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Topic: Battling the booze

  1. geoff
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    25 July 2016 in reply to Rhes
    dear Rhes, I feel guilty that poor Kaz has been the strength behind this post, because her experience has been tenfold plus her continuous support to all of you has been surmountable.
    Well first of all Sinking Mama well done and I hope that you have lasted another few days, but remember if you broke those 3 days were very important as it sets a base for you to work on once again, and if your way to try and stop means going to bed at 7.30, then who cares, it's all these different little tricks that you use to stop drinking then use them, they will eventually change when you become more confident.
    When I abstained, and this was many times, (and I have to tell you that I drink only socially now),but the time when I was due to begin I would make sure that I had a large glass of fizzy lemonade and also have something to eat, because on a full stomach the desire isn't so great, and I kept drinking this fizzy drink, in fact I would scull the whole glass.
    Rhes, when your family keeps on telling you to stop drinking alcohol, then that's not what you want hear, remember the sign on a park bench 'wet paint don't touch', well we all touch the paint, so it's this demanding comment from your family which can cause you to drink, that's not how they should be supporting you, so in other words, a demand makes you want to drink, while there are other ways of being there for you and supporting you in the way you want them to is much better.
    Don't be too hard on yourself if you break and start again, because if you abstain for 3 days and then start once more that doesn't mean it can't be done any more, especially if something happens that upsets you, that's when you need to put all your support network into action, because alcohol won't be able to solve any issue, it just prolongs your treatment and recovery. Geoff. x

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Kazzl
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    25 July 2016 in reply to geoff

    Hi everyone - Geoff has raised a really important point for anyone trying to beat the booze (thanks Geoff, you are a treasure!). A slip doesn't mean the end, and it certainly doesn't mean you can't come back here and post. And you most certainly won't be judged if you do. Quite the opposite!

    When I was getting sober, we talked about gaining 'sober miles', that is the days we didn't drink. Those sober miles still exist, even if you do slip back and drink again. You learn from them, you learn what a clear head feels like, what it's like not to wake up hungover, and they can drive you on to try again. In my case they taught me to accept that, for me at least, there was no such thing as 'just one', but it took a while to learn that.

    The important thing is to keep trying until it 'sticks' and if you really want to quit it will stick eventually.

    Here for you.

    Kaz

    xxxx

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  3. Rhes
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    51 posts
    26 July 2016
    Hi Geoff and Kaz and everyone else reading this great forum. Thank you so much for the sound advice and support. I'm only on day 2 and it feels easy, positive, uplifting even, just for the fact I'm not in denial about it anymore. I'm giving myself other rewards instead of beers at the end of the day. I know it'll get way more difficult, it's really helping to stay focussed and analyse the drinking trigger thoughts (they're very sneaky!) and work out what's behind them, what I really need instead. The info on here is so helpful and it's good to know you're here to talk to :-)
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  4. geoff
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    27 July 2016 in reply to Rhes
    dear Rhes, this is where we need to talk often, because Kaz and I know that it's not easy, it's b*****y tough, but with each day of abstention that's milestone which you have to remember, maybe not so much now because at the moment your thoughts are to get through another day.
    Put a calendar on the wall, you probably have already, but as each day passes, cross it out with a big black texture, that will show you the achievement you have done. Geoff x
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  5. Kazzl
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    27 July 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hiya Rhes, well done hun! You're going great. And you sound really positive. Giving yourself other treats is a good idea, it relieves that feeling of deprivation. I like Geoff's idea of the calendar, the further you get the easier it becomes and you'll see what a big achievement this is.

    It probably will get a bit harder soon, that often happens around the middle and end of the first week, so hang in there and stay strong. It gets better again real soon. Another little trick some friends of mine used was to set aside the money they would have spent on booze and then buy themselves something nice with it. I did this too ... after a few months I bought a lovely ring which I wore as my sobriety ring every day to remind me. Eyes on the prize hun - you can do this!

    Kaz

    xxx

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  6. Rhes
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    27 July 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Geoff and Kaz, great advice as always. I will mark my calendar too. Yes it's tough, I am feeling positive as I keep in mind i'm not missing out on anything by missing out on drinking, that's for sure. I am feeling quite crappy now, kind of like a hangover but different. In a way it's good because I just feel like sleeping not drinking, when I get home today. I never have a problem sleeping as I do a very physical job, but I've been waking at 4am each morning. It's no problem, I get back to sleep by listening to podcasts. All these symptoms of alcohol withdrawal seem to be happening right on cue. I can't believe how bad it is for the body! Otherwise, mentally I'm good. I know the mental challenge will be the next thing to face though.

    Hope you're both well :-)

  7. Moonstruck
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    27 July 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hang in there Rhes.....you're doing really well. Yes the old "calendar" marking worked for me....counting off the days.....turning into weeks (how miraculous was THAT!!!)....then it became MONTHS...oh God how am I doing this impossible thing??? you stop counting after a couple of years...then it becomes just over a year....nearly 2 years etc etc.....sounds like a marathon hey? I'm coming up about 3 and a half years about now.

    I remember I got a little booklet from the Alcohol & Drug Department from our local hospital which was easy to understand and with cartoons explaining in a humorous way what to expect each day re withdrawal, bodily changes, cravings etc...it was spot on!!

    My GP at the time suggested counting up how much I'd spend on casks of wine etc for the week...then as the weeks went by, get myself a little present with the money I'd saved. All of us are right with you Rhes......Moon S

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  8. Jodes01
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    27 July 2016

    Hi there, I am after some suggestions/advice please. I have probably been drinking way over the recommended limits for about 10-15yrs. I suffer from anxiety and depression, and this can escalate in times of high stress to need weeks off from work. I have a demanding job with high responsibilities and poor stress management.

    I drink to relax and I drink to forget. It's not healthy and it affects my ability to be motivated to do anything. I really don't know how my partner puts up with me. He is awesome and will push me at weekends to do something physical like kayaking or bike riding. I don't socialise or even wish to leave the house if I can help it. I have seen a psych recently but I cannot follow through on the simplist tasks and I'm sure it is because of the booze.

    so I made the decision to do something about it. I've tried to reduce intake before or use willpower to stop drinking but it doesn't work for me. I purchased Allan Carr's Easyway book the other weekend and stop drinking whilst reading the book, since the 16th July - 11 days ago. I'm am not sure whether this is coincidence or alcohol withdrawal but since the 21 July I feel like death. I feel like I have a sore head/neck and on the verge of sinusitis, this morning pretty severe headache which made my tolerance to criticism very low and burst into tears. Apart from this I feel ok, but little energy to do much after work except vege out.

    so what does withdrawal feel like? Does the above sound like a virus or withdrawal. What can I do to manage it, and how long might it last?

    i was experiencing palpitations over the weekend but this has settled down. I do feel quite anxious at the moment and have required medication on two occasions but I am only using if anxiety is extreme and upsetting me.

    I feel a bit alone but I know this will be worth it it not sure where to get information or help.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Kazzl
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    28 July 2016 in reply to Jodes01

    Hi Jodes, welcome to the forum hun. You have made a great decision to quit the booze - I know I couldn't do anything to address my mental health problems until I stopped drinking. That had to come first for me. Well done on your progress so far, you're going great!

    It is possible that your symptoms are from withdrawal, I know a lot of people experience flu-like symptoms when they quit. But I'd say if it continues, talk to your doc. It might be a virus, or it could be both, especially at this time of year.

    The emotional issues are common too with withdrawals - both our bodies and minds experience big changes when they don't get the alcohol they are used to. It will pass with time, maybe another week or two. The good news is once you start to feel better you REALLY feel better - sleep, mental state, body, everything improves. Your skin and eyes will be brighter and you'll feel a great sense of achievement.

    The best thing to do in the early days is focus on staying sober and keeping well. That means staying hydrated (sweet drinks can help - our bodies are used to a lot of sugar from alcohol) eating well, sleeping when you need to, getting fresh air, distracting yourself with things you enjoy and avoiding triggers (whatever would make it hard for you to not drink, say going out with friends or whatever). This should be your main focus for a while, but it is so worth it.

    It's great you have joined us here and I hope you'll treat it as a place to come and chat anytime you need some sober company and support.

    Kaz

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Kazzl
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    28 July 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hiya Rhes, you are doing really well hun! I love your attitude. It's great you have a physical job - wearing yourself out physically so all you want to do is get into bed is a good strategy for the early days. People I know joined a gym when they first quit booze so they could knock themselves out after work then go home and collapse. (I tried that for a while but sadly my relationship with exercise is, well, problematic haha).

    It's quite normal that you'd be feeling a bit crappy now, but it will pass soon. The second week is just that bit easier. Don't forget to treat yourself, especially at the end of the week. I struggled badly with Friday nights for a while. Have your favourite takeaway, buy a cake, whatever makes you feel good.

    Keep going hun, we're cheering you on from the sidelines here! 😃

    Kaz

    xx

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  11. Rhes
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    28 July 2016 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Moon, lovely to meet you and thanks for your advice and support. That book sounds good, anything in cartoon form is just better! The online info ive found is very clinical, talking about the patient in the 3rd person. I'll keep researching. And yes, certainly plan to buy something symbolic of the milestones if I make them, it's a great idea :-)

  12. Rhes
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    28 July 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Thanks Kaz, muchly appreciated!! Have a great day

  13. Rhes
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    28 July 2016 in reply to Jodes01
    Hi Jodes, I'm new here too and trying to kick the booze also, so letting you know, you're not alone :-)
  14. geoff
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    28 July 2016 in reply to Rhes
    dear Rhes, (Jode's I will reply to you after this post).
    There are always many great suggestions we try and pass on to those needing so just try each one and the one that helps you the best.
    Imagine the hours where you don't drink, so let's say you start at 3pm after work or picking the kids up, but just imagine how you feel up until that time, grog maybe in the back of your mind, but you're not drinking, so it's a time that you are able to control, so this time is very important, because when the time is nearing 3pm, you grab those thoughts that you had much earlier when not drinking, and then bring them all into your mind as say to yourself 'I didn't need to drink earlier in the day, so why can't I have the same thoughts now, I can do it', you need to tell yourself that I didn't the grog earlier, so why can't I feel the same now. Geoff. x
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  15. geoff
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    28 July 2016 in reply to Rhes
    hi Moonstruck, my doctor/psychologist/family kept on telling me 'imagine how much money you will save if you don't drink', but for me with a family I couldn't see the saving in my hand but could see it in what the kids could have instead.

    Jodie, I can relate with you in not wanting to do any physical activities or going anywhere such as the AFL when my ex and kids asked me, I just wanted to stay at home and drink.
    It's these palpitations you have when in withdrawal,and like before a quick stiff drink would stop them, but not now it's a stage that you have to overcome and time is the only way and can be done with medication which the doctor can give you, but it's addicative so your doctor will monitor when he/she feels it's time to stop.
    Look forward to hearing back from you all, but you know that you are mending your body it may not seem to be important, because when you drunk you don't give a damn, but in reality it is so important so that other repercussions won't happen.
    It is hard to stop any addication but it certainly can be done with the help and assistance of people who have achieved this themselves, so please we are here to help you. Geoff. x
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  16. Rhes
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    28 July 2016 in reply to geoff
    Hi Geoff, that's a good point you make and I've never thought of it like that. Yes for me it is the after work and, as Kaz mentioned, Friday's are particularly bad. I'll come up with distractions/rewards to counteract this. Thanks again, will no doubt check in here tomorrow night :)
  17. Kazzl
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    28 July 2016 in reply to Rhes
    Hiya Rhes - I'll keep an eye out for you if you want some company tomorrow night. Keep going gal! 😄 👍
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  18. geoff
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    29 July 2016 in reply to Rhes
    dear Rhes and Jodie, another day and night have passed, it could have been extremely difficult or it could have been something that you coped with, and remember don't worry if fall back and have had a drink, this is what usually happens, but each day is a different layer that you build on and eventually this will create your strength. L Geoff. x
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  19. Rhes
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    29 July 2016 in reply to geoff
    Hi everyone, just checking in and hope you're having a good evening. It's been one of those huge days where I feel like I 'deserve' a drink. I'm just relaxing, having a coke and a smoke (ciggies) and playing a bit of guitar. This is what I'd do normally except there'd be alcohol. And this time I won't be up till 2am saying ridiculous things on Facebook! Am feeling pretty good all round and want to thank you so much for your support this week, it's really made the difference from all the other times I've tried. It's my first Friday off it so I won't put too much pressure on myself. Am just glad I'm not feeling desperate for a drink!
  20. Moonstruck
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    29 July 2016 in reply to Rhes
    Oh Rhes.....I am so proud of you!! Don't under estimate what you have already achieved......however things go from here on, you have already done really well and given yourself something to congratulate yourself about. No one can take this away from you, whatever happens. .good luck and have a peaceful evening......
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  21. Rhes
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    29 July 2016 in reply to Moonstruck
    Thank you Moon, have a great evening yourself :-)
  22. Kazzl
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    29 July 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hiya Rhes - I second what Moon said. 😄 Hey, I play guitar too! Not tonight though, I'm having pizza and watching the footy.

    I'm glad you're feeling good hun, because you're doing great! Hope you have something fun planned for tomorrow.

    Kaz

  23. Rhes
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    30 July 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    Hi Kaz, hope you had a lovely night with pizza and footy 👍 Great to hear you play guitar too! Its definitely a good distraction. Got a busy day today but will relax later and probably check in here tonight. Have a great day 😊
  24. geoff
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    30 July 2016 in reply to Rhes
    dear Rhes, great effort, give that calendar a big black cross, colour it in if you want, for someone to stop drinking for a day or two/three is such an enormous effort, take all the credit you need, and this is exactly what you will be able to tell and help others with in the long run.
    No one needs to congratulate themselves with alcohol or as you say 'deserve' a drink, because the word 'deserve' goes far beyond what it actually means, you can celebrate in so many other ways, have another tim-tam, because I found that by eating chocolate always discouraged me from drinking, the two for me never could combine, but think about what you deserve in other ways, to listen to what you are playing on the guitar, the clarity, the rhythm, any keys that maybe out of sync which now you can recognise, but when you're drunk you have no idea of how to detect this.
    Another cross tonight don't let the devil back in tonight, and that's what it is something that destroys your life.
    I too like the others are very proud of you, as they say 'go girl'.
    Hear from you tomorrow. L Geoff. x

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  25. Rhes
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    30 July 2016 in reply to geoff
    Thanks Geoff 👍 Yep I'm a chocolate addict and it is a good substitute! Im feeling happy tonite with all the stuff I got done today because I can't remember the last time I wasn't hungover on a Saturday! This feeling alone is worth it 😊 Talk soon and have a good night
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  26. Kazzl
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    1 August 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hi Rhes - how was your weekend hun? Hope you're feeling good!

    Kaz

  27. Rhes
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    1 August 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hi everyone, hope you're having a good Monday!

    I wanted to run something by you, I got this thought last week while sitting in traffic. It just sprung up, "if I'm going to do this successfully, I'm going to have to experience the rest of my life without a rest for my brain, ever". It was panic attack stuff, like if I'd been told that my body could never experience sleep again. I've had panic attacks many years ago and managed to talk myself out of them at the time. This one passed quickly though it was quite powerful and negative. It hasn't happened again and I don't dwell on the thought. Just interested if anyone experiences these types of thoughts.

    Also wanted to say that I like how 'apprentice' comes up under my name, makes me feel proud and like I'm in training for something, which I guess I am 😊

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  28. Kazzl
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    1 August 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hi Rhes - it's quite common to be panicked or scared by the idea of never drinking again when it's been the way we shut out the world. That's largely the reason for the 'one day at a time' approach. Don't say never again, say not today. It's easier to comprehend and easier to deal with.

    It is hard to imagine never being able to give your brain a rest, but over time you will find other ways to switch off. A lot of people use exercise, or meditation, or music. Some take up a new hobby that's engrossing. You'll find a way hun.

    You're doing great!

    Kaz

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  29. geoff
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    2 August 2016 in reply to Rhes
    dear Rhes, apprentice means how many posts you have replied or posted, it's an endearing way of how we want to protect you and guard you through this but it is certainly a great privilege.
    The way you talked yourself out when you had a panic attack by not getting any more sleep, is exactly the same philosophy of recognising that you want to stop drinking, that's how powerful you can make it.
    Our brain is always thinking whether it's negative or in a positive way, and now you are thinking for all the right reasons, good on you. L Geoff. x
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  30. Rhes
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    2 August 2016 in reply to geoff

    Thanks to you both, as always. Yes I've been thinking of signing up for yoga again for the meditation aspect. Talk soon and have a great day 😊

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