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Starting to think about giving up the booze

(14 Posts)
Prochaska Fri 03-Feb-17 10:12:52

Deep breath.

I stumbled upon the soberistas webchat and something has clicked for me... but I'm kind of nervous.

I know I'm sick of hangovers. In fact I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

My eyes are always bloodshot. I never have any energy, and haven't for years. I'm overweight. I'm anxious, sometimes depressed.

I'm so overwhelmed by things that need doing to run our home, and I'm putting jobs off thinking, I'll do that when I get a non-hangover day, but that never comes.

I'm losing weekends to hangovers, and that's shit for my kids.

Last week I lost actual stuff - keys, bag, purse and in my head I'm not the person that does that. Other people get drunk and lose stuff but I don't. But I did. Ugh.

I put last week's units into an app and I'm shocked to see it was 80plus. Horrific. That was with two big celebrations but could also just have easily been an ordinary week where we go for boozy lunches and carry on.

I don't want to feel like this any more.


I'm dreading my DH's reaction. He's going to take it personally. That I won't be his drinking buddy. That we won't get pissed together, have a cuddle and watch Netflix. He'll say, 'but you need it in social situations. You hate being sober on a night out.' I'm worried he'll think I'm boring. He thinks our booze in take is fine because lots of our friends drink more and get in worse states.

I'm worried my friends will think I'm rejecting them. That I'll be flat and tense on nights out.

I don't want to drink this weekend, but we have a night out in honour of a friend. It will be so obvious if I don't drink, people will ask if I'm pregnant or something. I'll be embarrassed. I'm socially anxious and without a loosener I freeze a bit. I need to find other ways of dealing with my anxiety, because I'm killing my self in a bid to numb myself.

Agh. Any advice please? From anyone who is at, or has been at, this first stage of thinking about it?

operaha Sat 04-Feb-17 08:30:34

Hi. I'm still drinking but a bit further on in my thinking. I did 3 nights without this week, sounds pathetic but i was really pleased. I'm thinking i need to quit completely but I'm not there yet. I'm listening to an audio book by Craig beck. I'm not finished it yet but it's really got me thinking. Its quite brutal. I listen when I'm walking the dog each morning so no one knows I'm doing it. I cried after one bit he talked about.
He makes sense and I'm hoping to be alcohol free before too long, not to see it as a negative thing but a positive. I'm going to a party tonight. I know I'll drink but i won't stay late. The way i see it is i know there's a few people who like cocaine going. Im not going to take cocaine to enjoy the party ever... that's the way i need to view alcohol too!! Good luck... keep posting...

Prochaska Sat 04-Feb-17 12:12:26

Hi operha, thanks for replying.

I've done five days and it was easy. Last night was my first Friday night at home without wine in years, and it was nice. DH had a few, but not nearly as much as we usually would.

I feel fresh this morning, and I have energy to do stuff with the kids.

So tonight I'm also at a party and wondering how to play it... I'd like to not drink but can't face the questions. Even from DH.

Or should I just avoid the wine? I never want more than a couple of lagers as I get so bloated. I guess that tactic looks a bit naive to people further down the AF road, but maybe it's a stage everyone goes through?

Operaha, do you believe yourself when you say you won't stay late? I wonder if I'm kidding myself to think I can reign it in but still drink.

operaha Sun 05-Feb-17 09:44:02

Hi yes i can and do stick to not staying late. We left at 10.20 and had said 10. Dh wanted to stay later but i stuck to my guns.
There was a time I'd have had to be put in a cab home, so it's am improvement of sorts to walk the mile home tipsy. Bit of exercise and i can remember the whole night but still had a great time 😀

Prochaska Mon 06-Feb-17 13:57:12

Good on you operaha! Is your DH OK with cutting the night short?

Of course I had a drink, though I felt cautious about each one. However, I was looking at the evening totally unable to imagine not drinking there. I just wouldn't have enjoyed it.

I tried to chat to a couple of friends about the idea of going AF but they were dismissive. They don't think I have a problem (I don't compared to others), and that maybe I should just go longer between drinking nights instead of drinking four nights a week (more if there's good excuses).

I found myself being slightly repulsed by the stories about how wankered people got last weekend. What a state they were in the next day etc. Ugh.

Usually we would have had a drink through our hangover yesterday, but I was firm that I wasn't going to do that.

Even if I'm not ready to go completely AF, I feel like my head is in the right place to massively cut down.

operaha Mon 06-Feb-17 19:16:31

I know to non problem drinkers we sound like we're making excuses but it sounds like you're really thinking things through which can only be positive.
I literally hate the idea of getting "wasted" now and also cringe when people cant remember the night before etc i can hands on heart say that's a stage i can't go back to, I'm not 100% over it but no black outs etc. It does mean I'm the first to go home at night but I'm OK with that.
My dh is really sweet and i kinda wear the trousers if you get me... I'd leave him at a night out and go home myself but he'd just follow!!! Occasionally I'll put my foot down and tell him to stay out bit most of the time he will stick with me!

CheckpointCharlie2 Mon 06-Feb-17 19:23:23

DH and I am similar to you (don't drink as much but in a similar habit) and we have just started buying less deliberately and we have removed one drink from our normal habit in the pub (normally have two pints, now only 1 a half) and I feel more in control and much better in the mornings.
We haven't been out recently so don't know how that will work!

SloeGinRocks Fri 07-Jul-17 14:54:30

Wondering how you two are doing? Did you go AF or still just cutting down? Am seriously feeling like I ought to..hmm

SloeGinRocks Fri 07-Jul-17 14:55:10

(Guess I should prob nc too!)

justpoppingby Fri 07-Jul-17 16:12:32

Well done Op and anyone taking the first steps, I can't offer any mutual advice except to say a friend of mine in similar situation was worried about what people would think if she wasn't drinking so I suggested she said she was doing dry 'insert month', it worked as nobody batted an eyelid or thought anything of it at all.

cheeseandbiscuitsplease Sun 14-Jan-18 21:23:54

Just give it up! People soon get used to it. Don't make a big deal out it on nights out. I stopped drinking last year, never drank much to be honest but when I did go out I always got hammered. This led to anxiety which would then spoil the point of a night out! I just packed in. Drank fever tree tonic instead of gin and tonic. After a few drinks nobody batted an eyelid. Once they've had a few they forget you're not drinking, tonic with a slice of lemon wink

INeedToEat Sun 14-Jan-18 22:11:04

I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember (medicated) but self medicated with alcohol. Gave up drinking 4 months ago and the anxiety has disappeared. I've never felt so good. I was a big drinker.

I drink non alcoholic beer when I'm out, most people don't even notice.

Mrscaindingle Thu 18-Jan-18 10:02:55

Ive also self medicated my anxiety with booze and have been trying to moderate for a long time and realised that the past 2 years at least I haven't been able to reduce my intake for any meaningful period.

I read Jason Vales How to kick the drink easily and am day 21 AF which I don't think I've done since I was last pregnant 14 years ago. It was easy at first but I hit a wall two nights ago and have been struggling a bit. But went to my book club last night and enjoyed it just as much as I normally do, more so perhaps as in the past when I've not been drinking I've been eyeing up other people's glass of wine. Not last night as it was just not an option I barely gave it a thought.
There's lots of books and on line support op I would start there for some motivation, difficult if you don't have a partner on board but not impossible.

CatherineCawood Wed 21-Feb-18 16:11:59

I could have written the OP. i see it was written a year ago though, are you still around OP? I posted on the dry thread a few days ago but seem to have managed to kill it!!

This is what i wrote:

I'm on day 13 AF today. I decided after a particularly heavy Saturday night 2 weeks ago today that enough was enough. Had the horrors big time on the Sunday, was supposed to run 14km at 8am but that didn't happen. I actually went out and did it after lunchtime but it was hard! Currently training for a half marathon. Also, I've recently had a breast cancer scare, I have bad family history and I know that the link between BC and alcohol is v strong so it's another box ticked in the list of reasons to give up.

I don't think/consider myself an alcoholic but maybe I'm kidding myself. I probably drank 4 maybe 5 nights a week, sometimes only 1 or 2 vodka and diet coke sometimes a whole bottle of wine, sometimes both. The last evening of drinking I drank about 8 shots of vodka and half a bottle of prosecco. I threw the rest away in disgust the morning after.

I really think that as a nation our attitiude and ideas about alcohol have changed so much in the last 20 years or so. I don't remember my parents drinking at home unless they had dinner guests. They never drank alone and rarely went to the pub, we used to go maybe once or twice a year on holiday. It is so normal now to drink daily, so accepted.

I saw a natropath a few years ago and we were talking about alcohol. He made a comment that has stayed with me ever since. He said, that if he had come home from school on a Monday and his Mum had opened a bottle of wine they would be pretty much calling her an alcoholic or carting her off in a straight jacket! It's true, 40 years ago it would have been so socially unacceptable to do this, now its pretty much the norm.

I've just finished Mrs D is going Without, today I've started The Sober Diaries.

I had a copy of the Jason Vale book but I leant it to someone and they never returned it. I might buy it again as it was pretty good, easy reading and he is quite inspiring. I've met him, a friend knows him quite well, he speaks a lot of sense about booze. I don't agree with all he says but some of it is pretty good.

Last night I went to Waitrose and bought some alcohol free Bavarian wheat beer, it is really nice. I've also bought some craft sodas to have. I would have never have drunk them before, all the sugar etc (didn't seem to bother me that alcohol is full of sugar!) but they are delicious. The fentimans rose lemonade is delicious. I had a mocktail at dinner in a restaurant this week which was also really really nice. Decent glassware and ice etc makes it feel grown up and nice.

My DH says I shouldn't think of it as forever, one day at a time. I'm a bit of an all or nothing person though at times. Think he is worried he is loosing his drinking buddy! I'm hoping my giving up will make him think twice too. He drinks more than me and has less AF days. The last 2 weeks he does seem to have slowed down a bit which is no bad thing.

I'm now on day 18 and doing ok. I bought some alcohol free processo today in ASDA to have after the half marathon on Sunday, I bet it's really grim but thought it was worth a try!

When I get home from work my JasonVale book should have been delivered so I'll crack on with that tonight.

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