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Brave babes are still here: sping / summer / autumn / winter There is always someone around

(999 Posts)
venusandmars Thu 27-Jun-19 20:54:32

This topic had being going for years and years and years. Maybe almost as long as some people have been struggling with drinking.

We are still here. Supporting, encouraging, helping. Never judging, never minimising our problems.

If you want to catch up, our last thread is HERE

And if you want to follow everything from the start, the very first thread from 9 years ago is RIGHT HERE

You can join in anytime. Everyone is welcome. Whether you are trying to cut down, abstain completely , or are simply acknowledging that you might have a problem... Post what you want.

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Slingsanderrors Thu 27-Jun-19 21:40:00

Can’t believe I’m the first on! (Bet someone else posts while I’m typing)
I will be in the sidecar if anyone wants me. Have opal fruits (green) in my pocket and Barrie’s tank balanced on my lap.

marlu Thu 27-Jun-19 21:47:41

Hi everyone and thanks for the welcome. Looks like I might be the first to post on this new thread smile one of the benefits of being on a different time zone to most (I suspect).
I am feeling much brighter today after an AF night with my favourite warm ginger drink, followed by a very deep sleep (first in ages). My husband has (unfortunately) taken up snoring so I slept in our spare bed for most of the night. I feel guilty doing it, but I really need to prioritise my health at the moment and sleep is a big part of that. Must remember this feeling for motivation to go AF. Have a good day all!

marlu Thu 27-Jun-19 21:52:04

You beat me to it slingsanderrors! You are right I was typing as you were posting. grin

Slingsanderrors Thu 27-Jun-19 22:04:52

Hi Marlu and welcome to the bus.
I’m a sporadic poster, on an off the bus over the last couple of years. There are loads of lovely and supportive people here.

Rightwayup Thu 27-Jun-19 22:19:19

9 years wow.

Chloe9 Thu 27-Jun-19 22:30:31

I was sober for a long while. Not done much in the way of drinking but stopped being "in recovery" AA etc. Years back. I have tried controlled drinking, and with some success. But I have been crippled with depression and had abusive relationships and hit a kind of new rock bottom?

Now I'm wondering if I need to go back to A.A. or elsewhere (CoDA?). I would feel stupid going to a meeting and saying I've got drunk twice in a couple of years so want to go to a meeting though (drunk a few more times than that but not many). The repercussions of those drunks were dreadful though. Last time I drank it was a glass of wine and the next day still got "the fear."

I'm terrified if I start drinking again I could lose control and lose my kids. But I can't get to meeting as have no childcare (or energy most times) and my WiFi is rubbish so can't go online. I need help though. I am bored, lonely, unhappy, etc. I've started thinking "oh well I'll never be happy but I could be drunk." I'm not drinking on that yet but I'm worried

Chloe9 Thu 27-Jun-19 22:32:27

I know that I will never be able to drink like a normal person. Even when I stick to moderate Limits I am still not drinking like a normal person. Because my thinking is all fucked up.

MintToBee Thu 27-Jun-19 22:38:33

Jumps on and waves to marlu and Chloe9
Welcome ☀️

Chloe9 Thu 27-Jun-19 22:39:43

Thanks @MintToBee

Chloe9 Thu 27-Jun-19 22:42:38

I do feel utterly deranged because I've spent the better part of 2 decades trying to find a way to drink normally? Even abstaining has been part of that I think.

I resent that it's another thing I just cannot partake in. Makes me feel socially awkward etc. But actually I don't think I even like the effect?

I've had more blackouts than I'd care to admit. I don't want the DCs around that. But when I'm obsessing about having a drink I'm an arsehole too. Even one wine seems to be enough to change my personality completely though

MintToBee Thu 27-Jun-19 22:44:00

Ok Babes, I've bought us a helicopter so no one can get left behind...

marlu Thu 27-Jun-19 23:26:45

Hi Chloe9. I’m new here too, so I’m reluctant to start giving advice, but I totally get your feelings of isolation, disconnection and depression. It’s really hard with young kids, especially when there is no support, but drinking won’t make this any better (easier said than done). Without wanting to out myself, I spent many years when my kids were young in a situation where I was physically and emotionally isolated. What got me through was trying to change one small thing each day. I would take the kids to a different park, strike up a conversation with a stranger- any small thing that would shift the energy. It didn’t solve the problem completely, but it was amazing how changing something small could make a difference.

Chloe9 Thu 27-Jun-19 23:35:43

Thanks @marlu

I 100% know drinking wouldn't help. But when I see people sat in the sunshine sharing a nice cold drink together I feel like I'm so far removed from them I might as well be on another planet. I read posts on here where people put the DC to bed and then have a wine or gin, or see it on Instagram or wherever and just feel so left out IYSWIM

Even when I do start to break the ice with someone inevitably drinking gets in the way. They think I'm weird if I don't drink, or they want to drink with me and I don't have one so they thing I'm boring so don't invite me again, or I don't get invited out because people assume I wouldn't want to go. Some of my family don't know I've had a drink so ask "how many years are you" etc. I haven't been counting, but it wouldn't be multiple years like they think it is. I just feel so alone. I know the drinking makes that worse not better. I know I'm a horrible drunk. Really really horrible. And yet I'm drawn to the wine offers in the supermarket? I think, it would be nice to have a few glasses of wine.

It's properly unhinged. I don't even like the taste. I had a craving for gin and tonic for about a year, gave in had one sip and through it away. It was god awful. Did the same thing with red wine, although that went into the spag Bol

Chloe9 Thu 27-Jun-19 23:37:30

Sorry for off loading. I think I've just really accepted this

Chloe9 Thu 27-Jun-19 23:37:42

Only just *

Craftycorvid Fri 28-Jun-19 09:55:49

<Hops on shiny clean bus and waves to babes>. Hi, Chloe9. You sound amazing. Well done for getting through so many tough lonely times. Mint I love the helicopter! I’m imagining a babes intervention squad when people need us. We can drop quantities of Opal Fruits on the land and spread joy.

venusandmars Fri 28-Jun-19 10:13:06

Welcome Chloe feel free to offload any of your thoughts and feelings, chances are you're not the only one feeling that way.

Off on my holibobs so I may not be around much, but always reading when I can.

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MintToBee Fri 28-Jun-19 10:39:55

I’m imagining a babes intervention squad when people need us. We can drop quantities of Opal Fruits on the land and spread joy.
This is what a Like button is for!

Craftycorvid Sun 30-Jun-19 09:25:02

Morning all, it’s a year today since I stopped drinking. There is a much longer post I want to add just as soon as technology allows! In the meantime, thanks for being here. I hope I may meet some of you one day as well as reading your words, but this bus is one amazing ride!

MintToBee Sun 30-Jun-19 09:45:05

Craftycorvid Congratulations on a year AF! 🎉🎉

venusandmars Sun 30-Jun-19 11:34:34

That is fantastic crafty I bet that at one time that seemed an impossibility.

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Chloe9 Sun 30-Jun-19 15:30:54

Congratulations on your year @Craftycorvid starhalostar

Craftycorvid Sun 30-Jun-19 18:25:46

Thanks for the congrats! And, yes, Venus, at one time going more than a day without drinking seemed an impossibility. Anyhow, I mentioned a longer post.....hang on to your hats, your Opal Fruits and Barrie's tank (who is currently looking after Barrie's tank?)

So, a year ago today I stopped drinking. There’s a nice simple sentence! I’d like to share some of the journey so far. My relationship with alcohol didn’t really begin until my twenties when I was an undergraduate and decided fitting in meant joining in with pub visits and mixing lethal blends of MD 20/20 (anyone remember that?) and vodka and calling it ‘punch’ - never was a word more aptly applied. It was a classic case of feeling uncomfortable in my skin and realising that alcohol created a lovely warm, cosy place I just kept wanting to return to. There are ‘hilarious’ pictures of me passed out before the night even got started. People thought it was funny and that I was a bit of a boozer but a good sport. The fact I couldn’t figure out when I’d had enough should perhaps have warned me back then, but didn’t.

After that, came a gradual creep towards rewarding myself with alcohol, consoling myself with it, banging on in insufferably middle class ways about ‘fain wains’ - I mean, I’m not a problem drinker, dahling, I’m a wine buff. Alcohol saw me through miserably unsatisfying jobs and a deep sense of disappointment. We jogged along together for a couple of decades, alcohol and I, until the relationship started to decline. When did I first begin to think something’s wrong here? When meals with friends routinely saw me downing several bottles of wine and moving on to spirits afterwards. It’s not a problem if you only drink with food, right? When I struggled into work hungover, (to my shame once even throwing up on a bus). When a colleague kept making references to habits of people who have an alcohol problem. Who, I wondered, could he possibly mean? When alcohol-induced anxiety started to be like ants having a party under my skin.

All the while I was carrying on pretty much as normal. I have missed maybe two days of work because of alcohol. I have never made serious errors or put anyone but myself at risk because I was drunk or hungover. In the last few years the work I do has become much more people-focussed, and I think that perhaps it was this that finally made the difference. I didn’t want to be slightly detached any more. I wanted to be alive, feeling and, yup, vulnerable. There was no big disaster or lost weekend. Though I have behaved in some pretty embarrassing ways when drinking nothing has been catastrophic. There was, however, a growing sense of boredom with the repetitive cycle of craving, drinking and regretting. And one day last year, I decided I wouldn’t drink, maybe for a month, we’d see. It was provisional. Previous attempts to moderate had all failed. I just have no off switch. I have two choices when it comes to booze: none or excess.

So, what’s changed and what have I learned? What’s changed is partly physical; necking somewhat north of 50 units a week has quite an impact. For at least a month after quitting, I felt crap: tired, skin breaking out, digestion all over the place. It turns out the fatigue is alcohol withdrawal and fairly normal, but I felt cheated. I wanted the reward of weight loss and glowing skin. I have eventually lost weight, but my initial surprise was the sugar craving that scuppered any early slimming fantasies. Man, the sugar craving! Alcohol has lots of sugar in it and my body was really missing its supply. Once the mad ice-cream binges subsided a bit, the weight began to come off. My face is also less puffy. I feel better, yes, still me, just in smaller trousers, as the late Victoria Wood once almost said.

Mentally, emotionally, the changes have been bigger still. I have an inner critical voice who can be a very nasty drunk, berating me about all my failures at 3am and refusing to let me sleep. Without his fuel supply, he’s now reduced to muttering passive-aggressively in a corner and I can shut him up. I am much more open to feeling and emotional intimacy with others. Therapy has helped a lot, though it took a very long time to work up the courage to tell my therapist I had to stop drinking. The amazing Babes have been there and reading all the threads has helped hugely.

There has been a cost too. Not all my friendships have survived sobriety. Not all days are free of missing alcohol (just wish it didn’t taste so good). Clarity is a bloody uncomfortable feeling sometimes; I now have questions about my life that are, let’s say, incompatible with chilling out. Has it been worth it? Yes, without question. I wouldn’t have got away with my level of drinking forever. It would have escalated. I feel I’ve walked up to the precipice and looked over. Whilst I may never have been someone with a visible ‘problem’ or someone who fitted a medical diagnosis of alcoholism, I certainly wasn’t in a good place either. I don’t know why I have no off switch, whether to blame genetics, personality or circumstance, or a bit of each. I don’t think knowing ‘why’ is ever the whole answer in any case. If you are still reading, thank you!

venusandmars Sun 30-Jun-19 19:01:46

Wow crafty thanks for posting that, what a brilliant, inspiring, honest account.

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