Less Alcohol ~ SEPTEMBER 2022 ~ One Day At A Time

MissMay
MissMay Posts: 3,104 Member
Do you want to drink LESS?

Then join us in drinking LESS (whatever that means for you) as we continue to support and learn from each other.

■ LESS ALCOHOL RESOURCE & GENERAL INFORMATION LIST ■

USING THIS THREAD:
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•Join us at any time.
•Set your own goal - this thread is about drinking less and you decide what that means to you.
•There are no scheduled check-ins - post as often or as little as you want or need.
•AF is an acronym for Alcohol Free. For others commonly used on this site see - https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1069278/acronyms-and-terms-for-new-mfp-members-v-6/p1
•To follow this thread easily, bookmark it by clicking on the star at the top right of this thread.
•Remember that we are here for you and care about you. Check in with us when you have time and let us know what you need!

TIPS & OBSERVATIONS FROM OUR USERS:
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•Getting Started or Starting Over.
•Some people find it easier to set small attainable goals at the beginning to help boost confidence.
•If you have been drinking daily the first days will be some of the hardest and drinking again will feel like a cure but it delays the relief that only time can provide.
•There will always be a reason to delay the start/restart of your journey.
•For those ready to commit to being alcohol-free permanently, the videos on YouTube by Craig Beck will help. He also has a program you can join.
•You may experience mood swings and anxiety during your first two weeks. It is suggested you try and focus on the benefits of your goal.
•Cravings are said to last only 6 minutes, so find something to distract you like arming yourself with alternatives: tea, mock-tails, activities, etc.
•You may find that filling the time you drink with other activities like exercise or hobbies can be a helpful distraction.
•If you find them tempting try and avoid events/outings that will have drinking for a time.
•Don't let pride or shame keep you from asking for the help you need.
•Sometimes talking it out or posting your thoughts/feelings/struggles may help you work things out for yourself.
•It is okay that you don't always have all the answers.
•Some days will be easier than others.
•You may have initial/increased sugar cravings.
•You should never take a day that you have lived up to your goals for granted.
•Celebrate the smaller victories too. Less alcohol is still less alcohol even if your goal was zero at that moment.
•Once you begin sticking to your goals for one day to many days you should believe you are capable of the same and more because you are.
•Failure is not giving in and drinking. Failure is to stop trying to accomplish your goals.
•Annie Grace (This Naked Mind author) has a free program on her website (https://www.alcoholexperiment.com/) called the 30 day experiment which can be joined anonymously.

Life with Less Alcohol:
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•It can be helpful to educate yourself with books and web research (Some suggested books and links listed below).
•There is no benefit to comparing yourself to others because this is a personal journey.
•You may often feel conflicted. You will know that there are numerous real benefits to sticking to your goal while at the same time think that alcohol is an important part of stress relief, relaxation, celebration, etc.
•You may feel punished by not drinking or drinking less but that feeling usually fades with time.
•Sometimes drinking less or quitting will strain friendships that centered around alcohol.
•Having a list of reasons to stick to your goals handy for yourself can be helpful. Some lists have included remembering how bad it feels to have a hangover, excess/unwanted calories, having a racing heart during the night, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.
•It is a good idea to have a plan for how you might deal with various tempting scenarios before engaging in a social situation.
•Self-Reflection is an important part of the journey. Once we figure out why we drink we can hopefully use that information to form new habits and make better and more mindful decisions.
•Sometimes doing something nice for yourself like a little reward for a success makes the journey easier.
•You will see many helpful suggestions and ideas that work for some people. However, finding what tactics work for you may involve some trial and error.
•It is not uncommon for certain activities that were once combined with alcohol to trigger temptation. Many have said that outdoor activities in warmer weather made alcohol very tempting.
•Many that have spent time with no alcohol after drinking again realized that it doesn't enhance experiences like they once believed it did. Some have said they no longer like the taste.
•Don't forget how sticking to your goal has made your life better and remember it to motivate you again if you fall off your path.
•If you begin drinking daily again whether planned like a vacation or unplanned you may once again face a struggle to get it under control.
•For some people it is easier to not drink than it is to moderate drinking. Others have found moderating impossible.

Reported Benefits of Less or No Drinking: (Results may be incremental, and/or they may vary)
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•Improved sleep after 2,4,7,10,& 60 days
•Improved skin/complexion after 10 days
•Improved ease in weight loss. Not only from the savings of alcohol calories but some report making poor food choices after drinking.
•Increased energy after as few as 2 days
•Increase in other fun activities. Some have found that daily drinking became their main recreational activity and their world was decreased in size.
•Increased productivity
•Reduction of high blood pressure
•Lower resting heart rate
•Less Acid Re-flux
•Significant financial savings
•More creativity
•More productivity
•Better relationships with family

When Alcohol Is Used for Avoidance:
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•We drink to ease the stress of the working day, to avoid it.
•We drink to avoid anxiety in social situations.
•We drink to avoid making decisions about not drinking.
•The Takeaway on Avoidance, our problems don't go away if we avoid them. We need to learn to face them.
•Having a clear head makes our problems seem much smaller.
•Having a clear head makes problems easier to solve.

How to Be Kind to "Tomorrow You":
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•Instead of lumbering with guilt, headaches, and poor nutrition hangovers in the morning, Think of think how nice it would be not to feel that way tomorrow.
•Worry about "me" and don't let "tomorrow Me" feel awful.
•Instead of thinking alcohol is something nice to have *now*, think of *NOT drinking* as something nice we can do for the person we are when we awaken in the morning.
•Do you bank calories for a festive occasion? (Handy tactic) We can bank a good mood for when we wake up.
•We need to have sympathy for "Tomorrow You" and be kind to her/him.
•Don't look at a day without alcohol as a punishment for being bad or having no willpower.
•Not drinking is a lovely, sympathetic gesture towards the person we are now, and whom we will wake up as.
•You’d be kind to a stranger. Be kind to "Tomorrow You".

LINKS:
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•Mydrinkaware:
https://www.mydrinkaware.co.uk

•A Sharing Site for Women:
http://www.drinkingdiaries.com/about/

•General Information/Blog Sites:
https://thesoberschool.com/
http://www.hipsobriety.com/
https://joinclubsoda.co.uk/
https://thisnakedmind.com/blog/
https://alcoholmastery.com/blog/

•Sobriety Blog:
http://mummywasasecretdrinker.blogspot.com/

•The Thirty Day Experiment:
https://www.alcoholexperiment.com/

•Ten Things That Helped Me Quit Booze:
https://unpickledblog.com/2017/01/04/replacement-behaviours-ten-things-that-helped-me-kick-booze/?wref=tp

•The Neuroscience Behind How We Make Decisions:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/the-neuroscience-making-decision

•Summary of Book on Addiction:
https://drgabormate.com/book/in-the-realm-of-hungry-ghosts/

•Article on the Difference Between Being an Alcoholic and Really Liking to Drink:
https://www.self.com/story/alcoholic-or-just-really-like-to-drink

•To the Mom questioning her drinking habits:
http://www.scarymommy.com/questioning-drinking-habits/

•Guided Meditations:
http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations

ALTERNATIVE DRINKS:
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•Overnight Cold Brew Iced Tea:
https://www.splendidtable.org/story/you-can-cold-brew-iced-tea-while-you-sleep

•Mocktail Recipes:
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/1822/drinks/mocktails/
https://www.foodandwine.com/cocktails-spirits/mocktails
https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/drinks/how-to/g785/best-mocktail-recipes/

APPS:
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•Daybreak iOS link. A Deakin University study of hundreds of health apps found that Daybreak is one of only four that have proven effective and provide quality assistance.
•Dry Days by AlcoChange iOS is for those who want to cut down or cut out the booze throughout the year, while seeing the impact it has on your health and wallet.
•nomo - Sobriety Clocks iOS - In addition to an alcohol clock and monetary savings this app lets you check in and do a sobriety exercise if you're tempted, and connect with accountability partners.
•Sobriety Counter - Stop Drinking (Sobriety Counter - EasyQuit pro version) Android- Provides health stats, money saved, games to distract you, motivational tips, and several other features

BOOKS:
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•Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol
by Holly Whitaker
•The Naked Mind by Annie Grace
•Alcohol Lied to Me by Craig Beck
•Rational Recovery by Jack Trimpey
•The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
•The Liars Club, Cherry, and Lit by Mary Karr (3 different publications)
•Kick the Drink...Easily by Jason Vale
•Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp
•Being Sober: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting To, Getting Through, and Living in Recovery by Harry Haroutunian
•The Easy, Illustrated Way to Quit Drinking by Alan Carr
•Alcohol Explained by William Porter


Credit and thanks to the MFP Less Alcohol One Day at a Time participants
For their willingness to share their insights and resourcefulness in finding this information
~Established 2017~
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Replies

  • Womona
    Womona Posts: 1,142 Member
    Love the sticks! You look like an awesome cheerleader! Wave them proudly despite what the supervisor says!!
  • Lilylady3k
    Lilylady3k Posts: 3,276 Member
    edited September 1
    @Stockholm_Andy - Wonderful seeing your post!!! Glad to have you back to join us in inspiring each other.

    @pezhed - Welcome! Habits are hard to break but you are on the right track. I know that my adult kids are always shocked when DH & I don't have a drink when they are around. I wish I had started my pursuit of less alcohol earlier in life when they lived at home with us. Good luck!
  • dawnbgethealthy
    dawnbgethealthy Posts: 6,086 Member
    Thank you @MissMay . So much going on in your world, I really appreciate you keeping us going.

    I am Dawn. I live in Cranbrook BC.
    I joined this thread in November of 2018 as a daily drinker.
    I have found a sweet spot for myself, 16-20 AF days per month.
    I had 18 for August.
    I will be in Mexico for a good chunk of September and will definitely be having some Margaritas and possibly Cervezas.

    I post in the mornings to MFP, so the next day for this thread.
    Diary style.

    @Stockholm_Andy
    Your ears must have been burning. Glad to have you back with us!
    Welcome to the new people joining us : - )
  • forestdweller1
    forestdweller1 Posts: 227 Member
    New month, new day, new drink. The beverage of choice for September is water.

    Maybe mask up and venture to the Beer Store for AF beer next week. Odd place, Da'Burgh...separate stores for beer and the rest of the alcohol choices are elsewhere. Gotta phone ahead to find out if the Beer Store HAS AF beer of some kind...then upon arrival brave the puzzled looks of the clerk-of-the-day as they mumble "alcohol free WHAT??"
    Like, it's unAmerican to cheer on the Stillers without a bit of a buzz. B)
    And it''s SO easy to just order a case or two of wine online.

    We'll see how good I am at keeping the cork in it this month.

    Best of luck to everyone here on achieving their goals regarding alcohol.

    And @MissMay ...put your gardening calendar backwards...strawberries, etc. ripen in December, not July, down there !! Mistake I made my first year ...ooopppss.

    Day One for Wine vs Water [bloop-bloop] 🐠
  • forestdweller1
    forestdweller1 Posts: 227 Member
    @joans1976 ...your last post reminded me of how I felt about a job I had been at for almost 7 years. Stress out the whazoo, an idiot boss, and random extra work assignments without warning. The day I wrote a resignation letter and left it on the boss's desk was my best day on that job !! I remember watching her hold that letter up like a scroll, reading it as I picked up my purse and walked out the door. TOLD her I wasn't working another unscheduled weekend, and would quit first. When this beotch speaks, please listen.
    Didn't need a reference since I turned my hobby of buying & selling antiques & refinishing furniture into my REAL job.
    Being "on call" 24-7 doing something I loved was BLISS.

    Hope you have an opportunity to ditch the stress and find something you love. There is a saying that a job doing something you love isn't really "work". Truth !!