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.
Latest Jun-23 by Brian (BrianB125)
Latest Jun-17 by Maggie (LouieEl)
Latest Jun-9 by cookly
Latest Jun-2 by MaryLouise3
Latest Jun-1 by Brian (BrianB125)
Latest May-30 by Brian (BrianB125)
Thanks so much for your advice, Karl, and sorry everyone for my melt down last week!
I still haven't drunk, so I am now 15 days in! Hurrah! I agree that i need to find a new way of living and have been telling myself I DON'T drink, rather than even thinking I might have a choice to have a drink. I can't say I don't think about it a lot, and have toyed with the idea of alcohol free beer, but I also thought that that might be a slippery slope to go down.
I have to say the forum has been wonderful these two weeks, because I think of how supportive you guys are when I even consider anything near to slipping and so i don't!
Boy, I'll second that for sure, Elsie! I DID quit, on my own, and stayed dry for over 30 years. So obviously once alcohol is removed from the situation, I can make the sane choice to *not* drink. But, as you say, it seems the ability to choose intelligently takes a pretty hard hit when alcohol is a part of the picture. Of course, I *still* had all the problems that drinking had "solved," but didn't realize that. It took AA to show me the 'why' of my drinking, and what needed to be done to address that 'why.' My problem is with the heavy religious slant, how passive the approach is. "Let go and let God"... "Turn it over"... and a slew of other such 'directions' for success just seem too much like a free ride. They have another saying, "The elevator is broken, take the steps." Well... seems a lot of the steps involve that 'turning it over' to something other than oneself. Too passive, I end up feeling pretty hypocritical going along with much of it... one of the reasons I found LifeRing was searching for a more secular (or less overtly religious) alternative that I can work in parallel with AA. The community of AA undoubtedly saved my life, and I'll continue just for that kind of support (it's also done more for me than 20-plus years of paid professional therapy), but as far as addressing my underlying issues, I need something more concrete than "turn it over." Can't turn over to something I have no belief in, after all. Might just as well 'turn it over' to Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
Anyway, I can't agree more with your observation, and I appreciate the reference to "Empowering Your Sober Self." My already towering stack of such books has just increased by one.
Congrats on 15 days, and even while buying a house! You are doing well by reaching out to this forum, and considering online meetings. I am a few days behind you in sobriety, so I also am very new to Life Ring. So Joey, did you ever try an online LR meeting? It's pretty easy to stay quiet and just observe. Lots of people do that. You can turn off your camera and microphone and just listen to what other people have to say. I've been to about 10 different meetings. So if you do give it a go, be sure to try more than one til you find a group that you feel comfortable with. Do you know about Reddit? It's an online (written) forum for just about any topic in the entire universe. There is a group there called Stop Drinking. It's completely anonymous. I signed up for that, and it is very helpful because I can log on any time day or night and there's tons of posts all the time. And (surprisingly), people are very supportive, even though it is not connected with any specific recovery group. Also, I want to thank you for posting here. This forum seems pretty quiet, so it's great to find some recent posts. --Jan
I haven't been to a meeting yet, but I think I will if I feel a bit like I can't carry on with not drinking. I feel like I'm a little reticent to go, but I can't really think why. I'm not sure if I just feel shy. But thank you so much for letting me know what it is like. It does give me more confidence to speak up. I also had a look at that Reddit group and I like it a lot. Thanks for the tip! How are you going with the sobriety? I hope it's still going well. I'm on day 20 at the moment, and feeling very smug about it! :-D
My sports friends were all talking about meeting up and the discussion moved in the direction of which of the myriad of alcohols to bring. I was doing my whole spiel about what the best IPAs are around here (honestly, if I ever need to go on Mastermind, alcohol could be my specialist subject) and it made me miss it all terribly. So, I learnt that I need a new specialist subject! Any ideas?
oh, but I DID make it through a birthday party without missing the booze much and nobody making a comment. In fact, I just noticed a lot of circular arguments when they were drunk! :-D
I hope everyone is well. Thank you for giving me this outlet! You guys are the best! X
Congratulations on 20 days. One of the things about drinking is how it comes to take over your life and push everything else out. And one of the good things about stopping is how other old and new things start coming back. I don't think you will have to worry about a new specialist subject, I think you will find that as you go on not drinking you will find more and more things interesting. That's what happened to me anyway.
The birthday party sounds interesting too. I too noticed that people rarely said anything when I first stopped drinking. I don't know if they just didn't notice or were uncomfortable saying anything. And I always had a glass of ginger ale or water in my hand so no one would offer me anything.
That's great about your sober time, and you not drinking at the birthday party! I have 17 days. Had a really strong craving today, (I've only had a few super strong cravings since I quit). Almost gave in. Started thinking about what I am reading in a book called Alcohol Explained (it's an awesome read, recommended to me by another LR person). To tell you the truth, logical thinking doesn't always work in the midst of a craving. So I started doing "box breathing." You can look it up on Google. Someone from the Reddit Stop Drinking group brought it to my attention. I've been practicing it a lot lately. So today when the craving was bad and I was about to let my car take me to the liquor store, I put on some calming music and did box breathing for 10 minutes. Guess what, that was enough to make the craving go away. I am SO glad I didn't drink.
When I go to a party or a bar or restaurant, now I usually have a seltzer water or club soda with a lime. They usually put it in a glass that looks like you're getting a drink, not a soda. I am starting to explore the world of flavored seltzer waters at home. (Making sure to stay away from the new seltzers out there that now have alcohol in them.) Seltzer water is weird. It's an acquired taste, but it has a fizzy bite to it. It's becoming my substitute must-have beverage.
Many congrats on 17 days! I remember very clearly what a huge achievement that is. On cravings- eventually I came to understand they were my friend, in a weird kind of way- as in, they are crystal clear evidence that stopping drinking is absolutely the right thing to do. If I never had a craving I wouldn't have had a problem, would I? I had had them for quite some time before I realised that though, but it was a helpful insight for me. So when one happened I would sort of say, this is it! This is the battle! Take several deep breaths and sit it out! They passed surprisingly quickly.
Nice to see you here. You are doing great and you can do this!
Moving house. Yep, I get it. We are self building and it's pretty stressful. I know I'm not going to drink but I've needed to up my anti depressants and cut down on caffeine.
But Brian is right- drinking only gives temporary relief and if we were the kind of people who could stop at two or three it might be a desirable thing to do, but let's face it, we aren't, and that's why we are here. And why we have so much knowledge of the stuff, and all the paraphernalia around it.
We had a barbecue which expanded into a night of boozing a week ago- not for me of course, and even after 7 years I still feel a little pang of jealousy, but once they all started slurring their words and talking utter bollocks I was happy to reflect on the fact that I wasn't going to feel as shit as them tomorrow! The only thing is booze seems to give some people energy to keep going, and I was nodding off by 10 and had to endure another two hours by which stage I was wide awake again and struggled to get to sleep! And I felt rather jet lagged the next day. Sleep is so important. But I cheered myself up in the morning by pouring the ends of wine bottles and beer bottles down the plughole. I used to think of it as a precious liquid, now I love that little moment of personal triumph- hehehe!
The sober evenings might be difficult to begin with- but oh, the bright mornings with no hangover make it all worthwhile!! and you will be in so much of a better state of mind to deal with all the admin and organisation for your house move.
You are doing so well.
PS Your new specialist subject- how to get sober
You have discovered two things that worked for me. I too found logical thinking didn't help with cravings. What did for me was relatively mild, unthinking physical activity - going for a long walk or mowing the lawn or even just cleaning up my workshop. Somehow this got my mind off the cravings as well as giving my some exercise and getting my shop cleaned up. And I too also made sure I had something to drink in my hand when I was in groups that were drinking, At first it was ginger ale but now it's usually sparkling water.