~ Sobriety Matters ~

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  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
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    In my short periods of sobriety, I can confirm this is true ! (I would have laughed at this, just a couple of years ago, believing that alcohol was a necessity to have fun or enjoy myself). Now I know the truth.
  • SunnyDays930
    SunnyDays930 Posts: 1,213 Member
    Hi Everyone. Day 9 AF for me. I had a nice time with the grands and my husband and daughter at a science center today. I was happy not to have a hangover or anxiety. For a few moments after they left I thought wistfully, "oh I would like a glass of wine," but I surfed the craving and it passed. Instead I had a bowl of chocolate ice cream :). I have to accept cravings and romanticizing alcohol will be part of the "break up" process. I felt the same when I gave up cigarettes. It felt strange at first not to smoke but do I wish I was still smoking? Certainly not. Like I've said a zillion times, alcohol seems so much harder to quit since it is widely accepted and even expected of us. I will continue to take it one day at a time.

    Lloyd that is sad, cautionary tale. Thank you for sharing it with us.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
    @SunnyDays930 I have swapped my cigarettes for food ! Plus after my latest bout of anxiety the medication lists *weight gain* as a common side effect. So I've got double trouble regarding weight. (I don't mind some weight gain, it can come off).

    I am actually annoyed cos where I live the subway station is covered from top to bottom with a beer advertisement. I scoff at the little *drink aware* sign at the bottom of the massive adverts. I'm sure that drink aware is actually involved with the alcohol industry. Tied up with it somehow. I will need to look into that.

    That is an angle you could look more into. It might help you. Big alcohol IS everywhere. But the amount of damage that their product causes, it shouldn't be everywhere. Shoved in our faces. They certainly would NOT get away with that regarding cigarettes. I know exactly what you mean. It does make it more difficult. But that's because big alcohol are controlling everything. They shouldn't be allowed to do that.

    That entire industry thrives on alcoholics. They are no better than a drug pusher. I read one time that if globally, everyone only drank the 'recommended units' the alcohol industry would lose vast amounts. They don't want people drinking moderately. They are rich because people are addicted to their product.

    In 2020 the US beverage sales numbers was 222 billion dollars. (That ain't from moderate drinkers)

    In 2020 the global market size of alcoholic beverages amounted to over 1.49 TRILLION U.S dollars. Its estimates by 2025 it will be 2.2 TRILLION dollars. (That ain't from moderate drinkers) they are basically drug dealers. It helps me to remember even although its everywhere, it shouldn't be. It does more harm than good but it keeps a lot of people, very wealthy. So will most likely always be there.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
    @SunnyDays930 well done on your 9 days (10 days now?) AF streak 😊😊 ☕️☕️

    I am 12 days 21 hours according to my AA app and 14 days according to my TRY DRY app even although I stopped on same day on both apps 🤷🏼‍♀️ lol
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
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    Love this
  • RubyRed427
    RubyRed427 Posts: 3,822 Member
    edited June 18
    HI Friends, I am catching up on this thread. Lots of good information.
    I did well in Florida on my trip. There were two happy hours per days. I had some wine. But nothing extreme to report.

    We are stuck in Florida; airlines keep canceling our flight, so we will rent a car and drive 14 hours. The good news is I have no hangover and didn't drink yesterday.

    I do want to look back into AA. I like a focus; I like commitments. I enjoyed the meetings when I used to go.

    Sorry Sunny Days that your best friend is having a rough time- is she ill? Bravo on 10 days sober. That is awesome!
    Bein2day- I'm happy you are finding satisfaction in the meetings. True- we don't have to embrace every single philosophy they offer, but overall, I have not found something else that works for me.

  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
    @RubyRed427 glad your Florida trip went well 👍 👌 hope yous get home soon ! X 🏡

    I will get another zoom meeting in later tonight. That's the plan anyway. I actually enjoy them. I do get some identification listening to the others talk. It's helping me to accept fully that I do have a problem with alcohol. And that I am not in control. Pretty tough things to admit. I'm liking AA so far.
  • SunnyDays930
    SunnyDays930 Posts: 1,213 Member
    There is something satisfying of getting to double digits sober. Day 10 for me. Last night I ordered the cutest jumpsuit I have been eyeing for a while, justifying it because I have saved so much money not drinking for the past 10 days. It was still cheaper than if I had been drinking and mindlessly snacking.
    Bein: Alcoholics in America consume 60% of all alcohol sold. Of course the beverage industry doesn't want people to stop drinking, regardless of what it does to our health, personal life, soul, etc.

    Source: https://www.newsweek.com/americas-heaviest-drinkers-consume-almost-60-all-alcohol-sold-1520284#:~:text=America's Heaviest Drinkers Consume Almost 60% of All Alcohol Sold,-By Marina Watts

    Ruby, I am sorry your flights are messed up. That is such a hassle. Hopefully your road trip will be uneventful in a good way!
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
    ^^sunnydays, thanks for posting that article. That is very interesting. Shocking. But interesting nonetheless.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    edited June 18
    BeIn2day wrote: »
    Had a fleeting thought about how 'nice' it would be to head to a pub this evening with my man, Friday, Sun was out.

    Basically my old recipe for *I am definitely drinking this evening* it was one of my idyllic drinking situations.

    I didn't fight it. I analysed it instead. I gave myself compassion for craving. I acknowledged it was one of my previous idyllic drinking scenarios.

    I then got realistic. I do not want to wake up tomorrow dry mouthed, nauseous with a pounding headache. Plus I have plans tomorrow to meet my brother in town for a burger (partner is coming along, the 3 of us have formed a family which is nice).

    I would also end up smoking cigarettes. Whilst I can see that I will always have triggers and things to tempt me (unless I'm maybe years sober) I can also see past that fantasy and into the real nature of what I would be doing. And honestly? Tonight? I would prefer a Chinese takeaway meal, a good movie, cuddle my cats and spend time with my partner, sober.

    Wishing everyone a lovely weekend hope it's a good one 🤗😊💞

    Yep, that's your brain gaslighting you.

    I go out to pubs all the time and have more fun now that I don't drink alcohol. The fun of going out to a pub isn't the alcohol, your brain just tried to convince you that it is, but it's total BS.

    On the flip side, I don't get nearly as excited about going to the pub as I used to either, not because it's less fun, but because my brain also suuuuuper hyped up how fun it seems when thinking about it, because going to the pub was a way to get me to drink.

    So it's not that drinking at a pub is actually all that amazing, it's that when you are envisioning it, your brain amps up the anticipation of it being blissfully wonderful, when it reality, it's just sitting at a restaurant paying someone a huge premium to bring you a beverage.

    Your brain gaslights you twice.

    It convinces you that the fun of the pub is drinking, which is nonsense. AND it convinces you that drinking at a pub is WAY more fun that it is in reality.

    All of this comes together to create a sense that the only way to obtain that kind of fun is to go to the pub AND drink alcohol, which is beyond ridiculous.

    I was out on a patio yesterday on a GORGEOUS sunny day on the frickin' ocean, on a date with my
    wonderful spouse, eating lobster. It was spectacularly fun because of the weather and company and incredible food.

    There's no way that alcohol, which always makes people feel worse, not better, would have added to the joyfulness of the experience. There's no way that a toxin that makes people feel sad, makes them less present, and dulls the taste of food, and prevents memories from being formed properly would have added anything to that experience.

    The only way drinking alcohol is fun is if you are addicted to it and your brain gives you a massive rush of endorphins when you give it the alcohol it's addicted to. But you *have to* have an alcohol problem to get that rush. Your brain won't give you that rush unless it's already addicted and producing a craving.

    Likewise, the only way that it feels like it sucks to not drink is if you are addicted. If going to a pub on a beautiful day with good company and drinking a non alcoholic beverage feels lame or sad, it *only* feels that way because you are addicted.

    Someone who isn't addicted won't feel one way or another about drinking alcohol vs a non-alcoholic drink. The presence or absence of alcohol doesn't change the experience for them, because objectively, the experience is either fun or it isn't.

    Drinking, in and of itself is ONLY fun if you are addicted to it. So the more you imagine it to be the source of fun, the more you should recognize that that's a fabrication from your addicted brain.

    Addiction is what makes alcohol feel fun, not the alcohol itself, the addiction.

    So whenever I get a wave of idyllic visions of drinking, I shake my head and reflect on how even though I haven't drank in years, I still have a brain that's wired for alcohol addiction, and that motivates me to continue not drinking because it's alarming that that BS is still there.

    It's a reminder of just how addicted my brain became, that I can know objectively that alcohol does nothing other than make me irrationally sad. I know this from doing the Annie Grace drinking experimemt twice. I know that objectively alcohol primarily makes me feel sad for no reason at all.

    So when I know for a fact that alcohol makes experiences worse, it's a giant neon sign that my brain is not rational about alcohol when it sends up romanticized visions of drinking booze.

    That's just defective neural wiring that may never go back to its factory settings. It's a bug in the hardware producing faulty signals in the software.

    It's not real.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
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    Opted for a ginger beer. I was disappointed at lack of selection of drinks for non drinkers. No non alcohol beer. No non alcohol wine. No mocktails. I even asked for a virgin mocktail but was told that they could do that, but would have difficulty charging me. The cocktail cost £9.50 so I didn't want to get into a big discussion about it....opted for ginger beer. OH had a beer I wasn't tempted. I did however reminisce of times gone by when I sat in places like that 1 and drank wine. It's like 2 completely different experiences. I guess it's my time now to experience it sober. I did still enjoy myself. Food was absolutely delicious 😋

  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    As I said above though, the only reason a joyful meal out would be less fun without alcohol is just because your brain is addicted to alcohol and is pouting in the background that it isn't getting it's fix.

    It's not the absence of wine that makes it less fun, it's the little hissy fit your brain is having about not getting wine that makes it feel off.

    You won't have a solid ability to perceive the joy of the event until your brain gets used to the fact that it just isn't going to get alcohol in these contexts anymore.

    That's why I still get cravings now and then. It only happens in new environments where my little addict brain goes "oh! Maybe she'll drink here!!"

    It doesn't happen anymore at the places I've been to a million times and not ordered booze. My brain has learned to not bother wasting it's energy on cravings, it knows those contexts no longer equal alcohol.

    It's going to be a process. You need a loooong period of time to retrain your brain away from all of this nonsense. But you have to do that time sober first.

    The human brain is just a reinforcement machine, and every time you drink you reinforce the habit to drink. You need many, many, many instances of not drinking in order to reinforce that pattern.

    It's going to take time for not drinking to feel right, especially in contexts where you typically drink. That's why a lot of people avoid those contexts as much as possible for the first year.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
    @Xellercin thanks for your posts ! ^^^

    It will take time, I'm re training my brain, no less ! I thought at the beginning, it's just stopping drinking alcohol. How wrong I was. Its definitely a process. A worthwhile one. I want to experience my life, sober.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
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    I am soaking up the benefits of not boozing today. If I had drank, I would now be at home drunk drinking more wine playing loud music. Matter of time before possible crossed words with my partner, or falling over, or puking before passing out. Stinking of stale cig smoke. Countdown to my hangover 🤪

    Instead I came home ate ice cream, did a manicure and got some reading in. Next up is AA meeting and cup of tea. Might watch a movie later and wake up fresh. I know which outcome I prefer.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
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    🦋🦋🦋💖💖💖
  • SunnyDays930
    SunnyDays930 Posts: 1,213 Member
    My husband and I went to a new-to-us bar/restaurant for lunch yesterday. I had to use the restroom on arrival but asked my husband to order me an iced tea which was there when I returned. He had one beer. Our bill was a fraction of what it would be had I ordered my 3 glasses of wine which used to be typical. It was 2 glasses for the longest time but in the last few months it had turned into 3. This indicated obviously my tolerance and cravings were increasing. This would have added at least $24.00 to the bill. Such a waste of money.

    Ruby: Glad you are back safely from your vacation. Sounds like you were sensible.
    Bein: Proud of you with the ginger beer and that food looked amazing!
    Xellercin: Thank you for all that insight. Our brain IS constantly trying to gaslight us. I await the day that it feels more like when I quit smoking..a habit I firmly no longer wish to indulge in.

    My wine belly is reducing though still poking out. I need to cut carbs now while still realizing that if I need to give into bread or alcohol, I'll take the bread.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
    Sunnydays, brilliant progress you have made. Having your ice tea when out, instead of 3 glasses of wine. That's brilliant 👏
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
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  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,656 Member
    ^^^ it would appear that chosing sobriety is not a one-and-done deal for many people.

    Sobriety is something you have to continue to work at and maintain.

    It is a process, which, in time, does apparently get easier. But you can't just get complacent and think you have it licked. This has been a massive learning curve for me, especially as someone who prefers one-and-done. I like to move on to the 'next thing'. It let's me know and digest the fact that sobriety will be a lifelong thing that I will work on.

    And that in time, it will become more natural and easier.