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Battling the booze

Kazzl
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

When the black dog bites, many of us reach for a drink. It can ease the pain, help us relax, block out what's going on in our minds. If it's just the odd drink now and then, even one or two a night, there's no harm and maybe even welcome relief. But for some of us, many in fact, literally drowning our sorrows becomes a problem in itself. We drink more and more until the booze takes over, and drinking becomes all we want to do. 

That was me for a long time until I finally realised the combination of booze and depression would kill me. If I wanted to live, if I wanted to be able to manage my depression, I had to get sober. I did, nearly five years ago, and it's the hardest thing I've ever done.

If booze is controlling you and you're not controlling it, this thread is for you. If you want to regain control - get sober or moderate your drinking (which for many is harder than quitting) or if you're worried you are drinking too much, join us here.

On this thread I'll talk about my battle with the booze and offer advice and support to anyone who is struggling. I welcome anyone who's been there or is worried they are going there, to join in. And I hope others now living sober will come here to help our friends who are struggling.

One thing this thread is not is a place to discuss how much a drink or two helps you. It's not an anti-alcohol thread, but it's not a general discussion about alcohol either. It's for people who are genuinely worried about it or who want to control it, and it's a place of celebration (without judgment about drinkers) for those of us who are now living sober.

I hope anyone who's battling the booze will join us.

Cheers πŸ˜€

Kaz 

455 Replies 455

hi Moonstruck, please forgive me in not mentioning that it's great to see you post again, I'm good thanks, but more so I would like to know how you are doing yourself.

A big sorry. Geoff.

Moonstruck
Community Member

Hey there Geoff....apart from wishing I could have a drink (or four) to help put a smile on my dial as I try to work out certain decisions in my life at present.....I am OK.

Hey guess what? I was going to post you tonight anyway because an RBT cop, just one bloke, waved me over today.....did that faze me? Not in the least! Once I would have begun shaking like a leaf out of apprehension, fear and guilt.....but no, I gave him a huge smile and said I had given up drinking 4.5 years ago, and he was the very first cop to breath test me....all these years and no RBT team has pulled me over!

He laughed and asked how long it had been since I had a drink. I said "Four and a half years...so if the machine registers anything, there's something seriously wrong with the machine!". He was very nice. Funny how when I was drinking, they seemed much more frightening and mean! yeah, funny that! I guess our old friend Kaz is OK. I knew she was working somewhere so hopefully all is well with her health and well being now.

I believe you can have a few drinks though can't you? Well then, why can't I Geoff? How do you know it's automatically going to make me drink more and more and more. Or do I have that wrong,and you are completely tee total now?........all the best to you.....cheers...Moon S

Doolhof
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi JayT,

Just dropping in to this thread and saw your post. We too live in a wine region. Thankfully for me I do not like wine much at all. I prefer a nice stout, even on a hot summers day. I used to be quite a heavy drinker when I was young. Started in secondary school for me. I went to older friend's home lunch time and usually had a liquid lunch!

I had a problem for a few years, than discovered on my antidepressant medication I could only have one drink at the most, and not even every day.

Now I hardly drink at all and am much happier with a tea or coffee or water. When we go out I am always the designated driver and that suits me fine.

Living in a wine region, where your friends might well enjoy a drop or two of wine must be difficult. Have you ever thought of taking along some non alcoholic wine when you are with friends?

You can still drink it in fancy wine glasses, at the end of the night, you will feel happier for your choice of non alcoholic wine and you will be able to thank yourself for it in the morning.

Like Geoff mentioned, we all have times where we don't manage to stop ourselves from doing something we wish we hadn't done. That is okay. Learn from these lapses and try to do things differently the next time.

Best of luck to you. Try a few non alcoholic wines and see which ones you like. You will still look the part.

Funny thing is, when you are the only one sober you can see how different people are after they have consumed a few drinks!

Cheers from Dools

hello Moon, thanks for your reply, and I still drink socially, but there's becomes a point when I feel that's enough, it's where you could say to the person saying to you, 'one for the road', or it may happen when you know how you are feeling when you're drinking, it's something you've learnt in your mind as each drink takes effect, how you actually feel, but not by thinking what you may say when alcohol is involved, because when you are sober, you wouldn't dare say it, that's when you know you have to stop.
It's difficult to explain but if there was someone there with you, then that's when it's easier, but if you say that 'I'll have another before I go', is when it maybe time to give it up. Geoff.

Moonstruck
Community Member

Hi Geoff...yes I thought you were able to drink socially. gosh I am envious of you..you lucky thing! We all realise of course that there is absolutely nothing stopping me from doing the same. No law that does not allow me to order a wine or beer at the Club and chat pleasantly away to the others. Nothing to stop me from enjoying a quiet private glass of wine while watching a Dvd or eating a nice dinner. I can choose to do this.

I don't know if you realise I was never the sort of drinker who "one was not enough" and had to keep going until drunk. I could stop after a couple if the situation warranted that. Does this mean I could drink socially like you....with just one or two? I guess no one knows the answer to that.

Is there the possibility if I do so when really upset about something, the "one or two" would escalate into more, simply because it was "medicating me" and lowering the anxiety? and would this start the journey of horror rolling once more? Do you think it's best not to tempt fate to find out? (I am still jealous of you being able to drink socially...you lucky thing!)..........cheers...Moon S

Marc74
Community Member

Hi,

Have only just found this thread, there is a lot in and I haven't read through it yet.

brief outline 43 years old and battled drinking for over 20 years. It cost me everything in life and made me miss out on soooo much more of it. January 19 2018 I will be 4 years sober (lets just get through today first shall we!!)

I love not drinking and love being sober but it hasn't been easy and at times still isn't easy. I relied on it so much to get me through life's ups and downs. The sun was out (lets have a drink) Its raining (Lets have a drink) Its Mongolian Independence day (lets have a drink, November 24 btw :))

After around 20 years of this I completely lost who I was, my world was upside down and my brain was fried. Every time I picked up a drink I wanted to end my own life and on a few occasions went through with it (Thankfully I did not succeed) I was lost, drinking alone in a dark room everyday until I passed out or threw up or both. I needed help.

I got help through various outlets and almost 4 years later I have not picked up a drink and it is my single greatest achievement in life.

Was it easy? Heck NO !!! but so far up until today I haven't felt or needed to pick up a drink and I love that feeling of not reaching for a bottle, not being hungover the next day, having to have 2 or 3 drinks to kick my body into gear in the morning just to function.

Do I struggle? Yes I struggle a lot, not with drinking but with everyday life. I find it difficult now to meet people and suffer from bad social anxiety and at times can just live like a hermit and not venture out into the big bad world. It can take me an hour or so to muster the courage to go and buy some milk and I know only too well that I can use the self serve thing and not have to actually interact with people !!

For this stuff I am also trying to get help and I see it as my "next" challenge in life. I don't have my crutch (of alcohol) anymore and have brilliantly avoided life while I sort my addictions out but now it is time for the next chapter in life and I am hopeful that I can overcome and power on to the life that I would like.

I just thought I would share this as a means for me to get it off my chest and see it written down (Ok typed) and use it as a motivation for myself to see how far I have come and where I would like to be in the future.

But for right now I am OK.

Regards

Marc74

Bethie
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi and welcome to BB

I'm 17 years sober now so know what your going through. Took me years to finally get my medication right for anxiety and depression. All I can recommend is what was taught to me.

Its small steps..try going out to see a movie on your own..alot of people do. I was surrised first time I did. Instead of driving everywhere maybe catch transport sometimes. Older people tend to be open to chat. My favorite was to catch the ferry because water relaxes me and I'd have somewhere to look.

A.A has alot of weekends away and if your lonely you can allways grab a coffee with people there.

My partner and I met in recovery and only slowed down once we had our son. But some of my best memories are of weekends away with fires on the beach and people all ages basically clowning around just having fun..definitely not what most would think of as recovering alcoholics.

Carol_D
Community Member
Hi. Kaazl This is my first post. I read somewhere on this forum but I can’t find it again - but I think you gave a reply - a post that talked about anxiety with a hangover. The post was so real for me. I have battled depression from a very early age - I think since about the age of 12 if I remember correctly- and then alcohol from then on. I have had so many shameful times since then relating to alcohol- the break up of a marriage- an affair- I am disgusted in myself and am trying to change - but find alcohol or the habit so hard. I get so very sick from hangovers and I have usually done something stupid. Nowadays I am too afraid to go out with friends for fear of getting drunk and making a fool of myself. And I am not that young anymore.

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Carol D, and a warm welcome to you.

Firstly please don't feel disgusted in yourself because there are many reasons why people drink alcohol and to suffer from depression at such an early age is the possibility why you have, but you're not the only person who feels this way.

Actually, Kazzl has not been on the forums for quite a while now, she took up another job I'm sorry to say, and this thread hasn't been active for over a year now but pleased you have reactivated it.

Whatever type of anxiety you have such as social and/or generalized anxiety, then it's possible to turn to alcohol as a way of self-medicating to cope with your stress and become dependent on alcohol, but once you stop then there are changes that occur after drinking which can explain why alcohol causes your anxiety.

The trouble is you believe that drinking helps you with your anxiety and that's where the problem begins, so hangovers can trigger anxiety attacks.

Feelings of paranoia that something bad must have happened because of how bad you feel, plus your body has to recover so you're in a withdrawal stage, headaches, mouth dry, think as though you've said something to embarrass yourself or verbally hurt another person, dehydration, poor judgement, moody and the list goes on.

You might be unable to differentiate the anxiety caused by your drinking from the anxiety you had in the first place.

If you suffer from anxiety it maybe possible for you to learn how to cope with stress without alcohol being present, I know that's not easy but may need to be done under a controlled situation, if this is possible.

What maybe best is to write down the stress, your anxiety and other problems on a piece of paper so you can then take this to a doctor/psychologist and found out the trigger points that are the cause for your drinking.

I feel sorry for you because you are not alone, not only in drinking but also finding solutions to your anxiety because they change every day.

Hope to hear back from you.

Geoff.

quirkywords
Community Champion
Community Champion

Carol,

I too welcome you to the forum and this thread.

Geoff has written a very helpful reply.

I used to drink when I was high and I wasn't covering up emotions I was just adding to my feeling of elation.

When I was depressed I didn't drink .

I know all about shameful moments from when I was very manic and had way too many drinks.

The shame makes you drink more the next day when you realise what you really did the night before.

I don't drink much now as I am on medication.

You are not alone and there is support here.

Quirky