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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:

SilverPeacock · 22/11/2021 08:55



SilverPeacock · 22/11/2021 08:59

Hi bella1426 great point about taking the car. Glad you've had a good weekend.


Minkyscamp · 22/11/2021 09:15

@SilverPeacock yes I know I shouldn't need an excuse, but I think I'll feel more confident if I have one prepared! I think health is a good one, and sleep - I'm a terrible sleeper anyway, and the 2am wake ups have become a fixture now (along with the nighttime agonising and self loathing). I'm genuinely hoping that stopping drinking will help with the sleep - so that is an obvious answer.

@Kindtomyself thank you for all those ideas - I'll have a few stashed up my sleeve for the inevitable questions. Interesting to see what a range of responses you've had. Funnily enough, one of the things that worries me is realising that people in my friendship group actually don't drink all that much, and that I've just been a lone-drunk at all of our previous nights out!


Minkyscamp · 22/11/2021 09:23

@SilverPeacock yes - gluttons for punishment starting at the end of November. But i figure if I can try to focus on all the other lovely Christmassy things/feelings going on, that will be a good distraction - so in a way, it's a good time to do it. Plus we won't miss any of it or have drunken arguments (been there and tortured myself about it). Plus I figure I'll save so much money that I can have a big splurge in the sales to reward myself!


Toofaroutallmylife · 22/11/2021 10:07

Hello, can I join you? Day 1 for me. Like @SilverPeacock and @Minkyscamp I’m feeling it’s not a great time to try, but I don’t want to go another month feeling like this.

I asked the same question about excuses on another thread, so really helpful to see some of the responses. I’m also finding it interesting that we need an “excuse” not to drink!


BunniesBunniesBunnies · 22/11/2021 11:43

Welcome new people! Yes it’s a funny time of year to ditch booze, but then again it never seems to be a good time to stop! Or at least there are always plenty of excuses - upcoming holiday, birthday, anniversary, busy time at work etc. So you may as well stop now🙂

In terms of excuses I kept it quite vague I think. I just said something like - alcohol really isn’t agreeing with me at the moment, I’m finding it’s affecting my sleep/mood/gives me headaches whatever. (My actual issues with alcohol were much more complex but I didn’t want to share that with random people nor should I have to!)

I was very casual about it and generally people didn’t ask further. Now that I’m a long way in (about 20 months) I tend to say - oh I gave up a while ago as it wasn’t agreeing with me, and I felt so much better I haven’t gone back. That usually shuts people up.

I’m actually excited for people giving up this time of year! To be fully present for Christmas without hangovers and drunkenness, and to start the new year healthy and fresh is really the greatest gift you can give yourself (and your children, if you have them).


bella1426 · 22/11/2021 12:40

@BunniesBunniesBunnies I totally agree. I toyed with waiting till January but honestly the thoughts of all those hangovers and spending a precious 2 weeks off work on a bit of a constant slightly tipsy/slightly hungover fog just makes me feel bleugh! I say rip the bandaid off and with December under our belts January will be a doddle 😊 it's my three years olds first year of proper Santa excitement and probably my ten year olds last one so I don't want to miss a second of childhood Christmas magic with them this year


Breathmiller · 22/11/2021 17:00

Welcome tooFaroutallmylife
Another one agreeing with the wisdom from bunnies

There will always be a celebration or a challenge. It's not about waiting for life to get easier or for the celebratory events to stop (who wants that?!)

It's about dealing with the challenging times and celebrating the highs of life without the fog of alcohol.

I started a week before my anniversary and a month before my 50th birthday. And I did think, well its a great idea but I'll wait til these big events are done and then I'll start.

But then it would have bern dark nights so a wee drink to warm the evening and then Christmas, Hogmanay, boring January's, more birthdays and on and on and on.

So I decided there was no time like the present. If I couldn't do it this day then what was going to be so different to the one next week or in a month's time. For me it was time to stop with the bartering with myself and making excuses. If I was going to do this bloody thing then I was going to bloody well do it today!! I felt quite strongly about it.

OP posts:

ChampooPapi · 22/11/2021 20:16

Checking in 🙌


AlloftheTime · 22/11/2021 20:26


Checking in 🙌

Cool - hope you are feeling better this week ✅

Ifnotnowthenwhen5 · 22/11/2021 21:20

Late-in-the-day check in for me and another day 1. I’ve managed periods of sobriety in the past and loved it. Recently though I’ve been drinking heavily and I just thought today- what am I doing? I have wasted so much of my life being drunk or hungover and im not enjoying it anymore. So another day 1 for me!!


Kindtomyself · 22/11/2021 22:44

Welcome @Ifnotnowthenwhen5.

I’ve had a rollercoaster of emotions today, started off feeling really bright and positive and gradually through the day this was knocked out of me (metaphorically speaking). Interesting though how my mood shifts based on firstly a friend getting a bit frazzled with me (at least I think she is - this is through messages) because I’m over stretched and juggling stuff and she seems a bit miffed cos I can’t fit her in this week which just annoyed and irritated me. Also my DD mentioning something a girl said today that was excluding my DD - I felt a big lump in stomach — anxiety and felt upset/overwhelmed whereas my DD didn’t seem too bothered. I would normally have made an excuse for a drink to get rid of anxiety/sadness but I didn’t, I sat with it…

Think we’re going to need another thread soon…


BunniesBunniesBunnies · 23/11/2021 09:36

Well done for sitting with those feelings @Kindtomyself.
@Ifnotnowthenwhen5 welcome back.

It will be 600 days for me tomorrow.
Seeing that written down I can hardly believe it. I can’t believe I have done this thing which I never thought I could do. It makes me wonder what else I might be capable of!

I’ve been thinking actually whether it might be nice for us to share some things we would like to try or achieve in the next year. Doesn’t have to be anything major at all, could just be making more time for ourselves, or trying out something we’ve never done before (I’d like to take a dance class!). We don’t have to, I just thought it might be fun. Now that I’ve ditched alcohol for good I’d like to bring some new things into my life.

Yes, almost time for a new thread..!


Kindtomyself · 23/11/2021 13:52

Congratulations @BunniesBunniesBunnies 600 days that’s a massive achievement. I think sharing plans for next year is a great idea. I’ll have a think and come back with a plan.


Cartooner · 23/11/2021 14:05

Hello! Popping my head in here. I was on here quite a bit over nine months off alcohol. I hope you are all well. I am off it again now. This worked for me to decide the road and the AF road is the best. I wasn't a big drinker but frequent enough for it to invade my thoughts and energy far more than I'd like.

I have been lurking but saw mention of Christmas and just wanted to flag that last Christmas was absolutely fantastic without alcohol. I did not miss it for even one minute. We are all different I know that but I associate a lot of Christmas with alcohol and had had AF mulled wine, I took my time with some baking, I had lovely walks in the cold, bought a fancy syrup for gingerbread coffees with cream. I read my books, enjoyed my skincare advent calendar and hunkered down for the break and alcohol would have only taken from that. So much so that I'd decided even if I'd went back to alcohol I'd never drink over Christmas again.

But now I'm back in the AF camp cos it's lovely. I might point anyone on instagram to Clover Stroud's post today, absolutely lovely.

Just wanted to pop my head in and say hi and well done to all.


Cartooner · 23/11/2021 14:08

Bunnies bunnies bunniess congratulations on 600 days you are fantastic.

I started a creative writing course and I am hoping to write a book. I don't have time for any of this but AF helps and I am not getting any younger and if I don't decide to value my own private goals no one else will. That's my new motto.


BunniesBunniesBunnies · 23/11/2021 14:58

@Cartooner welcome back of course I remember you!!! That’s so cool that you are starting a creative writing course! And I couldn’t agree more with you about AF Christmas, I’m looking forward to mine already.


AlloftheTime · 23/11/2021 18:37

@BunniesBunniesBunnies well done you! 👏


Kittensgalore · 23/11/2021 20:50

Amazing @BunniesBunniesBunnies, 600 Days is immense.

I'm nearly at day 30. Major wobble today following an awful meeting at work earlier. But I've come out the other side intact. Which I really didn't think I would be saying. Worrying already about getting through tomorrow but I guess I don't need to think that far ahead just now.

Thinking about things I'd like to achieve I've got so many but one thing that struck me the other day was that I used to be really creative, nothing amazing but I was always making something or planning to make something. It's like I lost that part of me along the way, be good to re-find it.


AlloftheTime · 23/11/2021 21:12

@Kittensgalore - unleash your creativity!
Well done on making it through a tough day.


Kindtomyself · 24/11/2021 06:52

Morning. @Cartooner thank you for suggesting Clover Stroud’s Instagram, I had a read and it was lovely. How great is this thread? It’s so helpful and full of great ideas and advice.

@Kittensgalore great on reconnecting with your creativity. There’s loads of things I want to do but I’m mega busy at the moment- working a silly amount of hours for the next 9 months but then it should calm down and I’ll have more time for achievements. I think one of my actions though is to make time for me - this has been a real shift for me. I was always busy busy running away from emotions whereas I now sit with my emotions.

Have a great day


BunniesBunniesBunnies · 24/11/2021 07:14

Ah I know what you mean @Kittensgalore. I used to spend a lot of time knitting, sewing, painting etc. I was never very good at it but I enjoyed it! Now I struggle to find the time. It’s just that classic stage of life where you are looking after kids and elderly parents (sandwich generation?) as well as having jobs etc.

I have gotten a lot better at making time for myself this year, especially time outside spent running/walking. It’s funny, when I used to drink if I had half an hour to myself in the early evening I would disappear upstairs with a glass of wine. Now I often escape outside for some fresh air. So much nicer!


BunniesBunniesBunnies · 24/11/2021 07:33

Ps nearly time for a new thread!!! I’ve actually loved the current title - we could keep it the same? Or does anyone have any suggestions?


Ifnotnowthenwhen5 · 24/11/2021 07:33

Totally agree @Kittensgalore I feel like I’ve lost myself. Guess that’s what happens when you’re main use of time is being in the pub! Well done on making it through the tough day.
I definitely want to go back to some of the creative things I used to enjoy like sewing. I also want to take up running again.

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