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Forums / Staying well / The alcohol roundabout

Topic: The alcohol roundabout

27 posts, 0 answered
  1. MWV
    MWV avatar
    6 posts
    5 July 2018
    I can't even remember how many times I feel like I've written this or felt like this. I have bipolar & long-time depression and anxiety. I'm finding it really hard to find purpose right now. I'm currently a stay at home dad and that isolation and sometimes boredom leads me to the wine. Classic case of I have depression so I drink, and I'me depressed because I drink. But I would also binge drink when I wasn't a stay at home dad. I just use alcohol to dull my senses a bit. I know all of this is text book, but still wanted to put this out there to see what strategies other people have tried, and to know that I'm not the only one.... Thanks
    3 people found this helpful
  2. Lilly18
    Lilly18 avatar
    109 posts
    5 July 2018 in reply to MWV

    Hi there,

    You are deffinetly not alone with the drinking.

    I'm a stay at home mum, i drank 20+ drinks every afternoon/night (im 28) I'm almost 1 year sober! I can relate to the depression from the hangover it was a very bad place for me. Hang in there.

    Do you wish to be alcohol free or cut down?

    What I found extreemly helpful was seeing an alcohol counselor, nothing else could help me. There is also medication to help with cravings if you need it.

    All the best ☺

    6 people found this helpful
  3. Birdy77
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    5 July 2018 in reply to MWV

    Hey MWV,

    I'm not going to be much help I'm afraid, but I wanted to let you knkw you are not alone, and definitely not the only one.

    You described it really well, drinking because of the depression, and depressed because of the drinking.

    Vicious cycle.

    There's all sorts of, as you say "text book" stuff I could say, but won't! The thing I will say is that what helps me to jump off that roundabout is to be absorbed in something.

    Easier said than done, takes effort I know. But just simple stuff like, maybe engaging in a hobby that absorbs you, or working on a project while baby is asleep, being physically active, take kids on outings away from home ....

    I guess just things that get your body and or mind away from the bottle in the fridge. Also pushing wine o'clock further away, hour by hour if you can. Like if it's 2pm and you want a wine, make a deal with yourself that you can make it til 3pm, so you do something absorbing until then, and when it's 3pm, try push it til 4pm ... If you are absorbed in something, you won't really notice the time. Then you will be able to push it to dinner prep time, awesome.

    Being at home makes it easy to slide I know, because you're sort of free and not accounting to anybody ... so if you could have a way to be accountable would be helpful, there could be apps I do not know. But you could use writing here as a way to be accountable if you wanted to? When you really want to pour that first wine, come and write here, or read someone else's post and reply to them ... I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud.

    Others will be much more helpful, but just wanted you to know you're not alone.

    Wanting to get off the roundabout is a really good start, so: high five.

    🌻birdy

    7 people found this helpful
  4. MWV
    MWV avatar
    6 posts
    5 July 2018 in reply to Lilly18

    Thanks for the reply Lilly18, I always say I want to cut down. It's a binge thing one or twice a week, but I'm starting to feel it as I get older (41).

    I found an old post that I wrote in Jan 2018, it was almost exactly the same as thing one today... So things must change.

    I have a psychiatrist that I see, I'll talk to her about it, and some strategies....

    🙂

    1 person found this helpful
  5. MWV
    MWV avatar
    6 posts
    5 July 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Thanks Birdy, it is a vicious cycle..... one you never assume will creep up on you.

    I think I'm going to jump back into the real world again after taking some time off. That will absorb me.

    I do like the pushback strategy too. Mine is a twice a week thing, but it's the hiding it from others thing that is so unsettling. You feel dirty and of less worth. Not so great, I would assume that contributes pretty strongly to the overall depressive state.

    Will definitely keep on writing here for accountability. I really appreciate the message.

    Thank you and hope you're doing ok.

    🤜🏼

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Lilly18
    Lilly18 avatar
    109 posts
    5 July 2018 in reply to MWV

    If your interested, there is an app called 'daybreak' or check out the hello sunday morning website. They got me through aswell. Highly suggest an alcohol counselor, it's good that your seeing your psychiatrist.

    2 people found this helpful
  7. geoff
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    6 July 2018 in reply to MWV

    Hello MWV, welcome and thanks for posting your comment, it's a problem that I also got trapped into because of my depression.

    Thankfully that was years ago because now I only drink socially, but that's never easy when alcohol controls you.

    We use alcohol to null our feelings, but being a stay at home dad drinking 2 days leads onto 3 then eventually 7 days, then we feel guilty so we have to hide where we store a bottle here or there or maybe a cask under the house, maybe in our shed, and when the family is home we make out that we're going to the shed to do something, pretend to fix the mower or something similar, until you're questioned on why you're visiting the shed so often.

    All of this caused a divorce, selling the house I thought we would live in 'forever' and now I live by myself.

    A doctor I once saw for another reason always told me 'that the grog will end your marriage', I never believed him and never thought my wife would ever file for divorce, I was wrong, even though we still talk to each other regularly.

    I'd be pleased to hear back from you and continue this thread.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Meowface
    Meowface avatar
    73 posts
    7 July 2018 in reply to MWV

    Hey MWV. Firstly don’t feel bad for seeing a similar post last year. My diary entries have repeated over and over for the past 15 years. “I’ll never drink that much again” “I wont drink during the week”. It is a way to escape our annoying feelings. Especially if we can’t sleep then there’s really no break from your own mind.

    I agree with another poster about getting through the peak drinking hours. I did it the last 2 nights successfully (not Thursday) hence me actually being sober and able to post on a Saturday night. Hated it and wanted to run to the bottle o but just distracted myself. I like to think of the clear feeling of getting into bed sober.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to someone, people on this forum, your gp, a counsellor. Your not alone. A lot of people struggle and drinking is an easy addiction to pick up as a coping mechanism.

    3 people found this helpful
  9. MWV
    MWV avatar
    6 posts
    8 July 2018 in reply to geoff

    Thanks Geoff, the way you describe the hiding is so right.... I think I'm finally realizing that I need to take responsibility for myself, for my mental health and overall wellness. But jeez it's hard sometimes when the 'fun' is calling. But then it's the next day and the black dog is barking.

    I'm sorry to hear that this poison caused your marriage to break down. That thought is very sobering. I am going to speak with my psychiatrist about it when I see her next. See what else I can try.

    So important to talk about this stuff though, so I thank you for responding.

    2 people found this helpful
  10. MWV
    MWV avatar
    6 posts
    8 July 2018 in reply to Meowface

    Thanks for posting Meowface. Getting out of my mind is definitely a huge part of why I drink. To escape from the thoughts, the boredom, the depression. And then obviously the next day is hell, and we're back at the start of the cycle.

    Congrats on the Saturday night achievement. That's awesome. It's amazing how good we can feel, right?

    I will definitely try the peak drinking hours thing and use it on the days when I'm getting the urge. I've done "This Naked Mind" by Annie Grace, think I need to again. Starting within the 30 days sober thing. I always say how easy that would be to do. But when I'm actually honest with myself, that is rubbish - because I haven't completed 30 days for as long as I can remember.

    I've always wanted to be a social drinker - but I don't think I can (at least for now). It has to be zero.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Meowface
    Meowface avatar
    73 posts
    8 July 2018 in reply to MWV
    It’s actualy wine time for me right now. Because for most people it’s 5pm - that means I can justify my first drink at 4pm (sarcasm). Holding out because I am making more of an effort to be social and have friends coming over for dinner at 6.30. Will keep making lasagne and work on not being half drunk before they arrive!!
    1 person found this helpful
  12. Mary Rose
    Mary Rose avatar
    5 posts
    9 July 2018 in reply to Lilly18
    Lilly hi, I'm new here. You mentioned an alcohol counselor where would I look for that. I'm on a seemingly never-ending roundabout at the moment. The old drink to block out things then feel ten times worse the next day. Unfortunately, the relief I get for that small amount of time seems to override that. I have depression, PTSD, and general anxiety. I also have a 15 yr old son with autism. I feel like a twig that's about to snap any minute.
    1 person found this helpful
  13. Nelbow
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    9 July 2018 in reply to MWV

    The alcohol roundabout.....

    I used to be on and off this myself and now off for good.

    For a start will power was no good as it was the willpower that got me to the bottle shop when I could barely walk.

    listening to a book full of obvious facts with an open mind got me finally away from the booze. the book was called 'the easy way to control alcohol'.

    I also stopped reading the news papers, stopped watching tv (still got netflix), stopped listening or watching to any form of media that had the potential to take me from a positive state into a negative one.

    be honest with yourself when you ask yourself, do I want to be happy?

    3 people found this helpful
  14. geoff
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    9 July 2018 in reply to MWV

    Hello MWV, and all the other replies, I have bookmarked this comment and will get back to you tomorrow morning, it's only because I start very early in the morning at about 1.30 am.

    It's an important thread that many of us need help with.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Birdy77
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    2299 posts
    9 July 2018 in reply to Meowface

    Hey MWV and all lovely people here 😊

    MWV, I really want to thank you for mentioning Annie Grace ... I'd not heard of This Naked Mind, and have now downloaded the first 40 pages as an excerpt and I think I will buy it. I like the sound of it so far, and will see how I go. I like the way she thinks and talks. I see there's a podcast as well, might listen in.

    Just wanted to say thanks.

    Thanks Nelbow also for the name if that book, I might check it out as well.

    Hope everyone is well tonight and doing ok. Be gentle with yourselves. I'm trying to be gentle with me as well.

    Strength and peace all,

    🌻birdy

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Lilly18
    Lilly18 avatar
    109 posts
    9 July 2018 in reply to Mary Rose

    Hi Mary rose ☺

    I was a bit hesitant to go see my alcohol counselor, it was at my local hospital in the drug & alcohol department and i guess I was in denial about how bad I was but seriously iam SO glad I went.

    It was great, I had a lady not much older than me for the counselling. I would not be where iam today if I didn't go. Everyday I'd tell myself I will stop but I couldn't do it on my own. Going there made it official for me that I was giving up the drink.

    Have you got a hospital close to you? I did have to drive 25mins there, I can't reccomend it enough. That's what they are there for. Let me know how you go

    2 people found this helpful
  17. Tess2
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    458 posts
    9 July 2018 in reply to Lilly18

    Hi everyone,

    what an interesting and important thread. I too have had periods in my life where I have consistently drunk too much. All the usual excuses. I loved wine o’clock, about 6pm and when I started cooking. I used it to make me feel “normal”. I only drank wine, so did not see myself as a heavy drinker. Over time I just got sick of it, tired of being tired the next day, I didn’t really get hangovers anymore. And so much of the wine now is so mass produced it has little real fruit flavour or complexity. Might as well drink water. So I just stopped about three months ago. I was also incredibly stressed and anxious and not coping at all and needed to change something. I have also found that as I get older I get the effects much more easily and I don’t like that, my tolerance for it is just not there. It was also costing me a small fortune. Since not drinking I have lost 12 kilos, this is not just due to the lack of booze, but it is certainly a contributor. When I am so anxious I lose my appetite. I wAsnt e. EXcessively overweight, but was certainly well more than I should be for a person with a small frame. It has had benefits and I rarely want to drink any wine. Occasionally I think it would be nice to have a glass, but I have rarely been a one glass girl, so I am not risking it. I am not saying I will never drink again, that too is risky, but for now I am happy and I don’t want to put the weight back on. I love feeling really slim. I am back into all my small jeans. I don’t know that I have loads more energy, but I put that down to the depression and anxiety.

    I would encourage anyone of you to take the good advice that has been offered by others here and do what you can to change this, it is within your control if you want it.

    Tess

    3 people found this helpful
  18. geoff
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    10 July 2018 in reply to MWV

    Hello MWV, the idea of planning to drink one hour later so instead of it being 2 pm, you wait an hour later, but then daylight savings changes everything because you get to drink an hour earlier and when it finishes you may tend to drink at 1 pm rather than the usual 2 pm.

    The deeper or the worse your depression gets you don't care whether it's 1 pm or 2 pm time isn't an issue, you learn how to disguise it better and encourage your family to go out for the day, just so you can drink making an excuse that you have 'to work in the garden and it's a great chance while you take the kids out', or better still someone comes around to see you, so you decide it's a great chance to have a drink.

    When I was in charge of 2 pubs the offer by clients to have a drink with them occurred all day, but I had to stick to when I started to drink which was 5 pm.

    There were several times I abstained from drinking when I was out of the pubs, I never looked at the clock so I didn't know what time it was and I made sure that I had plenty of fizzy drinks, giving me the feeling of having a full stomach, plus eating as well.

    I actually drank tonic water because it had a different taste and thankfully I didn't suffer from any withdrawals, my hands were steady and didn't have any DT's.

    I only drink socially for 2 reasons, I don't need to drink like I used to, I'm not suffering from depression and don't want a drink, secondly if I have too much or drink spirits I am most likely to have a seizure because I have epilepsy caused by an assault a long time ago.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  19. Mary Rose
    Mary Rose avatar
    5 posts
    12 July 2018 in reply to Tess2
    Tess thank you for replying. I totally agree about the age thing. As I get older, I'm 55 I'm not tolerating it very well. I get up tired, grumpy and depressed. I have given it up for a year in the past and that was great. My problem is staying away from it. I think I use it to relieve boredom and loneliness. Anyway, I will be looking for an alcohol counselor today I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
    1 person found this helpful
  20. Nelbow
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    17 June 2019 in reply to Birdy77

    Wow!

    Sorry almost been a year since I was last here.

    That book was by Alan Carr, the easy way to control alcohol

  21. GAWGA
    GAWGA avatar
    4 posts
    1 August 2019

    I’m am currently over 130 days alcohol free. I can scarcely believe it myself.

    I am not here to gloat but to totally empathise. The alcohol roundabout is addictive, depressing, shame based and utterly exhausting. I know. Having spent the last 3 years desperately trying to moderate and ‘failing’. I’ve always drunk took much really.

    I am not advertising and strongly encourage you to do your own research but I read lots of literature about quitting alcohol eg alcohol lied to me. I also joined a Facebook group called OneYear No Beer. I will leave it up to you to explore further. This is a paid programme. I am in no way associated with them. I stumbled across it by chance but it is changing lives.

    Through that I ended up in a like minded community of almost 8000 people the world over also in exactly the same position. Sharing success and failure with alcohol. I realised I am not alone. Finally I had the connection and support I desperately needed. I didn’t follow the programme just shared in the group and somehow it worked. It was not an easy journey to begin with, it may never be, but I know I have broken the cycle. I hope that you will too. There is another side and it is really good. Not amazing. Not awe inspiring. Just really good and hangover and alcohol free. Every day you try is not a failure x

    3 people found this helpful
  22. suewho
    suewho avatar
    7 posts
    14 September 2019

    I too struggle with alcohol. I use it to relieve boredom and stress and I think to cover up feelings of inadequacy and fear.

    currently I'm alcohol free, but It's all consuming sometimes.

    one thing I have noticed about alcohol is that it NEVER solves my problems. it only stops me from thinking about them for a bit. then, next day, next week they're back and worse than before. i think my trouble is that I started drinking early in life, and basically never learned the tools I needed to cope with life without it. Im 50 now, and dealing with a new set of issues, and Im determined to change my old habits. I dont want this year to be a complete waste of time.

    1 person found this helpful
  23. paddyanne
    paddyanne avatar
    127 posts
    14 September 2019 in reply to suewho
    Hi all. I grew up in a house where alcohol was freely available. My dad was an alcoholic, my half brother also went down that road. I did drink heavily as a teenager. I used to think alcohol was THE thing, everyone else drank, why shouldn't I. I was almost an alcoholic, I say almost, because I only drank when I could. I never drank when going to work. I quit well over 2 years ago after going on a binge and waking up feeling absolutely disgusted with myself. I had an on again, off again bf who constantly kept asking me where the pubs were in this area (he is new to the area). He binge drank, which meant he only drank on pension weeks, if he had no money, he couldn't buy booze. He denies any problems with alcohol, saying it's a 'habit'. Because he used to indulge at 'happy hour' 4 till 6, as far as he was concerned, he never drank through the day, so he couldn't be an alcoholic. The myth surrounding alcoholism is: they drink from awake till asleep, this is definitely a myth, my dad never opened a bottle before lunch, then he would drink till inebriated every weekend. Through the week he drank a couple of bottles every night, then have tea, maybe another one or two then bed. I have known alcoholics who never drank till they get home from work. Alcoholism is someone who can't leave drink alone for any length of time. Some never drink till drunk, some sip all day, but never show signs of inebriation. As long as there's alcohol available an alcoholic will be happy. If alcohol isn't readily available an alcoholic will find a way of purchasing or drinking if it's offered. Alcoholism is an illness and should be viewed as such. Once an alcoholic, it's always there. The longer you abstain, the more 'dry' you become and the better life for you.
    3 people found this helpful
  24. Winona
    Winona avatar
    4 posts
    21 September 2019 in reply to suewho
    Hello everyone...i am 46 years old and have been abusing alcohol since i was 18 years old...yes..thinking it was the cool thing to do in my teenage years ..grew up with my alcoholic stepfather viciously beat my alcoholic mother..which she was using alcohol to numb her pain. I used to have to bring her a bucket, look after her while she was hungover and bloodied. I was unhappy and self medicated..in which i discovered i am a nasty violent drunk myself. My friends would say that they wouldn't know i was drunk..but i would blackout and become evil. I have been having these blackouts since i was 20 years old. I then became involved in a violent relationship..he would beat me..but i would never back down and fight back no matter what. Fast forward to this day..i drink a 6 pack everynight..wake up..go to work..drink a 6 pack..this is just in the week. Now i am bingeing from Friday afternoon..until Sunday night..using drugs to stay awake...as they keep me alert and i don't get drunk so i can remember. I have tried to stop but i can't..i look forward to Friday so i can lock myself away...but the anxiety with the comedown/hangover is dreadful. Just wanted to share as i try to get my head around..how am i going to do this. Thanks.
    1 person found this helpful
  25. Sophie_M
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    5948 posts
    21 September 2019 in reply to Winona
    Hi Winona,

    Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you are going through a difficult time at the moment, but it is great that you have taken the brave step to reach out here to those who know how tough the battle with alcohol can be. Just letting you know that we have sent you a private message with some additional supports. 
     
    1 person found this helpful
  26. SilvaLady
    SilvaLady avatar
    70 posts
    20 October 2019

    Hello,

    when I came across this thread, it stuck a cord with me. I have been drinking for last 6 or so years, it started off just drinking on my days off, which then turned to drinking every night. I grew up with alcoholic father, who was drinking every day from the time he woke up. I don't remember much of my childhood, may be because of this.

    In the beginning I drank because I enjoyed having few drinks, only about 4 years ago I drank to "forget". Only recently I realized one the reason for drinking was the relationship I had with my mother. I wanted to forget (and escape for a better word) the way she made me feel, being inadequate.

    About 3 years ago I did the K10 test on BB and found that I suffered from anxiety/depression. The doctor back, wouldn't give me medication for that until I gave up the grog. But he did all sorts of tests, and informed that my liver wasn't good and kept insisting that it was up to me to give up the drink without providing the support for this.

    Only recently my new doctor prescribed me meds for my anxiety, but I have lied to my doctor and myself about my level of alcohol intake. For this I feel ashamed of lying to my doctor and myself.

    Everyday I wake up feeling disgusted with myself for drinking, thinking that I would stop on that day. Another reason is I think, as other people mentioned on this post, I just wanted to drown out my own negative thought patterns, but they are still there the next day.

    I will bring this up with my psychologist, when I see her next.

    Thank you for letting me add to this thread.

    SilvaLady

    2 people found this helpful
  27. geoff
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    21 October 2019 in reply to SilvaLady

    Hello SilvaLady, all participation is always helpful for yourself and for others, so thank you.

    I can join you when say that your doctor wouldn't give you any medication, as I've had psychologists and psychiatrists who wouldn't counsel me or for the latter prescribe any medication and all of this didn't sit well for me, because if I was given medication then I wouldn't need to drink to numb my problems, all of this happened many years ago.

    When your doctor asks you 'how much do you drink per day' I wonder who is honest.

    Your GP can prescribe some special medication that will stop the urge to drink, but it will only work if that's your intention and it's something I've tried but you need to change your daily routine.

    Thanks for being part of this thread and pleased any question you want.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

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