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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.

OP’s posts: |
marlu Mon 01-Jul-19 11:57:24

An amazing post crafty, very inspirational. Congratulations!!

marlu Wed 03-Jul-19 08:52:21

Hi everyone
Just thought I'd post a quick update as to how my tapering is going. Since I posted just over a week ago, I have been using one of the drinking apps to track my pattern of drinking and it has been very interesting. I always thought a drinking app would be useless to me, as I have been way over the guideline limit almost every day. But I can see now that the app helps to track progress and patterns, even if I continue to be over the limit (for now).
In summary, I have had two blowout days interspersed with 2 AFD's (see my earlier post). I then downloaded the app and decided that white wine (and bubbles) will be totally off limits as it is just too addictive for me. In the remaining days this last week I have had 3-4 units a day in a small 2-3 hour window, and most of it has been red wine (we are on holidays and we have driven through 2 major wine regions with another one tomorrow- but I have made sure to be the designated driver!). Honestly, we chose this region for the beaches!!
In all I have had 34 units for the week (normally would be 50+ although I have never really counted) and I'm pretty pleased with my progress so far. I haven't experienced the 3.30pm wave of depression which normally hits me, or the morning anxiety (although at times I have been a bit grumpy) and I've been hitting the pillow exhausted by 9.30pm. My next goal is to taper down enough that I can plan a 30 day abstinence without having to worry about extreme side effects. I really can't think beyond that at the moment. The thought of total, permanent abstinence is just too scary for me right now.

Craftycorvid Wed 03-Jul-19 10:03:20

Wow, Marlu that’s great! Driving through a wine-producing region AND moderating is hard core. I hope you are having a great holiday.

marlu Wed 03-Jul-19 12:44:13

Thanks Crafty smile
I'm starting to read back through some of the older threads, picking up ideas as I go and getting to understand the journeys of many of the babes on this bus.
The amount of shared information and support on this group is truly amazing!

venusandmars Wed 03-Jul-19 13:16:12

Well done marlu My biggest tip for trying to reduce or manage drinking (rather than abstaining completely) is to always start any 'event' with 2 non-alcoholic drinks. So if I arrive at an evening out with friends and I'm offered wine, I'll reply that I'm really thirsty, or feeling chilly, or have a bit of a headache, and that first I'll just have a big glass of water / nice cup of tea / fresh lemonade / whatever. Same approach for the second drink.

It has a couple of effects: firstly I start the evening really well hydrated, so if I do have a glass of wine I sip it rather than guzzling it; sometimes I don't even want to change to wine; you can see others getting a bit drunk and sometimes don't want to join them; it reinforces in your brain that your intention is to drink less; after a couple of drinks no-one else notices what you're drinking.

It is so much easier to choose an alcohol free drink before you've had a glass of wine rather than trying to switch after you've started.

Same approach for being at home... First thing you do is put the kettle on, not open a bottle. With dinner choose a large tonic in a nice glass with ice and lemon... Save the glass of wine till after 9pm, then 'close the kitchen' (or wine cellar) at 9.30pm. Mug of herb tea at the ready, then bath / book / bed.

OP’s posts: |
marlu Thu 04-Jul-19 04:19:12

Thanks for the excellent tips venusandmars smile
Sadly, I just read in the news about the human rights lawyer whose rant of racial abuse towards Air India staff when they refused to give her more wine went viral: she was found dead at the base of a cliff a few days after being released from prison. Very, very sad indeed. A reminder how alcohol can control us and turn us into the worst version of ourselves.

marlu Sat 06-Jul-19 02:32:10

Just a quick update- I have been following your advice venus and going to bed with a mug of peppermint tea and a book to read at 9.30pm, after one or two glasses of wine (we are still on holiday, and yesterday the winery gave us the remainder of the bottle as they were about to close. DH was tasting and I was driving, but I couldn't resist a taste at the end of the day). Last night my DH found me asleep in bed with mug of tea still in hand: a couple of weeks ago that would have been me crashed out on the couch with a glass of wine in hand! So my rolling 7 day average is now under 30 units- 29.8 to be exact but it is heading in the right direction. Thanks for all your support. smile

marlu Sat 06-Jul-19 02:49:32

How is everyone else going? It has been pretty quiet on the thread... Chloe9 are you getting on ok?

Craftycorvid Sat 06-Jul-19 08:01:43

Marlu that’s immensely sad to hear about the lawyer. I hadn’t seen the update.

You are doing brilliantly. It’s great to actually be nodding off with a cuppa, isn’t it?

And, yes, Chloe9 are you ok?

Chloe9 Sat 06-Jul-19 23:54:01

Hi smile

Gosh yes that is really sad. I'm thinking I should go to AA even if I can only make it once or twice a year I think it's so important to remember what alcohol really does to people like me. I'm going through a lot emotionally at the moment (fall out of domestic violence and trauma) and I can start to think that other things are my problem (depression, PTSD, codependency etc.) and then I have to take a deep breath and remember that I'm always in recovery for drinking too. Feels like a piss take to be going through so many things and having so many ducks to keep in a row, but I feel my mind creeping thinking it would be "nice to have a glass of wine"

I don't want a glass though, I want a bottle, and at the bottom of that bottle I have other great ideas like self harm, Unsafe sex, drugs, spending lots of money, cigarettes, whatever. Truth is for me that "one glass" could always turn into rock bottom. It does something to me, makes me go to dark places, and it's sobering to be reminded that it could lead to suicide. I need to be reminded of the cost, because I start lying to myself.

Not sure I fall into the whole 12 step thing but I can't think of another opportunity I'll get to be faced with frontline alcoholism in that way in my life otherwise. My alcoholic friends ditched me because I didn't drink enough, or got sober.

venusandmars Sun 07-Jul-19 02:47:31

chloe how true about the 'great ideas' that alcohol brings on.

I've not found that AA is my home place but whenever I have been I've found warmth, understanding and a room full of people who are in so many ways just like me.

OP’s posts: |
Craftycorvid Sun 07-Jul-19 07:52:42

Hi Chloe9 and good to hear from you. I’m sorry you’ve had so much trauma in your life. Addictions and trauma really do seem to have an association; our minds and bodies will just keep finding ways to regulate painful feelings and, as you say, not all those strategies work well long-term. All coping strategies are brave attempts to survive - that’s a paraphrase from a book on trauma and so true. I’m glad you’ve found AA helpful, I’ve no experience of them but hear good things. Some unhealthy friendships don’t survive sobriety, do they? I trust you will find new and better friendships that strengthen you in healing.

marlu Sun 07-Jul-19 23:52:18

Hey Chloe9 glad you are still on board smile
As Crafty says, I'm also sorry you've had so much trauma in your life but it's great that you are so self-aware. I know a bottle of wine can feel like a friend sometimes, but it is really only one of those "fake friends" who takes you along for the ride then ditches you and humiliates you when the fun is over. Don't fall for it!
I haven't had any experience with AA either. When I was living in a city known for its bars, I looked into attending an AA meeting only to discover the meetings were held in a pub! NO JOKE!! It kind of put me off a bit...
I'm back from holidays now and back to reality with a thud. sad

Chloe9 Mon 08-Jul-19 00:11:17

@venusandmars

I get turned right off by the program, but quite like the smiles and the rock bottom stories. And all the hope is kind of addictive. I have family who are ex problem drinkers who never went near AA but I did used to find it very helpful until I started intellectualising it too much.

@Craftycorvid

I am friendless for the most part right now but think it will happen more easily this time than when I've had to start from scratch in the past. It's hard to meet people with young kids, but the people I do meet are mostly parents, and functioning, although plenty of them are drinkers I am sure. You really never know what people's demons are though.

@marlu

Yes they seem to be either in pubs or churches for the most part! Sorry to hear your having a holiday hangover but hope you had a lovely time.

MintToBee Wed 10-Jul-19 15:15:17

marlu
Well done on the tapering down of units. I've not tried peppermint tea actually. Does it help you sleep? I found when I went cold turkey I had terrible insomnia at first.
Chloe9
How are you doing? It's never easy coming out of a DV relationship when drink and drugs are involved but you'll get there. I did. They'll be two steps forward and three back moments but it won't last for ever...although it will bloody seem like it at times.
Waves at crafty and venus
Its been a glorious weekend. We spent the weekend camping by the beach but bloody hell it made me want a cold bottle of wine sitting round the fire. The feeling never quite leaves you.

Marlu Wed 10-Jul-19 22:45:14

Hi there MintToBee smile Glad you had a lovely weekend at the beach. Peppermint tea is not specifically meant to help with sleep, it is more of a digestion aid, but I love it for its taste- a bit like an after dinner mint.
Last night I made real ginger tea by peeling some ginger and boiling then steeping it in a pot of water on the stove. I drink it neat but it can be used as a base for other teas or mixed with honey etc. Speaking of honey, I read an interview with Jimmy Barnes who used to be a very big drinker. He says he now drinks hot water with a spoonful of honey as his starting drink of choice. I tried it, and it really is amazing: so soothing, and delivers instant energy when it is needed most (late afternoon). I used Manuka honey, which has all sorts of trace minerals and health benefits.
My 7 day rolling average is now down to 23.8 units, which I am really happy about. On the subject of insomnia Mint, I have been falling asleep easily at 9.30pm (probably due to years of pent up fatigue) but there have been a couple of nights where I have woken upon in the wee hours with a racing pulse thinking of wine(!) I think it is just the detox process. Someone posted a link to a detox article some months ago on this thread, and it describes how the nervous system re-calibrates during detox and can go a bit haywire from time to time during the process.

venusandmars Thu 11-Jul-19 00:33:46

I like hot water with fresh ginger, a couple of sprigs of mint from the garden and a big twist of lemon peel smile

marlu watch out for the 'drunk' dreams too - where you dream that you're drunk, staggering, making an idiot of yourself. Then you wake up not quite knowing whether it was true or not... till you remember your evening and realise that you haven't got a hangover.

OP’s posts: |
Marlu Thu 11-Jul-19 01:41:05

Interesting that you should mention "drunk dreams" venus. As I have a bit more time and headspace these days, my mind has been wandering back to the past, where it all began. The happy times, the sad times, the embarrassing times... it's like my mind is trying to process it all. I'm not going to fight it, in fact I find it quite interesting seeing it all in retrospect, like an extended length feature film, tragic ending narrowly averted and all (I hope).

Craftycorvid Thu 11-Jul-19 07:02:38

I sometimes dream I’m drinking and wake up feeling panicky about it, then realise it’s a dream! Must be a subconscious fear of what would happen if I were to drink now.

MintToBee Sat 13-Jul-19 06:34:46

The drunk dreams will pass. The weird one is waking up with a hangover feeling on Sunday morning when you haven't drunk. I think your body gets so conditioned to it, it gets confused!

I have just booked our tickets to the outer Hebrides for next month. It's such a good feeling knowing we can head off in the van at anytime as no hangover or being confined to the Farm as over the limit to drive. Stopping drinking has definitely helped our relationship and bank balance!

marlu Sat 13-Jul-19 23:58:19

Outer Hebrides sounds amazing MintToBe.
I'm feeling very annoyed with myself this morning. I would have tallied 15.7 units for the week except I had a major blow-out last night and I'm back up to 25 units for the week. I had felt the urge coming on for 2-3 days and in the end it was like trying to hold back a tsunami. I started with a craft beer then devoured a whole bottle of wine (over several hours- we stayed up late to watch the tennis).
If that's not bad enough, I fell asleep on our brand new sofa with a glass of red wine in my hand....sad

Craftycorvid Sun 14-Jul-19 00:02:49

It happens, Marlu and you’ve proved you can cut back, so you’ll cut back again. And 25 units is still below what it was before, isn’t it? Hope the sofa survived too! Would have to be red wine eh? sad

venusandmars Sun 14-Jul-19 01:54:45

marlu it does feel like a tsunami at times sad However, unlike hunger (or a tsunami) the pressure DOES subside. The trick is to find out what the best distraction is for you.

Have something to eat, or brush your teeth (wine after toothpaste tastes truly horrible). Or do something to occupy your hands and your brain - a complicated jigsaw, knitting etc. Or go for a walk, swim, sleep, bath.

Experiment until you find a few things that help. Then enjoy the surprising feeling when the craving has passed.

OP’s posts: |
marlu Sun 14-Jul-19 05:38:19

Thanks Crafty and venus.
Here comes the 3.30pm day-after wave of depression: I can set my watch by it!
I really don't know what to make of last night. On the one hand I want to learn from the experience, on the other hand I don't want to over-think it, just keep moving forward.
Yes Crafty my units are about half what they used to be, but I think in the last few days I have plateaued now that the initial enthusiasm has died down. As long as I don't go backwards then I guess I'm still on the right track.
The sofa survived the wine spill as I had sprayed the first coat of Scotchgard a couple of days ago, and I had deliberately chosen a fabric that wouldn't show dirt and stains as I knew it would cop a beating in this household. The base (underneath the cushions) is still slightly stained, but I guess it will be a sobering reminder to me every time I clean it! smile Serves me right, really...

MintToBee Sun 14-Jul-19 06:53:14

marlu
If it helps , I once went to a house warming in a very posh part of London . I'll st the scene. My child hood friend had become a producer. It was chock full of famous music and film type people. I drunk a bottle of red wine and threw it up all over the brand new cream hessian (popular back then) hall carpet. Not one area, no, the whole length of it.😕

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