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Being DRY

(993 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'


Come and have a coffee!

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

More books - I am now reading this

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!

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.

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