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Lynn123 Mar 09, 2020 (08:39 PM)  

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I wanted to share an experience I had the other day that reiterates what I said in another post.  In that post I mentioned that our reasons for not drinking needed to be good ones, or we could slip later.  It is also the reason I continue to come here. Despite being years since I’ve had a drink, I’m still on a journey and know this journey will never end.  


I live in a state that allows beer and wine to be sold in a lot of places.  Drug stores, gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, and more. You have to go to a liquor store to buy liquor, but you can get beer and wine just about anywhere.  In my drinking days I didn’t have a favorite type of alcohol, I drank all kinds and always had plenty of it at home. I hate to admit this, but I would often grab a beer for the ride home.  So the other day I stopped for gas and went inside for a bottle of water. For some reason, on this occasion, the beer cooler caught my attention and I found myself fixated on the beers. It’s not the first time this has happened, and I bet it’s not the last.  


If my reason for not drinking was money, that wouldn’t have been good enough on that day.  A big beer is a dollar and some change. If my reason was for someone else, I could have drank that beer and waited to go home.  My wife would have probably never have known. Stopping drinking to lose weight or to be healthy? Those wouldn’t have mattered that day either.  It’s just one beer. The problem is, for me, it won’t just stop at one beer. I may have been able to stop for that day, but then I would try it again and again.  Each time I would rationalize with myself how it’s ok and I’m handling it now. This is not what I think would happen, it is what happened in all of my attempts to stop before.


So what is my reason for not drinking?  I don’t want to be a drinker. I want to drink, but not be a drinker.  I want to be like so many other people that can have those few drinks and call it a night, but I can’t do that.  Instead I give up what I want for control of my life. I thought my life would be miserable without the thing I thought I loved.  I’ve been alcohol free for over 4 years and have never regretted my decision to not let my wants get the best of me.


Lynn123

Mar 08, 2020 (10:00 AM)  

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So true...

"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."  Sir Edmund Hillary

Lynn123 Feb 04, 2020 (08:08 PM)  

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Adjboy,


Sorry for providing the less than joyful information.  It blindsided and depressed me too.  I had never had any luck making it past a few days, so hearing 3 months before reassessing was not what I wanted to hear.  But I gave it shot because what I had been doing had got me no where.  My intention was moderation, but in those 3 months I learned to live again.  With that being said, I don't suggest focusing on the 3 month time.  The mental part was hard for me and it often took everything I had to make it through the night with a drink.  Thinking 3 months down the road just wasn't an option, I was often just trying to get to the next hour.

I'm guessing that many people try to give up alcohol to save money, but I wonder how many are able to continue to use it as motivation.  I haven't had a drink in over 4 years, and I have times that I think I could handle a drink.  If my reason for not drinking was to save money, I'm pretty sure I could rationalize having one drink.  I would enjoy that drink, and I may be able to stop at one drink for the night, but I know I would eventually progress right back to where I was.  Right back to Day 1 all because I rationalize I could afford just one drink.  I would think the same would hold true for weight loss too.  

I could have lost weight when I gave up alcohol but I began actually eating my calories rather than drinking them.  When I stopped drinking I began to treat myself with foods that I had been denying myself to be able to consume the crazy number of alcohol calories.  I've always worked out lifting weights and being active.  I've always appeared to be "fit."  No one really knew how much I was drinking.  My weight now is basically the same as it was before , but my body looks different and I feel different.  Alcohol is definitely not kind to the body. 

How are you sleeping?  When do you find are your hardest times?  I wish you luck and stay strong!

Lynn

Adjboy Feb 04, 2020 (11:26 AM)  

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Thanks for the info even though it is a bit depressing. I was concentrating on one month sober because I understand that gives my liver a chance to recover. Too bad you cant feel any change physically with your liver working better. I understand what you are saying and if I had thought about the long term I would have come to the same conclusion but three months right now to me seems like a life time.

A nice bonus of course is saving money. I took the "toolbox" survey and found out I was spending over $8000 a year on booze. I see you are based in USA where the cost of booze is cheaper than in Canda. That would make quitting that much harder. For example a 1.14 l (40 oz) bottle of rum ( my poison ) in Canada cost just under $41. 
Was also was hoping to lose some weight  but that has not happened yet. Did you have any luck in that regard assuming you wanted to?

Lynn123 Feb 03, 2020 (08:35 PM)  

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Adjboy,


Good to hear that you had another good night.  The realization that you need to take more time before trying to drink can be a tough one.  I too, thought I would go a month or so then try to drink.  That was when I got some really good advice from the health educator on this site, Ashley.  She said addiction counselors suggest a three month absence before trying to moderate.  That was not what I wanted to hear but I believe if I had tried before the three month mark that I would be drinking today.  

It was not what I wanted to hear, but I followed her advice and I am sober today.  The physical withdrawal does end, but the mental issue is a hard because it's never ending.  I know I will never drink again.  I just can't drink moderately.  I don't like it, but that's just the way it is for me.  Even with that realization, I still have my struggles.  I doubt the struggle with ever end, that's why whatever you're reason for giving up alcohol is, it needs to be a good one.  

My suggestion for a "trick" at your point, is to have a plan.  Know what you are going to do when you really want that drink.  An activity, somewhere to go, a treat to eat.  Do anything that will take your mind off wanting that drink.  Like I said before, sometimes it's minute to minute. 

I hope your night is going well.  Good luck!

Lynn

Adjboy Feb 03, 2020 (10:00 AM)  

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Had another night without a drink. One day at a time. When I started my goal was to reduce my drinking but I realize now that that is not practical at least for the first month. I understand you need that time to let your liver detox and recover. That is the great thing about your liver. If any health professional reads this please do not hesitate to correct me if I am wrong.

I have been lucky so far physically but now it is becoming a mental issue. I would have killed for a drink last night. Did some self talk and hung in. Any tricks you have would be appreciated .

Lynn123 Feb 02, 2020 (08:11 PM)  

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Adjboy,


I’m glad you had a good night last night.  You’ll find a huge difference in sleeping without alcohol and with alcohol.  And of course, a big difference waking up without alcohol. I had a problem sleeping when I first gave up alcohol, but my body adjusted.  You’re right about the next few days, they will most likely be pretty tough, both physically and mentally.  


I saw a question you posted in another discussion.  You asked if the first week was the toughest. There’s no doubt the first week is tough because of both the physical and mental withdrawal from alcohol.  Unfortunately, once you have one week under your belt, the other days will bring difficulties as well. It is a journey and the best way to approach it is to take it one day at a time.  Sometimes one minute at a time.  


Good luck and I hope your you have another good night!


Lynn


Adjboy Feb 02, 2020 (10:41 AM)  

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Surprisingly good. Went to bed at midnight without being at all sleepy so took a gravol. Had a good night's sleep with my cpap ( another issue). Woke up feeling rested with no headache. This is shocking because whenever I have tried this in the past i have woken  up feeling like i got hit by a bus.

The next few days will be the real test. The longest i have been able to go without a drink has only been 7 days which clearly means I have a problem.
Wish me luck and thanks for the support.

Lynn123 Feb 02, 2020 (08:05 AM)  

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Just wanted to share...


"Do something uncomfortable today.  By stepping out of your box, you don't have to settle for what you are - you get to create who you want to become."  Howard Walstein

Lynn123 Feb 02, 2020 (08:01 AM)  

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Adjboy, how was yesterday?  



Adjboy Feb 01, 2020 (02:37 PM)  

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I am going to try to not drink tonight. I know I will not sleep well and will wake up with a headache.  Funny isn't it that the first withdrawal symptoms from not drinking is the same as a hangover

Lynn123 Jan 31, 2020 (11:47 AM)  

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Thank you Ashley!


The weekend is here and I think the viewers on this site are experiencing a variety of emotions.  To those that have experienced a victory this week, congratulations. I have heard it said, and in my experience I find it to be true, our brain likes success.  It doesn’t matter how small, but little successes make us want to continue working. Small victories add up and it makes us want to increase our goals.


To those that have struggled, I would like to offer a suggestion.  To give your brain something positive to work with, examine your goals and see if you could lower one of them.  If your goal is to not drink for a day, maybe just delay your start time for that day. If you’re able to do that, continue for a few days and then increase the time slowly.


The journey we are on is not a sprint, it’s a never ending endeavor that will have its highs and lows.  Giving yourself some highs along the way just may make what seems impossible, possible.  


Good luck everyone and stay strong!


Ashley-Health Educator Jan 28, 2020 (06:15 PM)  

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Hi Lynn,


Such beautiful and inspiring words. It is so nice to read about your lovely weekend and your perspective on your new found freedom. You are also very welcome. Thank you for posting here so often  and sharing your support and inspiration with others. You make this site a better place.


Ashley, Health Educator

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Lynn123 Jan 25, 2020 (08:14 AM)  

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Ashley,


I will be spending my weekend sober. :)  I live in an area that rarely gets too cold to enjoy time outside, so I will be heading out soon for a bicycle trail ride.  After that I’ll spend some time with my dogs and wife. No big plans and I love it. Since I became sober one of the things I enjoy is the freedom of not having to plan my day around drinking.  Now I just let the weekend unfold.  


I used to think that giving up alcohol was giving up something I loved.  Now a realize that giving up alcohol allows me to love the things in my life that are worth loving. Thank you again Ashley for the advice you gave me years ago!


Lynn


Ashley-Health Educator Jan 24, 2020 (03:23 PM)  

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Happy Friday!


How will you be spending your weekend Lynn123?

Ashley, Health Educator

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