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Topic: Battling the booze

  1. Kazzl
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    11 March 2017 in reply to Doolhof

    And big hugs back to you Dools xxx You are an amazing lady. Thank you for your post, that means a lot to me.

    Love

    Kaz

  2. Doolhof
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    13 March 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz,

    You are more than welcome. Dealing with issues from our past can be difficult for anyone. I try to tell myself that at the time I made huge mistakes, I didn't know any better.

    We all have the opportunity to make the most of today, as much as we can.

    Those ghosts from the past can be a real pest though can't they! Ha. Ha.

    From Dools xx

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  3. Moonstruck
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    20 March 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz....dear wandering one! Hoping you drop in here now and then to visit us poor lost souls and that your new venture is working out wonderfully for you...you deserve it.

    this is for you and Geoff too.....you may recall I was so scared of taking up this old hobby of mine after many years...that I had never done before with a drink, or three, for dutch courage? I did it! I did it all, without a single drink. I could not have done this 5 years ago.......just wanted to share that with you and thanks for your support.

    If someone had told me 5 years ago I could do that without a drink, I would have laughed and said "Impossible!"

    I don't know how I did it...luv Moon S x

  4. Kazzl
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    20 March 2017 in reply to Moonstruck

    Moon my dear friend, I am so very very happy for you!

    I know how you did it hun - you used all that courage, strength and self-respect that's emerged through getting and staying sober.

    Never lose sight of what a huge achievement that is, and the strengths within you that brought you to this point. It's not just about beating the booze, it's about choosing to live a better life.

    Geeeeeez I'm proud of you! Big hug!

    Love

    Kaz

  5. geoff
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    21 March 2017 in reply to Moonstruck
    hello Moon, well that's an achievement that at one time you thought could never happen, isn't it amazing what determination can do, but when you think of it it's much more than that, it's having the ability to control an addiction, rather than the other way around.
    Well done in every way possible. Geoff.
  6. dueb
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    24 March 2017 in reply to geoff

    hello its me again.

    i'v drastically reduced my drinking in the last couple of days,gone from 1.5l of vino to just two glasses.i'v been told that it is best to go to my gp cause of withdrawal symptoms.is it always necessary to go to the gp,yesterday morning i wasn't feeling so good,put this morning i was feeling much better.i don't like going to the gp cause i don't like taking meds

    i could of gone for a drive last night.

    tony

  7. Kazzl
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    26 March 2017 in reply to dueb

    Hi Tony. Sorry it's taken a while to get a reply, hope you haven't given up on us!

    Personally I think it is best to see your doctor, especially when you're at the start of quitting. Withdrawals can be very nasty and complete withdrawal suddenly can be dangerous if you're used to drinking a lot each day.

    There's no need for medication, unless you want to take something to help you. You would see the doc mainly to work out a plan for tapering off - like you're already doing by cutting back. A tapering off plan means you set an end date of when you will stop and you have a schedule of how much and when you will drink in the meantime. It is a safe way to quit, though not always easy to stick to.

    Congratulations on making a start - I and everyone here knows how hard that is. I hope you'll keep posting (and I'll check the thread more regularly) so we can help you through the early days. They are the worst, but it does get easier.

    Have a good read through the thread, especially the early posts - there's some good tips to help you.

    Very best wishes to you and know that we will be here for you.

    Kaz

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  8. Moonstruck
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    31 March 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    It's funny Kaz (and Geoff may relate to this too) the different ways, times and places that a person can be tempted by a drink..sometimes when you least expect it!

    You know I've been off it for 4 years and just carried out a real personal challenge activity...the first time I had ever accomplished it without Dutch Courage etc etc......and got through it even though I was scared stiff? (thank you for your kind words about that too, they meant a lot to me...being off grog becomes commonplace among your friends after a number of years - they don't mention it and nor do I expect them to ,so thanks)

    after doing all that and going through personal traumas during these past 4 "dry" years.....I was on a plane last weekend and the guy next to me ordered a white wine. Here he was with a little plastic glass of wine and it looked like the most attractive and alluring thing on earth to me!

    I stared at it with a morbid fascination..how easy it would be . The pretty flight attendants were smiling and showing their perfect white teeth as they asked if I'd like a complimentary wine or beer.....no one would have said NO, no one would have batted an eye ....It would be SO EASY.......no Drs would have wagged their fingers at me, no one would have been disappointed in me...I probably wouldn't have even dropped dead on the plane!!

    So I continued to gaze at the little plastic cup of wine and drank my juice - the 4 year record still stands!!!

    Bon Voyage!

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  9. geoff
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    1 April 2017 in reply to dueb
    hello Tony, well done for reducing your intake, however you may still be susceptible to increase from two glasses to what you have drunk before, especially when you are having withdrawal problems, because you know the easiest way around this is to increase your intake once again, that's the power of alcohol, the addiction that can take you back to where you were before, saying to yourself 'I'll stop tomorrow', but tomorrow never comes.

    Well done Moon, these temptations are so easy to break, and even after 10 years the same thought will always come back to you, but by then it will be much easier for you to handle.
    Remember at AA they always stand up and say 'Hi I'm Mr.X I'm an alcoholic but haven't had a drop for 25 years'. Geoff. x
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  10. Kazzl
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    1 April 2017 in reply to geoff

    Hiya Moon - snap! I was on a flight last night and the wine came out. At first the smell of it was offputting, then when I got used to it I remembered the taste. I was exhausted and quite tempted but decided to doze off instead.

    Thing is hun, it's probably always going to be there one way or another, and pop up when we're not expecting it. Mostly it will be a passing thought or feeling, sometimes it will be a stronger urge. But we can and do resist it. Because we're fabulous! 😀

    Love to you

    Kaz

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  11. dueb
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    3 April 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    flying?at one point in my life i was flying so much and always with the same company and always through the same countries that the flight attendance would give me glasses of cognac with out asking.

    anyway over the weekend a friend from the country side came over for two night,so i did drink more than two glasses Saturday and Sunday,but tonight im back to two glasses,i do feel much better,i don't have problems sleeping or bad nightmares.

    yes i do crave a bit in the late afternoon but i don't get angry or upset,i don't sweat or shake.and most of all i don't get violent,i think im doing very good,and i do feel much more active and healthier.

    i recon even if i do smoke about 10 cigarettes less now that iv reduced my drinking,the hardest thing will be quitting smoking.

    its very nice to have you people to talk to about all this,your understanding and experience is great.

    tony

  12. Kazzl
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    5 April 2017 in reply to dueb

    Hiya Tony, good to see you again. You're doing well! Good on you. I think the key thing is you are conscious of your intake and you're working hard to control it. It's the control thing that's so important. I had got to the stage where my off switch was broken and I had no control, so for me it was all or nothing.

    As for smoking, hmmmm, I totally understand. It's something I haven't conquered yet ... it's on my list of Things I Must Do ... one day. 😀

    Keep up the great work mate and enjoy feeling healthier. Even nearly six years on I still love the feeling of waking up without a hangover (and remember the difference).

    Cheers

    Kaz

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  13. ringoringo83
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    11 April 2017

    Hey all,

    Im here to hopefully seek advice and support. I have decided to quit alcohol after another drunken episode at home. I woke up after a big night and decided to start drinking straight away. This has happened before. I have been trying to cut down my alcohol use. I didn't drink at all last week, then drunk stupidly on the weekend. I caused great pain and embarrassment to my family. I know the road is going to be a tough one but I don't think I have any other options. I can be a great fun drunk, but other times I can be aggressive, destroy things, drunk drive, be verbally abusive . I hate that side of me so much. Im also so scared to give up drinking. It is such a huge part of my life. I plan to see a GP tomorrow to discuss my options involving my mental health, I have joined today to hopefully get support from those who have been through recovery and are now living without alcohol. Thanks.

  14. Kazzl
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    11 April 2017 in reply to ringoringo83

    Hi ringoringo83 - a big welcome to the forum and to this thread!

    I really relate to everything you said - I was much the same six years ago. It's a very hard decision to make, but for me at least getting sober is both the hardest and best thing I've ever done. You have so much to gain from it - your health, your relationships, your self-esteem! And you can do it.

    I understand the fear too - at first it's hard to imagine life without alcohol. It's such a big part of our culture and social life. And you might find you have to make some changes there, at least for a while. I had to stop going places where alcohol was involved, and avoid people who drank. But even that improves with time and I can now manage to be around drinkers.

    I remember too that for a while I wondered what the hell people did with their evenings if they didn't drink. Nights seemed very long ... but after a while, as I started to enjoy other things, I found there were not enough hours in the day for everything I wanted to do (and could do because I wasn't passed out drunk).

    Guess I'm saying it's a whole new wonderful world on the other side of the bottle. Go for it! You will never regret it.

    Make sure you're honest and open with your doc - we do tend to downplay the amount we're drinking when we have to talk about it. Be brave.

    I hope you'll stay with us here. You are at the start of a tough road, and the first week is the worst. Keep posting - we're here to walk beside you.

    Kaz

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  15. geoff
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    12 April 2017 in reply to ringoringo83
    hello Ringoringo, how many times have we said to ourselves as well as to other people 'I'm giving up the grog', but when our drinking time comes along or perhaps a bit eariler, it's back into it, so this rountine goes on and on so it's rather pointless to say that you will stop, because you know that won't happen, don't tease yourself, if you need to drink then that's your decision, but by going through this rountine only means that you are building up guilt.
    By acting in two different ways when you are intoxicated is a worry, because how do you know whether you are going to be the fun kid or the aggressive one, you don't know, so a celebration that everyone has been looking forward to, could be ruined, and that's not what you ever intended.
    To stop the alcohol is a massive decision, because what do you do when 'drinking times'arrives, you sweat, have a dry mouth, get anxious, and probably a bit irritable and cold temptered, but swallow a whole glass of tonic water,this will fill your belly and then have something to eat.
    It's not easy to give up the grog and you will be doing great for awhile, but then break out and start once again, do not worry about this it's a step by step procedure, and if you have decided to give up then your doctor can prescribe medication which will take away any urge to drink, so if you google these last few words then it will tell you the name of the medication, as we aren't allowed to mention medication names. Geoff.
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  16. ringoringo83
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    12 April 2017 in reply to geoff

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply guys.

    Day 3 sober has been met with a lot of different emotions. I have made contact with many different agencies and what not but my emotional state is still one of shock and shame I guess.

    This has been years in the making now I think about it. I also realise there are depression issues at play, Im off work at the moment, I have been given the ultimatum from my wife to basically quit or it is over. My wife has stood by and watched many of these episodes unfold and i don't blame her at all. We have a baby girl now and the pain i feel when i think about what the alcohol can do to me, how it can control me, it scares the hell out of me.

    I have started a blog and been reading many other blogs, people who have turned the corner into life long sobriety. This will be the toughest thing I ever attempt. I sure will try my best though.

  17. Kazzl
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    13 April 2017 in reply to geoff

    Hi again ringoringo - just wondering how you are.

    Geoff has described well the difficulties in making the decision to quit 'stick'. But no matter how difficult, it is possible, so don't lose heart, just be well prepared.

    Geoff also talks about the struggle when 'drinking time' comes around. I experienced that a lot in the early days and found constant distraction was the best thing. You know when you're going to start craving so plan to do something else that will distract you - even go to the cinema or somewhere where booze isn't available and eat lollies. Take a long bath, go for a walk (without your wallet so you can't detour via the bottle shop), EAT whatever you want including sweet things (alcohol is full of sugar) and occupy your mind, mouth and body (gym helped me). The thing is to break that routine of coming home and opening a bottle.

    Have a good read through this thread, there are some other tips on getting through the cravings - urge surfing, the 10 minute rule etc.

    Very best to you and I hope you come back to us.

    Kaz

  18. geoff
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    14 April 2017 in reply to ringoringo83
    hello Ringoringo, I know what your wife has told you 'to quit or it is over', I can't remember how times my wife said that to me before she left me and when she had gone, numerous times, I can't remember, the problem was that she didn't understand how much I was struggling and didn't want to know. Geoff.
  19. Kazzl
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    14 April 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi ringoringo - your last post came in after mine. Reading it has reminded me of something important. When I was getting sober I belonged to a forum for people struggling with alcohol. Over the four years I was on it I saw many successes, many slip-but-try-agains, and some who just never made it.

    It often struck me that the difference was in their motivation - and here's the important thing - those who succeeded were generally doing it for themselves. Not because someone else wanted them too, or because they felt they were forced into it (health reasons etc).

    Of course getting sober will help things with your marriage and make you a better dad. BUT, do it for you first and foremost. Otherwise, we can set ourselves up for disappointment if our partners or families or friends don't react with the love and support we might want from them because we've stopped.

    Our partners don't understand how hard it is, they can't unless they've been there too. And their reaction might be harsh - 'well it's about bloody time!' instead of 'well done, I love you'.

    Things like that can make us reach for what on the forum we used to call the f--k it button, and we undo a lot of hard work in an angry binge (yep, done that). Those who were doing it for themselves at least had their own renewed self-esteem to cling to when the f--k it button popped up (and that, thankfully).

    I hope this is making sense - it is an important distinction. Do it for you, because you know you're better than this and you know you have a better life ahead of you without booze.

    Very best wishes

    Kaz

  20. dueb
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    14 April 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    hi all,hi ringoringo83

    i'm not completely there yet,but i'v made a start.i'v reduced my drinking,i'v got a wife but no kids,and two pet cats.

    i'm doing it for my self,kazzl is spot on,i'm not so good at reading but the previous post here are great.

    i got a wife and two pet cats?actually i got a wife a cat and since January a kitten,the kitten was a question mark.the kitten is no longer a question mark,we don't give up on each other.no matter what.if we got problems or bad thought we talk we communicate and except each other,in good times and hard times.Basicly we don't give each other ultimatums.

    tony

  21. Croix
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    15 April 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    Dear Kaz~

    I hope you don't mind if I pop in here for a moment to say what happened to me with cigarettes.

    I know it's not booze, but the giving up was there - I was lucky with drink. With cigarettes I was very young indeed when I started - back in the days you could buy a packet of 4 Woodbines (yes, only 4 in the packet - I guess designed for kids like me). Thought it way cool and sophisticated:)

    Anyway from an early age I smoked - a lot. By my 20's I was a chain-smoker, which I kept up until in my 50's, getting even heavier if possible. I'd tried to give up several times. My reasons to try were my health and cost. Neither did the trick. I'd always go back, fatigue, don't care, anxiety, social pressure - helping me concentrate being another. Plus of course nicotine addiction.

    When my first wife died I remarried - to someone whose husband had passed away from lung cancer. She never said anything at all. But every time I coughed (and that was a fair bit) her face froze. I realized she was terrified.

    I gave up. Partly because it was for someone outside myself (I guess I never really thought I was worth the effort) and partly from anger and resentment of the company that ran the ads that got me into smoking in the first place. Whenever I was tempted one or other of these motives helped enough for me to keep going.

    I've no idea if this is of any help to anyone, I know it is not at all the same for alcohol, it was just motivation for giving something up that struck a chord.

    Anyway I'll stop interrupting now:)

    Croix

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  22. Kazzl
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    15 April 2017 in reply to dueb

    Hiya Tony - good to see you here mate. How are you today? 😀

    It's great you have such a good relationship with your wife and she is supportive. That's really a head start I reckon.

    Reducing the amount and the frequency of your drinking is an excellent way to get back some control. And it's a safe way, especially if you've been drinking heavily. Sometimes it can be dangerous for people who are very heavy drinkers to quit in one go. The withdrawals can be very hard on your body. Doctors will usually recommend a tapering off plan, and ask to see you every few days to check how you're going.

    I don't know if that is right for you Tony, or if you can manage to taper off yourself, some people can do that successfully.

    The main thing at this stage mate is that your motivation and determination are there. Keep going! You're doing well.

    Kaz

  23. Kazzl
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    15 April 2017 in reply to Croix

    Hello Croix, thanks for your post and well done on kicking the smokes.

    This might sound like an excuse but all the research I read into bipolar disorder says we're much more inclined to addiction than other folks. I reckon that was a big thing behind my drinking and possibly why I find quitting smoking so hard.

    I have a few bipolar friends who have quit booze, weed or harder drugs but can't quite manage to kick the cigarettes. And where I work we have a lot of homeless or mentally ill folks around who come for food at a drop in centre. A lot have bipolar, shizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia, some are on a methadone program, and they all smoke (that's how I've been fortunate to get to know them, I smoke outside with them). So I think there's definitely a link between some disorders and smoking.

    I have quit a few times, for months on end, but when a bad episode hits I just go back to them and then it takes months and months to try quitting again.

    Damage to the hip pocket nerve will probably do it for me eventually, damn expensive things! 😀

    Cheers

    Kaz

  24. ringoringo83
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    15 April 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    I just tried to reply but it didnt work, here I go again haha.

    The doctors appointment was good this week, I have been entered into a mental health plan, I got medication to help with my anxiousness and all of that. I haven't had a drink in 5 days. There is a lot more at play than just the booze though. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression for a while now, I don't know if it is related or not, probably is. I can't seem to be positive or "normal". I have a lot of stress in my life, I drive 4 hours a day to and from work in traffic, I am constantly looking at the negative side of life and can never get motivated to do the most simple of tasks. I am feeling particularly low today. Big family event this after noon, another big friends shin dig tomorrow, the though of not drinking is eating my insides up, the pressure I feel is becoming overwhelming. My doctor warned me to not put pressure on myself, I don't know how I am supposed to handle this. Thanks again for everyones help and support, it is amazing.

  25. Croix
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    15 April 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    Dear Kaz

    Thanks, no I know it is not an excuse, I've met a lot of the people you mention one way or another and have not been exempt from self-medication either:)

    I was in two minds if I should post here, then I thought it might be an additional source of motivation for somebody and that the post probably would not do any harm even if it did not do any good.

    Croix

  26. geoff
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    15 April 2017 in reply to Kazzl
    hello Kaz, and BP may make it difficult to stop any addiction, but then it's also very difficult for a person suffering from OCD, so instead of checking the locks or doing other habits/rituals, I had to drink for my reasons. Geoff.
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  27. Kazzl
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    15 April 2017 in reply to ringoringo83

    Hi ringoringo. Five days! Well done you! That first week is so hard, you have done really well.

    I'm glad things went well with the doctor and you're on a plan. It's very common for addiction and mental health issues to go together - it's known in the trade as duel diagnosis or comorbidity. That certainly what happened with me - I self-medicated because of mental health problems, then eventually the drinking became a huge problem in itself and I felt I'd never get a handle on my mental health until I got sober.

    It's hard going to family gatherings and such in the early days of quitting. And there's always the issue of what do I tell people. I'll be honest with you, I used to just lie and say I was on antibiotics or something and couldn't drink. Or I'd be the designated driver. Or I'd say I was trying to lose weight ... whatever works for you.

    As for how you'll cope with urges, yep that's tough. We used to have a little psychological trick on the alcohol forum whereby if we had to go somewhere where we knew we'd struggle, we would 'take' our sober friends with us in our pockets. The imaginary presence of supportive friends somehow made it easier to say 'no thanks, I'll have a coke'. Happy to go with you if you want. 🙂

    Cheers folks, and happy lots of chocolate tomorrow.

    Kaz

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  28. ringoringo83
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    18 April 2017 in reply to Kazzl

    Hey all,

    Well to be honest I feel much better this week. I have to admit I had 4 beers on Sunday night with a close friend as we discussed my mental health and alcohol consumption. Was weird but also refreshing that I didn't want to get drunk, just enjoy the beers. I had geoffs post in my head, I didn't beat myself up, or feel guilty. I am little disappointed in myself however. My wife basically said do what you have to do, she is supporting me still and I feel much more clear headed and together this week. I still have mental health issues to deal with that are different from the drinking. Just thought I would give everyone an update. I don't intend to drink at all this week and feel like that is achievable. I hope you are all well and thank you again for your continued advise and support.

  29. Kazzl
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    19 April 2017 in reply to ringoringo83

    Excellent ringoringo, you're going well mate. Isn't it a nice feeling when you start waking up with a clear head!

    Keep going mate, and I hope you keep us posted on how things are going.

    Cheers

    Kaz

  30. geoff
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    20 April 2017 in reply to ringoringo83
    hello Ringoringo, that's a terrific effort, well done, but I think it goes much deeper than this, because you had someone you could talk to that understood what you were saying and probably vice versa that's what is so important.
    I realise that there are more issues you have to cope with as well as the alcohol, but now your wife is supporting you because she knows that you are doing your best.
    Doing your best now compared to when you didn't care about how much alcohol you drank, is an enormous way of looking at your situation, they are completely on opposite sides of the fence.
    I am so proud of you, but you know that it's one step at a time, and if you can drink just a couple of beers I don't have anything to worry about, just as long as you don't relapse on a very bad day,if you do don't worry about it, we will still be here helping you along the way.
    Well done. Geoff.
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