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How long did it take you to stop thinking about alcohol?


How long did it take you to stop thinking about alcohol?

Old 10-26-2016, 03:51 PM
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How long did it take you to stop thinking about alcohol?


I had my last drink 8 weeks ago today.

There are many reasons why I needed to stop drinking, but one of them was that alcohol was occupying too much of my thinking space / mental energy. I would be out for dinner, but instead of fully listening to the conversation, I would be watching how much wine was left in the bottle and antsy about whether or not everyone at the table would want to order another / how I could make this happen without drawing attention to myself... I would be at the theatre, and my thoughts would drift to the drink I would have during the interval... You get the idea! I imagine it's familiar to lots of people here.

I'm glad to have stopped drinking. But I still feel like alcohol takes centre stage in my life. I'm now spending lots of time and energy avoiding alcohol, fighting my AV, reading about recovery etc. It's all good stuff, but I'm frustrated that alcohol is still such a big part of my day to day thoughts.

Those of you who have been sober for a while... I was just wondering how long it took for alcohol to take a back seat and become an occasional thought rather than a frequent preoccupation? Or is this something that never happens for some people? Is it possible that I might always be actively and consciously fighting this? Is it unreasonable to expect that eventually I might miss alcohol no more than I might miss something like chocolate if I stopped eating that?

I'm fed up. I've quit alcohol and I just want it to go away!!

Any experiences / advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:31 PM
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I felt a shift right at 6 months. I was finally able to accept that my drinking days were behind me. Recovery stopped being about not drinking and started being about getting better.
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:02 PM
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I had cravings til about 3 months in.
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:05 PM
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Some quit after killing someone DUI.

Consider their motivation.

I see Sober as Heaven,

compared to hell.
Why torture yourself? . . . Isn't all substance abuse self torture?

We weren't made to withstand such DEVASTATING FALSE EUPHORIA!
Once I truly decided to ENJOY BEING SOBER, intrusive longing became easier to quickly dismiss.

As insignificant compared to other true pain.

(Just flush it.)
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:09 PM
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I think it's entirely up to the individual. You need to take on new habits to replace the old one. Also acceptance is a major key. Just resolve to the fact that you can't drink anymore. It's easier to move forward that way.
For me around 9 months was a milestone. That's when I noticed a day would go by without thinking about what alcoholism did to me.
Hang in there buddy, it will get easier. I promise.
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:33 PM
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It will come faster and more easily for you when you remove in your mind forever the possibility of drinking. Ever. Under any circumstances. Do you still pine for that old GF of yours? I doubt it, because you understand that won't ever be, and your life is better without her.

When I realized that alcohol was taking everything and leaving nothing, it became a simple choice. A rational one. Close the door, and open all the others now available to you. The sun is shining and the air is clean and fresh.
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:39 PM
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I have never entertained the thought of drinking since day one of my sobriety 9 years ago. My wicked bottom left me with no desire.

Doctor Bob had cravings for 2 or 3 years yet did not give in.

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Old 10-26-2016, 05:54 PM
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How long did it take you to stop thinking about alcohol?

I think about alcohol just about every day...

...I think how blessed I am to not be enslaved by it. I think about how many people still are.

As for thinking about drinking it, that passed in the first year.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:13 PM
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Something clicked for me around three months and grew more solid after that.

In all honesty, I don't think about alcohol anymore. I do think, however, about why sobriety is important to me. What it means to me to have regained my life. I have those thoughts everyday and I think they help me tremendously.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:24 PM
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It happened right away for me. As soon as I resolved the ambivalence and removed drinking as an option, I became open to living in a new way, and I was no longer obsessed with drinking. It did take me a few years to reach this point of no return.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:37 PM
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For me a big mental shift took place around 6-9 months (Im ata year and 3 mos. now). I had been practicing the things that are now second nature: a lot of excersisze, therapy, SMART mettings, finding the right meds, meditating in the AM. It was frustrating, but it's all paid off to be a new normal, that alcohol has no part. Now, a drink turns my stomach when I play it out in my head. Instead of alcohol, bettering my life is my focus, and it feels way better. It took time and patience. Keep going, and good for you on 8 weeks!
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:40 PM
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I read 8 days instead of 8 weeks.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:46 PM
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I have 10 weeks on Sunday and I obviously still think about alcohol and alcoholism... I'm here a lot. Why? Because I'm bored. I need a life. But no, within the first week of this go round I think I stopped obsessing and started enjoying sobriety... I don't think all thoughts have gone away because I still focus on my recovery, I still see it in passing, and I don't think I would actually want to stop thinking about it entirely at this point, because I go back to school in two months and I want to keep my eyes on the goal of maintaining my sobriety right now. I still have work to do, I can't expect a decade long addiction to just fade from memory and not bother me. It bothers me, I have to know that in order to move forward from it.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:52 PM
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I'm a year in and still think of it everyday. The temptation is always there especially when stressed. It just gets easier to say no. At least that's how it's been for me.
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:17 PM
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At around the one year mark is when I had entire days when I didn't think about alcohol.
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:51 PM
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After a year, I never thought of drinking again. I had a low bottom so it was truly leaving an abusive relationship. It was not always easy to stay sober but it was actually a relief.
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:07 PM
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i've had bouts of long term sobriety before. I remember still wanting to drink at 18 months. I went on a 4 year bender shortly after that.

This last time, I'm at 8 months and only think of it in times of severe stress...no physical cravings at all. This was my last bottom though. The doctor said i'm out of chances. Somewhere in every other time i ever tried to get sober i think i always had the thought that i could go back and have one more recovery in me. Not this time.

what came after that for me was something i had never experienced before. An acceptance that this way, is the only way I can ever truly live. After that, it was pretty easy to let go.
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:48 PM
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I never craved alcohol after I quit but the moments when I would think wistfully about drinking again probably stopped for the most part at around one year. But it's a slow tapering process with continual progress, not a cliff.
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:53 PM
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I also think about alcohol nearly every day, 6 years in, but that's deliberate and it comes from places like this, and there is zero desire involved. I stopped wanting it very soon after quitting, but I had a long dreadful separation process that went on for many months before that last drink, and involved a lot of negative consequences and a detox from Hell. So by the time I finally quit for good, I was pretty much done with it, it was that or die. I had chemical cravings at times, but those are involuntary and were very much unwanted - the last one of those I had was about 6 months in.
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Old 10-27-2016, 02:28 AM
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Thank you so much for all of your responses. There's definitely a theme emerging about needing to 100% accept that you are never going to drink again in order to stop alcohol taking up so much headspace. That makes a lot of sense - and to be honest, it's not something I have completely done yet.

If I could flick a switch and truly believe that I am never going to be able to moderate, I would flick that switch. And believe me, there is PLENTY of evidence that I cannot moderate and that alcohol is a bad influence in my life. But there's a difference between knowing that intellectually and actually processing it deep inside.

I've told myself that I am definitely stopping for a year, because "forever" is so overwhelming and I would feel like I was lying to myself if I said today that I'll definitely never drink again. My priority in early sobriety is literally to get to the end of each day without picking up a drink, and my hope is that if I can do that for a year, I will then be strong enough at the end of that year to say "forever".

But I'm beginning to realise that the disadvantage of my "one year, then assess" approach is that while future drinking is still on the table, the thoughts are going to keep coming...

I did not have one specific event that was a terrible "rock bottom". I've been very lucky in that I still have a partner who loves me, a roof over my head and work coming in. I am trying to stop because I know that if I continue down that path, there is a good chance that alcohol will take those things away from me. Terrible things have happened as a direct result of my drinking, but I've mainly "got away" with it without any long term consequences. I'm grateful for this, but it does perhaps make it that bit harder to 100% shut the door on alcohol.

Thanks again for reading.
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