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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:

SoberSept21 · 05/10/2021 07:13

Welcome (back) @Namebunny
The number of mornings I've woken up determined that I'm not drinking that evening/week/ever again but by 5pm I'd be heading to a shop to get a bottle - the wine witch is w powerful little madam. She's getting quieter now though - day 30 for me Smile


StoppedWineIng · 05/10/2021 07:17

@Kindtomyself she doesn’t sleep day or night! No naps and up every 1-1.5 hours!

@iamyourequal my first was a great sleeper so this is tough x


Namebunny · 05/10/2021 07:18

Oh well done!
Writing this to remind me..amazing how in my head I’m perfect..and how the wine witch says, ‘aw, of course you’ll sleep, it’ll be fine, just a wee taste’.
Couldn’t remember the dr who episode we’d seen the other day. Staggered into a brand new house present and sent it flying. And again.
Dh saying’youre drunk’ quite angrily and me denying it. While staggering slightly. Ds having to help me pick up the thing I’d knocked over. Yikes.
Hope this reminds me !


Adm1010 · 05/10/2021 07:33

@Namebunny the addictive voice or “ wine witch “ will never go . But you CAN control it . It’s not an all powerful entity that you have to submit to ! You are in charge .

The voice is the reward centre in your brain . When you first started drinking alcohol you released a powerful amount of dopamine and the reward centre liked that, it wanted it again . A pattern was set . And over time it needs more and more to get that feeling it craves . It will do anything . It will tell you anything . But you CAN fight it by understanding it . Take away what it needs … and slowly but surely it WILL become a whisper ….
But keep feeding it ( by trying to moderate or whatever ) it will get stronger and louder .
The reward centre will always need more no matter how much you give it . That’s why dependence is progressive .
Understand WHY you are struggling. Realise you are NOT weak . And take the power back .


Adm1010 · 05/10/2021 07:48

I want to give what I think is a powerful message today .

I’ve drank heavily for years . Close on 30 years . I’ve had periods of abstinence . The longest being 2 years but otherwise I’ve bought the T-shirt in terms of dependence .
I’ve remained functioning ( just ) held down a job . Gained promotions. Happily married . Brought my children up … BUT …
I have no money . I have no friends . I have no hobbies .
I’ve spent every bit of spare money on alcohol . I’ve lost my friends through prioritising alcohol and being an aggressive rude drunk . I’ve not got any hobbies because my hobby was sitting on the sofa drinking and now I don’t know what I enjoy .
I’ve lost my 20s 30s and most of my 40s to drinking . I’ve lost ME !
Now I’m 47 . I’ve got liver damage . And I’m looking back and wishing I’d stopped sooner .
So if you read this … and you’re at the start of the progression …. Because believe me I started somewhere and progression is inevitable … think now! Stop now!
Stay on this thread and get support .


HeadlessLegless · 05/10/2021 08:39

@Adm1010 thank you, I need a message like that this morning. I have my fibroscan later this afternoon. I just hope I have not left it too late... Here is my Day 1.


Adm1010 · 05/10/2021 08:45

Good luck with the fibro scan . If you want to share results I’m happy to discuss


Namebunny · 05/10/2021 08:51

Oh Adm1010 that’s a very moving and powerful message. I read your first message and liked what you are saying, about being able to take power back. And then your second message has really moved me. I’m so sorry to hear that you have had such horrible battles. I’m so sorry that it’s been such a struggle. I really hope that this thread is helping you, and that you gently find things to do that bring you happiness.
Your story has shocked me. We ( or at least I) somehow STILL think of alcohol as a benign thing and yet my brother and several friends have had their lives ruined, or definitely made harder. Also the wine witch says,’ it won’t happen to you.. ‘
Thanks for the cold dose of reality. A bit of me is STILL falling for the lies of alcohol.
Very good luck.
Headlessleglass good luck with the fibroscan .


Nosilayak · 05/10/2021 09:07

@Headlesslegless Good luck with the scan today, I'll be thinking about you and hoping the results are better than you expect. @Adm1010 thanks for sharing your story. You always seem such a wise, strong person, please know you have friends on here.


Adm1010 · 05/10/2021 11:35

I hope my story helps others Flowers

Just got back from having my hair cut and eyebrows waxed . Feel better just for grooming a bit . Slowly but surely ….


Kindtomyself · 05/10/2021 13:02

@Adm1010 very moving story and so glad that you are finding positives - I notice that you say happy marriage that's fabulous and more than a lot of people have. Good on you for your haircut and eyebrows - have you gone for a new hairstyle? Do you have any idea of hobbies you fancy? I don't have time for much but I go to yoga, love walking, used to run a bit but haven't done that for quite a while, I love reading and thought I might go to a book club. You do have friends on here, I'm always happy to chat - doesn't just have to be alcohol related!

@HeadlessLegless hope the results are ok today.

Right back to work. I'll pop back later


ChampooPapi · 05/10/2021 13:53

Checking in 🙌


Adm1010 · 05/10/2021 16:27

@Kindtomyself I’ve just had a general tidy up but I’m getting it coloured next time

I like reading and listening to music . I have people who I could call to go for walks and chat etc but no real best friends iyswim .
I’m very lucky in my marriage I realise that . I think it’s important at this time to count blessings as well as look at what I’ve lost .
I can’t turn back time but I can make life count from now !
It’s honestly like waking from a long sleep isn’t it? Why the hell do we drink ?? Confused


HeadlessLegless · 05/10/2021 17:30

@Adm1010 and @Nosilayak and everyone else.

I had my fibroscan this afternoon. It went well. The Consultant says that "normal or not to worry" is 8 or less. I was median 9.7. Now that could be for many reasons, probably because I have not had a sober day for months. He tells me I do not have to worry. If it had been 20+ or 30+ or 40+, then I would have to make some very serious decisions about my life and alcohol.

I can reduce my levels and I will do. I know what I have to do and I will now do it.

I just do not understand how I could have got such a good result. I have drunk virtually non-stop for 25+ years and have managed 80+ units a week AT LEAST. I have been on self destruct for so long now and from here on in, I don't want to be a victim anymore.

Anyway, I would like to join you all starting tomorrow. Tonight I am getting something to eat and then going to rest as I feel quite exhausted with the worry and wait but obviously hopeful for my future now.

I need to look after myself, there are not too many years in front of me as there are behind me now and I intend to make the most of my sober years.


Nosilayak · 05/10/2021 17:39

@Headlesslegless Thanks so much for posting your results. I have been thinking about you all day and checking on here to see how you've got on. That is absolutely fantastic news. Thank goodness you now know it's not too late and you haven't done irrepairable damage. The liver is a marvellous organ and I'm certainly going to show mine more respect from now on. I'm so pleased for you, you were very brave facing up to this and you deserve to relax tonight x


Adm1010 · 05/10/2021 17:52

@HeadlessLegless I’m glad the scan went well and the news was as good as could be expected . A good chance now to do the right things and look forward to a healthier future Flowers


Breathmiller · 05/10/2021 19:34

headless so glad to hear that your scan went better than you thought. Well done to all of you who are getting tests and facing this head on. We can't change the past but everyone can start from today and feel the positives.

Elsa great to see you back. So close to 2 years and sounding like it is going well. Lovely to hear such an inspiring success story.

hangingover hope all is going well in Greece with the family.

OP posts:

Breathmiller · 05/10/2021 19:38

Welcome back namebunny and so good to hear from you again sparklinglime . You can do this.

Adm101 thank you for all your insightful and raw words. I hear you on the crazy amount of years that I have given to alcohol. I've said this before but I am 51 and spent a lot of these years pissed or affected by alcohol. I am enjoying the second half of my life sober.

OP posts:

Breathmiller · 05/10/2021 19:44

I've been reading a book on trauma informed yoga today and lots of it rang true. How we end up in these situations where we push down our difficult emotions with unhealthy habits because they are too painful to deal with. But then we end up feeling them anyway on top of the effects of the substance we abuse. It's kot easy this clearing the fog and facing our demons but it's so worth it.

My family are all free to roam again tomorrow after isolation and I have to admit that I have enjoyed the forced downtime (although not my boys being ill at the beginning of course) i feel I've had a bit of headspace to see what other placebos I have going on when I am busy. I have cleared out so much, eaten well and healthily and taken some rest after a crazy few months.

The good thing is that I only have til Sunday to work then I'm on a planned holiday anyway.

OP posts:

Breathmiller · 05/10/2021 19:45

Placebos wasn't the right word there really. Ermm...unhealthy coping mechanisms I meant.

OP posts:

StoppedWineIng · 05/10/2021 21:46

Checking in at 4 days. Feeling good and really feel like my habit has changed and I feel a lot less like drinking than I have done in the past.

2 poorly babies in this house, one doesn’t like sleep anyway so is already in my bed. Long night ahead…. Again but at least I can say I am fully able to be there for my babies whatever they might need from me tonight ❤️


Namebunny · 05/10/2021 22:23

Hi all, can I just say how wonderful you all are. What a lovely supportive tone this group has.
breathmiller it’s so nice to be welcomed back. I think part of the alcohol is because I feel like I’ve disappeared and no longer count, as I’m ancient ( mid fifties ffs!) so that meant a lot.
headless well done! That’s such good news. It’s awful waiting for tests. kindtomyself what a lovely user name, and post. You’ve reminded me I need to be kind to myself too.
And finally, ADM 1010 thank you for sharing earlier. It meant a lot that you took the time to write your posts, so I took the time to really let your words sink in. I didn’t have a drop tonight, even though Dh was. I am so pleased. And amazed that it’s got to this - that I think one night is a big achievement. You are so right adm1010 it does creep up more and more.
All your words are powerful, but your explanation of dopamine hit really helped - I’m planning on my reward and dopamine hit coming from looking forward to feeling ok in the morning and knowing I’m going to have a good nights rest.
Thank you .


Namebunny · 05/10/2021 22:38

Ewww just re read the thread and the last post was all about me, sorry!
Lovely to hear all the positives. Adm1010, well done with the grooming thang. Big step! You can do it.


Newmum29 · 06/10/2021 02:50

So a very close friend sent me a really thoughtful gift of cocktails from a super fancy wine bar (we’ve been in lockdown here for over 3 months so I haven’t been able to go anywhere).

I feel touched but also sad. It’s about $100 worth of really lovely martini/gimlet/negronis that I can’t have. Hubby will take them off my hands but I do feel sad I can’t “be normal” and just enjoy them.


Kindtomyself · 06/10/2021 06:45

Morning all.

@Newmum29 aw thoughtful friend but I can see why you would feel sad. Could you return them to the bar and use the money for a little treat? I'm sure your friend was intending to treat you so they would be happy whatever the treat was?

@Namebunny we're not ancient Grin. I'm intending to be kind to myself, dare I say it love myself and part of that is making the most of how I look. I'm going to start wearing great clothes and be really cool and funky. I'm going all Vivienne Westwood if she can do it at 80 I can bloody do it at 50. I probably won't trade my DH for a 20 year old though Wink.

@StoppedWineIng hope your beautiful babes are feeling better and that you all got some sleep. So precious.

@Adm1010 your information about dopamine is really helpful and I remind myself about it when I'm wobbling. I've had restless legs the last couple of nights and Mrs Google suggests that it could be a lack of dopamine not sure if there's any link there.

Anyway hello to everyone else, I've got another crazy day today. I WON'T BE DRINKING.

Have a great day all and I'll pop back later

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