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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:
AlloftheTime · 16/11/2021 19:57

@Breathmiller thank you! Your honesty and self awareness make it a very interesting read. Always a thought provoking message or two in your posts which resonate strongly.
Checking in 👌

PromisesMeanNothingSue · 17/11/2021 08:07

There’s no way I’d be able to do a Saturday night in a busy bar without drinking, either. Not yet. I’ve been quite brutal about avoiding circumstances I know will be dangerous for me over the next few months, and have no intention of going to the pub/out in the evening any time soon. I told a friend that I’m doing this, and she said that she’d been hoping to come and stay over soon, adding that she’d be happy to not drink; I said sorry but no, because it’s not about whether she drinks or not, but about whether I do… it’s the trigger of having to be sociable and conversationally ‘on’ during my witching hours, and the disruption to my normal routine (I’m autistic, so I find it challenging to deviate from my routine!) of early dinner, couple of episodes of the series we’re watching, and in bed with the iPad by 9 at the latest. Having someone over would switch the points on the track, so to speak, and my train would would want to trundle down the ‘socialising’ track; drinking wine, eating then more —increasingly drunken— chatting until late. Instead, my friend came up for the day, and we went out for a lovely lunch. We had a great time, and I was home before I turned into a grumpy pumpkin. Grin I commented while we were out that I had not the slightest urge to drink, because it’s not what I would normally do - drink during the day - so it’s not an established track in my mind, if that makes sense… yet if we’d been there four hours later, I’d have felt totally differently and been struggling to not drink wine. Isn’t it ridiculous!

I did go to a work do last week in the evening, which I’d been kind of dreading, but wouldn’t have wanted to drink at anyway, as I don’t think my work colleagues are ready for the unfettered, unfiltered me! It really brought home to me how much more stressful the evening would have been if I’d been drinking, and I was so glad I didn’t. It gives me hope that I’ll be able to enjoy sober evenings with friends and family at some point, too. I’ll c&paste my post from the AG 30 Day thread about that evening…

I did it - I drank water all evening! It was actually a lovely evening, and I ended up sitting with two non-drinkers and a very moderate drinker, so I would have been a lot more out-of-place if I’d been sitting there chugging back the wine, thinking about when was the waiter going to fill my glass again, was I drinking too fast, was I slurring, did I embarrass myself, were my cheeks all flushed and my eyes glassy, was I too loud, was I clumsy (and probably spill food down my ample bosom!), worrying about working how much I owed for the drinks, etc etc.

Instead I was able to have pleasant conversations, didn’t think or worry about any of the above, and enjoyed the company of my colleagues. And my make up looked as good at the end of the evening as it did at the start, despite a prolonged hot flush on arrival!

What a revelation! Shock

PromisesMeanNothingSue · 17/11/2021 08:14

@Breathmiller so much of what you wrote there resonates with me. xDP and I have very much enabled each other with the drinking, and I’ve struggled in the past with losing that ‘bonding experience’ with him. Clearly the bonding experience didn’t work that well, though, otherwise he wouldn’t be my ex DP! He is my best friend, though, and I know he’ll want what’s best for me so I’m confident that we’ll adjust.

Congratulations on 500 Days, @100PerCentMe - that’s awesome! 🏅

I’m realising how much more I get done when I’m alcohol free. I knew that already, but I hadn’t really accepted and digested it, really.

bella1426 · 17/11/2021 08:42

@Breathmiller thanks so much for that, it really helps to know others have had similar challenges and come our the other side, your last paragraph was a lovely summary of the current attitude 🙂 kinda same as us too, grew up in the rave scene, was much more into the recreational drugs than booze as a youngster and often wonder if it's why I never learned to drink properly/ was all harder, faster, more, keep the party going...I'm lucky to be up past 10 these days!
My DP sounds quite similar too, when I had my fuck it moment last weekend his first reaction was 'uh oh, are you sure, you might regret it tomorrow' so he's not trying to derail me for selfish reasons or anything, although like yours im sure he'd like some of those fun drinking times back. But the reality is it just doesn't agree with me anymore (if it ever did) and I feel so awful afterwards that I think he gets it.

bella1426 · 17/11/2021 08:53

@PromisesMeanNothingSue totally get that about being conversationally on during certain times being a trigger, even if you're not with someone drinking. Thats interesting that you reference your Autism. My eldest son is autistic and I have often considered getting tested myself, I've been thinking about it more lately as I have been examining my social triggers and interactions as it relates to drinking. Without alcohol I can struggle to engage sometimes, pay attention and maintain eye contact and the booze (or more realistically the first drink) seems to help with that. I love going for walks with friends and can chat for hours if I don't have that direct face to face contact and don't feel the need for booze. There is also a sensory element to crowds and noise that can feel incredibly jarring sober. I appreciate we all have those sensory preferences, autistic and non-autistic so not sure they're enough for me to self diagnose! But I'd love to hear more about your thoughts on the link between your autism and drinking if you were happy to share?
Well done again on your work night out and you're dead right to stay away from temptation if it's too much at the moment. I was too confident and fell last weekend, due to increasing case numbers I've had the opportunity to cancel a few upcoming things (thanks covid!) and looking forward to some upcoming cozy nights in, rest and self care 😁

Breathmiller · 17/11/2021 08:55

promises well done at managing both these situations.

I definitely think it's about changing up routines then we aren't going halfway down the path to a pattern that normally would have alcohol in it in some way.

The grooves and patterns we make in our head are often as strong if not more so than the physical addiction to alcohol. It does seem crazy in some ways that a 4 hour shift made such a difference in attitude and perceptions but it's so true. We all talk about witching hour or day. It's the pattern of behaviours and habits that often make us slip up.

I know that there are days of the week that I can merrily not give it a moment's thought but I just have to be more vigilant around my tricky times - which for me were (or still could be) finishing work on a Friday tired and hungry and wanting to collapse in a heap. I know I still have that habit, I just have swapped the alcohol for junk food. But if I'm working or training on a Saturday it's not there. Funny old things our brains.

OP posts:
ChampooPapi · 18/11/2021 11:01

Checking in 🙌

bella1426 · 18/11/2021 20:46

Checking in on day is everyone's week going? Juggling a house full of winter vomiting bug so absolutely shattered. Silver linings - between that and covid I have had the opportunity to go on a mega cancelling spree of social plans which has been very cathartic. Winning 😁

BunniesBunniesBunnies · 18/11/2021 21:01

Oh no @bella1426 hope you all feel better soon!
I feel 2000x better than I did last week. Being careful to look after myself so I can keep feeling good.

bella1426 · 18/11/2021 21:14

@BunniesBunniesBunnies glad you're feeling better, apart from the illness I am too and gearing up for an AF festive season, podcasts, quit lit, NA drinks planned etc...getting ready for battle with the giant booze Monster that is Christmas 😂

Adm1010 · 18/11/2021 22:07

Checking in xx hope all ok

indiesearcher · 18/11/2021 22:16

Evening all. Day 15, feeling ace and totally in control. Good job as it's been another horrible week.

Addicted now to the fact that I have quit, if I'd known it was this empowering I'd have done it years ago.

Well aware I could hit a rough spot soon. Big social event/celebration next week and then Christmas.

Thoroughly enjoyed some Valencia Orange tonic by Fentimans s this evening .

indiesearcher · 18/11/2021 22:18

Any advice on AF literature? I'm not looking for encouragement to quit, I've made that decision, but anything to reinforce/keep me on the straight and narrow etc?

bella1426 · 19/11/2021 00:00

The accidental soberista is quite a nice read, not too heavy or sciencey, just a good story about a woman who gave up booze

bella1426 · 19/11/2021 00:03

I'm reading quit like a woman by Holly Whitaker which is really good but is quite political in tone with a pretty strong feminist message - good but quite intense, I need something lighter to read after it if any other good quit lit books (more autobiography style) to recommend

Breathmiller · 19/11/2021 08:26

Well done bella on day 5. Sorry to hear you've got an ill household. Feel better soon.

Great to hear things have lifted for you bunnies . Here too. Taking the challenges a bit better now. Things just feel lighter. Although nothing has really changed except my attitude to it. Which is what I needed to work on.

Well done indiesearcher on day 15. I've not read any quit lit but I know there is a wealth of information and knowledge from others on here about it.

I find it odd why I didn't read it. I have many books on how to eat healthier and get out of the binge/diet mindset (and I'm not managing that as well as the not drinking). But with alcohol I actually found I actively didnt want to read about stopping. Which I find interesting. Hmmm... (healthy) food for thought.

I found this thread to be the best incentive to keep me to my decision. Although, thinking about it the fruit and veg thread is also keeping me a bit more accountable for eating healthier. Problem is I am moderating with food which obviously I'm not doing with alcohol. I'm obviously just better with the whole "all or nothing" attitude.

Happy Friday folks. I'm in training all day tomorrow do I don't quite have that Friday feeling that can be challenging. I'll just have it tomorrow instead when I'm finished 😁

OP posts:
BunniesBunniesBunnies · 19/11/2021 09:04

@Breathmiller Great to hear things have lifted for you bunnies . Here too. Taking the challenges a bit better now. Things just feel lighter. Although nothing has really changed except my attitude to it. Which is what I needed to work on.

I’m exactly the same! Feeling lighter and also aware that it’s only my attitude that’s changed!

Having said that, my energy levels also play a role. Sometimes they are excellent and sometimes they are crap. Still not quite sure what’s causing those dips.

I also never read quit lit. Don’t know why. Just didn’t really want to.

Kindtomyself · 19/11/2021 10:21

Morning all. Glad you’re feeling lighter @Breathmiller and @BunniesBunniesBunnies. I’m working on it….

Sorry you’ve got a poorly household @bella1426.

@indiesearcher I found quit lit really helpful at first and read (well listened) to a few - The Sober Diaries was one. I also listened to You Left Early by Louisa Young that was heartbreaking. I have moved on a bit in my listening/reading but I’m still focusing on self development- I’m currently listening to Fierce Self Compassion which makes me a bit angry…which is interesting to explore Grin

Kittensgalore · 19/11/2021 11:25

Checking in. Feeling a bit blah. Not much to say, my head is woolly, feeling unmotivated. Have worked the last 6 days and I've taken today off as I am shattered. Somehow keep thinking I should feel some benefits, shouldn't my house should be cleaner, my skin should be clearer and my eyes brighter, something?!!!

Instead I I just feel so blah, can't think of any other way of describing it. All out of words. But I'm still AF. Keeping on going somehow. Happy Friday everyone.

Kindtomyself · 19/11/2021 11:58

Hi @Kittensgalore sorry you’re feeling woolly and blah. I certainly know that feeling! You sound exhausted and I would suggest being kind to yourself today, eat well, lots of fluids, walk in nature, nice bath, good book, good film that sort of thing. You will start to notice changes but sometimes they’re small and can be missed. My daughter took a photo of me yesterday and I noticed that my eyes looked brighter (hadn’t noticed this before), I’m not jumping around with loads of energy but I do have a lot on my plate and I recognise that now (I would ignore this previously). I’m sleeping better. I’m definitely calmer and able to manage my emotions better, I used to be a coiled spring ready to ping but feel much more in control. Sometimes when we are exhausted and over worked we don’t recognise how far we’ve come. Writing this has helped me to remember.

AlloftheTime · 19/11/2021 13:54

@Kittensgalore sorry to hear you’ve got the blah - I recommend putting it in your recycling receptacle and closing the lid firmly….,
I think kindtomyself has outlined some more tried and tested suggestions 😊
There’s a full moon today so if all else fails you could go outside and howl 😉

Adm1010 · 19/11/2021 14:24

Having a terrible day today . I woke up and thought fuck it!! I’m going buying booze and I’m getting pissed . Didn’t care it was 7am I was RAGING !! Almost had to tie myself to the couch to stop myself going buying booze . I’ve cried lots . Shouted at my husband . Feel slightly calmer now but I still want a drink . It’s totally blind sided me . Shocking .

AlloftheTime · 19/11/2021 15:17


Having a terrible day today . I woke up and thought fuck it!! I’m going buying booze and I’m getting pissed . Didn’t care it was 7am I was RAGING !! Almost had to tie myself to the couch to stop myself going buying booze . I’ve cried lots . Shouted at my husband . Feel slightly calmer now but I still want a drink . It’s totally blind sided me . Shocking .

Hey there - sorry to hear you’ve had such an awful day. Do you have any clue why that was your first thought this morning?
How was your sleep last night?
Hope you have some self care or coping tactics to try this afternoon/evening.
Adm1010 · 19/11/2021 16:05

I think it’s to do with yesterday . My husband got given a bottle of wine after doing a favour for a friend . This friend knows his wine. Anyway I thought I was ok , we was looking at the wine and looked it up on the internet , found it’s a sixty quid bottle . Was talking about it etc. And I started to bloody salivate ! I wanted a drink! At the time I made light of it . Dismissed it . But it clearly triggered me . And I woke up this morning feeling in full self destruct! It’s totally blind sided us both . The wine is no longer in the house . But I’m so angry! Angry at my obvious physical reaction and craving …. Angry it can happen anytime .

Kittensgalore · 19/11/2021 17:19

Thank you @Kindtomyself, I am just being hard on myself and I am exhausted. I know I must be less tired than when I was consuming copious amounts of wine every week but somehow I got through by focusing on when I could have the next drink. Whereas now each week just feels interminably long and exhausting. I am off to have a bath now and we have nice things planned for the weekend.

@AlloftheTime you made me laugh out loud. And it made me remember that I am very proud of my virtually empty glass recycling box!

@Adm1010, I completely relate although I am not sure what to do about it. I'm too exhausted for the rage but it's definitely bubbling away under the surface. Hopefully others further down the line will have some wise words for us. I just know that right now I'm deeply resentful on the one hand that I can't just go and buy a bottle of wine and have a couple of glasses and leave it at that and equally terrified that I might just go and do that and drink the whole bloody bottle as well as it's pal that also fell into my shopping basket. Grrrrr... I'm off to soak my head in the bath.

Well done for getting that £60 bottle of poison out of your house btw.

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