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I have a problem with drink.

(98 Posts)
Kwitter Mon 18-Nov-13 15:26:10

I've been pussyfooting around for quite some time now, telling myself that I don't have a problem just a stressful life- work, family, relationships, finances etc and having a drink in the evening to help me chill out is perfectly normal. It used to be, way back when it was just one or two glasses and I didn't wake up every day with a hangover and wondering what I said or did the night before. It's getting difficult to hide the amount I drink and it's definitely affecting my work. I'm getting through maybe a bottle and a half a night, wine that is.
I'm a really unpleasant person and the shame is unbearable.
I'm scared of developing a drink related illness and everyone finding out what I'm doing to myself.
I don't know if I need to stop drinking forever but I do know I need to stop right now.
So, I'm setting myself a challenge. In the run up to Christmas I will not touch a drop, I'm going to reset my tolerance then I will assess whether I can drink more acceptably or if I need to stop completely.

I'm putting it on the record here because I can't bear to talk to anyone I know and I need someone else to know.
I'm dreading it though, just the thought of it makes me want to pour myself a large glass...

Golddigger Mon 18-Nov-13 15:32:02

There is a support thread in relationships running called DRY.
It may help?

obrigada Mon 18-Nov-13 15:37:10

Also a thread in relationships called brave babes, both are fantastic threads and well worth posting on.

Mollydoggerson Mon 18-Nov-13 15:40:32

Well done, it's good to write it down.

Bowlersarm Mon 18-Nov-13 15:42:30

OP - I decided over the weekend that I am not drinking alcohol from now until Christmas Day, so I am very happy to have a hand to hold and company with someone else doing the same, if that helps.

I thought about tagging along on the DRY thread, but think it's not what the thread was started for. Posters on there are really focussing on abstaining completely, where as I just want an alcohol break. Brave Babes is for posters trying to cut down though, if you search for that thread.

Kwitter Mon 18-Nov-13 15:53:13

Thanks for suggesting threads to follow.
I'm not sure if I'm kidding myself about being able to drink in moderation but I don't fancy being teetotal. I want be be able to handle having a choice.
Bowlersarm, it's good to know someone else is doing the same challenge.

Will have a look at the threads.

Thanks

DramaAlpaca Mon 18-Nov-13 15:55:58

Count me in too, I'd like to join you.

I've also been thinking about doing this for a while. I stopped drinking on weeknights recently, and now I'd like to cut out drinking at weekends too in the run up to Christmas. I don't usually drink to excess, but life is too busy at the moment to be fuzzy headed in the morning. I don't want to give up completely, just feel I would benefit from a break.

I've lurked a bit on the DRY thread & on Brave Babes & both seem to be excellent sources of support.

Bluecarrot Mon 18-Nov-13 16:09:47

Congratulations in being brave enough to write it all down. That sinking feelin when you are really faced with the truth can be awful.

Be prepared to find it hard and maybe write down all the benefits you can think of to not drinking. Inc weight loss- wine is calorific! What could you spend the money on? Use the money to treat yourself at the end if each week ( nails done, new makeup, massage etc. things that will make you feel good!). Eat good food too- like a detox and you will feel so good by Xmas!

Bowlersarm Mon 18-Nov-13 16:16:50

I had thought about starting a thread for support to have an alcohol break until Christmas, but there seem to be a few alcohol threads about so I wasn't sure if there was a place for it.

I've noticed that both my and DH alcohol consumption has really increased over the course of this year. We went for years having four alcohol free days a week, and drinking lightly/moderately at the weekend. This year we are just about managing one/two days af, and drinking much more wine at the weekends than we used to. We had a particularly boozy week last week. I was going to to do 'Dry January', but I need a period of not drinking now, as well as the 'Dry January'.

I would love to have other people to do this with. I haven't had more than about four consecutive alcohol free days for years now, so it will be a challenge. DH isn't drinking at home until Christmas, which will help, but he will drink when we are out. I think I will be fine with him drinking when I'm not, but time will tell! I am determined to do this though.

Kwitter Mon 18-Nov-13 18:11:10

It's nice to know there are other alcohol threads on here, means I'm not the only one with a problem. sad
I've had a bit of a read of both threads and I suppose it makes sense to 'hop on a bus' with all the other problem drinkers.
I didn't think to search the topic, I just wanted to nail my colours to the post as it were.
Benefits to not drinking?
Well, as you say, weightloss would be good.
Financial benefit.
Health benefits - the thought of liver of heart disease scares me a lot.
I'm a nicer person when sober - I don't lie or feel ashamed of myself.
Vanity? My eyes have developed some huge dark circles which I hate.

I quit smoking this summer which felt much easier than this.

Bowlersarm Mon 18-Nov-13 20:49:51

Kwitter how are you doing?

Kwitter Mon 18-Nov-13 21:36:10

I've been reading the first ever Brave Babes thread. Getting good inspiration and my fruit tea cup runneth over. I think I made this last one a bit too sweet.
But I'm not on the wine. smile

You?

DramaAlpaca Mon 18-Nov-13 21:41:28

Good for you Kwitter. The first day is the hardest, but you'll feel good tomorrow.

Bowlersarm Mon 18-Nov-13 21:44:53

The first post by JWN, and the subsequent posts are amazing aren't they? Makes fascinating reading.

Lots of fruit juice, and a cup of tea here. I need to get some nice soft drinks in.

Well done. Day 1 nearly done. Enjoy the clear head in the morning.

CiderwithBuda Mon 18-Nov-13 21:45:43

Well done for recognising the problem. It's hard. Drinking at home has become so socially acceptable and normal. We drink far too much too and I need to cut down again. Can put away over a bottle a night too. And then I wake up about 3 or 4 and can't get back to sleep and my heart is racing and I hate myself.

I was doing really well nt drinking for a while as I was doing the low carb bootcamp. It's crept back again.

So tonight I changed what I drank. Instead of a glass of nice Sauvignon blanc I had light wine with soda water and ice. I still feel that nice relaxing end of day feeling but am not drinking loads. Had one of them and then one glass of red followed by a peppermint tea.

It's not cutting out completely but I feel more in control.

DramaAlpaca Mon 18-Nov-13 21:59:30

It is hard isn't it? Right now I'm upstairs with the laptop & a cup of tea. If I was watching TV I'd automatically be thinking about opening a bottle, but I've already made the decision not to drink during the week & have been fairly good about sticking to it - but I still get cravings, so I'm up here where there are no wine associations. I am enjoying the way I feel in the mornings these days, when I haven't had a couple of glasses of wine the night before.

Kwitter Mon 18-Nov-13 23:02:02

I'm in bed now, reading more of the thread. (That in itself is a novelty, many bedtimes involve me waking up on the sofa in front of the Telly at around 4, 5 or 6 in the morning, my mouth dry like the desert and crawling up the stairs to my bed.)

The change in the tone of her posts is inspirational.

CiderwithBuda, that is what I want; to be in control of my drink. The more I read her thread and the comment from others the more I think the only way I may ever be in total control is if I never have that first one...

As she says though, one day at a time.

Nite nite folks, thanks for your comments.

DramaAlpaca Tue 19-Nov-13 10:45:42

Well done for last night Kwitter. How are you feeling today?

Kwitter Tue 19-Nov-13 18:59:26

Thanks DramaAlpaca.
I slept very badly last night, waking regularly and sweating so felt a little poo today but compared to the way I normally feel I suppose it was a good day.

I stopped at the co-op on the way home (other supermarkets are available, I know this because it is just one on the many shops I alternate between so that my face and a couple of bottles of wine don't become too familiar) and picked up some tonic water and a box of chocs.
I went to go to the checkout and realised I was heading straight for the wine wall, quick about turn to go the long way round trying not to think about it too much.
I got back to my car feeling a little shaky and tearful. This from a woman who didn't think she had a drink problem? hmm

I'm barely in the door.
I want to go on the exercise bike but I'm tired, very tired so I'll probably talk myself out of that. One life change at a time eh? smile

Bearcat Tue 19-Nov-13 20:37:41

We've had a dry January for a few years now, just to prove I can do it I think and my drink of choice for a Friday or Saturday night in January is lime & soda. Very refreshing.
One Friday night last January when friends came round for a takeaway & to watch a rugby match (they were teetotal too for January) I had a non alcohol pear cider which was very nice, like drinking cider but without the effect.
For me January is getting through the Friday & Saturday nights without a drink. The other nights are much easier to cope with even though I probably do regularly have a drink 4 nights a week. It's nice if you can find a non alcohol drink that feels like a bit of a treat and not just a glass of squash!

Kwitter Tue 19-Nov-13 22:56:27

I've been reading more of the advice on the Brave Babes thread and it's time to be really honest with myself, deep down I know I have to stop completely, never mind this 'not til Christmas' business.

I've stopped for a few days here and there but realistically, my drinking has been out of hand for many years, there was a period around 4 years ago where I wasn't able to drink all the time but as soon as I got the chance to I would and to excess.

Tonight I've not had any alcohol but my kidneys ache, if I don't stop I will make myself very ill.

Time to think about my family a bit more and what I'm doing to them.

I don't expect anyone to post on this thread (unless it's going to help them), if I knew how, I'd start a blog instead.
I just want a record of my thoughts and a reminder of what made me decide to stop drinking:

Lashing out verbally and emotionally at DS who is such a lovely, sensitive boy and doesn't deserve the pathetic apology for a mother that I have become. The things I've said to him constitute abuse and that's just what I can remember.
Driving to work every morning knowing that I have drunk enough the previous evening to still be over the limit. I drive past at least 3 schools and the rest.
Sitting at work being able to smell the drink on myself despite having a shower and brushing my teeth and lying shamelessly so I could leave the office.
Alienating all my friends to ensure that they keep far enough away from me so that they don't see the extent of my drinking.
And to the extent that there is no-one I feel close enough to turn to right now so I've really made my bed.

Ashamed, disgusted and mortified doesn't begin to cover how I feel about myself after the way I behaved this weekend and many times before so there really is no question of carrying on drinking.

I've researched AA meetings and there are a few near enough that I can get to after work but not so near me that I'd see anyone I know and I'm going to go.

Right, after getting that lot down I need to try to sleep.

tribpot Tue 19-Nov-13 23:15:14

You are not alone.

You will get through this, and your life will be immeasurably better without alcohol in it. I was where you are 2.5 years ago and I have never regretted giving up booze for so much as a single second of a single day. And I never thought I would be able to do it.

You might want to go to your GP and admit the extent of your drinking. I know that is very scary, and leaves a permanent record, but I think it is a transformational step in accepting you have a problem. You already have a permanent record - your drinking is a fact, even whilst it's not known to many people. It would also be beneficial to have some blood tests done and see if there's anything you need to be taking to boost your system whilst you detox. I dimly remember my GP prescribing folic acid. Anyway, something to think about.

You did well to recognise one of your triggers (being in the Co-op). I used to have really odd ones, like getting off the bus. I would always get off the bus, come in and immediately pour a glass of wine, so just getting off the bus at my stop was enough to trigger me. The key is mindfulness - watch for the triggers, plan for them and how to deal with them. You got through it - it would have been easy as anything to have picked up a bottle of wine and persuaded yourself you'd cut down tomorrow.

Make sure you keep yourself busy, I found it particularly important to keep my hands busy (something I've heard ex-smokers say as well). I played on the DS quite a lot in the early days, and now use knitting as therapy and distraction.

These will be difficult days. Be very kind to yourself and start to reach out to people.

Keep posting. You can do this.

tribpot Tue 19-Nov-13 23:18:08

I meant to say, the sleeping problems may last for a while - it makes it very hard as I'm sure you used wine to 'help with sleep', as I did. Sleep when you can.

I found this book extremely helpful.

CiderwithBuda Tue 19-Nov-13 23:25:11

That must have all been hard to admit to yourself. But please try not to feel so disgusted. It is an illness.

Good luck. I hope you get some sleep tonight.

Oh - drink lots of water. It will help.

DramaAlpaca Wed 20-Nov-13 11:34:25

Kwitter very, very well done for being strong enough to avoid the wine wall. That's a huge step.

Sleep will be tough for a few nights, but it will improve. You may find you feel worse for a few days, but then you'll start to feel better & sleep better too. There is nothing like waking up in the morning without that groggy, hungover, rough as a badger's arse feeling.

Please don't be too hard on yourself or feel disgusted with yourself. It's an illness and you can beat it, one dry day at a time.

Keep posting.

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