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I made it a week and then I caved...

foxman

2020-11-24 3:32 AM

Managing Drinking Community

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Panic attacks after I eat

Roseala

2020-11-23 3:15 PM

Anxiety Community

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Isolation and Social nerves

Roseala

2020-11-23 3:01 PM

Anxiety Community

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Please forgive your mind/body for the anxiety

Roseala

2020-11-23 2:15 PM

Anxiety Community

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I made it a week and then I caved...


3 days ago +1 foxman 1538 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1

I can totally relate. After entering the rooms of AA, I took a deep dive into the book Alcoholics Anonymous. In that there is a chapter called "More about alcoholism" and that includes few short stories to illustrate this mental state of the alcoholic.

After he/she puts down the drink, the mind plays a trick on them. I will just have 2, or I will switch from hard liquor to Beer/Wine... you can substitute. And then we start with 1 or 2. Sometimes even we can go for couple of weeks and that gives the alcoholic a false sense of confidence that they can moderate. However, pretty quick, they are back to the old ways of drinking. This is the vicious cycle. Realizing this and taking action is what we go through to sustain a meaningful life.

You can access the book online at aa.org. See if you can relate.

Good luck.

4 days ago +1 Lynn123 302 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1

Ashley,

Your dopamine explanation makes complete sense to me as I think back to my attempts to give up alcohol. I worked out and participated in other activities while I was drinking. As much as I tried to use these hobbies to pull me away from alcohol, it never worked. From your explanation, my brain wanted the surge of dopamine that only alcohol could provide. Taking your advice, and committing to giving up alcohol for 3 months, gave my body and brain time to normalize. 

Now, working out and participating in my other hobbies bring me great pleasure. It’s been 5 years since I drank, but there are times I desire alcohol. I guess the brain never forgets. Is my interpretation of your explanation correct? Thanks again for the work you do here! 


Pumpkinss,

How did last week go for you? 


I hope everyone has a great week!

Lynn

9 days ago (Edited 9 days ago) +1 Ashley -> Health Educator 9051 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 2

Hi Pumpkinss,

Congratulations on taking steps towards achieving your goals. The fact that you are posting here means you are in the action or at least the contemplative stage of changing a behaviour. If you can continue to take action towards your goals, no matter how small, you are still moving forward to reaching them. Nice work!

I am sorry to read about your slip. Slips are a part of the learning process, so try not to be too hard on yourself. The fact that you came here and took accountability means you are challenging yourself. With each slip we learn, especially when taking accountability like you did. It sounds like you were disappointed. It also sounds like you crave alcohol when you want a mood boost. This makes sense as dopamine (a mood booster) is released when drinking alcohol. This surge in dopamine often drives addiction. As we continue to get large surges of dopamine with alcohol our brain tries to compensate or normalise and this results in a decrease in dopamine. Then, other activities that cause normal surges in dopamine like exercise and healthy hobbies may be less rewarding. You then start craving alcohol all the time and maybe feel less motivated to do other happy (dopamine) inducing activities.

As Lynn123 mentioned, alcohol can easily become our focus. As Timbo637 mentioned as well, just one drink sometimes is enough to keep the cycle going. For this reason, many addictions counsellors recommend taking a full three months off drinking before attempting moderation. Moderation is always a good idea; however, it is easier to achieve moderation when we give our brains and body a bit of a reset. The break allows your brain to balance dopamine levels and you learn how to live your life in a way that doesn't require alcohol for a good time. At the end of the three months you may find you do not even want to attempt moderating. Or, you will find moderation is a lot more achievable. Either way, when you feel ready, I highly recommend at least a three month break from alcohol.

The fact that you are taking any time off drinking is still a win. Congrats to every day you have been able to cut back. You will get where you want to be with your continued attention. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Take care,

Ashley

11 days ago +1 Pumpkinss 17 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 2

Thanks Lynn,

What you wrote made a lot of sense. I am exactly like how you used to be...always waiting for another excuse to have a drink. I can actually see that it would be a relief if I could get to that point. What you wrote really gave me a lot to think about. Thank you.

Thanks Timbo,

You are right about not being able to keep it to just one. I can only moderate my drinking when I only keep a few in the house. If nothing else I am at least going to be moderating like that. The reason I stopped smoking was because I wanted to have kids. The reasons why I want to quit drinking is because I want to be a good example to my kids and I want to be fully present. The problem is I am a pretty good drunk. I hid it really well and can manage well even when I had too much to drink. At the same time I am sure my lack of energy effects them so I have to stop it with the excuses.

I managed to only drink one evening this weekend. Friday night I drank only 3 drinks which is good for me on a weekend. Saturday night I didn't drink at all. I really wanted to but I was playing a computer game with my family. I was my daughters partner and I really wanted to be fully present so we could win lol. My competitiveness really helped. It is a new game that my kids love and my hubby and I enjoyed it too. I think we might be playing this more often as a way to spend time with the kids and a motivator to not drink. My husband is being really good about finding alternative activities to drinking. It really helps that we are tackling this like a team.

The goal this week is no alcohol until the weekend. I am still not ready to quit completely. It feels too daunting to quit completely. I do think posting here and continually assessing how much I am drinking is helping me to get a better handle on things though.

Thanks again to both of you! I hope you two had a great weekend and will have a great week.

Pumpkinss


14 days ago (Edited 14 days ago) +1 Timbo637 740 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 2

Hi Pumpkinss,

Congratulations quitting drinking for a week. I bet you really felt good about that. Kudos to you! 😀

Some friend. 😕 Do you remember when you were trying to quit smoking, and the "just 1 more" scenario? Sounds kind of the same to me with your quitting drinking. Quitting smoking, quitting drinking, the addiction seems to be the same in my eyes. Don't kick yourself too much, slips happen right?

You can do this just like you did with cigarettes. Keep asking yourself "why should I quit?" What harm will come if I don't quit? You had some kind of motivation when you stopped smoking, can you use the same motivation? If not, find a different motivation that will work for you. I know it sounds so easy, but we both know that it IS HARD breaking addictions and bad habits, even if they can harm or even wind up killing us.

Stay strong and keep telling yourself, I CAN do this!!


15 days ago +1 Lynn123 302 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 3

Pumpkinss,

Congratulations on successfully not drinking for a few days! The situation you found yourself in is one of the main reasons I decided to give up alcohol altogether.  When I was drinking I was either finding myself waiting to reward myself with a drink or thinking of some other reason to have a drink. Drinking was taking up too much of my time. I didn’t need my thoughts consumed with it too. So, I said no more. Ever. 

This is going to sound crazy, but it was like a weight had been lifted. It was relief knowing that if a drinking opportunity arose, I no longer had a choice. I didn’t have to worry that I would have to stop at a certain number or wait days/weeks until I could “treat” myself again. 

In another post you have asked about how to have fun without alcohol. To be honest, you may not at first. But it gets better. I slowly learned about myself and found that my identity did not have to include a bottle or glass in my hand. As for your mood boost question, what better mood boost than a accomplishment? 

Good luck to you!

Lynn

17 days ago +1 Pumpkinss 17 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 3

Hi!

So I was feeling so good. I decided to quit after Halloween weekend and I did. I didn't drink for a whole week and I was actually seeing my mood improving. I was randomly happy and normally I don't feel that happy. I was feeling like I could do it. Then a friend of mine who also stopped drinking suggested we deserved a reward. Just a drink or two. I wasn't even thinking about it until she mentioned it and then I just couldn't stop thinking about it. I caved and decided to get a 6 pack or White Claws (my fav). I told myself I would just have three and save three for after another week of no alcohol. Well, I ended up having 6. I felt like crap the next day and it just really took the wind out of my sails. I didn't even really have fun when I drank. What a waste. Now I am in a bad mood, could also be due to time of the month, and all I keep thinking about is having a couple of drinks. I know I will feel better is I just stop drinking altogether but I always want a instant mood boost and fix when I am not feeling that great. I still have lots of work to do...

Can anyone relate?


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