neurofen and give it time. As you say ,thank God that isn't your daily experience of mornings anymore… And try not to beat yourself up about being a rubbish mum. We are all snappy sometimes - and actually I think there is no harm in children realising that no one is perfect and that parents get run ragged sometimes. I tend to apologise to mine when I am grumpy with them. Actually think it makes them feel more able to apologise themselves when they need to. Just wish I could persuade DH to do the same when he is short-tempered and foul to them, but that's another story/thread……!

Funnily enough, I woke up this morning and found myself feeling hugely grateful that I was waking up with a clear head. You are so right that is it just bonkers that somehow we thought it was normal/acceptable/worth it to wake up feeling like death most days. Insane thinking…..

hyperhops Fri 16-May-14 19:53:53

evening all. this is my third dry friday now...and it does get easier.
I had a couple of moments, like when a colleague at work was talking about going home and sitting in the garden with a nice cold glass of wine....
but I have sat in the garden with a nice cold glass of raspberry lemonade,and, as Im not drunk, have actually managed to do one or two useful things with my evening! Ive got couple of bags of summer clothes down from the loft and stuck some washing on , then had a very nice half hour potting up my new delivery of plug plants that arrived grin
Im now going to do a nice snuggly bedtime for ds2 (have a new book to read) then I promised dd 3 and 4 a chapter of their book. It feels so good that Im able to do those things on a Friday evening grin
Hope everyone else is coping ok with Friday
skippy did you find something nice for your evening? Hope you're hanging in there.

behindthescentedcandless Sat 17-May-14 01:14:10

Yep, all good here. Feel like the summer is going to be hard, something about long hot summer days... but raspberry lemonade and being useful sound good too. I love the extra time with the dc. And the lack of hangovers! X

RachaelAgnes Sat 17-May-14 04:56:38

Hi!

Sorry I've been away so long - and sorry I can't name check, on my phone.

Well, after completing lent and my blip on Easter Sunday, I have now built back up to 27 days - up until now I haven't found it too difficult.

My DP is in for his surgery (kidney and tumour removal) on Monday, and I'm craving more and more a massive bottle of wine.....I feel the need to blot it out, and I would pass out and get some sleep.

BUT I'm not going to do it. I need to be there for him, not absent through drink.

I'm finishing a night shift shortly, another tonight - that gives me Sunday night to get through. As we have to be at the hospital early on Monday I'll be taking the 'early to bed' option, and then I've made it!!

Hope everyone is well and strong - will catch up with the thread at some point today

Bigglesfliesundone Sat 17-May-14 07:39:31

so good to have you back Rachael. I hope your husband's surgery goes OK thanks . You must be so worried sad staying so bed is the best thing you can do..

thinking of you x

Bigglesfliesundone Sat 17-May-14 07:59:43

sober, not so bed!!

SlippedDisco Sat 17-May-14 20:01:59

Day 72 and it's been hard going from the moment I opened my eyes - I've thought about getting shitfaced all day long, my head feels tormented and I don't know why this day has been different from any other but I feel so agitated and unsettled sad

I've been asking myself what the point is, telling myself I wasn't that bad, surely I can control myself, I've gone this long without so why not etc etc.....I know the answer to all of that, deep down, I think I'm just shocked at this bastard monkey on my back after all this time, thought it had fucked off for good, gah.

Sorry to go on, but here feels a safe place to offload.

Lovely to see you back Rachael, wishing your DH all the best for his surgery thanks

skippy84 Sat 17-May-14 20:41:35

Hi everyone, day 9 here and still feeling positive and no cravings worth speaking of. Went to an AA meeting on Friday, everyone was very kind but I'm not sure if it's the approach for me. Will keep an open mind and go back a few times, I'm sure it's no harm and who knows it might help. Still a bit moody was very irritable earlier but comes with the territory I guess. Loving being fresh in the mornings though. Who knew I'm actually a morning person when not chronically hungover smile

Bigglesfliesundone Sat 17-May-14 20:49:11

know that feeling slipped disco[e I just wanted to sit in the garden with wine or cider or lager or anything really sad . Ruddy warm weather.

but.

I finally know that it would be an absolute disaster. Instead, I foolishly decided to run grin what a splendid idea on the hottest day of the year. blush still, it certainly meant any thoughts of dehydrating myself with alcohol were shotnfor a few hours!!

It's hard, it really is sad and dh has been out for a few drinks and we don't have dd tonight so could have gone out, but I just didn't want to risk it. Sometimes it's just trickier than others.

allhailqueenmab Sat 17-May-14 20:59:16

Hi
sorry to hear about your bad day, SlippedDisco. is it hot where you are? Does that have anything to do with it? What do you have to do now - any chance you can cut your losses and take yourself to bed? I fucking hate those days. at day 72 I am filled with admiration for you.

glad you are feeling good skippy.

hi everyone else. thinking of you and your husband, Rachael.

I struggle with the heat. It wasn't making me want to drink today, although it reminded me how everything that bothers me can be made a bit more fuzzy with alcohol: feeling fat in the sun, feeling sticky with suncream and glarey with the light coming in around my sunglasses, too many people everywhere, children always asking for something etc etc... zoning out with a cold lager makes it all feel easier but then worse later.

I do love the evenings though when it all mellows out. Warm evenings almost make the brutal days worthwhile. We went to an outdoor event 12 - 3 which was horrific. A normal UK May day would have been fine but it was too much for me today - had it been in Spain it would never have been scheduled for that time, everyone would have been curled up in the shade drinking something cool and fruity.

Good luck everyone

allhailqueenmab Sat 17-May-14 21:06:20

x-posts biggles. Hang in there

Stay strong everyone x

merce Sat 17-May-14 21:16:58

Hi everyone.

Rachel, I really feel for you. Must be horrendously tough. You are being so brave and strong. Brilliant that you are determined to stay sober and be present for your DP. Hope you realise how proud of yourself you should be.

SlippedD - sorry you've had such a shit day. Here is TOTALLY the place to offload. Such a joy being able to be honest… I guess some days are just like that as Biggies said. I have been like a psychotic bitch the past few days - deeply premenstrual. Weirdly not really craving a drink, but definitely feeling angry with everyone in totally unreasonable way. Tolerance around DCs pretty much nil. I always feel so ashamed of myself when I am short and impatient with them. I suppose need to remember at least I am sober so way better than how it was, but still don't want to let myself off the hook.

Skippy - so glad to hear you are doing so well and feeling so bright. I think right attitude to AA. Just give it a go - nothing to lose - nice people and another place to offload I guess. SO agree about the mornings. That is the best time for me. Firstly because I am naturally a morning person (when not chronically hungover!) and secondly because no one is drinking at that time so just not an option/conversation/issue if that makes sense.

Kids going to bed later and later these days (not helped by the long days) which I find hard as it means I get zero time to myself (which I desperately need for my sanity).

Wishing everyone a good evening x

nochips01 Sun 18-May-14 05:31:17

morning all. Nothing much to report here except that I have woken up angry and annoyed with the world! Am trying to finish a work project. DS has been unwell. DH was supposed to take over his care yesterday but his tolerance for a sub-par grizzling child is non existent hence I have been up since 4 am towork and I am extremely pissed off about that.

Made some raspberry lemonade yesterday.

Rachael your strength at not drinking during this time very deeply impresses me.

Have Caroline Knapps book 'Drinking A love Story' next to read. Has anyone read it?

merce Sun 18-May-14 09:11:59

That having to step in and take over when a DH/DP is unwilling unable to cope with a grizzling child is just INFURIATING isn't it? You can't just step back and watch them be vile so have to take over. And then just simmer with resentment!! Had quite a bit of that myself over the past couple of days. Feel for you. Raspberry lemonade sounds good.

FUN NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINK DISCOVERY (klaxon sound)…. I once had a really nice and VERY grown up tasting non-alcoholic drink in Italy and had forgotten what it was called. Found it yesterday in Carluccios - they sell little individual takeaway portions. Called San Bitter. It's a raspberry colour and you'd think it would be sweet, but it's anything but. It is almost like a Martini in that it's really strong and sort of sour. You have to sip it slowly. If you put an olive in it it really feels like a proper grown up drink. My top tip.

Bigglesfliesundone Sun 18-May-14 09:18:55

morning smile for some reason I have woken up in a really down mood. No idea why! gah.

anyway, yes I have read the Caroline Knapp book - it's very good, very wordy and deep sort of thing (words not coming easily this morning!) my mother is home now...so, I have to go over today with shopping and sympathy. Not exactly overjoyed at the prospect!

another hot day looming. Off to pick dd up from her friends house first then mothers, then home for a lounge in the garden!

Have a fan sober day all x

Sorcha1966 Sun 18-May-14 10:11:23

Hi biggles sorry to have been so absent and quiet - still plodding on, less depressed and anxious but still not back at work. Have some HUGE decisions to make about my life and can't face them at the moment.

One day at a time

Its been 202 days so far ...

skippy84 Sun 18-May-14 11:55:39

Can I ask for a link to the raspberry lemonade recepie? Day 10 here, finally in double digitssmile

Fontella Sun 18-May-14 12:17:44

Hi all,

Just checking in. I've now been dry four months and 18 days, and rarely think of booze to be honest. Quite remarkable considering how much a part of my life it has been for decades.

Will I ever drink again? I genuinely don't know and something that has happened with my neighbour recently has really made me think about 'forever' and how vulnerable we all are.

She packed up smoking 14 years ago. When I moved here she was always outside having a fag. She then very methodically and systematically gave up using patches - cutting down and doing it all by the book. I admired her discipline so much - me I carried on puffing away for another 10 years after that before I too packed up.

So imagine my complete and utter shock when I looked out the other day and saw her puffing away on a ciggie!! It was like turning the clock back 14 years. I said to her 'why? Why after all this time' and she played it down and said ' 'oh I only have the odd couple' but, is really sad because she is not in good health already, and starting smoking again is really not a good idea.

She can't explain why she has started again after all these years, I think there may be some family issues going on - I don't know, it's not my business to pry, but it really makes you think that someone could abstain from something for so long and then fall back.

LoveSardines Sun 18-May-14 12:27:31

Hi all

Just checking in. I feel bad that i seem to have dived in here when I wanted to stop and got so much support and now I'm just dropping by and saying hi sometimes. I do still read the thread and keep up to date and feel so pleased for those who are AF and such empathy with those who are struggling, it's a hard hard thing but so many on here have got there in the end - rarely first try and rarely in one "go" - this has been coming on for years for me, more or less since I first started drinking TBH!

Fontella your neighbour - it is shocking but it's easily done. I think anyone who has had an addiction needs to be vigilant, not super-aware all the time but just knowing what the triggers are and having things in place to cope with them even if they start to come years apart.

I gave up smoking in 05 and had recently started again when I was out drinking - another reason to stop drinking. I like the smell of cigarettes and feel like I want one quite a lot at the moment - not sure why it has started after all these years. Maybe as something to be addicted to instead of drink... Don't know.

I am going to stick to food as the lesser of all these evils, well try anyway.

Been out in the evening with people drinking quite a bit recently and has been fine - I am worried that the novelty will wear off or something - something has to go wrong soon this has been much less difficult than I was expecting.

Think it's about 2 months smile Toying with the idea of AA meetings near work in my lunch break.

Hope you are all enjoying the sunshine, much love to all xx

hyperhops Sun 18-May-14 20:43:56

hi all
extremely tired tonight. Very busy weekend , and lots of time in the garden in the sun.. Had a bbq for dd2 bday yesterday and did find it hard for a bit not to have a nice glass of wine in my hand - but I survived!
sadly things are terrible between me and dh at the moment. Lots of ling standing issues really but I suppose that not drinking and blurring them all out means they are all just much more visible and I can't ignore them any more...not sure how to resolve really, but at least I can now tackle things with a clear head, even if it is making me feel quite fed up today.sad

rachel hope dps surgery goes well. You are being so brave and doing so well. hang in there.

skippy well done on double digits!

RachaelAgnes Sun 18-May-14 20:56:29

Everyone - thank you for your kind words and wishes!

I'm coping by baking and cleaning, the house looks and smells wonderful!

Early to bed tonight, and hospital at 7:30 tomorrow.

Keep going folks, we can do this sober malarkey! smile

allhailqueenmab Mon 19-May-14 09:17:27

Hi all

I struggled yesterday. Headache, bored, irritable, hate that scratchy feeling of not being able to focus on anything with two dcs. Everything we want to do is out of step for one of them.
They are only 2 years apart but that is a big difference when one of them wants to do intricate cutting and sticking with a definite end result and the other one desperately wants to be a part of it but is just too little and uncoordinated and impulsive. I know there are ways of managing this and I try to use them, but it takes full on concentration and patience all the time. I fantasise alternately about just having the one of them: how lovely and relaxing it would be to get deeply into one activity of exactly the right level.

(This problem seems to go away when they play together without me; I think it is because dd1 is happy to meet dd2 at her level under those circumstances, but when she is with me, she wants me to help her to do things at the top of her capabilities)

I did not drink but the blues are gathering hard overhead. I am wondering about PAWS; depression; even untreated PND (although my youngest is 3, for heaven’s sake); another post-viral dip from this cold that won't go away; general psychological hypochondria; bad relationship syndrome; whatever. It doesn’t matter what label could or couldn’t be slapped on my tendency to feel pretty shit a large part of the time. It is just there and I have to deal with it. It's damaging my enjoyment of the sunshine because I am just worried about clothes and being fat. I keep going over and over in my head what I have to wear and whether it is enough for work and what I can do about it, etc etc. Doing my legs at 10.30 pm last night felt like a piece of work I could do without. ("doing" means shaving and fake tanning. I have blue legs)

Feeling like this - just on the edge of tears - is confusing for me. Is this something I should listen to - and if so, do what? - or just truck on through - and then maybe have one of those pathetic mini-breakdowns that means I have to stay off work and P is really horrible to me? IF it shouldn't be ignored, what can I actually do?
I feel like when I had pregnancy nausea and I used to think: if I felt like this for one day I would take a sick day, but because it is every day I have to go to work anyway. This is how I feel about being such a depressio-bore

Ugh sorry to moan moan moan. Day 15. Good luck all you brave women x

nochips01 Mon 19-May-14 14:50:47

Hi everyone,

Rachael I hope so much that your DH is better very soon.

mab you are so not a depressio-bore. Hope you feel better soon. What are the things that are bothering/hurting you? Tell us, that is why we are here. You sound like you feel how I feel- low-grade constant depression. You might havePND. For sure I had quite chronic PND until Ds hit possibly 3 years old..... he is nearly 4 now and I only feel like I have even recognised it in myself. I think I am chronically depressed, but it is at a level that is just there ... constant, debilitating, interfering with my ability to enjoy life- to even be able to cope with my own very self.

I finally opened up to my counsellor about the drinking. That was a good move. She used to be a massive alcohol and heroin addict herself so it was good to talk openly to someone in real life without judgement. We talked alot about AA- of which she is a member. She has so many clients just like me- educated, professional, young women in their 40s- who have drinking profiles just like me. She is thinking of setting up a support group so we can just get together and talk together. I CRAVE that- it is what WE have on this thread, I think. To have something like that IRL as well- I find myself hoping that she does set it up.

I am struggling today.

Skippy- the raspberry lemonade recipe was from here- it's lovely.

www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/11288/pink-lemonade

I actually use it not straight but as a squash with sparkling water, diet lemonade or tonic water.

How are you biggles with your mum?

202 days Sorcha!!

Love to you all.

hyperhops Mon 19-May-14 15:30:56

afternoon all
youngest 3 dc on holiday this week so I am off work with them.
feeling really tired and a bit grumpy today. and of course dc have been fighting and arguing and crying all day...or so it seems! and I was hoping to do some much needed sorting in the house but feel I have got nothing done due to constant trying to mediate/comfort/entertain dc...sigh...
feeling frustrated.
oddly though not feeling the need for a drink at all...will no doubt hit around 5 ish like usual!
right...need to go consider what to do for tea.
rachel thinking of you today , hope everything is going ok.

RachaelAgnes Mon 19-May-14 21:44:14

Hyper, nochips, everyone....

Well, after six hours of surgery he is on the ward, looking well, and much slimmer than this morning.

They removed his kidney and tumour, weighing around 6lb.

I'm celebrating with tea and cake, then bath and bed.

Thank you all for being here and this thread x

allhailqueenmab Mon 19-May-14 21:48:29

Hi Rachael. Great news. So glad all went well.

merce Mon 19-May-14 22:06:44

That is brilliant news. You must be so relieved. And exhausted I should imagine - worrying takes it out of you. Sounds like a perfect celebration. Well done for managing this tough time without picking up. You are an inspiration to us all!!

skippy84 Mon 19-May-14 22:58:54

Thanks for the recepie nochips, it looks great. Glad to hear he's doing well Rachel you have been really strong.

Day 11 here and feeling great. I'm almost worried that Im finding it so easy, pride before a fall and all that. Have started reading Empowering your Sober Self and it's making an awful lot of sense to me. It's available on kindle if anyone's interested.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Tue 20-May-14 01:07:55

Mab, my girls are similar ages to yours - 5 and 2.5 - and I know what you mean about trying to entertain them both! As for the weepiness, I'm 70-something odd days into this sobriety thing, and I often feel sad. And when I'm not sad, I'm hyper, or anxious, or giggly-excited. I was always dubious about the idea that alcohol numbs your entire life, but I'm starting to think it's true. I think the weepies, especially, are REALLY common. You're on Day 15 - that's amazing! TWO WEEKS! And of course, now that the fog is lifting, other things are coming to the fore.

You don't need to solve the 'why', yet. Just don't drink. Live through it. You'll settle down, or you'll have an epiphany, or you'll learn coping strategies. It's fine. You don't need to work it out yet. Just treat yourself like you have a cold, go to bed, and cry if you need to.

Chumhum Tue 20-May-14 01:19:06

Is there a thread for people supporting those who are dry or aiming to be? My DH is having some help to stop drinking and I'm finding it hard hitting the right note in my support.

CollieEye Tue 20-May-14 07:33:12

Marking place. Day 1 done, starting day 2.

This thread popped up in active at just the right time for me yesterday. I'll post more this evening after work.

Hello everyone!

merce Tue 20-May-14 09:18:12

Hello Collie and welcome! You are in the right place and you will find loads of support here. Well done on completing your first day and hope today goes well.

Chumhum - not aware of a thread like that on MN (which isn't to say there isn't one), but I'd suggest you take a look at the alanon website first. Specifically for family/partners of alcoholics. Really really useful.

allhailqueenmab Tue 20-May-14 10:07:10

Hi Colloe! Good to meet you, look forward to hearing more from you later.

Hi everyone else!
Thanks so much for the pep-talking, Tortoise.
And thanks for the support yesterday, nochips. This - "level that is just there ... constant, debilitating, interfering with my ability to enjoy life- to even be able to cope with my own very self. " - resonated with me. Sorry you find things hard. I know the feeling.

Good luck everyone for enjoying one more precious AF day

Well fricking done, Rachael

LittlePlasticCastles Tue 20-May-14 10:33:37

Hi everyone. I'm sorry if this isn't the right place to post this, but from what I've read it seems like a really supportive thread. I'm not an alcoholic yet but I think I am heading in that direction. Up until a few years ago I only drank at the weekend but it has gradually increased and now I drink everyday. I've decided to stop completely before it becomes more of a problem, today will be my first dry day in, well I don't actually know how long. I suppose what has made me realise it might have become a problem is the fact that I no longer eat much, as I am getting most of my calories from booze rather than food. I really want to just cut alcohol out of my life completely as I am fully aware of the devastation it can cause. There's a strong history of alcoholism in my family and I have lost several relatives to it. I'm determined not to drink tonight but I'm also scared. Thanks.

allhailqueenmab Tue 20-May-14 10:47:13

Welcome LittlePlasticCastles! I love your name.

Come and post tonight, if evening is when you usually drink, and someone will hold your hand.

Here is the first thread (before it was called "dry")

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/a1894820-is-anyone-interested-in-an-alchohol-free-addiction-thread

Here are the notes on the tone and spirit of the thread:

"Anyway without wanting to be bossy, and in the spirit of just getting it all out there as suggestions and letting people say whether they agree or not, here is how I would like this thread to be:

- for people who intend to stop drinking. Completely. Not a support group for those attempting moderate drinking. (though I accept in principle that after a period of abstinence you may progress to that, I don't want to hear about it and will find it triggering)

- not for relations or family of alcoholics.

- support the person, but not necessarily the behaviour. If a person comes on here after drinking with a renewed intention to stop, we support the person, and the intention to stop, but not the drinking.

- I suspect there will be an emphasis on the experience of women and mothers on this thread. I am fine with that, and this is where I am coming from, but other voices and other experiences are very welcome.

- authenticity in communication. Upthread someone expressed an opinion about my relationship. I don't agree with what they said but I am fine with the person saying it. I am prepared to be questioned on anything and even be criticised on anything, and I hope that we can establish a dynamic where we can talk honestly but kindly and even with love. I do not want to be staring at weeks of posts by a poster and thinking "It's her husband!" or "it's her diet!" or "it's her job!" and feel like I am not allowed to say it. I might be wrong of course. But let's establish that it's ok to say "sweetie, are you sure it is a good idea to do x, y, z which really don't seem to be working for you?"

- confidentiality. If anyone mistakenly says anything "outing", don't take advantage of it, and alert the poster to it discreetly"

I suppose I see this thread as similar to a "closed" AA meeting, ie, for anyone who wants to stop drinking - anyone at all, absolutely anyone - but not for friends and relatives

For me that distinction has a lot to do with guilt. Carrying guilt around is a huge burden and working out how to deal with it has a lot to do with how I learn to be a functional human being who doesn't need to drink. Having people standing about tutting because their dad or their brother is an alcoholic who has ruined their life really isn't going to help me with that (although I am sure they would not really tut)

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 20-May-14 18:47:53

blimey, I don't get on for a couple of days and it all starts happening grin Rachael, so, so pleased that it went well. I hope everything continues to stay positive.

Every one feeling down: I have a theory about that - I think that we are troubled drinkers because we have mental health problems in the first place. It's true that drinking can cause mental states to collapse but I believe that we have the problem in the first place. The drink becomes the cure becomes the foe. Probably saying something really obvious here grin but I guess I that, as well as the obvious withdrawal depression makes it even worse.

Good to see new people. Stay with it! I am on nearly 7 months and it is still tricky at times, but so much better despite the annoying times!

Having a rubbish myself! my leg is ridiculous. Going to a different doctor on Thursday as it is clearly not a muscle. Can't run, can barely hobble sometimes, and I wish I could afford to see a sports physio. just beyond us sadly. One session around here is about £35 and one is no good is it anyway? so, just going to have to hope there's a solution.

Also sad today as my youngest dd has been referred to great ormond street at her request for some surgery. She really wants this but I am very anti for lots of reasons sad. Of course it is her decision but it's not vital, it's cosmetic and then thought of her in pain is very distressing. We'll see what the consultant says although I know this guy is very good and very highly regarded. I just hate this fixation we have on looks sad .

all in all not the best day! still sober though and still smiling (ish).

Have a great sober evening all. x

icanneverremember Tue 20-May-14 19:34:24

Hi all,

I wondered if I can ask some advice. I don't know if this is the right place so apologies ifnot, I happy to be redirected.

To be frank I'm worried I might be an alcoholic. It gives me chills just typing that. I've been quite happy recently because I don't drink as much as I used to. I used to drink every night and often go to bed with the room spinning. sad

These days I can manage one or two evenings a week without a drink but not always. I'm also happy because I can now often stop at one or two drinks rather than going to bed pissed every night. But I still worry. I worry because I feel like I need it. To me, it's a big achievement if I can go to bed without drinking. I also feel slightly panicked if there's no alcohol in the house. These seem like red flags to me but my "perception" of an alcoholic is that they spend the whole day drinking, go to work drunk and drink drive - I do none of these things but does that mean I'm not an alcoholic?

A massive trigger for me is when the dc have their dinner. I do it at 5pm and almost always have a glass of wine while they eat. I then usually have another, then another etc...

Do you think I have a serious problem? Or is it something I can just exercise a bit of self control over?

Thanks for listening, I really appreciate any input.

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 20-May-14 19:55:21

Hello grin I believe the old answer is 'if you think you are, you must be'!

however I don't know about that! You sound worried that you have a problem though. Do you feel that it's getting in the way of your life? _That it's making you sad? or ill? unhappy?

I can only go by what I felt which was that although I (no longer) drank all day every day (which I shamefully had done), I still wasn't in control of what I drank, it no longer made me happy and it made everyone around me very unhappy.

I knew that it was 'now or never' and so made that decision.

Hopefully some more of these fab people will be along to help you. Stick around though xx

icanneverremember Tue 20-May-14 20:06:48

I worry that it may be making me ill. I noticed a while ago that my eyes looked yellow and it scared the crap out of me but didn't stop me drinking which worried me hugely.

I was recently told by nhs direct that I should take my son to hospital but my dh had to do it because I had aldready (at 6pm) had two large drinks.

I would LOVE tomorrow to wake up with the determination and resilience I see with all of you on this thread.

SundayMorningComingDown Tue 20-May-14 21:05:02

Hi all. Just checking in to give my support and love to all of you, whether long term sober or newly arriving.
I have been on a frikkin rollercoaster of Dry/ so very not dry for weeks, and feel a bit wrung out tbh. Real life has recently thrown me a massive curve ball, and I am trying to deal with it all, so in effect gave myself permission to drink, which of course isn't helping, but feel pretty powerless at the moment.
One thing I have been wondering, is this: How do those of you with drinking partners manage to stay sober when there is booze in the house??
I am single, and even then I can't seem to do it for long. If I had a husband who bought wine/ drank in front of m I KNOW I wouldn't be able to do it.
Are you, in fact, superwomen?!?envy
Also, I wonder if wine is more addictive than any other substance on earth. I don't care about beer, hate vodka, can take or leave whisky. My problem is wine. Well, my problem is too bloody much wine, but still.
I want to be like all of you when I grow up.
And skippy you are so brave to be acknowledging your actions RE your daughter, and so brave to be doing something to change your life, this early on, when she is still little. Don't feel guilty, feel proud. x

MistressofPemberley Tue 20-May-14 22:01:52

Hello newbies.

Reading some of your posts reminds me of the exhausting nature of the daily battle of moderation. It really is so much more peaceful just to stop. Peaceful yes, easy no. The only tips I have in my limited time of being sober is that you kind of have to get mad with alcohol and let it know that it's not going to be the boss anymore. If you want to stop, really be stubborn about it. Don't be half-hearted. Know at every event you attend you are not going to drink alcohol (and know what soft drink you are going to drink). Don't even let a chink of weakness show.

Also read as many books as you can about drinking. Books really helped me in my darkest days. My kindle is full of them. Read old threads too, to realise you are not alone, and that you are not a weak/bad/broken person. Wine really is the most addictive drink in the world for many of us.

I'm good. About 80 days sober. Despite a rubbish-sleeping baby I feel brilliant. Exercise and good food helps, but stopping drinking alcohol has been the catalyst to all of this. For the first time in a long time I am being good to myself, and as a result, my self esteem is growing.

Posting really helps too, especially in the early days. Good luck. You can do it grin

merce Tue 20-May-14 22:04:16

Hi there Icannever. Welcome. I think the determining factor is whether or not you are powerless around alcohol. I know I am - or became so. It ended up controlling me - no matter how hard I tried… It's much more about that than the amount/time you drink in my view. In fact I think the inability to control one's drinking can be the scariest thing - especially if one is normally quite a controlled/organised person. I couldn't believe I wasn't able to control that one aspect of my life - drove me MAD! But I found the solution was in just accepting that I am simply powerless over alcohol. Wired that way. Crying shame, but there it is and all I can do is accept it and move on. The freedom it gives you when you don't have to keep trying to 'control' alcohol every day is amazing! So NOT drinking at all is far easier than trying (and in my case failing) to drink 'normally'.

I totally understand the horror of typing/saying/thinking the word alcoholic! It sounds to me as if you feel you do have quite a serious issue. If so - you are in the right place. Not easy, and it doesn't happen overnight, but I promise you it can be done and life is a million times better sober. Without the shame, fear, hangovers etc.

One thing that really helped me at the beginning was keeping things in the day. Just focus on getting to bed sober. Today. Take it one day at a time rather than projecting and wondering 'how am I going to survive at the work do next week' or 'will my life be dull and pointless if I am sober' etc. If you manage to do that - the days add up and the fog (and fear) starts to clear.

Sorry - slightly droning on. Am sure others will have loads of useful things to say. Anyway, well done for posting and you are in v. good company here.

merce Tue 20-May-14 22:05:58

Put so brilliantly by Mistress above - 'the exhausting battle of the daily battle of moderation'. SO SO true. Massive relief to stop fighting.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 21-May-14 01:08:40

I noticed a while ago that my eyes looked yellow and it scared the crap out of me but didn't stop me drinking which worried me hugely

Hi, Icannever. I've pulled out the above quote because I think that the test of alcoholism is not how much you drink (although you describe a similar pattern and quantity of drinking to me, by the way, including the fact that I could go through periods of moderating as you're doing right now) but that you feel there are compelling reasons to stop and yet you don't. That's the real test, I think.

In a way, it doesn't matter what the label is. I didn't call myself an alcoholic when I first stopped. And I didn't think I was 'that bad', even. I knew I was drinking well outside of guidelines, and that my attempts at moderating hadn't worked (but I also thought 'I hadn't tried hard enough'), but that was all. It's only now, really, that I'm even starting to grasp how dysfunctional my drinking was. I don't think you can see it when you're in it.

So, maybe you are, maybe you aren't. The only way to find out is to stop drinking and see how your life feels that way. And hey, if you aren't, you can always drink again, right? But you won't know, properly, unless you stop for a good long time. Try Belle's 100-day challenge, here for a start?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 21-May-14 01:12:23

Sundaymorning I guess I feel like, if I wanted wine badly enough I could always get it. I live walking distance from two wine shops. And there's always going to be people drinking around me. Honestly, DH drinking at dinner (he has one large glass a night and then stops) doesn't bother me as much as, say, the joking references to 'tough day with the kids, let's crack open a bottle' that are all over the media. It depends what your triggers are, I suppose.

Right at the start, I found it a bit trickier. We have a half-decent wine collection, only a couple of dozen bottles but some of them we've been cellaring for over a decade, and that makes me sad. Luckily we were about to move house, so I swathed them all in bubble wrap and packed them away for a couple of weeks. They're out again now, but it's not as much of an issue.

nochips01 Wed 21-May-14 05:22:38

Morning all.

Some great posts. Welcome newbies. smile

I lapsed. i was feeling strong and then felt like I was too tired to fight anymore. Mistress' post above is a really good one.

I have signed up for Belle's 100 day challenge...... I feel like I need the added support.

Day 1 today.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 21-May-14 05:24:29

Good luck, nochips. If you want a sober penpal, I'm happy to email utter drivel back and forth across the world!

nochips01 Wed 21-May-14 06:11:03

I'd love a sober penpal. smile Thank you!

merce Wed 21-May-14 09:32:18

Sorry to hear about your slip, nochips, but just get back on the saddle! You really can do it and it's brilliant that you are determined to. Post when you feel weak!!

Agree Mistress' posts yesterday were fab. So agree about the mad thinking we can get into. I think I've only relatively recently realised just how bonkers I was. I convinced myself that DH would 'chill out' and get onto the same mood level as me if I could just get him a bit more pissed… So I used do pour vodka into his (expensive) claret bottle. Utterly. Insane.

And also must say I take the same view on having alcohol in the house. I know some people prefer to have no booze anywhere near them - and that is entirely their choice and if it helps, excellent. But as Mistress pointed out, booze is all around us. I could pop down the road in minutes and be drinking before I knew it. Never stopped me before. So I am fine with DH drinking. Bless him, his max is half a bottle of wine (over an entire evening). We have a rather good wine cellar too, which is sort of sad, but I just have to forget about it. No wavering - no wondering - no self-pity. I draw the line at open bottles of white wine in the fridge (which I pour away at the end of an evening if we've had people round).

But I think key has to be getting into the mindset where you don't want to touch it. If you feel you are 'white-knuckling' it and constantly trying to deny yourself something then I suspect it's a matter of time before you give in.

allhailqueenmab Wed 21-May-14 11:19:54

Hi all

Sorry to hear you lapsed, nochips. Hope you are not feeling too bad / beating yourself up too badly today. come on, get back up dust yourself down, and let's go. You can do this. have something nice for lunch.

Really great posts yesterday and this morning. thank you all.

I have arranged to see my family this weekend and that is usually tres tres boozy. Here is what I am thinking:

- 1 day at a time, or one minute at a time. Each moment is just one moment where I don't have to join in the drinking. the next moment could feel completely different. the next moment could be the one where I am suddenly flooded with joy and relief at not having started to drink. (that moment always comes, even if only the next day. but sometimes surprisingly soon.) (this, now I think of it, is very similar to the technique I used to get through labour contractions! And they were a lot worse than the "pain", ahem, of not shoving wine in your face)
- I need to prepare something to say as they will go on about it. However I am prepared to be violently sarcastic after the first polite refusal. "Oh great here is the part of the day I really look forward to! Where everyone grills me and pressures me about what I am going to drink!" Sounds brutal but it will only happen if they deserve it. And it will work. If I say something like that once, they will back off.
- I have suggested one dinner out at a place that will require at least two cars. One of them can be mine. Job done for that meal.
- dd2 will sleep badly. I will be sober to deal with it and not-hungover in the morning when I am tired. This alone is worth a lot.
- there is tons of great outdoorsy stuff to do and I can focus on feeling good for that.

Have a good day all

merce Wed 21-May-14 13:48:41

Mabs, sounds like you've got some excellent pre-planned strategies. think that's a great way of preparing for what you know will be hard…. The dinner location idea is genius. And hopefully, your family will get used to the non-drinking you gradually and stop making an issue of it. I have a slightly similar thing with my in-laws. No one has actually asked me outright why I'm not drinking (which is almost worse as they must be wondering and coming to some sort of conclusion….), but they are less annoying about trying to press drinks on me when we get together. I play the healthy living/yoga/too old to take it any more type cards when pressed. And just say it really doesn't agree with me these days. Which is true, after all. Really hope it goes well.

allhailqueenmab Wed 21-May-14 14:20:23

thanks, Merce.
Send me good vibes over the weekend!

merce Wed 21-May-14 16:12:48

certainly will do!!

spankingnewme Wed 21-May-14 22:29:09

Have done well over a week af now. But I'm also doing Atkins diet now so not being allowed alcohol is the least of my worries!lol following something so strict does seem to be helping though!

allhailqueenmab Wed 21-May-14 22:32:29

Hello all the dry ladies! Is anyone around? Hope you have all had a good evening and are clean and serene and in good places x

allhailqueenmab Wed 21-May-14 22:32:49

Well done spanking! how are you finding the diet?

merce Wed 21-May-14 22:33:48

I'm around! Just got in. Enjoying peace and quiet as DH out with his brother (he NEVER goes out so is joyous to have the house to myself!).

allhailqueenmab Wed 21-May-14 22:52:20

Hi merce! Sounds like a good evening.
I am off to bed now
Good night all dry ladies x

nochips01 Thu 22-May-14 05:13:42

Morning all.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement. It is a slog right now.

I caught sight of myself in a fb picture last night. I did not recognise myself!!!So I am on a diet too now spanking. smile

allhailqueenmab Thu 22-May-14 09:25:33

Hi nochips. [manly thump on the shoulder]
Oh god I hate that "this is what I look like?!" photo moment. I am getting a lot of those these days.

Do you want to talk about lapsing? Do you want to tell us what happened and what you felt that led to you picking up?

Or do you want to forget the whole damn thing and get on?

We're here for you either way.

Have a good day all dry women x

nochips01 Thu 22-May-14 11:03:12

Thanks! I liked that manly punch. smile

The lapsing- just things are a bloody grind right now. Massive whinge alert. DS has been in and out of OOH, DH is away, I have a project due for work, I have some assignments due for the part time study I am doing (doesn't feel like bloody part time), I just felt I had no 'give' in me left to fight the cravings. I was all out of energy. It was nothing more than that. The daily grind.

smile

I'm inching back from the edge though. I loved the euphoric feelings I had in the early days...... the daily grind has dampened that too. [shakes self]

But no, I am determined. Marathon, not a sprint, for the long term etc.

How are you all doing?

Bigglesfliesundone Thu 22-May-14 11:17:05

Boo sad You have the will for sure, but obviously something's going a bit wrong! When you feel like a drink, can you get up and do something else? Walk outside for a bit (just in the garden or street for five minutes??) Have a hot bath? Have a yummy soft drink? I'm sorry if this is all stuff you know already, just trying to think what I do - as I'm still struggling with my leg so finding it hard at the moment as well. I tend to grab one of my many thousands of alcohol 'survivor' books grin and have a flic through

No booze in the house?

It's hard sad I hope you don't think I'm being patronising.

nochips01 Thu 22-May-14 11:20:29

No, I don't think that. smile It is good to be reminded!

I am going to drag Jason Vale out again. I feel like I need his cheerleading rah rah rah approach right now!

allhailqueenmab Thu 22-May-14 11:30:00

One of the millions of "ex-boozer" writers I have been reading (can't remember who, I feel like I have been reading them all!) points out something that is a bit obvious but kind of passed me by till I saw it written down: when you need a break, take it, in some other way, don't make it be about booze. So for me, the things that I find stressful and will push me towards a drink are:

- social occasions where I am flooded with hecticness and anxiety (at first) and then fatigue and boredom (later). for me the issue is not that other people are drinking. I am used to that and unless I have some other problem it doesn't bother me. It is the anxiety and the boredom / fatigue that bother me. She points out: you can just go to the loo with your phone or a book. This is a very simple piece of genius, for an introvert.

- at home when I am tired and fried and the kids are making me feel all raw nerves. I don't have a solution to this as I am not able to waltz off at home at will but - really? Am I not allowed to go to the lavatory? Of course I am. maybe I could try the same thing!

Anyway lots of ex-smokers complain that they miss the fag breaks. In theory they could just go outside and eat an apple instead. Similarly for me - and sounds like for you, nochips - disappearing into a bottle represents a mini-holiday. How do you award yourself the holiday without the booze? (short of screaming at everyone "just fuck off everybody! Fuck off fuck off fuck off!")

I think phones are great. It is so great that you can just pick a world to disappear into on your phone. Maybe you need the Jason VAle book uploaded to a kindle app on your phone and you can just dip into it whenever. or come on here and talk to us.

Bigglesfliesundone Thu 22-May-14 11:37:59

I hate seeing drinkers on tv now sad I hate thinking knowing that I can't have 'one', I hate seeing drink in the aisles at the supermarket..

I still feel pissed off when dh has his cans in the evening, still want a glass of wine in a restaurant, still want a g and t when I'm watching crap telly.

I still automatically think 'ooh drink' when I think about holidays, still think 'ooh drink' when it's Friday night, still can taste all the drinks I used to 'enjoy'

It's still hard to think I won't drink again.

nochips01 Thu 22-May-14 11:51:00

God yes, that is all true true true. Boozing was about 'me time'. Taking time out.

Wow. It sounds so simple, but it had not sunk in at all

I am at home today. I might take a bubble bath and read a chick lit for 30 minutes. I am just flopping around the house and procrastinating anyway- I can start my other stuff after that.

My DParents called this morning when we were at the hospital because of DS. They live a long long way away. I am going to e-mail and just say that I appreciate the call, but i am not up to talking, can we talk tomorrow. There is a bit of self care too.

Biggles your leg, poor thing. Did you get to a physio? As for the drinkers on tv, I agree......... although I was just watching Real Housewives of Orange county (a guilty pleasure) and there were some cringe-making moments courtesy booze. I kind of think- nearly every single person I know is a problem drinker. People like DH who really does not care - he is the only person I know who is like that. It is a baffling kind of thing.

Bigglesfliesundone Thu 22-May-14 11:53:31

Back to the docs this afternoon with leg. If he suggests a physio I will demand one before next week - as they clearly misdiagnosed it before! sad No way is this a simple muscle strain!!

allhailqueenmab Thu 22-May-14 11:55:42

"nearly every single person I know is a problem drinker." ha ha I know that feeling. I have / had friends who can take it or leave it and somehow we drifted apart. Funny that. Maybe time to look them up again!

Thinking I will never have a drink again - I refuse to think that. I just don't face that head on right now. If I must, when I am feeling strong, I glipmse at it for a minute, sideways, and view it as a sort of glamorous exile. I may never go home again but I will have adventures and I carry the important things inside me.

nochips01 Thu 22-May-14 12:01:54

'glamorous exile'.... grinI know that feeling!!!!

Good luck with the Dr Biggles. It does not sound like a strain.... maybe a tear or something. thanks

Bigglesfliesundone Thu 22-May-14 12:24:30

Despite all the negative thoughts I blasted down in a grump above grin, I know just know it's all worth it every morning when I wake up and feel well, and can look in the mirror knowing that I can face the day looking ok (!) and not worrying about what the hell happened last night!

skippy84 Thu 22-May-14 15:15:55

Hi all, two weeks for me today. I know it's a small amount of time but I feel like Ive climbed a mountain. I can't express how much better I feel about almost every aspect of my life purely from not drinking for two weeks. I know I have a long way to go but I feel like I've gotten myself back a bit.

Bigglesfliesundone Thu 22-May-14 15:19:33

It's an amazing achievement Skippy. I felt so incredibly proud after two weeks. You can do this grin

nochips01 Fri 23-May-14 07:16:15

Yay skippy! That is fantastic. I agree, when you first get some decent time under your belt it is the most amazing thing to realise you can do it.

I'm Back. smile I have given myself a kick in the bum. I am going forth positively. Today I pledge;

1. To be present and engaged with my family.
2. To get off MN as soon as i type this, and focus on what I need to do- with housework. With work work. With my family.
3. To eat healthy meals filled with nutrients.
4. To remind myself that actually I am okay.
5. To nip any negative thoughts in the bud by counteracting them with 5 positive thoughts.... no matter how silly they seem.

I have my next talisman planned for my 100 days. A charm for my bracelet that I will engrave with the words 'Courage' and 'Faith'. Eventually I shall be a walking Christmas tree filled with talisman baubles. grin

Happy sober days everyone..... will check in tonight after I have powered through my day. Happy Bank Holiday!

nochips01 Fri 23-May-14 21:54:27

Hello lovely ladies. Hope you are all well, happy and having a great Friday evening.

MistressofPemberley Fri 23-May-14 23:38:51

Hello chips, hope you're tucked up in bed now.

I'm just back from a date with DH. We went to a lovely Belgian restaurant. It was SO hard at first seeing all the beautiful beers they have, but I quickly got over it and stuffed my face with mussels and chips, then waffles and ice cream. Seeing lots of very drunk students tottering past our window reinforced just how lovely it is not to get in that sort of mess any more. Especially as a thirty something mother of two.

Right, I am so full that I need to sleep. Goodnight smile

nochips01 Sat 24-May-14 09:39:46

Good morning! Mistress Your date night sounds lovely. smile DH and I are out tonight also- first time since January! I know it will be hard, but I am focusing on how nice it will be to not make a sheepish call to the sitter Sunday morning to ask if I remembered to pay her.

MistressofPemberley Sat 24-May-14 21:13:20

Chips earlier in the year DH and I came home so drunk that we both went upstairs and forgot to pay our babysitter. I heard a little voice after god knows how long calling up the stairs saying "ok, I'll go now". Utterly mortifying.

Hope you're having a lovely night.

Lucy2610 Sat 24-May-14 21:17:55

Hello all
Newbie here smile I've been a member of Mumsnet since just before Christmas and have only just discovered this supportive corner thanks to a blog post by After Alcohol (http://afteralcohol.wordpress.com/). I've been sober just over 8 months and am happy to have found you!
Hoping to chime in from time to time and looking forward to getting to know you.
Lou

merce Sat 24-May-14 22:02:45

Welcome, Lou! Good to have you with us and look forward to hearing more about you and your story. Congratulations on your 8 months too - that's good time under your belt. Presuming life has changed quite a bit since you got sober?

And Mistress/Chips - on the subject of babysitters and humiliating situations, I had to be helped home by one of our regular sitters (about half my age) who I bumped into in the street as I was staggering home one night. She was lovely, but what the Hell must she have thought of me - a middle aged woman in that sort of pathetic state. Dear God, the shame. Had forgotten about that…..

Lucy2610 Sat 24-May-14 22:23:22

Hi Merce Thank you smile Life is very different to 8 months ago. Still struggle from time to time when the stress levels crescendo but most of the time I don't miss it. Tonight is a case in point. It is my DS's 8th bday and he has two friends for a sleep-over. Before I would have been resentful as I knew I shouldn't drink in case something happened but would have wanted to and probably would have drank. The internal battle is just removed and it is so much simpler and no hangover tomorrow. Joy!

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Sun 25-May-14 03:03:09

Hi Lucy, that's me! Welcome to here.

nochips01 Sun 25-May-14 07:48:55

Hi everyone, welcome lou! 8 months!!!! [waves] to tortoise am loving your blog. smile

Hope you all had a nice evening. I was fine.I was very jumpy and jittery for the first half hour or so and everything DH did or said annoyed me. Then I kind of relaxed, got over the no alcohol thing and had a nice evening. We went to a bar afterwards that does cocktails and they had an interesting mocktail with fresh ginger, chilli, apple juice and ginger beer. I can certainly recreate that at home, refreshing, feels an 'adult' drink. I am going to experiment. Home early, about 10, and in bed soon after all ready for DS's night terrors to waken me at 2 am.

And, actually had a good chat with the sitter when we got home.

My embarrassing sitter stories....... a few months ago I got a call from her saying 'OMG, I am so so so sorry'. I was bemused and asked her what she was sorry for, Apparently we had arranged she would sit the night before and she had forgotten. Well, I had forgotten the entire coversation, and had no idea at all we had talked about it. blush

merce Sun 25-May-14 09:54:12

Lou - sounds like you sobered up almost exactly the same time as me (relative to your DS's age). I have been sober 2 years and 4 months, but DS was 7 - so his 8th birthday was my first without a drink. SO agree with you about the joy of removing that endless, endless internal battle .Just exhausting - and found myself on the losing side pretty much every time….

So glad dinner worked out ok in the end, Nochips. That mocktail sounds rather nice. Agree it is tricky finding drinks that feel sufficiently 'adult'. I am going to stockpile some San Bitters next time I pass a Carluccios, but otherwise tend to just rely on tonic water with fresh lime juice. Does get a bit boring - may give your one a try!

Off to a point to point with the kids in a bit - thank God it's not pouring!

Happy AF day all. Here's to a day of mothering without shame!!

MistressofPemberley Sun 25-May-14 19:13:22

Evening all. Piping up again for a rant. Never have I been more glad to be sober. DH had a few beers today as we were out for lunch; he carried on when we got home. He whips DS into a frenzy, playing (which he rarely does) which turns into rough and tumble and inevitably tears when DS gets hurt. Poor DS gets into a right state and doesn't really understand when the attention and 'fun' turns to snoring on the sofa in a split second. I can't challenge him either as he gets stupidly defensive and even more annoying. Grrr! At least my DC have one responsible parent now.

Sorry. I've just started to really hate drunkeness. What a hypocrite!

Hope you're having good weekends all round.

guggenheim Sun 25-May-14 21:32:13

Hi,

Have just managed my first sober day in quite some time. I have lapsed after a stretch of sobriety but want to get sober again.

I'm feeling pretty rubbish right now and will continue to do so until I've had a few sober days.Apologies for not engaging in any conversation and being a bit needy!

I need to make some changes in my understanding of sobriety if I want to stay sober for longer. So if it's ok with you all I'd like to come back soon and talk about relapsing/ long term changes.

I'm very grateful that these support threads are here flowers. I'm going to bed with a recovery book now and hope my post doesn't look too arsey .Day 1 done.

nochips01 Mon 26-May-14 08:47:43

Hi Everyone.

Hi Mistress that sounds really annoying and frustrating. I don't blame you for being really pissed off with your DH. I hope everything is calmer now. thanks

Hi guggenheim I would love to hear your thoughts/ talk alot about relapsing and long term changes. I also find I need to really, think,read, be reflective, communicate about it. That kind of cements things for me internally.

I am so looking forward to the internal battle being removed.

I am fine. We were invited to a last minute BBQ last night. I drove and at first I felt wistful because everyone was drinking white wine, which is my favourite. But I was not able to drink due to driving, so I had to get on with it. In the end I felt quite calm and content. People got steadily more drunk and more drunk and although we left early even by then various couples were starting to get ratty with each other. It's something I ordinarily would never notice. (Not least because I would be ratty). It was not easy at first, but it is so true what everyone says- this morning I feel fabulous for not drinking. What I do not feel so good about though is that people kept asking me if I am pg. No, not. I am 2stone overweight though. So, I am going to use some of my not-drinking money to join (ahem - re-join) weightwatchers. It's time really for overhauling my life. Drink was the main thing. Now it's time to regain my overall health.

How is everyone doing? Hope you all have a great, sober, happy day.

Oh- am currently reading 'Beat the Booze' by the Tirbutts. I bought it a good 4 years ago and was frustrated by it - guess I was not ready. I have just started it and am enjoying it so far..... has anyone read it?

merce Mon 26-May-14 11:28:52

Hi Guggenheim. Don't worry at all about sounding needy - we are all here because we need support from each other, let's face it grin. I wonder if you made it back to your AA women's group? Obviously I don't really know much about you and your story, but if you are really struggling to stay sober maybe that would help? I find the discipline of going to meetings (even if I don't want to and have to just force myself to put one foot in front of the other) and look people in the eye - quite helpful. Actually VERY helpful. You know how they often say - 'keep it simple, just don't drink and go to meetings'? It can sound rather trite and annoying, but when I am wavering actually I find it useful. I NEVER feel like drinking when I am in a meeting/just after a meeting.

Anyway, this thread is bloody brilliant. Mistress - am totally with you. DPs being pissed deeply dull. But yes, painful irony there so I tend to try to button it rather than say anything. My DH tends not to get drunk, just slightly tipsy (in a NORMAL HEALTHY way) which is almost more irritating as that is what I would like to be like. Hey ho.

Nochips - have you ever looked at Myfitnesspal? I discovered it last year. Put on loads of weight over Christmas & NY as had done my knee in and couldn't do any exercise (not even walk, really). So not only sat on my arse, but was miserable about it so stuffed my face as (misplaced) comfort. Anyway, I started actually using MFP about 3 months ago and have lost quite a bit of weight. Just a thought if you hadn't come across it. NOTHING worse than people suspecting you of being pg if you aren't drinking. My (ahem) advanced age means that I am pretty much beyond those suspicions…..

Bigglesfliesundone Mon 26-May-14 11:51:59

Hi all just wrote a long post and it disappeared! Arghhh. In a nutshell, all OK here! Leg has been diagnosed as iliotibial tract problem (by v handsome doc who got me on the couch and pushed my legs around grin).

Still not better but seems OK, half marathon on Sunday which I am terrified about...

Dd2 is having a summer party this after noon. We do this each year as her birthday is Xmas eve. Last year I drank about three bottles of rose and was a complete idiot sad. So pleased I will be in control today. 50 on Friday sad another day I am dreading.

Still hard, still feel a bit 'deprived' at times and totally relate to the hating dh drunk comments. My mum came over yesterday (back at home but still a pain...) And dh started drinking the minute she walked in. Really annoyed me, even though it's not excessive - he just gets so bloody dull and repetitive.. God, that was me (and worse!)

Sun trying tonshine here, tent up and games organised. Wish me luck! 8 screaming 8 year olds are on their way....

MistressofPemberley Mon 26-May-14 19:10:32

Hi Guggenheim, it's nice to have you back. Do you want to tell us a bit about what's been going on since you were last here? I know we all post in fits and starts and have spells of constant posting to empty the thoughts in our brains. Well, I know I do. So please, please offload anything to us. I find it so helpful to be in this together.

I'm ok. Why is it that bank holidays bring out the worst in marriages?! Or is that just me? I'm starting to find DH deeply irritating. All the stuff I could drown out with wine is there in full technicolor now. I'm sure he finds me just as annoying. Especially as I am a boring, sober, exercise-loving, weight-losing Puritan now. I second Myfitnesspal BTW. It's really helped me stay in control of eating and I've lost my baby weight thanks to it.

I'm desperate for more books for my kindle. I've done Lucy Rocca, Meredith Bell, Ice and a Slice, Dry, Allan Carr, Jason Vale, Liz Hemmingway and Rachel Black. What next? Any recommendations?

nochips01 Mon 26-May-14 19:21:33

Mistress i really really really recommend this one;

Drink- the Intimate relationship between women and alcohol.

www.amazon.co.uk/Drink-Intimate-Relationship-Between-Alcohol/dp/0007503563

www.anndowsettjohnston.com/books.html

I think this book will turn out to be the game changer for me. The one that really made me think differently about alcohol.

MistressofPemberley Mon 26-May-14 19:38:48

Just found this, from one of my first posts 12 weeks ago.

I hate myself. I know I'll feel really depressed until about Saturday when the fog will start to lift. Alcohol is so bad for me. But I'm so scared that I'm going to miss out without it. Can't envision holidays, hen dos that I've got coming up without it.

It makes me so sad to read it. I've come so far, and when I'm wobbly, I find old posts to remind me where the 'just one' path leads.

And, for any lurkers out there thinking about stopping, the others were right. The holiday and the hen do have been and gone and I had a fantastic time at both. There is nothing to miss at all when you stop drinking, only hangovers and regrets.

nochips01 Mon 26-May-14 19:51:15

Biggles commiserations about your leg... did the handsome doctor recommend rest? (At least after your half marathon!)

How was your DD's party?

Bigglesfliesundone Mon 26-May-14 22:10:58

Handsome doctor (after telling me I had great hips blush) e mailed me some exercises which I have been doing. I managed 9k on Friday but rwllu struggled to do even 2 yesterday so still wonder what on earth is going on sad oh well, I have decided that I will do several very short runs this week and if I have to walk half the half at least I will get it over with grin am going to run for pleasure after this!

Party was lovely. All the little girls were gorgeous and fun and plays beautifully. How hood it was to be sober too. As has been said on here before, they don't need alcohol to have this natural happiness.

I hope everyone is OK.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Tue 27-May-14 00:41:10

MistressP: Caroline Knapp's Drinking: A Love Story is very good. Otherwise, if you like memoirs (rather than self-help books), I also very, very highly recommended Jowita Brydlowska's Drunk Mom - it's up there with Dry for good writing.

Guggenheim, glad to see you again. Well done on Day One - Day Ones get harder and harder, so you've done great to get back to here.

I'm FINALLY on MFP and back below my pre-sobriety weight after months of whining about cake-weight. It's so much easier to calorie count if you're not allotting yourself 500 calories of wine per night, who knew?

merce Tue 27-May-14 07:11:10

500 calories of wine a night? God I wish that was all I'd been knocking back…….

Morning all!

merce Tue 27-May-14 07:33:24

Oh - and Biggies - so glad the party went well. I always used to numb myself against that sort of thing - hordes of small children shrieking. Actually, it is fresh and innocent and enchanting seeing them have such fun and get so excited.

I often wonder why I felt the need to 'take the edges' off everything with booze. Not as if my life was/is so bad….. strange, really .I think for me it was a way of isolating (sorry - slight stream of consciousness here!). Am an only child and always really happy to have time to myself. Needless to say - not much of that with husband and 2 children. And getting smashed sort of took me to a different 'place' if that makes any sense at all.

Anyone have any hints on HOW THE HELL one is supposed to get any work done while kids at home all week for half-term???!!! The joys of freelance work……grin

nochips01 Tue 27-May-14 07:42:14

merce I am having the same problem with half term..... and have to head into London for a meeting and presentation late Friday. (thought I would go to an AA meeting while there). It's a bit of a nightmare!!! I have a chilminder who will take DS, but not for the entire week.

I second Caroline Knapp. It is a really good account of how alcohol just wreaks utter chaos on your psyche and on those around you.

I am also glad the party went well. smile

merce I am an only child also- and I recognise what you say about the need to isolate and alcohol providing that. I have never thought about it that way before- but there is something in what you say.

nochips01 Tue 27-May-14 07:44:36

tortoise I agree about it being easier to calorie count when you are not drinking. Before when i was on weightwatchers, i used to think 'how many points for a glass of wine?' and then ignore the wine and count only the food points. Strangely enough I did not lose weight. Weird that!

hyperhops Tue 27-May-14 09:53:24

morning all.
sorry not to have been on for a few days. I'm feeling rubbish sad
I'm on day 31, but the last few days have been very hard. I have been very close to going and buying a bottle of wine. It seems to be getting harder, not easier...what is that all about? hmm
Think it's a combination of things really...kids have been off school, and it has rained non stop here since last Thursday (although did stop a bit yesterday) I'm anxious about money again as always it's running very low. Things with DH are rubbish, and it was our anniversary on Saturday.
I just feel so flat and rubbish and sad.
What do you do when the fog clears and everything is clear...but you don't really like what you see?
I felt so good to start with and now I just feel like crying every 5 minutes.sad

sorry for pathetic self indulgent moan. guess I'm just struggling at the moment.

merce Tue 27-May-14 10:16:31

Oh, Hyper, sorry you are having such a tough time. I think it's extremely difficult to come to terms with things not being right. When King Alcohol is in charge and we are either pissed/planning to get pissed/struggling with a hangover etc - there isn't much time to deal with (or frankly notice) any of that 'big' stuff.

I think it's sort of 'growing up'. So we have to face - and even worse DEAL WITH (at some stage) those tough things/decisions. Take responsibility etc. All that stuff that no one wants to do, really.

I find having kids underfoot all the time can be very hard. Maybe that sounds dreadful, but just how I am. Love them to bits, but when I am trying to get anything done/think/work/frankly just unload sodding dishwasher - it is 100x harder than when I am on my own and I can get resentful about it.

Don't remotely feel in a position to offer any advice, but maybe things will be easier after half term. If you have some space and peace perhaps you can have a really good think about how things are with DH and whether it's a case of working through stuff - or whether you just want out.

I find writing a gratitude list from time to time really helpful. Sounds sort of silly, but actually putting pen to paper can be a good discipline. For me, anyway. Any old stuff can go on it - from being happy the sun is shining, to having enjoyed nice coffee earlier, to having good health, lovely children, roof over head, anything really. When you start, you realise the list can get really long. I have heard people with what most people would think are really shitty lives come up with an amazing catalogue of things they are grateful for and it puts stuff in perspective and makes me feel less sorry for myself.

Which isn't to suggest things are all perfect, but can just help to right size problems so they are one thing in a sea of better things if that makes any sense.

Right - should get off MN and try to update CV. Argh! Allowing kids to play on Temple Run in slobby mummy fashion!

hyperhops Tue 27-May-14 10:45:19

thanks merce.
(my kids are playing on minion rush or watching a dvd as I type LOL)

You are right. I think it is growing up. I dont want to be a grown up really...too bad I am 40 years old and have 6 dc isn't it LOL

I like the idea of a gratitude list. Im going to do that . In reality I know I DO have a LOT to be grateful for - I suppose I need to focus on that a bit more. grin

allhailqueenmab Tue 27-May-14 11:04:11

Hi all

hang in there hyperpops.

Just wanted to check in and say I totally get the thing about isolation. I struggle with family life too. Although they are lovely OMG it is all too much sometimes.

Have realised as mine get older how noisy it is always going to be from now on. When they were babies, they cried because they were sad, and you did your best to comfort them. then they were quiet. Now, even when all is well, there is noise ALL THE TIME. AGH!

merce Tue 27-May-14 11:11:02

Have been known to lock myself in the bathroom and turn radio up loud in desperation….

hyperhops Tue 27-May-14 11:58:04

OMG YES to the noise. ALL. THE. TIME. and the other thing about them getting older is they tend to stay up later, and later and in fact often later than me. So there is NO ESCAPE! (when not retreating into a bottle of wine)
Inspired by this problem I have in fact this week turned the playhouse (which they never use any more) into a little quiet room for ME! I have painted the inside calming blues and pinks (left over paint we had lying around!) Sewn little curtains from an old duvet cover and stuck a garden chair in there. Then an old set of little shelves from the garage with my favourite books on and some fairy lights and little tea light lanterns. Tis lovely grin and I even sat out in it in the rain yesterday and read for 20 mins to escape the mayhem. grin Now just need to get a lock on the inside and maybe some sound proofing LOL

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 27-May-14 14:28:41

Definitely it's sort of finally 'growing up' - the reality of life hits you and there actually is no escape for a while. getting used to that not drinking thing takes a while. and you kind of panic and look round for the way out!

merce Tue 27-May-14 16:36:11

Bloody brilliant idea about turning the old playroom into a sanctuary. But you will definitely need lock and sound-proofing. I often go to bed before my two too. Oldest only 9, but has more staying power than me. Upside to that, I find, is that then BED becomes the hiding place/sanctuary. They think you are asleep - which sometimes you are - but other times I just hang out in there reading, listening to podcasts, whatever. Just BEING ON MY OWN. And then everyone goes on about empty nest syndrome and how heart-broken you will be when they leave and how you should treasure every moment and you feel guilty on top of the irritation. Or is that just me….??

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 27-May-14 17:21:16

Our two seem to think our bedroom is the 'family room'. they just come in, slob about, stroke the cat, stand there looking at me (14 year old ds) talk at me (dd 8), be on their phone with headphones on laughing at some appalling american trash (ds) or 'snuggly upp mumum' (dd).

The first thin we will do when we win the lottery is find a house with lots of room we can all run to..

guggenheim Tue 27-May-14 21:31:37

Hi,
I've been back to the one aa meeting I really like and I'm very glad I went. I on day 3 and I'm unbelievably tired so I'm just dropping in to say hi rather than chat.

Thank you for all the encouragement- it means a lot to someone picking up the pieces and working on their sobriety again smile

merce Tue 27-May-14 22:06:19

Well done you, Guggenheim. Cheering you on. So glad meeting was good.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 28-May-14 01:19:17

Hyperhops that sounds amazing! I actually have a potential room just for me in my new house, but it needs major work doing to it first - it's just bare concrete walls and no lighting at the moment. I keep intending to start the work and not getting to it, but your description sounds so lovely I might just do that.

Yes to everyone who said that wine was about isolating. I'm finding this the last hard thing. I'm actually really relieved that my husband is off today for a two week business trip, because although it leaves me solo parenting as well as working full time, it means I have EVENINGS. He's lovely, and it's not as if he chatters incessantly, or anything, but without wine I feel much more raw, and even having someone else in the room feels abrasive.

Merce I said I allotted 500 calories, not that I stuck to them! But really, I was drinking about a bottle a night on average, so that's what, 550-600?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 28-May-14 01:20:53

And hurrah, Guggenheim! Early sobriety seems to come with crushing tiredness, for some reason - take it easy, ok?

merce Wed 28-May-14 06:25:07

Am so with you on the loving DH disappearing off on a trip. Mine never travels for work - and is a real home-body (which is lovely in a way, I realise). But my GOD I ache for being at home alone. A real, profound need which I don't think he understands. Very very occasionally he is away - and then there is that trade off between lone parenting and the joy of some evening time alone. I say the trade off is worth it….

And am ashamed to say I was nearer 2 bottles a night in the end. 700 calories a bottle. ISH. It is such a massive relief to be able to admit this sort of thing on this thread. DH who is 100% supportive, knows I am in AA etc. probably has no idea it was that bad.

nochips01 Wed 28-May-14 07:00:05

Yes, the calories in the bottle.....that is why I expected to just magically lose weight. I kept thinking that the replacement calories (KFC, McDonalds, chocolate cake) would not count!

My DH is away all the time, and I think I want him home with me as I get horrifically lonely. But when he is home he drives me crackers. He is impatient with DS. I am used to doing my own thing and having my own routines then he comes home and complains because I do things differently. DS is 4 and DH completely does not get that a 4 year old is often not a rational being. I find myself waiting for when he goes away again.

Mistress said up thread that in relation to her DH getting tipsy that at least her Dcs have 1 responsible parent. Last weekend DH was so irritated with DS all the time, and I thought that it is a good thing I am getting sober so that at least my son has one rational, responsible, loving parent.

Looking at it from my DH's point of view..... well, he comes home after working away, and I and DS are our own tight little unit and he is on the outside. I try to recognise that, and counter that, but very often I do not muchlike my DH or how he thinks it is okay to respond to DS. DH has a very cold and remote family. He never learned how to parent in a warm loving way.

Anyway- you have all inspired me with your rooms. We have a teeny tiny box room that is currently used for putting the ironing pile out of sight. I have plans......

nochips01 Wed 28-May-14 07:02:37

I should add a disclaimer to the cold family thing...I like DH's family alot. They are great. But the relationships are very very distant. people treat each other like someone you would bump into at the shops and you are friendly but don't quite recall their names.

Bigglesfliesundone Wed 28-May-14 08:57:25

7 months today grin. Just can't believe I am still here!

guggenheim Wed 28-May-14 09:06:24

Hey,Think I may be able to find my self worth again if I keep going with this sobriety thingy.
I wish I had desk space never mind a room of my own- I know exactly what it would look like and what I would do when I escaped into it. Not sure I'd even let the sodding cat in.

With some reflection,I allowed myself to get very bored of sobriety after 13 months. I guess that I am the kind of person who like to make life hard for herself,that is just teh way my mind works. I have a huge deviant streak and I guess I missed the drama of drinking so put some shit back into my life for a bit. And I was beginning to lose all patience with my local aa. My mouth was saying " this is marvellous" but really I was thinking- " I don't know what you mean" and " please can you shut up so that someone who doesn't have 9 gazzillion years of sobriety can get a word in edgewise?"

And the best thing about going back to aa is being honest enough to just say what I think and want to say. It isn't all wonderful,some of it sucks but I've decided I want the good bits again especially the ability to be honest.

tortiose is it you who writes that brilliant blog? Thank you,it's wonderful.

70hours Wed 28-May-14 09:28:00

Hi - I am on day 5 - something hit me today - I realised it was not normal to be soooo proud of managing 4 AF nights - so I have to acknowledge I have a problem and I can't drink normally - Joining you all on your journey - feeling sad today don't really know why but I am determined to do this - no excuses - I want to live and be healthy for my kids not some dried up old soak - Judt waiting for my sleep to get better that might help my mood.

Bigglesfliesundone Wed 28-May-14 09:52:30

Oh Guggenheim the 'boredom' of sobriety! How true is that!! Sometimes I'm just so fed up with always feeling the same..like on a completely straight line humming through with no change in personality kind of thing. (obviously, the personality change was vile by the nth drink, but it always started off 'nice')

The only time I feel different is running. Then I just feel exhausted, hot and crankygrin.

Hello 70hours. Good to have you on board. The original threads are at the top of this one, have a read if you want - see how we've all staggered through this grin

Sorcha1966 Wed 28-May-14 17:16:45

Hi guggenheim. I would be really interested in your thoughts about lapsing after longer term sobriety. I am struggling so much right now. I'm 7 months sober today, and on the whole, have managed ok. The early days /weeks were hard but NOW is really bloody hard too,

I just want to buy a big bottle of wine and get smashed. I'm bored of sobriety, bored of the intractable issues I am facing, bored of being relentlessly sentient and having no escape from the grinding awfulness and anxiety. Ive quarreled (again) with my partner, I adore him but it seems we just cant get past these problems. I'm tired, heartsore, anxious, depressed and although I tell myself that being pissed wont help - right now I feel that it will. This has been a growing 'want' over the last 2 weeks... Not sure how long I can /want to resist.... am so in that place where 'just one' wont hurt ...

guggenheim Wed 28-May-14 18:45:02

Hey sorcha really sorry to hear that things are hard,that sounds tough.

I hope people don't mind me talking about lapsing- lets me know if it's triggering or annoying.However, I think it's important to be honest about all aspects of sobriety. I didn't think I would ever drink again,in many ways I had great recovery but...it sort of came out of nowhere and I went right ahead and did it.

I don't have an angle on it properly yet so this is what I think happened: I got bored,found life very hard for a while and fell back into drinking habits.

This is what I'm going to do differently: Take more care of my happiness. I often make life difficult forgetting how important happiness is- for recovery anyway. I need to make my life a bit more interesting to replace all the feelings i got from drinking (I suppose that alcohol took my feelings away but replaced it with cheap thrills and that did make me happy on a level)
I am going to accept that lapsing happens,it probably happens for a reason,who knows? I'm not going to poke at my feelings so much,just let them be. I'm not doing any more amends or dwell on my past.

And I hope that a by taking a much softer approach that I will maintain my sobriety as long as I am able,might not be forever.

What do you think biggles does that make any sense at all? Feel free to say " No,feck off you madwoman!"

merce Wed 28-May-14 19:00:40

Oh Sorcha - I am sorry too that you are having such a hard time. Like Guggenheim, feel free to ignore any of my ramblings!

Just reading back over what you wrote, it reads as if the things you are really fed up with are 'real life' things - not sobriety. So sobriety makes it harder as they are in your face (because you are sentient) and hard to ignore. But logically, that suggests that those things are the issue and not any perceived 'boredom' of being sober.

Not that that exactly makes anything easier. Implication being - massive uphill struggles as you try to work on relationship with DH, anxiety and all the other stuff. Maybe trying not to look at them all together might make it more bearable to tackle things? I have so many sodding 'to do' lists it's untrue, but sometimes I have to put blinkers on and just try to plod along and look at a single issue or I end up like a rabbit in the headlights.

I also think we can all romanticise our drinking and believe it (and we) were more 'fun' when knocking it back. I can't speak for anyone else, but I certainly wasn't any fun at all by the end. Back in my 20s I was probably huge fun at parties, but as we all know it's a progressive condition and I suspect I was as much fun as a bag of sick latterly. Even the first drink probably didn't make me light-hearted/witty/charming etc - as I was already on that path - wondering where the next drink was coming from etc. And that's before you get into the shame/guilt stuff.

Really dangerous to rant on like this when you don't know the other person so honestly just ignore if of no use, but just my knee-jerk reaction. Along with massive sympathy and support, obviously. Wonder if you can be kind to yourself this evening - even if that means going to bed insanely early just to make it all stop?

I am trying to get a work proposal done and have, therefore, been dreadful mother - shoving them in front of TV for most of the day. Just awful. Realise I should have been relishing my time with them - getting stuck into crafty type activities, but hey. Didn't happen.

Sisterly waves to all x

allhailqueenmab Wed 28-May-14 19:09:12

Hi all.

Great thoughtful stuff on this thread. thanks.

Hi 70hours, how are you? How is day 5 treating you towards the evening? Come and tell us how you are getting on.

guggenheim, I know what you mean. I think I have used booze subconsciously to create a "space" - even including the hangover. just some fun. the initial fun is the first drink, maybe a night out with friends, maybe 3 drinks. that is all fine but suddenly you are home again and it is all over. then I open a bottle. I just want to stay up and if I go to bed then tomorrow, and work, is here. In the morning, sometimes, I would be so hungover I couldn't get up. So the whole next day had been sent away. (this is pre-dcs, you can't send them away with a phone call like you can your work, although, of course, even that never ends well). what would happen if you gave yourself the occasional right to behave so irresponsibly without the booze? Could you have the space without the damage, the hangover?

i think we are all working really hard to do the right thing. be present for our kids, get stuff done at work, fix our relationships, stop annoying or worrying our friends, get the finances straight, etc etc. but you know what? these things will never be done. you will go mad if you allow yourself to relax when you have ticked the last thing off your list. it will never ever happen and you will be on a treadmill your whole life. you just have to walk off sometimes and leave the list, and I think there are a lot of people on this thread who have only done so when unconscious or blind drunk. so - this becomes a reason to get unconscious or blind drunk.

Smell the flowers. It's a trite thing to say and I can't offer practical advice about how to keep all your personal balls in the air while you do this. Easier said than done. but goddammit try and smell the flowers.

70hours Wed 28-May-14 19:21:12

Struggling tonight - but not drinking and no intention to drink - feel low and down and depressed actually - sad

merce Wed 28-May-14 19:23:13

Really like that. Smell the flowers. And Guggenheim up thread talking about being softer and taking care of happiness. So true - and not remotely trite. Like gratitude lists. Just accepting life/the moment etc rather than running like a hamster on a wheel and saying 'everything will be fine when….'. 'Life on life's terms' and all that.

Behaving irresponsibly without the booze is an interesting idea….. I suppose frankly just HAVING FUN (wouldn't have to be actually irresponsible) might do it. Putting ourselves first from time to time without feeling guilty. Allowing ourselves to even think/remember what we enjoy doing. I think we tend to bury that stuff as DCs' needs take priority/there is too much practical stuff to stay on top of. But maybe factoring a bit of that in too is just basic insurance policy?

Hmmm. More stream of consciousness. All I do know - for sure - is that I am bloody glad I am not sitting here the wrong side of a bottle of wine in charge of 2 young kids.

allhailqueenmab Wed 28-May-14 19:41:35

hi 70hours - just off to the bath the kids. keep talking and I will reply when I get back a bit later. Sorry you are feeling down. we're here.

theScarfLady Wed 28-May-14 19:54:46

Hello everyone. May I join you? I am a longtime lurker on this (and the BraveBabes) thread and am so, so in awe of your strength, your honesty and your kindness to one another. I am having huge problems steeling my courage to tell people in real life about the alcohol issues I'm battling, but you feel like such a safe and non-judgmental bunch that I think I am comfortable talking on here, if you will have me. It has taken me a long while to admit to myself that this is the place for me right now, rather than the Battle Bus - which has such a lovely vibe, but the licence it gives to ride periodically in the side car is the kind of latitude I can't deal with right now (though I love the image and I dream one day of being able to have a choice about whether or not to drink). Right now, though, I need to stop drinking, full stop, without any room for shades of grey (not the 50 kind, either). Goodness, how many times over the years have I told myself that. Writing it down now makes it seem more real, and gives me hope that maybe this time I really mean it and I really can do it.

I am on day 2 AF and the effort its taken me to get this far is scary. I have been really inspired by the posts on here over the last couple of weeks which are so eloquent and so insightful - and really touched a nerve and made me feel that the mental gyrations I go through on a daily basis, the deals I make with myself about drinking and the attempts I make to delude myself about the scale of my problem, are not unique to me. I feel less lonely reading them. I look forward to my morning commute, logging in and seeing how you are all doing. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for giving me the courage to start doing this.

I have been drinking too much for years. Like so many of you have said, in my twenties and early thirties this was largely social drinking, amongst friends doing exactly the same as me. Latterly, it has been mostly drinking at home, from lunchtime onwards (at the weekends) - all the usual shameful tricks (vodka in coke can, wine in travel mug) - and a bottle or two a night during the week. I don't think my work or home life has suffered too much, but I suspect I may be deluding myself. My kids are little and lovely, and I want and need to be there for them - not just half-present, with erratic mood-swings and always wondering how I can sneak another drink. I want to be energetic and enthusiastic at work rather than dragging my way half-competently through each day. I want not to snap at my poor DP, and to get my memory, my concentration, my energy back.

Right now I am feeling strong - but I have been here before. I am hoping writing it down will help. I am so tired, so hungry and so itchy!! I know that will pass. Right now I am not ready to admit to things in real life - I am too scared to tell my partner or to try AA, but that may well come. I need to start to do it by myself first. I have never been a self-help book kind of person but I have found some of the drinking memoirs helpful - I have read Drunk Mom recently and that really resonated - would you mind me asking for other recommendations along those lines? Apologies, I know there are some scattered upthread but I would really welcome a summary from anyone kind enough to give me their thoughts - plus any tips for how to deal with both the first few days of sobriety and then (touch wood) the bridge to the period where it becomes more normal and - from what some of you say - one starts to feel a bit bored. At the moment I am veering from taking it one day at a time (which I know is sensible) and then the next minute telling myself in grandiose terms that I'll never drink again - and I'm finding the mental ping pong very tiring! Any reflections from some of you clever veterans would be very much appreciated.

I am sorry that my first post is so long and whiny. I am grateful for the space to write it and have found doing so very cathartic. You really touched a nerve with the recent 'drinking to find space' comments and I think that is what has finally tipped me into trying to stop completely. It resonated so much. Tonight is the first night in weeks that I have had the house to myself and rather than finding space in drinking I have resolved to try to find that space in other ways - starting here. Thank you for giving me that courage.

70hours Wed 28-May-14 20:13:40

Hi the scarf lady - I am new here too - on day 5 so only a few days ahead of you - I am sure other more wise ladies will be all g with better words of wisdom than me - I hope we can continue on this journey together. Am finding tonight hard but not caving in - just going to have a bath, brush my teeth and moisturise - (I never moisturise usually too drunk sad( )

Bigglesfliesundone Wed 28-May-14 20:50:16

Hello all new and old grin
You know, I gave up smoking for three years and KNEW I would never smoke again. Smuggy mcsmug, that was me. Until. One day. Fed up, bored, picked up a friends cigarette packet and was back on them straight away sad

It took me another three years to give up properly, and I still had a mini blip a couple of weeks ago.

It's the same with drinking. I'm not smuggy mcsmug about this because I know I may, just may fuck up one day. I'm trying to focus on how good I feel and how good my family feel. That and running of course wink.

It's one day at a a time (although I'm not an AA person) - which seems to then be one week at a time, one weekend at a time and just remembering that it was not nice, it was hell.

sorcha anniversary buddy flowers. So sorry to hear you;re not having a great time sad

Love and strength x

merce Wed 28-May-14 20:54:59

Hi there, the scarf lady. A very warm welcome! I found your post honest and touching. You have done brilliantly to get this far and admit the extent of your problem to us and to yourself. Worry about RL and DP at a later stage, I say.

God, the wine in the travel mug….. A nasty reminder. I was trying to remember the other day how I used to justify my behaviour to myself - because clearly it wasn't normal or ok. At all. And the weird thing is I can't quite remember. I don't think I really allowed myself to look at it/question it too much. Just 'did' it. Which is odd, as I'm such an analytical person. Part of the insane thinking that tends to be part and parcel of it all…

I am hopeless on books, but am sure others will come up with a shortlist for you. I liked the look of the one someone mentioned about women's relationship with alcohol so might get that myself.

There is a really good AA booklet that I clung to like a limpet in the early days. Can't remember what it's called (sorry!), but it might be something like 'now you've stopped'. Basically, it has loads of techniques for how to go about life/social situations when you've just got sober. What to say when people offer you drinks etc. I was hugely hung up on that for ages so found it really useful. I am a big fan of AA and was SO relieved when I went to my first meeting and just heard all these other people saying things that I identified with. Was sort of awful (admitting that I was an alcoholic), but I'd known for ages that I had a major problem so actually the relief was the overwhelming feeling I got. So I'd definitely recommend you give it a try. Nothing awful happens, you don't have to 'join' anything. Can just lurk in the back and see if any of it makes sense.

But this thread is just wonderful too. Lots of wise, kind, similarly struggling women. So brilliant to realise you aren't alone ,I found. Anyway, well done on getting to this point. You won't regret it. It is worth it a million times over.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 29-May-14 01:57:59

Hello, ScarfLady and 70hours! I'm glad you're both here. Never apologise for long heartfelt posts, they're the lifeblood of what we're doing here.

The trick right now is to be kind to yourself. Pretend you're an invalid; buy yourself some flowers, read or watch light fluffy things, go to bed early, cry if you want to. For me, this bit lasted about three weeks or so, and having the license to just eat or buy whatever I wanted to really, really helped.

Really interesting discussion here about the isolating effects of wine. Usually I hear that in a negative sense (my addict cut me off from my loved ones; I was hiding and sneaking and trapped in my secrets) but it seems like a lot of us used it deliberately. I absolutely did. When you haven't got a room of your own, you have to create one, I guess.

Talking of which: guggenheim you said I wish I had desk space never mind a room of my own- I know exactly what it would look like and what I would do when I escaped into it. Not sure I'd even let the sodding cat in

What would it look like? What would you do?

nochips01 Thu 29-May-14 06:49:40

Good morning. So lovely to have you with us Scarflady and 70hours. smile I get so much out of everyone's thoughtful posts, so please keep posting.

Just a dash in and out to say hi this morning. Hope everyone has a great day.

70hours Thu 29-May-14 07:45:59

Day 6 and still sleeping badly - smile. Feeling rubbish about everything - here's hoping I will be on the up soon. Turtoise I am absolutely going to take your advice and spoil myself - I deserve it !!!!! Morning to everyone else and thank you all for the welcomes smile

merce Thu 29-May-14 07:48:06

Morning 70hours. It took me about a couple of weeks until my sleep settled down. Your body has to readjust and it will happen!

70hours Thu 29-May-14 07:55:09

A coupe of weeks !!!! Gah !!!!!!!

guggenheim Thu 29-May-14 09:18:10

Morning,

Thank you so much for just being willing to discuss relapse,a topic that's guranteed to stir up uncomfortable feelings! I need to state that I want and intend to get sober again and avoid the downfalls- this I'll call this round 2. So I am on day 5,round 2.

Yes,drinking to create space- wow! That rings true as do the comments about finding ways to behave irresponsibily. I feel very well today and am beginning to look better,now I must find a fun silly thing to do and allow myself to just do that.It's terrifying to think that 'silly' and 'fun' are the big things which stand between me and my sobriety- what an idiot!

70hours It really is worth hanging in there though- promise.
tortoise Hmmm...in a way it's good that I live in a tiny,tiny house. If I had that room of my own I would just use it to isolate and drink,which I suppose is the way my brain is wired. I'm learning very slowly,to change the way my brain works,so can I answer your question in a years time?

Happy sober day everyone- hope you find something daft to do today.

MistressofPemberley Thu 29-May-14 10:43:53

Wow. There is so much good stuff on here. I've actually logged on to my laptop to write (rather than my iPhone) as the thoughts and responses are flying around my brain too fast!

Welcome ScarfLady. What an eloquent first post. I feel all warm inside reading the lovely things you wrote about our little community here. I really find this thread so helpful. My commitment to other forums fizzled out a bit but this thread is a huge part of my sobriety/recovery.

Chips, we have a lot in common re: our DHs. Mine works away a lot, and I think I miss him dreadfully and need his help, but he always drives me mad when he's off. Things are hard work on my own with 2 DC but it kind of goes better. My DH can be a bit intolerant with DS and I don't feel like he's earned the right to get ratty, IYSWIM. I have that privilege after a long day with him!

I have work to do too, work that I want to do so I am finding half term a bit of a struggle. I crave a few days of just pleasing myself: running, reading, sleeping, getting stuck into my work. Oh well. That's why wine offered such an escape. I could be physically present but mentally somewhere far far away. Being sober is very tough, and raw. Something we're all finding lately it seems. Alcohol keeps us in a lovely little bubble; a metaphorical 'room of one's own'. And Allhail, you hit the nail on the head. Being drunk and hungover is the only time we can have a break, that we can 'clock out' without feeling guilty (until the next day). I'm finding super early nights curled up with my kindle and recovery books are now my me-time, as well as running.

I had a drinking dream last night. I was SO disappointed in myself as I was drinking. Such a relief to wake up and realise I hadn't done it.

70 hours, hang in there. The early days are hard. I have never felt so low in my life after the last binge. I felt so trapped and panicked, as though I knew there was no escape but to face the mess. I even felt suicidal at times. That was 12 weeks ago. I can't lie and say that everyday I feel joyous and at peace, but I do feel a million times better in every way, and I would not throw away this for the world. Keep reading, and keep posting.

Sorcha, hello. Lovely to know you're still here, but I'm sorry you're feeling low. Stay with us, share with us.

Everyone else, thanks for the book recommendations. I'm on The Happy Addict at the moment. And thank you for being here and being so supportive all the time.

MistressofPemberley Thu 29-May-14 11:01:06

PS I've just downloaded Drunk Mom. I'm a bit scared, as I think it will be a tough read for me. I still struggle with the fact that my babies were not enough to stop me drinking; in fact I think my drinking peaked when they were both tiny. Huge quantities of wine combined with crazy hormones and sleep deprivation was at times, a devastating combination.

Scarf, I've taken most of my book recommendations from this thread. I loved Lucy Rocca's two books in the early days. They just seemed to speak to me. Meredith Bell's 7 Days Sober was helpful, Rachel Black's books, Allan Carr and Jason Vale get you in the fighting spirit. If you have a kindle just treat yourself to all of them. I did. Wine money goes on Kindle books now, and I refuse to feel guilty as the more I read, the stronger I feel.

70hours Thu 29-May-14 11:11:41

Thanks all for the support - I will hang on in - I am not craving a drink at all just sleep - feeling better today and Sooo pleased to be not drinking - my son came in this mornng looking for a drink - he saw my empty glass and asked if wine had been in it - I said no - he the used it to get himself a drink - and there was I thinking he didn't even know I drunk - duh - anyway going out to buy some shoes for DS and a 'treat' for me - thanks all again for your support - I don't feel able to offer any wise words - however I do like this quote and it is very apt to me ATM - when everything feels like an uphill struggle just think of the view from the top smile

allhailqueenmab Thu 29-May-14 12:13:53

Brilliant, thank you for that quote 70hours.
Hope everyone is having a good day.
Off out to lunch soon for a leaving do - haven't drunk at lunchtime for ages and won't today - might have a posh coffee afterwards as a treat and enjoy having a clear head for the afternoon

Bigglesfliesundone Thu 29-May-14 14:22:18

So bloody fed up. Had to pull out of the half marathon I was doing on Sunday as my leg is nowhere near well enough; fifty tomorrow and seems that husband hasn't really got a clue what to do <hint it's a BIG birthday you moron>; ridiculously busy at work.

I can't even run for a few days maybe weeks in case I make it worse. what the bloody hell am I going to do sad

Just want to get home, throw off my shoes, put my slippers on and have a g and t and a cigarette.

70hours Thu 29-May-14 14:49:14

Can you swim Biggles? I ask that because when my friend injured her leg she did a lot of swimming to keep her fitness levels up - it might help ?

SundayMorningComingDown Thu 29-May-14 14:55:11

Sorry about that Biggles Have a nice bath. I hope your DH comes up trumps with something fabulous for your 50th.flowers

I am back on day 1 (again). Haven't yet managed to get past day 6 as of yet, but am boring myself with my inability to commit to sobriety, so may manage this time. (I came on here with a decision to have an AF week, which to normal civilians wouldn't seem all that hard..)
Ah well. Still reading, still thinking. Have definitely been getting increasingly annoyed at the endless references in the media, and on MN, to booze as a normal everyday thing. Its like those idents after the ads on some programmes where the words on the screen say "Relax" and it shows a glass of wine. The my brain goes "ah, yes, wine. That's what I want. It's what all normal people do, right?"
I have 2 brains. There is my real brain, which says "No Sunday, normal people do not drink almost a whole bottle of wine alone on a Monday night as a matter of course" and there is my alkie brain which grasps onto every suggestion in the media, or as Sainsbury's local (hisss) that I buy and drink wine all the friggin time. My two brains are constantly battling it out, which is exhausting, but I can't let Alkie brain win.

Anyway, welcome 70 hours, welcome Scarf Lady. Sorry for the ramble.
Big Love to all.

skippy84 Thu 29-May-14 15:07:01

Hi Everyone, 3 weeks today and has been really good overall. Have been so much more productive, have joined a gym, am eating well and lost 7 lbs last week (my drinking made me gain a lot of weight very fast). I have been waking very early though about 5am and that leaves me wrecked by this time of the day. Hopefully that will settle down with time. Hope everyone else is doing well.

merce Thu 29-May-14 15:25:07

Oh, bloody hell Biggies. Sounds rather hideous. I second 70hours' idea about swimming (although loathe getting in freezing water myself). Failing that - what about some power walking? Or just walking briskly if you don't want to do that stupid looking walk. Realise not the same, but still helps with fitness levels/seratonin etc. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY for tomorrow. I do hope your DH pulls something out of the bag that is commensurate with the importance of the occasion…. Can you get yourself something special to celebrate and reward yourself for your many months of sobriety?

hyperhops Thu 29-May-14 21:19:40

evening all
Hello to scarf and 70
biggles so sorry about your HM. I know it doesnt help now but there will beother HMs to set your sights on once you're injury free. It is very hard not being able to run when you want/need to. Could you maybe ask GP to refer you to NHS physio? wont possibly be as clued up as a sports physio but may help you resolve your issue a bit. Happy Birthday for tomorrow. (my dh is useless with bdays too - I ordered my own presents last year then wrapped them myself and gave to kids to give to me on the day sad) I hope your DH has something fab secretly planned for you.
skippy well done on 3 weeks and great weight loss grin

>>waves to everyone else<<

Im feeling a bit better today - slightly less grumpy.
Still have a lot of real life stuff to deal with but will try and take it in baby steps I think! wink

Feel I should also just clarify for those that commented that what I have converted into a little "me" room is in fact the playHOUSE (ie glorified garden shed!) and not a spare room in the house ( I should be so lucky) so although still a nice little escape it is somewhat cold and drafty !

anyway...hang in there to all...grin

theScarfLady Thu 29-May-14 22:16:34

Hello everyone and thanks for the nice welcome.

70hours I shall take inspiration from your courage and shall try to plod along in your footsteps, a few days behind. I am cautiously proud of myself on day 3 - I was out for lunch and dinner (the latter in the pub, which in retrospect was possibly an unnecessary temptation) but didn't waver and to be honest didn't feel too tempted. I did, however, find myself wanting to come home quite soon after arriving - there didn't seem to be so much 'point' to the evening once it was reduced to a purely social occasion rather than an excuse to consume alcohol. Which says a lot about my need to recalibrate my priorities. But I had a nice time - am just so overwhelmingly tired (and still itchy!). Is that normal in the early days? Unlike you, 70hours I am sleeping quite well (sorry, feel guilty saying that!) but am shattered all day and finding it hard to concentrate for long.

Biggles all good wishes for your birthday - I really hope you do have a good day despite your misgivings and that you are surprised and spoiled by your family. Fingers crossed!

Night, all

Popper208 Fri 30-May-14 00:20:28

Hi everyone, I'm very new to MN but have been a keen follower of many posts on here for a few months, please be gentle, I'm still learning the dos and don'ts!

I am 43 with a DH & 2 DS, 11 & 13. I have been involved with alcohol since I was around 14ish. My parents divorced when I was 10 because my mother fucked off with my neighbour, she went AWOL for 2 weeks while my DF crumbled, he was in the Merchant Navy and due back imminently, we had the 2.4 family and although he was at sea 9 months and 3 months off, it was our life, DM met him at college and they were together 5 years before I came along, although she was 4 months pregnant at her wedding at age 20.

Her leaving was a huge shock to everyone, the neighbour was a tosser and also had a DW, 2 DC. DM came back and took us to live 400 miles away to a life where we weren't welcome! She'd split up 2 families and they weren't happy about it! My SF was an alcoholic and in time a paedophile to me, then my DS! Mine and my sister's life during our teenage years was a complete and utter mess, my DF married again to an alcoholic who completely fucked our lives up, there's so much history, it would take forever!! In the end, I left home at 17, it was either that or be raped! I went into a woman's hostel, then into college halls of residence. My SF was a twat, my "D"M refused to acknowledge I was telling the truth and branded me "attention seeking" and a liar! We didn't speak for many years, in the meantime I drank, and drank and drank, took drugs and slept my way through countless idiots all the time just looking for someone to take care of me and love me the way people should.

I met my DH in '97 and he was a breath of fresh air, didn't do drugs, stable family life, long-term friends, etc so we settled, had kids and for a long time it was good, until this alcohol problem that'd been festering in the background had become a huge elephant in the room and it was suffocating all of us! My DH stopped drinking around 3 years ago because me and alcohol and him and alcohol just didn't mix, whereas I can function when drunk, he couldn't and I just didn't have time for it, it brought out the worst in our relationship and when one night, after he came home drunk, we had an argument, I refused to let him in the front door, he got in the car and fucked off, I was beside myself with worry, I was on Jury Service at the time and deliberating the next day, I left home with him passed out hoping he would take the kids to school while I went to court, I told him then and there that he could either stop drinking or leave, he stopped.

Since then I have spiralled into knowing he is always driving, knowing he will always get up during the night for the kids so I have got worse and worse and worse! I am appalled that during a week I can recycle 6 or 7 boxes of wine, I wake up to that pitying look on my DH's face as he asks me if I remember what went on last night, the look in my DS1's face when he states that he's asked his friends how many glasses of wine his friends' Mums drink and it's nowhere near the amount I have!

The humility of waking up feeling like utter shite, stopping with absolute determination until day 3 or at most 4 and feeling healthy, so 1 or 2 glasses won't hurt!! Then waking up with your shoulder blades hurting (I know it's not really my shoulders) or sitting on the loo for 40 minutes with the shits because my bowls are fucked!

I want to live my life where alcohol doesn't determine the type of person I am, doesn't determine the mood I'm in and doesn't dictate my day, I want to stop drinking because me and drink don't work and drink won't give my children a good, happy, stable mother and I'd like to have sex with my husband when I'm not drunk for once!!

Thank you

Day 1

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 30-May-14 02:31:57

Hi Popper, glad you found us. It sounds like you're very well aware of the reasons behind your drinking - have you ever had therapy around the childhood issues?

Given the history with your DH, it seems as if you can be pretty straightforward with him about your drinking - do you think you can sit down with him and tell him your decision and ask for help? If he is in recovery himself I'd think he could be a really valuable support for you.

Good luck, and keep checking in with us, it really does help I think.

MistressP, my drinking peaked when mine were both little as well. With my second, although I wasn't drinking the highest quantities I've ever drunk, I was certainly the most incapitated due to the sleep-deprivation conflating the issue. Sometimes I'd wake up in the morning, having brought her into bed with me, and have no memory of that at all. Terrifying, in retrospect. I was worried enough that I talked to DH about it and swore to stick to one glass of wine a night, which I did for a few weeks, but then she started sleeping better and I could drink a bit more, more safely, again. I feel a lot of shame about that as well, but here we are, sober, and our kids will only ever know us as sober, and I think we get to be proud of that.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 30-May-14 02:37:05

Guggenheim I asked about your room because I wondered if there was a dream behind the desire - i.e., would you read in it, craft in it, play incredibly loud music in it - that you can somehow replicate without a physical room?

nochips01 Fri 30-May-14 07:54:20

Hello everyone Happy Birthday Biggles !!! thanks Hope you have a great day. smile

Lots to read and think about from the posts yesterday. Welcome Popper Your post was so powerful. Please stay with us. Not drinking just gets better and better. Your last sentence about drinking not dictating who you are - that so resonated with me. thanks

I agree Sunday about getting annoyed when boozing is just seen as normal. A few weeks ago when I had constant headaches the GP suggested I drink a glass of wine to 'relax'. Um no, won't help.
I am trying to retrain my brain by whenever I see alcohol on the tv thinking 'yuck'. And someone last thread mentioned calling the alcohol, aisle the 'Aisle of Death'. I do that too. I laugh about it, but it does help.

But GOD, I am just loving sober mornings. How fabulous I feel.

Scarflady i also felt itchy when I first gave up. It passes. smile I had forgotten about that symptom. Well done on negotiating the pub. I agree though- I always want to leave early too. Eat a nice meal, have a good chat, then go home not stay on and on and on talking drunk rubbish that feels so profound at the time. grin

I find also that there are a couple of 'friendships' that were based around the pub which I am willing to let go gently.... people whose company I don't enjoy sober (there is a rather nasty gossip in my pub drinking friend group) and before I kind of tolerated it, but my ability to tolerate it has seeped away, because frankly life is just too bloody short. That is a good thing, and I feel okay about it. This has been a person I have wanted to pull away from for some time.....now I feel able to do so. I feel stronger in myself.

My drinking also peaked in the first year after DS was born. I know now that I had PND but that was not why. I was a serious drinker before. I recall feeling fear before I moved in with DH because I thought 'now he will know how much I drink'. It scared me.

But, not drinking. Today I am loving it. The crushing tiredness has even started to fade and I can sit up with DH and have a proper evening. It's brilliant.

I love the sound of your playhouse hyper. smile I love the idea of creating a physical space. I find it so interesting what we all have said about drinking being about 'time out'. There is alot to think about that. It connects with the crushing pressure we put on ourselves as women, I am sure.

Sorry, long long, ramby post. blush

merce Fri 30-May-14 08:30:23

Hello Scarflady. Just wanted to chip in on what you said about wanting to go home from the pub early… Totally identify with that feeling - what is the point of dragging out an evening unless it is an opportunity to drink? I felt very much the same way with dinners -everyone lingering around the table for hours. I still feel like that sometimes, but find one thing that is helpful is to make a conscious effort/choice to listen to what people are saying (about their lives, their views whatever). And to try to find that interesting/concentrate on it. I am painfully aware that the way I used to operate was very different - I was far more interested in where the next drink was coming from than what people were saying/where I was. So, for instance, I didn't notice or appreciate my surroundings sometimes when abroad in amazing places because I wanted to be in the bar more than the museums/looking at the landscape etc. Anyway, that is a tip I use sometimes and I find it can be v. useful.

merce Fri 30-May-14 08:37:52

Oh, and welcome Popper! Really good to have you with us. Agree with what Tortoise said about you hopefully being able to talk to your DH about your decision and getting support from him. It's not easy, but I think in a way making a decision to do something about it and take back control of your life is quite empowering. Goes some way to getting some self-respect back - especially where role as a mother is concerned (at least in my case).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIGGIES!!!

Bigglesfliesundone Fri 30-May-14 08:43:14

Morning all from a 50 year old grin sorry about my rant yesterday. I actually feel quite relieved I'm not doing the hm as was so stressed about it. Obviously I didn't grab the gin and fags, just muttered a bit and watched telly grin going to try and go swimming tomorrow.

Had some lovely presents - including some really thoughtful ones from my staff at work which is really touching. Dh has taken the day off blush feel guilty now!

will catch up later. thank you for the birthday wishes. sober on my 50th!! whoda thunk it wink
x

merce Fri 30-May-14 08:47:53

SO glad people came up trumps for you!

theScarfLady Fri 30-May-14 08:50:39

Happy birthday Biggles - I am so glad the day is looking brighter! Enjoy it.

Feeling positive on day 4 and still enjoying the novelty of being bright eyed(ish) and cheery in the mornings instead of grey around the edges and dragging myself around the place. Bit worried about how I will motivate myself when the novelty wears off - but I guess that's a way off and in any event is a good problem to have. Fingers crossed for the weekend when I'll be visiting people and places where there are lurking alcohol triggers - but am feeling cautiously positive and optimistic that I will make it through.

Hope everyone has a good day.

theScarfLady Fri 30-May-14 08:53:47

PS Merce - thank you for the support and the tip, good idea and I will try it out in a museum tomorrow! (See, only day 4 and already I am getting cultured smile)

70hours Fri 30-May-14 08:56:50

Happy Birthday Biggles xxxxxx. - Yay for sober Birthdays smile.
Day 7 here smile. Feeling less sad and more up - sleeping a bit better - agree at to be sober - felt an inner peace all day yesterday until the evening when I suddenly had habitual cravings - batted them of and managed to stay awake until 11.00 watching dodgy TV (unheard of as normal passed out by 9.30). Hope everyone has a good day catch you all later smile

allhailqueenmab Fri 30-May-14 09:39:37

Morning, all

Happy birthday Biggles!

welcome, Popper.

Merce, great tip. I noticed at a work do a while ago that one of the women who doesn't drink is very, very interested in people in a very warm and engaging way. (I don't think she is in recovery, btw, I think she is just not a drinker - but who knows?) I decided at the time to take inspiration from that as a way to be more present.

There is an interesting intersection between this thread and the "women and space" thread in FWR. People drinking their way into privacy.

the saddest and most intense version of this is women or girls drinking their way to oblivion from abuse. Popper, my heart goes out to you. Well done for everything you have achieved. I hope we can be friends to you.

Popper208 Fri 30-May-14 10:34:58

Thank you for your kind words everyone, I think in the past the enormity of never drinking again has always been my stumbling block, however, this time I think the 'just taking one day, half a day, the next hour, 30 minutes, 10 minutes' at a time is where I need to focus.
I have had counselling and it has helped, it's only when I drink that the pit of despair creeps back in, when I have clarity of mind, I have a strong mind.

Lucy2610 Fri 30-May-14 10:56:37

Hey Tortoise! grin and thanks no chips smile
I wouldn't have got to 8 months on my own and have read sober blogs ,including Tortoise's, avidly wink I have also written my own daily sober blog which is part of the Blogger's Network here on Mumsnet called www.ahangoverfreelife.com. Yesterday was my day 250 and we had a sing-along to Frozen's Let It Go. Who knew that it would be purloined by the grown ups and made a sober anthem?! Now to catch up on the conversation that I've missed wink

Lucy2610 Fri 30-May-14 11:45:41

Biggles That is such a good idea for your Dd! My Dd is a New Year's Day baby and we always struggle to get many of her friends who are around and free to celebrate anywhere around this day. May have to nick your idea - she'd be delighted! How did you put it to her?

Lucy2610 Fri 30-May-14 11:52:31

Mistress Re books to read this is the collection that I have read ahangoverfreelife.com/2014/01/26/preparation/ I've linked to my blog as it is easier than cutting and pasting the whole list and also some really good recommendations are made in the comments. Plus not on my, as I've read more recently is: Almost Alcoholic by Doyle & Nowinski

Bigglesfliesundone Fri 30-May-14 15:39:41

Lucy - it was her idea! grin

Lucy2610 Fri 30-May-14 16:05:45

Thanks Biggles for the reply and Happy Birthday! cake Maybe you could suggest a way to celebrate your birthday in a different way and follow her lead! wink

SundayMorningComingDown Fri 30-May-14 17:55:37

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIGGLES!!! cake flowers brew

LemonDough Fri 30-May-14 18:20:26

Happy Birthday Biggles!

Just came to run around the room and yell 'NEARLY THREE MONTHS'

grin

It's been touch and go, stopped the (antabuse) tablets twice before coming to my senses and restarting them before I could drink.

I can so relate to the drinking to create space thing. Although if you're so hung over that you can't get out of bed regularly enough it can get a bit boring (leading to more drinking in my experience) in the end wink

I am loving being sober but even after nearly three months I am still mentally ducking and diving and trying to work out when I can have a secret session, it's bloody annoying hmm Things that are keeping me sober are having things to look forward to that I don't want to ruin by there being an atmosphere because I have fucked up again at some point.

I guess I've not been slowing up my brain enough. Back to the meditating I think...

MistressofPemberley Fri 30-May-14 20:43:30

Happy birthday Sippie sorry Biggles, you lovely lady.

Oh Tortoise, I've done the same and worse... cosleeping drunk, breastfeeding drunk, being in charge of my DC drunk. This is why Drunk Mom is going to be tough. I started it today and it's well written which is great. Thanks Lucy for your link too. I really hope no one ever stumbles across my kindle; the secret really will be out! I have about 20 books on alcoholism and addiction on there now.

70hours Fri 30-May-14 20:55:41

Congrats LemonDough - 3 months fantastic smile

Lucy2610 Fri 30-May-14 21:21:01

You're welcome Mistress. My Kindle is the same smile Congrats Lemondough on 3 months from me too.

MistressofPemberley Sat 31-May-14 09:33:57

Brilliant LemonDough, well done.

And while we're on the subject... It's my 90 days today. Apparently, according to the American books I've read, 90 days is a milestone at AA. Feeling very pleased I've made it so far.

70hours Sat 31-May-14 09:58:40

Wow well done Mistress smile. - When will I loose weight ? seem to have put it on sad How can that be ?

merce Sat 31-May-14 11:40:06

Well done Lemondough and Mistress. Agree 3 months/90 days is a meaningful period to stay sober. Bloody brilliant.

And 70hours - wish I could say something helpful. I put on weight too after I stopped drinking. And you think - how can it be? Was consuming about 1400 calories a day in booze. BUT then I suppose I lost interest in eating big suppers - and was often so ill with hangovers that I skipped the odd meal. Dunno. I have lost weight now, but it took 2 years of being sober before I really could stop shoving myself full of sugar/carbs. Tried to take the view that it didn't matter/wld sort itself out in the end/was way better than drinking etc. With mixed success. Do think, though, that if you beat yourself up about that on top of everything else you may be loading on too much pressure. Big fan of trying to be kind to yourself (not always good at doing it in practice).

Bigglesfliesundone Sat 31-May-14 12:19:41

Arse! Wrote a massive post on the stupid tablet and it didn't take angry. That tablet is hopeless.

Try again.

Basically, wanted to say I have caught up with posts (at last!) some amazing milestones - Popper, you have been though it and it is so easy to let alcohol muffle the pain until the pain is the alcohol sad. Then without the alcohol it's about managing the pain again (does that make sense!!)

Birthday was good. Lunch with dh and dc and meal out in the evening with dh, where I spoke to him about how I was facing the pain (see above!) without the alcohol, he told me he felt self conscious drinking at home and I told him not to be silly, I only moaned at him when he was dull and stupid though beer grin

Went to our old local, which we used to run and saw some really old friends, all of whom just accepted me having a soft drink. Had some very awful and embarrassing times in there in the past blush and didn't want to go back after the meal as thought it would be, not hard, but just a bit dull to be honest..

I ended my post by saying, it's hard, it's annoyong, it's frstrating and that horrible 'it's not fair' voice keeps popping up, but it's so worth it.

smile

Oh and I have got a place for the charity I work for in the London Marathon next year . SCREAM. We are a tiny charity and i didn't expect it at all. DOUBLE SCREAM

70hours Sun 01-Jun-14 07:52:36

I slept like a log last night smile

merce Sun 01-Jun-14 08:21:34

You SEE????!!!!!! It does happen. SO happy to hear it x

merce Sun 01-Jun-14 09:05:53

Went to the theatre with a friend last night. Going home on the bus was struck by the number of utterly pissed people staggering about in the streets. So so so glad not to be one of them. Up bright and early today feeling clear-headed and positive. I don't think I will ever stop being grateful for not feeling like death in the mornings.

70hours Sun 01-Jun-14 09:26:16

Thanks Merce - glad you enjoyed the theatre smile. Beautiful day and fitness regime starts today smile

Bigglesfliesundone Sun 01-Jun-14 10:22:56

sleeping well is such a bonus! [gri

SlippedDisco Sun 01-Jun-14 21:09:21

I'm dipping in and straight out again as I'm rather ashamed to say after 77 fabulous dry days, I lapsed. Spiralled right back into the booze trap; triggers seemingly being stress with teen DD, then my birthday, then a holiday, all of which happened at once and seemed to really unleash the dirty booze hound in me.

Anyway I feel that I can beat this, 77 days was a huge achievement so I'm trying to focus on the positives steps I took and will use that as a tool to bash on trying to crack this shit.

Waves to all x

nochips01 Mon 02-Jun-14 08:12:40

Hi everyone.[waves] to Slipped. Dashing in and out. Just wanted to check in. Seeing my counsellor this morning. I want to ask her if she has thought more about her addiction support group.

guggenheim Mon 02-Jun-14 09:22:51

Hi,
Have come back to admit that being sober was not,in fact,boring. That was my "dirty booze hound" smile brain taking over. It was hard at times and amazing at times. I also have to own up to the fact that it is going back to aa that has kept me sober. The fellowship may drive me nuts at times but I want to be sober and stay that way.

tortoise i haven't forgotten about that room. I would use it to craft and write and think. And it would be cold and white and round with a massive open window. But... I don't really have any ambitions to write or to be amazing,that room belongs to the drinking part of my life where I find reasons to isolate and with enough distance from others,of course I drink.One of the ways I am rewiring my brain is to make sure I see friends and get out to spend time with people. I need a new imaginary space now- not sure what though!

merce Mon 02-Jun-14 09:27:49

Agree, Guggenheim that AA isn't perfect and can have annoying bits. But I'd never have stayed sober without it. So my view is - don't question it too much, just suck it up and stay sober. If I drink ,all bets are off and frankly I don't need to make it much more complicated than that.

Wanted to say hi to everyone and send a virtual wave to SlippedD. Hope you are still feeling positive and focusing on how far you've come.

Happy day all!

Bigglesfliesundone Mon 02-Jun-14 09:39:07

Hi all. Oh, slipped, never mind. It happens. I 'slipped' (did you see what I did there grin [saddo] ) on Xmas eve last year, which was about 50 days in. It was annoying and made me very cross with myself, but as has been said upthread, it happens, and the main thing is not to beat yourself up but think about why.

Guggenheim, I get ya! Sober isn't boring - it just seems like it 'ought to be' I guess, after all we've all spent years being So Much Fun pissed haven't we... hmm grin

nochips, I hope it goes well this morning.

I was sooo pissed off yesterday, should have been doing the Half marathon but instead took the children to the museum, which, whilst fun wasn't really my plan for the day, especially when ds, faced with some Picasso and other modern artists, turned into Kevin and said 'what a load of shit, I mean, god, what, I mean huh?' etc, whilst sweet dd was trying to be ever so bossy and clever 'come ON lets go to the Egyptians and see the mummified cats'.

grin

However, I have spent my first weekend aged 50, and am still alive and still sober., that must be good!

Have a great day all.

70hours Mon 02-Jun-14 10:29:23

Morning all - big waves - fitness regime begins this week smile. I will lose weight smile. - can I just say my poo looks better TMI I know but just got to remind myself that i am getting well - big love to you all xxxxxx

CornChips Mon 02-Jun-14 14:38:43

Hello all, nochips here with a new name change. smile

70 i am also determined to be fitter and healthier. I have lost 2 pounds in my first week as a newly re-joined WW member. smile So much easier to stick to healthy eating - and to tracking than when I was half waydown a bottle of wine!

Biggles you are an inspiration to me. smile

I am also thinking hard about the isolation we have all talked about. I had my favourite magazine drop through my door today so after DS is in bed I plan to have a bubble bath,a cup of white tea with pomegranate and read it and relax. try and recreate the away from life bubble that alcohol did so well.

Right- sorry for short post and not name-checking- off for the school run. Back later. smile

Bigglesfliesundone Mon 02-Jun-14 15:54:48

shaddap blush

Endingthecharade Mon 02-Jun-14 17:26:08

I have namechanged for this.
May I join?
I have followed the other threads on and off since their beginnings.
About me.
I cannot drink without getting drunk.
I drink in the mornings (just Sats
and Sundays if I don't have to drive.
I drink throughout the day.
I hide bottles (wine)
I drink secretly
My behaviour changes and I behave irrationally, bad temperedly and I loose all sense of reason.
I almost only drink at weekends, Fri Sat and worst of all Sunday through the day. But do I drink... I am out of control.
My lovely DH is frustrated and sad, My dd aged 12 and DS aged 14 just quiet and my DD aged 17 who has ASD cannot bring herself to speak to me when I have had a drink
I am loosing their respect and I fear their love.
I am so deeply inadequate and also such a fraud and hypocrite as I live and work in a small village as a clinician. I come across as cheerful, functioning and caring.
My family know different.
I cannot go to AA as it is too small a community and I could bump into someone I know.
I desperately need help.
I have resolved after yesterday to give it up forever. (have been flirting with this for a long time) but I am terrified to loose my crutch and also the times when it is good to drink (together with DH on a Friday, listening to music in the kitchen).
I have told him this what I need to do and all the beers(Which I don't like as not strong enough but will swallow if there is nothing else) have to go along with the Bailey's (also horrible but will swig from that too).

Has anyone got to such a low point and been so frightened? I would willingly go to AA if I could hope for real 'anonymity'
Has anyone any ideas where I can go from here, books?...there seem to be so many..
Does AA on line exist? (I fear though, that one loses the whole point if you do that)
Maybe I need counselling, have had it before 4 years ago, it was good but she was too kind to me.

What ideas can I adopt for my first week/month that might help?

Did you all, who have been dry for a long time, tell everyone at the outset.
I have told DD17. She asked what tactics I am going to use.

Sorry to pour all this out. Trying to do this before getting down to supper.

I have successfully stopped for a month or so over the years and, as I said, I can seem control it during the week but nonetheless, it is a big problem.
Thank you for listening.

Lucy2610 Mon 02-Jun-14 17:38:42

Hi Endingthecharade I'm relatively new to this lovely group of people also but just wanted to say hi and welcome. There is an online AA and it's called www.intherooms.com/. There is lots of help and support available online smile
Lou

Bigglesfliesundone Mon 02-Jun-14 17:43:20

Oh ending, you sound really scared sad but, you know there is a problem, and, corny as it sounds, that really is the first step.

Yes, I have reached as low a feeling as you do now - I expect all of us on here have felt like you. You have to really want to and it seems that you really do. For me, aa didn't work, what worked was just thinking about how alcohol makes me act (horrible, miserable, angry, nasty) and thinking do I always want to be doing this to my family. Plenty of books around we can all let you know about, and just loads of support here. Stay with us. Hopefully someone else will be along soon too.x

Lucy2610 Mon 02-Jun-14 17:45:10

PS I'm a clinician too.

Endingthecharade Mon 02-Jun-14 18:02:50

Thank you Lou and Biggles, feel better all ready. I really appreciate your messages.
I am 50 in Jan next year and I really need to turn my life around before I ruin everybody else's or make my self ill. I am such a self destructive personality which is so crap as objectively I have a lovely (if fraught and busy work) life. Stupid, stupid,stupid.....and embarrassing (became maudlin and tearful at a dinner party with (albeit) close friends but all the same...I come across as a 'pity me' which I hate and am so unlike that sober.
Thank again for your messages, must do supper...

merce Mon 02-Jun-14 19:09:13

Hi Endingthecharade. Welcome - you are in the right place. Your post was touching and raw. It took me right back.

I am late 40s and identified with almost all of what you said. I hid bottles bloody everywhere. There was a shaming moment when my DD (then 4) came into the kitchen from our laundry room brandishing an empty bottle of white wine asking 'mummy, why is there an empty bottle of wine behind the washing machine?'. Knife in gut moment.

If you've been lurking on the thread for a while you'll know that we are a mish-mash of people with different lengths of sobriety and different techniques. What we all share is a massive problem with alcohol and an inability to drink normally - no matter how hard we try/want to persuade ourselves otherwise.

I did seriously shameful things when I was drinking - but like you appeared to be v. respectable and competent on the outside (held down good job etc). I was totally enslaved to it by the end.

Specifically in response to your questions:

Yes - have got to such a low point (if not lower). Terrified of myself and risk of losing my family.

If you look further up the thread there is a link to loads of excellent (sounding) books. I haven't read them yet, but plan on doing some ordering!

Re. AA, I understand what you say and it's easy for me as I live in a big city, but if you bumped into someone you knew they'd be there for the same reason, right? So you wouldn't be judged. And in my experience anonymity is taken really seriously. I would never have managed to stay sober (2 yrs 4 months so far) without it. I think if you 'white knuckle' it - i.e. feel like you are constantly depriving yourself of something - it's a matter of time until it all goes pear-shaped. I joined AA to stop drinking, but found so much more (way of living, thinking, not getting so het up about small things, less ego-driven etc). All that helps me not pick up a drink so is worth it.

Agree with your experience of counselling. A woman I saw 10 years ago was lovely, but when I said I thought I had an alcohol problem she said she doubted it (little did she know how bad it was going to get).

Telling people: I have been really private. Just don't want to get into it. So 3 friends, my mum and DH. That's it. Everyone else thinks I am being healthy/can't take it anymore/whatever. They may have their suspicions, but haven't 'said it'. Sometimes I think that is weak of me, but it's the way that feels right for now.

This is far too long - sorry! But didn't want to ignore you, and wanted to reply to best of my ability to your Qs.

xx

Endingthecharade Mon 02-Jun-14 19:56:57

Merce, how kind of you to devote all the time it must have taken to write your message to me.

I have the odd child looking over my shoulder at the minute (innocently, I know...) so will come back again tomorrow. I need to have the comfort of knowing I can post completely honestly but really (even though I'm trying to be honest with the children) I don't want them reading any of this. See you tomorrow and thanks again.

merce Mon 02-Jun-14 19:58:58

Am a fast touch typist! x

MistressofPemberley Mon 02-Jun-14 21:23:42

Hello Ending. Glad you're here. When you do have time, do read through all the threads. There is a lot of useful stuff to be taken from the posts. From my point of view, it seems that many of us did not make a big announcement about stopping drinking. I know it felt far too overwhelming for me to say never. However, as time has gone on, I really do feel confident about saying (to myself mainly) that I don't drink. Friends and family are getting used to it too. Any fears I had of people being disparaging or disbelieving are fading fast. In fact, the faith of others now helps me to stick with it. For example my sister just assumes I'll be sober and driving at a wedding in a couple of months time. It is true; actions speak louder than words and 3 months of sobriety have given me and my family confidence. Not that I'm complacent.

Just finished Drunk Mom. Hard-going but very good. Hate the fact that there is a small voice going "you were nowhere near that bad. Did you really have to stop?" hmm

Phone about to die. Hope you're all well this evening.

allhailqueenmab Mon 02-Jun-14 21:41:09

Hello everyone.
Welcome endingthecharade.

I am sitting here with a cup of tea.... the original and best. I do look forward to a cup of tea at home in the dusk.

I hope you are all well.

merce Mon 02-Jun-14 21:51:14

Sitting here with tonic water. God I'm bored of drinking tonic water…. Need to find something else. Hmmm.

LoveSardines Mon 02-Jun-14 22:33:19

Hi all

Not been by in a while and was thinking of you all smile

Still off the drink here, it's been quite a while now, but I'm rubbish at remembering dates so couldn't say how long! I put it in my calendar at work so may try to remember to check tomorrow.

I hope you are all well xx

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Tue 03-Jun-14 01:50:41

Hi all! Mistress and Lemon I'm coming up to 90 days as well (can't remember exactly, but it's around now) so congratulations to us!

Charade I'm glad you've told your DD and your DH - that's a big step in itself. I can't tell you about AA, except that I agree about the anonymity thing - the other people there are the same as you, remember.

Honestly, three months out, the whole stigma and shame thing is almost gone for me. It felt very shameful to be a drinking alcoholic, but I'm perfectly happy to be a sober alcoholic. That doesn't feel shameful. It doesn't mean that some of the things I did weren't shameful, and like MistressP it's the stuff around my DD2's first year especially that I find hard to think about, but being an alcoholic who doesn't drink? Not a big deal. Honestly.

On weightloss - I too put on weight. And then a couple of weeks ago I took the bull by the horns and started calorie counting, and - I said this upthread, I think - it's soooo easy when you're not scheduling in calories for wine. In two weeks I've lost 6lb.

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 03-Jun-14 09:01:22

Good morning lovely people grin

There's a really lovely positive feeling to the thread lately! So good to read. Of course, there are down days, there will be, but there would be more through the haze of hangovers I reckon!!

I seem to be reaching that stage where, actually, I don't even think about drinking very often. It's not in my head when I get home, in the evenings, at the weekends. well occasionally it is, but not in a craving way, more a restless way really.

I am very on my guard at the moment though, I absolutely HAVE to rest my leg for a week, so I can't run at all. It's really depressing, but I have bought myself some new e books and spend the time reading them, which is not exactly active, but keeps my mind off it! It would be easy to drink while doing it, but what would be the point?

I did have a 'fuckit, I'm 50, what's the point,' moment but did the 'film to the end' and decided that it wasn't a fab ending and being 50 is the best reason not to do it!

I am compiling a 'List of what to do now I am officially Middle Aged' and one of the things is rejoin an am dram group. I love acting and did it a lot when I was younger so intend to restart.

That's about the only thing on the list at the moment...but it will get bigger!!

Have a fabulous day all.

merce Tue 03-Jun-14 09:13:00

Am dram group sounds fantastic! Quite right to do things you really love - I think we tend to let our own ambitions/interest take such a back seat when we have children that we almost forget what they are. Not drinking means we can be in a position to give them free rein. Think that is just fabulous. And hope the ebooks take edge off the pain in the arse that is having to rest (as a fellow exercise junkie I do know how hellish it is…).

allhailqueenmab Tue 03-Jun-14 09:25:24

Hi all

Biggles I know the feeling - not that I am a runner so maybe I don't really, but I have always used lots of walking to manage my mood and really struggled when I had spd. I did get some little barbells from Argos though to do some upper body workout stuff and although it is not the same as getting out there, it does feel better than nothing. (weirdly it had a positive effect on the spd too - I thought I was imagining it but when my physio finally came through, among other things, I was given upper body exercises to tone the lats which do help to keep the pelvis in place - sorry v. boring tangent)

thinking of going back to the couch to 5k. I last did it in 2008 and it worked, even on me! not sure when to fit it in - wondering if I could combine it with my commute somehow - but not sure what to wear and I always seem to have so much to carry. Feeling the need for... something new. And so many of you get so much about of running!

sorry to rub it in for those who can't run just now

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 03-Jun-14 09:31:33

C25K is what got me started last year. never ever thought I could do, and now I have a proper grown up running injury!! <proud>

70hours Tue 03-Jun-14 10:59:29

Merce - I drink peach and lyche cordial with diet lemonade - yum yum - Just been swiming and swam 2k - really - feel sooooooo good xxx. Have a good day all x

Bigglesfliesundone Tue 03-Jun-14 12:11:46

Well done you!
I discovered a drink called 'Q' in Tesco the other day, basically fizzy cucumber! Bloody lovely!

merce Tue 03-Jun-14 13:07:45

Those both sound well worth investigating. Thank you! Glad you are feeling so good, 70H. I am just back from yoga so also feeling (vaguely) serene - OOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM

Etah Tue 03-Jun-14 14:40:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allhailqueenmab Tue 03-Jun-14 16:00:12

hi Etah
Glad to hear you are going to AlAnon.
Maybe you should start an AlAnon thread on here too? This thread is not for family of those with a drinking problem.

sorry if that sounds brusque, it's not meant to be but I think the two groups have different interests and requirements

Etah Tue 03-Jun-14 16:19:49

Sorry.
I reported my post.

Endingthecharade Tue 03-Jun-14 19:55:08

Hello all,

Thank you for the messages of welcome.

I'm interested in 'Drunk Mom' Mistress...That's what I am every weekend, did you find it helpful? I would so love to be free of the obsession that alcohol is for me...either how many days have I not drunk (ie 4 usually) or if it's the weekend, when I can have my next.(all day on and off)

Oh god...too many people in the kitchen which is where the computer is. You know when they say 'have the computer in a communal place' to ensure you know where your children are going online? Well, it also means you get no privacy yourself! I have HOS (husband over shoulder) or COS (child over shoulder)! Thought I'd manage 5 mins to myself while 'Mythbusters' is on. Hmmmm.
Ok.. I think they've gone.

I might still investigate AA possibly much further away....those of you who did this...2 questions.
If you are not a believer in God, how did you cope with the God thing that seems to heavily underpin the ethos?
Secondly, those of you with children over 10, were you transparent and honest about where you were going every week?
I am torn as I think being honest and not 'in denial' is a big part of recovery but much as I would like to be open, I still struggle with the concept that I should tell my 12 year old, for instance. I could be open with my 17dd and my 14ds.

My mother drank too much as I was growing up but never talked about it or was open. I have therefore grown up feeling very resentful of her as I feel she regards herself as 'blameless' when in fact I feel she did a lot of harm, my sister who does not have a problem with alcohol will attest to her behaviour as she was growing up too.
I know now, how irritated I am when she rings in the week, (I am sober, but she is slurring her words).
She comes to stay and drinks very small amounts (while I swig at litre bottles of sherry, which is her tipple... I don't normally buy it unless she is here). Very complex dynamics, I feel she almost plays a game with me. (I don't think she feels she does so it isn't something she is aware of), but the feeling of deep resentment persists, so should I be more open with my own children?

What have you all done?

Many congratulations to you all who have persisted with sobriety.

I have to face my 1st sober weekend this weekend. I have to face the mind-numbing boredom of 2 days where all I feel I do is wash clean, plan and cook meals. I know I should plan something. I need to 'play the tape to end' I 'know' it all yet deny everything.

merce Tue 03-Jun-14 21:54:14

Hello again, Ending. Feel for you with the EOS (everyone over shoulder) issue. Take computer into bathroom and lock the door - I have been known to do that!!!

So - on AA… I am a card carrying atheist. So are several of the people who go to my 'home group' (probably why it became my home group). The 'God bit' really really put me off at the start and I got quite hung up on it. I used to share about it in meetings - after all - getting sober (as you quite rightly observed) should be about honesty not faking stuff. In the end, I had some really useful chats with old timers who were non-religious like me. They explained that where it says 'God' you just replace it in your head with Higher Power. That HP can be anything - the point is that there is something more powerful than you and your ego. Can be the love in the room, your family, I know a guy who uses his cat as his HP! Some people do get religious about it, but I am now confident that the way I do it is just fine and not 'half-hearted'. Ultimately it's about dropping the ego a bit and not believing one is God, effectively. It crashes on about a 'God of your understanding' which gives a bit of free license. There is a chapter in The Big Book called 'chapter to the agnostics' which hacked me off no end at the start. Supposed to 'reassure' the likes of me/us, but actually found it deeply patronising. BUT also remember all the literature was written a long time ago in America where God is a given. I am now totally fine about being Godless and proud!

Can't help on the kids thing, but will be interested to see what others say. My oldest is 9. I stopped when he was just 7. He hasn't asked why I don't drink these days. To be honest, I don't think he's noticed. I suspect those conversations are a good way off for me, thank heavens. But only right to be honest when the time comes - partly to warn them about a possible genetic predisposition to it all.

And you might ENJOY a sober weekend, rather than assuming it will be dull and full of chores. Honestly! How about planning to do one thing for yourself that you might like amidst the chores? Even if it's just carving out an hour to read a good book (which you might be able to achieve if not crashing out pissed around 9pm which is how my evenings went).

Another absurdly long one .Sorry! Over and out. Love to all x

theScarfLady Tue 03-Jun-14 21:56:54

Hello all. Well, I've drunk my own bodyweight in water tonight (good) and am half way down a large pack of Revels (less good - but had forgotten how much I love them! Except the coffeeish ones, that is; that lottery of anticipating a yummy toffee one only to get powdery coffee flavour. Ahem, sorry, been a long day).

Mistress, Ending, I've been thinking about Drunk Mom a lot too and re-read bits of it last night. What you said about never being 'as bad as she was' totally resonated with me - in that scary drunkard logic that my head does if left to its own devices 'oh well, she went further than you've ever done, so that must mean you can cut yourself some slack and keep drinking until you get that bad'. It is realising that this is how I think that reinforces how much I need to stop drinking and stay stopped. I've also been thinking about how I don't really warm to the writer, either. Is that an awful thing to say? I kind of feel like I ought to be automatically sympathetic (which I am) and therefore feel a fondness for her (which I'm not sure I do). A lot of it is just writerly quirks and mannerisms (I cringe - quite unreasonably - when she talks about 'the boyfriend' for example). But I'm slightly struggling really to warm to her and that's a bit of a downside when the book is written almost in a novelistic manner. I think maybe I need a more blog-ish type memoir rather than something that feels semi-fictionalised. Not sure if that makes any sense - and I certainly mean no disrespect at all to the writer or what she went through.

Hope everyone is doing well. Yay, a toffee revel - and bed. I am quite content with the lack of excitement in my existence, for now, anyway!

allhailqueenmab Tue 03-Jun-14 22:46:21

Good evening all.

I resisted AA for a long time partly out of wariness of the God stuff. But for me my resistance to God (with or without AA) came partly from a resentment and fear that the way I was brought up in religion was to doubt myself, put myself down, not trust myself, treat myself as worthless. I knew in some way that healing was going to involve honouring myself and attempted to reject all religion as being negative for that project.

I now have a more peaceful if poorly defined relationship with religion. and less anger and resentment about being not valued in my formative years. So that stuff washes over me. I choose not to care that I don't have a properly formalised or formulated religious or spiritual position. and I don't think it is my job to feel I have to solve all that in order to gain any benefits that might accrue to me by going along with it. I guess I have dumped the self-accusation of "hypocrite" as a useless bit of self flagellation.

some people - especially some women - feel that the emphasis on humility in AA is similarly misplaced for some sectors of society. Some of us have to build ourselves up to heal. In honesty of course - not hubris; but a sincere honouring of the self. I feel that this connects to the fear of religion that some have in AA; an instinctive fear of the damage that can be done by being lectured about humility when we are too low already. I think this may be in many cases an outdated fear. I have been to AA meetings which have many women present and a decent emphasis on our own personal value.

What to tell the children? - I have no idea, mine are so little. i think maybe - I don't know? - you could say something vague about treatment, or an evening class? - something about learning to be a better person...? I don't know, as you can tell. Something that is truthful but vague. let them know it is something for you. Seeing friends to work on being happy. I don't know.

Good night everyone, wishing you all good sleep x

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 04-Jun-14 00:51:27

I know what you mean, Scarflady - I love Drunk Mom, but it is highly written, isn't it? Hmmm. For you, I highly recommend Rachel Brownnell, Mummy Doesn't Drink Here Anymore, isn't quite as gripping but it's a good honest practical memoir; she was a single parent of twins, negotiating a new relationship, and she focuses a lot on the actual recovery (going to bed early eating candy; AA; trying to have sex sober; etc) and I found it very useful.

And a hearty well done to all you new sober people! Not that I'm an old hand, or anything, but you won't BELIEVE how much easier it gets. I mean really. Honestly.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 04-Jun-14 00:53:28

Sorry, that's Brownell and 'Mommy' doesn't drink here.

CornChips Wed 04-Jun-14 06:09:47

Hi everyone. Have been reading but not posting. Dropping into say hi. smile White knuckled it yesterday. Have bought the Brownell book- thanks Tortoise for the recommendation.

Hoping to get back to the calm, content zone today!

Lucy2610 Wed 04-Jun-14 08:33:15

Ending Only suggestion I have about telling the children would be to say that you have found out you are allergic to alcohol? Mine are also too young as yet but that would be what I would say when the time comes.

Endingthecharade Wed 04-Jun-14 13:36:43

Hello everyone,

Day off today so have some child-free time on the computer.
Thank you for all your suggestions about AA and God, books to read and what to tell the children.

Lucy I think I have gone past the stage of making an excuse like allergy (in years of age and maturity) They wouldn't believe me, DD is 17, DS is nearly 15, could just about get away with that wth DD12.
I spoke to DH this morning and his feeling was to not be entirely truthful so some of the vague suggestions are useful.

I have found a women's AA some way away, does one just 'turn up' at the allotted time?. Not sure whether only women is better but need some perspective of what alcoholism is like when you are a mother and there may be more liklihood of coming across that in a women's only AA.
I think I will order the Rachel Brownell book.

Have tried to get 'Q' at online tesco, no luck, the drink sounds lovely
.
Merce I think I get the Higher Being' thing just, but allhail what you say makes so much sense...when you feel so low it can be hard to lower yourself further, where the risk is that you are so 'disenfranchised' you have not the wherewhithall to pull yourself up.
However, I have heard so many positive experiences of AA that I can't afford to ignore it.

merce Wed 04-Jun-14 13:52:39

I think that at the start, all the talk of 'humility' sounds like hitting you when you're down. I thought it was pretty much a pejorative term (made me think of people doffing caps etc). But turns out meaning is rather beautiful if that doesn't sound absurd. About being less selfish - rather than being inferior/'less than' - if that makes any sense. Took a while for it all to sink in and find it's place in my head! Frankly the HP stuff still doesn't always make 100% sense to me; I suppose the difference now is that I think/know that 'that is ok'.

And yes - you just pitch up.

I tried to find Q online too (Ocado). Nothing. But really like the sound of it so will keep looking!!!

Hope you are finding your day at home ok and are feeling (vaguely) peaceful?

Bigglesfliesundone Wed 04-Jun-14 14:08:49

Oh no, you MUST find this drink!! here we are I think I left the 'cumber bit off!

Bigglesfliesundone Wed 04-Jun-14 14:19:46

Ignore the utter nonsense about it being an idea mixer for gin and vodka. Poppycock grin

merce Wed 04-Jun-14 14:55:37

Poppycock indeed! Hurrah- thank you!!!

Endingthecharade Wed 04-Jun-14 15:03:20

Thank you Merce I am getting it, I'm sure.
I'll let you know how my first AA meeting goes on Sunday.

Ahh..just found the Qcumber and ordered 2 bottles. Thank you Biggles

I feel all charged up with enthusiasm to 'change', 'take charge' and live a more honest happy life. I wonder when this feeling starts to subside and real life, not just numbed feelings and awful guilt, takes over.
What are people's 'go to' suggestions when resolve is faltering.
CornChips You said you 'white knuckled' it yesterday.That sounds difficult and very brave. How did you manage it?

CornChips Wed 04-Jun-14 16:36:03

Hi- I am going to hunt that drink down too.

Ihad an awful day yesterday. I was pacing the house, heading back and forth to the fridge to get a drink and stopping myself. In the end I worked myself up into a frenzy, then 'displacement ate' a couple of baked potatoes with cheese and sour cream and eventually went to bed.

So, no real methods as such. Today is better though. I was sick to death of myself yesterday though, and am still feeling a bit that way today. grin

Endingthecharade Wed 04-Jun-14 17:50:37

Actually, CornChips that is terribly good. I admire you enormously for not giving in when 'the chips!' were down and you were having a bad day...hard enough when one is having a good day. I drink to make a good day better, a bad day better, a frustrating day, numbed, and in a totally self destructive, WTF, 'I am not a 'good enough'..'.nice enough'.'..worthy enough' person to save. There doesn't have to be an excuse.
Food does help as wine on an empty stomach hits so much sooner, so one can thwart the effect somewhat and also satisfy the craving for comfort, to feel better.
Just think how you would now be feeling...on top of a bad day...having broken resolve. You did not do that....what an achievement!

CornChips Wed 04-Jun-14 18:08:25

Thanks. smile The problem is, I always know the day after a day like yesterday that I feel better, but am more easily thrown off stride...like I white knuckled it, got through and then have no energy to resist any more.

DH is home tonight for an unusual mid week visit home. He has already asked me to put cava in the fridge so I am obsessing about it.

I'm going to have to tell him, aren't I? I talked with my counsellor this week about how I don't want to admit to him just how bad my drinking has become. I said that I could say I want to give up as it plays havoc with my depression- which is perfectly true. She said maybe I just say that to him for now.

I thought the days of feeling strong and euphoric would be how it would be every day. I am so naive.

Endingthecharade Wed 04-Jun-14 18:54:29

Forgive me...I have not read the whole thread....lurked on all the previous three so my grasp of who has just stopped, who is struggling to stop, who's lapsed and who is a 'Long Timer' is poor.

How long have you been stopped CornChips? Because I could not cope at this moment with DH suggesting putting Cava in the fridge.
I have emptied the house of ALL alcohol, including his weak lager and Bailey's which I hate but would slug in desperation
.
I am dreading having to have supper/ Sunday lunch get-togethers here as I will have to offer wine and I just cannot trust myself.

Is your DH understanding? I am actually a little unsure about how 'understanding' my DH is. He just expects 'will-power' or an exercising of 'moderation'. He simply cannot grasp that one gets to a point where one cannot trust oneself with alcohol ever again.

I had to have a completely honest talk with him... and I 'm still not sure. Good luck, it is so hard to admit to someone you love and /or respect that you have failed, that you are flawed, maybe inadequate....all of those things I did on Sunday and it was painful and raw.

I can understand that 'day after' after feeling.....that you have absolutely no resources left.
Thinking of you.

CornChips Wed 04-Jun-14 19:28:30

Hi Ending. I have been on the thread since early March. I think my longest consecutive alcohol-free period is 2 weeks, and then I tend to lapse for 1-2days and back again. I am aiming for complete abstinence and I will achieve it. smile

DH simply does not care that much about alcohol- or any other sort of drug. So he kind of does not really get how it is for me. He is understanding, just a bit baffled. There are a bunch of reasons why I have not really explained things yet to him.... so many of those reasons are really just trivial. And so many other reasons are exactly what you have said above... admitting I have failed him somehow. He has/had me a bit on a pedestal. I am afraid of admitting to him that maybe I am not all that really. Also, I don't want him to change his habits around me because of me. I honestly don't care if he drinks. I don't want to feel like I am ruining anything for him.

I feel like I have spent my entire life trying to be the perfect daughter, friend, wife, mother. It IS a charade. I am not sure how much I have left for me and to give to myself. That is why the earlier discussion we all had about the isolating, time out affects of alcohol really resonated for me. It is like giving msyelf a bleeding rest from it all.

Anyway, I am not drinking today. smile DH will not be back until late anyway, and once I am past my early evening trigger time I don't care much anymore. We may talk tomorrow.

Anyway. Me me me me. It's all about me. grin

sorry Friends. thanks

70hours Wed 04-Jun-14 19:41:22

Corn - you don't have to be perfect - no one is perfect - be kind to yourself - I am in bed hiding from the pull of alcohol -

Bigglesfliesundone Wed 04-Jun-14 19:43:45

I'm 7 months in now and still feel like a beginner. I sometimes can't believe how long it is and yet also feel it's no time at all! I just want to get to a year, as I feel that will mean something (just a personal thing) Also 11 months smoke free.

The 'pink cloud' does sort of fade after a while I guess, but, s everyone knows wink, I replaced my drinking with running! I can't run at the moment because of an injury and am feeling really fed up about it all.

I asked DH again tonight whether he 'missed' me drinking - you know, the times when you get drunk with your partner and it's 'ok' for a bit, good fun even, and he just said the end of the night (film!) always ruined what ever had been good about it. I have to say, the only thing I sort of long for is drunk uninhibited shagging at timesblush. Just every now and then ...

corn it's allowed to be about you! You are the one that matters flowers.

Endingthecharade Wed 04-Jun-14 19:52:24

Blimey CornChips Your post just now could have written by me!

And there was me thinking I was individual and unique!
DH and pedestal in the beginning, for years though, tho' I've really fallen off now...... trying to be the perfect someone to everyone, not letting anyone down, DH baffled (he can have half a can of 3% lager and put the rest back in the fridge.
Not sure whether a catholic education and a father who was a clergyman helped (got to say, my dad was a wonderful person, completely judgement-free, middle of the road, not extreme and really, I believe could have not had ANY negative influence as I was growing up). But my background was always defined by what you can do for other people.
My Mum though,, did drink and still does (sherry).....Alan Bennet...'Talking Heads' anyone? (tho' no affair I'm sure).
Entered caring/medical profession, always giving..giving..giving

This is why I need to explore WHY I drink. Not to justify it, just to understand it.

I will have to very careful not to become too introspective and navel-gazing about all this...I don't think it would be tolerated at home at all.

I will really have to do all this in a very moderate, laissez faire way, even when I inevitably hit a challenging time.

That's why I value here. Corn Chips Don't apologise that it is 'Me, me me, it's all about me'. Your 'me' resonates with my 'me'

Fuckit 4 hours and 10 minutes 'til it's a year sober!. How I wish I could say that.

CornChips Wed 04-Jun-14 19:55:54

Sorry, sounded a bit whiny there. blush

Yes, it is frightening. I get the drunk shagging thing. grin

I guess there is fear too about being alcohol-free. I have been drinking for 20 years. What if I don;t like RL without the fog shielding me?

I am on my second cup of jasmine tea. smile I investigated Couch 2 5 k, Biggles. That is wholly because of you. smile Still considering it....

theScarfLady Wed 04-Jun-14 20:13:55

Evening all. Tortoise, thank you for the Rachel Brownell (sp?) tip - have ordered. Actually I do take back quite a lot of what I said about Drunk Mom - having re-read the end in full last night I did get more gripped and felt less novel-ly about it - but as you say, it is very 'written', isn't it. Its funny - rather than hiding empty bottles at the moment, I am hiding the number of alcohol books/memoirs I am buying, by squirrelling them away in a secret place (or so I think...) on the iPad. Ironic.

Pff, antsy evening here. Day 3 and I am all over the place. Can't concentrate, or rather am concentrating quite well on several things at once (watching tennis and ordering school uniform for Sept (what's that about? true displacement activity!) may be compatible but doing them at the same time as cooking dinner and preparing a work presentation for tomorrow certainly isn't.). Feel all scratchy inside and out, and am glad the kids are in bed and long-suffering DP is out for the evening, so I can concentrate on whirling round the house in an increasingly unproductive flurry, barking at myself rather than at him. But on the upside, I don't feel like I'm going to drink (have really scared myself by reading lots of stuff about liver damage symptoms - no idea why I do this to myself, but it's something I do periodically to steel my nerves). Must calm down! I'm assuming that my current manic rushing around the place probably has some physiological rationale to do with alcohol leaving the system (she says, hopefully). I certainly hope it will have ceased by the time I do my presentation tomorrow, otherwise everyone will feel like we're all on speed or something.

I hope everyone is doing really well. Sorry am not yet good at name checking, but sounds like people are being really positive and determined - fingers crossed for us all.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 05-Jun-14 00:28:31

That's funny, ScarfLady! I'm self conscious about all the memoirs etc as well. I had to order Caroline Knapp's Drinking: A Love Story in paperback, there's no Kindle version, and I feel embarrassed at it being on my shelf!

CornChips, baked potatoes and bed sounds excellent, well done you. As for the husband, you know that I went through this as well. I didn't mention it at all at first, and then a few days in he asked and I just said I was taking a break. We went back and forth on it; 'But, a glass with Sunday dinner, surely?' 'Nope, because then I'll want another glass, and then the next week I'll want a glass or two on Saturdays and Sundays, and then it'll be Fridays as well, and before I know it I'm back to struggling to get an AF day twice a week'. We needed to have the conversation a few times, because he'd accept it and then a few weeks later: 'But what about when we settle on the new house! Aren't we going to have a nice bottle of champagne?". But, just as I started to find it easier and easier to do without, he started to find it easier and easier to not have a drinking companion. For the same reason: we both realised that alcohol wasn't the thing that created the companionship in the first place, and Friday night is just as nice without it.

He does ask every now and then, still, but not 'would you like a drink', more 'how are you finding the not-drinking?'. He drinks a glass of wine with dinner, and about twice a week he'll come home and make himself a G&T or have a second glass in the evening, and that's it. So he's drinking less as well now that he's not keeping up with me. And thank Christ for that, because frankly we'd be financially underwater if we were still spending on alcohol like we were.

skippy84 Thu 05-Jun-14 09:24:25

Hi everyone, not posting at the moment much but have been reading. 1 month for me today. Feeling proud, think this is the longest in about 15 years, even when pregnant I drank a glass or two every week.

Mintyy Thu 05-Jun-14 09:37:49

Sorry if its disconcerting for everyone to have all these lurkers popping out of the woodwork but I am another one and just wondered if it was ok to add something?

I just wanted to say that it helps enormously if you can accept that it will be difficult some days and sometimes you might be truly obsessed with thoughts of alcohol. Instead of thinking "Oh I'm no good at this, I can't do it because I can't just serenely get on with my flower arranging or other displacement activity, I am a failure at giving up alcohol, its got a terrible grip on me, I am a hopeless case ... etc" - just try and accept the difficulty of it as a matter of fact and do whatever it takes not to drink including stuffing yourself with baked potatoes and going to bed!! grin.

Because it really doesn't matter if you found your sober day difficult or a breeze - you still had a sober day and that is the goal. No matter how you got there.

I hope it is ok for me to say this. I feel like a participant on these threads because I read them all, even though none of you know me!

Onwards ever onwards all flowers.

merce Thu 05-Jun-14 09:40:46

Well done Skippy! Congratulations.

Was thinking about what to tell your teenage children, Ending, and actually think what Cornchips said about the link with depression is useful. I have decided that if I am really pushed by friends about why I am not drinking (hasn't happened yet, but am bracing myself) then I will say that I have found that alcohol makes me depressed. It IS a depressant, after all, and anyway is true - as getting pissed results in hideous consequences which DO make me profoundly depressed. Wonder if that might be the reason you could give your teenage DCs?

I am feeling bad today as my AA sponsee has had a relapse. Realise I need to not make it all about me, but equally wonder if there was something more I could have done to help. Self-flagelation moment….

merce Thu 05-Jun-14 09:43:10

Hi Mintyy. Yes, I rather agree with that. Think key is not to expect things to be black and white. Fixed or not fixed. Sadly, the reality of life is that it has more grey shade. I like the bit in AA when they go on about 'progress not perfection'. Makes sense to me. If we expect ourselves to be 100% serene in our sobriety all the time then we are setting ourselves up for a mighty fall.

Right - MUST do some work….

Mintyy Thu 05-Jun-14 10:08:57

Yes, people feel a failure if they find it hard. But you are not failing, you are winning (and it gets easier, much easier).

Fontella Thu 05-Jun-14 10:25:23

I'm into my sixth month and still have to pinch myself that I've actually done this. From wine being an integral part of my life - drinking at home, alone at least two or three times a week (and I was one of those who could never stop at a glass or two, it was always the bottle, and then sometimes making a big dent in another!). So maybe three/four days out of seven I'd have a 'hangover' of some description.

I now haven't touched a drop since 31st December 2013. It was intended just as a dry January after the excesses of Christmas/New Year, but I've just kept going.

I think occasionally about drinking, had one Saturday a while back when I was really, really tempted for some obscure reason (but didn't cave) and now I don't even think about it.

I live an alcohol free life after drinking for decades.

Hate using cliches but 'if I can do it anyone can' so please hang on in there all of you who are trying (and slipping up, as I did many times).

Endingthecharade Thu 05-Jun-14 15:29:58

Yes, Merce Cornchips made a good point. I think I can adopt that with friends too, also...'As I get older, alcohol has a more and more negative effect on me, whether physical or emotional'

I still don't know what to say about my trips to AA. We have my MIL to supper every Sunday and the meeting is at 7;30 about 40 minutes away.
I just cannot tell her where I am going; I can't afford that. If I said I was going to, say Pilates for instance, she would think I was being selfish and abandoning my family supper. And she would say so.
Am thinking that 'Sunday supper' could become 'Sunday lunch', she would then be out of my hair by the evening. I feel guilty at re-arranging the whole family to fit around me but then think. 'Sod it...this is my life and health at stake'.

I find, so often, that men find it so much easier to do the things they need/want to do as often the mother is always there to look after the children and keep everything going. Now it's my turn but as someone else pointed out up thread, I must make sure it's not 'all about me'. What a dichotomy! But I really am anxious about upsetting the equilibrium in case I am criticised for it, (as if I didn't upset the equilibrium when I was behaving aggressively, drunk and irrational....the irony). As you can prob tell we come from a pretty 'traditional' family dynamic.
Fontella a great achievement, well done...I wish it was me
Mintyy A very good point articulately and eloquently expressed. Thank you

Endingthecharade Thu 05-Jun-14 15:35:56

Sorry, meant to add congrats to Skippy and say the same about the memoirs that Tortoise was empathising about, which I am waiting to arrive. I had a quick and rather amusing glimpse in my mind's eye at all the memoirs queued up my shelf and what people might think if I displayed them with impunity.
We did houseswaps for years, done over 20 and it is very telling what people's reading material is, one makes lots of assumptions.....

Lucy2610 Thu 05-Jun-14 17:05:50

Ending no worries if an alcohol allergy reason doesn't work for you with your family. As for me I'm 8 1/2 months without booze now. DH & I gave up together as he was as problematic a drinker as I was so in some ways that has made it easier. If one of us drank though - all bets would be off I suspect! I spent the last 5 years trying to moderate my way out of admitting I needed to completely stop but I was fighting a losing battle and getting pissed at myself for limiting myself (go figure!) Both of us suffered from depression on and off that has now miraculously disappeared.
I have a large (hidden and growing) collection of books about addiction, sober living, codependence, children of alcoholics - see?!
Your suggestion about moving Sunday supper to lunch sounds like a good one and I coped in the early days by shaking up my routine so that the drinking trigger times were minimised. And if all else failed I replaced the sugar from booze with cake and chocolate. I didn't worry too much as two chocolate bars still didn't equal the number of calories in the booze I'd been quaffing on a daily basis.

Endingthecharade Thu 05-Jun-14 17:53:19

That's amazing Lucy....8+ months!.
In some ways it must be nice to try something challenging together. I feel very much alone with this and have done the same thing as you in trying to moderate and not wanting to admit I need to give up altogether.

It very much has crept up over a period of time...the dysfunctional drinking, I mean...I have always drunk to get drunk, but 'hair of the dog'....working out when I can have my next/first drink and being so out of control...that has got so much worse over the last 3/4 years I guess.
Looking forward to the first of my memoirs coming tomorrow. Am facing my first Friday sober tomorrow. Who mentioned..upthread about missing the good bits of alcohol? DH and I love Friday evenings, 2+bottles of wine, listening to music in the kitchen. Problem is...I will have already started at about 4pm and then Sat and Sundays are write/offs for me. Then I'm back to 'no drinking in the week but feeling increasingly sick and sweaty for longer each week, until it's almost Wed/Thur before I feel better. Really bad! Must get supper ready. Have a good evening.

Lucy2610 Thu 05-Jun-14 18:09:35

Thanks Ending smile

Our dysfunctional drinking took time to build a head of steam too and I would have had to stop even if he hadn't tbh.

We both still get that 'Friday feeling' too but it diminishes with time and you just find new ways to celebrate the end of the week - which for us usually involves some kind of food treat these days!

How would I spend my ideal Friday night now? Nice dinner with nice pudding, sparkling elderflower cordial, deep bath with lots of bubbles and candles, herbal tea and early to bed to read my latest alcohol related book knowing that I will wake up without a hangover.

You have a good evening too.

CornChips Thu 05-Jun-14 18:32:03

Hi all,

So many great posts and thoughts here. A good day for me today. Just wanted to chime in- my alcohol books are hidden too.... in my wardrobe. smile

Have to feed animals, do the bedtime routine, then will read back through thread. Thanks everyone for holding my hand yesterday. I am 'back' and strong today.

Have a great evening.

CornChips Thu 05-Jun-14 20:00:01

Hello again.

Hope everyone is having a good evening.

Scarflady how was your presentation today?

TortoiseI think my DH is also drinking less now that I am as well. He certainly was more or less keeping up with me. When I was drinking, he would have a beer then half a bottle of red wine then maybe a scotch. (Need I say, I would have a beer, then a glass of wine in the kitchen while cooking, then a half bottle of wine for dinner, then finish off the other half secretly in the kitchen while 'cleaning up' then a scotch). Now DH, if he drinks, will have maybe 1 beer and 1 glass of wine. I had not realised really he had cut right down. The way he is, I am not sure he has even noticed.

Mintyy [waves] nice to have you drop in. smile Please stay!

On what to tell friends etc.... I remembered today that years ago I met a man who did not drink. Very occasionally he was asked why not and he just said 'Oh, I decided it doesn't agree with me'. I think that is a good answer. It certainly does not agree with me, no matter how agreeable I find the first drink.

lucy I also spent years trying to moderate. I would write my 'rules' for the day every day. Only 3 glasses of wine today. Alternate days on with days off. God, it was all so exhausting.

Feeling good today. When the trigger time came I took myself off to Argos to buy a bookshelf. I thought I would spend the evening sipping herbal tea and putting it together. But it turns out it has 6 different types of screws and three different screwdrivers and I can't be arsed.

So a bit of MNetting then bed.

Hope everyone is well. smile

theScarfLady Thu 05-Jun-14 20:25:16

Thanks, CornChips - so nice of you to remember my presentation. Yes, it went fine, thanks - and I certainly noticed the difference being clear headed (and I suspect much more articulate as a result). I have spent years and years doing this kind of thing without exactly having a hangover as such, but definitely with a grey and foggy head, without even noticing it it was so common.

Ending, I totally echo what you say about dysfunctional drinking creeping up over time, working out the next/first drink thing (and I really hope you can sort the MIL thing - remember, 'sod it' as you say, is a good mantra!). Its only been 4 days AF for me thus far but I seem to have an awful lot more headspace now it is not cluttered up with all those mental gyrations and self-justications/bartering with myself around alcohol. Still, I'm not going to get over-confident - the weekend's going to be tricky as we are away with good drinking pals and it'll be interesting...but I am feeling as strong as I can be, anyway, and certainly a lot less scratchy than yesterday.

Hope everyone is doing well.

guggenheim Fri 06-Jun-14 08:35:43

Morning,
Just checking in to say how well I feel since I stopped drinking. I hadn't got back to crazy levels this time and I have no desire to experience that again. I'm feeling much more positive mentally and grateful for the things I have.
I need to stay sober and keeping going to my meeting.x

Fontella Fri 06-Jun-14 09:12:43

Hey all,

I've decided I'm going to make some dietary changes as of today. Since I packed in drinking, I started to lose a little weight, nothing, drastic but just a slow steady slimming down, mainly on my tummy and I was really chuffed as I've always had a bit of a Buddha belly going on!

However, last couple of months I've started to get very greedy foodwise. I seem to be eating a hell of a lot, and a lot more carbs as well, mainly bread and stodge, even cake (developed a massive sweet tooth since I packed up the wine, which I know is well documented amongst those who give up booze).

So my initial weight loss has started to reverse itself and I am definitely pudging back up again. Clothes getting tighter, face looking fatter and feeling horribly bloated.

I thought about it a lot yesterday and decided I'm not going to replace one 'addiction' with another. Having packed up both smoking and drinking in the last three years and begun exercising and going to regular yoga classes, I could be in the shape of my life, but I need to sort out the diet. I don't feel great either, or not as good as I feel I could, given my cleaner lifestyle. I don't have a lot of energy and seem to want to sleep a lot and I know the fact that I'm eating all this crap really isn't helping.

So I am going to try and cut out as much of the stodge as I can, especially all the huge amounts of bread, pasta, cereals and cake. I'm going to try it for the rest of June and see how I get on - see if I feel any better, less sluggish and hopefully less bloated.

Fontella
x

allhailqueenmab Fri 06-Jun-14 10:25:16

hi all

Sorry to barge in with a me-me-me post but I am feeling really crappy after lapsing last night. Seriously hungover today and loathing myself. It's a beautiful day and it's ruined because I am so stupid.

I have to get back to AA I think.

theScarfLady Fri 06-Jun-14 10:38:47

Good luck fontella - that sounds so sensible and I really ought not to be far behind you! I am only on day 5 af so I think I am going to let myself do what I like food-wise for a couple of weeks, silly to put too much pressure on at once (my body won't know what's hit it!) but I can absolutely see that what you are doing makes sense thereafter, before I get too used to all the yummy carbs and chocolate (what's with that? I NEVER used to eat chocolate - well, hardly ever smile). Let me know how you get on!

Woke up with stinking headache today. Grr. Feel hungover after 4 days without alcohol - that seems most unfair. Assume something to do with toxin departure? Hope so..

Enjoy the sunshine, everyone xx

SlippedDisco Fri 06-Jun-14 10:59:21

Morning all smile

Thanks for your words of encouragement the other day, I'm back on track after my blip and have no cravings whatsoever. So whilst it a pretty grim time for me, I've dusted myself off got back to living my life the way I really want to. My sleep has been awful and the first few nights I was waking drenched in sweat but I knew it was just the process of ridding my body of poison and stuck in there. Think I'm day 5 today, but not really counting as I'm more in the mindset of "I'm not a drinker" which is helping me move on from my lapse.

queenmab I hear ya, it's awful, I was where you were on Monday but honestly, be kind to yourself as much as possible and as happened with me, I have soon pushed forward as best I can. Yeah I fucked up but no one died and I've managed to remain positive and not be dragged down by a moment's madness (OK well more of a week long madness blush grin). Chin up lovely x

Waves to all smile

Fontella Fri 06-Jun-14 11:01:20

allhailqueenmab
Of course it's ok to be me-me-me. Who else are you going to talk about? That's what the thread is about, shared experiences. I know that feeling so well .... we've all been where you are this morning, so don't be too hard on yourself. Just drink as much water as you can, nurse yourself through the day and resolve to keep on trying.

Scarflady - I went through the no alcohol hangover phase in the first few weeks after I packed up. Most bizarre. Woke up with some humdinger headaches, dry mouth - all the usual hangover symptoms but without the drinking the night before. It does pass though I'm pleased to report.

Most noticeable early symptom for me was extreme tiredness. Never known anything like it - I'd sleep like a top all night, but by mid afternoon next day I'd be exhausted again and really struggling to stay awake, and as soon as I sat down in the evening to watch a bit of telly I'd be asleep in five minutes. That went on for weeks and although it has mainly passed now, I am still prone to nodding off in the chair much more than I used to be. I've read here and elsewhere that extreme tiredness in the first weeks and months after packing up booze is also pretty common.

allhailqueenmab Fri 06-Jun-14 12:01:31

Thanks Fontella.

We had a work dinner last night and I knew people were gathering beforehand in the pub. I had a late call as immediate cover for staying in the office, and deliberately did not rush to join everyone when it finished, with no desire to stand about in a pub, and thinking I could rock up just as everyone was leaving the pub to go to dinner. I had no problems with the idea of sitting in a nice restaurant, comfortably having a nice AF dinner.

but the table was booked one hour later than the time on the invitation, so when I got to the pub I was locked into an hour longer than I thought before dinner, and I hate standing up outside being smoked at and people were offering me drinks and I thought fuck it and had a glass of wine so as to bear the whole standing around outside a pub bit. Fuck fuck fuck. so then I was drinking all night and on the train home and now I am fucking pissed off and feel rotten.

In the restaurant, one of the people was talking about planning a work summer picnic with rounders, etc. i said "great idea but what shall we have as a back up plan if it rains?" he said "oh we can all just go to the pub" and I said "maybe some indoor games instead of rounders, something like bowling or even board games or something" and he said "Why? just being in the pub is fine" and I said "what if someone doesn't drink? then just being in the pub can be pretty boring" and he looked at me as if I was mad. Bear in mind that at the time I was glugging down wine and definitely did not look like a person who doesn't drink.

guggenheim Fri 06-Jun-14 15:26:01

Hi allhailqueenmab
I agree with Fontella's wise words,another few days af and you won't worry about a one off slip. It was a tricky situation which you'd done your best to reduce temptation etc. Is there anything you could do differently next time ? Standing round in the pub or at weddings has got to be a big test of anyones sobriety.
Why do all british social events centre around drinking????? Other cultures manage to have a nice time without 15 flipping units of booze down their necks??? mad.

Endingthecharade Fri 06-Jun-14 16:54:42

Hi all,
Good to catch up with you all. So glad you are feeling stronger CornChips Thanks for Friday night tips Lucy I have been to the shop after work to get the usual things, (chocolate is allowed on Fri/Sat nights for the children along with crisps to go with a film...) Usually I also buy 2 bottle of wine and will have started by now. Instead I ordered a new makeup 'stippling brush and am watching a 'tutorial' on how to apply foundation for a flawless maturing skin!
Allhail Don't beat yourself up...it adds to the vicious cycle of 'I;m a failure', I feel we women do that enough. I certainly do. Don't 'loathe' yourself. Failure is part of life but it is how one deals with it that is important..accept it happened, transcend the physical symptoms and move on up. God, how I wish I could take my own advice. But I'm thinking of you.
Scarflady Really hope this weekend goes OK. I think we are at similar stages are we not? I have go tto the stage where I dread social occasions because either I resent not being able to drink and feel boring or I drink too much and get maudlin and tearful, prob fall down, wake up with some inexpliquable bruises and feel godawful,physically and emotionally. Think how lovely you'll feel on Sat'Sun morning...there I go again. '.Physican heal thyself', or at least listen to ylourself and take heed.
Fontanella Good luck with the healthy eating, am trying my best to keep sensible too, bearing in mind the sugar/carb association with giving up ethanol.
Have received and am half way through 'Mommy doesn't drink here Anymore'. Was really grumpy with DH last night as it arrived at 9pm and required a signature. We do have separate Amazon names but I'd ordered it on his name so he opened it and said, 'I think this must be for you'. I querulously asked him why he's opened it and he pointed out it DID have his name on it. But I was still grumpy...just goes to show how we all like to hide the symptoms of our 'grubby' little secret, even with our loved ones.
Have a good weekend, all, may not have the oppotunity to post over the weekend so see you on Monday.

Endingthecharade Fri 06-Jun-14 16:55:37

Oh God, I meant Fontella, NOT 'Fontanella'!

merce Fri 06-Jun-14 17:39:20

Yes, Allhail, hope you are feeling slightly less wretched. I agree that standing about in a pub/at a drinks party/wedding = incredibly tough at the beginning. My view is that it's best to try to just avoid those situations as much as possible for as long as necessary. Why do it to yourself? Realise you got slightly trapped there, but just in general I think in early sobriety there is no point in forcing yourself to endure an evening like that. Over time it gets less awful. I went to a wedding 2 weeks in and had to leave after the dinner - just couldn't' take any more effing toasts and weird looks. Since then have been to a wedding which I really enjoyed and have another this summer that I am looking forward to. Be kind to yourself where possible; it's a MASSIVE change we are all making.

xxx

theScarfLady Fri 06-Jun-14 17:48:14

Hi All.

Its me, with my self-indulgent (sorry) daily early evening post. I do find it really helpful to post around this time, when wine o'clock really starts to kick in. And it certainly is kicking in on my first AF friday in - ooh, years, and years. Though I still have my af hangover from this morning pulsing away, so perhaps that will dissuade me from thinking about wine too much - I still feel grumpy to have those symptoms when I'm being so virtuous but am v grateful to you Fontella for reassuring me its normal - and the tiredness too! I feel permanently shattered at the moment.

Ending - fingers crossed for us both this weekend! Will check in to see how you're doing! Love your stippling brush and DH amazon story. To my shame today DP mentioned - just in passing - that it was nice not seeing me drink out of the kids' plastic cup any more! I didn't say anything but was mortified - for months I've been using one of their navy blue cups for any afternoon/sneaky drinking (on the stupid pretence that perhaps it masked the colour of the wine ..). Amazing what you can persuade yourself is normal and won't be noticed! Apparently the fact that I got steadily more pissed was the giveaway. Duh. Its only been five days and I know I could lose focus at any point, but I feel a long way away from that kind of thinking/behaviour right now, and oddly as though that was almost a different person's reasoning. What's odd is that DP never said anything at all, ever, about my drinking. Given that he clearly knew something if not the full story, I find that strange. Mind you, I never said anything to him either - I suspect in a funny sort of way we were trying to protect one another, or (in my case at least) not accept it was 'real' by acknowledging it openly.

CornChips hope you're still feeling chipper today (see what I did there ?!). QueenMab hope your day has got better and please don't beat yourself up over something we've all done and will (probably, but I hope not) do again. I hope you can enjoy the weekend and feel better soon.

Enjoy the sun!

CornChips Fri 06-Jun-14 18:18:50

Hello everyone. Hi ScarfLady I am indeed chipper. smile It is trigger time for me too right now, and I have displacement-eaten a bread and butter sandwich, a salmon fillet (my dinner) 2 leftover sausages (DS's dinner) and some ice cream. I am not even going to log that into my WW app, but I am not drinking. smile

QueenMab sorry to hear of your lapse - your frustration was so palpable. thanks But yes, that was a real tough situation. I went to a party a few days in my first time and everyone was drunk and I thought I really needed a drink to stop everyone else being so bloody boring. I feel like I am back at the beginning though after my latest slip- am crushingly tired. Sugar cravings all over the place.

Scarf good luck this weekend and going away with your friends. smile

I was/am a classic hider too..... filling white wine bottles up with water.... over Christmas I hid a couple of bottles in my wardrobe (where the no drinking books are now!) so I could top up just to get through it all. Drinking out of sippy cups. Yep. My closest friend growing up had an alcoholic mother- she used to drink whiskey out of coffee cups while she drove us around to various girl guide events. What amazes me now is that my parents knew this.

I had the Friday night wibbles too. I had all the usual thoughts going through my head 'you don't really have a problem... no-one would blame you for having a glass of wine on a Friday night' i had it all occupying my headspace. Then when I went to pick up DS from school he was sitting looking a little anxious, and when he saw me his whole face lit up. I nearly cried. I just have to do this for him as much as for me.I could not bear for him to have an emotionally absent alcoholic mother. My mother has a whole range of issues that she really did not get sorted out until I was in my my 30s. I would hate for DS to feel about me the way I feel about my DM. Resentful, guilty, angry.

The evening plan - Jasmine tea. A hot shower. A face mask. Bed.

Hope everyone is fine and has a great evening. smile

theScarfLady Fri 06-Jun-14 18:28:35

CornChips - love, love, love that para about your DS. Made me a bit weepy for some reason (my emotions are all over the place) but you are SO right. If I can't do this for my girls and for our relationship then I really am no kind of mother at all. Enjoy your relaxing evening - bet I'm asleep before you (though we are currently at a critical juncture in Breaking Bad so may push the boat out and watch two episodes back to back - exciting stuff smile. It is a novelty, though, being able to remember what happened from one episode to the next). Sleep well.

MistressofPemberley Sun 08-Jun-14 06:53:03

Hi all,

Hope you're enjoying the lovely weather.

All this talk of weddings has got me nervous. We have one in July. Now I've been to weddings and stayed sober in the past, as I've mentioned in earlier posts, but this one is going to be tough. I just know it's going to be so boozy, loads of time waiting around after ceremony but before wedding breakfast where the champagne will be flowing. It gets a bit boring in my experience. No DC allowed either so I won't have them as a distraction.

Argh, baby DD on the loose and after my phone. Posting before she eats this post.

CornChips Sun 08-Jun-14 07:45:20

Morning all.

Hope you are all enjoying the lovely lovely day.

Hoping for a bit of advice, friends. I have a tough situation coming up tonight. My closest friend- who is the kindest, most lovely person has been rather horribly and callously dumped by her BF, who is busy parading his new flame in our rather small village. She is utterly devastated, and yesterday rang and said she was wanting to come around tonight for chinese, a dvd and a bottle of wine and cry on my shoulder. I don't want to tell her I am not drinking (we often 'stopped for Lent' together) because I don;t want to make it all about me, but also if i obviously don;t drink, then I feel she will not feel comfortable to just relax, and let go. We have seen each other lots the past few months, but always I have been driving, or it has been during the day so the not-drinking issue has not come up.

Any tips? My current idea is that I keep the wine in my fridge and make sure that I am pouring her a glass then pouring me apple juice. Then just drinking a bit more slowly. I know that probably sounds silly, and I should just tell her, but I am feeling awkward and it might make it awkward.

I am probably overthinkingit- would not be the first time! Any thoughts/ideas/tips?

Otherwise, I have a glorious day in the garden planned, and a trip to a stately home which is holding a summer fete.

Endingthecharade Sun 08-Jun-14 08:31:45

That's very hard CornChips and whilst I understand the dilemma, I really think that you should have you at the front of your mind in this situation. You would not have drunk tonight if it weren't for this situation cropping up and you must not let it get in the way of your resolve. Too many times we put other people first, to our detriment.
Now, I'm not saying don't see her; she obviously needs you and values your support and friendship. But what she needs tonight is love, support and friendship, not a drinking pal...and you can do all of that and keep your resolve...don't abdicate your needs for other people's, that's how a lot of us got here in the first place.
How to manage it?
If it were me, I would write down the promise that I won't drink tonight so that it is 'in hard copy' so to speak. Go out today to lovely stately home and buy some really lovely non alcoholic drink and chiil it. I would also fill up on food beforehand (chinese or no chinese) just to offset the empty hole needing to be satisfied.
She will love you all the same and you will wake up tomorrow feeling so much better.
I wish you so well and will be thinking of you. We too are going to a NT property, it's such a lovely day.
We had a lovely evening last night at Wagamam's celebrating end of AS exams for DD17 but I had the rawest of days yesterday and spent most of it feeling fragile, bruised and a bit (pity me) misunderstood. I will post more tomorrow.

Endingthecharade Sun 08-Jun-14 08:35:34

I meant to say...Remember, your worth lies not in your ability to drink with someone else but in your loveliness as a friend.