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help me to give up alcohol

(36 Posts)
dontcallmehon22 Sun 28-Dec-14 12:05:24

I don't drink everyday, but when I do I binge drink and end up feeling really low afterwards. I become overly gregarious and attention seeking. The next day I loathe myself. My last relationship was with a man who drank a lot, but a couple of times I became an argumentative or embarrassing drunk.
I want to stop completely. There is so much social pressure to drink but I think I need to do this. I'm on anti depressants and the alcohol stops them working for a few days. So words of support, wisdom, advice from anyone who's been through the same thing will be welcome. I declare 2015 an alcohol free year.

dontcallmehon22 Sun 28-Dec-14 12:37:08

Is anyone around? I'd appreciate some moral support.

Moniker1 Sun 28-Dec-14 12:40:58

Here is the DRY thread it's very long running and should give lots of support

tribpot Sun 28-Dec-14 12:41:58

dontcallme, there's now a section on MN called Alcohol Support where you will find a few useful threads, plus some long running threads in Relationships called DRY and Brave Babes. Will post a longer message but wanted you to see someone was reading. You've made the right choice.

dontcallmehon22 Sun 28-Dec-14 12:44:40

Thank you both. I am determined that this will be the last morning I wake up with a hangover. I never want to feel ashamed of my drunken behaviour again.

Purpleflamingos Sun 28-Dec-14 12:57:12

I was about to say there's a dry thread on here but someone beat me. Good luck.

dontcallmehon22 Sun 28-Dec-14 13:07:22

Thank you. I hope I can do it

tribpot Sun 28-Dec-14 13:11:15

Right - you've got the right attitude which is 'I start from today'. I'm assuming you're not planning to drink on New Year's Eve but just crack on from right here? You will have to get used to celebrating without booze, so no time like the present. You'll also have to get used to being around other people when they're drinking.

The book that really helped me is this one. Available for download so if you like the look of it you can read it today.

You don't have to say, but if you add up your units do you think you are drinking at unsafe levels? A trip to your GP might be a good idea to see if it warrants running any blood tests to check to see if you need to boost anything to help your liver recover - I mentioned on a recent thread I had to take folic acid when I first stopped drinking but I was in such a poorly way that I have no idea why now. The other purpose of telling your GP is to make this real. If you're planning to quit for a year, you'll need to tell people you're doing it - even if you say it's a health goal rather than concern about your inability to stop drinking once you start. Most people will understand, some people are likely to be stupid (normally because they are equally sure their own drinking has reached unacceptable levels).

As you are an irregular drinker you may not have to watch for your triggers in the same way as those of us who drank daily or nearly daily, because alcohol was part of our day-to-day routine whereas for you it sounds like it's more in social situations? You will need to plan carefully for how to get through these, being aware that initially it might be easier to not attend some of them than put yourself through the mill each time.

You may need to find some distractions if you think you might drink in the evenings; exercise or computer games or crafting of some kind, whatever it takes to keep your hands busy.

The main thing really, though, is to go public with the decision. Much harder to back down if you've made it public. Posting here is a great first step.

dontcallmehon22 Sun 28-Dec-14 13:28:31

I've gone public on Facebook today and New year's eve will definitely be alcohol free. I sometimes drink at home, but it is mainly social situations where I can drink a huge amount - 5 wines, a couple of vodkas, a sambuca etc. I become very loud and hate myself the next day. In the past I've found some of my antics funny, but it's not really funny anymore. I can easily go without alcohol if I'm not going out, I can go a week without drinking etc. But if I open a bottle of wine at home, I'll drink the lot. I don't have control. When I'm out, I don't ever want to go home, I feel like I'm having such a great time. Last night I was going round introducing myself to strangers. A couple of weeks ago I ended up at a house party that lasted all night. It feels out of control and unhealthy. My last relationship may well not have ended if it wasn't for alcohol.

It gets to the point where you realise that most of the things you regret in your life are down to alcohol. I'm not an alcoholic in the sense that I don't crave alcohol, I can go without it. But I am a problem drinker. I doubt I have health problems as the drinking is sporadic, it's more that it is affecting my mental health I think.

I don't know how I'll handle social situations. I may need to avoid them for a while. I cannot drink moderately, so I think I need to realise that I cannot drink at all.

siucra Sun 28-Dec-14 14:49:28

Just wanted to add my good luck. I did it and love being alcohol free. I too was a problem drinker, thought everyone would think I was boring without it. It was a difficult decision to make but basically I had an awful problem and I wasn't dealing with it.
I am so incredibly happy now (despite living with an alcoholic!). I love who I am and I don't care if anyone thinks I'm boring (only the alcoholics in my life would think that and I don't care). I love talking to my friends and I lie driving home afterwards. I love waking up in the morning knowing exactly what I did the previous night and I love being with my daughter and not being hungover.
Two years on and I couldn't be more excited. I do have the occasional drink but I really don't enjoy the fuzziness.
Good luck.

dontcallmehon22 Sun 28-Dec-14 15:14:36

That's really inspiring siucra. I've encountered negativity already - people who don't understand why I'm doing this etc. But it's about time I took control.

siucra Sun 28-Dec-14 15:27:09

It's not easy to change and others won't like it. Do it for you. Be nice to yourself. And giving up alcohol is one of the nicest things you could ever do for you.
Your (real) friends will still like you!
And more importantly you will like yourself!
I have done the most awful things while drunk. I still cringe about them. But now is now and the only person I have to prove myself to is me!
Really best of luck!

tribpot Sun 28-Dec-14 15:43:45

I don't get why it's hard to understand why ANYONE wouldn't take a break from alcohol for a while. People give up meat, caffeine, wheat without everyone feeling mortally offended about it. I must say I haven't met anyone who wasn't supportive in my case, possibly because I don't have a lot of time for the type of person who wouldn't be. I could see my drunken uncle trying to ply me with booze if I saw him in a party type situation - he tried to give me a bottle of wine at an elderly relative's birthday party recently and nearly died of shock when I said "I haven't had a drink since 2011" but that's about all.

dontcallmehon22 Sun 28-Dec-14 16:04:00

I'm actually looking forward to being able to tell people I don't drink. No more worrying about having to take taxis - I can just drive everywhere. Wow - that's a big achievement, tribpot.

I've previously socialised with big drinkers and have always been seen as a party girl, I suppose. But it's getting a bit old now. I'm getting a bit old for this.

2015 will be a booze free year. That is a resolution I know I'll keep.

dontcallmehon22 Sun 28-Dec-14 16:05:11

Siucra - I cringe all the time. I'm a big personality anyway and alcohol magnifies it and makes me insufferable.

siucra Sun 28-Dec-14 17:26:50

The hard part is saying no to others. It's amazing the effort others will put into getting you to drink. Stay strong! Relish being sober, having your brain clear, enjoy getting into bed feeling sober and enjoy it.
It's reclaiming your life. It's getting the power back!
Getting others to stop is another thread entirely however!

lemisscared Sun 28-Dec-14 17:33:45

cancer research uk are doing a "give up alcohol for January" campaign.

maybe you could use that as abit of a kick start?

i could do with doing the same as i drink too much and am on ads too. it doesn't help

neighbourhoodwitch Sun 28-Dec-14 22:07:57

I'll try & write more tomorrow but I swear it'll be amazing! you'll feel incredible & you can do it. x

dontcallmehon22 Sun 28-Dec-14 23:22:24

Thank you - I am so looking forward to feeling good!

OccamsLadyshave Sun 28-Dec-14 23:37:06

I stopped drinking 14 months ago because my hangovers got so bad it wasn't worth it. I used to drink like you but on two occasions within a fortnight i had to get dd who was 11 at the time to bring me water and make her own tea because i couldn't get up without throwing up. not something I'm prepared to risk happening ever again.

i love the hangover free weekends and i love the extra money! Ive also lost half a stone. I didn't have any physical problems from giving up. I was already having 4 or 5 booze free days a week. It took a few weeks to shake the feeling that i "deserved" it on a Friday night. That association has gone now.

The only time i really miss it now is at social events where everyone else is drunk. My works do was hard work. I go on more meals out with friends or meet for lunch but i do feel a bit sad that that part of my social life has ended. I have no intention of drinking again thouh.

dontcallmehon22 Mon 29-Dec-14 17:50:08

Occams, I hope I can do the same as you. The main reason I'm doing this is to feel better about myself. I'm not benefiting from regularly consuming a depressive substance. And I don't want another relationship spoiled due to alcohol.

FrogIsATwatInASantaHat Mon 29-Dec-14 19:02:34

I'll join you. Have you started? Im sadly a daily drinker.. I had intended to start on 1 January but I've thought fuck it! Why wait. ?
I've got wine here now but tbh i am feeling pretty ropey (don't know if I am coming down with something or I have over
imbibed because its Christmas )
Christmas is a pathetic excuse to put more down my neck.
I am looking forward to stopping before NYE. I am also nervous. Its my crutch. Its what I 'do' sad

dontcallmehon22 Mon 29-Dec-14 19:35:08

Hi Frog, I'm on day 2. Though I don't know if yesterday counts, as I stopped drinking at 2am!

FrogIsATwatInASantaHat Mon 29-Dec-14 19:46:52

Its my day one tomorrow.. i will update! That being said I can't see me finishing even one glass tonight...

TeapotDictator Mon 29-Dec-14 19:52:31

Hi don't - I would say that yesterday does count as your day 1.

Have you looked at Living Sober? It's a fairly new online community set up by Mrs D (thoroughly recommend her book Mrs D Is Going Without which documents her giving up the wine a couple of years ago) and has a handy little day counter on the RHS of the page. Once you've put in your start date, it increases each day. Sounds trivial but in the early days and even now I really liked the ritual of checking in each day to see the counter tick upwards.

Lots resonating in your posts - I too am/was a big character who thought that was enhanced by drinking but actually began to realise the opposite was true. Having stopped I realise that I'm still me, I don't need the extra 'zing', and this way I get to wake up without any shame and with my self-esteem fully intact.

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