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Alcohol support

Finally stopped but fearful and full of shame.

26 replies

Blimeyoreilly2020 · 07/03/2021 14:04

So, I’ve quit booze but rather than feel any joy or pride i just feel like collapsing. I am fearful for my health (ultrasound & most bloods looked ok but show slightly raised bilirubin which I’m losing the plot over) and I feel so incredibly stupid and ashamed of having let myself get to this point. I realised my issues years ago and have been reading the threads on this board for a long while - I have always prided myself on how together I am but it’s a complete farce isn’t it, I just worked really hard to make sure my problem was well hidden. I’m on the dry thread but didn’t want to post this on there and bring anyone else down with me. Anyone out there who can offer wise words? TIA

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Pickledinsuburbia · 07/03/2021 16:00

Me too - bumping not-so-gently along the bottom meandering towards what I now realise is at best going to be significant health issues, and at worst, well...
The way I am trying to look at it is to acknowledge and accept that feeling mentally and physically dreadful for some time at this juncture is absolutely ok. After all, isn’t it partly our inability to accept uncomfortable feelings that compels us to drink them away in the first place?
You have made the decision, had a check up (and that was brave, pat yourself on the back) and realised you have run out of options and can no longer negotiate with the bottle. Great strides, you are doing really well, go easy on yourself.

iamyourequal · 07/03/2021 20:50

@Blimeyoreilly2020. I think you need to be kinder to yourself. You shouldn’t feel ashamed at all. Alcohol sneaks up on so many of us over the years. It doesn’t make us bad people. It sounds like any damage done liver-wise is at a very early stage so you have the opportunity to completely reverse it. Take care and don’t give up. You have had a bit of a shock about your health at a very stressful time. It’s totally understandable that you are not spending each day dancing on a pink cloud. Flowers

earsup · 07/03/2021 20:52

the first few months are the worst....things do get lots better...

Iudncuewbccgrcb · 07/03/2021 21:02

Have you tried the Annie Grace stuff?. I know you have already quit but there's an awful lot she does about dealing with feelings of blame, being mentally nicer yourself about your alcohol issues.

I found it really helpful, and she's so honest about her own struggles with alcohol and she seems to happy and 'together' now.

How long have you been dry for?

Blimeyoreilly2020 · 07/03/2021 22:35

Thank you all for replying,💐. Did dry Jan, realised I could do it and after a brief blip at the beginning of Feb have been dry again since and am now actually repulsed by wine (dh still drinking - I actually almost retched at the smell when he asked me to pass his glass). I haven’t read any quit lit yet, don’t know why I’m nervous of it. Have joined soberistas and am planning to find out more re aa on zoom once kids back at school. I just keep panicking about my poor children and the state I maybe left my health in. They have no idea I have a problem - I only really drank after they’d gone up to bed.

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Blimeyoreilly2020 · 07/03/2021 22:39

And when I think about what people must think of me... I always took enough booze to cover myself when I was invited out but it must’ve been obvious what a flipping lush I was....and the humiliation & shame if I’ve made myself ill....and the thought of the kids having to explain it to others is just awful😔

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Walesrecommendations · 07/03/2021 22:57

I've been sober 2 years and it did take a while to come to terms with how much life id wasted and the stupid, horrible or just downright dangerous things I'd done. The one thing that has fixed that for me is becoming a better person, strengthening my friendships, doing things properly and feeling like the old me is a distant memory. I used to feel such humiliation and shame after id quit when people would bring up my previous behaviour but I don't at all now, because I accept that was me, but know it isn't me anymore. I think often when people quit the shame does hit like a truck, a bit like waking up with a hangover and the sick feeling as you remember what you did, but it will pass, and you don't have to be that person anymore, it is entirely within your control. In my experience it did take some months before I felt fully divorced from alcohol but you will get there, and when you do it's such a good feeling. But you have to push through the pain now and keep going Flowers

GeidiPrimes · 07/03/2021 23:18

I would second what Pickled wrote.

It's quite an emotionally painful time when you put down your substance of choice, because you're no longer medicating your pain away. Unfortunately it's necessary to process some uncomfortable feelings like shame and guilt before you start to feel better. Once you do though, you will marvel at the reserves of strength you had.

I hope it's Ok to suggest this - if you're not on anti-depressants, please consider speaking to your GP about this. Addiction usually (always?) serves to distract us from ourselves (pain, trauma). People with good mental health don't become addicts.

Try to get out of the habit of criticising yourself (I bet you do this) - we're ill and in a lot of pain when enmeshed in addiction. I was a complete shallow twat Grin when in addiction, but I no longer give myself a hard time over it.

Well flipping done Blimey Flowers

Cam2020 · 07/03/2021 23:21

Try to think of the shame as a useful reminder of how you don't want life to be but don't let it taint everything. Be proud of what you have accomplished and are a accomplishing every day you go without a drink. Your whole perception of yourself and your life has taken a knock, it'll take a while for you too come to terms with certain things.

The liver is a very hardy organ and can take quite a battering - you will recover your health. I'm sure you've ready done so, but a quick look online shows ways of lowering bilirubin.

Well done for making the change!

GeidiPrimes · 07/03/2021 23:21

Also, are you aware of post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)? If not, would be worth a google.

Hangingover · 07/03/2021 23:24

Try SMART on Zoom as well as AA. AA isn't necessarily for everyone and SMART is CBT based with no God stuff, which suited me a lot better. Basically focused around the idea that you learned alcohol dependence so you can unlearn it too.

GeidiPrimes · 07/03/2021 23:27

Forgot - your bilirubin should come down by itself, it might take a couple of months. Much water - flush it all out. Your skin and eyes will look all sparkly and clear once it's all flushed out. Smile

One more really important thing, ask your GP to prescribe vit B strong compound and thiamin.

Blimeyoreilly2020 · 08/03/2021 10:19

Thank you so much for all your kind comments, sitting here with tears. I’ve looked at reducing bilirubin - start the day with lemon & hot water, then tea, then 2 cups of coffee and then peppermint tea for the afternoon and a pint of water both lunch & supper and camomile tea in the evening. Going to the homeopath today to get some milk thistle. What scares me is I haven’t come across anyone else who has had (slightly) elevated levels? Lots of people with other high ALTs which come down with abstinence but not isolated bilirubin🤷🏼‍♀️. Now seem to be having other symptoms but think they could be psychosomatic. Have never heard of PAWS but have looked it up - yes, will go to gp if my anxiety gets worse. Thank you, thank you for taking the time to help.

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Blimeyoreilly2020 · 08/03/2021 19:06

Has anyone here had a slightly raised bilirubin? I’m in total panic mode...

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Iudncuewbccgrcb · 08/03/2021 21:03


Has anyone here had a slightly raised bilirubin? I’m in total panic mode...

It's nothing to worry about really if you don't have any other symptoms. It indicates you have probably been drinking a bit too much which impacts on your liver and gallbladder. It will probably improve the longer you aren't drinking.

Just eat healthily and give yourself a mental break.

I've read lots of 'quit lit' and the Annie Grace stuff is online and a bit different. She calls it a 30 day 'experiment' but basically each day from when you sign up you get an email and you are set a topic/task, there's usually a short video to watch and then you write down a few sentences about your drinking, or your feelings about yourself. It's a bit like a couch 2 5k version of stopping drinking.

It's really helped me think about why I was really drinking, work through some of the 'lies' I was telling to myself to justify my drinking, stop blaming/hating myself for 'letting it' go to far etc.

It was free when I did it but I know from the emails I still get they have just launched a new app to replace the old website so don't know if it's still the same - I assume so.
Blimeyoreilly2020 · 08/03/2021 22:07

Thank you ludncue, I do hope you’re right. There maybe some truth in this Paws - I was pretty rational this morning but as the day has gone on I’ve become more and more loopy, utterly convinced I’m dying☹️...I’ve spent far too much time on google and utterly petrified myself. When I’m not googling I’m thinking about how much booze I have justified as normal and how the hell I didn’t stop before. I’m utterly exhausted but scared to go to sleep in case I wake up....because then i’ll spend hours lying in in the dark worrying. I promise I’m normally very level headed...

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GeidiPrimes · 08/03/2021 23:39

Hi OP, I'm sorry you're feeling like shit. I too had a difficult time post withdrawal.

The reason I feel it's important to speak with your GP is because addiction doesn't happen because of a moral failing, it's because as addicts we're quite ill and are attempting to self-medicate. All the uncomfortable feelings will still be there, and I think you could use some help with that.

In the meantime try to be gentle with yourself.

GeidiPrimes · 08/03/2021 23:40

So many becauses in that post! Sorry.

Queenie6655 · 08/03/2021 23:43

Gosh you poor thing

Please go easy on yourself

You have done amazing so far

Blimeyoreilly2020 · 09/03/2021 10:12

Thank you again. I’ve called a rehab centre & liver screen place this morning - I can’t live like this and need to work out where I am. I now weigh even less than before I had kids as I’m too anxious to eat and I’m barely sleeping. DH is frustrated with me but is at least now taking me seriously. Desperately trying to hide the situation from the kids. I am so so scared, but whatever it is I must deal with it - the known should be less scary (she says, desperately trying to make herself feel better...).

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Iudncuewbccgrcb · 09/03/2021 11:53

See for me it's the other way round, I've avoided finding out what damage I've may have done, I'm almost more worried that if I did and they said 'yeah your liver is a bit fatty but otherwise you are fine' that the fear of doing serious damage to myself would dissipate slightly.

It's far from the only reason but that fear of not seeing my children grow up if I start drinking again is a significant element of what keeps me not drinking. I know the only way to not cause more damage is to not drink. If someone told me there wasn't anything particularly damaged from my years of drinking nearly every day I'm not sure I would find it very reassuring.

Iudncuewbccgrcb · 09/03/2021 11:55

I do agree though with a PP, do you think how this is impacting you indicates that perhaps you were medicating with alcohol to keep these kinds of feelings about other things at bay?

Blimeyoreilly2020 · 09/03/2021 12:34

Thanks Lud. Yes, I totally understand your rationale and, actually I’d far rather your way of doing things. It’s just when the anxiety gets too much I just want to ‘fix it’....but actually, how will finding out my liver is actually wrecked going to fix anything? On the basis the only thing you can do is abstain then am I just better ignoring it and waiting for it to ‘out’ itself? How long have you been dry? Did you have any dodgy bloods when you stopped too? Maybe I should try and find a counsellor to talk to...

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Elmer83 · 11/03/2021 20:26

@Blimeyoreilly2020 I’m in the exact same position of worry as you. Although I’ve not been brave enough to call the doctors yet. I’ve been drinking more than I should for a long time. I’ve not drank for 3 weeks since a very scary day after a heavy week of evening drinking and being in agony in my upper right abdomen. I’m still tender there and terrified. What have your symptoms been that are worrying you?
Try not to beat yourself sounds like you stopped before any long term damage is done. Big hugs

Blimeyoreilly2020 · 12/03/2021 10:21

Hi Elmer83, the worry is horrid isn’t it? I have now (mostly) managed to calm myself down. My only real symptom is a dull burning sensation in my mid right abdomen - the others (tingling skin, insomnia, weakness I now realise was me going through the roof with anxiety). I am just peddling along for the time being - dr wants to re-do bloods in 4-6weeks so unless anything else nasty turns up between now and then I’ll just keep trucking and hope the bilirubin goes down. Being AF has been a long time coming for me but I’m very pleased I’m now on the road. I really hope the tenderness in your abdomen eases asap, at least if we stay sober we know no more damage can be done💐

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