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Alcohol support

The Freedom Thread - Enjoying the positives of an alcohol free life

999 replies

Breathmiller · 02/10/2021 18:47

Hello all

A shiny new thread for those that would like to give up alcohol forever and a shiny new OP. (twirls)

The wonderful Drybird started these thread a loooong time ago and I'm sure many of you will agree that it has made such a massive difference to the lives of those who have read them or posted on them. Drybird would like to take a little break from hosting the threads so asked me if I would start one this time. The suggestion was that we can take it in turns after that which I think is a great idea .

Anyone is welcome to join and post but please be aware that this thread is for those of us who want to give up alcohol completely. It doesn't matter if you are on day 1, week 6 or year 5 (and it doesn't matter how many day 1s you have), there just has to be an intention to let go of alcohol altogether. So please no talk of moderating or drinking at the present moment or in the future, it can be triggering for some of us. There are many other wonderful threads for those who would prefer to moderate and we wish you well. If you decide that total abstinence is for you then come back.

It doesn't matter what your reason is, if you feel like it's an issue then you are welcome. It really is a friendly bunch. I also want to say hello to all the lurkers who don't want to post for one reason or another and say I hope that these threads give you support too.

There are many threads before this so if you are new, do look back, there is always at least a link to the last one at the beginning of each. Every thread is rich with advice and support. I personally have felt held in so many ways by each and everyone who has posted and I don't feel I would be here at 1yr2 months sober without it. Post daily, hourly even if it helps or just dip in now and again when you feel the need. It's not always the easist thing to do but it is worth it and it is easier with a group as supportive as this. We are each other's cheerleaders and underatns where we are coming from when the times are tough.

Here is the link to the last one....

These threads have been a lifesaver for so many of us with ideas from AF alternatives, Quit Lit suggestions to why our brains are wired the way they are and what tools we can learn to help us break free from the fog of alcohol. But most of all it's a lovely safe space where we can talk, vent, moan, ask questions, give advice and support each other. As we get to know each other there is also a lot of daily chat about what's going on in our lives - running, books, gardening, yoga and family. It really is a warm, welcoming and friendly space so do join in.

The suggestion to get this thread going is for everyone to have a think of what they gain from not drinking, what are the positives? Or if you are on day 1 then what is the thing you are most looking forward to? Let's let go of the idea that we are denying ourselves something or that we are living less than and list what we are gaining instead.

My main positive (in amongst all the fresh skin, clear head, lack of hangovers, lack of shame better health - physically and mentally, I could go on and on........) is the fact that I don't have the eternal converation in my head going round of whether to have a drink that day or not. I am (mostly) free from that and it is amazing!

So whether you are a regular or a newbie, do say hello and introduce yourself.

OP posts:
Sunflowersinthewind · 02/10/2021 18:58

Positives: no hangovers, loads of energy, weight loss, clear skin, more time for my son, better sleep, sense of achievement, pride in yourself, saves money, I get so much more stuff done.

Adm1010 · 02/10/2021 19:06

Lovely new thread Star

My positives are waking up clear headed . Feeling less foggy day by day . I’m calmer in general . I feel CLEAN! Like I can look my sons in the eye .

BunniesBunniesBunnies · 02/10/2021 19:38

Thank you for the shiny new thread @Breathmiller! And I also wanted to say a huge thanks to @Drybird for hosting the previous threads, you have invested so much time, energy and knowledge in us all and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. It was @Drybird amongst others who kept me going in the early days when I was a right mess.

It’s difficult to remember myself back then, it is almost like I was a different person. I am now nearly 18 months in and the positives keep coming. An alcohol free life really is the gift that keeps on giving.

For me the main positive is that I am so much calmer and happier. I feel like myself again and I am able to cope when things get tough. There are many many benefits (improved sleep, fitness, relationships, skin etc) but truly the main benefit for me is much improved mental health, which in turn makes me a better mother and wife.

I feel completely comfortable with my alcohol free life now. I no longer feel ashamed that I “had” to give up because I couldn’t moderate, rather I feel proud of my decision and how it has changed my life.

I’m not perfect and I’m still learning about myself. Since quitting some other issues have come to light (issues with food, and difficulties with control and regulating my mood). I think all these things are related to one another and to my previous issues with alcohol, although I haven’t figured it all out yet. But that’s okay, because now I’m no longer drinker (and suppressing all those issues) I’m actually able to engage with those issues, and learn more about myself. I’m growing every day, I’m getting to know myself better. I’m trying to embrace the person I am and often I am succeeding.

Anyway, sorry for the long, rambling message. As always I am grateful for these threads, you are all an inspiration and I look forward to the chats, laughs and the support.

BunniesBunniesBunnies · 02/10/2021 19:42

Ps Breathmiller I love the title and I would be happy to host a future thread if another host is needed🙂

StopWineIng · 02/10/2021 19:52

Hi all. I have been a bit quiet. Mainly because I’ve been solo parenting due to DH working away and for some reason wasn’t getting notifications.

I’m ashamed to say I’m back at day 1. I am so annoyed at myself. I managed 27 AF days, many social situations, a party with friends I haven’t seen in 2 years and I let a stressful week and dr’s appt let me give in.

My biggest mistake was not telling DH I wanted to stop forever. I have been finding it so easy as won’t drink when he is away anyway as I worry if the DC’s get ill in the night I won’t be able to drive them somewhere. The youngest has not been sleeping so it has made it easy on weekends to not want to add to how awful the sleep deprivation is making me feel.

DH bought me up flowers and a glass of wine last night and I drank it without a second thought, it was only when I sat there after finishing the bottle I though what the hell have you done 😢

So anyway. I’m an idiot. But I’m grateful that I actually didn’t feel too awful this morning, even after being woken up 6 bloody times.

Day 1. Again.

Positives of being AF… clear head, clear skin, more patience with the kids, less anxiety, more energy and better sleep.

Welcome to all the new people that have joined since I last checked in and well done to all those staying strong. I have read back on all the missed posts and hope those with health concerns and scans are all ok.

I’m drinking Coke Zero, waiting for my DH to cook dinner and have downloaded the Allen Carr audiobook to listen to next week on my dog walks.

ChampooPapi · 02/10/2021 19:52

checking in all

Usernameucreate · 02/10/2021 19:59

Hello everyone,
Positives - slimmer waist and cheekbones re-appearing, more even moods, ( especially around pmt time ), sense of achievement and feeling proud of myself. Smile

BunniesBunniesBunnies · 02/10/2021 20:10

@StopWineIng well done for coming back here. 27 days was brilliant, you can do that again and more! Tell your DH it is forever m, then he won’t be buying you booze again.

Time to dust yourself off and crack on, you can do it👍

StopWineIng · 02/10/2021 20:25

@BunniesBunniesBunnies thank you. I’ve told him now. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it but know I have to now.

I think my current situation of being alone with the kids Mon-Fri is really helping as I don’t even consider a drink. Just annoyed as I managed to enjoy so many social situations AF but just didn’t even think last night.

DH is very supportive. X

Adm1010 · 02/10/2021 20:33

@StopWineIng back on that horse . You’ve got this Flowers

AlloftheTime · 02/10/2021 20:58

Checking in to this shiny new place - thanks breathmiller (&drybird!)
Stopwineing well done on getting straight back here 👍
Positive for me - a feeling of lightness, as if a weight has lessened or lifted. I’m guessing that means I was worrying about alcohol more than I let on.
Have a good evening everyone

Breathmiller · 02/10/2021 21:16

Wonderful post bunnies your words have always spurred me on. And, thank, the baton is yours next time round if you still want it. Smile

It's amazing to read everyone's positives. I find myself nodding along with them all. I also feel proud of myself for doing this. For those that are newish and finding it hard to admit to people, that's another thing that has changed for me. I was a bit ashamed to admit I was stopping or wanted to stop because it was like an admission that I had a real problem. Whereas now i have a little more time under my belt, i don't feel shame about having an issue or having had a difficult relationship with alcohol, it is what it is and I'm just super proud of myself that I have worked hard to change that.

stopwineing well done at telling your dh. It's good to hear he's supportive. You can do this. Maybe you should change your name? Since you no longer do - wineing that is. Smile

OP posts:
Clouds78 · 02/10/2021 21:24

Checking in on the new thread! 😊

BunniesBunniesBunnies · 02/10/2021 21:50

Thank you @Breathmiller and I completely agree with what you’re saying about shame. Like you I no longer feel ashamed, I feel free🙂

StoppedWineIng · 02/10/2021 22:06

Thanks everyone. Good idea @Breathmiller ! Stopped is much better than stop ❤️

SoberSept21 · 02/10/2021 22:20

@Breathmiller thanks for the new thread
@StopWineIng another congratulations from me for getting straight back here

I can't believe how much joy I am getting from normal life - without the fuzziness that booze brought. I've had a normal family day - haircuts, shopping delivery, film with my little boy and yet its been wonderful and so 'real'

Breathmiller · 02/10/2021 23:09

stoppedwineing 👏 fab name change

OP posts:
Adm1010 · 03/10/2021 07:20

Woke up headachy today . Would swear it feels like a mild hangover . Plus I’ve got an ulcer on the side of my tongue . It’s making me slur when I speak!! Spoke to my husband a couple of nights ago and he gently asked if I’d been drinking!!!

So the feeling is I’m a bit run down . Been thinking for a while that whilst I’m overweight I’m malnourished for vitamins if that makes sense . Time to start upping the good stuff!! Grin

Kittenminion · 03/10/2021 07:55

@Breathmiller thank you for taking the baton and the lovely new thread.

33 days for me. My positives are

  • being an improved parent. Not being so tired, grumpy or trying to wind up bedtimes more quickly so I can get to a glass of wine. I have more patience, appreciate my time with them more. It’s great!
  • generally feeling calmer, more positive. Life’s little battles feel easier to deal with. Job hunting and dealing with a leak in the roof that I discovered yesterday feel more manageable.
  • better skin
  • saving some money!
  • not drinking feels like a gateway to the improved me that I want. While I’m not doing anything else new until I feel more settled being AF I think that will come in time!

@StopWineIng don’t berate yourself too much. Today you are day2 and moving forward again. The important thing is that you came back with all of those intentions still in place, well done!
Kittenminion · 03/10/2021 08:01

Last night I went for dinner with my husband. He suggested going to a pub first for a drink (he wasn’t suggesting anything other than an AF drink for me) but I refused. No point making it harder than it is!

Dinner was lovely, soft drink instead of the copious amounts of wine I would previously drink. Dessert as a treat. And I drove so there was no faff with walking in the rain or taxis. And today as fresh as a daisy. It’s my turn for a lie in so am being bought coffee and breakfast in bed (I find it impossible to sleep after 6 so just have a relax instead)!

BunniesBunniesBunnies · 03/10/2021 08:09

@Kittenminion I’m the same, I wake up at 6am but since quitting drinking I really enjoy it, I get to have a coffee in bed in peace before the children wake up🤩

Kindtomyself · 03/10/2021 08:35

Morning. Thankyou for the new thread @Breathmiller and for starting the original thread Drybird. It has been a lifeline for me to read daily and know that I'm not alone on my journey. So thanks to everyone who contributes everything helps. The support and kindness is so helpful. If there are people lurking who want to join please do, it has been a very welcoming thread for me.

29 days for me today. That's over 4 weeks don't you know Grin

Kindtomyself · 03/10/2021 08:56

Positives for me
Starting to like myself/getting to know myself (hello new person you're quite interesting when not drinking - that's me talking to myself btw).
I'm stopping pretending I'm someone else ie party girl (actually woman - I'm 50 - female Peter Pan in my head, reality not quite the same Blush).
Waking up with no hangover- hoorah
Not worrying about how much I might drink on a night out/in and that I might not have enough.
No more sneaky drinks ie going out earlier than everyone else so I can have a sneaky drink or two alternatively hiding bottles etc in my wardrobe for sneaky slurps through the night so that husband/children don't know how much I'm drinking.
Better at my job/more interested
Possibly slimmer- scales don't agree but my stomach is definitely very slightly smaller
Better skin
Whiter eyes
Whiter teeth
Buying nice things for myself rather than booze (because I'm worth it Wink)
Improved parenting/enjoying time with them.
Being in the moment (rather than thinking about later and a drink 'to calm my nerves'.
No more waking up and not remembering what I did/how I got home/whether I've offended anyone.
Starting to recognise emotions, accepting them - lots more work needed here but I'm on my way.
Not as much worry about my health (stopping drinking is great for your health I hadn't realised how damaging it could be- that's definitely kept quiet or I've ignored it)
Starting to feel less shame about my alcohol problem- I'm not a bad person trying to be good I'm an ill person trying to get well.
Hopefully will sort my relationship out with DH. He blames my drinking, I blame his bad temper. At least I will be able to see clearly.
Awareness of how much English people drink- shitloads. Lots of people out there with alcohol problems that are pretending/ignoring the truth (this isn't really a positive just an observation)

Think that's it for now but it's a bloody good start and I intend to look back at this when/if I'm having a wobble. Smile

Kittenminion · 03/10/2021 08:56

@BunniesBunniesBunnies it’s great isn’t it! I don’t mind waking early now. I can either relax or get stuff done. So much better than waking up groggy/desperate for more sleep/grumpy.

Nosilayak · 03/10/2021 09:04

Hi everyone, checking in on the new thread. Good to see your now familiar names and read how you are getting through the weekend. Hoping Perriwinckles is OK, as not seen her name for a while and she and I started this AF journey on the same day.

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