My feed

to access all these features

Mumsnet doesn't verify the qualifications of users. If you have medical concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

Alcohol support

I need to stop drinking but I can’t imagine my life without it

16 replies

needtodosomething · 28/08/2023 10:50

I don’t know who to talk to about this so I feel I need to offload here. I’ve NC as don’t want to link my other posts.

I’m in my mid 30s and I’ve woken up this morning with a flushed face and swollen fingers after drinking last night. I’ve had to take my rings off. I don’t know if the swollen fingers is because of alcohol but I’m now just sick of feeling crap from drinking.

I didn’t even enjoy the drinks I had.

I tend to get into a habit of when i have a drink, it’s never one. It’s not huge amount (three drinks) but once I start I end up drinking this every day. I don’t think I’m an alcoholic but something isn’t right and I don’t feel right anymore.

alcohol is a huge part of my life. My husband drinks. My friends drink. A lot of what I do when socialising is around going to the pub, drinks with food, me and my husband have drinks at home in the evening when our child goes to bed. When I try to not drink I usually go a couple of days and then I’m back to what I usually do. The only time I didn’t drink at all was when I was pregnant, which I found easy surprisingly.

ive noticed I’m waiting until I feel it’s a socially acceptable time to have a drink (after 5) as I don’t want to start drinking earlier.

what I’m noticing about me drinking though is:
im more tired
i eat unhealthy food because my inhibition is gone
I don’t exercise
the day after is sluggish, so in a way I always feel a bit sluggish
face is red the day after and now I’m noticing swollen hands
find it harder to get motivated to do anything the next day.

my point is though and probably sounds stupid - I feel like I need to just stop as I don’t enjoy it anymore. But I’m terrified of stopping as I do enjoy drinking, a lot of my life includes enjoying myself with a drink. I love the taste of cocktails and wine, mocktails and non alcoholic beer doesn’t cut it. Maybe I don’t know how to have fun without a drink? I enjoy that initial buzz I guess but hate everything else.

I don’t know what the point of my post was. But I’m going to not drink this evening and I’m going to try and not drink for a while.

has anyone else who loved a drink now enjoying life without it?

OP posts:
TooOldForThisNonsense · 28/08/2023 22:33

Yes I felt much the same. 2 years sober now and no desire to go back to it

Tabasco007 · 01/09/2023 08:17

Feeling a bit similar, I only have max 3 drinks an evening, more if I go out, bit that's not so often now, but every morning I tell myself I won't drink tonight, then when I get in from work I have a glass of wine or two, or a g and t. I don't feel rough in the mornings, but I know it can't be good for me and I want to stop, but somehow it's just a repeat of the same every evening. I'm 53, and alcohol has always played a part in my life. How are you doing OP?

Rocknrollstar · 01/09/2023 08:29

Join AA. You can attend meetings online.
Alternatively see your GP as there is probably a local charity which will offer support and advice.
Finally, good luck and well done for realising you need to change your life. There are lots of non-alcoholic drinks out there now and you really can have fun sober - maybe you just need to re-think how you and your husband spend your leisure time?

nevynevster · 01/09/2023 08:43

Have you tried alternatives to alcohol? I now drink 0% gin and tonic when I'm out for drinks. You can't really taste the difference and you have the "feeling" of having a drink. You could start by alternating this with your alcoholic drinks

Notquitegrownup2 · 01/09/2023 08:49

You have recognized several important signs for yourself. Well done on listening too them.

How supportive is your husband going to be? Seeing a GP is a great idea as they will be able to give you some facts to share with your dh. Increased risk of stroke and dementia for example. AA will also provide you with support from others who 'get it'.

Finally, would you be able to join a health group of some sort - pilates? Jogging? Park run? Swimming? It would give your social life a twist and also give you something to talk to your friends about if you do join them in the pub and drink non-alcoholic drinks. 'Im on a health drive till Christmas/Easter/holidays. I'm losing weight, started jogging, staying off alcohol . . . '

AmilyChestnut · 01/09/2023 08:51

I was you. The idea of socialising without alcohol was horrible, and I struggled for a while. But 4 years on I'll never drink again. I don't go to the pub anymore, and my partner will have a few beers at home on occasion. I've discovered I'm actually introvert, and was using the alcohol to be extrovert. I'm healthy, happy, patient, sleep better, slim! No beer fear or anxiety. Life changer.

Read 'the unexpected joy of being sober'. It's a great read and an easy place to start.

You'll never regret getting sober.

LunaNorth · 01/09/2023 09:03

Imagine life in HD.

Since I packed it in 3 years ago, I’ve taken up French, weight training, singing lessons, open water swimming and art lessons.

I garden, run, have completed a Masters and signed up for a counselling course. I also still work.

All this because of the extra hours of life I’ve gained by being sober and never hungover.

I go out dancing, to open mic nights and parties - and they are 100% more fun because I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night afterwards worrying about what a tit I made of myself because I was pissed. And no hangover to deal with, either.

Stopping was hard, but experiencing all of the above makes it worth it 100 times over.

Once you stop believing the lie that alcohol enhances your life, it all becomes much easier.

It’s nothing. Small doses of poison we voluntarily take because the feeling of mild toxicity is pleasant for a few minutes - until it isn’t, and we end up properly poisoned, puking and incapable. And we pay for the privilege. No thanks.

LunaNorth · 01/09/2023 09:08

Oh, and the initial buzz you describe is a release of dopamine which comes as a result of having a craving satisfied.

Then every drink after that is chasing that initial buzz, but it can never come - it’s a one-time thing. You just get drunker and more ill with every drink.

Read Annie Grace ‘This Naked Mind’ and try the 30 Day Challenge. It saved my life.

Colourfulponderings · 01/09/2023 10:19

I’m similar but have recently given up drinking mid week (and some weekends which I’ve never managed before).

For me the key was to get one day done and then bask in feeling of being refreshed and not regretting the wine, so much that I did it the next night etc etc.

I’ve written down all the reasons and read them when I feel tempted:
more money
losing weight consistently
better sex
more engaged and patient with my kids (this is the big one for me, I wasn’t terrible before or anything, but I’m up and down easily and play better with them.)

I went to the pub last week and drove and had just as good a time and that was a real eye opener.

needtodosomething · 03/09/2023 13:05

I went four days without drinking and then ended up having drinks the last two evenings, I feel terrible. My head hurts, my stomach hurts. I can’t do this anymore. It felt pointless at the time as well.

OP posts:
YukoandHiro · 03/09/2023 13:12

LunaNorth · 01/09/2023 09:08

Oh, and the initial buzz you describe is a release of dopamine which comes as a result of having a craving satisfied.

Then every drink after that is chasing that initial buzz, but it can never come - it’s a one-time thing. You just get drunker and more ill with every drink.

Read Annie Grace ‘This Naked Mind’ and try the 30 Day Challenge. It saved my life.

Learning this really helped me cut down to one drink or less than one drink (half a glass of wine) unless I'm out - which I rarely am these days due to kids.

After years of abstention due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, medication etc I do enjoy a drink but am trying to mindfully reduce my intake.

Jellycats4life · 03/09/2023 13:19

It’s so easy to fall into the habit of drinking. For me, it’s usually a form of self-medicating (it’s fair to say I have a more stressful life than average!). I never get drunk or binge drink but I definitely feel like I drink too often, and don’t even enjoy the drinks I have sometimes, like you said.

You can just start by cutting down drastically. Only have a drink at weekends, and instead of having three, have two.

I’ve also started buying CBD soft drinks. Whether it’s a placebo or not, I just have to tell my brain that I’m having a drink to relax and unwind of an evening, so instead of a glass of wine or a G&T, I’m having a CBD drink.

BuffaloCauliflower · 03/09/2023 13:21

I’d recommend reading The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober. It really helped me when I was in a similar place. I’ve actually been able to find a way to drink in a balanced way, though many people will need to be entirely abstinent.

maltravers · 03/09/2023 13:36

IMO It is easy to underestimate that it is a physical addiction. So at the moment it feels necessary like eating or drinking water. Once you’ve broken the habit you may become ambivalent to drinking as I have done. I still drink, but not much. I broke my drinking habit with a month off, then initially one drink only every other day. Good luck!

Sobersister · 06/09/2023 21:18

I'm on day 3 of my recent run. Did well last week but drank at the weekend on one night. I'd like to get to weekends only and one day only and max 3 drinks.
I think CND drinks might be nice to try actually. Also the fever tree little cans are lovely for a treat tasting drink
Or tonic with gin flavouring that bakers use

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.