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Has anyone gone from being a heavy drinker to just stopping completely?

(27 Posts)
SquishyBones Sat 23-May-20 04:59:55

I’m a binge drinker 5 nights a week. I’ve tried cutting down but it doesn’t work because once I start, I don’t stop.

I feel the only way is to just go teetotal. It’s hard as big bastard DH encourages me to drink. But I have to be strong and in control of myself.

I’m not dependant but I suppose I am addicted to the habit. If it wasn’t there, I wouldn’t go out and get it iyswim

I don’t want to stop completely. Up at 4am this morning due to drinking again last night. It was 4:45 yesterday.

Peridot1 Sat 23-May-20 05:12:06

Yep. I’m awake for the same reason. I wake around 3 if I’ve drunk too much.

Not sure I want to give up forever but I’d like to stop drinking at home. I’d still like to be able to enjoy a nice glass of wine if out for lunch etc.

I’m like you - can’t stop once I start though so maybe giving up completely is the way to go.

Sameold2020 Sat 23-May-20 05:14:17

I can recommend the Jason Vale book.

maddiemookins16mum Sat 23-May-20 06:07:46

Yep. I was a binge drinker and I reckon alcohol dependent. I would drink a couple of bottles of wine (if not more) on several nights a week over several years - probably at least 15.
After one particularly drunken sesh, I finally knew I had to stop. I did.
The first few weeks were hard, it took tremendous will power and I also went to AA for a few months (they gave me focus, but I wasn’t keen on their steps thing). I had two or three relapses but started again. I have now been sober for nearly 2 years.

Rollerbird Sat 23-May-20 06:44:48

I've gone from drinking 7 days a week for years, a bottle of wine and more if we went out. I went to zero because I know and knew that I can't moderate my drinking. If I went to a few days a week it would have crept up again
It was very hard for the first few weeks and for the next year I got cross that I 'couldn't' drink if I saw other people drinking. I have not drunk now for 3-4 years.
I was argumentative, loud, moody and emotional with alcohol often.

FineWordsForAPorcupine Sat 23-May-20 06:45:47

Why does your DH "encourage you"?

FourPlasticRings Sat 23-May-20 06:48:21

My father in law did. Throat cancer caused by heavy drinking- he was nil by mouth until he died a few days ago.

Try and get your DH to lay off it too. And I'd look into meetings if I were you.

dancingbadger Sat 23-May-20 07:12:27

Funnily enough I was just thinking about this when I saw your thread. I gave up completely 15 months ago and can quite honestly say it is the best thing ever. Sleep is so improved, anxiety gone, no hangovers, I'm just generally a happier, calmer and nicer person for it.
I used to 'just drink at weekends'. Basically I would get to Friday and be so impressed with myself for managing to stay off it during the week, I'd end up drinking a bottle of wine, then feel like shite on Saturday. It wouldn't stop me drinking on Saturdays though because they were a weekend so I couldn't 'waste' the opportunity to have wine that evening too, and same for Sunday's! I would feel relatively good during the week and then awful all weekend, but would make every excuse in the book to myself to carry on because I felt life wouldn't be fun anymore without it, I was so wrong and I'm so pleased that I stopped.
I started by reading 'this naked mind' by Annie grace which really changed my perception on alcohol and over the last year have read almost every other book related to it which has really helped. My dh has now pretty much stopped altogether too and feels so much better for it, lost weight, stopped snoring etc.
When I first stopped, I thought I'd have the odd one now and again. But I honestly don't want to, I'm very happy with my non alcoholic beers, always being present and in the moment and being able to drive whenever I want and remembering every evening with clarity. Good luck with it, there is a lot of support out there and everyone takes a different path, but I'm yet to hear of a 'sober' person regretting their choice of not drinking alcohol.

Fruitbatdancer Sat 23-May-20 07:22:02

I’ve been drinking too much during lockdown, a few gin and tonics and a bottle of wine most evenings. I gave up on Monday, if got to the point I wasn’t sleeping, and in morning I was drinking loads of coffee and Coke Zero throughout the day.
I went cold turkey Monday and cut out alcohol, caffeine and sugar.
I’ve had a few caffeine headaches as I withdraw (assume that’s what it is) but I feel pretty bloody fabulous!

mynamesmrdiggety Sat 23-May-20 07:24:45

I wasn't too bad until lockdown but really struggling with it now. I'm also a can't stop once started person and usually with work etc I don't drink in the week but lockdown has been so boring and stressful trying to manage working from home and young children that I find it's the only thing I look forward to. I can easily drink a bottle of wine and more in one evening now which is a total escalation. We have so much wine in the house but like you if it wasn't there I wouldn't go and buy it. I've been to trying to run on the evenings when it's cooler which helps as I can't drink before and by the time o get back and shower it's bed time. Maybe worth a try if you're a runner.

Sunnysidegold Sat 23-May-20 07:28:00


I've always enjoyed a drink. Looked forward to a drink at weekends. Then I hit a rough patch in my life and the drinking started becoming a coping mechanism. Soon it became a problem as big as the problem in my life.

I was seeing a counsellor and on medication for depression. My counsellor explained how alcohol affects your mood but that wasn't enough to make me stop.

S friend had decided to stop drinking and he had been a real party animal previously. It started me thinking that maybe I could stop too.

I initially thought about just cutting back, but I would find it too tempting to drink too much or too often.

I decided to do dry January last year thinking there'd be no way I'd manage it. But actually once I'd made the decision, the desire to drink went away.

I told people I'd aim for six months, but secretly I wanted to do a year.

I've never felt better . My mental health has remarkably improved, my skin is clearer and my weekends slate my own as they're not spent hungover.

It's been a year and a half since I last drank. Have found it a bit tempting to drink now we're in this pandemic, people say oh you can just have one. But I never could just have one .

I like to think I'll never drink again, but never say never and all that.

I think I've found it quite easy, which obviously isn't always the case. My husband was supportive (if a bit surprised) and that helped. If your husband is encouraging you to drink you would need to really talk about why you want to stop.

Honestly it's the best decision I've made. My anxiety is under control and I feel much happier. Good luck.

cockcrowfarm Sat 23-May-20 07:30:50

I had no control over my drinking too. A few nights a week I would have a nice bottle of wine after work which usually lead to three or four bottles alone. Much the same story with beers, instead if the couple I planned I'd keep going to the shop for more. I stopped because I got pregnant and have only had a couple of beers in the nine months I've had her. It's definitely better to be sober but I do occasionally think it would kd be nice to get wasted and smoke again. I won't do it for my daughter and I'm also worried that if I do it again it will be the start of a slippery slope again.

justkeepmovingon Sat 23-May-20 07:32:20

I was a classic two glasses of wine an evening then about 3-4 bottle over the weekend, for about the last 3-4 years, and throw in the occasion event where u would get totally drunk and be sick for days.

I'm January this year I had had the lost awful tooth ache and had to take really strong antibiotics for two weeks, couldn't drink.

And I've only just had my first glass of wine this Friday. And I was able to just stop at one glass and actually didn't really like the taste.

It's not been a deliberate decision but I'm lighter lost weight easily, I feel so much clearer and fresher in the mornings, I actually feel alive.

But it took a two week forced break!

Not suggesting you get a toothache, but maybe some weird physiological way of taking a two week break to see how you feel?

Cliffdonville Sat 23-May-20 07:47:25

I did, about 10 years ago. I was definitely dependant, couldn't stop at just one and not very nice when I was drinking. I had to completely stop though, it was all or nothing for me.
I'm so much happier, it's completely changed my life.

BurMaMa2 Sat 23-May-20 07:47:30

Well done SquishyBones! See your GP before you stop drinking altogether. Depending on the amount you drink, stopping immediately may result in unpleasant /dangerous side effects. Try not to worry about the GP being "judgemental". They've seen/heard it all before! Good luck.

MumInBrussels Sat 23-May-20 07:48:21

I quit drinking nearly 2 years ago, after many years of knowing I really should stop entirely, because I was demonstrably incapable of just drinking one glass and that's it, but thought I'd be missing out. No idea what on, because when I had stopped during pregnancies, it wasn't alcohol I particularly missed, and I carried on socialising just the same as ever, I just remembered all of the evening. I think I wanted to be the kind of person who could just stop after one glass of wine, and it took me a very long time to accept that this wasn't a question of willpower, particularly, my brain just doesn't work like that for whatever reason. And carrying on acting like it would suddenly change after 20 years was delusional and making life harder, not easier.

It's been a good decision for me, though I haven't seen a lot of the benefits people talk about (I'd love extra sleep, but I have small children who don't sleep well, for example) but I am less anxious and it's one less thing to worry about and keep track of. And it's cheaper. And I genuinely don't miss it - very occasionally I'll think I'd love a glass of wine after the kids have been particularly challenging that day and taken for ever to go to sleep, but now I know that's just the way my brain says "wow, that's been stressful, hasn't it!" rather than an actual desire for a drink. There are lots of nice non-alcoholic drinks around, so it's not like I'm stuck drinking warm orange juice for the rest of my life, after all!

I'd say give it a shot, as long as you're not drinking enough and often enough that you're physically dependent (if you think you might be, please talk to your doctor first, before you stop, so you can do it safely). Stop completely for 3 months. My bet is that the things you're worried might happen if you don't drink, won't happen, and you'll see benefits instead.

Aretheystillasleepbob Sat 23-May-20 07:49:48

Trying 100 days is very DO-able and resets your habits I found. If the idea of NEVER drinking again seems too much then I’d recommend that. I wasnt drinking as much as you but was binging and deffo had an issue.
This really helped me.

magicmallow Sat 23-May-20 07:49:57

Hello, I highly recommend the book "How to stop drinking" by allen carr (the same guy who did the stop smoking book). I read it and went to regular overdrinker (drinking most nights and binges occasionally) to no drinks for six months pretty much overnight. It was amazing! I did eventually start again but nowhere near as much as before - maybe 1-2 beers a couple of times a week these days.

Marriedtoapenguin Sat 23-May-20 07:59:53

I went teetotal over 20 years as my drinking was becoming somewhat problematic. The drinking culture back then up North was not helpful at all to moderation not as I could self moderate anyway.

As I doubted I could do just the one, I went dry.

I found once you got through the first month it got easier as you didn't automatically order a drink.

Also, your taste buds change, you see the money in your pocket remaining there and also your tolerance for drunks nosedives.

It was difficult as I did lose a lot of 'friends' over it but in the long run it was well worth it.

Good luck with whichever way you go.

Ultrasoft Sat 23-May-20 08:03:46

I can't drink in moderation either. At the beginning of lockdown our friday night drink was becoming every night but I have put it back to only Fridays again now and tbh I dont want to change that.

I find having a plan after dinner that means I can't drink helps, so if I promise DS we'll go for a run, I won't open the wine with dinner.

TwentyViginti Sat 23-May-20 08:21:33

The reason drinkers wake up really early after drinking is because it's not proper, refreshing REM sleep, more an alcohol induced mini coma.

It's worrying your DH encourages you to drink like this. People who can't stop once they start are on the path to full blown drink dependency, and better off not drinking alcohol at all.

oldspaniel Sat 23-May-20 09:00:43

Sounds like you're ready to give up. I used to drink far too much, would share a bottle of wine every evening with my husband, then another would be cracked open and sometimes that would go too. Always grumpy in the mornings. Then a few years ago the wine would give me migraines, switched wines, tried gin, but the headaches continued. Stopped and started experimenting with different drinks. I don't bother now because I had three glasses of wine one evening this month and had a massive panic attack the next day, anxiety was through the roof. My life is so much better without booze, skin, energy and most importantly my mental health, anxiety is minimal now.
It's a struggle I know, but in the evenings when it's that time for my husband to open the wine, I put on the kettle, get a tray out, set it with a teapot, cup, milk jug, some chocolate. For me this is a different ritual that has taken over from the booze. It's a lovely way for me anyway to round off the evening.
You could try non alcoholic lager or sparkling water as an alternative. You could go cold turkey or have a few dry nights.
It's a tough one, but you will look and feel so much better. Good luck.

OscarWildesCat Sat 23-May-20 11:00:34

Following as I'm in the same boat, I've always turned to a bottle when I'm stressed or anxious.
@dancingbadger I could have written your post myself, that is exactly how I am, if I manage all week, I HAVE to drink at weekends because it's the law, it's the weekend, so stupid. I enjoy a glass of wine and I want to be able to have a few, then stop but I dont think I'll ever be someone that can do that.

nodtik Sat 23-May-20 11:04:04

Recommend this blog and the book writer by the same author!

Lots of advice and easy to engage with, not patronising - loved it!

OhioOhioOhio Sat 23-May-20 11:28:29

Yeah. It feels good. And easy.

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