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Old 05-12-2013, 12:08 PM
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12 May 2013
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Any thoughts

Hi all, I'm Darren. Im 50 and self employed, and have had a problem with addictions of various kinds for as long as I remember. One by one I have managed to beat them, the drugs, the cigarettes, the alcohol...THE ALCOHOL???

Nope. I thought it would be easy to give up the demon drink, but it keeps coming back and biting my ass every time. I thought cigarettes were hard, but the alcohol is very subtle in the way that it gets you back every time (or is it my imagination?).

I would say I average about 0.35 of a Litre, about 3 times a week. It doesn't seem like much, but I've been doing it for so long. Sometimes I go over the limit too, and some weeks I would do 5 days, and some days I would do 0.75 of a Litre. It's normally whisky or dark rum.

I would like to give up before it kills me. I would like to ask any of you out there if there is a way to plan ahead; say I plan to give up next week, on Sunday, what would be the best way to go about it? Can any of you suggest a plan of action?

I don't get shakes or withdrawal by the way, as I am not a very heavy alcoholic, but I know it is affecting my health and my relationships, so I'd really love to give up.

Thanks for listening!
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:21 PM
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Welcome. Keeping it simple the answer is JUST don't pick up the first drink. Period. For most problem drinkers that's a big obstacle. There is a lot of good helpers here and AA has a great track record with millions of successful members world wide. The big problem many face is rooting out the reasons they drank and "fixing" them. Most of the time it's feelings and fear to start with. BE WELL
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:48 PM
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A few idea's....

At the end of the day, right before you go to bed....

POUR THE REST OF THE POISON DOWN THE DRAIN!

When you get up the next day, come straight here and get the support you need to not pick up any booze.

Take a long walk with the resolve to stay away from any stores or bars or outlets that might tempt you and drink LOTS of water.

Break down your sober time into small periods of time.... just don't drink for the next 5 minutes, 1/2 hour, hour, 2 hours, half day, day or what ever you can manage. Before you know it, a week will go by, then 2 and you will start to feel changes in your demeanor and physical well being.

You have conquered the hardest obstacle by admitting that your drinking has become a problem. Obviously, you have a very strong will.... if you can give up all those other vices, you can stop drinking.

GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:53 PM
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Welcome to SR. Congrats on stopping the other addictions.

I personally was not able to successfully plan a future date to quit drinking. For me, that was just a way to keep drinking currently. But I assume it must work for some people.

For me, it helped to think about why I wanted to be sober and strengthen that motivation. Posting here and finding a good therapist and at times going to support groups helped me.

I did not drink a ton and I stopped fairly early.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:15 PM
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I'm glad you found us.

I think it's a good idea to start today, not a week from Sunday. Definitely get rid of the alcohol in your house, don't buy anymore, make plans to keep busy when you would normally drink. If the evening is a drinking time for you, then plan to go out, call someone, get involved in a sport or a course, do something that takes your mind off drinking. Face-to-face support can help too.

And, keep reading here and posting.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:19 PM
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12 May 2013
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Thank you visch1, Hope4Life and oak for your posts and advice, which I appreciate. With me I need to "get into the right state of mind" to quit anything. It has to be the right time, and I need to build up the willpower. But knowing I can come here for advice helps a lot! I WILL quit, but I can't just quit instantly, I need to build up to it I guess. Does anyone here have a similar outlook?
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:20 PM
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Thanks Anna, appreciate the advice. I don't keep any alcohol in the house because for some strange reason it always disappears. I live alone by the way, which doesn't help.
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:33 PM
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Waking up May 1 with a really bad hangover was how I chose my quit date. Didn't ever want to feel that way again.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:25 PM
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Thanks Groundhogday, glad to hear that you took something good from something bad I wish you all the best and I hope to announce my quit day soon!
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:29 AM
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Well I didn't drink yesterday, so it's been one day. Banana smoothie and berry granola for breakfast

I've been reading the other posts on the forums, and seeing people like me overcoming difficulties like mine, and often worse than mine, makes me see that there is a way to fight this.

Thanks to all who gave me advice and support, and I hope that I can stretch that one day to two days!
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:07 AM
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Keep going Darren, and welcome to SR

Have you thought about looking into any recovery methods at all? I found learning a bit more about addiction in general helped me stop slipping back into it and not knowing why, like I did for years proceeding that. Stuff like AVRT, SMART and AA literature. There is a lot of information out there on addiction and I am sure some of it will be useful to you x
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:11 AM
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And the good thing is that you only have to stay sober today...just one day, and then you will have 2. Then again just stay sober for today, just one day, and then you will have 3. Then you just keep doing that one day at a time.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:12 AM
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welcome Darren - congrats on your sober time

D
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:40 AM
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12 May 2013
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Thanks hypochondriac, Grungehead and Dee74. You're right I need to learn more about the dynamics of addiction. As the saying goes, "Better the devil you know", and I don't know anything about it yet. So yes 9 and a half hours into my second day, off to visit a client and looking for ways to keep busy all day - that shouldn't be too hard! Any other tips gratefully received
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:46 AM
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REading about AVRTwould be a good start. The sublties of justifying drinking abound. Be armed be forwarned. It can be done.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:46 AM
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I've read as much as possible about the neurology of addiction and of healing. Unfortunately I haven't yet found a good book to recommend, but after three months of mad googling I've pieced together a haphazard understanding.

The biggest takeaway for me has been the cumulative nature of healing. If you're self-employed, you're probably a person who does well with projects? I am, and learning about the healing process helped me see this as a project. They believe it takes a year or so for the brain to physically recover, maybe more... and any time you have alcohol you don't just pause your progress, you actually set it back by restrengthening the problematic pathways (as I understand it).

With that in mind the decisions get easier. It's the difference between, "Do you want to work on that report tonight, or do you want to get drunk?" ("get drunk, please"), and "Do you want to work on that report tonight, or do you want to permanently erase the last fifteen pages in exchange for this beer?" ("go away and keep your crazy offers to yourself").

This becomes more persuasive as the days add up, of course. At first I bribed myself with ice cream and Netflix marathons. I also imagine at some point I'll need more reasons to stay sober, but for now I'm doing OK.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:08 AM
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Hi Darren, the main times to look out for are when you'd usually drink, almost always evening for the less severe alcoholics. Have some alternative activities in place and eat early and well. Don't let yourself get too tired, stressed, hungry or thirsty. Fill up the fridge with substitutes like sparkling water, diet drinks, limes, juice. If you have a sweet tooth you could indulge yourself a little.
And then there's relaxation exercises, exercise per se, projects, posting on SR, and getting as much information as you can on addiction.
Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:59 AM
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12 May 2013
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Hi Fantail and FeelingGreat, fantastic words and very inspiring. Finding this site and receiving all your advice and encouragement makes all the difference, I don't feel so alone now

It's 19:52 here so I've now almost cleared my second day. I've been out most of the day visiting clients and just general errands, and I walked past a couple of shops that sell alcohol products and the funny thing is that I didn't feel the urge to pop in and buy anything.

I know (and how!) that this is still early days but I feel a little bit more confidant than I did last time I tried to stop. Reading about other members who managed 6 months and a year certainly help to set sights on a goal; I'd love to get there and with perseverance and courage I know I can.

I'll be here most days but I'll update once I (hopefully) get to my 7th day, so wish me luck and thanks again!
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DarrenJGalea View Post
With me I need to "get into the right state of mind" to quit anything. It has to be the right time, and I need to build up the willpower. But knowing I can come here for advice helps a lot! I WILL quit, but I can't just quit instantly, I need to build up to it I guess. Does anyone here have a similar outlook?
Hi DarrenJGalea,

Yes, I had a similar outlook about starting on a certain date. I also had to be in the "right state of mind." I also asked for advice on SR. Most of the people said "now's the best time to quit," but for me I had to choose MY RIGHT TIME.

I chose 3/31/13 which had a special significance to me. I am glad that I waited for that date before I quit. It was only about a 5 day wait, but I knew it was the right time and date for me. I was ready. I had enough of the drinking game and I was ready to get on with my life.

Look within and chose your date when you know you are ready, but don't wait too long!

Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:26 PM
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12 May 2013
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Hi wanttobepure, thanks for your advice. I had the same experience, as most posters advised me that "now" was the time to give up. As chance would have it, it was a Sunday anyway (I don't normally drink Sundays) so I gave it a try and here I am, dry for two days

Looking forward to my third day, and hoping to be strong.

Good luck to you in your efforts, all of you, and thanks for the support.
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