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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:
Kindtomyself · 15/11/2021 10:26

Thanks so much @BunniesBunniesBunnies and @Kittensgalore for taking the time to read and comment. I just can’t quite work out if I expect too much..I had a similar issue with a previous partner and finished it and now seem to be experiencing a different but similar type of situation….
I really don’t know if I’m quite hardwork or not. Some of the issues seem small but really feel upsetting and wrong and aren’t always things he says just how he acts. For example- if we run out of something in the kitchen, I ask that he notes it on a sheet so we know what to buy from shop such as foil or oregano. He never does this and so I’ll find out we’ve run out and have to add it to the sheet (sometimes I could be halfway through cooking and realise we’re missing a spice or something), when I mention it he either rolls his eyes, says he forgot or just walks away…

Kindtomyself · 15/11/2021 10:33

@bella1426 I get you on that, I’m the same. I get exhausted in company and don’t have a great deal to say so used to use alcohol for the same reason because I would feel boring! I’m trying to manage that, practice self compassion and appreciate who I am. I’m early days on it. Sounds like you’ve decided alcohol is not worth it…and I have to agree. Onwards and upwards

bella1426 · 15/11/2021 11:13

@Kindtomyself yeah that's exactly it. I have a Very sociable partner and friend group and there is a huge emphasis on it in Irish culture. I like people and chatting but I probably have a 3 hour window (sober) before I start to get a bit worn out by it. I've spent so much of my adult life trying to be that person and I think you're right about compassion and self care. I am a much happier and better person when I look after my own needs of time alone and rest for sure. Sorry to hear you are having a tough time with your partner. That mental load stuff of feeling responsible for everything that has to be done and remembered at home is exhausting, we all do too much of it but it's a dick move to not even acknowledge it or try a bit harder when you point it out to him 🙄

Kindtomyself · 15/11/2021 12:36

Thanks @bella1426 that’s it no acknowledgment. The no acknowledgement/responsibility is definitely a problem, it’s weird…this morning my son’s footy boots were damp because they’d been left outside overnight (by DS and DH whose shoes were also left outside and damp) and he was upset because he’s got a match later. I’ve ended up drying them and dropping them off at school whilst DH shrugged shoulders when I raised it this morning, no apology, no volunteering to take them. It’s just crap

bella1426 · 15/11/2021 15:56

So annoying. A couple of years ago I sat down and wrote out a very long list of all the things I was responsible for in the household, had to remember etc from holidays to kids weekend plans to home insurance...literally everything - all the mental load stuff.And explained how completely overwhelmed I was by it all and asked if we could go through it to see if he could assume responsibility for some of it. It was pretty effective. Sometimes they don't even realise how much we do because, well - we are just getting on with it. But the list worked well rather than just having on the spot reactions to things - do you think something like that would work for your DP?

bella1426 · 15/11/2021 18:00

@Kittensgalore thanks for your comment and you're absolutely right, it's madness putting myself in the firing line of temptation when it's so early days and I'm clearly not ready. I have quite a few social plans over the next few weeks which I am seriously considering cancelling or modifying but really feel bad about letting people down! Anyone else secretly wishing for another lockdown!! 🙈🙈

Kittensgalore · 15/11/2021 19:26


So funny I was literally just siting here sipping peppermint tea & thinking it's like I've put myself on a self imposed lock down!!

ChampooPapi · 15/11/2021 20:05

Checking in 🙌 early night here

Kittensgalore · 15/11/2021 20:29

Good night @ChampooPapi! I'm off to have another bath and then early to bed too, as I am absolutely shattered. Anyone else find in the early days they were beyond tired? I've been reading that by this point I should be feeling energised and have increased stamina Confused

bella1426 · 15/11/2021 20:33

@Kittensgalore definitely. Is it because you're concentrating on sobriety so much and effectively learning a new life skill having has society and advertising ram booze down your throat for decades? And possibly battling with your own good witch/bad witch on an inner dialogue re drinking too (I know I am sometimes) ....that's got to be quite exhausting too...hopefully down the line we will be able to give it all a bit less headspace and it will become a bit more automatic

100PerCentMe · 16/11/2021 06:46

Hello, I've not posted here for yonks, since reaching a year AF. Forgive me for butting in!, but I'm just marking reaching 500 days today.

Adm1010 I'm just scrolling through the thread and the text / pic you put up about the reality of what alcohol does/ takes away from you still resonates with me. Thank you.

Great to see many new 'faces', if I can do it so can you.

I'm not complacent and I'm still 'playing it forward' when I need to, but am so glad that I'm AF, my life is fuller and more switched on without it.

I can cope better and more logically with any bad or sad times as my mind isn't mushed by the remains of alcohol. It means I don't draw things out emotionally for longer than is necessary as well.

Keep on going, and take care x

BunniesBunniesBunnies · 16/11/2021 07:13

Congrats @100PerCentMe!!! 500 days is awesome.

Kindtomyself · 16/11/2021 07:47

Morning. Congratulations on 500 days @100PerCentMe, glad to hear it’s still going well Smile, reading that you can deal with things more logically is great.

@Kittensgalore I’m really tired but I think that’s more to do with the time of year, how busy I am and the emotional stuff I’ve got on. It’s different type of tired to before though- if that makes any sense! It’s like proper tired rather than alcohol induced tired. If it’s early days for you it will just be your body detoxing and getting used to no alcohol

ChampooPapi · 16/11/2021 08:15

@Kittensgalore hope you slept well, I found I am pretty tired in the early days of not drinking but then I am on an even worse level of tired when I do drink so it depends on how you cope with hangovers. I cope so badly that feeling like pretty much anything else is better!.

I've got the dam lurg again, how cruel world how!

There is an obvious answer to this , four children and mixing with students 🤔 bit still.....WHY!

bella1426 · 16/11/2021 08:23

Wow @100PerCentMe 500 days is incredible, thanks for checking in and reminding us new starters that it is possible! Did you have any false starts?

bella1426 · 16/11/2021 08:26

@ChampooPapi sorry you're not feeling well, I know the feeling, seems to be a roundabout of coughs, colds, vomiting bugs going on in my home at the moment, that time of year plus trying to juggle work with random sick small people around. Cartoons are the soundtrack of my life.
Checking in day 3 AF (again...) starting to shake off the remnants of the hangover. Todays plan is to drink lots of water, wean myself off the beige food and try to get lots of fruit and veg into me as still feeling a bit bla after days of not eating or eating only toast or crisps 🙈

Breathmiller · 16/11/2021 09:12

Hellooo everyone
Been super busy here but I have a day off so going to sit down and catch up.

OP posts:
100PerCentMe · 16/11/2021 09:14

bella1246 No false starts. I decided one Sunday afternoon, mid glass, that I couldn't live like this anymore, glued to the corner of the sofa with wine or Prosecco, and got up and took myself out a walk. That was it, and I found an earlier version of this thread, the same day I think, and it helped me keep on going.

Don't get me wrong, there have been times I've been tempted, but I know my body won't thank me for it in the long run.

Playing the video forward, and also reminding myself that I would be almost relaxed anyway before I would taste the first mouthful stops me from going there, as does the reminder that the joy of alcohol is a myth, a seller's dream, and it's no more than 'attractively wrapped poison' as Allen Carr said in his book.

I don't know where I would fit wine in now. I can do so much more with the kids because I'm not thinking 'oh I can't do that because that's when I'll be having a drink' Blush

But I'm not complacent, I'm always watchful and reminding myself of how healthier- hopefully- I am, to keep going.
Just need to sort the exercise and diet!

Breathmiller · 16/11/2021 10:09

Sooo good to see you 100PercentMe and huge Congratulations on 500 days. I had to work out how many months past a year that was but I know we started at similar times. I was in the August but you were a month or so before that maybe?
Anyway, it's so good to hear how you have been and still there. Also to hear your wisdom about how you have managed to stay sober for so long. I agree with all that you say. I do still now and again have the question but I play it forward and that always helps.

stayingvigilant thank you for coming on and being so calm and level headed about your blip. I was reading it, but didn't have time to answer at the time. I also didn't think you were "going on about it" but instead found it useful and interesting to not only hear your thoughts about why you had that one drink but hear others too. As well as being interested in my own thoughts on it. It did make me think about how I too have wondered if I would ever slip up in an unplanned manner so it was interesting to read your reaction to it. Thank you.

Thank you also to a couple of you who have said some of my words on here have helped you. I have had a busy and sometimes difficult week or two and I have doubted myself while dealing with a challenging situation. I'm being asked to face someone that triggers ALL my difficult emotions from my childhood and it has been very emotional. So, hearing that was a good reminder that I'm not...well, I'm not whatever my brain had thrown at me at times. Residual shit leftover from the past that comes back to haunt me when i feel low.
It felt good at a time I wasn't feeling so good in myself. The thing is it's just words that i have felt on here, from oldies, newbies and the wisdom of drybird who
is the instigator and wise compassionate keeper of these threads. Also bunnies , someone I love reading the wise words. Thank you.

bella well done at looking at what happened and realising it's not for you. I do think its good to unpick these thoughts on why we made that decision. What were we looking for in that drink? I think we are so conditioned to think we need to be the life and soul of the party, that we forget that sometimes its okay to be quietly enjoying something. Or I think that anyway. I enjoy company and love being chatty and fun but since stopping drinking I've realised I don't need to be that all the time. I can also take myself off and have some time to myself or I can be in a group and be quiet. Just because sometimes I like being in the middle of it all doesn't mean I always need to be. I think there was always that expectation of that's who I was so I needed to drink to keep that up sometimes. But I'm not a performing monkey. I can be both, the fun chatty one and the quiet soft one. Neither are wrong.

Anyway, in my difficult time over the last few weeks I have never been so happy that I don't drink. Even though I was aware that in the past I would have fallen into booze to alleviate the uncomfortable feelings, I know with absolute certainty that it would not have helped. And even though I am being made to face someone I'd rather not and face stufffrom my past that I thought I had dealt with, I will face the situation and all my difficult emotions around it a lot more clearly than if I was drinking and /or had a hangover filled with shame and regret. Drinking just isn't a tool for me now to deal with difficult situations or emotions. That's quite a revelation for me.

Welcome PromisesMeanNothingSue you have had lots of good advice from others. It's amazing how not drinking gives clarity sometimes in other aspects of our lives; health, diet and relationships. And that co-dependency we often have with our partners. My dh and I definitely were 'drinking buddies' and when I went back to drinking after a long period in the past, a friend (who bizarrely doesn't drink) said to dh I bet he was glad to have my drinking buddy back. It was a period of readjustment we both had to make to me not being a drinker with him and he found it difficult to begin with I think, for many reading. But he supports me 100% now as he knows that it is much better for me not to drink. It did help that we didn't drink the same thing though.
My dh, many years ago also didn't pick up enough slack in the house and we went through a very tricky patch while that was renegotiated. We both agree that we came out much stronger afterwards and now things are much more even.

OP posts:
Breathmiller · 16/11/2021 10:12

Sorry that last paragraph was to Kindtomyself

OP posts:
Kindtomyself · 16/11/2021 15:14

Thanks @Breathmiller for your wise words, very tricky patch here….sorry that you are still experiencing a difficult situation but glad that you have experienced the revelation that alcohol wouldn’t solve it or even help to support it, that has been a revelation to me too! Crazy really but if I ever had a shit day I would be ‘comforting’ myself with a drink looking for help in the bottom of the glass. I’m learning how to deal with my emotions probably for the first time since I started to avoid it aged 17!

100PerCentMe · 16/11/2021 15:46

Yep breathmiller beginning of July, I was thinking you were a similar time to me.

bella1426 · 16/11/2021 16:57

@Breathmiller that's really interesting about your partner and that transition. I have a great partner but so much of our bonding has been over booze and he definitely considers me his drinking buddy. He is being supportive (under the assumption that I'm just taking a bit of a break and not delving into this as deeply as I am...) but I worry about our relationship changing, him seeing me as boring, us being on v different wavelengths, me finding him a bit irritating when tipsy etc. he likes a drink but can definitely stop easier than I can and doesn't suffer as badly as I do from it so I have no judgement about his drinking, it's just a lonely path on your own sometimes 😔
I'd love to hear more about your experiences if you ever have some spare time to post about them xx

Adm1010 · 16/11/2021 18:41

Busy day today . Just home now sorting tea etc but wanted to check on

So important to keep accountable .

Have a great evening everyone x

Breathmiller · 16/11/2021 19:11

bella that all sounds familiar. I can try unpick it if it will help.

Dh and I have been married for nearly 20 years, together for 22/3 and a lot of that has been as drinking buddies. We met in hardcore techno clubs so drugs were a part of that too. We both wanted out of that culture together so that was great (it took us a while). But we were both left with a real issue with drinking.

Same as you, dh has a better hold on it than me (nowadays anyway) , he can stop easier and his level of drinking doesn't bother him, either physically with hangovers or emotionally.

I will admit sometimes to missing our Friday night kitchen parties for two (or four with the kids) it was always a lot of fun (until it wasn't of course) but it is what it is.

He found it hard to begin with, I think in some ways because it made him look at his relationship with alcohol and maybe deep down he was worried I wanted him to stop too (which I did hope for at short time). He also struggled with the idea of forever. He would "treat" me to alcohol (if I was drinking) but would struggle to "treat" me to non alcoholic things. I had to spell that out to him. That me buying myself something wasn't extravagant in comparison to the absolute waste of money that we had been spending on my wine habit. He often buys me flowers as a treat now, which I love.

He did enjoy when I started drinking again but then saw how it affected me and agreed that I was doing the right thing. He says he is very impressed with me and he supports me fully now. I know if I were to say I wanted a drink, if I was stressed he would talk me out of it calmly. A part of him would probably be delighted to have his drinking buddy back now and again but i think he now would say no to that because he knows for my sake it would not be a good thing for me.

I remember a good while in (6 months or so) I had a wobble and a fuck it moment. He said "aww naw, don't do it. You've done so well and I think you'd regret it." He said he was proud of me and didn't want to see me fall off the wagon due to 'stress drinking'. He caveated that with "it's up to you of course". When I have struggled he has often thought of ideas to help me get over it and has run me many baths, candles and all.

It has changed his drinking, he doesn't drink as much, something he says is directly linked to me not drinking.

I think for both of us as soon as there was no expectation of him stopping too it made it all so much easier.

If I'm being honest, I do find him annoying when he's pissed with friends but I probably always did past the early stage when it was fun. The difference is now that I'm not also pissed, I can see that he's not anymore annoying than the other people. I realised we used to argue most when we were drunk. Or at least have some discord laterally. I'm less likely to get so het up about it. It happens very seldomly these days us being ancient and all that.

Do I sometimes wish we were on board together? Yes, probably. But there are many differences in our life choices. I am vegan he loves his meat. I'm a bit of a hippy who does yoga and he is nothing like that. He drinks, I don't. I figure ee don't have to be the same person to have a strong marriage. We have so many other things in common. These things are just our own path. As long as we both enjoy our shared similarities together, which there are many, and also respect our individual differences then we're all good in my eyes.

OP posts:
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