Trying to quit alcohol after ten years.

Wow. I'm here. I know I've had a problem for quite some time, hid it from my wife, kids, everyone. My stepdad was a raging, abusive alcoholic and I swore I would never drink, but here I am nearly out of control. There's so much to tell, but I want to keep this brief. I never knew my biological father. He died of cancer when I was less than one year old. My mom married an abusive alcoholic, pedophile, asshole a few years later. I swore I would never become an alcoholic because of him, but here I am - I am an alcoholic (despite several years of denial). My mother died shortly before the birth of my first daughter. I started drinking more heavily after that. My wife noticed and, out of concern, brought it up with me. "I think you're drinking too much." But, I'm too stubborn to let someone "control" me, so I started to hide bottles of wine. We had our first beautiful daughter, and I told myself I would quit. I didn't. We had our second precious daughter and I told myself I would quit. My tolerance grew and I was drinking nearly two bottles of 14% alcohol wine per night. I would never drink during the day, but I had to have alcohol at night to fall asleep. My hands would shake at work, trying to sign documents or write in my lab book. I hated myself. It was clearly getting out of hand. I had quit a few times in the past and getting to sleep has always been a problem. But I always fell back into my old habits. I quit two weeks ago and I will lay awake until 4AM unable to fall asleep. I know and accept that I won't sleep a wink (it's part of the withdrawal), but it's torture laying awake for 8 hours, getting a slight three hours of sleep and then going to work. Even after two weeks, I still can not sleep. When will it end? I want to do right, but going night after night with only 2-3 hours sleep is taking its toll.

I want to do this, for my wife, my daughters, for a better job and for myself. I posted here as an introduction and to get this off my chest as I've kept this bottled up in myself for years. I feel ashamed, guilty, yet hopeful. I know that this is a habit. I can quit if I WANT to. It's a choice.

That's the short of it. Hello! Welcome! I didn't think it would be this difficult, but it is - for me.
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  • Hello @StrengthOfWill and welcome. Thank you for posting all that. I know it can be difficult to put that sort of thing out to a bunch of random strangers on the internet, but hopefully in doing so it helped you think through where you are, why, and most importantly, where you want to go.

    Being free for 2 weeks is a good start. So is stopping by here. There are lots of people, myself included, that realized they were lost on the Dark Path and took the actions needed to fix themselves. In another thread I detailed my family lineage that meant I was aware of the risks, and alcoholism still got me too, so don't beat yourself up too much over it, if you are. It happens. Rich, poor; post doctorate degree, 6th grade dropout; CEO or assistant night shift fry cook; alcoholism doesn't care care whose life it ruins. Making it 2 weeks is a great, but I would say to reinforce that with some other actions. Learn about addiction, and alcoholism, maybe even some psychology. You mentioned a lab book, so it is likely that you don't mind readin' & book lernin' & stuf. It might also help to try some established methods. Sure there is AA, with its pros and cons, as well as SMART, and a dump truck full of books and writings and methods. I used one such method and it took me from an abusive alcoholic drinking 2-3 bottles of wine most nights to now 6+ years 100% sober with no cravings or looking back. So, the answer for you is out there. You just need to find it.

    It is a long and at times painful journey, as you are finding out. Aside from the physical symptoms, you will have multiple uncomfortable conversations with yourself. I remember sobbing into the mirror a couple of times as I had to look myself in the eye and admit what I had become. You might even have to have some conversations with people like your doctor (if you aren't sleeping after a few days, it might be time to ask the Doc if they got any advice), or even a therapist of some sort to try and get to a root cause if you are having problems with stopping for good. Sometimes the alcoholism is a symptom of another issue.

    Ultimately, recovery is about you and what YOU want to do. You said you want to stop for your family, and you are tired of the lies, the hiding, and I am sure in some way the worries about the physical harm you are doing to yourself. Those are great motivations to see you through some of the tough spots. But, at the core, right now you aren't the person YOU want to be. So, start the journey, battle the monsters along the way, and on the other side, I promise that you will be a lot closer to the person YOU want to be.
  • @StrengthOfWill... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing with us. I'm so glad you're here, and that you are working on bettering your life by ridding it of alcohol. Congratulations on your two weeks! It's nice that you've already received some wonderful advice and insight from @Leaker, too.

    You said that you want to quit drinking for your wife, your daughters, for a better job, and for yourself. But I think you have that order wrong. Like Leaker, I believe you have to do this first and foremost for YOU. If you stay sober and live a life in recovery, that will make YOUR life better. And good things will come to you and others as a result of it.

    Getting and staying sober isn't easy. In fact, it can be one of the most difficult things a person ever does. But it's worth the hard work, my friend. I can guarantee that.

    See a doctor is the sleep issue persists. Definitely think about seeing a therapist. Go to a support group meeting, even if it's just to check it out. Read books and watch videos about recovery. All of these things are tools for your recovery tool box. And it never hurts to have a lot of tools when you're trying to fix something.

    We're here to help and support you however we can. If you have questions, want advice, or just need to vent, you can come here anytime. We will always listen without judgment, so you are completely safe here.

    I'm sending you a mega dose of positive juju, and lots of sober vibes, hope, and encouragement. Take things a day at a time, or even an hour or minute at a time...whatever it takes to keep you moving forward.

    I'm super proud of you.
  • @StrengthOfWill Hello and welcome! Soooooo glad you are here. First, I want to say I'm sorry you had to endure the pain and trauma of growing up in a dysfunctional home and losing your dad so early. Wow. That's a lot for a little boy to handle...and it makes sense you'd reach for booze to not feel all those feelings you stuffed since you were tiny, tiny.....

    Two weeks is a great start!! Congrats... @Leaker has given great advice. I agree that taking the time to PLAN your recovery path is helpful. Just saying "I want to quit" is like a sail boat trying to sail with no sail.

    Think of your recovery in a holistic fashion... Treatment for your mind (thoughts), body, and spirit. Find out what works for you. There's all sorts of things, and like a carpenter has a tool belt full of tools, and starts off with a firm foundation, so you want some "recovery tools" to hang on your belt and start building a firm foundation.

    There's inpatient or outpatient rehab, 12 step group AA, There's SMART Recovery, There's online video AA meetings (

    There's churches, spiritual centers, counselors, coaches, books, YouTube videos galore.... There's meditation, prayer, a resolve to become educated in addiction, yoga, (body) and so much more.

    Find your path.

    NO sleep is an issue.... Your brain takes time to re-wire. What do you do when you lie awake all night? Maybe try guided meditations with some headphones. Or put an audiobook on and listen... that sometimes puts me to sleep. At the very least, you could listen to some encouraging words while you lie there :)

    Let us know how to best support you here.

    And, I want to speak to those negative thoughts and feelings you have toward yourself (I hate me. I'm a failure, etc.)

    You came here innocent and pure... and began a life journey. You picked up some faulty programming along your path... (childhood). You were swimming in pain and didn't know what to do. You didn't want to feel. So, self-medicating yourself felt good...but your brain really loves that dopamine hit when you drink. In fact, the part of the brain it hits is the survival part....the booze hijacks THAT part and it literally thinks it will die without more booze. That's the MONSTER Leaker talks about... It's the LIES of your brain... It's not you.

    You are not defective. You are not a loser. You are not destined to a life of misery.

    You, at your core, underneath years of pain and layers of ego/shadow, are a beautiful soul. You are good, kind, loving. You have dreams. And, without having to do one single thing, you are worthy.

    You are enough.

    It's this journey now... it's calling you... to wake up... to shake up those things that you've maybe not dealt with... to face this with a resolve like you've never had before.

    draw that line in the sand and say, "No effing more". No matter WHAT, I never have to pick up a drink ever again! Even when it gets tough. Even when things don't go as planned (that will happen)... You don't have to pick up. You learn to face life without any alcohol.... and it can be good. Life can be good again.

    Early recovery is the toughest. Get as much support as you can.... and know that we are here...

    I know this is long... just felt necessary to write.

    Big hug!
  • Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. Sorry to say I'm back to zero days. The days without sleep just got to be too much and I really, REALLY, wanted to sleep. I didn't go overboard, though, at least. Kept it to just a few drinks. I know, it's a dangerous game to play. When I did it, I thought to myself "What the hell are you doing?" The sleep is torture - it's one of the things that kept me from trying to quit in the first place. But, unlike in the past when I had tried to quit, I knew it was coming and I just accepted it. I've read it's different for everyone. For some people, they develop regular sleep after a few days and some people it takes months. Even before I started drinking, I had problems falling asleep, so it's already a problem under normal circumstances. Lately, I have been reading more about recovery and the changes in the brain. Also, there have been more shows on NPR (I'm an avid public radio listener) about the subject. Recently, I guess I became aware enough of what my mind was doing and I would catch "my brain" (like in third person) making excuses for why I should stop at the store and get some wine. "You have a stressful meeting tomorrow, you need to have something to help take the edge off." Always something. But, it's like it's not me coming up with the excuses, it's like the proverbial devil sitting on my shoulder telling me to do it.

    One thing I believe about doing anything - you won't succeed unless you truly *WANT* to. To be honest, I like the feeling and some part of me doesn't want to quit. It wasn't until recently, I developed some pretty serious health issues as side effects from the continual heavy drinking. It was not pleasant to say the least, and it was enough to push me into the "I really want to quit" realm, rather than go through that again. Plus, an opportunity has come my way for me to get a better job, which is motivating me to quit. (Well, not "better", but one I'd be more happy with) I'm in a technical profession, so mental acuity is required, especially when interviewing. I'm hoping staying sober (still sounds strange saying that), and a new job can combine to be a new beginning of sorts.

    Things to motivate me, i.e. good things I noticed about the two and a half weeks I went without drinking.

    1. It was way easier to get out of bed in the morning.
    2. I was in a much better mood. One day after coming home from work, I felt truly happy for the first time in years. I picked up my youngest daughter and gave her a big kiss on the cheek.
    3. I had more energy, despite not getting any sleep. Drinking makes you lay-zeee! I was more motivated to get things done.
    4. I could focus a lot better at work.
    5. My appetite was better. I didn't feel sick every time I ate food.

    Time to put my oldest daughter to bed. Thanks everyone. Just being able to vent helps a lot. I have my wife and kids and other than that, I don't have any friends. I have not talked to or told anyone about this - my wife doesn't even know. I do plan to talk to my doctor about getting therapy again. It has helped me in the past.
  • hello everyone, i think engaging in sports will help a lot to overcome
      addiction to alcohol. have a good day,
  • @StrengthOfWill, Don't worry about going back to 0. It happens. But as long as you learn from it, and move forward a little stronger, you are making progress. That "brain in third person" is exactly the monster that I talk about. A big part of my recovery was recognizing what were my thoughts, and what was the monster. I, the rational side, needed and wanted to stop drinking, so anything that said differently wasn't the rational me, it was the monster. Even after 6 years, he is still with me, but now he is just an easily scoffable whisper as opposed to the raging hurricane you are probably dealing with. You discovered some really positive things during your fantastic 2 week effort. Now compare that to how you felt mentally and physically after drinking again. Probably a difference, right?

    If sleep is an issue, I would definitely say to talk to the Doc about it. It is an easy hole in your fortress that the monster will attack again and again and again, "You need to sleep buddy. You haven't had a good night's sleep in a while". You know the script.

    Also, @Vuary25 had a great tip about pairing sports/exercise with recovery. I started distance running early in my recovery. It helped fill the hours that I wasn't drinking, and gave me a lot of time to think and get my brain in order. I signed up for a marathon, so the training requirements kept me focused ("gotta get up tomorrow and run") and the shiny medal at the end was a tangible reward for not just the run, but the efforts it took to get to that point. Plus, if you do things right, exercise should help with your sleeping, right?
  • @StrengthOfWill hey there! @Leaker has given some great advice... learning to distinguish the "monster" from your true self... i like that.

    not everyone is into exercise, but it can help! even something like yoga or qi gong if you're not into harder exercise, can help...

    how are you doing today?
  • @StrengthOfWill... No need to apologize, my friend. It's about progress, not perfection. And, like @Leaker said, you're making progress.

    I think it's terrific that you made a list of things to motivate you. All of the things on your list are positives you can use to your benefit. You might even want to print out that list and stick it in your wallet or something. It would be a good thing to refer to when you're starting to feel like going off track.

    We're here for you, no matter what. Don't ever be sorry or ashamed to come here and be honest with us. That's what we're here for.

    Sending you lots of positive juju and hoping you have a fabulous weekend!
  • @dominica I try to do what I can with exercise. I'm somewhat limited by some some recent injuries and side effects of age. I've got a torn rotator cuff muscle in my left shoulder, and arthritis and a herniated disc in my neck (C6-C7) that is protruding into my spinal cord and pinching a nerve feeding my right arm. But I walk about 30 minutes a day, as well as do 30 minutes on an exercise bike daily. I'm supposed to be doing strength training exercises for my shoulder, but I'm not at the moment. Excuses, excuses.

    Just a random thought - I've been scouring the web reading various blogs and articles about recovery. I was surprised how many women are drinkers, too. I didn't do a scientific survey, but it felt like it was pretty much 50/50 men to women. In my own personal experiences growing up, I've only known men to be alcoholics. I do not know a single female who has a drinking problem. My wife, sisters, cousins and in-law female relatives, not one. My step-dad, three brothers-in-law and male cousin - all alcoholics. No point here, just thought it was curious. :-) But as a result, I've always seen women as the role models and feared men. The women were the ones who took care of me. I remember as a kid, between 5 and 10 years old, I was TERRIFIED of other kids' fathers. I thought they were all like my own stepdad, who threatened to kill us all several times. When I moved away from home to go to college, I made a friend in my dorm, very intelligent person, whose father met him and took him out to lunch. I remember thinking, "You do things with your dad?" The concept was totally foreign to me. I'm still in contact with him to this day, but not as close as we used to be. But he opened my eyes to a lot of things that I had messed up in my head. With one sentence, he changed my entire life. I won't go into it - it's a whole other story in itself. It got me to rethink many of the ideas I had cemented in my head from the way I grew up, and caused a change for the better. Not too long ago, I told him about the experience and how it affected me. Funny thing is, he didn't even remember saying it. I guess it goes to show your words can have a significant impact on another person's life, even if it doesn't seem like it when you say it.

    But, major falling off the wagon last night. I've been working almost until midnight most of the week, worked through the last two weekends to try to meet a deadline for work coming up Monday. I'm a software engineer in the medical industry and despite my drinking problem I have I am still able to do my job. But this week was particularly stressful because I was tasked with a project that I am not particularly suited for - so on top of the extremely short time frame to implement the code, I had a very short amount of time to learn concepts that are foreign to me, while my team lead is riding me like a race horse telling me "It has to be done by Monday". I told the team in a status meeting yesterday I would not recommend including my work in the release because, even if I could get the code implemented by then, it needs a lot of testing. It was a major rewrite with advanced mathematical analysis of EEG wave forms. It takes time to implement and test to make sure the data are correct because doctors will use it for medical diagnosis. But they wouldn't have it. I was told to just work the entire weekend and "get it done". So, Friday night came around, I felt stressed, tired, up against a wall, and defeated, and I stopped at the store and after my family went to bed I helped myself to "escape". And now I feel even worse than I did yesterday. This is why I'm looking for a new job. I know I'm a good programmer and my current place of employment is just not a healthy environment. It's a sweatshop. I wish alcohol wasn't everywhere. In commercials, spread out all through the grocery store, billboards, etc. Which leads me to a question for any of you who have the problem.

    When you see ads for alcohol on TV, the internet or displays in the grocery store, how do you deal with it? Also, in times of extreme stress, what's your coping mechanism? Stress and anxiety are my Achilles heel. Even before drinking I had problems with anxiety and panic attacks, so self-medicating with alcohol provided an escape, and eventually, led me to addiction. *sigh*

    Oh my gosh, I can't believe I just typed that much. I have so much bottled up because I don't talk to anyone about this. Sorry for the novel - I'll have to try to provide a tl;dr version in the future. ;-) If you made it this far, thanks for listening. Now, back to work.
  • @StrengthOfWill... You can type as much as you want here anytime.

    I'm sorry you fell off the wagon the other night. But remember: That does not make you a failure. It just means you have to pick yourself up and get back on the right path again. It doesn't matter how many times you just have to keep getting up. Think of the Japanese proverb "Nana korobi ya oki," which means "fall down seven times, get up eight."

    Also, I think looking for a new job is probably a very good idea. It sounds like your current job is incredibly stressful, and that kind of stress is not a good thing for someone who is trying to overcome an addiction. Stress takes a toll on you, physically and emotionally, and is definitely a trigger for wanting to "escape."

    As far as how I deal with alcohol ads and displays...I think in time I just learned to tune it all out. The longer I went without drinking, the more confident and comfortable I felt without alcohol. And as far as dealing with stress...I do all kinds of things, including exercise (even simple stuff like just walking around the block), meditation, deep-breathing exercises, listening to music, journaling, etc.

    If you want to try a deep-breathing exercise that's really helped me, check this one out. It's called the 4-7-8 breathing technique:

  • I read another post about a technique called "playing the tape". It's interesting, kind of like knowing what will happen if you engage in certain behavior, playing it out in your head and then [hopefully] deciding not to engage. My behavior is strange to me. Any time during the day, I will not drink. It's like I have iron will and I will just have a glass of water. But, at night, I have anxiety about the thought of not drinking before bed. It's almost like my mind is telling me something bad will happen if I don't. (It's the demon :-)

    I admire my wife for her ability to just have a small 4oz glass and be done. And, I feel guilty about hiding how much I actually had been drinking from her. Should I come clean? There was one time she found some wine I had been hiding and she assumed the worst. She thought I was drinking all day, having booze at work, and that I was an out of control drunk. But I wasn't. I would never drink during the day or at work and I would never get behind the wheel of a car if I had been drinking. I am such a recluse and I feel like I can do this all myself. But maybe I need to include my wife in this? I don't want to disappoint her, or make her feel less of me.

    Just anything would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.
  • @StrengthOfWill I had that same problem of not drinking all day, but as soon as work was done, most days there was that voice telling me to start drinking, that would get worse and worse as the night progressed. I think the key is both playing the tape as you said, as well as proving to yourself you don't need the alcohol the way the monster thinks. I had to prove to myself that not only I could live without alcohol, but also, more importantly, I could resist the monster. Once that happened, I realized the monster had no power over me, and I was that much closer to freedom.

    I would say come clean with the wife. She got over the situation when she assumed you were drunk all day. Hiding things usually makes them more stressful, and that isn't what you want right now. Additionally, what you DO need is as much help as support and you deem necessary. Your wife can be part of the support network, but she needs to know the whole story to be effective, as well as what your goals are, I think.

    Keep the faith!
  • @StrengthOfWill... Definitely be 100 percent honest with your wife. She is someone you want on your side, for sure. But, like @Leaker said, she needs to know the WHOLE story in order to be supportive.
  • @StrengthOfWill hey there. i'm glad you are here sharing your journey with us. know that you're not alone... :) and we really do care.

    recovery is not a straight line... it's a squiggly wiggly line with ups and downs too. think progress; not perfection.

    curious if you've ever gone to counseling? some people find it helpful to go for a season to work through issues, some childhood issues (sounds like you had a rough one)... might help to get to some root issues going on...

    i'd be honest with your wife... let her know you are trying to quit all together... and just keep trying. find out what works for you... if it's before bed that's the toughest, try to think of a different nightly routine. hmm, maybe a guided meditation before bed... a new project... something.

    playing the tape through works for me... when i hit a very stressful time, i will crave alchohol. i will want to numb out... but i play the tape through...and don't do it. i am learning to sit with those yucky emotions and not freak out... they pass in time... i don't like to feel strong emotion, so learning how to and cope in healthy way is a process.

    you can come on here every day too! we are glad to journey with you!!

    hope this helps!
  • Oh geez. This is tough. Joining this forum has forced me to be brutally honest with myself about a couple of things. One, is the fact that I haven't confessed to my wife tells me that I'm not 100% on board with quitting yet. I *NEED* to be, but the fact I'm keeping her at arm's length means I'm leaving myself that "out" if I start to feel weak. If she doesn't know I'm hiding, then I can still sneak some in if I feel the "need". And I know from some of our conversations that she senses it, but doesn't know what is going on. I hate using that word "need" - I know I don't need it, but it feels like it sometimes.

    @dominica Yes, I saw a therapist for about two and a half years. It literally saved my life. I wasn't involved in any substance abuse at that time, but I was in college, away from home for the first time, and because of my childhood experiences, I started to experience debilitating panic attacks. So severe I would lose consciousness. I didn't know what was happening to me - I literally thought I was dying and I became suicidal. I had a plan and was literally a week from "executing my plan". I have a very close relationship with my siblings, especially with my closest brother and sister. I had seen an MD about my panic attacks (I didn't know what they were at the time) and my sister wrote him a letter - to this day I don't know what she said, but he called me at my apartment, asked me to come in again, and referred me to a couple other specialists, which led me to seeing a psychologist. My psychologist was very good and led me through a discovery process of realizing this was a psychological issue. I admit, I was stubborn, but once I was able to come to the conclusion myself, that this was psychological, I could start to recover. This was all at the time I was trying to switch careers. I had a Chemical Engineering degree, but I knew my heart was programming. That was about the time I met my wife for the first time. It was a week before my 26th birthday and we met at a pizza place. I remember offering to buy her a slice and we sat at the same booth and I remember looking at her thinking "Yes. I could spend my life with her." Six years later we were married. So, that was a huge positive. Got me through the worst of it.

    I still struggle immensely with anxiety. I was diagnosed mostly with social anxiety - I have trouble interacting with people. Having a messed up example of how a "loving couple" interact doesn't help. I feel like I could write a book. (So many times being rushed out of the house at 2AM on a school night to stay with a friend because my stepdad was going to kill us, high speed car chases at night, etc.) It wasn't just my first step dad. My second stepdad had a son who took a certain liking to me. I was 11 and he was 26. It was like out of the pot and into the frying pan. It took me almost 10 years before I could talk about it. My mom and my [2nd] stepdad just blew it off when they were told. To this day, that is what hurts the most. I felt abandoned and betrayed. I still feel like they didn't care at all. My sister was the one that told them after I told her. She told me my stepdad just said "I had a feeling he didn't like girls" and my mom didn't say anything. I know my mom had her share of abuse from my first stepfather, but I thought she would at least stick up for her children. [Stab to the heart] I really needed her to at the time. Still hurts after all these years, my mom has passed, my stepdad doesn't want anything to do with us any more. My brothers and sisters are still close as ever - we endured a lot together.

    Back to therapy - so yes. It has helped me in the past and I feel like I need it again. So, I am going to talk to my primary physician about how to get that without spending a fortune if my insurance doesn't cover it. Alcohol is not my only demon. My childhood demons are very present and still affect me.

    I really want to say how much I appreciate @dominica , @DeanD and @Leaker for your responses. There is an echo in the night. It means a lot that someone is reading this. I love my daughters (age 6 and 9) so much and I want so much to give them what I didn't have. Love and understanding. I want to be a good example to them, but I'm still learning how to do that.
  • Hello everyone how are you today?
  • @StrengthOfWill It is good that you are having those conversations now. The pain is part of it, but it will get better, I promise. Besides, as tough as it is, you are learning a lot about yourself in the process, and that is a good thing. The thought of never drinking again can be intimidating, it was for me at least. But, with the right tools and outlook, you will be able to make the changes you need to and never miss what you kicked to the curb.

    Sounds like you also have a good plan with the therapy. You've got experience with it, and some horrible things from you past that it will be good to sort through. Therapy will be another tool in your belt for turning yourself in the person you want to.

    Keep the faith.

  • @StrengthOfWill... I'm glad you're finding some help here in the forums. That's what we're here for! And I agree with @Leaker that it's good you're having the conversations you're having now. It would be great if you could get back into therapy, too, so definitely check into that.

    We're here for you, my friend. You can lean on us anytime.
  • @StrengthOfWill hey there! just thinking about you and wondering how you're doing.... when you get a chance, we'd love to hear from you! :)
  • Just an update. I've been off the wagon for a while. I'm trying to gather the emotional strength to just stop. Work has been tough and very stressful. I had a long chat with our HR manager today about the poor management and unreasonable expectations of the programming staff. I have literally not had a day off since January 3rd. I'm burned out. So, yes, I "checked out" and had some alcohol tonight. I am looking for another job, but still trying to meet the expectations of the deadlines placed on me. This past Sunday my oldest daughter asked me "Did you finish your project because I hardly see you any more." I had to struggle not to cry. I don't have any faith that my conversation with HR will result in any real changes, so I'm hoping a new job will help alleviate the stress of deadline pressure.

    My daughters are so precious. Both different in their needs and talents. I want to do the best I can to become the best they can be. But here I am, an addict not able to give 100% until I can just give it up! What is so strange is that my personality is very logical, so quitting would be so obvious and easy. But, it's not. A quagmire. *sigh*
  • @StrengthOfWill, sorry you are going through a rough patch. Especially tough when you don't have much of a safe zone. Work is terrible, home it tough, and even that little space just for you in your brain sounds like it isn't very welcoming.

    Now, it might just be semantics, or dodging the real issues, but what helped me was replacing some key verbs, and taking a new outlook. I wasn't "giving up" anything. That implies sacrifice or one is losing something. What are you losing by moving beyond drinking? Nothing. What are you gaining? A whole lot. So, I starting thinking of it not as, "giving up alcohol", but "earning my freedom from alcohol". Because that's what it is. Taking your life back, regaining control, and not being beholden to that next bottle. I also try not to use the word "quit". To me at least, that has negative connotations. Who wants to be a quitter? However, "stopping", that is something good. Stop for pedestrians. Stop child abuse. Stop [insert whatever cause du jour people are screaming about]. You are stopping the physical and mental destruction alcohol is having on your life. Look at other verbs you use and the connotation behind them. Deliberately choosing others might help encourage your outlook on the recovery.

    Don't worry about falling off the wagon. In fact, it can be good for your overall recovery. After that period of sobriety, followed by drinking again, how do you feel? More relaxed? More at ease? Better able to tackle the problems you face? More optimistic about life in general? You might already know the answer to those questions through the lens of frustration, but I'd recommend you still ponder them with a calm, open, and non-judgemental mind, if you can find such a state. More importantly, whatever the answer, ask yourself "why?" as many times as it takes to get a real good feeling for what is driving whatever answer you give.

    Keep the faith!
  • @StrengthOfWill hi there. i do hope you can get a different job that allows you to be home more with your family... less stressed!

    @Leaker has given some great advice... can make a big difference how we view no more drinking... being the logical thinker, how about reading "The Easy Way to Stop Drinking" or "This Naked Mind" (Annie Grace wrote that one. It's sort of like Easy Way) I think either or both would do you good....

    Learn from this....dust yourself off... start again... working toward gaining freedom.
  • @StrengthOfWill... It's okay to not be okay. We are here for you no matter what. I'm glad that you are recognizing that your job is having a negative impact on your life. And that your daughters are so important to you. That is excellent information and will help you shape your life going forward.

    To piggyback off of what @Leaker was talking about, I'd like to share a quote from one of my favorite musical artists, Ryan Adams. He's been in recovery for a number of years now, but back when he first got sober he said something that I found to be quite profound:

    "The idea wasn't to stop anything. It was to start everything."

    Try to think of sobriety that way. You're not giving up or sacrificing alcohol; you're starting a new, better life.

    Sending you loads of encouragement today. We've got your back, my friend.
  • @StrengthOfWill A career change will help you if it's bringing you down to stay where you are, but remember to take care of YOU in between.
    I was just like you. Not wanting to admit it, putting it off, hiding the bottles as a safety net. and the sleepless nights... don't get me started.
    You have a whole menu of options in front of you. See it as a menu... but the currency is sobriety.... because you cannot possibly order anything from the menu stuck in the rut you're in. Short term sobriety will get you a starter... nibbles.... then you'll want to move on to a main course... and I dunno about you, but I'm aiming for the big cut of steak, or the lobster, and then some pretty delicious cake of some kind... but we can't afford it if we don't have the currency.
    Also, if you can get melatonin, maybe in a pharmacy, depending on where you are, do.. it'll really help with those sleepless nights. I used to go by the mantra "better to wake up tired than to wake up hung-over".

  • Wow! You guys/gals are amazing! I just want you to know it does really help to hear your advice and mostly, share your own experiences. I don't know anyone else with an alcohol problem. (Excluding my stepfather and my brothers in law - but they never even thought of trying to quit.) So, it's captivating to hear what you all have been through and had to endure to get through it. I just don't have anyone in my life right now that I can relate to in that way.

    What is keeping me moving forward is when I quit for two weeks and I saw and felt the benefits of it. Yes, I was not sleeping, but I still felt better in the morning than passing out for 6 hours and waking up (if you can call it that) feeling like crap. I was also in a better mood, felt more relaxed, and could concentrate better.

    I'm the kind of person who is extremely hard on myself, and when I fall off the wagon, I punish myself mentally for "failing". It does help to hear that I shouldn't think of it as failing - just get back up and try again. It's amazing that after 48 years of being me, I still don't understand myself and why I do the things I do and how I react to my own actions. You've all given such great advice and I have a lot to take in and process. And I will. I'm still open minded enough I feel I can change my thought patterns.

    So, I have a question for everyone: Is there any single thing/thought/event that really motivated you to quit once and for all?
  • @zozzie I'm not looking for a career change. I did that back in the 90's. ;-) I'm looking for a job change, same career. I've loved programming since I was in high school. In 1985 our school got our first computers - Apple IIs. I would finish my homework in study hall and check out books from the library on how to program BASIC. I would come in early to school, and over lunch spend time in the computer lab teaching myself how to program. I taught myself how to type on a manual typewriter so I could write code faster. Later, I got into chemistry, physics, math and got a degree in Chemical Engineering in college. But, I still loved programming. I switched careers from Chemical to Software Engineering in my own time by learning to program and eventually got a job doing that. Problem now is, I still like programming, but I don't like my employer. So, I am looking for another programming job, but with a healthier management style. I was working late tonight and I don't think my manager thought I was still there. I overheard him talking to another manager saying "Just keep pushing your team. Push them hard. We can't miss this deadline and we can't compromise on quality." To me, that was heart breaking. It's such a heartless way to treat your employees. Programming complex software is difficult and it takes time. You can't get quality and meet deadlines without some compromises. To be blunt, "It takes as long as it takes". In a way, my current employer had turned something I love into something I hate by standing on my shoulders and cracking the whip.

    Sorry, I'm venting a bit. Didn't mean to go off on a tangent on a technical thing. Your post was great - makes a lot of sense and I understand. Thank you for your feedback.
  • @StrengthOfWill No worries on the venting, that helps at times too. Plus, by writing, you put those nebulous feelings into actual words, which can help. I am working through some stuff in my office now with higher management pushing for stuff too. Fortunately, my boss is on the same page as me, "want it bad, get it bad".

    In terms of what motivated me to stop, I fought alcoholism for a long time. I knew I had a problem for years. I even tried to stop after a drunken New Years Party episode that contributed to a break-up with my at the time girlfriend. But, the Monster was strong, so it was a never ending cycle of stopping for 2 weeks, then drinking for a weekend. Finally, I lost complete control. I previously never drank on a weeknight, but that all went out the window, and I was drinking heavy most nights. Most mornings I'd wake up, take some aspirin, chug some coffee, paint a smile on my face, and trudge through the day. Finally, I showed up to work one morning visibly hung over. It was then made clear to me that either I fix my problem, or I find a new career. That was the motivation to start. I read The Easy Way to Stop Drinking, and was starting to have those conversations with myself I needed to have. However, I drank 2 more times after that incident, again on that 2 week cycle, the second time resulting in me entering a more formalized treatment. Turns out I was already on the path to freedom, and I didn't need the treatment, and certainly not the problems that came with it, but looking back, eh, it's all good.

    I think everyone has that point where they say, "enough!". It be something huge like a DUI or a black-out induced injury, or it could be something emotionally traumatic like seeing their child pick up one of their beer bottles and throw it "just like you do mommy/daddy". The trick is to take that initial spark of motivation, and apply it to a actionable plan to reach their goal, be it cutting the drinking back, or cutting the drinking out.
  • I got kind of a break at work today. We had a meeting this morning to discuss the state of the project I was tasked with. To my surprise, someone I didn't have a good opinion of stuck up for me twice in the meeting. He said I did a good job, I did what I was tasked to do and what I did worked and that the problems were not of my doing. And another time, the lead was going to throw an impossible task at me and he intervened and said "No! It is not fair to him to throw this at him and expect him to do it in a few days." I was overjoyed! To have support from a team member on that level. The main project was assigned back to the original developer who implemented it and who did things incorrectly the first time. So 75% of the load is off my back. But, I still have a lot to do and have a major role, but most of the pressure is off. Also, my manager (huge surprise to me) presented me with an employee recognition award of achievement and a monetary bonus for my work. Another esteem boost. But, I felt like I didn't deserve it. With my drinking I know I could do so much better. (Another story)

    @DeanD thanks for the video. Never thought of it like that. I do tend to be black&white and feel like I can do everything myself. A bit of background about my personality - I tend push things to the limit and then beyond. When studying in college, if 40 hours was good, 50 hours was better, heck, why not 80 hours. I was only 3.75 gpa, I should be 4.0. In martial arts, I didn't take one class, I took one, practiced between classes and then took another class. Two glasses of wine? Why not three, or four? One bottle? I can handle two! I just always push things. And I have a tendency toward OCD and always feel I should be able to control everything. To say, "Well, I slipped up and that's OK" is a difficult thing for me to accept. Logically, I know it makes sense, and I would say that to anyone else, but for me. In my mind, I would probably say "I messed up, it's my fault and it's not OK."

    I have a feeling that didn't come out as I was expecting. I'm not a controlling jerk - I don't extend it to others (at least I don't think I do), but I punish myself a lot. I know this about myself, but I lack balance. By that I mean, working harder is not always better. I've had a difficult time knowing when to stop, take a break, give myself a rest and get back to it. It's always push, push, push. So when my managers apply that to me, because it's in my nature, I comply. To be honest, I don't even know how I can do my job with my addiction. I'm so tired, can't think straight, yet somehow manage to get the work done. I know I could do so much better if I could free myself of this burden. And you are all helping! I know I will get there. So, thank you all for that. You've given me a solid platform to stand on.
  • @StrengthOfWill i'm so glad you were recognized for your hard work at work... that must feel wonderful!

    i've seen black and white or extreme thinking in action... it seems to be a coping mechanism picked up in childhood... be it an irrational one. a friend of mine has same tendencies.... she works with her thoughts and has been in therapy trying to get a better grip on it.

    here is an interesting article on that topic... gives some suggestions at the end.

    here's to your progress so far!!! so glad you are here journeying with us. hope you have a wonderful weekend!
  • @StrengthOfWill... It's nice that someone felt compelled to stand up for you in that meeting. I'm sure that made you feel better. And getting an employee recognition award--and bonus--is awesome, too! Try to accept the fact that you DO deserve these things! Even though you may think you can do better--and it's quite possible that you can--try to accept the fact that you've still done a fabulous job, and let people recognize that fact!

    That article @dominica shared is interesting. Definitely give it a read.

    You're making progress, my friend. And we're all behind you 100 percent.
  • @StrengthOfWill hey you! thinking of you and hope all is well!
  • What's up, @StrengthOfWill? If you get a chance, let us know how you're doing.
  • It's been a while since I updated. Been a mixed bag of ups and downs. It didn't take long after my Feb 13th update to get back to my almost two bottles of wine per night ritual. I know I'm playing with fire, so to speak, but I cut way back and have been down to just three shots of brandy per night. (I can hear the collective "Nooooo!" coming from the crowd.) I know cutting back doesn't work, but for me, right now, three shots is way better than two bottles of wine, and I'm actually surprised at the amount of will power I've been able to exert in keeping it to just that. Things are still pretty crazy stressful at work, but I got a new manager and the first thing he did was have a private chat with me and he gave me a very sizable bonus. Three times what I got last time. And he told me not to work this weekend, so this is the first weekend I've had off in a long time. I ordered pizza and rented movies and I spent the day with my wife and two daughters eating pizza and watching movies. We watched "A Dog's Purpose" - if you haven't seen the movie I recommend it. It's an emotional roller-coaster. My youngest daughter (6 years old) is a sensitive sweet girl, and she cried. We all cried - although I tried to pretend I wasn't. ;-) It was great, sitting in the same room with my wife and two daughters and watching movies all afternoon. It was so relaxing. My youngest is still small enough to sit in my lap and snuggle with me, so we took advantage of that. Just letting go of that feeling that I have to work 24/7 has reduced my stress 90%. The work is still there - I'm just not letting it get to me as much.

    I have a possible interview for a new job coming up next week and my goal is to abstain 100% - no more limping along on crutches. I need to drop the three shots per night and go clean. I really want this job. My current employer, even with the new manager is not what I want. I'm just not happy there and this new job is more in line with where I want to go with my career. It's motivation for me. I've had pretty good luck in the past trusting my gut and my instincts are telling me this is the job I need right now. Tomorrow I will try to go without the three shots. (I know, Yoda says "There is no try. Do or do not.") Well said, Yoda. :-)
  • @StrengthOfWill good morning! thanks for the update. i'm so glad you had an enjoyable day with your family. watching movies and snuggling sounds amazing and i'm sure your kids will remember this for a long time.

    remember recovery is a process...and you are making progress. it takes time and 3 shots of brandy is better than 2 bottles of wine. that's progress. it's easy to think in terms of black and white. allow for some grey area. you want to cut it completely, and you will.... you are doing it... working in various areas of your life.

    i get the pull to work all the time. it sucks life from you.... couple weeks ago i had to get real with myself and give myself permission to have evenings and weekends off. the added stress makes for misery...and so much anxiety. once on that hamster wheel, we can forget that there is another way where you're not spinning your wheels so freakin' much. since i committed to allowing myself "off time"... and find joy and peace in doing well..... nothing...and other things i enjoy, life has been so much more free. anxiety dropped. so, yeah, allow yourself time off...

    thanks for the update..and congrats on your progress!
  • @StrengthOfWill... You didn't hear me saying "Nooooo!" when I read your update. I've been around too long and know that recovery is, like @dominica said, a process. It's not a straight line. I'm glad you got to spend a nice day with your family. And I'm sending you lots of good juju for the new job. If it's something you want, I hope you get it.

    We're here for you, brother. No matter what. Just remember that. We are behind you 100 percent.

    P.S. Listen to Yoda!!!
  • I applaud you for your efforts. Much of what you describe is similar to my husband's situation. He was secretly drinking. although I knew all was not well I didn't know the extent of it. He denied drinking as much as he did and our relationship suffered as he was impacted by his addiction. He had sought therapy but it hasn't been very successful in large part because he wasn't truthful with his counselor about the extent of his drinking and had attended one AA meeting and promised me and himself he would stop. Then he got arrested for drunk driving. Now the secret he was hiding from everyone (including himself to a large degree) was out in the open and could not be ignored. He came clean to his therapist and just finished a 30 day recovery plan. He hasn't drunk since his arrest. I bought a breathalyzer to check as I have lost trust in him and so far so good. I hope you don't need such a wakeup call to succeed in your recovery. My advice is to share more with your wife. If she's like me she knows you have a problem and only wants you to get better. My husband thought I and his family would turn on him if he admitted his problem but that hasn't happened. Instead he has seen the love and support that was always there, feels and looks completely different after the 30 days, and while I know there is always a chance of relapse he is on a good path. Good luck to you!
  • Thanks all! The idea of thinking of it as a process is something I haven't thought about before. Up until I first read Dominica's post, I've thought of it as a series of failures. If I'm drinking alcohol, I've failed. Every morning I wake up feeling crappy I tell myself, "Today is the day I quit for good." Then, as the day goes on, I start to feel better and the voice in my head is telling me I can "just go one more day - work was stressful". Always an excuse. And as I'm walking into the liquor store, I feel guilty as hell. For me, my traumatic experience is how bad my job has become and having something much better within my reach is pretty strong motivation. It's been keeping me from going overboard, but I know I can't keep this up. (How many times have I said that on this thread?) *sigh*
  • @StrengthOfWill... We're all rooting for you, my friend. And we will do whatever we can to help you out. Also, I've shared this illustration before, but I'm sharing it again to make sure you see it. THIS is the perfect illustration of recovery:

  • @Scout75 thank you for sharing... glad things are going better.
  • I have a Chemical Engineering degree, excelled at math, physics and chemistry, am a computer programmer by profession, so "progress" for me has always been defined as "always forward". The idea of recovery being anything but what Dean depicts as "expectations" is hard to wrap my head around. But, I know that I can come around. It just takes a while to digest and accept it. Having less "failure" and accepting things as "part of the process" will certainly help.

    I live in a state where you can't purchase alcohol after 9PM. Seems completely ass-backwards if you ask me. It's a law put into place after strong lobbying by the "Tavern League". You can buy alcohol at a bar up until 2:30AM as long as you do it at a bar. But no store can sell alcohol after 9PM. So, it seems, this state would rather you go out and drink and drive home drunk than let you buy alcohol to drink safely at home. As a result, I used to get 9PM anxiety, too, when trying to quit. I refuse to go "out and drink" if it meant I had to drive after drinking, so I would sit and watch the clock and make a mad dash to the store before 9PM. Any excuse - we need butter, right now. Embarrassing to admit. I will never get behind a wheel if I had alcohol. My wife's father was killed by a drunk driver a couple years before we met. Ironically, just a year after he gave up drinking himself. Sorry, just some random thoughts coming out there. :-)

    Just curious, of those that are recovering alcoholics, do you ever have an occasional drink, or is it 100% abstinence for you?
  • @StrengthOfWill I'm an engineer by education, and I lead a bunch of engineering teams as part of my job, so I get the whole perfection/progress thing. You didn't mention it, but I am pretty sure there is not just the, "gotta be better" drive, but also the "gotta be 100% perfect" drive too. Common to engineers. I don't have that drive, which is what makes me a terrible engineer.

    If it helps, think of recovery like coding. How many times, especially in the early years, did you whip up a program and it compile the first time? Crap. Gotta go back. Forgot a semicolon on line 193 and a close parenthesis on line 42. Then, it compiles, but is stuck in a loop. Crap; gotta go back, the For statement isn't incrementing properly. Eventually, you get the code running, but maybe not like you originally thought, since that For loop just never worked after 10 tries, so you made it a While loop and it worked for reasons unknown but to the machine spirits.

    Recovery is the same way. You have the end end goal, sobriety, but there are always things that need to be debugged. So, you have to go back into the code and figure out what is wrong, and make the changes. Eventually, you get things figured out, but the result may be not at all what you were thinking. It might seem like you aren't making progress, but each time you relapse, as long as you spend the time to figure out why, or test a theory, or learn something about yourself, you actually are making progress, and debugging the code that runs your brain.

    For your question, I am 100% abstinent. I tried, "just cutting back" a lot, but it never worked. 1 beer a night worked for a couple days or weeks, but eventually I "needed" to drink till I was stumbling around. With the Easy Way and a lot of reflection, I learned that I can be abstinent and happy because there is nothing I get from alcohol. I don't even really like the taste. After all, if beer was as delicious as people say, why isn't O'Doules the most popular brand (great beer taste, no alcohol!) and why does every snicker when they see beer flavored soda or candy? What's the most common compliment for a drink at the bar? "This is great, you can't even taste the alcohol!". Those are some things I realized and they made sense. I have plenty more, but I am sure someone has a completely different, equally valid set.
  • @Leaker awesome insight... i have never bought a non-alcoholic beer...and would not get excited about picking up a six pack if headed to a party .... though there's a part of my brain that has been brainwashed to think it likes the taste of a good craft beer.

    i suppose coffee's the same way, for as much creamer as i put in... do i really like the taste of coffee?? hmmmm
  • I love the coding analogy, @Leaker. And you're soooo right about non-alcoholic beer, too!

    @StrengthOfWill... I know the whole concept of recovery being a process might be hard to wrap your head around. But I'm glad you're thinking you can come around to it. It really does help. Progress, not perfection. At least in this case!
  • @strengthofwill I was just like you. I quit on October 13th 2017 cold turkey after drinking between 12-24(or more) beers a day for 30 years. The sleeping will get better. Some days are better than other days. Then you all of a sudden after 2-3 months put together about 2 straight weeks of not even thinking about alcohol or sleeping and everything starts to click and you realize why you quit in the first place. But other days you find yourself knowing you have to be up at 6am for a 14 hour workday that will be not only physically demanding, but mentally...and you find yourself laying in bed 3 hours only to get up again and write this. :wink: So hang in there. It's so worth it. After about 3-4 months you'll start to think normal again. It's been nearly 5 months now for me and I'm finding myself waking up some days thinking, "what did I do last night?" Only to realize I REMEMBER IT and nothing bad happened afterall. It's an awesome way to start your day. Don't sweat the small stuff. Do the things you always wanted to do and you'll find you'll wish you had never drank. You'll ENJOY yourself again and being you is pretty damned awesome. Have a great's to us sleepless and sober! Beats drunk and passed out any day of the week!

    (As for your comment, "Just curious, of those that are recovering alcoholics, do you ever have an occasional drink, or is it 100% abstinence for you?"
    Tried that. DOES NOT WORK. I've been down that road and I know where it takes me...and I refuse to be weak. Listen to me on this. 100% abstinence or 100% drunk were my choices. No "rum balls" or "O'Doules" or fake beer. Trust me, once you're sober for a few months the cravings subside and when they do hit, you can hit them back with a big "that isn't an option anymore"...and feel PROUD about it!
  • @TheDayIsToday really appreciate your honest...and wisdom. you're a role model here in the forum, and thanks again for being a part of it :)

    here's to an amazing sober and free life!
  • Thanks for that honest, insightful post, @TheDayIsToday. And congrats on your 4+ months of sobriety. Just keep going, my friend!!! I'm proud of you!!!
  • @TheDayIsToday - I'm kind of laughing to myself in a sad sort of way because your handle is what is tell myself almost every morning after forcing myself out of bed and feeling like crap. [Actually, more like "Today is the day"]. Because I grew up around so many drunks that I hated and feared, I told myself early in life "I will never let that happen to me", I find myself questioning "What the heck happened? How did I get here?" Since my mom died, the longest I've gone without alcohol is about six weeks to two months (I don't remember exactly). Someone I worked with left for another job and we had an after work get together at a local restaurant. Everyone was having a beer and I thought, "Ok. I'll have one beer." It didn't kill me. I could still sleep and the next day was fine without alcohol. But over the next month or so, I'm sure everyone can guess what happened. One beer turned into two on weekends. Then extended to Thursday night and Sunday night, etc. I know exactly what needs to be done, but I give myself so many crutches and excuses.

    When I first started posting here, I had quit for two weeks. I could definitely see the changes in my body, mood, and motivation. My wife even commented on the color change in my face - when I drink regularly, my face is more red in color. I am still struggling. I'm still trying to figure out how I can be so disciplined with certain things, but with drinking it's like someone else is in control. So, @TheDayIsToday, you quit cold turkey one day. What was it that pushed you to finally do it? To paraphrase "The Matrix", "Knowing the path, is different than walking the path". :wink:
  • @StrengthOfWill hey there! thanks for sharing. i think the recovery path differs for each person... you are learning along your journey. with total abstinence being your goal, you're getting there... meaning, you are discovering the truth that one will eventually lead to two, and so on. in the book The Easy Way to Stop Drinking by Allen Carr, he talks about the progression of drinking. people tend to drink more over time; not less. well, many people. can't say all...

    for me, learning about alcohol and alcoholism helps me steer clear. for the most part. i've been where you are.... and i've successfully had one or two... the thing is... i just don't want to drink b/c it's not healthy AND i don't like how it makes me feel tired. the book This Naked Mind has helped me a lot too.

    so for me, education helps. expanding my consciousness... playing the tape through. not giving something up... i'm gaining a whole lot more. maybe seeing the deceptiveness or lies of alcohol. it doesn't really "do" anything for me.... not anything good...and regarding liquid courage... well, it does make me more talkative... but i'd rather have a bit of anxiety than have to rely on it to converse...

    anyway, you're on the path... learning...evolving...

    the matrix! i need to watch that movie again. powerful movie huh?
  • @StrengthOfWill... Dominica is right: Everyone's recovery path is different, and you're learning as you go along. Don't beat yourself up for it. Just try to use your experiences to keep moving in the right direction. You've gone six weeks to two months without alcohol in the past, so you know you can put together a decent stretch of sobriety. Set a goal to do that again and focus on making it happen. Remember the positive things you were feeling when you first came here and use them as motivation. You can do this, my friend. I know you can. Just keep mixing willingness and hope and it will come.

    We are here for you, no matter what.
  • keep it up, sir! it really is day by day.
  • @JohnWilshire hi there! thank you for sharing!
  • Well, I landed a first interview for that new job I want. Have it Thursday morning. The first one is just a chance to talk about my work history, why I want the job, what are my goals, etc. After that, I expect there will be a second, technical interview with some kind of programming test likely. Interviews are my kryptonite. With my anxiety issues, talking in front of people, being in large groups of people and interviewing are the most stressful things for me. But, I do really, really want this job so it is motivation for me to get through the anxiety and cut off the alcohol so I can be as clear headed as possible. So here's to hoping I can get a much needed change in my life. No, wait. That sounded like a toast! No drinking to that. High fives instead. ;-)
  • @StrengthOfWill High Fives Indeed! Congrats on getting this interview! I'll believe for your desired to manifest!

    I think most of us can relate to anxiety in a job interview..... I always try to remind myself that past interviews have gone well, and there worst case scenario never happens... I mean, some really irrational thoughts can be causing some anxiety...

    You're going to do great!!

    Let us know how it goes...and know that we are rooting for you! :)
  • Happy to hear about your interview, @StrengthOfWill! I will be sending you more positive vibes than you have ever felt before on Thursday morning! Just be yourself. And breathe. You got this, my friend!
  • Interview went very well, I think. I was told they would be making a decision in about three weeks, so for now, I just sit and wait. My anxiety was pretty high, but it ended up being one of the least stressful interviews I've had. I learned some good things about the company, but also some things I know I won't like about the work environment. Still, I think it would be a huge step up from the sweatshop I work at now. Thanks for your support, everyone!
  • @StrengthOfWill Great news! Even if you don't get the job, the fact that you think the interview went and wasn't too stressful should be a big confidence booster for you. Hope it works out, but if it doesn't the next interview should be a little less stressful based on this one, right?
  • Hey pal. It's great to see you're trying to make a change and quit your habit. I personally have been drinking for about a year and a half straight and I'm trying to put it down. On about a week and going strong. But I just wanted to say I hope you aren't trying to quit cold turkey. It can be dangerous due to the fact that your body has come to fully rely on it. Some of the symptoms can become very severe and even fatal for some. You should try rehab or tapering off of it if you haven't tried already. Either way, stay strong. And like the guy above said. STRENGTH OF WILL!!
  • @WKmasters hello and welcome. congrats on a week sober! that's wonderful!!

    so happy you are here and sharing your story and success with others!
  • Welcome to the community, @WKmasters. And big props to you for your one week of sobriety! You are making a positive change in your life and I'm proud of you for choosing to do so! Hope to see you around here more often!
  • @WKmasters hey there! welcome and congrats on one week!! that's fantastic!

    thanks so much for sharing here and encouraging others. hope you will come back and let us know how things are going...

    thinking about you!
  • I did go cold turkey back when I quit for a week in January. I didn't have any negative side effects other than not being able to sleep. Actually, I had mostly positive side effects. I don't know how much you need to drink on a long term basis to have serious side-effects like DTs. I never drink during the day, only at night just before bed. It makes me wonder how much of this is habit, because I never have the urge to drink during the day. Even at family gatherings if someone offers me a beer, I just say "No thanks" because I know I have to drive home.
    I have an appointment with my doctor this Wednesday. Among other things I plan to ask about getting a therapist to talk to, i.e. psychiatric care. Is it bad there are things that I don't want to talk about with my wife and would rather discuss them with a "stranger in the form of a professional psychiatrist"?
  • I understand the toll you pay when it comes to sleep. I would do the same all the time. Couldn't sleep and when I did I would wake up in terror from the nightmares or the night sweats. Nothing is comfortable and even being around those that know and love you notice the change. Though keep this is mind, as I try to, this all for a means. We all have to reap what wheat we grew and put that time in no matter the pain to correct a path. It is easier to stray, lie, cheat and leave scandal then it is to be true and earnest. You are doing an amazing job and keep it up! Sometimes it takes a salt bath and an open mind to let go what use to hold so dear to the drink.
  • How are you doing, @WKmasters? If you get a chance, please check in with us and give us an update. We're here and we care.

    Also, thanks so much for the insight @StrengthOfWill and @KAPenrod!
  • @StrengthOfWill - reading your discussion thread, the many points of view and the great responses by so many here led me to register last night so that I could share my own squiggly lines of recovery. My wife and I are each of our favorite drinking buddies, and we are dealing with two ‘monsters’ instead of just one in a mangled dance of co-dependence. We have made many of the detours and setbacks discussed in these forums, but are resolved to keep attempting to move beyond our alcohol habits. Two nights sober this morning after a major spring break detour, and looking forward our next chance to make the better choice when the monster needs to be fed. Gotta get to work, but looking forward to meeting more of you soon!
  • @HulkZmash hey there! welcome! so glad you are here and that you and your wife are wanting to stop drinking! good for you!

    also glad you're finding great insight here on the forum. lots of great threads and articles for sure! two nights sober is excellent! i can say life sober is far better than drinking...

    was just talking with an acquaintance couple days ago. she is in her 70's and has been a social drinker for many years... well, sometimes more than a social drinker, relying on it to "get her through tough times" sometimes.... she gave up drinking a couple of months ago and says she feels absolutely wonderful! she never realized how much she was drinking till she wanted to stop.... and never realized how much it dragged her down.... i love this! never too old and never too young to cut down or stop drinking (it's poison to the body anyway!)

    so, yes, glad to meet you and your wife here at we are here for you and would love to know more about you! happy freedom!
  • Welcome to the community, @HulkZmash! I'm happy you found us and liked what you saw enough to register and join us. We are always interested in hearing people's "squiggly lines" of recovery. :)
    Congrats on your 2 nights of sobriety! And yes, keep on trying, no matter what! I'm a firm believer that if you mix willingness and hope enough times, you can find long-term sobriety. The journey won't be easy--yes, there will be more squiggly lines--but I guarantee that the hard work will be worth it. For both you and your wife.

    We're here for you. We'll help, support, and listen to you, all without judgment. So don't hesitate to come back and interact with us some more, okay? Bring your wife, too!

    Sending you both lots of hope and encouragement.
  • Thanks @dominica and @DeanD! Glad to be here. Have been doing OK with no monster cravings since last week’s bender. This year has been much like @StrengthOfWill year, off and on stints, but I am more resolved this year than in the past. Had a two-week run of sobriety going into spring break and turned that into a 8-night run of drinking with a 3-day round-the-clock bender in the middle of those days somewhere. Was greatly concerned that a return to a regular week would be much harder than this Monday-Tuesday combo has been. Haven’t slept during the last two nights, which is another similarity I connected with in this thread and @StrengthOfWill experience too. That’s a normal part of coming off drinking for me, but subsides by the 3rd night (which is tonight - I hope I can sleep!).
  • I slept fairly well, got about 7hrs of sleep with only two periods of waking up and reading to fall back asleep that lasted about 30-45min each. I am an avid nighttime reader and have been my whole life. The long winter nights are often a time when I cannot sleep, and clock changes in spring and fall always give me about 2-3 weeks of sleep disruption. It can be hard to tell what disruptions are related to alcohol and which are not, but I have had enough years of continuous drinking to know that some disruptions occur at regular times of the year without any change in drinking behavior. My normal, typical, average long-term drinking pattern has been 1/2-2/3 a fifth of 80proof every day for the past 15 years. The 12 years prior to that involved escalation and variations that I can no longer accurately quantify, but I think drinking in those periods were mainly weekends, except when I had summer outdoor jobs that were physically demanding and therefore allowed me to ‘sweat it off’ each day by mid-morning and then repeat each night. At those times, it would have likely been 6-12 beers each day and add 2/3 of a handle of 40proof for the weekends. During the non-summers in those 12 years, the drinking would have been mostly limited to weekends. But any time I am drinking, it is heavy, and has been a major part of ‘me’ for these last 27 years. I don’t like to associate drinking with ‘self medicating’ because I tend to blame myself instead of the alcohol or any other cause for my pain - that has been a facet of my psyche since early childhood, and it has been a major challenge to overcome in my life. However, my spring break binge and bender most certainly had to do with making the choice to put our beloved dog of 14.5 years to sleep after day 3 in that drinking spate. I was able to bury him myself, by a river I grew up on and had buried my previous dog in nearly the same spot in 1992. That spot was also where I had, and recall to this day, a long conversation with Mom about death when I was 8 years old. Perhaps the decision to euthanize, and grief of the loss of this best friend is also a release of my craving monster. My binge and bender of last week was not out of craving, but out of habit, and what I would normally do with my dog and wife while camping. This spring break, we couldn’t bring ourselves to go camping without the dog. We did do daily camp-type things and set up a tent in the yard for the boys to use over the last 3 nights of break. I will miss that dog, I will likely miss drinking, but no matter how I ‘play the tape through’, I will not miss the many associated results that occur while drinking. Thanks for being a willling community to listen and share your own perspectives.
  • @HulkZmash it's great you slept better!! glad to hear that!! you're certainly growing in your recovery and persistent... that's wonderful!

    F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you."

    So true... reminds me of allen carr's analogy of the meat-eating pitcher plant...where flies are lured into the plant b/c of the sweet nectar... thinking it's safe...gradually making its way down the slippery slope...thinking it can fly away at any time...and then BAM... they find themselves stuck in the nectar, unable to escape... sucked into misery and eventually, death.

    playing the tape through can be powerful. think of the fly that hears about the pitcher plant and smells that nectar and says, "Oh, hey, now wait a minute. i heard about that lures you in and eats you alive... um, no thank you! i'm good!"

    alcohol may be tempting (mainly b/c of a good bit of brainwashing as to how it makes things "fun")... but it's a trap.... no value. not worth it.

    proud of you for your recovery path...for continuing to walk it...

    we are so happy to be here to share this life with you!
  • @HulkZmash... Yay for better sleep! Contrary to what a lot of people think, alcohol really messes with your sleep cycle. Sure, it might help you fall asleep quicker...but after that, it actually disrupts your sleep. So I imagine you'll be sleeping even better going forward.

    Keep doing the next right thing, my friend!
  • Thanks DeanD - the next right thing - I like it.
  • Hello All. First time here. First time in a forum of any kind actually. I've had a drinking problem for many years and have spent the last couple stopping and starting over and over and feeling like a failure. Just recently, I've started reading about addiction and recovery and was shocked and relieved to find that my experience is not very unique. Much of @StrengthOfWill and @HulkZmash's experiences are very similar to mine. I hope the job interviews goes well and so sorry about the dog to you each respectively. Every time I've quit, I've quit knowing it wouldn't last. Lately, I'm noticing things about my health that frighten me, and the swinging back and forth is getting harder and harder on my mind and my self worth. I can feel the ghost of the person I used to be, and want to be, and I want her back so badly. And for my family. Hope for strength and resolve this time.
  • Welcome to the community, @SalTheGalFromCal. We're glad you found us and reached out. I'm happy to hear you want to change your life, and we will help and support you any way we can. Look around the various discussions here and I'm sure you'll find information you can relate to. And, hopefully, information that will help you.

    Sending you lots of love, light, hope, and encouragement. <3
  • @StrengthOfWill - would love to hear from you. Your sharing and discussion thread convinced me that I wanted to share too. Wishing you the best and when you’re ready to share a bit more of your squiggly line in recovery, please drop a line!
  • @HulkZmash Congrats for being able to fall asleep! Not being able to sleep was the first thing that snapped me out of denial.

    @DeanD Yea, I'm still here - but had a rough weekend. I had plans to be out of town all Easter weekend to be with family that I only get to see a few times per year because of the distance. On Friday, the Sr Director of R&D ordered/demanded some people on my team and myself to work over the weekend to get bugs fixed for a release tomorrow. I told him that I had plans to be out of town, but was told "No. You will work this weekend. End of discussion." So, my wife and kids went out of town and I worked 10+ hour days to fix the remaining bugs on my plate. Didn't fix any of them. Turns out a QA person made a mistake and reopened two bugs not realizing that the fixes I put in last week weren't in the version he was testing. So, all of that time spent this weekend was for nothing. So, I was really not happy (to say the least) to learn that this morning. Also, not happy about being told on FRIDAY that I had to work a holiday weekend. If I had been given a few days notice, I could have planned for it. To be brutally honest and uninhibited, I thought it was total dick move. It did not exactly motivate me to want to do a good job. I'm really hoping I hear back from the place I interviewed with this and can put in my resignation soon. I'm just so done with this place.

    I had my doctor appointment last week as well. Got an adjustment to my anxiety meds, and a number to call for some psychological therapy. My drinking is still on a holding pattern - much less than I had been at my worst, but still not abstinence. I'm trying to get myself into the right state of mind to push for another attempt at abstinence, but being incredibly angry and stressed about my work situation is not helping. [big breath] Time to put my little one to bed... until next time! I'm glad I registered here. It's helped me a lot. There's a lot of good people here. :-)
  • @StrengthOfWill... Sorry you had a rough weekend, my friend. I hope you hear good news from the place you interviewed with, too. Sending you tons and tons of positive juju!

    Good that you saw your doctor. Definitely make that phone call for therapy, okay? I think it will really help you. And I'm glad to hear that you're still drinking a lot less. That's progress, and that's good. Here's hoping you can take another run at abstinence soon.

    Know that we're here for you anytime you need us!
  • @StrengthOfWill - great to hear from you! I’m cheering for you and know you’ll make a breakthrough. Giterdone!
  • @StrengthOfWill yeah sorry about your rough weekend... :/ i do think counseling can be quite valuable. i know life is busy....but taking a season to really do some digging with a counselor can make LASTING life changes.... so many can vouch for this.... if one counselor doesn't resonate, try another.... and know that it can take a few sessions or more to really feel like you're making some progress....

    we are so glad to be here to encourage you through this time in your life...

  • @dominica doing well somewhere in the middle of week 8. Busy trying to get the yard into respectable shape before work picks up again to full speed. We’ve been getting in the pool for 3 weeks, but yesterday was the first day the water didn’t feel chilly so we played for a long time instead of getting out with teeth chattering. The boys can’t quite get the diving sticks off the bottom of the pool, but at least one of them should be able to before summer is out - maybe both!

    Thanks for asking and hope your summer season is off to a great start!
  • So nice that you have a pool, @HulkZmash. Your boys are lucky! Hope you have a great day and rest of the week!
  • Thanks @DeanD - we tell them that they’re lucky all the time, but I’m not sure they get it :#
  • @HulkZmash... At some point, they will.
  • @HulkZmash congrats on eight weeks! That is amazing! Sounds like your summer is off to a wonderful start . My summer is certainly off to a wonderful start, hot and humid for sure!

    Have a great week!
  • Hiya Dominica! Doing well - crazy busy into early summer and doing other things than drinking has freed up loads of time to address backlogs of chores (just got around to opening some boxes that I packed 3 years and two moves ago, for example). It also has led to something Leaker pointed out some time ago in response to one of my posts: there seem to be lots of people successfully staying sober and reporting it in these forums up to 12-15 days, but a huge missing number of those reporting their success at 45-80 days. At the time, I was greatly concerned that there was some huge hurdle leading to failure at remaining sober after ~30days. Leaker’s point was that those folks were too busy living their new sober lives than to log in and give an update (or something like that)...I was a bit saddened by that because the community provides such strength to those overcoming large emotional and psychological issues related to addiction, and I wanted to hear from those successes, and have extended hope when I was in that ~15 day range.

    Well - I think he was right to a large degree. I have been busy enough to not log in here and add my current perspectives, and not be struggling so extremely from hour to hour and day to day that checking in here as frequently seems of absolute necessity. There are real reasons for hope folks! It does start with a day 1, and does require enough time for the mind and body to heal, and does come with numerous (and possibly never-ending) situations where you’ll face that same ‘ol monster, but it’s totally achievable for each and every one of us!

    Sunday was 8 weeks for me, so I guess today is 58 days (as long as I’m doing the math correctly!).
  • @HulkZmash hey there!

    perfectly said!!

    thank you so much for sharing your perspective. i do tend to agree with you that those that become absent are usually off living their better lives, not needing as much support. sure, some slip through the cracks and may not feel like coming back (and if that is you, COME BACK!), but i do think many go on to make some big and better life changes that stick!!

    YAY FOR 58 DAYS! wow! i'm so thrilled to hear this, and hear how well you are doing. makes me smile big!! so glad you are doing things you've put off and doing new things!! and just LIVING life sober... as your authentic self.... b/c that's how we are to show up on this planet... our authentic selves walking the sometimes bumpy road ..... feeling some peace and joy along the way.

    thanks for checking in, and don't worry, if we don't hear from you as much, we know why :)

  • Congrats @HulkZmash it’s passed midnight so now 59! Yay for a busy life, less struggle & less need for daily (or hourly) support :smile:
  • Congrats on 59 days, @HulkZmash. You are kicking ass like an angry David Banner!
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