~ Sobriety Matters ~

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  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,643 Member
    Thanks for sharing what you heard on the podcast allie, I will try that out. 👍

    Here in Scotland we are getting very hot weather (we are usually rainy and cold) it's something like 30 degrees in the office I'm looking forward to going home. Making rhubarb crumble tonight, a workmate brings in rhubarb from his garden so I might as well make use of it !

    I'm getting used to using the ecig again instead of smoking cigarettes. And boy am I glad to be off those things. It helps I'm quitting alongside my OH.

    My AA sponsor is contacting me at 7pm tonight as I continue with step 4 work.

    I too, like checking in with the gang on here ! Great to have everyone on here to share with and support each other.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,643 Member
    Some good news. My OH seems more accepting that I have joined AA. When I let him know my sponsor was contacting me via video link to help me work through step 4, he was cool about it. I gave him the option of where in the house I would have the meeting, so as not to disturb his evening plans. So I sat in the bedroom and he gave me peace to get on with it.

    My sponsor is lovely and she really helped me so that's great. I'm really getting something out of the programme as well. I don't feel so freaked out by it all ! You really can set your own pace. She is of course encouraging that I attend a face to face meeting but I explained I'm taking it slowly. By the time I attend a face to face meeting me and my OH should be used to the idea. If he sees it's keeping me sober and making me happy, I can't see why it would be an issue. Maybe it's what I need to remain sober 100% of the time. Plus it would get me out meeting people.

    I think after my trip away at end of the month I will resume the zoom meetings for a while.
  • Sinisterbarbie1
    Sinisterbarbie1 Posts: 437 Member
    edited July 18
    @BeIn2day its great that you had a productive and supportive meeting with your sponsor and that your partner was welcoming of it too. Having the support of partners is so helpful.

    I looked up what you do in step 4, and that is the one people describe as “the scary step” because you do a “searching moral inventory.” I just spent about an hour reading various answers about what that means and how different centers and groups advise people to go about it. There are lots of different worksheets on line as well as lists of questions to help stimulate the way you probe your character flaws, feelings of resentment, how you have hurt people, misdirected anger, failed to take responsibility, etc. and thankfully also your assets! The advice seems like you should take it slowly and not rush to get through so that you can actually come up with meaningful answers.

    I suspect the reason why your sponsor is urging you to go to face to face meetings (by zoom or in person) is that this sounds like a step that is designed to bring up a lot of emotions and that those could be very challenging to work through on your own. I would also think that since part of the assessment has you analyze sex/love relationships that it will bring up issues for you to think about regarding your partner and your relationship with him and whether it has an impact on your drinking/pursuit of sobriety. The conclusions your reach may actually not be what you might think right now (i.e. not supportive enough of AA - in fact you might conclude the direct opposite — I am just making this up as an example, but I could see someone going through step 4 and saying hmmm I have been blaming lack of support from my partner for not being able to get sober, when it is really me not taking responsibility for my own actions, once I am sober and committed to being sober it doesn’t matter what anyone around me does etc. etc.) in either case, having the support of the group and other people who have worked through this step and know how it can affect your thinking as an individual and your relationship as part of a couple and how to process all of that in a healthy way might be useful.

    In any event —- just sending encouragement to keep going and also YAY to both you and your partner for quitting smoking and starting to gain days of your lives back (according to the statistics on your app).

  • siberiantarragon
    siberiantarragon Posts: 136 Member
    edited July 18
    Has anyone else given up alcohol due to negative physical symptoms, rather than an alcohol problem or emotional symptoms? I don't drink often or in large quantities (I drink socially a couple of times a month and only have 1 to 3 drinks). But it doesn't seem like it really agrees with me anymore. Every time I drink I end up getting a headache and heartburn that lasts the whole rest of the night. It doesn't matter what I drink or if I hydrate or eat, it happens every time now. Also, when I drink, I always end up getting really hungry and overeating, and eating foods that are bad for me (I'm on a low glycemic diet for PCOS so I'm supposed to limit white flour and processed sugar). I'm thinking of giving it up entirely. I've had long periods of going alcohol-free in the past (for ideological and health reasons), but started again after places opened back up in 2020. But the headache and heartburn is a new thing that only started in 2020.

    However I have some degree of FOMO about giving it up entirely. When I went alcohol-free in the past I didn't miss it at the time. I still went out and just didn't drink and everyone else was so drunk they didn't even notice I wasn't drinking, LOL. But then when I started again in 2020 I felt like I had been missing out. On the other hand that could also be related to just generally feeling like I was missing out on life when everything was shut down. The year or so after shutdowns was the first time I felt like I had the potential to develop an alcohol problem because I was drinking way more and more often at that time. However it has normalized since then but I still have this sense of having missed out and having to make up for it, if that makes any sense.
  • siberiantarragon
    siberiantarragon Posts: 136 Member
    But people usually start complaining about issues like yours, or about sleep problems, or about stress and anxiety, or about increased menopause symptoms or how hard it is to manage weight, and all of that is at least somewhat easier to manage without alcohol in the picture.

    Yeah people have told me this is just what happens to a lot of people after age 30, that alcohol causes more negative effects than it used to. I never had much of a tolerance for it to begin with anyway.
    I am sure folks like @Xellercin will put it way more eloquently and powerfully than I in terms of questioning your FOMO, but bottom line if you are getting headaches and heartburn that lasts the whole night every time you drink , you are easily able to choose to remain sober for long periods of time and still go out with friends and no one even notices you aren’t drinking, what exactly are you missing out on? What are you making up for? Lost buy one get one free offers on Tylenol and Alka Seltzer? :smile:

    Well the first couple of hours are fun. Then the next few hours are not so fun.
    Sounds like your body is telling you to shut it down for some reason, and that gives you a perfect reason to tell anyone who you don’t feel like getting into a big discussion of your drinking habits with that you aren’t drinking because it just isn’t agreeing with you anymore.

    Yeah that's the feeling I'm getting too, that my body is telling me alcohol is not optimal for it. I feel so much better physically and emotionally since I started my lower glycemic diet and that has told me to listen to my body more, which means I should probably give up alcohol too. I'm not concerned with what other people think of me not drinking. My friends aren't judgmental and as I said they didn't even notice last time I took a break from drinking, LOL.

    (Possible TW for people struggling with alcoholism?) But I guess it's more of a sentimental attachment to the romanticized concept of drinking as this fun, party thing. And also that I hate setting hard limits on things. Saying I will NEVER drink again, that sounds extreme and for some reason my brain reads it as "the fun party times are over" even though that's not true. I didn't really have these strongly sentimental feelings about alcohol before the shutdowns, but afterwards maybe I just associated the two more strongly for some reason. In 2020, the first time I went out and saw my friends in person after five months of shutdowns, was also the first time I drank in over a year.

    Also generally saying I'm not allowed to do something makes me want to do it more. Even with my PCOS diet I don't say I will NEVER eat white bread ever again in my life. In the past I tried to do it that way and I would just end up binging on junk food after a week or two. I have eaten white bread on occasion since I started the diet, but I just cut way back on it. But on the other hand with my diet, there are equal substitute options. Instead of white bread I can eat something else that tastes just as good and has even more nutrition. Whereas with alcohol, there's not really a substitute for the "happy" effects.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,643 Member
    In some ways it was due to negative physical symptoms that I decided to quit.

    Hangovers are horrendous for me not only mentally and emotionally but also physically.

    Pounding head, dry mouth, physically drained, nauseous and being sick. That all in turn effected me mentally and emotionally. Also anxiety due to being hungover.
  • allieberri
    allieberri Posts: 37 Member
    I quit using alcohol etc. because I could see it was taking me down a really bad path. I also have a very high tolerance to it so can drink copious amounts with very little effect - therefore at the end of the day it would have been a medical decision.
    I have had the odd glass of wine here and there and it just results in weigh gain overnight, so I, as everyone else has said - decide not to or when to. Mostly not to - there is no benefit to saying yes. I want to live my life as fully as I can.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    Thanks all. xellercin what you said makes total sense. I have gone four days so far. Last night was bad my kids (21 and 19) decided to be idiots and I got mad at them. It was brewing, still adjusting to them being home from college and being slobs. I was really pissed and took something they did too personally. I channeled the anger into cleaning and ate some leftovers I had and told them they were on their own for dinner (they do cook but usually I do). I did meditate after cleaning and felt much calmer. Today I am glad to have a cleaner house and no hangover. :) Had a great workout this morning and I have meditated again and feeling calm with no anxiety. Weirdly the meditation I listened to talked about not taking things personally that others do. Totally needed to hear that.

    See this is a prime example of an urge to drink where you shouldn't give in.

    You say that it's fear of missing out on the fun of alcohol that motivates you to not want to be totally alcohol free, but what you described isn't a fun scenario, it's a stress-drinking scenario.

    If you've read along in this thread, then I hope by now you know that alcohol makes stress worse, not better.

    There's no universe where drinking in response to stress is a healthy behaviour that leads to better outcomes. So that's exactly the type of scenario that's worth staying sober for. Because the more frequently you face down stressful situations without alcohol, the less likely you are to have the stress-urge to drink.

    Never forget that the human brain is big on patterns, so every time you do something, you are raising the probability that you will do it again in the future. So every time you drink in response to stress, you are increasing the chances that you will do so next time you are stressed.

    Likewise, each time you *don't* drink, in any context, the more likely you are not to drink again when that context comes up.

    So if you try out sobriety and give in whenever you feel stressed, you are programming yourself to be a stress-drinker, aka the most problematic kind of drinker.

    If you set a standard for yourself though that you will only ever drink when you are sure that the experience will be a purely joyful experience and that it will add to the overall value of your life and health, then that can be a truly healthy dynamic with alcohol.

    Now, for me personally, that's likely never going to happen because even a small amount of alcohol messes with sleep and one of my favourite parts of having an amazing day is waking up the next morning and feeling really happy reflecting on how amazing the day before was. Alcohol consistently diminishes this experience for me, so it can never add to the overall positive experience of anything.

    But stress drinking? That's not FOMO motivating you to drink, that's low level alcohol addiction, because alcohol doesn't have the ability to make you feel better when you are stressed unless your brain is already hooked enough to flood you with happy chemicals when it gets alcohol.

    Basically, alcohol simply cannot ease someone's stress unless they already shouldn't be drinking it when they are stressed.

    The urge to drink in response to stress should always be taken as a warning sign that the person's neural response to alcohol has become pathological. It's a yellow flag warning.
  • trishfit2014
    trishfit2014 Posts: 304 Member
    edited July 19
    delete
  • Sinisterbarbie1
    Sinisterbarbie1 Posts: 437 Member
    Given my screen name I feel compelled to comment— @SunnyDays930 —that ad campaign is HYSTERICAL and I am sure will be effective. There is a reason women suffer from “Alcorexia “ too. Vanity over health! Cut the calories so you can keep the wine. Yikes!! Sadly I do know some ladies who look like that and there are always those scary “whatever happened to x” celebrity profiles showing what people look like now. Hint: they are not of the sober celebrities Bein2day sends us as inspiration!
  • SunnyDays930
    SunnyDays930 Posts: 1,211 Member
    I must admit, I too, am vain enough to be more alarmed by the thought of turning into a jowly, red nosed man than my liver being as green and hard as a 3 week old lime. But hey! Whatever motivates you! Surely if excessive booze makes you look so bad on the outside, one can only imagine what it does to the parts of us we can't see.
    As I said before on here, I am redoubling my efforts to eat clean and abstain from all alcohol. I did good today. I just need to keep it up.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,643 Member
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    That's what I look like after a big drinking session 😂 or day 2 of drinking on holiday abroad....
  • Sinisterbarbie1
    Sinisterbarbie1 Posts: 437 Member
    @BeIn2day if your partner ever wavers in his support for your AA efforts just tack the drink like a man campaign photo up and remind him that that is who he will be waking up next to!
  • allieberri
    allieberri Posts: 37 Member
    @BeIn2day if your partner ever wavers in his support for your AA efforts just tack the drink like a man campaign photo up and remind him that that is who he will be waking up next to!

    :D
  • allieberri
    allieberri Posts: 37 Member
    Today 'feels' like a hard day. Those friggin' feelings...Fact of the matter is - I have a relatively easy day ahead work wise. Difficulty comes in having to drive 2 hours later tonight to take the grandson home, then get up at my son's place to get to work in the morning. It is a different way to do life.
    I have had a couple of really weird dreams lately. They are having some haunting effects. I wake up feeling kinda ick...no booze, no bad eating the night before. I get lost in these dreams with people I know and can't find my way around where I am. Therapy in less than 2 weeks - cannot wait.
    I haven't exercised all week...I feel excited about doing it, but also am trying to get enough sleep. It has been horribly hot here and we do not have air conditioning. Didn't meal plan today either - no appetite. Guess I will drink a lot of water and see how the day goes.