Sober March Challenge #marchingtosobriety

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  • Becky_45
    Becky_45 Posts: 59 Member
    I go through this with caffeine, off and on. Longest I went without was well into two years, but the whole time not a day went by that it wasn't badgering me in my head. I hope alcohol won't be the same way for me. I don't think it will, as I did pretty good last year after six months. I suppose it depends on why I'm cutting it out. I too hate that I can't just have it. I don't need it every day, but I especially love it when I'm singing karaoke. Usually it's at home but it makes it so much more fun, AND I sing lots better drinking as long as I stay at 1 or 2 drinks. Ha! I also hate having to try and deal with my issues/stress while others around me just quickly jump to drinking away the problems and then things don't get worked out. The last two nights my husband hasn't drank, which he drinks every night. SO this has been really nice for me, and for him. We will see how long it lasts.
    donimfp wrote: »
    Welcome, Tmochava! Day 9. Yay! Still haven't decided on the day 10 reward, but I'll think of something. My husband is doing this with me, and I notice that he doesn't seem to be giving it a second thought. It's taking up so much psychic space for me (not many moments of the day when I'm not conscious that I'm "NOT DRINKING") that I'm thinking that must be telling me something. I asked my non-drinking (now) best friend how long it took before drinking wasn't really much a part of her consciousness, and she said at 3 months she saw a huge difference, and now (3 years later--I had thought it was 2), she never even gives it a thought. That's where I want to be, and I'm not sure if I can ever get there if and when I go back to drinking even moderately. We're all wired differently, I guess. I'm liking how much easier my workouts seem. Liking undisturbed sleep. Feel like I'll like good bloodwork results in April. SO much to like about not drinking. But I still pretty much hate it. Sigh.

  • Becky_45
    Becky_45 Posts: 59 Member
    I'm not sure why that happens. It's happened to me too. Frustrating. Maybe try adding it again, and see if it shows up in a day or two.
    donimfp wrote: »
    Oh, PS. I have a lovely butterfly profile pic, which I changed to about 2 weeks ago, but this gray Lego-man icon is still showing up. Anybody know how to make your profile pic show up in these forums? It shows up on my home page and other places.

  • AlisalGal
    AlisalGal Posts: 88 Member
    I too appreciate the honesty that everyone is sharing with. I actually feel fine not drinking, but I do think about it. Like right now, a little after five, it occurs to me that a vodka-tonic sounds delicious. But I never have ONE vodka-tonic. Why is it easier for me to have absolutely none, instead of drinking moderately and only having one? Like you mentioned @Tmochava, it's weird to think "Hmmm, day 8, no booze," and even weirder to think that there are people out there who say "Eh, take it or leave it" or especially "No thanks, it's just not for me." Kind of like I've NEVER understood people who say, "Oh that dessert is too rich for me." I have literally never experienced that.
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,246 Member
    So, Day 9 and still going strong! Yes, I've had some cravings but I know I will not give in to them. My willpower is stronger than the desire to drink. That being said, it hasn't been easy but I know that I will enjoy my wine again in a matter of a few short weeks. Or a few long weeks! My husband is still hanging in with me. I asked him if he'd had any cravings and he said, "nope"! Hmmmm, OK. LOL

    This challenge HAS made me think some about my drinking habits. I'm not obsessively thinking about it, but the sobriety has made me consider it as a lifestyle choice. For probably the past 10 years I've been a daily drinker. Several glasses of wine and sometimes a whole bottle without even realizing it. On occasion I've wondered if I might have an alcohol problem because of the daily consumption. However, on examination, it has never negatively affected my life, my job, or my relationships. No negative effects on my health, either. I think it's like this - if you worry that you might be drinking too much then at least you are aware of it and have control over it. In my experience the alcoholics/addicts in my life (and there are/have been several) are in complete denial that they have a problem. Lost jobs, lost relationships, borderline homeless. Still denying that the alcohol is a factor. None of those things apply in my life.

    I can do this! You all can do this, too!!
  • TheRambler
    TheRambler Posts: 387 Member
    I started early...2/1. I've had a couple of business trips where I was the only one drinking, but I am OK with that. I'm more alert and feel better in general. I was never a heavy drinker, just realized the company I was keeping drank a lot. So.. here I am, and I'm happy.
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,246 Member
    I love the idea of treating yourself with something special! Kind of like rewarding yourself for weight-loss with something other than food.

    Here's a few things that are helping me, so maybe will help some of you, as well.
    1. For me this is a Lenten challenge - not just March but until Easter Sunday. Lent is a period of personal reflection. Lenten abstinence is about self-sacrifice and strength of will. It's not SUPPOSED to be easy!
    2. Positive self-talk. I tell myself that I'm strong enough to do this. Alcohol doesn't rule my life.
    3. Weight-loss. I know by the end of this self-imposed abstinence I will like the number on the scale!
    4. It's good for me physically. My body (especially my liver) will appreciate the break.
    5. My husband and mother are both doing it. I won't be the one to give in first! (Too competitive!)
    6. I'm finally using up all the fancy teas hanging out in the cupboard and drinking the La Croix sparkling water that's been in the pantry for a year.
    7. I'm trying some new drinks and resurrecting some old ones that I haven't had in awhile. A friend told me about Golden Milk. It's coconut milk with turmeric, ginger, honey and some other spices. Supposed to be very detoxifying. I'm also making two batches of homemade Kombucha - something that I used to do but haven't in a long while.
  • jhamlin6668
    jhamlin6668 Posts: 23 Member
    I just saw this challenge today - March 9th. I've been binge drinking beer and it's shooting my carbs through the roof. I'm done. Not a prob.
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    Day 10. Woo hoo! AlisalGal, I'm with you. One drink becomes 2 . . . or 3 . . . or? My friend was telling me she is always shocked by people who Don't Finish a Drink!! She says she thinks, "What is up with that? I didn't know that was possible." This is exactly why I'm not at all sure I'll go back to having alcohol after Easter (It's a Lenten discipline for me, too). I may extend through Memorial Day just to have that 3-month period that apparently is how long it takes for it not to be such a focus. Like RaeBeeBaby says, alcohol has never affected my life, job, or relationships. On the other hand, my grandfather was chief of staff at a major hospital and one of the most respected physicians in his very large city until the day he died (of alcoholism). As Caroline Knapp says in "Drinking: A Love Story," "People who aren't alcoholics don't lie in bed and wonder if they are alcoholics." I'm not using the word "alcoholic" in connection with myself, but I can substitute "problem drinker" or "people who drink too much" for that word and it hits home. Anyway, as my recovering friend says, "That's not what you need to be worried about right now. Just think about today and enjoy being alcohol free for this moment. Don't worry about what you're going to do a month from now." So, today is Day 10 reward day. Is it too early for diamond earrings??
  • KelseyBergemann
    KelseyBergemann Posts: 9 Member
    Day 10!

    It's starting to feel normal to not have a drink in the evening which is so bizarre for me. I've already lost about 2.5lbs in 10 days which is great...and eye opening to how many calories I was really consuming with drinking (and the food I ate after I drank)! Feeling good, hitting my goal of going to the gym 3X a week, can't complain! In 2 weeks my friend who is also doing the challenge with me is coming to visit and we plan on using our hall pass together and enjoy a cocktail or two. We will see how that goes!

  • AlisalGal
    AlisalGal Posts: 88 Member
    @donimfp: Is it too early for diamond earrings??

    That must be a rhetorical question! Haha. Of course not. At least not too early for a really fun pair of CZ earrings. The weekend is here, the temptation is real. I am going to schedule some knitting time and yoga time - two things I cannot do with a buzz.
  • MissMaggieMuffin
    MissMaggieMuffin Posts: 444 Member
    Have been able to stay off the wine since New Year's. At first it was a challenge for the month of January, but I've found that the longer I don't have any, the less I want it.
    It really had become a habit for me - a glass or two (sometimes more) most evenings. So far, club soda or green tea have become acceptable alternatives.
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    Day 11! But who's counting? (ME!). Went to my first social event where wine was flowing yesterday evening. Boy did it look good. It was what we in the South call a "Sip and See," where we go ooh and ahh over a new baby (the Sip part is very serious). In the course of conversation, the new dad revealed that the new baby girl already has diamond earrings. Seriously? Let her earn them by not drinking for 10 days, I say. It wasn't that hard not to drink, but then I realized that in the past, it has never been that hard not to drink or over-drink in social situations. Why? Because I knew I always had wine waiting to welcome me home when the event was over. Not last night. It really felt like a deprivation. What a crazy journey. Still, it feels good to wake up ready for the day and not groggy or hungover. Still, wine sure does taste yummy. Have a great sober weekend everyone.
  • AlisalGal
    AlisalGal Posts: 88 Member
    Good job at the sip & see, @donimfp! I've never heard that expression, but it sounds like a good tradition. :) I was cooking dinner last dinner and turned around to see that my husband had prepared a vodka-tonic for me when he made one for himself. I will admit I had a few sips while I finished cooking, then put it in the fridge and had a big glass of water with dinner. Then I was watching TV and had another couple of sips, but didn't finish the glass and ended up pouring about 1/3 of it out. That's a first! It was an interesting challenge, and despite having alcohol when I said I would be having none, I'm not disappointed in the results. Not only did I not have more than one as usual, I had LESS than one which may be a first.
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,246 Member
    Everyone is doing great! Despite all my great "tools" and alternate drinks I was still having a tough time last night. The husband and I were watching basketball games (college PAC-12 championship series) and I sure would have enjoyed some beer and popcorn. Oh, well. We are both still on the wagon. Golden milk is kind of weird, but glad I tried it. I think I'll stick to herbal tea.

    @donimfp - we had my daughter-in-law's baby shower this past weekend and the mimosas were flowing along with the gifts. I'm sure my new granddaughter will have diamond earrings before her first birthday!

    I actually counted the days left on the calendar last night. :p
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    AlisalGal, you are my She-ro. No way I could have done that (at least I don't think so and wouldn't want to test it at this point). Way to go!
  • serenity1097
    serenity1097 Posts: 135 Member
    Hey all, hope it's not too late to join!! I actually jumped on the wagon last Sunday, so I'm 7 days in right now. I won't be taking a hall pass, I'm kind of hoping this sticks for me. I know that I definitely have a problem with drinking; no single glass of wine or sip of whiskey here, it's drink the bottle until it's gone for this girl :( So if you don't mind me hanging out here for the rest of this month, that would be cool B)
  • donimfp
    donimfp Posts: 795 Member
    Welcome, serenity1097. Seven days is huge. Congratulations.

    Last night was the very worst so far. I wanted one drink SO badly, and I was thinking that if AlisalGal can do it, I can do it (have just a sip). But I knew that was really not true. Banging around on the "Internets" I found rethinkingdrinking.com from the NIH. It has some tips about handling urges and it did help me, especially to realize that an urge is like a wave that will eventually crest and diminish. That was true. After eating some yogurt and getting into a book, trusty Perrier at my side, I soon was not gnashing my teeth.

    Before my best friend got sober (3 years and 3 mos. tomorrow--yay her!!!), I gave her a card on which 2 women were talking. The first said, "I found a great idea for leftover wine . . . freeze it in ice cube trays to use in all kinds of dishes." The second says, "Wow! That's something I never even thought of . . ." Inside she continued, "Leftover wine!!" It was funny because we both knew leftover wine would just never happen if we had anything to say about it. Seeing her glowing skin and happy attitude and skinny body and no more struggle (which took time) inspires me to keep going.

    Happy Day 12 everyone! I know some of us are going through Lent (April 15), so hopefully we can keep this thread going until then, maybe even longer (???) For now, I just need to get through March 12.
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,246 Member
    edited March 2017
    Welcome @serenity1097! Never too late to jump on the wagon!

    I equate the non-drinking to the similar feelings I experienced when I stopped smoking. The urges came, they were pretty strong, but they passed quickly. The longer I went, the easier it got until now I have been smoke-free for over 15 years! My husband quit about 5 years later, so that was kind of a tough 5 years. Although, he was very respectful and never smoked around me I still could smell it on him. Now he has been quit 10 years and he's a worse non-smoker than me. Always harassing his family to quit, etc.

    Now I have no real intention of quitting drinking forever, but if that was my decision I think (?) I could do it.
  • serenity1097
    serenity1097 Posts: 135 Member
    I got sober back in 1997, managed to stay that way for 7 years until a major life shift (divorce, major move & job change). I've been on & off ever since and can see at times that it does affect my life and especially affects my weight loss. Time to get my butt in gear and straighten myself out!!! Thanks for the welcome & good luck everyone :)
  • AlisalGal
    AlisalGal Posts: 88 Member
    @donimfp I've been focusing on distractions and tea as well. Last night we had Mexican food and all I could think was how good a cold beer would taste. No sips for me last night, I was NOT feeling mighty. Odd how some days are a piece of cake and others are such a struggle.

    Welcome @serenity1097! It sounds like you've walked this path before. Post here often, we are all working on this together.