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Topic: Battling the booze

  1. Kazzl
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    11 September 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hiya Rhes, how are you? Have you had a good weekend hun?

    Cheers

    Kaz

  2. Rhes
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    11 September 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    Hi Kaz, how are you? Had a great weekend thanks, took myself on a little solo holiday, first one I've done sober :) Normally I'd find that lonely and a great excuse to drink. I spent a lot of time staring at the ocean and relaxing instead. Feel so much better for it 👍
  3. geoff
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    12 September 2016 in reply to Rhes
    dear Rhes, you're travelling like a real tropper as they say in the classics, good on you. Geoff. x
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  4. geoff
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    12 September 2016 in reply to Rhes
    trooper I should say x
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  5. Rhes
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    12 September 2016 in reply to geoff
    Thanks Geoff, couldn't have got here without the support of yourself, Kaz and Moon :)
  6. Kazzl
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    13 September 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Hiya Rhes, your holiday sounds great. Isn't it special to enjoy a break without hangovers? It is a challenge though, I remember from my first sober holiday the late afternoons were tough, but you get through them and wake the next morning feeling fabulous. Well done you!

    I also 'remember' (not really) a holiday at a lovely resort in Queensland years ago where I drank from lunchtime till I passed out each day then spent the mornings in bed recovering. What kind of holiday is that! These days I get my money's worth, enjoying every waking minute (and the sleeping bits too). Soooo much better.

    Lovely to see you hun

    Kaz

    xx

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  7. Rhes
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    13 September 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz, great to hear from you :) Yes, isn't it funny how the prospect of not having to get out of bed early in the morning was such a green light to get wasted. And holidays are terrible for that, may as well just be at home in bed! I manage to find much better stuff to do now, even if it is just a daggy crossword here and there, so much better for the brain 👍

  8. sinking mama
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    17 September 2016

    Hi all.

    Its been a bit since i was on last. And im sad to say i gave in to my demons and started drinking again.

    Im still hungover from last nights efforts.

    I know i need to get this under control im just so scared that i cant. Every attempt has been a dismal failure. All it takes is one small thing and i give in.

    I have been extremely fragile for a long time. Having depression and anxiety for a long time is really taking its toll. I think my meds arent working anymore but i dont want to change them because theyre the only ones that have worked at all.

    Hailey

  9. geoff
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    18 September 2016 in reply to sinking mama
    hi Hailey, great to have you back but wish it was under better circumstances, but how often does someone who drinks alcohol always fall back to it when they are stressed out, countless times, time after time, because they haven't been able to build up the strength that is needed not to, but I don't blame you for doing this, all you need is a little bit of help.
    If your depression and anxiety hasn't been fully addressed through a psychologist and your medication isn't working then it's battle, not once a day but numerous times where you are struggling, then you won't be strong enough to not drink, because this is just your natural response so that you can cope.
    If your medication had once worked but not now then maybe they should be reviewed by the doctor with increasing the dosage, but perhaps when you start taking antidepressants (AD) they will begin to help you, then it's not uncommon for them 'to have run their race', so to speak, so that they are now not as affective, so perhaps your doctor should review them.
    I say this because the med's aren't helping you now and that's why you have gone back to using the alcohol as a back-stop, but we all know that by having this addiction creates a lot of problems and I don't need to mention what these are because you would already know, so let's go back to square one with you, go and see your doctor and get them to put you on a 'mental health plan' where you can visit a psychologist for 10 free visits, and get them to increase the dosage or if need be change the AD. Geoff.

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  10. Kazzl
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    18 September 2016 in reply to sinking mama

    Hi Hailey, welcome back. Your previous attempts to quit have not been dismal failures hun, they have been steps along the road to sobriety. We all take those steps before it finally 'sticks'. Whilever you have the intention and the desire to quit, you are on that road and moving ahead. It's only when we give up trying that we're beaten.

    AA's mantra of 'one day at a time' is invaluable I reckon, even though I didn't go to AA. I still try to live that way, in many things. So maybe try not to think 'I have to quit drinking forever' or 'I must never drink again'. That's too overwhelming to contemplate when booze is our release from other problems. Just try to think 'I will not drink today'. Gradually it will get easier.

    There are some good tips on this thread for getting through those early days - maybe have a read back though.

    We're here for you hun - please post anytime. And remember - one day at a time. It will stick in time.

    Kaz

    xx

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  11. sinking mama
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    23 September 2016

    Hi everyone.

    Well its been a week now. But ive stayed clear of booze.

    Kaz, your advice about taking it one day at a time has made all the difference. Although there were days when i broke it down to one hour at a time.

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  12. Kazzl
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    24 September 2016 in reply to sinking mama

    Hi Hailey, well done! That's great. The first week is hard, possibly the hardest, so what a great achievement.

    Breaking it down to hour by hour, even minute by minute, is an excellent strategy. There's also the 10-minute rule which helped me a lot. Basically that means when the urge is strong tell yourself you can have a drink if you want to, but not for 10 minutes. In that 10 minutes distract yourself as much as possible - go for a walk, have something to eat, get busy doing something in the house, play a game, whatever distracts your mind. There is a very good chance the urge will pass in that time. If it doesn't, try it again, another 10 minutes. Eventually it will pass, and you will regain your strength and commitment to carry on.

    There's also urge surfing, basically a mindfulness technique, where you just sit with feeling for a while. Don't push it away, feel it, analyse it, then let it pass.

    Also, when the urge hits, check with yourself whether you're actually hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT). We often reach for a drink when we are any of these things. Eat, vent, come online, go to sleep.

    You are doing really well hun and thank you for letting us know. I'm so pleased for you.

    Here anytime.

    Kaz

    xx

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  13. geoff
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    24 September 2016 in reply to sinking mama
    hi Hailey, every day that you can stay away from the alcohol is certainly a bonus, one week is excellent, but there will be days when you are tempted to pick up the bottle, but this is when your strength will overpower that desire.
    Each day you have will be different than the day before, although it might be less stressful and feel as though you should be congratulated, of course you can, but any other means than drinking the grog. Geoff.
  14. Moonstruck
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    25 September 2016 in reply to geoff

    Oh Geoff.....I've wanted a drink so much in the past week. The week has been horrible with major traumas happening together that I had to deal with outwardly at least...calmly, straightforward, clear communication etc. and has just about done me in!

    Now I seem to have a breathing space I find myself wondering if I could have spared myself a lot of the stress and tension and tears with a few drinks....why can't I? Why can others do this and I can't? Why do I have to weather the storm with nothing to hold onto?

    So close...so handy...just sitting there saying "here, for God's sake, take some relief from your pain, you don't have to do this alone"......Which is braver, soldiering on without the crutch.......or admitting you can't deal with these problems, they are too big this time, the pain is too raw this time....I will accept the help waiting for me in the pretty bottle.???

    It's been so hard Geoff. would it really have been so terrible if I'd had a few drinks? I need to know.......

  15. Kazzl
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    25 September 2016 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hiya Moon hun - what a crap week you've had. And it's lingering too I know.

    Think it through though lovely - if you had decided to drink, it might have eased the pain for a while. But not entirely because you would be aware of why you were drinking - and you would have probably had the guilt and worry about drinking again on top of it. So what happens then the next day when the pain returns and the added thing of drinking again hits ... it hits harder. You see one way out, more drinking. And so it goes until the drinking becomes the bigger problem again.

    I've seen it many times on another forum for people with alcohol problems. One won't hurt, it might even help. And that might be true if we could just have one. Only you know how likely that is hun, but for me there was never just one. Just one was useless! I needed one bottle, then another, then more until I passed out. What's that saying - one's too many and 10's not enough?

    Resist it hun, and when the crap time has passed you will feel so damn proud of yourself that you got through it sober. You can do it. Go back to basics if you need to - 10 minute rule, urge surfing, distract, distract, distract. Treats and more treats.

    You can do it my friend.

    Kaz

    xx

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  16. geoff
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    25 September 2016 in reply to Moonstruck
    hi Moon, if you were with a group of friends, say at a party and someone
    offered you a drink, the temptation would be so high for you to 'have
    just one drink', as they say
    'it won't hurt you, look at how you are feeling, you feel like crap so
    one drink will help you, you know that, so come on and have a sip', the
    urge would be so high, 'will I or won't' but you are forgetting about
    what one drink will do, it will take you back to square one where the
    alcohol will take control of you, so your plight to stop drinking has
    again ended.
    Unfortunately all our problems will always be with us,
    pay bills, don't have enough money to pay for rent or groceries but what
    about buying milk, 'I need milk for coffee and hate drinking it without
    milk', so these are what will tempt you back to alcohol because then I
    won't need milk when I drink.
    You have to look at the future, not now
    because that's easy, but what will happen to you over the next 10 years
    if you continue to drink, because your problems will still be there,
    but you might need someone else to control your finances because the
    grog has caused you to have a medical condition that will stop you from
    functioning, I'm sorry for pointing this out, but that's what my doctor
    always told me when I was drinking, everytime I saw him.
    The
    temptation can always be there, on any day whether it's a celebration
    or when you are sad, but to be strong enough to say NO on everytime is then a fantastic achievement.
    I think that you are very capable to have this strength, because you have the want to say NO.
    It would lovely to hear back from you. Geoff. x
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  17. Moonstruck
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    25 September 2016 in reply to geoff

    Thanks so much for being there Geoff and Kaz - I didn't have a drink, as you probably knew, or hoped I wouldn't. Just had to have a massive whinge , hope you understand. It's just this bloody Aussie culture of ours....it's so ingrained into every little part of society that we drink!

    Alcohol HAS to be there....for Everything! something great has happened...Here have a drink....something sad has happened...Here, you'll feel better after a drink......You are anxious about work or a decision you have to make...Here have a drink and chill out a bit.......have a drink, have a drink,have a drink....it feels Unnatural and labels you a sort of "eccentric weirdo" if you DON'T have one!!

    It seems more acceptable to get stupid and tipsy, even falling over and terribly hung over next day.....than to say No Thanks!! Will this Aussie culture of ours ever change?........Thanks again guys...yes I am OK, I have not broken my three and a half year mark!!! I think anyone who manages to beat this thing is a hero!! I just don't think of myself in that way at all though.......thanks again for understanding......

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  18. Kazzl
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    25 September 2016 in reply to Moonstruck
    I'm proud to be part of the sober sub-culture with you Moon. Here anytime. xx
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  19. Rhes
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    25 September 2016 in reply to Moonstruck
    Hi Moon, you're a hero to me 😊 As Kaz said (my other hero and Geoff too!) proud to be part of the sober sub culture. You've helped so many on here, myself included, here's some love and support coming at ya!
  20. Cornstarch
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    25 September 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    I feel so guilty.

    Nothing works for PTSD flashbacks and it's the kind of thing that could push anyone to the drink re-living horrors.

    There is no pill for bad memory's.

    I have a fellow suffering friend that I have got smashed with on the odd occasion because I'm sick of feeling like this and I'm sick of all of my responsibilities some days. I feel 107 years old inside.

    The only problem is considering everything that I've been through I have a really good hand break and can stop but she doesn't.

    I discovered she is doing it heaps, and by herself and now I feel like an enabler because I've joined in.

    The worst part is that another part of me doesn't feel bad because for 6 hours out of 365 days, out on the town I got to forget my living hell. And I know I will want to forget again even if it's just 2 or 3 more times this year.

    I am an enabler.

  21. Kazzl
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    26 September 2016 in reply to Cornstarch

    Hi Corny, thanks for posting here hun. This is an issue around alcoholism that we alcoholics don't often think about, so I'm really glad you have raised it, especially as it's troubling you.

    One thing I know for certain, and please take this on board - the only one who enables a drinker's drinking is the drinker. If your friend has a problem, she would drink whether she was with you or not, whether you were drinking or not. Alcoholics in full flight neither need nor seek permission. You are not enabling her, she is.

    Another issue though is what to do if you think your friend is developing a serious problem. My suggestion is that you raise it with her, gently, perhaps the next time you see her hungover. See, we often believe no one knows about our problem - we drink alone, hide our booze etc and think we're 'getting away with it'. A quiet word from someone close can make us realise we're not. Someone knows. She might see you as interfering, I did when people raised it with me, but it still sticks in your mind ...

    If you do talk to her, be prepared for nothing to change. It can take a long time before someone starts to accept their problem. Sometimes years. But you will have sown a seed ...

    One thing I would absolutely caution against is an intervention. They don't work. In most cases the person agrees to change just to end the intervention, but they don't change, because they now have a whole other set of emotions (shock, embarrassment, anger) to deal with.

    Corny - only the person drinking can make the decision to stop. You can be supportive, you can choose not to drink when you're with them if they are trying to quit, you can offer to go with them to a doctor or recovery program if that's what they decide to do, but you can't make it happen, anymore than you make them drink.

    We are our own responsibility.

    I hope that helps hun

    Hugs

    Kaz

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  22. Cornstarch
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    26 September 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Really Kaz?

    Do you really think that's all true?

    I feel really powerless with everything today, I call them my despair days.

    I have about 10-20 per/year where I don't really speak I just stare at the horizon or ocean and zone out. No-one can really reach me.

    Everyone has problems.

    I suppose we're all responsible for ourselves at the end of the day.

    I guess I can see how easy it would be to go there and I feel bad. Soooooooo easy. Especially when nothing works.

    I loved your references for Bipolar by the way.

    Unfortunately Joey LeDoux is at band practice and the pills ain't designed for PTSD anyway.

    Poor us. Nothing I can do.

    You're so strong Kaz to have zero drinks! My god.

  23. Kazzl
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    26 September 2016 in reply to Cornstarch

    Hey Corny, you sound really sad hun. I hope I didn't say anything to make it worse. If so, I'm sorry. xx

    Yes, I do believe all that, but that's me. Everyone has to make their own way ... As for strong, thank you - but maybe it's easier to be strong when booze has taken you to the pointy end of staying alive or not, as it did for me. Doesn't make me special, just makes me still here. 😊

    And I'm not anti-alcohol by the way. I have no problems with other people drinking, I just know I can't.

    So, are you OK hun? Here if you want to talk or have a hug.

    Kaz

  24. Cornstarch
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    26 September 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Thanks for checking in on me Kaz, you're very kind.

    Just feeling the weight of a lot of responsibility from a very young age today.

    Take care xx

  25. Kazzl
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    27 September 2016 in reply to Cornstarch

    Thinking of you Corny. Be good to yourself hun.

    Kaz

    xx

  26. Moonstruck
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    27 September 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Morning Kaz ...."the pointy end of staying alive or not". I didn't realise you had been in that place too.....that's why I had to give up...it was either stay alive or not.

    Just wanted to clear up another point you reminded me of too..I may have come across as anti-grog..but no, not at all. My friends and family enjoy alcohol and I have NO problem with it at all. Being with mates who are drinking cause me no discomfort.....I wish I could join them!!!.....(Just in case I was appearing as a sort of saint who wishes people would get off it.....just would hate to see anyone "at the pointy end" of dying or living, as I was.

    I do think you're pretty great too Kaz - these dark days I am going through....gee I wish I could blot some of it out with a drink, I really do. I am always as vulnerable as everyone else who is trying to cut down, or out.....have a good day everyone.....hugs.

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  27. Feels
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    28 September 2016

    I realise this is an old thread, or maybe it isn't, I'm new here.

    I wanted to vent about my drinking problem and how I have a problem with admitting I have a problem. I'm guilty after every heavy session of drinking. I don't remember a damn thing. It's the scariest feeling, trying to recall my actions of the night before. The shame and guilt kick in, depression lurks around, anxiety doesn't miss out on the self pity party either.

    So why do it to myself again, knowing full well the cycle that follows?

    I'm a mum of three and I feel worthless and ashamed of myself, even to the point where I'm sure they'd be better off without me.

    Thanks for listening, I've found some of these posts very inspiring.

  28. geoff
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    29 September 2016 in reply to Moonstruck
    hi Moon, when we are trying to give up the grog but then go through a bad period it would be so easy to pick up the bottle once again so that we could supposedly forget about these problems or perhaps to numb them, yes that might work for the short term but these concerns are always there until we can find a way out to solve each of them, so you're just putting a bandaid on and you haven't fixed overcoming alcohol nor have you been able to face these issuses, the wind won't just blow them away so they disappear, it's what you have to face and confront each problem so that you can finally sort them out.
    You have to remember that you can't keep running , one day it's something that you have confront so that they won't happen again, sure of course they will, but by that time you would have conquered them and gained the strength you need so that you can handle them with confidence.

    dear Feels, by the time you have recovered from being intoxicated another day begins and you actually push that memory aside, so that you don't care about not remembering, because the alcohol has a much stronger appeal and don't worry about the next day.
    It would be fair to say that you are an alcoholic, that's no different than most of us who have replied to this post, but I don't cast any judgement on you, maybe that's because I too was an alcoholic, so maybe I should call it having an illness, simply because we need to drink for a reason, not for the taste, nor the look of the coloured glass that holds our alcohol in, but a feeling of being relaxed and then numbing any problems away, but don't forget about any decisions we make when we are drunk they would horrify us the next day in disbelief as well as anyone listening.
    Once you begin to feel worthless and ashamed of yourself this creates more problems than you either want or expect, you are drinking for a reason, which could be anything, and I wonder if you know why this is, then if you do then that's a starting point.
    Appreciate that you have joined a long list of people and really hope that we will hear back from you. Geoff. x
  29. Kazzl
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    29 September 2016 in reply to Feels

    Hi Feels, a very big welcome to you. I'm really glad you've joined us here and I hope you'll stay with us.

    I understand how you're feeling, I've been in the same place. If you've read through this thread you have probably seen my story. So much of what you say resonates with me, so one thing I can say for certain is you're not alone!

    Another thing I can say for certain is that it is possible to beat the booze. It's hard - hardest thing I've ever done - but entirely possible. There's nothing special about us on here, no magic formula or superhuman strength, we're just ordinary people who developed a serious problem and through struggle, determination and commitment managed to get through it.

    What would you like to do hun? Do you want to quit drinking? Cut down? Let us know your thoughts, and we'll keep you company and help you along the way.

    You don't have to live like this Feels. There are better days ahead and you deserve them!

    Very best wishes

    Kaz

  30. Moonstruck
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    30 September 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    I want so much to have a drink Kaz. For all these years without it, I've had at back of a cupboard...bottle of that "pretend Baileys Irish Cream"...lovely smooth coffee/hazelnut flavoured.....just a tiny bit in a sherry-glass of milk, like a lovely milkshake would ease my troubled mind...I just know it!!

    I am so depressed, so worried, I heard the song You'll never Walk Alone last night, sitting by my computer and put my head in my hands and sobbed......nothing else will ease my sadness....that lovely smooth milky drink will though.

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