Less alcohol- January 2018- one day at a time

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  • snoo61
    snoo61 Posts: 549 Member
    Successfully cut back 1 beer for the last 2 nights. My problem is that once I start drinking, I don't stop. Been working on this for awhile.
  • Propanegirl17
    Propanegirl17 Posts: 1 Member
    Im in, this has been on my list for awhile, just for overall good health.
  • Cleosweetie
    Cleosweetie Posts: 71 Member
    edited January 2018
    @MichelleRenee_76 -- oh man! That's tough-- having a partner who likes to drink would make it so much harder to cut back! Environment is so key. My husband very rarely drinks (like, once a year on our camping trip). Neither do his parents. (Who we spend holidays with.) So, as I mentioned before on here, I am "the drinker in the family" (very weird for me). The fact that I am often the only person drinking makes me acutely aware of every glass of wine I consume. I'm typically a 2 drink per night, several times a week, type of person, but if I was surrounded by lots of drinkers, I know it would be very easy to knock even more glasses back. And who knows, I'd very likely be drinking wine every single night without giving it a thought. (Like many people I know.)
  • katetipp
    katetipp Posts: 1 Member
    edited January 2018
    Awesome, I am in!!! I have also given up coffee, my sleep has been great!! Like a baby :)
  • springsweet
    springsweet Posts: 184 Member
    This is great! I'm so happy to join this group! I been looking for/ needing a group that's non judgemental and it sounds like this is it. :smile:
    I tried AA many years ago. But it didn't stick. I finally realized that while I do have an issue with alcohol, it's not that black and white and I don't consider myself an alcoholic. Yet, there aren't many support groups for people who just want to cut back or break unhealthy habits - it's all or nothing. But I digress...
    I, too, am looking to reduce my alcohol intake starting Jan 2018. I want to to this mainly for my health - and to lose weight. But also my brain health as well. When I don't drink, I can feel a very obvious shift in my mental clarity, sleep quality, skin quality, general inflammation, etc. However, I totally use alcohol to tame my anxiety - I'll be the first to admit it. Not good, I know, but it is what it is. So I have a constant cyclical battle going on that I'm trying to escape for good.
    Yesterday was Day 1 of the new Keto diet and alcohol abstinence, and I did great until I got home from work. That's when the anxiety hit. So I self-medicated. But only 1.5 glasses of wine. So maybe that's best for me? Just drink less? I don't know, still trying to figure it out. Also trying to figure out how I got into this cycle of drinking wine every night. :neutral: My husband hardly drinks at all.
    All I know is being aware of it every day is helpful and better than nothing at all!
  • Beka3695
    Beka3695 Posts: 4,134 Member
    lporter229 wrote: »
    Am I the odd man out here in that I feel like alcohol helps me to sleep? I rarely wake up during the night when I have had a few glasses of wine, but I almost always do without it.

    No, I agree!!! I sleep great after one or two. But more than that makes my heart race and I wake up constantly.
  • springsweet
    springsweet Posts: 184 Member
    lporter229 wrote: »
    Am I the odd man out here in that I feel like alcohol helps me to sleep? I rarely wake up during the night when I have had a few glasses of wine, but I almost always do without it.

    1-2 glasses of wine usually help me sleep too. But any more than that, and I'm ruined. Also, I'm a pretty good sleeper usually so I don't know if that's a factor too?
  • springsweet
    springsweet Posts: 184 Member
    About 10 years ago I had my first anxiety attack. Not knowing what it was at the time, it scared the YNW out of me. It would subside, and then hit me again. It didn't take long to realise there was a pattern: I had anxiety attacks the day after a night of heavy drinking. That was enough for me to cut down. For example, if I have a big presentation at work, I won't drink the days leading up to it because I know it will make an already stressful situation even worse.

    That said, I still can't give it up altogether. Stress surprisingly isn't my weakness. It's boredom. Or at least that's what I tell myself. There are still days when I drink too much and wake up the next day in a panic that something bad is going to happen. If, for example, a loved one got into an accident (or worse), or something happened with the house or car, I know I wouldn't be able to deal with it while nursing a hangover. I've also missed baby showers and other social gatherings because I just couldn't say no to one more drink the night before. And I feel like such an *kitten*. Too much alcohol turns me into a weak, anxious mess - a different person. I know that without alcohol I am a happy, capable person - the real me.

    I am really grateful to have forums like this for support. I had one drink on New Year's Day but nothing yesterday. Woke up feeling pretty darn good. It's just a matter of holding on to that feeling during the witching hour.

    I never got anxiety hangovers until after college. But they are REAL and they SUCK. Most of my hangovers these days are filled with anxiety. I hate them.
  • springsweet
    springsweet Posts: 184 Member
    edited January 2018
    I was using alcohol to self-medicate anxiety and depression as well. That's what made the first several weeks of quitting drinking pretty rough. But I have an excellent support system in place through some family members and friends and that's how I got through each day.

    As soon as I quit drinking some events happened that were very hard to deal with. My husband got in a car accident that made him miss a week of work. He's our sole source of income. Our budget is already tight and everything that followed (car rental, deductible,
    Christmas) made for a rough few months. We're still getting back on our feet from it. Then, my dad is hospitalized and still fighting for his life in ICU. It was/is hard to face all that without alcohol. But I did.

    Anyway, it's been almost 3 months and that anxiety that I was using alcohol for is completely manageable without it. In fact, it's more manageable without it. I wasn't expecting that.

    What makes me successful in facing my anxiety and depression while giving up alcohol is my support system which includes my doctor. It also includes you guys and being able to share here. And I use the blog feature on here (set to private) to help me sort through feelings. Although my blog isn't working at the moment.

    If anyone is trying to manage anxiety and/or depression while trying to cut back or quit drinking my first suggestion is to talk with your doctor and get them involved in your plan. And then find someone you can confide in and talk to if you need it.

    Wow, this is great. Thank you @crazykatlady.
    I may talk to my doctor Friday about this. Thing is, I have an Ativan prescription, that I rely on too heavily. Meaning I turn to it too often to help my anxiety. So, in turn, I run out and need a refill too often. So I'm at that point right now where I'm putting off asking for a refill because it's too soon. So I have no pharmaceutical relief to turn to, which is why I'm turning even more to alcohol. Ugh. I hate it. Last night I completely lost my *kitten* and finally just had to go to bed to end it.
    Anyway, I've always steered away from really talking to my doc about it because I don't want to appear like I'm "drug-seeking". But I obviously need more help than I'm getting with my anxiety. My husband, god love him, just doesn't get it. :( I don't feel like I have many other people I can turn to without judgement. :(
  • Skyweigh
    Skyweigh Posts: 113 Member
    Drying this January (from yesterday-- I drank wine on New Year's Day). Over the past year or so, I have managed to drink a lot less, a few times going a couple of weeks without, and congratulating myself for each night I abstain, marking on my calendar. I do not like how alcohol affects my sleep patterns; I sleep easily after wine, and wake up early (that has often been a good thing, though). My sleep without is deeper and more restorative. I too, also feel a kind of panic when the afternoon transitions into the night, but often, when I'm over that, it's okay. I also notice craving wine when I see people drinking out of wine glasses on tv. Another (major) reason for abstaining is that it takes up too much "mental real estate" .... that is, planning, thinking about, budgeting for, etc. There used to be a commercial saying, "alcohol makes my world smaller" and the truth of that rings for me.

    Presently, one of the biggest stumbling blocks (fears, discomforts) is my bff. That is because we have socialized usually around a bottle of wine (or more!) but I have now told her I am abstaining at least for January, and suggested we resume visiting the gym together. We haven't yet had our "Holiday Party" as she was sick during that time. I am contemplating, rehearsing, hanging out with her and drinking water or green tea while she sips wine, but it may be tempting temptation. I am grateful for any comments and suggestions people may have for dealing with this?

    Happy January, everyone!
  • jonnyman41
    jonnyman41 Posts: 1,031 Member
    I am in. Starting today. Aiming for reduced alcohol rather than no alcohol though for January so only drinking Friday to Sunday if I feel like some of course.

    Day one for me
  • MichelleRenee_76
    MichelleRenee_76 Posts: 155 Member
    jonnyman41 wrote: »
    I am in. Starting today. Aiming for reduced alcohol rather than no alcohol though for January so only drinking Friday to Sunday if I feel like some of course.

    Day one for me

    Me too.
  • slimbyjune18
    slimbyjune18 Posts: 101 Member
    Skyweigh wrote: »
    Drying this January (from yesterday-- I drank wine on New Year's Day). Over the past year or so, I have managed to drink a lot less, a few times going a couple of weeks without, and congratulating myself for each night I abstain, marking on my calendar. I do not like how alcohol affects my sleep patterns; I sleep easily after wine, and wake up early (that has often been a good thing, though). My sleep without is deeper and more restorative. I too, also feel a kind of panic when the afternoon transitions into the night, but often, when I'm over that, it's okay. I also notice craving wine when I see people drinking out of wine glasses on tv. Another (major) reason for abstaining is that it takes up too much "mental real estate" .... that is, planning, thinking about, budgeting for, etc. There used to be a commercial saying, "alcohol makes my world smaller" and the truth of that rings for me.

    Presently, one of the biggest stumbling blocks (fears, discomforts) is my bff. That is because we have socialized usually around a bottle of wine (or more!) but I have now told her I am abstaining at least for January, and suggested we resume visiting the gym together. We haven't yet had our "Holiday Party" as she was sick during that time. I am contemplating, rehearsing, hanging out with her and drinking water or green tea while she sips wine, but it may be tempting temptation. I am grateful for any comments and suggestions people may have for dealing with this?

    Happy January, everyone!

    Could you suggest an alternative ‘Holiday Party’? A spa morning or similar? You’d both enjoy but no temptation on drink.
  • Cleosweetie
    Cleosweetie Posts: 71 Member
    What if you sent her an email touching upon some of what you told us?

    Like: I really value our friendship, looking forward to our holiday party. [etc., Bla bla] Thanks for your support for my upcoming plans to abstain from drinking for a while. After thinking more about it, I realized that what would really help me best is if we kept our party totally alcohol free. Seeing others drink would just be too tempting for me right now. Would that be ok with you?
  • Cleosweetie
    Cleosweetie Posts: 71 Member
    Be prepared that making this request could cause some tension, especially if you suspect that she is alcohol-dependent. Asking her to go alcohol free for your event might be threatening to her. :(