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Topic: Battling the booze

  1. Roberty_Bob
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    26 April 2016 in reply to Bayleaf
    Well done on your five year sobriety Bayleaf. I agree that having support is extremely useful. This group will be a good start Nick. You might also want to Google for some online and real life support groups. There are a wide variety, more than just the traditional well known one. I don't think I can mention them by name but I'm sure you can find something that will suit you.
  2. Roberty_Bob
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    6 May 2016
    Seven weeks overdue but I finally got my one year sobriety tattoo yesterday afternoon. The design is based on the Straight Edge (SE) movement. The cross represents the cross marked on the hands of underage members of a band that played at a licenced venue some time back inducating to bar staff that they weren't to be served alcohol.
  3. Missing user
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    6 May 2016 in reply to Roberty_Bob
    Well done Bob. Did it hurt? I've never had a tattoo. Is it on your hand, and what colours?
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  4. Roberty_Bob
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    6 May 2016 in reply to Missing user
    Thanks! It's black and on my upper right arm. It hurt but it was nice hurt. Endorphins are awesome!
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  5. Starwolf
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    6 May 2016 in reply to Roberty_Bob

    Well done you legends...you're an inspiration.

    Tattoos are a good symbol of permanence...And for you guys, an allegiance to sobriety.

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  6. Kazzl
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    7 May 2016 in reply to Roberty_Bob
    Nice one Bob! Love the design and its significance. Mine's Picasso's dove of peace. I've been thinking about getting another one to mark my five years (yesterday!) but I can't decide what I want or where to put it.
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  7. Roberty_Bob
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    7 May 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    Five years? Wow, well done!
  8. Pepper&Charlie
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    21 May 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz

    Thank you for starting this thread - I can relate to so many things. May the 19th 2016, was my 42nd birthday, the day before we buried my cousin, and also the day / night I got out of control. May the 20th was the day, I buried my cousin, and stopped drinking, and stopped hurting my family.

    I've battled anxiety and depression for about 5 years now - everything is perfect in my life with medication, I'm happy, I've got a good job, supportive and loving family - the exception is if I have that one drink to many, I turn into a monster and verbally hurt everyone in my life, especially and foremost my sister. I'm not sure why, but I say and do something whilst in this state and I couldn't of even imagined it in my wildest dreams or nightmares.

    Thursday night, my sister and I were having a few drinks with our family in preparation for the funeral the next day, the next drink is a blur - I spat hate and jealousy at my sister prior to getting in a car and driving it into a ditch, I woke up in the car and being pulled out by my family. I'm so disgusted in myself, I hate myself so much at this point. We had to get my car towed back to my place of residence over 200km away - the guilt is enormous.

    Today I I'm trying to dig myself out of this deep dark hole and try to rebuild and repair my relationships with my family. Today is my second day without a drink, and I'm seriously happy about this. I don't know if I'm an alcoholic, but I know it takes me to dark places at times.

    Thank you or listening.

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  9. Kazzl
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    21 May 2016 in reply to Pepper&Charlie

    Welcome Pepper&Charlie. Well done mate for making such a hard decision. Getting sober was probably the hardest thing I've ever done and I have never regretted one day of it. It gave me my life back, and it will you too mate.

    Your story is very familiar. So many of us have had terrible times like that ... when we hit our rock bottom. You're not alone. And you have made the first and hardest step.

    A few little tips - the first week is rough, especially if you usually drink every day. Days 3 and 4 will be very tough. By then you're over the hangover, there's nothing physical stopping you and you will crave like mad. Keep yourself distracted, go places where you can't drink, go straight to bed when you get home if necessary, just get past those first hard days.

    I'm here, along with others who have been through it, ready to help you mate. Keep talking to us.

    You won't regret this.

    Kaz

    2 people found this helpful
  10. geoff
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    22 May 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    dear Kaz, 5 years is a remarkable effort and Bob even 1 year is also a remarkable job, so well done tro the both of you.
    Pepper and Charlie, there are times when our emotions become over heated when we are inebriated, because there could be someting in particular that could annoy you, and it will come out when you are intoxicated.
    It doesn't particularly worry you when are sober, or you don't feel that it's appropriate to say these things, but once you have had too many then the doors open.
    Many different people have their own thoughts as to what 'being an alcoholic' means, all which describe so many interruptions it's hard to believe what the answer is, 2 drinks a day, a drink every day, or binge drinking, it's so confusing, one doctor says something then a health person says something else, so it depends on what you think yourself.
    To stop for 2 days is probably one of the worse stages, so I also want to congratulate you for doing this.
    Alcohol is legal addiction in that over 18 you can drink, but it does have it's restrictions, but it's always a great topic to talk about. Geoff.
  11. Kazzl
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    22 May 2016 in reply to Pepper&Charlie

    Thank you Geoff xx

    Sending a big 'hiya' to Pepper&Charlie - how are you going? I'll keep an eye out for you in case you want to chat ... Wishing you every strength - and remember distract, distract, distract!

    Kaz

    xx

  12. NewMe
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    27 June 2016

    Hello everyone,

    I found this site yesterday and spent a few hours looking thro post, finding Battling the Booze gave me much relief and hope, that I could get some support for the changes I need to make.

    Just thinking of how I was going to describe my situation has opened my eyes to whats really going on. So I'm here to help myself go thro the changes and hopefully after time be able to support others.

    I'm a Mum of 2, aged 13 and 10 and a Husband which has had to deal with more than a Husband should. Yesterday was the day,, my Husband called to say he'd had enough and had found himself somewhere to live. He has never threatened to leave before and this hit me hard. On top of the problems I have, losing my husband and hurting my kids,, well its not going to happen and I'm choosing them over alcohol.

    I was diagnosed with anxiety a bit over 2 yrs ago, when I all of a sudden went from being a very confident out going person, to not being able to drive and staying in bed a lot. I was medicated for 10 months and had weekly counselling for a few months. I learnt enough to realise I had had anxiety since becoming a Mum, the same amount of time I'd been self medicating to relax with alcohol. I made changes in my life and learnt to slow down, take time for me and stop worrying about everything that may happen within the coming month.

    But I did not stop drinking. I have been too afraid of myself, my thoughts, will I end up finding out I have depression also?? Now I'm ready to take it on, as none of that could be as bad as losing my family.

    I find myself peaked out by 4pm, when the days stresses have caused my brain to be in race mode and the only thing that makes it stop is a drink, but Its never 1 drink, its 2 bottles of wine. I went to 1 AA meeting and it wasn't for me, and they only meet up once a week in my town.

    I think this forum will be a great tool to visit throughout the day to give me strength, but if anyone has other tips to helping calm the brain I would very much appreciate it, as I refuse to use alcohol any more.

    I will also contact Mental Health in my town, I know they have someone there who deals with alcohol problems, is there other avenues I could look into on this site??

    Thank in advance for everyone who wishes to offer me support and advice, as these thinks cant be done alone.

    Thank you xxx

    2 people found this helpful
  13. Kazzl
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    27 June 2016 in reply to NewMe

    NewMe welcome, welcome, welcome to the forum and to this thread. You have made a very hard decision, and it is not going to be an easy path. But as a recovering alcoholic, now five years sober, I want to tell you first that you CAN do it and second that it's a decision you will never regret.

    Like you I self-medicated for a long time. I didn't know that's what I was doing, at first I just wanted a drink at the end of the day to relax. Then it became several drinks to block out what I was feeling, then it became a couple of bottles a night. Read back through this thread and you'll see a lot about my experiences.

    So, I know and understand where you're at hun. And I have such respect and admiration for you for deciding to take back control. Be aware though that you must do this for you, first and foremost. Your family might be the impetus for starting the sober journey but staying on it comes down to you valuing yourself enough to do what's right for you. A very dear person to me, who's also over five years sober, talks about creating the conditions in which good things can happen. Being sober in itself will not solve all our problems. But it can and does create the conditions in which we can take control and take care of our problems, with a clear head and a hopeful heart.

    So, if you plan to start straight away, here's a bit about what to expect over the next few days. The first day might not be so bad because you'll feel 'up' about doing something good for yourself. This might carry through to day 2. By day 3 it will be getting tough. Depending on how much you are used to drinking, your body might start screaming at you, and it might continue for a few days. By the weekend you might be really fighting not to have 'just one'. I remember that well, but my 'just one' inevitably turned into 'just two bottles'. Be determined.

    Distraction is everything during the early stages. Keep very busy. And make sure you don't have easy access to alcohol (I removed it all from the house, put my PJs on as soon as I got home in the evening, went to bed anytime the cravings got really hard, that sort of thing - you have to really pay attention to how you're feeling.)

    Please feel free to post here if you're struggling. I'll keep an eye out for you, and there are others on the site who have been through this too. We're here to hold your hand through it.

    Well done NewMe, I look forward to talking with you more.

    Kaz

    3 people found this helpful
  14. Moonstruck
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    27 June 2016 in reply to NewMe

    Welcome New Me - I am certainly offering you as much support as you wish but can't really match the great advice from Kaz - I've been where you are so I don't know how "valuable" my advice would be anyway.....I can only say what happened to me...I never dreamed in a million years I could give up...what?? Throw away my friend in the fridge, my consolation in the cupboard? You've gotta be kidding!!!

    What would I do without them when the going got tough in real life?.....yes, it was self-medicating all the way, anaethestise my emotional pain.........I wish to hell I could go back and undo the damage and embarrassment I must have caused my kids....I am still trying to make amends for that!

    I didn't believe the professionals when they said the alcohol would eventually make my anxiety and pain worse!! Didn't believe them....I hope and pray you don;t have to go through the near-death experiences I did...due to the damage years of grog had done to my body - it wasn't pretty, it wasn't dramatic, it wasn't heroic....it was ugly.

    I'm just over 3 years without alcohol now......and strangely enough....my terrible anxieties, worries, depression and overwhelming emotions of not being able to cope with life seem to be better without it! Fancy that! Maybe the Drs were right after all, and the grog was making things appear much blacker than they really were!

    AA was not really "for me" either (although I admire greatly the work they do) but it was good to be among others who understood and I had something in common with. (I must drop in again one night and say Hi)

    there was a 24 hour phone support line for Drug and Alcohol Counselling I found very good...they are probably in your phone book too. (I remember once I had people coming over for lunch and I hadn't been in that situation without a few drinks to help me along while I prepared.....so I rang them to give me encouragement that Yes I could do this without a drink......none in the house anyway)

    Sorry to talk all about myself here NewMe........but just wanted you to know you are not alone and there are others including the beautiful Kaz who will be of greater help than I......Congratulations on your honesty and I see a beautiful person there- time for her to shine!! all the very best......Moon S

  15. EllieHock
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    27 June 2016

    Hi Kazz,

    This is really a great post and reading through has finally given me some comfort to what I have been dealing with over the last year. I am a 28 year old woman who has dealt with depression, anxiety and general life problems since I was about 20. I have always been the type of girl who people will call up for a night out or a party. The past year I have found myself self-loathing after a these big nights out. Drinking and the occasional recreational drug taking has made me try to start turning my life around.. So far with no luck. I have been attempting over a period of time to stop drinking, not go out as much, only have one or two drinks or drive to occasions but seem to fall back into the trap about 3-4 weeks after a good stint of time out. I forget how bad it makes me feel and I get caught up in having a good time and trying to make friends and please everyone else that I just forget about what I have told myself and I end up on another big night out.
    The feeling of guilt and disappointment I get in myself it debilitating. Every time I slip up I'm out trying to figure out what else I can do to finally try and stay away from the drinking but none have really seemed to stick. I try doing more exercise, or finding new activities but I still don't feel like they are making a change. Just biding time really?
    I don't crave alcohol or ever really feel like I need a drink. I tihnk its just a state of mind I get into once I have a few that sends everything I have worked for flying out the window.
    Id love to know if anyone had any great tips or anything they'd like to share to help me out. I am open to trying anything to make my life a better one! =)

  16. Kazzl
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    27 June 2016 in reply to EllieHock

    Hi EllieHock, so lovely to meet you! Don't despair hun, it often takes several attempts, sometimes many attempts before it sticks. I tried many times to stop before I did it. Whilever you are still trying you are making progress. It's only when we give up trying that we've handed control back to the booze.

    It's very hard to stay sober when others are drinking around you, but if you can manage it once you can manage it more often.

    There's a couple of things you can try. First, limit the times you go out and try very hard not to go out on a whim or without thinking it through. Tell your friends you need some time at home and won't be going out this weekend, this week. And find something to really distract yourself during that time. Give yourself a goal or a target to meet.

    Then when you do go out, plan for it. Psych yourself up before you go, practise saying no thanks and smiling. If it's a party, take plenty of non-alcoholic drinks with you. Eat a big meal before you go, and eat while you're there so you stay full. If it's a pub or club or restaurant order something non-alcoholic as soon as you get there and tell your friends you are not drinking tonight (for medical reasons or somesuch). Offer to be the designated driver. Plan something for the following morning that you really want to do - a treat. Book an early hair appointment or a facial or something - give yourself a new reason to want to get up without a hangover and go somewhere.

    You don't have to tell everyone you've stopped drinking, just say you're not drinking tonight. And, if it helps, tell yourself the same. There's a good reason for the 'one day at a time' approach - it is so much easier to think just about today than to think about forever.

    You're doing well by exercising and looking for new activities - keep that up hun. Sounds like you're a 'pleaser' who puts others and what they want to do first. Time to focus on you and your needs for a while. It really is something you have to commit to and really pay attention to if it's going to work.

    You can do it - treat it as a health challenge (hey, once you've been off the booze a while your eyes will be brighter, skin clearer and a better colour, your hair will be shinier and you'll sleep better ... true! There's some really nice side benefits!)

    Very best wishes

    Kaz

    2 people found this helpful
  17. geoff
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    28 June 2016 in reply to NewMe
    dear Kazz, NewMe, Moonstruck and EllieHock, well Kazz has mention so much in her reply it's hard for to add to it, but perhaps if I could say that everyone is different why they drink , their circumstances and diffent ways of how to stop, but as I keep saying this is a great post.
    Wow where do I start after Kazz, for anybody to make the decision to stop drinking is an enormous one because it's so accepted in our society, we grow up with parents and their friends drinking alcohol, laughing making jokes but after awhile it could turn nasty when one of them drinks far too much, and then embarrasses their partner so the party can turn soul.
    We do use alcohol as a way to relax, but then there's a big difference between relaxing than a need to relax and that's what people with anxiety and depression use it for, but it goes one step too far because it starts to affect their family and possibly their work and definitely being able to drive, then we realise that we have a big problem that we need to overcome.
    An alcoholic can't have just one drink, that's virtually impossible, they need to keep drinking, and the greatest fear is what am I going to fall back on to to get you through.
    There have been some excellent suggestions by all, but it's what you find is the easiest way, for me when I abstained and the time I normally started to drink, and let's say it's 3pm, I would have a big lemonade fizzy drink and something to eat, that would fill my stomach so that I didn't feel like a drink and going to AA wasn't what I needed, I didn't like it's format.
    There were times when I welcomed people coming to visit us because it meant that I could drink without any problems, but that wasn't solving my problem.
    With NM your husband would have been quietly suffering in another way, where you had your alcohol to fall back on, but your husband had nothing and just wanted to get away from all of what was happening, he may not have shown any indication in the later stages that he wanted you to stop, so his easiest way out was to leave.
    Kazz says ' Being sober in itself will not solve all our problems' and how true she is.
    I will have to continue on another page. Geoff. x
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  18. EllieHock
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    28 June 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Thanks Kaz!! And Also Geoff. It's so great to hear different techniques from people that have lived through this. It always seems like other people have done it so easy compared to what I have found so far.

    I am definitely going to try those few tips! I will check in with how I am going so hopefully next check in I am on my way to my goal =)

  19. Kazzl
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    28 June 2016 in reply to EllieHock

    Hi Ellie - it's not easy hun. Getting sober was the hardest thing I've ever done. But it is possible and I'm cheering you on from the sideline! I'm here most nights if you need a buddy.

    Best wishes and positive thoughts to you

    Kaz

  20. geoff
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    2 July 2016 in reply to EllieHock
    dear Ellie, I wanted to reply back to you after my last comment, but as usual I got caught up, so I'm very sorry.
    When you try and stop drinking or you really want to or feel the need that you have to, and between these 3 there's not much difference it's how you look at your situation and the detemination you have, that's more important than anything else.
    A good test is to walk past a bottle shop or somewhere where alcohol is being sold at the times when you normally have a drink, if you can go past without the temptation of going in then that's a good start, because this is always going to happen which you can't avoid.
    Remember one drink leads onto another and then another until you have wiped yourself off, OK you might feel happy when you are, but the next morning you will be so disappointed in yourself, so the cycle goes around in circles and say that it won't happen again, it's like 'calling wolf' if you know what that means, but lets say a boy calls wolf to his friends and they come running towards him to help him, but there isn't any wolf and the boy delights himself in getting this attention, and when he keeps on calling wolf eventually no body will come and help him, but this time is when he does need their help, because the wolf is actually approaching him, so the strange analogue is that you keep saying that you are going to give up, but never do and disappoint those around you as well as yourself.
    You can stay at home and not drink, but the real test is when you go out, because you can't stay at home forever, so just be honest with your friends, tell them, even though there will be jokes etc, but if you stick to your plans that's a good step forward.
    You're not there yet so please get back to us as Kazz and myself have been through this. Geoff. x
  21. bonnylass
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    3 July 2016 in reply to geoff
    Thank you for this post as I lie here in my bed feeling lost and alone you have helped me make a decision to cut down on my drinking am I a alcoholic I don't know I drink every day three big glasses of wine after work I live alone it's a routine that I have done for years I don't drink through the day but I know I use wine as a crutch and I drink too much like I eat too much my self esteem is around my ankles I feel fat useless weak pathetic that's enough from me but thank you for showing me the light xxx
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  22. Kazzl
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    3 July 2016 in reply to bonnylass

    Hi bonnylass, how lovely to meet you! You know, the question of whether we're alcoholics or not is unimportant - everyone defines the term differently and I say people should only use it if it's helpful to them. I haven't had a drink in five years but I still say I'm a recovering alcoholic because it helps remind me of where I never ever want to go back to.

    The main point is you feel alcohol is playing too big a role in your daily routine and you want to change that. It is so excellent that you realise that before it gets to a level where it might take over your life. To catch it now, before it does real damage is so very wise. I wish I'd had your wisdom when I was younger.

    So, well done hun. Please keep talking here if you want, and if you have any questions or need some company, we're here!

    Kaz

  23. Gruffudd
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    3 July 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kazz,

    I rather appreciate your kind words and strategies in this thread.

    I stopped drinking about 10 years back. Primarily it was because I noticed that in the days and weeks after I tended to take a slide on the mental health, but also because of the health aspects of a binge on the stuff. I have no Idea where I could have ended up going down that track, just that I don't regret making the change when I think about that time.

    I think it helps to support me to make sure it is comfortable to have alternatives that are not alcohol when out. At home I've repurposed the old crystal glasses which are fantastic for mineral water, orange juice, and coca-cola. I do that for me to be honest, it's like the fine bone china with tea, I like it.

    I do wish everyone discussing this here all the best.

    Rob.

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  24. sinking mama
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    22 July 2016

    Hi all.

    I thought id move here. After all I have spent a lot of time reading and re reading the posts here. I have found them very helpful. Hearing others stories has been very encouraging.

    Im on day 3 now. I ended up going to bed at about 7.30 last night. My little mans bed time.

    Ive got a big day today, but all i want to do is go back to bed.

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  25. Kazzl
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    22 July 2016 in reply to sinking mama

    Hiya mama - welcome to the thread hun! I'm really pleased to see you here. You are doing really well. Today and the next couple of days will be hard, and you'll need all your strength and resistance. But you can do it! Within a few days, as the worst of the withdrawals pass, you will start waking up with a clear head and realising how great it is to not have a hangover, to not feel ill or ashamed, and to actually remember what you did last night (oh how I love that!)

    I'm at work, so mustn't stay here - but I'll check in tonight. Take care during your big day today - don't fall into the trap of buying a bottle to reward yourself with 'just one' for getting through the day. (There's no 'just one', we know that). Buy a cake instead. :) I'll be thinking of you.

    Kaz

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  26. Kazzl
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    23 July 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi mama if you're looking in. Just wondering how you're going. I know weekends can be tough, so I'm sending you good wishes and strength. xx

  27. Music_Freak
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    23 July 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    I don't have a drinking problem, I've only been hungover twice in my life, so I can't really relate to what any of you are going through, but I just wanted to say how awesome you all are for facing your demons - I wish you all the best of luck :)
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  28. Kazzl
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    23 July 2016 in reply to Music_Freak

    Hey thanks Music, that's really kind of you! 😊

    Best wishes to you and thanks for being a great contributor on the forum.

    Kaz

  29. Rhes
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    24 July 2016
    Hi,I'm so glad I found this forum, I've been reading it for a few days now, at all hours, and I'm so impressed and moved to tears at the kindness you all show to people who come on for the first time. And, of course, the support. And so many things, situations relating to shame, embarrassment and anger brought on by alcohol, I relate to so deeply.I'm a 44 year old woman, no partner or kids, no doubt from being an alcoholic for the majority of my adult life. I'm ready to go into counselling, take medication, whatever is going to help, I'll do it. I'm very scared because I have conditional family support. They want to see me stop drinking (they're wealthy, successful, pillars of the community etc. They're embarrassed by me). I've been drinking since I was 12 to numb the pain I've felt growing up in a judgemental environment. I can't dwell on the past anymore as it makes me angry and I drink. I know I have to find my own support.And it can be too much for friends if they've never been through it. Hence I'm so glad at the relief I felt while reading all of your posts. You really are special and brave people and your discussions about how you're overcoming alcoholism gives me so much hope. People don't mean to be judgemental, I know. It hurts though and I drink to block it out. It's an endless cycle. Being in a no judgement zone here is very special indeed. Thank you for reading my story.
  30. Kazzl
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    24 July 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hi Rhes - a very very big welcome to you hun. Thank you for such kind words, I'm so glad you have taken some hope from us.

    You are making a tough decision, but one you will never regret (promise!). I really understand the drinking to block stuff out and numb the pain. That short-term oblivion is very seductive. But I've realised since I got sober that the oblivion doesn't really bring relief or resolution, it just compounds our problems because we leave it so long to face them, they just get worse.

    And y'know, there's so much more out there to experience, enjoy, learn from, do etc when you're sober! It is so good to hear you say you can't dwell on the past anymore. A tough thing to control, but absolutely necessary - look ahead Rhes, keep looking ahead, eyes on the prize!

    It's going to be hard hun, but you can do it. And we'll be here, all the way.

    If there's anything you'd like to ask please feel free and come here anytime for a chat.

    Very best wishes and much strength to you

    Kaz

    1 person found this helpful

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