A Fresh Start

Old 06-05-2017, 11:08 AM
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A Fresh Start

Hi All,

I am new to the forum and by way of introduction, I am a 27 year old female who wishes to give up all alcohol for good. I have tried to give up alcohol before, several times, and have been successful for periods of a couple months at a time.

Yet, I always fall into the same trap of thinking that I will be better able to handle drinking again, that the reason I was unable to drink appropriately and behave appropriately whilst drinking was due to stress or any number of other things. As soon as I decide to drink again, convincing myself I'll be able to handle it and regulate how many I have, history repeats itself. I need to learn for once and for all that I am simply unable to stop at 2 or 3. And once I've had those, it just becomes a landslide into excessive (often compulsive) drinking. This always ends up the same way - inappropriate, excessive behaviour that is totally opposite to how I would ever behave whilst sober, blackouts and ultimately a crushing avalanche of guilt, shame, depression and paralysing anxiety and self hatred.

I have started seeing a psychotherapist to try to address other issues such as low self-esteem, eating issues and body image issues. Although I appear to be making progress in these areas, I have been too embarrassed to broach the issue of my drinking with her as of yet. The thing is, in my sober life, I am a nice, hardworking, well educated person with good job, a loving family and a wonderful husband who I love more than anything and whom loves me. We have a fantastic relationship, I have good friends, I am financially secure and I have nothing to complain about. And yet, I find myself struggling. I want to be a 'good person' - and for the most part I am, yet my behaviour over the years when drunk carries so much guilt and shame, I can't shake the feeling that I am a bad person and don't deserve to be happy.

I don't drink every week, but every time I do, I get way too drunk, culminating in either argumentative behaviour, attention seeking or creating drama and even telling lies. This persona is so incredibly disparate to my sober personality that I don't understand why this happens.

I've decided to join this forum in the hope of joining a community that can hopefully understand some of my struggles, and act as a support through times when I feel weak, or when the little voice begins to tell me that 'life is too short' and 'it will be different now, I can handle one or two'. I am determined to quit alcohol for good - and completely. I hope that I can contribute to this community and draw support and strength from you in return.

Day 2 of the rest of my life :-)
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:13 AM
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Welcome to SR. You will find unlimited support and encouragement here. I only wish I would have quit at 27. I believe you will find sobriety very rewarding and a higher quality of life. The early days are difficult, dealing with cravings, peer pressure etc...but if you can remain steadfast in your resolve, the magic will happen. Wish you the best.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:22 AM
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Welcome!! We are glad you are here!!!
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:55 PM
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Hi LastingChange,

I am spooked by the similarities between your story and my own. Today I had my last psychotherapy session after 2 years...I sought help for my eating and my self-image. I didn't disclose my issues with alcohol to my therapist for many months. I stopped drinking for 5 months last year but returned to it. I have been sober 7 days now. My behaviour when drunk completely jarred with my values and beliefs and as a result I experienced shame, guilt, regret and anxiety. I have a loving husband and a successful career.

Despite the return to alcohol, over the last 2 years my life has transformed far beyond my expectations. Embracing sobriety will further enrich and enhance my life.

Wishing you well on your recovery journey 💜
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:05 PM
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Welcome to SR Lasting Change

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Old 06-05-2017, 06:12 PM
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Great to have you here, LastingChange. Congrats on your Day 2.

You'll never regret doing this. At 27 I was still deep in denial - and it continued for many more years. By the time I admitted I could never use willpower to control my drinking, very bad & dangerous things had happened. Your life will never go off the rails the way mine did. Be proud of yourself - and keep posting/reading.
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:28 PM
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Welcome to SR your name!
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:42 PM
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Thank you all so much for the welcoming support and encouragement.

@nova84 your story has given me a new resolve to work harder than ever to focus on those positives in my life, and to not allow alcohol to destroy my emotional, psychological and physical well being by allowing it the control over my actions and behaviour, leaving my sober self to deal with the crushing consequences.

SR is already providing such a huge support. I have a psychotherapy session this evening and I am going to try to talk about these problems, and get them addressed for once and for all.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:54 PM
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Advice and guidance

As I've mentioned above, I have previously given up alcohol and done so successfully for a matter of months at a time (usually 2-3 months) before foolishly going backwards and drinking again, despite feeling so much better and happier when I'm sober.

One of the things that I feel has been a struggle for me in the past in continuing on the path of sobriety after a few months is the fear of being boring or the lethal old chestnut 'life is too short'. My husband enjoys going out to bars and nightclubs and drinking, and when I am not drinking I am less inclined to go out on these nights - and not for the reason you may think. It's not that the urge is too strong, I can actually have quite a steely resolve and have gone out to clubs etc many times and not taken any alcohol - but rather I just find these places can be boring if you're not drinking, and I get so tired after a certain point in the evening and would rather just be home in bed!

My husband is supportive of me when I choose not to drink, and I feel that I too need to compromise and be able to go on these social nights, even if I'm not drinking.

Does anyone have any advice for how to manage this successfully?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-06-2017, 02:33 AM
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Hello Lasting Change. Welcome to the SR - it has helped me tremendously.

Two things I'd like to comment on: you are seeing a psychotherapist for help and presumably being honest about some very personal issues. Why not be up front about your drinking?

Second, bars and nightclubs are not as much fun when you're the sober one in the group. They're OK now and then but you may want to find other forms of entertainment that don't center around the thing you're abstaining from. Movies, concerts and other events that focus on something else might be a better choice.
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Old 06-06-2017, 04:07 AM
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Thank you FLCamper for your suggestions.

You know, I think the reason I feel less comfortable discussing my drinking is because it is the issue of which I am most ashamed, has caused me the most pain and also the one which I cannot really understand. I know that I have so many wonderful privileges and such good fortune in my life, and I cannot understand how, for such an enlightened, educated and self aware person in so many respects, I continue to be totally at a loss as to how to control this element of my personality.

I agree that social activities that revolve around a focus outside of drinking are something that I need to involve in my life more, and move away from the feeling that I am boring or unfair to my husband by choosing to abstain from these nights out.

You see, I have just completed a post graduate qualification for which I have studied at night over 2 years, whilst working full time in a hugh pressured job. I had little to no time for socialising or even spending time with my husband, and he has had to spend the first half of our first year of marriage barely seeing his wife! As such, I think I feel as though I owe him some fun and freedom. Unfortunately, I am unable to have fun in these environments without drinking, and when I do drink, I end up blacking out and becoming a totally different person, and suffering immense anxiety, guilt and shame for days/weeks after.

I often tell my husband after these nights that I am quitting drinking, and I will for a while, but ultimately I always end up drinking again after a few weeks, so I think at this point he just assumes it's just something I say after a heavy night.

I guess the truth is that I need to speak with my actions and not my words, and prove that I am serious by committing to sobriety in the long term. Right now, my short term goal is to focus on that 6 month mark. I feel if I can get there, I can achieve 1 year, and beyond.
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Old 06-06-2017, 04:44 AM
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Old 06-06-2017, 02:49 PM
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I know I was far more boring drinking to oblivion and passing out in a corner, then having to be poured into a cab...

I may not be a raconteur holding the room spellbound with my witticisms now, but I prefer myself this way

If life is short, it makes even more sense not to check out for any part of it

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