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Topic: Battling the booze

  1. geoff
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    25 October 2016 in reply to Healer girl
    dear Moonstruck and Healer girl, there is no easy way to give up the alcohol, everybody is different, and some people are able to stop 'cold-turkey'whether it's for a rest or for good, that's a decision which we all have to make, but if you want to give it a rest then you're on your way to stop for good.
    Everybody has their own way which could help others while at different times they have to find the best option that suits them, but never the less there are times when all you want to do is pick a bottle and scull it until all of this pain has gone, however it never goes away because the next morning you are back to square one, and then have to face it all again.
    Both Kaz and myself have struggled no different than what you are going through, and when you say you are not coping then that's all you need to say because just those words pull me back into what I went through, and I can't answer this for Kaz because that would not be appropriate.
    OK it's good to talk to your psych about your alcohol problems, but you can't stay with them all day and eventually have to leave and this is where all that pressure is put back onto you, can I just have one sip, nobody will find out and then I will feel better, maybe, but that one drink leads onto another and then another, so all your hard work has ended, and back to where you were before.
    For all of us to achieve anything in life we have a starting point, you can't start painting your house and then stop, just as when you start to not drink, can you then go back to what sort of situation you were in before.
    If you drink then you are unable to solve any problems, because medically your mind is in another state of mind. Geoff. x
  2. Kazzl
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    26 October 2016 in reply to geoff

    So true Geoff - for me one's too many and ten's not enough.

    Kaz

    xxx

  3. Moonstruck
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    3749 posts
    1 November 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz

    I guess as drinkers, we are all different and unique in our method of dependence on the stuff (or former dependence). You see I was never a "one is too many, 10 not enough" drinker...didn't go on till I passed out or became incoherent or anything - doesn't make it less of a problem I realise.

    I am going through such stress and indecision about my part time casual job..I don't want to do any more..I want to tell the elderly business owner (I am the only employee he has left by the way..me and an accounts person). he is leaning on me more and more to help him out with suggestions, fix up his errors, remind him of things.....been with him many years and feel it will not go down well at all..but I am getting of "a certain age" myself, I don't have any interest in the work any more, and it's adding to my anxiety levels like you wouldn't believe!

    I need a drink, and want one so badly...just to "take the edge off" the anxiety, the indecision, not wanting to let an elderly man down (his business would fold if I left him, a big load for me to carry). Oh God, this is why I drank...dear good friends on this thread...I know you understand, I am just hanging out for one!!

    (sorry for the over-venting...couldn't help it!)

  4. Rhes
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    51 posts
    1 November 2016 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Moon, I hope you're ok. Haven't been posting but have read of your struggles. I guess I'm still in the 'honeymoon' phase of giving up booze, finding myself etc and haven't had any big crisises (is that the word?) to face yet. Still, I know they're gonna come coz that's life.

    Yesterday someone nailed a 'proposal to develop' on our front gate. No one told us and it's very sad because this house has been my first sober sanctuary (I quit when we moved in coz I knew the change of scene would help). I'm amazed at how philosophical I am about it though, and so damn glad I'm not boozing to try and 'solve' the moving problem, when or if it comes to that. I've been doing heaps of meditation which is very helpful (the binaural beats that Kaz mentioned, chuck on some headphones and check out of reality in a healthy way :)

    I do hope things are getting better for you and thinking of you! Hi to Kaz, Geoff and everyone else too 😊

  5. Moonstruck
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    1 November 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Thanks Rhes......I've been getting stuck into the non-alcoholic beer a bit today....and doing a bit of de-cluttering of old documents etc...supposed to be good for you to clear out junk from your house.

    Came across some notes on cognitive therapy...challenging thoughts, changing your thinking etc that a psych gave me back nearly 20 years ago!! (the date of my next appt was written on them)...so that's how long I've been dealing with this bloody anxiety.

    I remember telling her it's like a barometer, a temperature gauge...with each drink it was like "seeing, watching" the anxiety levels drop...such relief! (the non alcoholic stuff doesn't seem to have the same effect - funny that!!) On the other hand, neither will it destroy my liver like the other stuff had begun to - badly actually!

    I read these old notes...they were actually pretty good. I will certainly hang onto them. I am glad you mentioned headphones while listening to meditation CDs. When I play mine, the voice tells me it's better with headphones on, but I don't have any at the moment. From what you said, it seems to be a good idea for me to get some...perhaps I am missing out on the best part of the tapes. Will they plug into any old standard CD player?

    Good luck with the possible property move - it does seem a rotten blow to have happen when you've come so far. Have a good night Rhes........Moon S.

  6. geoff
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    2 November 2016 in reply to Moonstruck
    hello Moon, it's a real struggle for to be 'battling the booze', your temptation is becoming very hard and very difficult but you're hanging on, it's hard to be at this stage, but what would happen if you decided to have a drink just to end this misery, Ok better but as the time progress's and the next morning how would you feel, guilty and upset that it has once again taken control of you, or perhaps you might not care, or then feel as though you have let us down as well as yourself.
    Maybe you could have a drink and see what happens, it may even convince you that you don't need it and realise that when you drink all the problems go away, which you know, but guess what, they will still be there again in the morning, so what has it achieved. Geoff.
  7. Rhes
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    51 posts
    2 November 2016 in reply to geoff

    Hi Moon, hi Geoff, so true what you said, I always think of that. Moon I know what you mean about the non alcoholic beers, I get stuck into the tonic water because I used to like G&T's, it's like a placebo effect and I don't miss the gin. Yep headphones should work on any CD player as long as they're not the cordless bluetooth ones. I was using those little ones that go into your ear but they don't carry the bass like the big ones that cover your ears. It's interesting stuff, I'm glad I found it :)

    Thanks, I think the house situation will be ok. Seems I haven't lost my capacity for anxiety about things, it's good to have an understanding place to share it :)

    Wishing you well xx

  8. Moonstruck
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    3749 posts
    2 November 2016 in reply to Rhes

    Guess what I bought today Rhes......earphones! thought they'd be better than the "big headphones" as I always fall asleep while listening to my tapes? I will let you know how they go.

    I am a tonic water fan too...it's good stuff! Edenvale champagne works too, (alcohol removed) if you want to look as if you're joining in celebrations, drinking a toast etc....

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Rhes
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    51 posts
    4 November 2016 in reply to Moonstruck
    Haha that's awesome, I'll try it :) hope the headphones are a goer!
  10. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    25 November 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kazzl. I too am an alcoholic. My drinking was mainly through drink being so readily available as I was growing up. My father was a chronic alcoholic and would start drinking early afternoon, till bed time. I made some half-hearted attempts to stop, but it was difficult as alcoholism was not recognized as that. My mother made excuses for my dad and we were encouraged to drink. I married young, my marriage failed. I managed to regain custody of my kids and entered into a toxic, violent relationship where drink was again constantly available. My ex passed away under very sad circumstances, I drank then to numb and forget. It's only through a severe health scare earlier this year, I was forced to stop drinking. I was diagnosed with a breast cancerous tissue in my right breast. The cancer tissue was removed, I then had 5 weeks of radium treatment. I was told if I drank the treatment would be stopped. Through a wonderful, personal friend I was helped all the way with understanding and kindness. I did experience one 'fall' some time ago, but realized I had too much to lose to continue on the downward, destructive spiral. It's been 6 months and the urge is there, but not as strong. My friend is still very much part of my life and his continuing support is necessary in this never-ending battle. My personal promise to him is to one day look at him and say I'm 'dry', permanently. He actually made the comment one day, that 'once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic'. The words hurt, cut deep, the meaning is clear. Each 'dry' day is another victory.

    Lynda

  11. Kazzl
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    25 November 2016 in reply to pipsy

    Hey lovely lady, how good to see you!

    Congrats on the six months sober hun, that is a wonderful achievement. And I'm so pleased the treatment went well, and that you have a supportive friend helping you on the journey.

    I know what you mean about words hurting. Every drinker has their own view on whether they are or are not an alcoholic and what that word means to them. I call myself a non-practising alcoholic. I find it useful as a reminder that, for me, I'm only one drink away from losing it all again.

    However, I also think that saying 'permanent' or 'forever' is almost setting ourselves up to fail. Forever is too far away. There's a very good reason AA and others promote the 'one day at a time' approach. It makes it more achievable. Sobriety becomes a series of small victories, day after day. And if we slip, we have only slipped for a day, we haven't thrown away weeks or months.

    Anyways, just some thoughts. It is never-ending, but it does get easier. I'm always here if you want to chat about it hun or need some support. So good to see you again.

    Kaz

    xx

  12. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    25 November 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kazzl. Thanks for your warm welcome back and words of support. I considered AA, but because of the religious part I decided against. I try to follow the 'one day at a time' programme, and the knowledge of how I hurt my kids gives me the inclination as well to remain 'dry'. My special close friend (who has become my lifeline), and the fact that I have a job which includes driving the elderly to appointments and shopping means drinking cannot be part of my life. I also did a stint on jury service this year, and I met a chap who was also recovering from alcoholism. This chap gave me a graphic detailed account of an accident which nearly claimed his child. He showed me a photo of what had been his car. He gave me some pointers on sobriety which has also helped. As I mentioned earlier, each 'dry' day is another victory and I know my special friend will be there always. Knowing I have friends who understand, such as you and my special friend does make it easier. Thanks again, Kazzl. It's good to be back on BB.

    Lynda xxxx

  13. geoff
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    26 November 2016 in reply to pipsy
    dear Pipsy, I must congratulate you for the effort you have put into giving up the grog, it's never easy and what one person says to you about giving up the alcohol may not apply to how you feel or perhaps you can't relate to how they were able to stop themselves.
    How can someone say to you that it's not a good idea to continue drinking, unless you have total trust and love for that person, well that's what is needed otherwise it's just another person who only seems to be nagging to you about something they don't understand themselves.
    Even though these people are worried about you and very concerned for the road you are heading down, the constant pressure they continually put on you, will only mean that you won't stop drinking, and that's why each one of us need someone outside of our family who desperately wants to help you stop.
    They have to know that this person has a love for you and definitely wants to be there all the way to help and discuss this issue of alcohol, because there maybe a time when you do relapse but know that this person is there waiting to pick up once again and get you back onto your feet.
    Of course we hope that this doesn't happen, but for you it's such a wonderful effort and to achieve this is what you have to be so proud of. Geoff. xx
  14. pipsy
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    26 November 2016 in reply to geoff
    Hi Geoff, and thank you for the kind words. I understand the person in my life cares and loves me and is there for me whenever. There is really only one person who can stop drinking and that is the person who drinks. Others can and do offer support, however a recovering alcoholic is usually better as they understand the emotional tug-of-war that is constantly there. This special person I have in my life is a recovering alcoholic himself so he is completely aware of where I am in this battle. There has been times when this person has been brutal with me, I hated it, but needed it as it was done as and when necessary in my recovery. The brutality has been done out of love and respect and this goes further to help. I suggest AA to this person, he said that was a personal choice as it doesn't always help. I vetoed it myself due to the religious overtones. My goals in life now consist of facing my friend who I love dearly and telling him I am 'dry' and have been for x amount of time. Continuing my job, having the strength to lead others as I have been led. Proving to me and my lifeline that 'anything he can do, I can too' is proving to be interesting. I know he gets a kick out of everything. He is truly amazing, but I will knock his socks off when we meet again.
  15. Miko123
    Miko123 avatar
    5 posts
    1 December 2016 in reply to pipsy

    Hi all,

    ive been reading this thread for a few days. I am also struggling with diagnosed depression/anxiety and I have definitely been using alcohol to combat it. Since my diagnosis and medication prescription 2.5 months ago I feel like things have worsened. This is partly due to me starting to try to deal with psychological issues that have caused the depression and partly due to the fact that I continue to drink (not daily, but easily1bottle of wine every 4-5 days). I will abstain and then I'll drink a bottle. I shouldn't do this in meds. Unfortunately it calms the anxiety that builds over 3-4 days. It is so nuts to suddenly feel so trapped. I joined this group for asvice and support as the religious bits of aa (despite,or maybe because of, being raised catholic) turn me off. I'm a reasonably normal person, married, 2 kids, a writer and teacher, a published author, an ongoing student if Mandarin Chinese ... but struggling and needing help from those who have been here. Thanks.

  16. pipsy
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    1 December 2016 in reply to Miko123

    Hi Miko. Welcome to the ongoing 'battle of the booze' thread. Battling depression is hard enough, but when you're also battling staying 'dry' suddenly it's whole new ball game. I never mixed alcohol and AD's, never felt that brave (for lack of another word). I did find drink numbed the depression, however sobering up next day brought it back, with a vengeance. Each time I drank to numb the pain, the depression really had a field day, as drink increases the depression. Yes, the pain eases, but the depression itself doesn't. I used every argument in the book to excuse the drink problem I had. My special friend was the only one who 'saw through' my excuses and he was the only one who could blast me as he had been where I was therefore he totally understood my arguments. Alcoholism is a vicious, cruel merry-go-round of emotions, and the only person who can stop the cycle is the alcoholic. Accepting you have the illness is half the battle, finding ways to stop the drink is the other half. AA for me was a no-no for the same reasons you have stated. It was incredibly hard at the start of my (now sobriety), but by marking each day as a 'victory' six 'dry' months has seen changes to my life. The first 6 months dry was for me the hardest, it's easier the longer I remain dry. I can now refuse a drink as slipping is not an option. There are no easy 'one answer fits all' for this, only you can stop. Your wife and kids love you, you love them, however till you can find ways to overcome the need for alcohol the battle will continue. I'm sorry if my words hurt, but sometimes being harsh works better than walking round the garden. The man in my life never gave up, but there were times he hurt. He had to, to 'wake me up'. Believe me I know where you are, so does everybody on this thread. We do understand but as I said, till you make the conscious decision to stop, you won't. Keep posting here as it helps knowing others are battling like you. You are not alone in this, Kazzl, myself and Geoff are all here to assist and guide you.

    Lynda

  17. Miko123
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    1 December 2016 in reply to pipsy

    Hi Pipsy,

    thank you for the reply. You are quite right, not harsh at all. The truth does hurt, sure, but that's ok, it's the truth. It is good to be able to share with people who understand. I will continue to check in here for sure, as the support is very important. Thank you.

  18. geoff
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    2 December 2016 in reply to Miko123
    hi Miko, firstly can I say that Lynda had a long journey before she could even think about overcoming her alcohol, but she has done it which I have always congratulated her, and now she has found her two feet, got a job she loves and has shown how knowledgeable she is, because before the alcohol stopped all of this.
    So many times people self medicate their depression by drinking alcohol and it doesn't matter whether you abstain for a day and then get back into it, because what it means is that you're still addicted to it, you need it to numb what you are going through, and I was no different as I drank everyday, and because of this plus having depression my wife divorced me.
    There were many times I did abstain by going cold turkey and this could be for a couple of months, but then it started all again.
    Going to AA wasn't what I wanted because the same folk were there every meeting and always stood up and told the same old story, so there wasn't any inspiration nor real encouragement but was told I had to go because I lost my licence.
    When we think about drinking, sure it may disappear when we're intoxicated, but the problems are still with us as soon as we wake up, so the merry go round begins once again for another day, until you are criticised for having to drink everyday by your wife and/or kids which will then cause more problems added on to what your depression is already doing.
    What we think is that it improves our ability to do the work we are already doing, which makes us feel as though we could conquer the world, but that's a deception, because the next day you may read over what you have written and think 'did I say that' and then delete everything you said.
    I'm pleased you have this post because we're here to help you. Geoff.
  19. Miko123
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    5 posts
    2 December 2016 in reply to geoff

    Thanks Geoff,

    you're spot on also. It just helps to receive advice from people who've been through it rather than those who don't fully understand what it's like. I will keep checking in, especially if I start to feel the pressure building up. I find exercise a good distraction, and I've read about other distraction techniques but I guess it's mostly about pushing through that need to silence my brain. Maybe it's about riding out the feeling of stress... do you find sugar helps? By the way, my name might be a little deceiving, I'm female. Thanks again. :)

  20. pipsy
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    2 December 2016 in reply to Miko123

    Hi Miko. My apologies for the misunderstanding of your name. When you mention sugar as a deterrent, that's actually another no-no for me, I have type 2 diabetes. I would maybe seek a medical opinion about sugar helping with alcohol addiction. It's rather like giving up smoking, some people chew gum, others eat anything and everything. As Geoff also pointed out there are people who mean well and who will try to 'talk' you out of drinking, but alcoholics need more than someone who has no idea, telling you why drink is bad. Coping strategies are necessary for when the addiction seems to take over. One thing I found, the man in my life was great when I needed a distraction. Not necessarily actually contacting him, but knowing I had to tell him I'd slipped, the knowledge I'd let him down, let me down, let my kids down. When you have support from someone who has experienced what you're feeling, that's when you have the coping strategies. My man would tell me how disappointed he was. That in turn would disappoint me, I hated the knowledge I'd let him down and disappointed him.

    Lynda

  21. geoff
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    3 December 2016 in reply to Miko123
    hi Miko, thanks for replying, it's always great to have feedback when you have posted a reply.
    If you go to a psychologist or any other counsellor and want to talk about your alcohol problem, it's totally useless if this person has never drunk alcohol or only drinks on special occasions because they don't have any idea of what to talk about, what they do is talk about it from what the text book says, but the text book doesn't understand or know that circumstances change and everybody is completely different, it's no different than talking to them if they haven't experienced depression themselves, how do they know, again the text book won't give you the answer in chapter 12.
    I used to drink fizzy drinks which has sugar in them, but what I needed was the carbon dioxide so I would drink a whole glass at once that filled up my stomach, I also loved tonic water because it had a different taste to it
  22. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    3 December 2016 in reply to Miko123

    Hi Miko. Just another distraction to consider. Geoff has suggested fizzy drinks, for the sugar content, great thought. The only down side (apologies here, Geoff, no offense intended) if you can call it that is, sugar drinks can mean one drink leads to more for the sugar content. Tonic water, another goodie, perhaps add a slice of lemon for the refreshing side. Maybe you could also look at gentle exercise, a walk, or gardening. Something that would get you away from the house and also you would meet people. Walking groups are a big deal at the moment. You meet at a designated place and time and walk at your own pace for however long or short a time that suits you. With me my recovery meant I had to stop because I have a job which involves driving. Mixing with other recovering alcoholics can be beneficial, but also can cause more agro, because constantly discussing grog means the desire is still very much in your mind. Distraction is better than the constant reminder.

    Lynda

  23. geoff
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    3 December 2016 in reply to pipsy
    hi Miko, yes Lynda is correct that one sugar drink does lead you onto another fizzy drink which may not be good for your health if too much sugar is detrimental for your well being, however for temporary purposes if it's going to help you stop the alcohol, it may help and then eventually when you feel as though you are strong enough then you can swap the sugary drinks with something else.
    You have to use what ever technique you personally feel that will help you in your recovery. Geoff. x
  24. Miko123
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    5 posts
    5 December 2016 in reply to geoff

    Thanks Lynda and Geoff,

    i appreciate your wisdom. I'm doing ok. I've been sugar free for years and I understand the sugar thing. Re alcohol, I used it as medicine, I get that now. In recent days I've been alcohol free with no real worries. I do know how to get the better of this. I'm ok. Your support means a lot. Thanks :)

  25. pipsy
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    5 December 2016 in reply to Miko123

    hey Miko. Many congratulations for being alcohol free in recent times. Most of us have used alcohol to medicate. As I said earlier, the alcohol numbs the pain, sobering up means the pain returns etc. I'm pleased you are managing to overcome the need for the alcohol. Remember if you feel the need for the alcohol to numb, that's when you need the support we can offer. I still sometimes almost 'slip' however, knowing I have to face me in the morning, helps me stop. The longer I abstain, the easier it gets, but the knowledge I will always be an alcoholic is enough to keep me 'dry'. I have been dry for nearly 7 months, have a zero sugar coke with me to celebrate.

    Lynda

  26. Miko123
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    5 posts
    5 December 2016 in reply to pipsy
    Thanks Lynda, I'll be sure to keep checking in, especially if I feel I am slipping. Drinking camomile right now and looking forward to bed :)
  27. Kazzl
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    8 December 2016 in reply to Miko123

    Hi Miko - I haven't checked in here for a while so haven't welcomed you on board yet. Welcome! Good to see you here. I hope you're going well and please don't hesitate to post if you're struggling or want some booze-free company.

    Cheers

    Kaz

  28. Kazzl
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    8 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    And so this is Christmas ... and what have you done? Well, the great folks on this thread have done something huge - battled the booze and taken control. For some of us it's now second nature, for others a new and difficult road to follow, but you are on that road and that's a great achievement.

    No matter where we are on the sober journey, Christmas is a tricky time. Family events, work events, neighbourhood gatherings ... there will be people thrusting booze at us from all directions. Even telling us that 'one won't hurt'. So, we need some strategies.

    Here are my tips for avoiding the booze over Christmas, and I'd love to hear more from others:

    Appoint yourself designated driver and offer people a lift. They won't question you if they can get something out of it.

    Take your own favourite non-alcoholic drink to every party you go to, even if drinks are supplied.

    Eat before you go out and keep eating while you're there. You are less likely to be tempted to drink if you feel really full. Eating sweet things, especially cake or something else substantial can help (you're more likely to want tea or coffee with a big helping of cake).

    Having said that, avoid the booze-laden trifles or sweets. (I know, that's a real bugger. Love trifle I do, I make it without the booze). Even though a small rum ball or serving of trifle might not affect you, it might give you the taste for a drink. I even avoid boozy chocolates and sauces for that reason.

    If you don't feel comfortable telling people you're not drinking, lie. Tell them you're on medication, tell them you're not feeling well, tell them you just don't feel like it, whatever.

    Know that if people persist in trying to get you to drink it's usually because they want to feel less guilty themselves over getting plastered. Everyone who drinks with them reinforces (for them) that it's OK. You don't have to make them feel better!

    If you want to give the appearance of having a drink to avoid questions, take alcohol-free champagne or such with you. But check the labels carefully before you buy - some that look alcohol-free are actually low alcohol.

    If it gets too much, leave. If it's stressing you then you are not having fun, so what's the point of being there?

    Years of practice have taught me it is entirely possible to join in a party without drinking. True.

    Anyone else got some tips?

    Cheers to all

    Kaz

    3 people found this helpful
  29. 5022
    5022 avatar
    32 posts
    21 December 2016

    Hi everyone and thankyou kazz for directing me here. I am gaining so much useful advice and inspiration from the stories i have read so far and have devised a plan of strategies to cope should my children not be with me ( as promised by my ex) . i would like to share my thoughts snd hopefully help someone else in the process.

    First off all i will read my self destruvtion post to remind myself of how my situstion is as it is, and hopefully avoid the bottle at all costs. Then i will read others stories and hopefully be of some comfort.

    Secondly i plan to spend the day arranging the kids Santa presents under the tree, my youngest still believes, and to put together the basketball system which would otherwise be in the box for my son to unwrap and put together over the day, if kids were here. This way i am doing something for them even though they are not here.

    Thirdly will be there to support a friend who is dreading xmas with her family.

    Then after that I will probably head to the beach for a walk.

    If all goes wrong, i will manage if I follow these strategies And christmas wont be a meltdown for me.

    I hope everyone finds peace this christmas. X and hugs.

  30. Kazzl
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    21 December 2016 in reply to 5022

    Hi 5022, welcome! It's good to see you here. I like your strategies, and you sound nice and positive. Stick to these hun and you might find that not only do you avoid a meltdown, you might actually enjoy the day.

    Good stuff!

    Kaz

    1 person found this helpful

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