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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:
Breathmiller · 07/10/2021 21:00

On the subject of feelings. I have mentioned this before but I find it not only a powerful practice for me but I use it a lot with clients.

Look up on you tube a meditation practice called R.A.I.N. by Tara Brach. It can help so much with difficult feelings. These ones that we push away or fight against or drown. I use it all the time, for little things that come up and bigger feelings when needed. She has two wonderful books called Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion. I think self Compassion is such an underwrites tool. Imagine if we could turn to our difficult vulnerable parts of ourselves with the same love and compassion that we show to others? How much gentler we would be with ourselves.

OP posts:
Breathmiller · 07/10/2021 21:01

underrated tool

OP posts:
Namebunny · 07/10/2021 22:03

Goodness breathmiller you put an amazing amount into this thread.
Welcoming, wise, I could go on!
Lord, FEELINGS!! Hate the fuckers! 😂😂😂😂
HeadlessLegless well done with the Ribena and day 3! Day 3 here too. !
kindtomyself hope you had fun with the friend. Lime soda can actually make a girl very giggly , watch out!
Adm1010 sorry you’re having a crap day. It’s not much, but if it helps cheer you up I can offer that your previous posts( the two together) have had a massive effect. I really thank you for posting that. It ( and ‘jog on’ ) are what I’m clinging to atm. Because of that, The kids are being talked to, the washing up got done, everyones calmer…You are creating a ripple effect of goodness!

EIsaCragg · 07/10/2021 22:53

Sorry to hear some of you are having a tough time at the moment, please keep the faith, this thread is such a good place if you want to vent or need support.

As regards FEELINGS, being sober brings all kinds of emotions to the fore. Things that alcohol has buried. I did a lot of soul searching in the early days, and I allowed myself to feel angry, sad, you name it. I was partly grieving for the good years I had wasted and I eventually realised that I now had permission to move on and leave all the negativity behind. So don't ignore your feelings, work through them and move forward.

Hope everyone has a good weekend. Smile

iamyourequal · 07/10/2021 23:13

I hope you got through a tough thur night ok @Adm1010. Here’s hoping Friday is a better day for you. There is no getting away from the feelings. It’s quite draining at times indeed.

@SparklingLime. I’m really sorry about your Dad. The grief must be terrible. Flowers
I started drinking again, very moderately at first, last October. My dad was ill too and in hospital most of Aug &sep 2020 (no visiting) and we all had covid in Sept/Oct and I was so stressed it seemed the answer to open some wine (doh!!). Thankfully my dad recovered but now must get hospital treatment 3 times a week which is grueling for him, but he is doing his best.
I’m so sorry your dad didn’t make it. Mine has a drink problem too. He was told to stop but I know he and my mum just fib to me about it. I cant bear to visit in the evening as if they are tipsy it makes me so sad and disappointed. Not saying I have a right to feel that but I do. Anyway, I’m so sorry you’ve had the year you have had. I hope this thread is a help. Stay and post when you feel up to it.
@Breathmiller, I hope you get your heating back, I hate when that happens.
I’m 37 days, keeping counting. Night all.

AlloftheTime · 08/10/2021 06:22

Just wanted to check in before the weekend and to give out some hugs. It’s clear there is a great deal going on for many of us including work issues, health concerns, family upsets and an overload of ‘feelings’.
I can really emphasise about the feelings - I didn’t realise you could be bombarded with so many in such short order until I was AF and they all arrived together!
I’m just posting to say I look in every day and post when I need to but read and learn something new most days from you wise women of MN.
In great admiration of you all and gain daily from being part of something bigger than me and my journey to remaining sober.
Have a good Friday and weekend and I trust that your babies sleep, your jobs becomes less stressful, your families stay supportive and your friends keep you uplifted.

Kindtomyself · 08/10/2021 06:35

Morning all. Sorry to read that people are facing challenges, it's hard. I had a flash of memory reading about how I just wanted a glass of something to 'reward' myself with getting through the day with my babies (now teen/tween). Exhausting times but I definitely didn't feel better after a drink!

My night out was fabulous I can honestly say it was the best night out I've had in a long time. I felt really weird buying a soft drink at the bar Blush that really surprised me and shows that I only ever order alcohol! It took me back to being 17/18 when I would sometimes go out and have a soft drink!
Sorry I can't respond to individuals but I'm reading it all.
I need to get my dd up now but will be back later.

I love what @AlloftheTime has said and so repeating it here
'I trust that your babies sleep, your jobs becomes less stressful, your families stay supportive and your friends keep you uplifted'.

Adm1010 · 08/10/2021 06:36

@Namebunny Thankyou so much for saying that . Genuinely, it means a lot .

I’m getting a lot from this thread and hope I can give back too .

I’ve woken feeling drained still BUT I’ll give everything I can at work today with a fresh head ( no hangover!!! ) and I’ve got a lovely weekend off to look forward to . My parents are coming to stay for a couple of days , they don’t really drink so that’s not a stress and they are fabulous parents who adore me and make me feel safe so it’s easy having them here . PLUS my middle son is visiting from uni and I’m going to visit my eldest son as it’s his birthday on Sunday . A lovely couple of days to look forward too … once I’ve endured today Grin

Have a great day everyone xx

Adm1010 · 08/10/2021 06:38

@SparklingLime I’m very sorry about your dad and all the complex feelings around it . Keep posting x

Adm1010 · 08/10/2021 06:40

@iamyourequal the feelings are difficult . No running away . No blocking them . But last night because I was sober I didn’t act on the feelings . I wasn’t impulsive . I didn’t do or say something I’d regret this morning . I’m counting a victory in that!! Even though I FEEL battered

Sunflowersinthewind · 08/10/2021 06:56

@Adm1010 you last post resonated with me. I have realised how much worse I made my problems as the drink always added to it rather than helping as I would do or say something that a sober me would never do. It just made everything worse. But your brain tricks you into thinking its the only way to cope with stress, rather than exacerbating it

Sunflowersinthewind · 08/10/2021 06:57

Its three weeks tomorrow morning. I have treated myself to new herbal teas, and so shall celebrate with one of them

Kindtomyself · 08/10/2021 07:42

Just popping in again, this thread is amazing for me on this journey. It's really helpful to learn and understand others experiences. Well done @adm1010 for not trying to drown your stresses which doesn't make it better but for some reason we thought it did.
Right my ds has lost his school tie so I'm off to help find it and then jump in the shower. See you later

Adm1010 · 08/10/2021 07:46

@Sunflowersinthewind yeah it seems SUCH a good idea at the time doesn’t it! Last night was really raw … I really saw the power of the addiction we have .

Namebunny · 08/10/2021 08:24

adm1010 I’m glad! Good luck today and enjoy a lovely weekend!
Reading this because I am a confused and snappy cow atm. Good to know it’s those bloody feelings!
Can I ask a question as I no longer know what I’m doing?
A very old friend and her Dh is visiting nearby from far away. Do I want to travel an hour and a half to see her in a restaurant and an hour and a half back?
The old me would feel obliged and make the effort. The new me thinks there’ll be booze and I need to think of me.
I think I know the answer!
breathmiller thanks for the Tara brach thing, I concur, she is very worth listening to.
Sorry to hear everyone s got challenges, Hope everyone has a good day .

Kindtomyself · 08/10/2021 08:30

@Namebunny you need to think about the best way to stay off the booze so I guess if a restaurant is a trigger for you at the moment (won't always be) then don't go. Could you meet somewhere else with friend? Coffee shop? Walk? Does friend know you're not drinking?

Breathmiller · 08/10/2021 09:20

iamyourequal thanks. Re the heating, we did some major work back last winter/spring (knocked down a load bearing wall) and we had it plastered. When we took the paper off the other 3 walls we realised we needed them plastered too and got in touch with the plasterer. He came out, said it would take a day and gave us a quote. Then ghosted us. Even though he knows its the whole of the downstairs and we can't get the new radiators up before the plastering is done. We messaged him lots. Nothing. We went through the late snow (in Scotland) in April with no heating in the house at all. Bloody nightmare.
Couldn't find another plasterer willing to do the job for love nor money but finally found a guy a few months back who said he'd do it. But not til the end of October! So, hopefully he will come back and actually do it because we may have to resort to walking about muttering "It's fucking freezing!" on a constant basis again. Anyway, plastering/heating rant over. Ahhh....that's better 🤣

I have been reading everyone's thoughts on feelings. There was a great post from Timber Hawkeye (Buddhist Bootcamp) on FB the other day saying he spoke to a friend and asked how he was. "I got divorced and it was brutal, destroying, painful and expensive!" Timber then asked him to tell him again without any adjectives. "Oh, I got divorced" and the guy said something about how freeing that was. I can't remember the whole thing.
Anyway, the message was all about reframing how we think about things and the words we use.
Feelings are hard sometimes but we have to FEEL to be alive! If we have been drowning and dampening down all these challenging feelings for years then we surely have been doing the same to all the great, joyful feelings? And I want to feel them fully!

So, maybe we should reframe it from "FEELINGS!- bloody feelings! bleurgh! I don't want to feel....!" to "FEELINGS!! I CAN FEEL AGAIN!! I am alive and I can FEEL I'm alive!"

Now some of these feelings will be shit, but we can find ways to navigate them or change what's happening now we have a clearer head. We will always have difficult feelings, humans do, but I firmly believe that I deal with them a lot better when I'm not drowning them in poison. It just pushed them along the road. I still had to deal with whatever was making me sad, angry, anxious fearful....
I just had to deal with them with the added anxiety, fear, self loathing etc etc that drinking gave me. I loaded more crap feelings on top. Foolish now I think about it.

So, now, when faced with difficult feelings around something, I notice them, think whether I can change whatever has happened to make them come up and if not then I sit with them with compassion, maybe do R.A.I.N until they pass. And they always do.

I'm not saying it always works but like not drinking, it's a work in progress, a practice if you like.

Good luck with Friday everyone.
We have just had dh test positive for covid just as the kids come out of their isolation so another wee while of keeping a low profile. I remain negative, the only one in the house so far. Just call me Breath'Teflon'Miller. 🦾💪

OP posts:
Breathmiller · 08/10/2021 09:22

Have a good Friday and weekend and I trust that your babies sleep, your jobs becomes less stressful, your families stay supportive and your friends keep you uplifted.

I also LOVE this. Thank you allofthetime

OP posts:
Adm1010 · 08/10/2021 09:40

Brilliant post @Breathmiller just what I needed thankyou x

BunniesBunniesBunnies · 08/10/2021 12:55

Oh @SparklingLime I’m sorry about your dad, that all sounds really difficult. Hang in there.

@Breathmiller I’ve heard about radical self acceptance before, I love the idea. I struggle to implement it sometimes, maybe I should read the book😂

Sounds like a bunch of us area going through some difficult things. Sometimes there isn’t anything we can do to make things easier, though there are two things I find helpful (I’m struggling as well at the moment😖):

  1. realising things would only be worse if I was drinking. This is simply a fact (for me, anyway), and I can’t remember who it was with the poorly sleeping baby but this is DEFINITELY true when you are dealing with babies who are not sleeping well! Booze just does not help. I’m so much more patient at bed time now, and when they wake early
  2. Simply ackowledging your feelings. This sounds so lame but I find it helps. When I’m having a shit day I sometimes tell myself “gosh, I’m really feeling like shit today aren’t I”. I can’t believe I’m writing this down, it sounds like some truly terrible advice😂😂😂 But after drowning and numbing my feelings for so long, I now find some comfort in simply acknowledging them. Maybe I’m weird though (I’m definitely weird!)
HeadlessLegless · 08/10/2021 14:06

I wonder if there is anything else I can do to reduce my headache. I am drinking water and have taken paracetamol. I am wondering if my headaches are due to such awful sleep or non sleep I would call it.

Kindtomyself · 08/10/2021 15:11

Hi @HeadlessLegless my headache was around until about day 12 I think but I then started to feel better. It helped that I thought of the headaches as good because it was a sign I was detoxing, not sure if that's any help. I think just drink loads of water or fluid and rest, it will go soon.

@Breathmiller hope you get heating/plastering sorted soon. Thanks for the stuff on feelings, I'm so not used to accepting feelings and so I'm going to have to be gentle with myself. I've bought R.A.I.N on audible but not listened to it yet. Have also put her books on my wish list and following her podcasts! I've started to listen to 'The Body Keeps the Score' which is interesting but will comment more when I'm further through it.

@BunniesBunniesBunnies all of what you say makes total sense. I'm going to be attempting to acknowledge my feelings...will update on this.

Right back to work!

Kindtomyself · 08/10/2021 15:12

@SparklingLime I keep meaning to say sorry about your dad - all sounds really hard.

iamyourequal · 08/10/2021 20:09

Evening everyone. Sometimes I think I must have the dullest life as I’m the only one on here on a Friday night. Nevermind. I had so many nights out when I was young nobody need feel sorry for me…lol.
Well done to everyone getting through another day. I hope your plasterer turns up this time @Breathmiller.
@BunniesBunniesBunnies, sorry to hear you are struggling at the moment, I am wondering if it’s the shorter days affecting us all. I usually get blue from start of November . I actually think it’s the stress of ‘doing’ Christmas which causes it. I really need have a word with myself about that!
On the examination of thoughts. I was in a mindfulness session last week which was a bit of a wake-up call to me. It was about ‘dealing with difficult people’. I work in quasi-public sector serving the public so I thought it would help me deal with the more challenging clients/customers. Anyway a big part of it was actually considering times when WE are the difficult person and it did resonate. It made me think of times I’ve fallen out with people or have felt I’ve been wronged a bit and have made a bigger deal out of it than it needed to. The session made me realize that this is actually very unhelpful and self destructive. That even when we are certain we are 100% in the right, we don’t need to blow the matter out of proportion just to prove this. It did get me thinking, I hope, finally in a slightly more mature way.
I still feel crap with a virus so I’m actually feeling like a fraud on this thread this week. I feel so crap I don’t actually think I would want a drink even if I ‘could’.
Anyway, have a lovely evening/weekend everyone, whatever you are up to.

WineAway · 08/10/2021 20:31

My I join you all here? I gave up alcohol at the beginning of the lockdown, my mother was ill & was finally admitted to hospital in December. She died in January the day before I was taking her out again. She begged & begged to come home, I knew she wouldn’t last long but it was devastating that I didn’t get to see her for 5 weeks before she died & that she died alone.

Then 2 close friends died unexpectedly.

I started to drink again around March, got very depressed. My brother in law died in August.

I felt surrounded by death & wanted to numb myself.

I left alcohol behind in September, I already feel better.

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