~ Sobriety Matters ~

1727375777891

Replies

  • SunnyDays930
    SunnyDays930 Posts: 1,211 Member
    edited July 20
    Do not exercise if you are in one of these heinous heatwaves that have seemed to taken over the world. Stay cool, drink water. Don't exert yourself. The workouts can wait. Its 90 where I am but we do have AC. We are staying indoors. And don't try to do do it all at once. If your sobriety is the most important thing to you, focus on that. Forget meal planning for today!
  • SunnyDays930
    SunnyDays930 Posts: 1,211 Member
    I'm on day 2 of "not drinking my calories". This means black coffee (I'm making a face) water, diet soda, limit 2 small ones, and seltzer. Of course, no alcohol. I am hoping this jump starts my weight loss efforts. I read that a man should have a waistline no larger than 40 inches and a woman, 30. Apparently this is a huge predictor of future heart issues and or stroke. Let's put it this way; I have a long way to go. Well, Rome wasn't built in a day. Onward.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    AR10at50 wrote: »
    I have posted here before, read Annie Grace and Quit Like a Woman, but only moderated my drinking for a while even knowing I was pouring poison into my body.
    I went to Alaska fishing and woke up one morning on the boat with a pounding headache after staying up late drinking with friends. I wanted to scream, “I hate alcohol!!” I had to fish a couple more days with that headache and body aches. After that first night, I hardly drank anything. Woke up dripping in sweat the last morning, still the headache, thinking it was withdrawals since I really wasn’t drinking. I flew home, walked in the house and tested positive for covid. Well, no wonder I felt so crappy. For the next six days, I had no desire to drink and just recouped. Finally I felt good enough to drink and had a week of drinking every night, waking up feeling awful and thinking my liver must hate me and I cannot go on like this. I am very glad I did not want to drink the first six days I was home. That was a long dry stretch for me.
    I got caught up on about 30 pages of posts, took screen shots of good advice and motivating pictures. It was good to see what everyone is up to, getting married, going to AA!
    Today is my day 3 of no alcohol and I love the logic of saying, “I can drink again if the time is right and I will benefit from it, but for now, I am taking a break.” I do not want to go back to moderation, because that will not work for me. It has been nice to wake up feeling good. I have to take a sleeping pill and Highlands Calm Forte, to get to sleep at night.
    I love all of the advice on this thread, and am glad you are still here.
    Karen

    Welcome!

    Remember, you're in the very worst of it right now, so if you can get through today, you can definitely get through tomorrow.

    As a mini-goal, 10 days was a HUGE win for me. Perhaps it's because that's how long it takes for the direct affects of alcohol to wear off from the body, but 10 days felt like magic.

    Stay strong, get through the next several days, and then reassess where you are at at that point.
  • siberiantarragon
    siberiantarragon Posts: 136 Member
    Xellercin wrote: »
    So instead of getting all wound up in whether or not you should ever drink again, instead, why not commit to never drinking again unless/until you are 100% convinced that it's a good idea.

    Hmm that is an interesting way of looking at it, although I'm not sure how someone can be 100% convinced of anything.
    That's what I do. I never *want* to drink again because I see no benefit in doing so. It's terrible for me, and I now know from experimenting that alcohol's primary emotional effect is to make people feel irrationally sad. Ugh, pass.

    I don't think that's true of everyone. Alcohol doesn't make me sad at all, quite the opposite.
    So don't waste your energy on worrying about forever and FOMO, just try not drinking for now, and work out a clear deal with yourself what parameters would need to be met in order to drink again.

    Yeah I guess if I could find some way to get rid of the headaches and heartburn, but I don't know if that will be possible. When I look it up online it seems that research hasn't entirely established why some people get headaches when they drink, much less a solution.

    The heartburn might be easier to solve because I get acid reflux sometimes in regular life anyway. It seems to be worse if I eat a lot of high-fat foods and also if I have a lot of stress.

  • SunnyDays930
    SunnyDays930 Posts: 1,211 Member
    I do drink tea as well. I just like my coffee in the morning. It's a 40 year habit. It started with cream and sugar, then cream, then milk, now down to black.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    Xellercin wrote: »
    So instead of getting all wound up in whether or not you should ever drink again, instead, why not commit to never drinking again unless/until you are 100% convinced that it's a good idea.

    Hmm that is an interesting way of looking at it, although I'm not sure how someone can be 100% convinced of anything.

    You can absolutely be 100% certain of some things. I'm 100% certain when I don't want a second date with a creepy dude. I'm 100% certain when I love a great meal and want to eat at that restaurant again. I'm 100% certain that I never ever want to become a smoker. I'm 100% certain that shorter hair looks better on me than long hair.

    I'm not 100% certain that I'll never drink again, but I know I'm going to hold out for certainly that I really want to. And the way I ensure that is by having parameters. I have to wait at least a week, I have to make it a celebratory thing, not a stress relief thing, and I have to feel really good about the prospect and not feel dread about it.

    That's what I do. I never *want* to drink again because I see no benefit in doing so. It's terrible for me, and I now know from experimenting that alcohol's primary emotional effect is to make people feel irrationally sad. Ugh, pass.

    I don't think that's true of everyone. Alcohol doesn't make me sad at all, quite the opposite.

    I don't know if you've read my previous posts, but I'm talking about the *primary* effect of alcohol, not the neurological effect of drinking. Virtually all of the happy feelings associated with drinking come from endogenous brain chemicals as a reward for giving your brain the alcohol it wants.

    So yes, I too used to get super elated with my first drink. But I now understand that amazing feeling wasn't from the alcohol, it was from the endorphins flooding my system.

    I've done Annie Grace's experiment of drinking in the absence of any positive stimulus, well after having been sober for awhile, and that allowed me to see the primary affect of alcohol without the endorphins.

    That's where I really understood that alcohol is a depressant. Most people feel good drinking *despite* the primary effects of alcohol, not because of them.

    The main way that alcohol allows people to have more fun is by disinhibition. Being disinhibited in a fun context is likely to make the experience more enjoyable, especially for self conscious people.

    But if you take away the endorphins and take away the fun context, alcohol's main effect is as a downer.

    Grasping this was my key to losing interest in it.

    So don't waste your energy on worrying about forever and FOMO, just try not drinking for now, and work out a clear deal with yourself what parameters would need to be met in order to drink again.

    Yeah I guess if I could find some way to get rid of the headaches and heartburn, but I don't know if that will be possible. When I look it up online it seems that research hasn't entirely established why some people get headaches when they drink, much less a solution.

    The heartburn might be easier to solve because I get acid reflux sometimes in regular life anyway. It seems to be worse if I eat a lot of high-fat foods and also if I have a lot of stress.

    I wouldn't even focus on that for now, just focus on getting through a chunk of time sober and then reflect on what parameters you might have for drinking. You may be like me and decide it's not interesting to you anymore, or you may decide that it's beneficial within certain parameters.

    But there's no need to make those decisions now. Leave those decisions for a future version of yourself.

    My whole point has been that none of these are decisions you need to make now, so don't burden yourself with them. Just commit to whatever length of not drinking you want to try, and then once that's done, decide from there.


    Answers above in bold.

  • AR10at50
    AR10at50 Posts: 1,172 Member
    @Xellercin -
    Thank you for the encouraging comments on my post; I love your “ 10 day then rethink “, it is doable. I can’t wait for my day 10 which is next Wednesday...I want to feel the magic. I am enjoying waking up early in the mornings.
    I also like your comments in the above post saying that a person doesn’t have to make the decision not to ever drink again right now. That is what my mind needs to hear and makes it all sound possible to accomplish, and keep accomplishing. I took a screen shot and circled, “But if you take away the endorphins and take away the fun context, alcohol’s main effect is a downer.” That is a quote that I need to repeat to myself when I get a craving.
    Today is my day 4. Last night when I was making dinner, I took one of my morning multi vitamins that have a bunch of B in it, and it seemed to help me and I had extra energy after dinner to go to quilting and the grocery store where I had no desire to buy the Mango Vodka get everything 5 days.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,643 Member
    Welcome back @AR10at50 😊
  • siberiantarragon
    siberiantarragon Posts: 136 Member
    edited July 22
    I've done Annie Grace's experiment of drinking in the absence of any positive stimulus, well after having been sober for awhile, and that allowed me to see the primary affect of alcohol without the endorphins.

    That sounds like a correlation != causation question -- if I was going to stare at the wall for a few hours (or whatever avoiding positive stimulus entails), it would make me feel depressed whether I drank or not. Did you try a control trial where you were sober for the same length of time in the absence of having positive stimulus?
    That's where I really understood that alcohol is a depressant. Most people feel good drinking *despite* the primary effects of alcohol, not because of them.

    The main way that alcohol allows people to have more fun is by disinhibition. Being disinhibited in a fun context is likely to make the experience more enjoyable, especially for self conscious people.

    I don't think that's true for everyone -- for me the physical feeling from alcohol is a pleasant sensation (besides the heartburn and headaches of course). I actually don't like feeling disinhibited and I don't drink to the point where that happens.

    I think also you are having some confusion between the classification of a drug as a "depressant" and the mental state of depression. Just because they have the same root word does not mean they are referring to the same thing. "Depressant" refers to a substance that slows the functioning of the central nervous system. Antipsychotics are classified as depressant drugs, but are sometimes used to treat depression! Additionally, researchers say that small amounts of alcohol have a stimulant effect rather than a depressant effect.

    To clarify, I'm not trying to tell people they should go back to alcohol or anything. It just annoys me to see specious reasoning being used.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    I've done Annie Grace's experiment of drinking in the absence of any positive stimulus, well after having been sober for awhile, and that allowed me to see the primary affect of alcohol without the endorphins.

    That sounds like a correlation != causation question -- if I was going to stare at the wall for a few hours (or whatever avoiding positive stimulus entails), it would make me feel depressed whether I drank or not. Did you try a control trial where you were sober for the same length of time in the absence of having positive stimulus?
    That's where I really understood that alcohol is a depressant. Most people feel good drinking *despite* the primary effects of alcohol, not because of them.

    The main way that alcohol allows people to have more fun is by disinhibition. Being disinhibited in a fun context is likely to make the experience more enjoyable, especially for self conscious people.

    I don't think that's true for everyone -- for me the physical feeling from alcohol is a pleasant sensation (besides the heartburn and headaches of course). I actually don't like feeling disinhibited and I don't drink to the point where that happens.

    I think also you are having some confusion between the classification of a drug as a "depressant" and the mental state of depression. Just because they have the same root word does not mean they are referring to the same thing. "Depressant" refers to a substance that slows the functioning of the central nervous system. Antipsychotics are classified as depressant drugs, but are sometimes used to treat depression! Additionally, researchers say that small amounts of alcohol have a stimulant effect rather than a depressant effect.

    To clarify, I'm not trying to tell people they should go back to alcohol or anything. It just annoys me to see specious reasoning being used.

    Yes, I did simplify what I was saying because I'm speaking more from a personal narrative, but I used to be a neuroscientist before I became a doctor, so I do understand the neuroactivity of various chemicals and how they can have paradoxical effects.

    As for the "experiment", and I only call it that because Annie Grace does, there's a huge difference between being bored and feeling profoundly sad. What hit me was that I had been in a great mood that day and as the effects of alcohol sunk in, I began to feel a profound sadness with no emotional source. It was shocking, since I too had decades of perceiving the affect of alcohol as being enjoyable.

    Reflecting back though, I could actually remember this sadness when I drank, but perceived it as being caused by the stress that I was drinking for. Also, the sadness only sunk in well after the first drink.

    I also distinctly remember the happy feelings I got from drinking and can readily identify those same relaxing, joyful feelings from other sources of endorphins.

    I steadily figured out that the incredibly happy feeling of drinking could be almost identically replicated by a burst of intense cardio exercise. So every time I intensely craved a drink, I would throw on my headphones, blare some fun music, and climb 20 flights of stairs and then feel pretty much exactly like I would from drinking alcohol. That was a HUGE eye opener for me.

    What's very interesting is having studied the neurobiology of addiction, and having trained in addiction counselling, the pattern and sensation of reward for a lot of substances is basically identical.

    What I find most compelling is the response to these substances by non addicts. Once I quit, I started paying close attention to those around me who weren't really drinkers, the kind of people who drank a bit socially, and that's it. None of them described any kind of awesome feeling from drinking. I've informally and clinically interviewed hundreds of folks, and there's a distinct pattern that only people who manifest symptoms of addiction report that alcohol makes them feel great.

    You may point out again correlation, perhaps people who enjoy drinking are more likely to become addicts. That's possible, but not really consistent with the current understanding of addiction. The current medical consensus is that there is some degree of innate predisposition, but that addiction is primarily driven by exposure over time. We've definitely moved away from the concept that most addiction is driven by genetics.

    So the current model, which could change, is that for the most part, people need to be exposed enough to become addicted. And it seems that once they are, that's when the really happy feelings from using start.

    I took a particular interest in the experience of people with harder drug addictions. It was shocking to hear how many cocaine addicts reported that their early experiences using the drug were just "m'eh" and that lead them to an over confidence that they could never become addicted because they didn't even like it that much.

    Over the years, I've heard countless more stories of "m'eh" early use experiences than euphoric ones. Those do happen, but shockingly more sound like their early experiences are basically identical to the very light drinkers I described above.

    Pair that with the very interesting finding that most addicts, regardless of the substance, tend to describe a nearly identical experience of cravings and rush of relief and then an endorphin-like high from using, plus whatever neuroactive action from their substance of choice.

    I've heard opioid addicts describe their experience almost identically to cocaine addicts and cigarette addicts. It's not experimental, no, but it's definitely supportive that a lot of the reward of use is coming from the surges of endogenous chemicals as a feedback for giving the brain the substance it is addicted to.

    I could be absolutely wrong in my conclusions, and I said earlier in this thread, facts aren't necessarily all that important when it comes to quitting. If facts worked, then no one would have trouble quitting.

    So if what I share helps someone, that's great, and if it doesn't, then that makes sense too. Quitting is a remarkably individual process.

  • AR10at50
    AR10at50 Posts: 1,172 Member
    @BeIn2day -Thank you!😊
  • SunnyDays930
    SunnyDays930 Posts: 1,211 Member
    @AR10at50 Good for you!
    I get what you mean about not wanting to tell your partner. In the past when I have declared my intentions to stay/be sober, my husband rolls his eyes and says something like, "put your money where your mouth is" which isn't exactly encouraging and obviously means, "you've said this before etc". I prefer to not talk about it with him so it helps to be able to vent here.
  • siberiantarragon
    siberiantarragon Posts: 136 Member
    Xellercin wrote: »
    I steadily figured out that the incredibly happy feeling of drinking could be almost identically replicated by a burst of intense cardio exercise. So every time I intensely craved a drink, I would throw on my headphones, blare some fun music, and climb 20 flights of stairs and then feel pretty much exactly like I would from drinking alcohol. That was a HUGE eye opener for me.

    LOL. And I'm going to stop listening to you here. I developed severe clinical depression that lasted for years as a RESULT of doing intense cardio exercise every day in high school (sports team). I like light exercise like walking, hiking, and swimming, but strenuous exercise makes me feel awful both physically and emotionally for the entire rest of the day. Even if I do it regularly. Your experiences are not universal and I'm so tired of cardio exercise being touted as this great thing for your health when my experience is that it was the worst thing I ever did for my health.
    and there's a distinct pattern that only people who manifest symptoms of addiction report that alcohol makes them feel great.

    I don't have an addiction and I enjoy drinking. I only drink a couple of times a month socially and only a couple of drinks when I do.
    The current medical consensus is that there is some degree of innate predisposition, but that addiction is primarily driven by exposure over time. We've definitely moved away from the concept that most addiction is driven by genetics.

    Addiction is mostly driven by childhood trauma (I'll leave you to look up the research on that).

    As for the rest of it, if someone really felt "meh" about a substance I doubt they would keep using it to the point where they got addicted, especially if it's an illegal and potentially fatal substance that takes some degree of risk to both obtain and use. You might be dealing with some unreliable narrators there.

  • AR10at50
    AR10at50 Posts: 1,172 Member
    @SunnyDays930 Thank you!
    I try not to vent about my husband here because I’m afraid of someone telling me I probably shouldn’t be married to him. He has put up with my crap for 29 years and we have two adult young men we have raised and I feel the best thing for our little family is for me to keep my mouth shut and stand by their father and be their mother. I get no support here. No wonder my grandmother used to take the milk to the creamery and stop at the bar on the way home, she was the only woman in her home and she worked her butt off for them. Carry on!
  • Sinisterbarbie1
    Sinisterbarbie1 Posts: 442 Member
    @BeIn2day what a great way to keep yourself motivated/inspired and also remind yourself after that 2d month chip every day why you are on this journey
  • AR10at50
    AR10at50 Posts: 1,172 Member
    @BeIn2day A shooting star- what a wonderful symbol and such great meaning. Have a good time and enjoy life!