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Old 01-04-2009, 05:34 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Fallen off the wagon after 8 months sobriety....does anybody have any advice please?

Hi to whoever is reading this

I am a 25 yrs old female and i have been sober for over 8 months and have been drinking for around 10 years. This is the longest ive been sober in my life. During the 8 months I have been working very hard on myself, trying to make myself happy and have been reading lots into buddhism and trying to change my life for the better. I have been out many times in situations where i used to get drunk and have felt proud when i get home and realise i havent had any alcohol and ive seen friends drunk and felt pleased that i wasnt like that. I have worked SO hard over the past 8 months.

But lately, i have felt empty, unhappy, like life is dull and flat and. Working on myself and trying to be happy doesnt seem to be doing much like it used to and i feel like my life is dull. Even when i do things like going out and socialising, i just dont feel like i enjoy it.

New years eve i went away to stay with a friend and allowed myself to be talked into drinking. It just felt like i didnt care about being sober anymore. "i feel depressed already, so what difference will having a few drinks make?" (One of the reasons i quit drinking was because it makes me feel depressed).

I am a very shy person and i have been trying so hard to change and be more relaxed without using alcohol/anything else, and i felt ok doing this in the beginning and felt really happy in the first few months, but lately, i just feel like i am fake, not being myself etc. And i really hate myself!! and feel guilt over every little thing. I just feel like such a terrible person and i dont want to be. I feel lately like the reason i quit alcohol was to stop these kind of feelings, but now i realise that i have them without the alcohol, so why not drink a little and enjoy myself more, than make myself feel more miserable by not drinking?

I had 3 pints of magners (cider) on new years eve from about 10pm to 3am. I didnt really feel the urge like i normally would to get out if my face, and i just stopped after my 3rd pint (even though i got bought a 4th...i just left it) because i didnt want to feel rough and paranoid and anxious and regret what ive done (how i feel the next day)........

i just wondered if anyone has ever quit drinking for a period of time and then been able to go back to drinking occassionally and say like that? I have only ever heard of people goimg back to drinking ans ending up as they were before. It was strange for me to want to stop drinking and its made me wonder if ive changed. or am i kidding myself? i honestly dont know. is all the effort i put in over the past 8 months wasted? or can i continue being sober and still be at the stage i was a few days ago or does it all the work have to start all over again?

has anyone else "fallen off the wagon" and have any advice they can share with me?

Thanks loads :-)
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
Psalm 118:24
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I go to AA

J - Jesus first
O - Others next
Y - Yourself last

John 14:6
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:41 PM   #3 (permalink)

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I dont agree with aa so i dont attend meetings. Is that your advice? Thanks for the reply
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)

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Hi Cherry! I too fell off the wagon, after 5 years. I started up three months ago and I can tell you, the first day I drank I just had one or two. The next day..three or four. And it progressed from there. Withdrawls were horrible just like it was 5 years ago. It truly is a progressive disease. I drank for about 15 years before I quit the first time. I don't want to ever go back to those 15 years. It was true insanity. I was married three times and hurt so many along the way, but most of all I cheated myself out of those years. Those past five years have been the best in my life and I do not want to let these past three insane months bring me back to the hell I was living. I want to be here for my kids, my ill parents, and want to live the life my God wants me to live.

Please don't give up......but please don't ever think that you can drink "normal" again. If you are truly an alcoholic, you can't. :ghug
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:55 PM   #5 (permalink)

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Yes, I have seen people drink too much for a long while, stop for a while, and then drink moderately. Those changes often occur at about your age. There is even a diagnosis in the psych manual for that kind of abusive drinker. Others never find the "moderate" switch and become alcoholic - we have to quit entirely or it does terrible things to us.

When I stopped drinking I felt as if I had lost my best friend. My friend that could make me feel better. (My problem was that my friend was ruining my health and all my other relationships, and was on track to ruin my career and cause legal problems). I WAS depressed. I got medical help for the depression, counseling and participation in a program of managing this disease I have. I didn't drink for over 14.5 years, then drank again for about a year and a half. Now I've stopped again for about a year and a half. When I need a friend I am forced to turn to people instead of my buddy "Leinie".

IMHO, you didn't do anything evil by drinking. I don't think you lose what you learn just because you had some cider. The point is what you do going forward. You might want to get a medical evaluation if you haven't had one to help you see what your situation is. Many people find a 12-step or other support group to be a godsend. (I love AA myself, but I wouldn't say it's for everyone, and it's sure no hotbed of mental health).

Best of luck to you

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Old 01-04-2009, 05:56 PM   #6 (permalink)

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Thanks loads for your reply onecent. It has helped remind me that i want to stay sober and why i worked so hard in the first place. The 10 years of drinking were insane, i get what you mean. Many regrets. You have made me start thinking about why i quit in the beginning. Thanks :-) I remember also, that when i have been sober in the past, i started off with one or two drinks and it went the same way you described.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Hope you get on well with your sobriety

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Old 01-04-2009, 06:02 PM   #7 (permalink)

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Oops! I was so busy composing my deathless prose <G> that I missed your mention that you don't agree with AA. I do beg your pardon if I came across as pushing AA, I really wouldn't do that and totally respect your decisions. Again, best of luck!
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)

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Cherry - I needed to hear what you had to say as much as you may have needed to hear me.

Thank YOU!
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I fell off the wagon many times.In fact every time I crawled on it I fell off.My drinking always got worst.Finally one day when I was 33,I raised my white flag of surrender.I had tried to put human efforts into a illness that was beyond human help and I failed at that too.There was only one place left for me to turn,and that was AA.I see you do not like AA.Have you been to a meeting or are you forming a idea based on others experience and what they may say?It helped me,it even saved my life.
The things you have tried seem to not be working.Remember,when all else fails,try AA.

I wish you the best on your search-keep coming back
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cherryxxx View Post
I dont agree with aa so i dont attend meetings. Is that your advice? Thanks for the reply

It's worked for me for over 9 an a half years.

Changing your life style with or with out AA is something you'll have to work on what ever you do.

J - Jesus first
O - Others next
Y - Yourself last

John 14:6
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
Cause no harm
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Allow me to tell you of an all too recent experience. After about 100 days of sobriety, I fell off the wagon. I felt as if I totally failed and gave completely up on quitting. I drank 3 or 4 beers a night, thinking that wasn't too bad.
About six months later, I was drinking more on a regular basis than I ever have. The scary part came with realizing how much I had progressed. I could drink a pint of brandy, several beers, and wash it all down with a half pint of schnapps—but I didn't feel "drunk." So I drank more and more each night.
Now I am back. There is absolutely no question in my mind that an alcoholic will never be able to control the addiction. It will, without fail, progress until it kills us. I wake at 03:00 in the morning, sporting a fuzzy head and realizing this destiny. It just isn't worth it.
Today is.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Fall off the wagon, Get back on.
You quit for yourself.
You can do it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi Cherry! Welcome!!!

I know that you said that you do not like AA but I just have to share for me that my life began to change when I started working the steps of AA, not when I quit drinking. To be honest, if all that had changed was my state of sobriety, I would be miserable. I need recovery. Drinking is but a symptom for me. My real problem is my thinking.

Have you thought about other programs of recovery if you do not like AA? There is lots of information here on other programs. Best of luck to you!!!
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Knowing I cant drink alcohol for that same reason you cant drink it.. I need to address were the real problem is.. Between my ears.. How can I stop starting. For me .. I tried AA and its worked so far. I hope you find something that works that you can agree with. Sounds like you want sobriety bad.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Glad to see the advice you are getting here and that it is apparently helping you get your head back in the sobriety game.

It must be hard for you to be so young (when everyone around you is all about partying) and stay sober. I'm not an alcoholic or addict myself, so I only pose the following to provoke thoughts, not as advice of judgement - - but consider this: maybe you can drink "normal" again, or maybe you will be like others here who dropped even lower than their previous low in record time. My question is this: since the only way to find out is to learn the hard way.............DO THE POTENTIAL RISKS OUTWEIGH THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS?

It's the old school pros vs. cons, but I think you'll find the answer presents itself to you quite readily.

Good luck to you in all your efforts!!
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:03 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I drank again after 6 months sober, for a while I could drink without too many consequences. It wasn't normal drinking but I could stop at a day or two of heavy bingeing and not even want to drink for a month...it wasn;t so bad really. Eventually it has got out of control again and I am having a really hard time stopping.

Part of the reason I started again was that even at 6 months I still didn't feel as happy as I thought I should, I just felt flat and the honeymoon period and excitement of being sober had gone.

I wish I had remembered how much I wanted and needed to stop before those six months...you must have wanted and needed to as well?
As from a fire aflame thousands of sparks come forth,
even so from the Creator an infinity of beings have life and to him return again.
-- Maitri Upanishads
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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"Working on oneself" is a fine endeavor, but taken to extremes, it becomes isolating. So long as I remained self-centered, I couldn't stay sober. I had to rediscover my connection to other human beings in a selfless way.

How do you participate in the dance?

Peace & Love,
There's a train leaving nightly called when all is said and done.
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:57 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi Cherry

the only experience i have of seeing someone that has stopped drinking for a period and gone back to drinking with the ability to control it is my Dad. He drank a lot when we were growing up and then he stopped for a bit (less than a year) and now goes out (i think hes 62 now) twice a week max. he goes out at 9.30pm as the pub he goes to shuts at 11.30pm (UK) and has a limit of 5 pints.

You can see his mood change a bit when he gets to the 5th pint as he knows it is his last drink and you can almost hear the inner battle. He goes quiet and then its offski home.

So this is a level of control, he has to be vigilant that he does not exceed the 5 pints and also that he goes out on just the 2 designated nights and feels proud of himself if he only goes out on one of them instead of the two in a week...'i only went out once last week'. How the hell is that different? Alcohol is still controlling his life completely, on the nights he doesnt go out he stays in so he doesnt drink like a prisoner in his own home.

Works for him, IMO he is still a slave to booze and it's not for me! I can't see any difference between this and doing a fix twice a week! And he's totally miserable by the way and is still spouting the same old **** of how he could have done this and could of done that, it amazes me that someone can live 60 years and learn so little but there you go!

So no you can't go back but you can let alcohol control your life in a different way IMO.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:37 AM   #19 (permalink)

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Hi Cherry,

Thanks for the thread- alot of good responses. I am at 168 days sober. I have never quit before and didn't try to control it when I drank. I basically binge drank on most occasions when I drank which was every weekend and any other day I had off of work. Some of the responces really hit home. I do think the risk of going back to where I was is greater than the reward of having a few drinks. I never want to be as drunk as I was when I was at my peak so I am not sure if it is possible to have a few. Also don't want to have to worry about controling it either.

I do not attend AA for personal reasons but I do think attenders seem to be happier.

Good luck and keep us posted. This thread has giving me some reassurance as to why I don't want to try to control it.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Cherry imho you have not lost your sober time, you are just starting anew.

I can only share my experience, when I was 24 I quit drinking for a year and a half, I changed a lot about me for a while and then things changed and life became boring, I started drinking again, just a little at first, then slowly I was right where I left off again and passed that point fairly quickly.......

Well it continued to get worse until sometime in my late 30s, early 40s I would decide I had to control my drinking or stop, this went on until my mid 40s, then I reached the point where I had to drink every day just to function semi normal, I had to drink in order to exist. At the age of 52 I admitted alcohol owned me, I saw a doctor, he put me into detox, detox sent me to AA to stay sober.

I am not saying AA is the only way, it's not, but it was the way for me, the program led me to become a different person, a person today who does not even view a drink as anything posotive for me, I can honestly say I could care less if I ever had a drink again today. The fellowship of AA has led me to some great friends who have found the same way to stay sober and live life with out drinking and be very happy livinig that way.

If AA is not for you try other programs, the key I feel is not trying to fight this alone, but following the path that others before have followed. The program of AA with the help of others in the program have led me to the changes I need in me to stay sober and happy.

BTW I am sure there are others who had drinking problems in their youth that were not alcoholics and have returned to "normal" drinking patterns, but I know for me, I am an alcoholic and I have no issue with not drinking, to me today drinking is a none issue..... I drink none and I am fine, I drink some and I am done!
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