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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:

Kittensgalore · 21/11/2021 07:38

So sorry about your Dad @Kittenminion. So tough and not surprising at all you've had a slip up given the circumstances. Amazing you've managed to stop slipping and get back on track so quickly. That is an achievement in itself. Thanks


AlloftheTime · 21/11/2021 07:42

@Kittenminion I’m sorry you’ve lost your dad and hope it was some comfort to have been with him last Sunday. Be as kind and concerned about yourself as you would to anyone else in a similar situation. I hope you support irl in the coming weeks.
You sound ready and determined to continue being AF and it’s good you are back here. Take good care


SilverPeacock · 21/11/2021 08:59

@Kittenminion I'm so sorry about your dad. Take care of yourself


Kindtomyself · 21/11/2021 09:00

Morning all. @Kittenminion sorry to hear about your dad. I think the advice that @AlloftheTime is great. Be very kind and compassionate to yourself as you would to others in the same situation. Glad you’re back with us.

My dd was really upset about something that had happened at school the other day and I asked her to talk me through what she would say to a good friend if it had happened to them. She said it really helped. Just practicing self compassion really works, we forget to treat ourselves as kindly. This is a massive awakening for me despite it seeming obvious.


PromisesMeanNothingSue · 21/11/2021 09:19

Sorry for your loss, @Kittenminion, and it’s understandable that you had that urge to drink. Have you done the Annie Grace Alcohol Experiment before? I find the videos very insightful (and watch them during my witching hours if I’m wobbling).

@indiesearcher glad to help, and hope you enjoy the book. Smile


bella1426 · 21/11/2021 09:38

@Kittenminion sorry for your loss. I lost my dad this year too after a long illness and it was a contributory factor in me not drinking, also felt like I couldn't handle hangovers on top op of everything else going on, they really make everything worse. I stayed sober throughout his death but it didn't last, I think I was relying on it as a distraction technique throughout it all, so do your best but don't beat yourself up if you slip, also everyone seems to think getting a drink in your hand is the best way to help 🙄. It's an awful, surreal, numbing time and will come at you in waves and in ways that you won't expect but you'll get through it and feel so much better without the booze, look after yourself xxx


Breathmiller · 21/11/2021 09:59

kittenminion I am so sorry to hear about your dad. That must have been so hard. I am glad you got to be with him.

As has been said, be as compassionate to yourself as you would be to anyone else in your situation. You have done so well to check it so soon and decide not to continue on drinking. A mere blip in your sobriety and a very understandable one. Take care of yourself. Flowers

OP posts:

Breathmiller · 21/11/2021 10:16

promises thank you for your honest and open post. There is always so much to unpick I think when we stop drinking. Which always makes me realise that I wasn't dealing with all these issues when I was drinking. I did think I was, but not really. It definitely masked a lot. And made a lot of them worse. Certainly made my reaction to them worse and my anxiety around a lot of situations. It may be harder in some ways now as I start to really face these patterns without the fog of alcohol but even though it's hard work, it's working more now. I feel I am learning more, more.. authentic (apologies for wankiness) or deeper tools to work and change patterns instead of just drowning them in "fuck it" bottle(s) of wine.

I had my training day (with the person with challenging behaviours) yesterday and it went well. I decided that I am not responsible for anyone else's behaviour, only my own reaction to it. I remained calm and friendly and open in the group and let everything else go. I realise I had been so fearful of this other person's behaviour that I wasn't being present. So, in the way of recognising I can't predict the outcome (and shouldn't catastrophise about what it may turn into) I joined in with the day, and let her get on with her day. And in my mind , I i wished her an easier time so that she didn't have to act in the way she did/does. A step back in that it's not my responsibility but also some compassion that hurt people act in hurtful ways. So, in my mind I wished her well but also had in mind "not my circus, not my monkey" . It was very freeing and reminded me to be compassionate towards those that find life difficult whilst also stepping away.

OP posts:

AlloftheTime · 21/11/2021 11:57

@Breathmiller good to hear the day went better than you have feared and well done on your approach which obviously worked for you.


Adm1010 · 21/11/2021 12:37

@Kittenminion I’m very sorry about your dad Flowers


StoppedWineIng · 21/11/2021 13:24

I’m back and probably not so surprisingly hungover. Life has thrown every possible bit of crap at me. I have been drinking the last few weeks but definitely moderately….until last night. I went to a party and massively overdid it. Always knew I’d come back but I’ve just had so much to deal with it has taken me longer than I thought. So day 1…


StoppedWineIng · 21/11/2021 13:56

I haven’t read far back but just wanted so say I’m so sorry about your dad @Kittenminion


Breathmiller · 21/11/2021 14:14

Sorry you've been having a difficult time stoppedwineing . Welcome back Smile

OP posts:

StoppedWineIng · 21/11/2021 15:16

Thank you @breathmiller I hope you’re well and enjoying your new grandchild x


Breathmiller · 21/11/2021 15:30

Thank you stoppedwineing I am absolutely and ridiculously besotted with him. He's just perfect. And DD is just the perfect mum, a real natural, as we expected her to be. So beautiful to watch your baby with their baby.

OP posts:

BunniesBunniesBunnies · 21/11/2021 17:28

Well done @Breathmiller you’re a saint!


Adm1010 · 21/11/2021 21:58

Welcome back @StoppedWineIng


Minkyscamp · 22/11/2021 07:07

Hello - I'm hopping on this thread for the first time, having been lurking around for a while. Today is day 2 for me, and this is my first attempt to give up for good. I'm reading the quit lit, and feeling good about my decision.

One thing I'm worried about is what to say when people ask why? I know I shouldn't need a reason, but I'd feel like I need to give one with friends/family ask (particularly going into the festive season) and I don't know what to say without making it sound like I had a raging alcohol problem (which maybe I do/did).

Any suggestions on how to navigate this?

Looking forward to following everyone's stories.


SilverPeacock · 22/11/2021 07:29

Hi Minkyscamp I just joined the thread too. I was thinking about this as well. I have been ill this year which people know about so I can easily say it's because of my health but then I don't know why I feel I need an excuse which is 'acceptable' to other people. But you could just say you want to be more healthy? There will be others on soon who have bee n at it longer who will hopefully have some words of wisdom.


SilverPeacock · 22/11/2021 07:31

@Breathmiller how lovely about your grandson!


Kindtomyself · 22/11/2021 08:27

Morning all. Hi @StoppedWineIng and sorry you’ve been having a tough time.

Hello @Minkyscamp I know what you mean about what to tell people, it’s none of their business really but I know that feeling where you want to give a reason. It’s something that gets easier with time but at first I felt a bit ‘clunky’, I try my hardest to just think of today rather than the future as that can seem a bit overwhelming. First time I just said I wasn’t drinking because I’d not been sleeping well and was trying to get back into a routine. Other reasons I have given include having headaches (true), need to be up early to write essay/report/do x with kids/run etc. Other people I have said I was stressed with work/home and had noticed I was trying to self medicate with alcohol. It’s quite interesting to see responses because I think it tells you something about their relationship with alcohol- people have told me that they drink too much, others have related stories where their alcohol use has got out of hand, some haven’t batted an eyelid because they can take it or leave it whilst others seem annoyed because they want their partner in crime back! With the latter I’ve felt guilty for spoiling their fun and then had a stern word with myself to remind me that it wasn’t fun (apart from maybe the first glass) then I would spend my time distracted with alcohol and not being fully present!


Kindtomyself · 22/11/2021 08:29

Basically I’ve found myself owning it and actually realising that I have just as much fun if not more when I’m not drinking


SilverPeacock · 22/11/2021 08:48

That's really helpful @Kindtomyself.


bella1426 · 22/11/2021 08:52

Morning all, checking in on day 9 and feeling Sooooo much better than I did last Monday having had both a relaxing and productive weekend 😁 welcome @SilverPeacock and @Minkyscamp. My plan is to generally drive to things and keep a simple 'no thanks I'm driving...up early with kids/for work/insert imaginary early morning hobby here'
For people who dig a bit deeper or warrant more of an explanation I'm going to say something along the lines of "hangovers are just knocking the crap out of me as I'm getting older, not sure if I'm getting enough enjoyment out of drinking anymore to make it worthwhile so just giving things a go alcohol free for a while to see what it's like" which is pretty much the truth without delving too deep into the hangover self loathing and lack of self control when trying to moderate!


SilverPeacock · 22/11/2021 08:54

@Minkycamp you and I are not picing the easiest time of year to start this 🤣. But on the other hand maybe it is the best time to start. I often feel quite miserable at Christmas because of booze - missing or not enjoying things because I'm hungover. Me and DH had the most awful row one Christmas day which was alcohol related and was so shameful I can hardly even bear to remember it.

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