LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.
I thought I would introduce myself. Two days sober after finally admitting that alcohol is a problem for me.
Drinking is very normalised (especially with my circle of friends/culture), so actually the massive benders were something that aren't looked down on but actually embraced and a form of bonding in my friendship group. It was easy to say I don't have a problem when everyone I know has a similar problem, but I do. I think the realisation was that it controls me more than I control it. I have psoriasis and was trying to cut down drinking, and told myself I would have just one drink. I could not do it.
Considering an online meeting but a bit nervous about it. I have a super supportive partner who doesn't drink so that's a massive bonus. I'd really like to hear all your tips for the first few weeks of sobriety.
Thanks for reading :-)
Welcome to the Forum Joey, good to see you here.
The first few weeks can be hard, there is just no getting around that. There is a section of the Forum called "Newly Sober/Clean." You might want to look through some of those posts for ideas. Are there any in person meetings near you? I found face to face meetings very helpful when I first tried stopping. It's just very helpful to be in a room with a group of people going through the same things you are. A LifeRing meeting would be great, but even AA would help - you don't have to buy into all their ideas. I went to an AA meeting for several years before I found LifeRing and it was a big help.
Having a supporting partner is also a big help - I had the help of my wife. I also found that mild physical activity was a big help - just walking, mowing the yard, or, in my case, stripping the paint of the stairs. Something that is pretty mindless and not too taxing, but gets you mind off just thinking about not drinking.
And keep coming back here and letting us know how you are doing - we've all gone through what you are going through and if we could make it, so can you.
Hi Joey, and welcome.
Judging by the time you posted am I right in thinking you are in the UK? Correct me if I'm wrong!wherever you live makes no difference anyway- I have received support here from people in the USA, South Africa and even Tasmania.
I too had and still have a circle of hard drinking friends, also a group of ex 90s clubbers who've never quite got over it. Unfortunately a few years ago I had to come to the same conclusion as you. Noxious substances of one kind or another do not suit me.
I hope you are feeling well. In the early days of stopping my friends here suggested I treat myself as if I'm recovering from a bad cold or flu- lots of rest, plenty of water (well endless cups of tea in my case) slob on the sofa and watch TV, be very kind to yourself.
The social stuff is something you can think about/deal with later, it really is about putting your own health and wellbeing first to begin with. And avoiding big drinking events if it will help (it definitely helped me.) I'm much better at them now, but I confess they get a bit dull when everyone else gets slaughtered and I often leave early! I must have been one of the few people who didn't mind the lack of parties during lockdown. Although it's wearing a bit thin now I'll admit.
I found recovery literature really helpful for quite a long time. I probably became addicted to it, along with chocolate and ice cream...
Take care of yourself. Things have been very quiet around here recently, not sure why, but I will make a point of checking in to see if you have posted.
Just remember, it's doable. We go through stages of feeling it is just too hard, but there are lots of people here who have managed it.
Well done for coming here and making that all important start.
Louise ( it might be about time to stop hiding behind my pseudonym- Elsie)
Thank you so much, Brian and Louise/Else. I am really touched to read your replies. I'm actually in a small town in Spain, so face to face meetings aren't really an option, but I will definitely try and online one. And also, I might try reading some recovery literature. I do like a read and am always open to new approaches and outlooks. Especially when it comes to improving my willpower!
I've also started building a massive box(!) which I did all day yesterday and it was a good day. Still lots of work to go on it, but the physical activity definitely helps.
Thank you again. I really mean it. It's wonderful to know I'm not alone. xx
Hi Joey and hi all,
I'm not sure I should be replying for my first post but I find myself in a very similar situation. I'm an expat Brit living in the north of Spain.
About 3 months ago I came to the same realisation as you and went to my physician (médico de familia) and asked for a referral to a course to give up drinking (deshabituación del alcohol). For 2 months I've been seeing a social worker and a psychiatrist through the Spanish social security system.
My social worker recommended I join a support group and I would have some problems with AA so I am posting to ask if I can just turn up to an HWYW meeting and take it from there?
Thanks for reading and good luck Joey
Welcome to the Forum Ben, great to see you here. Yes, you can just show up and jump right in, there are very few rules here. We are not exactly a how was your week meeting, it's more of a free forum where people can talk pretty much about anything doing with stopping drinking. It sounds like you have made a good start. Looing forward to hearing more from you.
Wow! It sounds like you've done amazingly. Well done! My partner tried suggested I go to an AA meeting here in Spain for support but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I think mainly because I am relatively shy and trying to explain myself in my second language about alcohol and my relationship with it seemed too much for me. Although, I would be shy talking about it in my first language too!
Inspired by you, I might turn up to a meeting here and make the next step. Thank you! And good luck!
Hi again Joey!
It's so nice to see that you have a kindred spirit also living in Spain! I hope you have had a good week and are navigating the weekend successfully.
I'm trying to imagine how hard it would feel to go to an AA meeting in a second language! I started my own journey at AA and it did really help initially. Obviously if you feel really uncomfortable about it it's not worth it, but if your passive understanding of Spanish is pretty good ( always better than our active abilities!) you could just go and listen. You will find that just being there it is most likely that someone or several people will be very welcoming. After all they will know why you are there, because they are there for the same reason.
I learnt a fair amount from AA but I found that it didn't really accord with my beliefs. I needed to believe that I did have power over alcohol. And I do, provided I steer clear of it altogether. The problem with addiction is that once whatever substance it is hits our system, our ability to choose is diminished, and diminishes further with every drink or hit. But there is most definitely power in choosing not to go there.
Reading 'Empowering Your Sober Self' was a breakthrough for me. It is very critical of AA and I would say in contrast there are lots of people AA works for, and for me I take from AA what helps me, and I don't concern myself with what doesn't. The LifeRing approach encourages our autonomy and building up our resilience.
The practicalities of stopping are another thing, dealing with withdrawal ( I had some minor symptoms) and then the dreaded cravings. Eventually I understood that withdrawal and cravings were my friends, because they reminded me in no uncertain terms that stopping was the right thing to do. The problem with AA was that it made me feel I couldn't deal with the cravings on my own, which for lots of reasons I needed to do. I had young teenage kids at the time and they were my priority, I couldn't drop everything and go to meeting. For some people AA encourages an unhelpful level of dependency in my view. As soon as I realised that might happen to me I stepped back.
Wishing you a good week. I'l try to check in again soon. I'm overseeing a self- build at the moment (yikes!) and I'm permanently distracted, and it's good to come back to this settled place and meet with fellow travellers.
Good to see you here. It sounds like you have taken the bull by the horns over your drinking. Well done. And all in Spanish
Would you say that there is an expat lifestyle? I imagine it might be very normal for lots of expats to drink excessively. And lay that on top of our normal excessive British drinking culture and I guess it's not a great recipe for anyone prone to alcohol addiction.
As Brian says, this is a 'drop in and say what you like' kind of a forum. I have used it as a place to keep a sort of journal of my recovery - with the added benefit of getting helpful feedback from people. Actually, this is where I finally managed to get sober (seven years ago, I can hardly believe it!) and I think writing here and the opportunity it gave me for self reflection was a very important factor. I'm not a professional writer or anything, but the written word is probably my element.
Life Ring is all about finding a recovery path that works for you. No 'One Size Fits All' which is the difficulty I had with AA.
Have a good week and hopefully catch you here again sometime.
I feel a bit weak today. I kind of wish I hadn't started this process of giving up in the midst of buying a house. i feel like I need to drink to deal with the stress. I'm trying to tell myself I don't need to.
I desperately eyed up the alcohol-free beers today even. A slippery slope. Sigh.