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Old 10-16-2017, 03:32 AM
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Hello,

I'm unsure if this is the right place to come to about this, or whether anyone would find this offensive at all, in which case I sincerely apologise.

I'm 26 years old and am someone that's like to drink every evening and have done so for at least 5 years or so.

I would only ever have a maximum of 2 cans of cider each evening and be in bed by 9.30/10. Come to the weekend I'd certainly have a bit more. I was always totally fine with this, though I know it's not ideal.

However, in the past 6/7 months or so it's gotten worse. For the past 6/7 months I've worked from home for 3 days every week, due to anxiety issues with travelling. Additionally for this period I've bought a new place and have moved out on my own for the first time ever (only officially moved out just over a week ago). Working from home has enable me to drink more of an evening, as I don't have to worry about getting up so much.

But my biggest problem now is that having just 1 or 2 ciders doesn't quite 'do it' for me any more. I have one, and it immediately gets boring and want to start drinking spirits, which is what I have been doing. Not only is this not good, but obviously more expensive. Additionally I always used to start drinking after I had my dinner... but now I always drink before.

Is there any advice to getting back to just maintaining at most the 2 ciders? After I have 1 or 2, I've completely had enough of it and want to drink gin or whiskey, etc.

Also, I find I can't really enjoy myself as much with people, or even playing games, unless I have a drink. Is there any advice to enjoying yourself just as much with these things without alcohol? I'm generally quite an irritable person otherwise.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:49 AM
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Welcome

Your post is not offensive at all.

There, are many, many threads on this site where people talk about being able to have just one or two drinks and leave it at that, so called moderating. In reality, those who post here are unable to do that, we always take a first drink and then are unable to stop. We know therefore that total abstinence is the only pathway.

Life, an enjoyable life, a life BETTER than a life with alcohol, is attainable if you want it.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:09 AM
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These situations started me down a very slippery path. I think you are noticing you are having a problem with the number of drinks or how your drinking habits have progressed. That's a great concern to have this early in the game, as most don't figure it out before it is too late. Should you quit drinking? That decision is yours and yours alone but you need to certainly be very aware of your tendencies and how your drinking has progressed. Why not take some time off from drinking and see what happens?
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:25 AM
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Welcome to SR!

It's admirable that you've come to realize you're playing with fire. Alcohol is a drug; a highly addictive substance just as dangerous as "harder" drugs such as heroin. Would you be concerned if you replaced cider in your post with heroin? Think about it - you're chasing this high and relaxation feeling from a neurotoxin. Alcohol poisons your mind and your body, and is likely the reason that your anxiety has increased, relegating you to isolate yourself at home with it as your warm blanket. Like other addictive substances, there's no going back to being satisfied with 1 or 2 once you begin abusing it to get that euphoria. Your brain craves the release of dopamine it provides, and stops producing it on its own in order to compensate. This leads to your brain building a tolerance and needing more and more to achieve the level of dopamine production that gets you back to "normal."

We all play with this idea of moderation because we're scared to let go of that warm blanket. But it's not a comfort. It's a devil in the disguise of a socially acceptable way to numb.

Can you try replacing the 1 or 2 ciders you want with a cup of hot tea? Or a non-alcoholic cider? If this thought seems inconceivable or evokes panic, then maybe you should take a closer look at your relationship with alcohol and decide for yourself if this is a road you want to continue down.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:38 AM
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As above Atkins, I imagine you came here for a reason and glad you did.
Somewhere inside you are questioning this behaviour. Wish I had your insight at your age, would have saved a lot of time, trouble heartache and money!

I would try quitting all together at least for a month or so and pay attention to how I felt without the daily alcohol. Try replacing it with something else, not just another choice of drink but a new or revisit an old hobby, get out and about, read a book etc.

Working from home, unchecked can be dangerous so stay close on here.
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Old 10-16-2017, 06:12 AM
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"Is there any advice to getting back to just maintaining at most the 2 ciders? "

once i became a pickle, i couldnt go back to being a cucumber.
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Old 10-16-2017, 06:22 AM
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Once you see your relationship with alcohol changing and you have to use more to get the same buzz, alarm bells should be (and thankfully are) ringing.
I also wish I'd seen it earlier.
There's a lot of good advice here.
Try some time off and see how you feel. If time off is hard then you really need to give it all a lot of thought.
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Old 10-16-2017, 06:47 AM
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Thanks so much guys for your responses. Support on here is amazing (if only everyone on the internet could be this nice!)

The thought of completely stopping, at least just right now after having moved for the first time and getting used to everything, is really quite scary. However, I do think I'm going to at least try to stop with the spirits and stick with just the ciders... and then maybe look to cut back even more.
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:22 AM
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Good luck with that plan.

I tried every moderation trick you'll ever hear. Sadly, sometimes it worked. That led me to the mistaken belief that I could do it.

Then would come yet another passed-out waste of a few days.

Then I'd do the moderation thing for a week or so.

Then would come yet another passed-out waste of a few days.

Then I'd do the moderation thing for a week or so.

If you find yourself playing this dangerous game...complete abstinence is the answer.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by atkinsd91 View Post
The thought of completely stopping, at least just right now after having moved for the first time and getting used to everything, is really quite scary. However, I do think I'm going to at least try to stop with the spirits and stick with just the ciders... and then maybe look to cut back even more.
It is definitely a scary thought ( quitting entirely ). Having said that, where drinking will eventually take you should scare you even more. I know for a lot of people, me included, it didn't. The good news is that life can be a whole lot better without alcohol - pretty much every aspect of it. You'll find many here who have found that freedom and can be of tremendous support if you decide to quit as well.

Regarding the notion of cutting back on hard alcohol but continuing to drink cider, it's all the same thing. Sure you can drink more booze quicker than beer or wine or cider, but it's all the same alcohol. I drank beer exclusively during my active alcoholic days, never touched booze or wine and found it quite capable of destroying my life.
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by atkinsd91 View Post
Thanks so much guys for your responses. Support on here is amazing (if only everyone on the internet could be this nice!)

The thought of completely stopping, at least just right now after having moved for the first time and getting used to everything, is really quite scary. However, I do think I'm going to at least try to stop with the spirits and stick with just the ciders... and then maybe look to cut back even more.
Alcohol is alcohol is alcohol.

Do you think 'normal' or 'social' drinkers get scared at the idea of not drinking every night? That might be worth a think-about.

In a way, now, while you've just moved and you haven't got into much of a routine as such, might well be quite a good time to stop. AA might also be a good way of getting to meet some of the people who live in your area as well. (And if you think you don't drink enough to go to AA, just be reminded that the folk who go there currently drink a lot less than you do).

IF you could moderate, chances are that you would have figured it out by now. The thing is, with an alcoholic, that off switch gets stuck after the first couple of drinks. The beast gets in our heads and tells us how we might as well just drink. That we NEED a drink. That we will function better with a drink. That we cope better with a drink. Drinking become the reaction to every good day. Bad day. Sunny day. Rainy day. Win day. Lose day. ... and once we start feeding the beast it takes over. (By the beast I mean the compulsion to drink).

BB

PS So types the woman who actually went to her first AA meeting hoping they'd tell me two things...
1 - That I wasn't an alcoholic
2 - The secret of moderating / drinking 'properly' (like I ever wanted to moderate - I just wanted to get drunk but avoid the consequences).

PPS They didn't tell me EITHER of the above.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
It is definitely a scary thought ( quitting entirely ). Having said that, where drinking will eventually take you should scare you even more. I know for a lot of people, me included, it didn't. The good news is that life can be a whole lot better without alcohol - pretty much every aspect of it. You'll find many here who have found that freedom and can be of tremendous support if you decide to quit as well.

Regarding the notion of cutting back on hard alcohol but continuing to drink cider, it's all the same thing. Sure you can drink more booze quicker than beer or wine or cider, but it's all the same alcohol. I drank beer exclusively during my active alcoholic days, never touched booze or wine and found it quite capable of destroying my life.
Is it literally the alcohol I've had for so long making me feel like I can't have fun without it? Can it be just as fun? That's what I'm worried about, that I'll never feel the same level of.. satisfaction as it were.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:28 PM
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Hi, and welcome!

For many years I tried to 'just cut back' or 'get back to where I was and have fun'.

It never worked for me - at least not for very long. I did manage to fool myself for many periods into a semblance of 'success'. Those periods always came to a crashing end in some tremendous binge or other.

In the end, I finally decided my bottom was to be my bottom before the bottom got any further down.

I can't offer you any advice on 'cutting back' or 'moderation' or getting to a place where you can consistently just have one or two for social lubricant or whatever - because despite many ways of trying myself, I was never successful.

If you'd like experience around building a new, better-than-ever, awesome life of sobriety - there I may be able to offer you some useful input.

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Old 10-16-2017, 04:41 PM
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Hi and welcome Atkinsd91

I started much as you did = first as a sometimes drinker then a weekend drinker, then nightly...by the time I finished I was an all day eveyday drinker.

I believe alcoholism is progressive and I believe that progression is one way only - from bad to worse.

I have 20 years of trying to turn back the clock on my drinking habits as all the proof I need on that.

Forgive the pun but there's some sobering reading here.
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...lly-again.html

I think just about everyone here found the idea of quitting scary and everyone here wondered what joy a sober life could bring.

I love my life now and I love who I am. I could never say that as a drinker.

Trust me, no one would still be sober if they thought they lost out on the deal.

It all works out - it really does

D
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:30 PM
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I do not have any new advice that you have not already heard, but maybe if I tell you a quick summary of how I got to where I am today, you might relate.

I got sober for the first time at 22 yrs old. I was strictly addicted to oxy (or so I told myself while in my 1st rehab). There was no way I was going to give up alcohol when I'd only been drunk once or twice. (This is a lie, I'd been drinking for years at that point. Caught myself)

Fast forward to 26 years old and I was in my 2nd (and hopefully final) rehab. Only this time I had to detox off of oxy(contin/codone), Benzos (xanax), and about 24 beers a night. This started with a prescription to help with sleep, a drink after work and eventually back to my drug of choice.

I definitely agree with everyone here, take some time off from drinking and see how it feels. Not just physically, but mentally. Do you plan on rewarding days off with drinks?...No two people are the same and I know how horrible it seems to get sober so young. But I also know how nice it is to have a great career, friends, loved ones and to be trusted.

It is impossible too imagine never drinking again, but just don't drink this minute. That really isn't that hard. Good luck to you and much resoect for having such self-awareness at your age. I knew where I was heading but ignorance seemed like bliss. I was wrong.
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:10 PM
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Angry

When I was 26 I drank about like you, a few beers at the end of the day, everyday, to relax.

Eventually, a few beers didnít do it for me anymore. To get the buzz I wanted, I would need to drink 6 or 7 beers. Who has time for that? I found it more efficient to drink a few shots of vodka and chase that with a couple of beers.

Over time that level of drinking increased, a little more beer and a lot more vodka.

20 years down the road, I finally crashed and burned and needed some medical help with withdrawal. By then I was drinking pretty heavily 364 days a year, and proud that I had 1 sober day. I was also drinking a couple of beers in the morning with my Egg McMuffin, trying to ease, yet another hangover. I was miserable and came close to losing stuff, like my marriage, my health, probably my job and certainly my dignity. If I knew at 26, what I know now, I could have saved my self a lot of misery.

Alcoholism is progressive. It sounds like you are at the beginning stages with your drinking.Stick around this website and read a lot. It might make a huge difference in your life.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:03 PM
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Hi Atkins-
Thanks for having the courage to post. You already took your first step towards recovery by posting your routine with the drinking. I'm only on my 8th sober day, but I read a lot of posts from people here who's been sober for a while. I just made sure to read their process and support everyday, and has worked thus far. And like lot of the above responses, you can see they tried everything (tapering, reduction, etc). Bottom line, you don't need to drink..PERIOD! Not easy, but people here will get you through it..whether you're up or down, everyone on SR will be here for you without judgement.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:04 PM
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Go three months sober and see how you feel then. I didn't want to quit drinking either, but I did and am now happier than I've ever been. And my life is a lot simpler, no drama.
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:52 AM
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Re: not having fun without alcohol or alcohol becoming less fun, I would just say that I had to hit the whole "fun" reset button by coming off the old fun completely and then trying to remember what real fun actually was. Yeah, imagining life without the sauce seems like a drag. I think it actually helps (when taking a bit of time off from booze) to imagine that you are a prizefighter or athlete or actor doing an extreme physical transformation--i.e., pretend that there is some goal there on the other side and that getting there is your "job". Hell, I drank like it was a job for years . Guarantee you that three months of living in that mindset and there will be an actual reward for you at the end and you will realize that abstinence isn't such a drag.
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