My Journey Starting Today

After battling alcohol addiction the last several years, I have decided to make today my day to quit.  I am going to document my progress here, so that others can follow, or relate to the struggle.  Here is an explanation of my problem: 

       I have a bad habit of going to the party store each day when I leave work.  I buy a half pint of Seagram's 7 and a 20 oz. cherry Pepsi.  I do this so often that all of the employees at the party store set it on the counter when I walk in the store.  I pour out enough Pepsi to fit the half pint in the bottle.  I take back roads about 15 minutes to my house, listening to music, and drinking my drink.  By the time I get home, it's gone.  Poor decision, I know, because I am going to get caught or endanger someone else.  This usually leads to me continuing to drink more when I get home.  Weekends are difficult, and it seems that I drink almost a fifth of liquor every Friday.  Saturday morning is almost always spent, as it was this morning, feeling like crap, or getting sick.  I have twice, already this year, drank so much that I have become sick the next morning.  I find myself drinking every day.  Today I decided it is time to stop. 
        One particularly challenging point is that my dad is also an alcoholic.  If I am with him, I always end up drinking way too much.  My father in law also drinks quite a bit of beer, so it makes it tough to be around them.  Last week, I had to pick up my son from daycare after work, so I waited until I got home and had one beer each day.  This happened 3 days last week, and this was a huge accomplishment for me.  
      I have made this attempt numerous times, but somehow I feel like today is going to be different.  I have admitted to my wife that I have a problem, and joined this site for support.  I am doing this, not only for myself, but for my two kids.  My boys are 3 and 9, and I don't want them to see me like that anymore.  I don't want them to think that it is okay to drink.  I want them to have a better life than I do.  
       I have decided to try to replace my drinking with walking.  I also am going to avoid going to that store, and go straight home. I am going to talk to my wife each day about my progress, and eliminate all alcohol from my home.  When I feel like drinking, I am going to go for a walk.  This might also help me lose some weight as well.  Added bonus.   Wish me luck!

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  • Today is Day 8.  I made it through the first Friday this year where I didn't drink.  I still have a headache, but I noticed that I was starting to get a sore throat yesterday.  I think this is all part of the process of getting cleaned up.  I have been reading about fatty liver, and some of the complications of drinking liquor.  I have also noticed that I am more productive at work.  To backtrack, one thing that makes me want to sober up:  A couple of friends of mine came over for a bonfire.  One of them takes out their phone, and plays a video of me drunk as a skunk ice fishing.  I couldn't even stand up.   So embarrassing.  I am going to try to use that embarrassment as fuel to stop this madness.  So far so good. 
  • I am proud to say that I have been alcohol free since 1/23/16.  I made it the whole weekend with no booze.  I had a great weekend with my wife and kids.  I don't even want it anymore!  I think the most helpful thing is to think about all of the times I made a complete ass out of myself, and how bad it feels to be hung over.  My sleeping is getting better.  I haven't done a whole lot for walking, but I have started working out a bit in the mornings.  I still trying to shake this cold thing, but I feel much better!  What's weird is, I was just sick on New Years.  Must be my body trying to tell me something!  That makes this Day 10.  Sweet deal!  Longest I have gone without drinking in years.  I plan to keep it this way!
  • I had a great day thank you . I worked for a couple hours , put the boat in , and took the daughter and dogs for a long ride and a beach walk on an island only accessible by boat .
    I am happy to say there are no beer stores on that island . Feeling better everyday .
    Hope you can say the same !
  • Hi @iwillchange, it's awesome to see that  you're making some progress and thank you SO MUCH for sharing here! Congrats on 21 days MJ free. You know they say it takes 21 days to break a habit! I know it's hard, my friend, but your intentions to clean things up in your are pretty evident and it sounds like you've got some really good reasons to stop numbing out. Alcohol can be a challenging beast to beat but keep working it, my friend. Keep working the health angle as this seems to resonate with you. I truly believe that the best way to full abstinence is to believe that our lives will truly be better and we will feel physically better (not worse) when we don't have poisonous toxins in our system. Maybe try giving yourself 21 days without alcohol and MJ but instead of making it a punishment make it a quest. Replace the poisons with healthy alternatives and activities. Drink lots of water, eat well, sleep lots and exercise. Then after 21 days if you feel like drinking then allow yourself to drink. Nothing has to be forever and this is just about giving yourself a chance to feel good physically and mentally. You deserve this, my friend!
  • @iwillchange... Your latest update reminds me of a quote from my favorite author, Anne Lamott:

    "This is how we make important changes--barely, poorly, slowly."

    This isn't meant to imply that you're doing a poor job. In fact, I think you're doing a great job. I just think the quote is saying...changes take time. And we'll slip up along the way. But that's all part of the process. So just keep going, my friend.

    Also, I really like @Joe's idea of making 21 days without alcohol a quest for yourself. That would be a great challenge if you think you're up for it. And if not, that's fine, too.

    We're here for you!
  • @iwillchange... Start again today. Think of your slip-up as a slip on the ice. You slipped. You're down on the ground. Now don't just stay there. Get yourself up and get back on the right path. And if you need help, we're here for you. Anytime. 

    You can do this, my friend. I know you can. You are stronger than your addiction. Use your family as motivation. Start today.

    Sending you love, light, and encouragement.
  • @iwillchange, keep the faith!

    Your story sounds a lot like mine when I was going along my own dark path. I knew I was going to get in trouble, I knew I had a problem. You are, however, one step better than me because you recognize it and are working to change. I was so arrogant and apathetic that I never really did anything to try and change, until it was almost too late.

    Perhaps taking a look at the book, The Easy Way to Stop Drinking by Allen Carr would be good. It worked for me. Not instantly. It took a lot of thought to put all the pieces together, but it worked, and 5 years later I am 100% sober, with no cravings, no regrets, and my whole life back.

    It sounds like you have the will, and motivation, and the desire to change, but you don't quite have the frame of reference, or vocabulary, or way of thinking about things lined up to beat the monster. You are so close though, you just need to put all those things together and you will be able to beat your addiction.
  • alcohol used as stress relief... while it does tend to relax the nervous system.... it also causes some havoc on the body.... i hear it often from people that "i need a drink" cuz they are stressed or worked hard that it's some type of reward they deserve.... i see it differently.  

    alcohol is an addictive substance that has no health benefit for the body. i can say the same about things like soda too...of course... so for those that keep it to one or two... no worries. not much worse than soda or caffeine or something... but those that can't keep it to one or two... that's another story.

    i used to think that way till i really took some time to learn about alcohol. the book "this naked mind" helped open my eyes a lot...

    anyway, thanks for sharing!
  • I was just reading this post and caught your video . I really enjoyed the connection to the ice patch .
    @iwillchange , I originally came here Last February . I too quit smoking marijuana , and more importantly quit drinking . Frankly I only enjoyed the grass while drinking . I stayed around for about 5 months . Totally sober . Feeling like king of the world . I thought I had everything under control . Quit coming around , and a month later , plunged back into an alcohol relapse .
    Much like yourself , I have a great wife and kids . I'm not rich , but I live well enough . Boats , hunting clubs , nice neighborhood near deep water, etc . But the power of addiction can make us look right past all of that stuff . And I can tell you I was absolutely ashamed of myself during each day of the relapse.
    Because of my previous success , I was embarrassed to come back here and confess my sins . But like @DeanD says , just because we slip doesn't mean we just lay there and not try to get back up .
    I'm on day 10 "Again". It's awful warm down here in the South , so I shouldn't hit any Ice patches today . And Sunny Skies forecasted for tomorrow .
  • That's really good! I did better today. No liquor. I drank a twisted tea and a Heineken. Not perfect, but progress. I committed to myself that I can at least stop drinking liquor. I can do that. I am going to work my way out of this hole...
  • @iwillchange hey there. yes, the negative consequences suck... so now is the time to put those work boots on and start working!! i mean on sobriety, of course.

    are you willing to do something different this time? head to meetings? go to counseling? can't remember if you've already done these or they didn't resonate with you..

    here's a great video to take a look at. i found it very enlightening on the topic..

  • @iwillchange, I had the same sort of problems. I'd have one glass of wine. Then two. Hey, it's healthy, right? Then 3. Then 4. I'm not that drunk! Next thing I knew, I was 2 bottles down. Same thing for if I decided it was martini night, or I was going multicultural and making margaritas.

    @dominica is very good at pushing the importance of education. I know, I know, learning is for suckers and dweebs, but it really does help. This is an investment in YOU, so you can't spend too much time on it. Read about as many methods to stop as you can. Cruise the forums. Talk with your doctor. Go to a dive bar and talk to sorriest saddest saps you can find and learn all you can. It really helped me. Often times I find that I know something, but until I read it and put the words to it, I don't fully understand it. My MBA taught me the fancy terms of "marginal cost" and "marginal revenue", I already knew those concepts as what my business owner dad did on Tuesday nights with a beer and a pack of cigarettes.

    Perhaps somewhere in your reading you will find the words that speak to the root of your issue. That will allow you to honestly face it, and get control of it. For me, it was realizing that alcohol gave me nothing, and took everything, and that by me saying I didn't want to drink, but still doing so, it meant I was ceding control of my life to something other than me. As a Type A personality, THAT s--t just wasn't going to keep happening!
  • @Leaker totally agree. make it your mission to really investigate this thing called alcohol.... and yourself at the same time.

    most people who "recover" try various ways, methods.... it's unique to each person... 

    just keep trying. no matter what.... bust your butt to do whatever it takes.
  • Today was my ideal day. I am very happy. I got my 10,000 steps in, 4.5 miles, ate healthy for the most part, and did not drink any alcohol. I also chugged down a lot of water. I feel really good. Time to use this motivation to keep on going. I have been going on 5000+ step walks on my lunch for a while, but tonight I had energy to take my wife and kids out on another walk. Today was a good day. First time I could say that in regards to my health in a while. I don't smoke, don't smoke pot anymore, and if I can give up drinking and keep exercising, I may finally be able to be happy with myself. Really looking forward to it!
  • Outstanding! Great to hear it. Use those sort of feelings as a benchmark for how you SHOULD feel every day, and how you never feel that way with alcohol. It's great that you've set goals aside from just stopping the alcohol intake. That will be a synergistic relationship to help when the monster starts clawing at you.
  • Glad you're back, @iwillchange. Recovery is hardly ever a straight line, my friend. But if you mix willingness and hope enough times, you'll get there. And congrats on not smoking since November. That right there is definitely a win! Just keep trying with regards to to the drinking, okay?

    By the way, your comment about hitting some speed bumps on the road to sobriety reminded me of one of my favorite recovery-related graphics:

  • @iwillchange, great job putting in the homework time for research. It isn't difficult to build a case against alcohol due to the physical effects. Then one can add in the monetary effects. How much do you spend per week/month/year on it? On something that is killing you? Chances are, it is at least a nice vacation. Add on that the mental stress. The worry about drinking too much and getting mouthy with someone, or a DUI, or lingering health problems. Heck, when I was drinking, I would be stressed that I didn't have ENOUGH in the house to get sufficiently drunk. What kind of circular craziness is that?

    That's why I describe stopping not as giving something up, but earning freedom. Not just from the compulsion to drink but freedom from all those second and third order effects.

    Some people can deal with the effects. They can accept with the risks. They can handle their monster and only drink what they consider reasonable. Some people, for whatever reason, can't. For that second group, a different approach to alcohol may be required to live the life they want for themselves.
  • I her you about not having enough to get drunk. It's fun to laugh at my past some times . GA only legalized alcohol sales on Sunday a few years ago ( Oh , that was a happy day ) . Saturday nights were very stressful for me back then . "Will 18 be enough ? I'm too drunk to go to the store . What am I going to do ?" Sometimes we have to laugh to keep from crying .
  • @deanD, One of the quips I use around the office is, "You can either laugh or cry, and there is more dignity found in laughter".

    @TWSJ, thanks for chiming in. More proof that no matter what it is, no matter how crazy it sounds, or foolish it was, chances are good that there is someone on this forum that will say, "Yep. I've there bro (sis). Here's how I got through it".
  • So after listening to an audiobook by Kevin O'Hara called simply "How To Stop Drinking Alcohol" and taking a bunch of other measures to build the case against drinking, I am resolving to make 5/16/17 the day I stopped poisoning my body. I drank a pint and a half of whiskey the night before. That was the last straw. I resolved that next morning it was time to end this madness. Here is to day 2 clean and sober. I have so much more energy to help around the house. It is insane to think of the time I waste standing around drinking. The biggest challenge is going to be figuring out what to do with my time. I have the support of my wife, and all of you wonderful folks on this page. I hope this super long saga will help someone someday. I also pray that this is the time it really sticks.
  • @iwillchange yay!!! sounds like it's getting better and that's great!! congrats!
  • @iwillchange Welcome to the forum and community and congratulations in making the decision to quit drinking. This will be a tough road, but be encouraged that you can do it - a day at a time.
    Walking is a good start. Finding a suitable replacement to the activity that you're used to can help you get through it. There will be urges, but yeah - go for a walk instead of grabbing a bottle. Good luck! May you find encouragement in those who has struggles of this kind and the support to make it through.
  • Congratulations on decided it's time for a change. I would do something similar when my girlfriend would go out of town. I'd head straight to wine and spirits and grab a whole bottle and it'd be gone within the night causing days of sickness unless I continued to drink. I like your method of walking to shake the urge because it's healthy and if it becomes routine it may lead to other healthy life choices. Good luck with everything, I also just joined the site and so far it's been very helpful.
  • Hello and Welcome to this forum! It is a good thing that you had finally decided to quit your alcohol addiction. Just be true to your intentions and go for it and you can never go wrong. Keep on figthing to get clean and sober and all the best of luck to you!
  • @iwillchange good for you!! you are beating this thing!!  love your enthusiasm and thanks for checking on. we really are rooting for each other here in this forum.

    Here's to sobriety!! Freedom! Happiness! Peace!!
  • Day three was yesterday.  Feeling better, and starting to notice some changes in my sleep.  I am dreaming very vivid dreams that I haven't in a very long time.  Couldn't go for a walk because I trying to rest the ankle.  Yesterday was a very busy day at work, so it was tempting to run to that drink after work, but I called my wife the second I got in the car.  I told her I was coming straight home, and I did.  It is starting to become more apparent all of the temptation, and how much I talk about drinking.  Hard to change that vocabulary, but I am doing it! :-)  I think this site helps!
  • @iwillchange... Congrats on 3 days! That's fabulous! Keep doing the next right thing, and know that we are here to help and support you any way we can. If you need to reach out, we're here for you!!
  • Good morning!  Day 4 was yesterday, and I made it straight home again.  It feels pretty damn good to not be under the spell of alcohol.  Today is day 5.  I think taking this thing one day at a time is helping!  There are occasions when I am at working that I will find myself daydreaming about a drink, but it only lasts a second because I jump up and go do something to take my mind off it.  I was also eating dinner last night, and thinking about a beer. But I said, "not today devil!"  I keep trying to remember how it felt Saturday morning when I was nauseated, sick, disgusted with myself, and tired.  I don't want to feel that way anymore. 
  • @iwillchange good for you!!! i'm so happy to read this! congrats on 5 days!! 

    you are doing it! beating those cravings! it feels wonderful to wake up sober and free. no longer allowing the addiction to control have control!

    have a beautiful day!
  • @iwillchange... Nice going! I'm really proud of you! One day at a time can work wonders. Just keep going! :)
  • Day 5 down, today is day 6.  Yesterday was tough.  High demands at work, and closing in on month end (I work in accounting).  I have determined that much of the reason I was drinking is due to worry.  I listen to Audible, so I downloaded Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.  I worry about deadlines, what other people think about me, what I didn't get done, etc.  So far, great book.  I am also noticing that my pants fit better this morning.  More energy too.  Want to get out and walk, but the weather is a bit rough.  I feel like I am getting it this time.  I never got rid of that beer in the fridge, just don't want it anymore.  I should anyway...  Hope everyone is having success in their endeavors!  
  • Every new day in our life is a challenge and a journey for us to travel the ups and downs of life. And in case you had failures while you are on your way while travelling the road of your life don't ever lose hope because it is never too late to start a new journey in order to move on and always remember that there will be more better days to come into your life. 
  • Congratulations for that, @iwillchange! You really walk your username, and that's good. I hope for your fully recovery, community is happy for you!
  • You are doing great! Keep up the good work. Even though yesterday was a tough one you got through it! That is a huge accomplishment. Keep doing what you are doing! You got this!!
  • @iwillchange... Day 6 = Awesomeness!!! You are doing this!!! :)
  • Here we are, Day 7!  I appreciate the encouragement!  I am feeling much better.  One thing I noticed is that I am super jumpy while sleeping.  Last night, my dog (Great Dane) got up and shook her head.  It scared the hell out of me, and I jumped up out of bed.  My wife looked at me like I was crazy.  I am hoping tonight isn't that way, and I can sleep solid. I am going to do my best not to relate good sleep with drinking, because we all know that is not true.  I will also say that my coffee consumption has increased, but it's a whole lot better than alcohol.  Still facing a lot of medical bills from my wife's broken ankle (Up to about 20k right now), but we are hashing it out.  Good luck to everyone in their endeavors.  I am going to have a clean weekend!
  • Glad to hear that you are doing great. Sleep will come. Your body just need to adjust to your new lifestyle. 7 days is an amazing accomplishment and one to be very proud of. Glad to hear you are planning a clean weekend. You got this. Keep up the good work. We are all so proud of you here.
  • @iwillchange... Congratulations on Day 7, my friend! I hope you sleep better tonight. Remember: Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, but it really disrupts your sleep cycle. And now that you're alcohol-free, your body needs to adjust. So give it some time, okay?

    Also, for what it's worth... if a Great Dane got up and shook her head while I was in bed, I'd jump out of bed, too! ;)

    Keep doing the next right thing, and enjoy your clean weekend!!! :)
  • wow, go you!!. been following your progress.... you might have the sore throat and maybe a blocked or runny nose as your body relaxes and isn't on high defence mode anymore.

    For what it's worh, It used to take me three weeks to get a good night's sleep after a binge!!. It'll get easier as you figure yourself out!! keep the faith.
  • @iwillchange... So happy to read your updates, my friend. I'm super proud of you! Congrats on Day 10!! Keep doing the next right thing!! You're an inspiration for everyone here!
  • Everyone relapses, and although a lot of people say they haven't when they've gone through recovery I simply don't believe them, so you admitting you have is an important step.

    Now don't beat yourself up over it, just get back up and start again. Don't even consider that you've gone back to day one again, just carry on counting the days as if it's never happened because in my experience, everytine I fell off the wagon, going back to day one was mentally a huge step back for me, so forgetting the relapse and moving on helped me to stay motivated, so it might work for you too.
  • @iwillchange - hi there! I guess you'll have to pick yourself up again. Relapses happen. It's a question of how badly you truly want this. The road to sobriety is difficult. So what triggered it for you to pick up drinking again? Did something bad happen? It's important to figure out your trigger, that way you can be more aware and conscious and possibly help you stay away from the beer and liquor once you recognize the trigger. Be encouraged that you have stayed away from your poison for 7 or 8 days, and you can do it again and increase the days more. Also, this might be a good time to figure out in what other ways you can do relaxation without your choice of poison.
  • @iwillchange... If you mix willingness with hope enough times, you will find sobriety. Just keep trying, okay? And know that we're here for you, no matter what. :)
  • @iwillchange Keep that chin up. You can do this. I am finding as I get more time under my belt that things are getting ever so slightly easier. I still don't sleep too well, but that is improving. Hang in there and believe in yourself. 

  • @iwillchange... How are you doing today? I want you to know that I'm thinking about you, my friend.
  • Had a nice little victory today.  I had 1/2 a beer, no liquor.  Spent some quality time with my son.  Feeling better!
  • Good to hear you're feeling better, and using time to see your son. I bet if you find more and more ways to spend quality time, even with and for yourself, you'll spend less time drinking and ruminating over drinking.
  • Stick with it mate, you're on the right track, and already, 21 days off the MJ is a big step... slip ups with alcohol can and will happen, don't beat yourself up, just keep trying and remain aware that you need to always be vigilant when it comes to alcohol, but it is never the end of the world.
  • Today is 25 days clean from the MJ. Feeling so much less anxious and paranoid. It's really nice. I did good on the drinks until last night I did drink a half pint. The good thing is that it stopped there. I still was able to function around the house. I even got to play tooth fairy and help my wife with Christmas presents. The no drink days really help me feel good. The quest is a great idea. I think that might be a good new year pursuit. Thanks for all of the support all. You guys are great.
  • @iwillchange... We are happy to have you here. And I'm proud of you for the progress you're making. It sounds like you're going to have a really nice Christmas this year. And that's a wonderful thing. :)
  • I just signed up for a #nodrinkjanuary, so here we go. I am going to pace myself until then, and then 2017 here we come. I can do this. Anyone care to join?
  • It's going to be a challenge, but I feel like it is a worthwhile goal. From what I have read on a study, 49% of people lose weight as a result. That's reason enough for me! I have not been drinking nearly as much, and I am still clean from the smoking. I am really starting to feel better. I have had a cold, but still have been going for walks, etc. I have been getting a ton of compliments at work on my performance too, so this has to all be connected somehow! Thanks again for the encouragement. It is really helpful!
  • It's great to hear you're seeing some positives in your life, @iwillchange. I think it's more than just a coincidence! I'm super proud of you for the steps you're taking! And so glad you're starting to feel better!!

    Keep doing what you're doing, my dear. And know that we're here for you anytime you need us. 

    Wishing you a happy new year!!!
  • Terrific update, @iwillchange! Congrats on Day 2! Take things a day at a time, or even an hour or minute at a time if needed. Whatever helps you keep moving forward. Remember: We're here for you. :)
  • Still going strong!! Feeling great! 7 days in!

  • That did help! I needed that today. Last night, I had a really bad evening. I drank too much again, and did some foolish things. I said some hurtful things to my wife. I wouldn't have believed that these things would come out of my mouth, but she recorded me on her phone. Incredible. I don't remember any of it. I am afraid I am going to lose her if I don't stop this madness. This has to mark a start of a new man today. I don't want to lose my family over this. I am so ready for this change. I need it and I want it.
  • @iwillchange I know it might sound crazy, but don't let the fear of what you will be on the other side of your addiction keep you from making the positive changes that you need.

    I have no formal training, so obviously I defer to someone who does, but perhaps the arguing and irritability when you aren't drinking is because you aren't drinking, but haven't beaten the addiction? I know when I wasn't drinking, but hadn't totally beaten my addition, I was irritable and argumentative. I was constantly afraid of the relapse. However, as I regained control and beat the monster, I started to enjoy everything a lot more, and freedom felt good. To be clear, I still have arguments, even with the wife, but that is because I am stubborn, not due to alcohol withdrawls.

    "To escape" is one common fallacy for using drugs, so are "fears of missing out", thinking that "using is normal and/or required", and a wide array of other things. Maybe there is a deep subconscious reason why you feel the need to escape, and therapy might very well help. Or, maybe the reason is just the little monster controlling your decisions. I would use the excuse that I was stressed, or working way too hard, or in a bad spot as a way of justifying the drinking to myself at times, but I eventually realized that the alcohol just ADDED to those problems, as opposed to offering any kind of "escape".
  • The fact that alcohol is a depressant doesn't help, either. Especially when people who are depressed start help numb their depression. That's a recipe for disaster.
  • Hey @iwillchange, What are you doing today?? And what's your next plan? Please share with us. You are doing a good job dude. 
  • @iwillchange... Thinking about you today. If you get a chance, check in with us and let us know how you're doing. We're here and we care. 
  • Hey @iwillchange, What are doing today?? And what's your next plan? Please share with us. You are doing a good job dude.
  • @TWSJ... I'm glad you liked the video. I think the slipping-on-the-ice analogy works. Like you said in your post, "just because we slip doesn't mean we just lay there and not try to get back up."

    I hope things are going well for you today. And I'm glad you keep getting up and trying again. If you mix willingness and hope enough times, you will find long-term recovery. I'm a firm believe in that.

    Sending you the most awesome vibes I can legally send you via cyberspace!
  • @iwillchange... Check in with us when you get a chance, my friend. We're here and we care. 
  • @TWSJ sounds like an amazing day!
  • I appreciate everyone checking in with me! I haven't really been the best. I have had drinks almost every day since January 20th. Only a couple of days off. It is pretty disappointing. I did start to realize possibly why this is happening. I have issues with worrying about what people think of me, particularly my wife. I notice that I drink around her most often, or before I get around her. It's like I drink so I don't have to feel tension between us. It is odd. I discussed this with her. I have been really good about getting my exercise lately, so that's a plus. I didn't eat very well this weekend, but have been good during the week. I just want to lose weight, and quit drinking. I think my next step is to give up liquor, and only drink beer. I don't drink a lot of beer when I do, so I think it will be a good stepping stone toward total sobriety. Still haven't smoked since November. I don't want to either! That seems pretty easy, surprisingly... Thank you all again for your support!
  • @iwillchange, First off, congrats on your achievement with the smoking. Now, use the lessons learned from beating the smoking monster to beat the drinking monster. The Easy Way to Stop Drinking started as the Easy Way to Stop Smoking. Mr. Carr was smoking 2 packs a day and drinking like a bottle of scotch daily. He beat smoking, then realized the drinking monster was the brother of the smoking monster, with the same weaknesses.

    It's good that you are starting to critically think about the how and the why of the drinking. Drinking can at times be a symptom or side effect of something else. Sounds like you are also starting to see the trap you are in. Sounds like you see the tension with the wife, and drink to escape it, but in reality, the drinking is probably just adding to the tension.

    It's interesting that you are concerned about what people think of you, and that that might be a trigger. Here's something that might add some context: what will people think of you if you keep on this path? Or, to the extreme, what will they think of you if you just stay drunk your whole life? Contrast that with, what will people think of you if you master yourself, and beat your monster? Or, screw what other people think, how will YOU feel when one day, you look around at your life, and look yourself in the mirror and say, "I...I beat my monsters! I'm free!"?

    Have you ever heard/read the lyrics to "Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)"? They were the words by a Chicago Tribute editor, or a Valedictorian, or some Dean at some college or something. Easy advice to read, but tough to follow. I internalized some of the lessons in there, and they do help. I still fight with the wife about the sunscreen though. I can't stand that greasy feeling and the stuff running into my eyes.
  • @iwillchange hey there! just checking in to see how you're doing!!

    sending so much goodness your way!
  • Thank you for the advice. I am back on here at 3am, and I just requested an appointment online with my doctor. I drank every day this last week. This weekend I drank a pint of whiskey on Saturday and Sunday. My wife and I argued quite a bit about seemingly trivial things. This last evening, I found myself doing shots while making dinner. I have a great life, but I am cutting it short. I have tried hypnosis videos, etc. Today is the first time I have reached out to my doctor. I want to get control of my weight and health this spring and summer. I know I can do this. I just have to get it together somehow! I do believe that total sobriety is the answer for me too. I have tried just drinking beer, but all that does is make me want to drink more. I hope my doctor can help me get over the hump.
  • @iwillchange, it might seem pretty dark now, but all is not lost. Sounds like you are looking to make changes before you lose anything permanent (family, job, health, ect), so that is great.

    You are also still in the fight. You are trying something else, and getting more tools to help with the fight. As long as you want to change, you will.  Don't dwell on the past setbacks, but learn from them. Each time you drank was a choice where you doubted your decision to stay sober. Learn  what let to those choices to better resist next time you are in a similar situation. You'll eventually learn the monster's tricks and stop falling for them.

    Keep the faith.
  • @iwillchange... It sounds like you're taking some excellent steps to better your life, my friend. Reaching out to your doctor is a great thing. I'm very proud of you for doing that. And please know that quitting drinking will definitely help you lose weight. When I quit drinking, the pounds started falling off of me. 

    You can do this, my friend. I know you can. It will be a wonderful thing for you and your family. It will make your life, and their lives, so much better.

    Please know that we are here for you. Come and lean on us anytime. You are not alone...and there is power in numbers. 

    Sending you tons of hope and encouragement. And praying for you, too.

    You got this.
  • Congrats on having such a great day, @iwillchange! That's FABULOUS!

    I'm super proud of you, my friend. Keep doing the next right thing and good things will continue to happen. When you're feeling good, a lot of the other things seem to take care of themselves.

    Kudos to you on your progress!!! Your post made my day!!! :) 
  • So, great week so far. No drinks Monday, and no more than 2 beers each day (no liquor) the rest of the week. That is progress, considering that I was drinking at least a half pint of whiskey each day, and then some. Feeling a lot more energy, losing a couple pounds, and loving it. Ready for the vacation now. Flying out to Florida on Sunday with the family!
  • Fantastic news! Progress is progress, and it sounds like you are getting tangible confirmation that you are on the right track with things based on the weight loss and feeling good. Hold on to that success.

    Unsolicited mean...advice: Vacations are tough, especially to tropical paradises like FL. I'd recommend you have some plans ready to go in case the monster flairs up or some well intentioned person tries to plop one of those tropical umbrella drinks in front of you. Being able to say, "No, but thank you" seems easy, but is critically important. Also, be wary of the monster trying to play the, "It's ok, you're on vacation!" card to try and get your guard down. If you are ready for the monster ahead of time, it is much easier to defeat it.

    Have a fun FL vacation, and keep on the good path to freedom!
  • I am back... Hit some speed bumps on the road to sobriety, but I am trying to get it together. I was bad yesterday, but today I am abstaining. I need to make a start by making a couple days a week off limits, and slowly work my way back to maybe only drinking one day a week. Still, I haven't smoked since November, so that's a win.
  • @iwillchange hello and welcome back!

    great about not smoking!!

    yes, just get right back up on the road of recovery! no matter how many "bad" days...just dust yourself off, let the past go, and focus on the present... today, one day at a time....and know that we are here rooting for you and cheering you on!! :)
  • @iwillchange, welcome back. Thank you for the updates, and I am sorry that they aren't a little more positive. But, you are still in the fight, and that is what matters. Additionally, you are still smoke-free, so regardless of your alcohol struggles, you are finding success on that front.

    Is there anything you are doing different between your efforts to stop smoking and drinking? Maybe you can use the success on the smoking front to jump start the drinking front?
  • I was in a discussion with some like minded folks last night about "Yesterday , today , and tomorrow " . We all get hung up on yesterday , but we can't re-write it , so don't stress about it. It's OK to plan the events of tomorrow , but we can't force the outcome of those events , so don't stress about it . In fact , tomorrow is just a number on a calendar . So that leaves us with today . Keep it simple .
    Awesome work on the smoking !

  • @iwillchange, thank you for the update. Even more, thank yourself for sticking with it. Sounds like you are doing a lot of self reflection, and that is key. You are also doing some research, and that helps too. Good on you to use physical fitness to help with recovery. That gives you visible, tangible feedback that you are doing the right thing during moments of doubt. You are doing a lot of things correct, you just need all the gears to align and you will be set.

    Online support might be the answer. I will also suggest the book The Easy Method to Stop Drinking by Allen Carr. It's the 250 pg book that I used to save my career and life. It might help. The book does advocate total sobriety, but don't let that scare you away. I was scared of total sobriety too, even when I was at rock bottom. But, after going through everything, I came out on the other side 100% sober, with 0% regrets. Saying goodbye to alcohol was killing a monster that was killing me literally and figuratively, so the end of my drinking was more of party (with a bouncy house!) as opposed to any kind of somber event.

    All that aside, there are plenty of ways to go about this, just keep working and you will find what is right for you, and be the  person YOU want to be.

    Keep the faith!

  • @iwillchange i'm glad you had a better week. yes, check into the online AA groups...or SMART Recovery groups... may help!! it's good you are cutting down for now... and that you went 2 days without alcohol this week! you are making progress!!

    even if you can find one AA meeting in your community to attend, that may help... 

    we are always here for you!!! rooting for you!
  • Similar to @Leaker advice about books to read, I would say that the AA Big Book is available online for free , and just reading the first chapter "Bill's Story " may help you put some things in perspective . And like @Dominica said , even if you find only 1 meeting , it may help . I'm pretty new to AA , but in a short period of time , I've become committed to the program .
  • @iwillchange... Thanks for updating us on your situation. You know, even if you cut the number of drinks you have by one this week, that's progress. And I believe finding recovery is about progress, not perfection. Just keep moving in the right direction, my friend. @TWSJ, @Leaker, and @dominica have given you excellent advice. Maybe see if you can put some of it into action.

    Sending you lots of healing vibes.
  • @iwillchange... Slip-ups happen and they're nothing to be ashamed of! Just get back on the right path today and keep moving forward! We're here for you, my friend!! (And it's great that you're talking about it with your wife, too!)
  • Good luck with everything . When you check out the big book , focus more on the stories for now and less on the steps . The stories will let you know that what you are dealing with is something that we all deal with . And then , if that strikes a positive nerve , think about the steps . I'm still reading the stories . I only just started the steps with my sponsor .
  • I read that story in the big book. It was good, and it reminded me of myself. I also bought a stop drinking audiobook, and watched a documentary on the effects of alcohol. I am trying to create a negative association with drinking, and a positive one with sobriety. It was an eye opener to see how many people have liver problems at young ages. I don't want to be that guy. I want to let my liver heal, and stop poisoning my body. I didn't drink today, and really don't plan on it anymore. I want to get a life!
  • @TWSJ... Amen to the "Sometimes we have to laugh to keep from crying" comment! :)
  • @Iwillchange, that is fantastic. The Easy Way also had the concept of, "the final drink". During it, one is supposed to drink and really thing about what they are doing. Do they like the taste? No.Do they like the feeling? No. Do they like the what they are doing? No. Do they like what they know they will feel like tomorrow? No. Ect, ect. Sounds like you did a similar thing.

    Isn't it great, all the energy you have when you aren't bringing yourself down? It's like a lead vest lifted off of you. Concur, you will now have a lot more time on your hands to fill. I filled mine with running. It is vital that you find something you enjoy doing, or something you find satisfaction in to fill that time. If fitness isn't your thing, try learning a language, or taking up a craft, or something.

    Be wary of the monster too. Right now, YOU, the rational part of your brain, said that YOU are done with alcohol. Anything that says otherwise isn't you, isn't the rational part; it's the monster of addiction. Thoughts like, "just one more won't hurt", "great job, you earned it", "It's too stressful, you can't do it without Johnny Jose and Jack" are all the monster, not you. It might be tough, you will probably have some bad moment where the monster, in its death seizures, will try REALLY hard to get you to relent. Don't worry, those feelings will pass, and you will be filled with even more satisfaction each time you beat them. Lean on your support networks during those times to ensure success.

    Most importantly, keep the faith.
  • @iwillchange... Wishing you the best of luck, my friend. We're here for you. Take it one day, one hour, or one minute at a time. Whatever it takes. Sending you massive amounts of encouragement and hope. You can do this. I know you can.
  • Well, it was pretty short lived, but I am not going to beat myself up about it. I am just going to try to get back on the horse and try again. I never did talk to my doctor about it, but I think that might help out.
  • Good morning, @iwillchange. That's correct. Don't beat yourself up over it. It happened. You can't sit and stew over it. The best thing to do is to spend some time thinking about it. What happened, and why. When trying to stop, but ultimately relenting the the monster, at least for me, there was always a definitive point where I said, "ok, fine. We'll drink". A definite line that was crossed in the thought process. There might be a similar thing with you.

    Also concur that talking to doc might help. Even just socializing to those around you that you are trying to stop can help. We can keep you honest and help, but we only exist when you are at the keyboard (or phone or whatever). If others know you are fighting, they can help. If you are in the middle of a losing fight with the monster, someone else saying, "come on, let's go for a bike ride" or "who wants ice cream?!" might be the ejection seat to get you out of a tough spot. In time you won't need those, you will build your fortress strong enough to withstand the monster, but when starting out, that kind of stuff might help.

    Keep the faith.
  • @iwillchange... Have I shared this video with you before? If not, please have a look. 

  • Dean, you did share that video, and it was helpful.  I appreciate the advice.  I finally made the appointment with my doctor for Tuesday afternoon.  We'll see how it goes.  I think if I get some tests done, and really find out where I stand, it might make me start to make the changes.  Also, no drinks today.  Shooting for my first dry Memorial Weekend in some time.  Thanks as always.
  • @Iwillchange, that is a victory. One beer as opposed to half a bottle is a win, and progress. But, when you had that beer, what did it do? Did you relax? Did you feel a sense of relief? Was a weight lifted? Or did it feel like you were just going through the motions? That is wasn't you making the choice, that something else was making you? What made you ultimately have that one beer? What stopped you from having more?

    These are just questions to ponder. They might help you focus your efforts, and maybe add even more to the conversation with the doctor. It's fantastic that you are taking that big step to have the talk. I can't promise that it will be a magical cure, but it will certainly be another step in the positive direction towards who YOU want to be.

    Keep the faith.
  • @iwillchange... Progress, not perfection. That one beer was indeed a victory. That said, think about some of the questions @Leaker posed to you. I think they might give you some insight into your feelings.

    Glad to hear you'll be seeing your doctor today. Hope it goes well.

    We're here for you, my friend. Always. :)
  • Just a little update. I went to my doctor who put me on Buspar for anxiety, and NSAIDs for costochondritis. I haven't had any liquor since. A beer or two here and there, but much better. I feel like I am on the right path, finally.
  • @iwillchange, excellent news! Hopefully with the meds to treat the real issue, it will now be easier to focus on the drinking issue. No liquor is good, and the beers, well, as long as you are doing it out of choice as opposed to feeling compelled, and as long as it stays at a level you can cope with, that is great path.
  • @iwillchange... Excellent update, my friend! It sounds like you are indeed on the right path and I hope things continue to get better and better for you. I'm so glad you went to the doctor and are working with him on your issues. :)
  • Day 8 today, and this time it seems so much easier. Even went to a party yesterday where everyone was trying to hand me joints and drinks. I declined them all! Drank iced tea instead the whole time. It was great to remember everything and have control of my decisions.
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