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staying away from booze, how far to go?

Old 06-13-2010, 04:31 PM
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staying away from booze, how far to go?

Hey everyone,
I'm into my 71st day. I think the last couple of weeks in particular have taught me the meaning of 1 day at a time. I dont want to go back to drinking. But man, have I been tempted. Everytime I've been on the verge of slipping up, I pull back. I usually do 1 of several things. I think about all the times when I had been dependant on the booze and the situations and near misses I've put myself and I'm ashamed to say, others through. I think about the blatant effect boozing has had on my physical and mental health.

when all else fails, and I'm really tempted, I just count the days I've stayed sober, and tell myself, 'just 1 more day', or 'just until I make it to the next round number' and that gets me through that day, just for that day. I dont care if i have to do this for the rest of my life.

interestingly, I've had nothing but support from friends/ collegues I meet up with to socialise when I tell them I can't drink. I dont mention the dependance bit, but talk about how it affects my health and 'stress levels'. They all seem to understand. A few of them want to stopp drinking too, and recognise similar effects on their emotional/physical health but do not yet see themselves as dependant. Strangely, the only person so far who has been keen for me to take a drink is my wife. Our relationship is probably abit troubled at this point, but we still care for each other. She is not aware of my problems with dependance, but knows that i stopped for health reasons, which she thinks are slightly hypochondriachal. She has on several occassions encouraged me to have a glass of something, which I've turned down. She herself is teetotal, has been since we met. She just can take alcohol. I just wonder what her motivation might be at this stage?

lastly, I really wanted to ask others who've surrended to sobriety, how far they've gone in staying away from booze! I'm sure most of us do not touch alcohol as a drink. but what about alcohol in food, especially if its used in the sauces or in certain cakes. Would/ do you guys avoid these totally? I know the common belief is that they are burnt off in the cooking process, but not all of it goes, I'm sure! Obviously culprits like brandies fruits, herbal tonics etc should not be drink, but what about others? It seems alcohol in cooking in really ubiquitous.
at the beginning, I avoided all alcohol containing food, and it was hard. later on, i started eating such food- steak in red wine based sause, fish in beer batter. I dont really feel guilty about it, but should I, and should I readjust my days as a result? what have you guys done?
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:38 PM
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Alcohol in food is a topic that comes up a lot on this board, and people can be pretty passionate. Oddly enough, when I first got sober, I still used wine to cook with, and now the thought makes me nauseous. When I first got sober I tried a non-alcoholic wine (and found it gross), and I have always lived with drinkers.

Now I am pretty terrified of hanging out in bars, smelling booze, letting my guard down. I think it may have to do with the gnarly relapse stories both on this forum and in AA meetings I hear. I just don't want to do ANYTHING (or not do something) that would challenge my sobriety. I will go to any lengths to protect what I have now, I don't want to go back.
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:41 PM
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Why do you think your teetotaler wife has suggested you drink?

Way to go on the 71 days!! You are right to avoid all alcohol, no matter where it is... Food, mouthwash, whatever...

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Old 06-13-2010, 04:43 PM
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Hey Pricey

I am new here also and that is a good question.

I have not heard of anyone talking about weather or not to stay away from food with alcohol as an ingredient before but I would imagine that the amount inside is in no way the same thing as having a beer or glass of wine.

I have never heard of anyone going on a 3 day bender with a beer battered fish or cherry jubilee desert.

This thinking sort of falls along the same lines as maybe not wearing a hemp sweater when trying to get away from weed because maybe if I sweat I might get high kind of thing.

To me it does not make much sense. But if even the hint of the taste of booze in food is a major trigger, then stay away from it.
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:45 PM
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Hi,

Congratulations on 71 days sober! Good for you!

When you say that you are tempted to drink again, I wonder what other changes you have made in your life, besides stopping drinking? For me, I had to make a lot of changes, big changes in my life in order to begin to recover. I had to incorporate recovery into my daily life.

I suspect that your wife may be afraid of you changing. I changed when I began to recover and so my relationships changed. Your wife may have felt that she 'knew' you as you were and is afraid of who you might become. Hopefully this is something that the two of you can talk about and maybe consider counselling.

I never keep alcohol in the house, so never use it for cooking. There are plenty of substitutes like apple juice, etc. For me, I would not eat red wine sauce or something that is obviously connected with alcohol, but that's just my choice.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:15 PM
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Hi Pricey

I agree with Anna - have you done anything beyond not drinking, Pricey?

For me it was very important to work on my life and myself - otherwise I was simply living the same alcoholic life and simply not drinking, which in my opinion is a bit of a tightrope walk...and I always eventually fell off.

I've worked hard to have a life and a 'Dee' I can not just live with but actually like. I think that way there's far less chance of me wanting to risk it all by drinking.

Why haven't you told your wife everything? Is something holding you back?

I don't cook with alcohol and I don't knowingly consume things with alcohol in them if I can help it because I'm a non drinker and the taste is not generally pleasant to me.

I do use alcohol in my deodorant tho and I have eaten things with alcohol in them.

If you're struggling tho, I'd definitely err on the side of caution.
D
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:32 PM
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You will find all kinds of opinions on this. I think it is up to you and whatever you are comfortable with, as long as you are honest with yourself about what you can handle.

I am a bit of a foodie but stay away from any sauces that have alcohol as a main component. I never cook with alcy because I don't like being around it. I have found for red wine some grape juice spiked with a little apple cider vinegar works fine since all you really need is a little fruitiness.

As far as tolietrees, I have no problem with alcy in my mouthwash, soap, etc. If I relapse it won't be drinking that crap!
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:59 PM
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Funny that this came up today, as my sponsor just mentioned during our meeting today that I shouldn't drink non-alcoholic beer, because it has a small amount of alcohol in it. Personally, I've already had it several times and hve not had any effects with it triggering cravings, etc. It was just the opposite -- each time was in social situations like BBQs where I brought the NA beer so I could carry around what looked like a beer and not have to be questioned by acquaintances as to why I'm not drinking (what they want to know is, am I pregnant, hahaha) -- but that really reduced my anxiety and helped me avoid drinking even when everyone around me was. So I think we each have to figure out what feels right for us.

Personally, I think cooked foods with alcohol aren't a problem because the alcohol burns off. Uncooked, like tiramisu for example, I avoid.

GG
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by TwelveSteps View Post

Personally, I think cooked foods with alcohol aren't a problem because the alcohol burns off. Uncooked, like tiramisu for example, I avoid.

GG
Incorrect. There was a link posted a while back, if you use the search feature you can find it, not all the alcohol cooks off, just a percentage and that varies from dish to dish.

The link provided showed the amount of alcohol 'cooked off' in various popular recipes that contain alcohol as an ingredient.

Depending on the individual, consuming dishes with alcohol as an ingredient, cooked or not, could have disastrous results.
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:03 AM
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Of course, I can't actually know what's going on with your wife, but we had a similar situation in my house. About eight or so years ago my husband suddenly stopped drinking. I was fine with that as I frequently stopped drinking for health and weight reasons and for me it was no big deal.

Like your wife, I assumed he was doing for health reasons as, like you, he never shared any deeper feelings or motivation. Abruptly, he changed. He became spookily quiet and very grouchy. If I could go back in time I would have been a lot more sympathetic and supportive, but I just didn't understand.

Finally, we went on vacation with friends and he started drinking again. I guess I'm telling you this because I can relate to your wife. You haven't shared with her your concerns about being alcohol-dependent. Is it possible that she would stop pushing drinks on you if she had the full picture?
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:36 AM
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Whether or not alcohol in food, mouthwash, etc is a problem is, more than anything, dependent upon the individual. What might lead you to a slip may not be a problem for me or the other way around.

Subjects like this are probably best discussed with a sponsor who knows you well, knows your strengths and weaknesses. What's OK for one person may be very dangerous waters for another.

For me, I don't drink NA beer because I believe I'd start negotiating my next "real" beer. On the other hand, mouthwash, tiramisu or even a touch of crème de menthe on vanilla ice cream (which was favorite desert since I was in 2nd grade) every once and a while at a restaurant isn't.

Again, everyone's different so make sure you discuss this stuff with a sponsor.
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