Battling the booze
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.
Hi Moon xx. I know that need for self-soothing. You're very down at the moment eh?
There's nothing wrong with needing and wanting comfort, everyone does. And alcohol is an easy soother. But it's so temporary and, for those of us without an off switch, it's a dangerous one. It offers false promises. Momentary release, with long-lasting consequences. Well, that's how it is for me.
I know some people (few) can reintroduce alcohol to their lives after a long time sober, and manage it. Most of us can't. We used to have this discussion often on the forum for alcoholics I was on. It seemed to be that the motivation behind reintroducing was the key to whether someone could do it successfully or not. We had a few people who did, but their motivation was generally that they wanted to occasionally join in a family celebration or such. Rare events, and requiring great control on their part. Some of them eventually decided it wasn't worth it and didn't drink anymore.
Those who wanted to reintroduce to help ease their sense of social separation, or loneliness or depression - ie to self-medicate - were never successful. Often they left the forum, saying they felt they could handle it OK now, then reappeared months later deeper in alcoholism and despair than when they first joined. For some this was, and probably still is, a cyclical pattern over many years of being a member.
Think hard my friend - what else soothes you? There's an alternative there somewhere.
Here if you want to chat hun.
Thought I would check in to the forum and see what is going on. Thank you for your considered words in reply to my initial post. They are very appreciated.
You know I think letting my feeling out on this forum began the healing process for me. Yesterday and today I have felt much happier within myself. Previously I was just pretending to be happy but last two days I have genuinely felt more like the happy person I was only just 4 months ago.
A fantastic weekend with a couple of long term close friends moved the healing process along. One of those friends is like a little sister to me (I'm a (middle aged- groan) girl BTW). She is very dear to me. The other is like a big brother. I had a great Friday night with my little sister and then a great Saturday watching the grand final with both of them. Yes I was drinking - I always do with both of them, particularly my little sister. But this was a different sort of drinking - we were having fun rather than me just trying to drown my sorrows on my own. Gosh we laughed an awful lot and my little sister let me hug her a lot and my big brother gave me a long hug on Saturday. Hugging is not something we have particularly done a lot of in the past. Did they suspect I was struggling? If they will let me, hugging might be something I do a lot more of, particularly of my little sister.
Yesterday and tonight I have not felt like a drink at all.
I wish I could say something to Moonstruck that would help Moon begin to heal. All I can say is, Moon, there is always a better future out there. We all think you are worthwhile. Your neighbour thinks you are worthwhile. Your neighbour wouldn't talk to you if he/she didn't think you were. Could you make a potential friend of your neighbour if you invited your neighbour along for that walk to the seaside? Hope this doesn't sound patronising because it is not meant to be. You are worth it.
Hi Mozartscape, great to see you again. What a lovely post, I am so pleased for you.
In my experience, the healing process after the loss of a parent can take a long time, and grief can hit you when you're least expecting it. But to realise that it's not a permanent state, that you can and will be happy again and love, and live and enjoy life, well that's truly the start of healing. I am so glad you have good friends to be help you along that road.
As for the drinking - it is indeed a very different thing to share a drink with friends and enjoy yourself than to drink alone at home to find oblivion. If you can maintain that, and not let the booze take you over, then you'll be fine. Only you know how you're handling it, but it seems to me you haven't broken your off switch like I did. Whilever the off switch works - ie you control the booze, not the other way round - you're OK in my view.
The best advice a friend gave me when I lost my parents was 'don't be too brave'. Let people in, and lean on your friends. Let them - and us - help.
Very best to you hun
You then regret what you have done and promise that 'I don't want to drink tonight', that's what you tell yourself in the morning, normally because you feel terrible, but as the day progresses you get back your senses and when the time comes at knock of time and your mates are going down to the pub and say to you 'come on just have one with us, it won't hurt you', then that strength of the alcohol and saying to yourself 'OK I'll just have one and then go home', it's too late, you will wake up the next day feeling terrible.
It's that first decision you have to make 'I won't go there because I know what will happen and I will be sorry tomorrow'.
We know and understand the force that alcohol will draw you into, you know it's so powerful where it will always drag you back unless you have decided that you need to stop.
We want to be here for you and please read my post a few times because it's important. Geoff.
I felt compelled to post on here today because I had a little hospital stay last Saturday night, and there was a guy in there coming off chronic alcohol addiction that I can't stop thinking about. I've thought about him every day since.
My sister and I were almost in tears it was so upsetting.
He mentioned a resource so if I hear of things I like to share.
Obviously everyone is restricted by their financial situation but he was heading off the The Cabin in Thailand?
I don't know anything about it. It sounds like an awesome tree house.
Another guy said that getting into a publicly funded rehab place in the next 18 months was near impossible.
I hope this helps someone.
Corn Fritters xxxx
Hiya Feels, welcome to the thread. Oh yes indeedy it's real and very very hard. But it is possible to beat it hun. Have a good read of this thread from the start, there's some tips there to help you if you want to quit. And we're here to support you through the struggle.
Very best to you Feels, I'm glad you've joined us.
Hello my old mate Kaz...you always seem to give such good advice and care. You may have seen elsewhere that my Anxiety has turned into Depression as well lately ....I can't seem to bring myself "upwards out of it" or lift my spirits at all. I cry every day - is that too much? BlondGuy said crying is good for the soul and I always thought it cleansing and useful too...how much is too much?
As you know this is the lowest I have felt in years and years without a couple of drinks to lift my mood. I don't intend going down that road...but...what's my alternative?...get lower and lower, cry more and more. I took a larger than usual dose of a sleeper last night...just needed to be blotted out for the night.....it was getting later and later and I was still wide awake reading my book....the usual dose obviously wasn't enough for me to relax enough into sleep...so thought What the Hell.....and took another half.....it worked! No ill effects that I can see.