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Quitting Drinking

I haven't had a drink in 5 days and I feel so much better. I have more energy, I'm happier and I'm thinking clearly. I used to drink 5 times a week and I do believe I had a problem. I'm not sure if I should go to AA because the thought of giving up alcohol forever is pretty daunting. However, I feel like I may need support to continue being sober. I'm just not sure where to find that support, is AA the best option?

by Anonymousreply 53November 3, 2023 7:05 PM

I'll add that I would start drinking in the day, my finances went to shit, I had to be buzzed for any social outing. I'm pretty sure I'm alcoholic.

by Anonymousreply 1September 17, 2023 8:17 AM

OP I think you're answered your own question. Take care and get some good advice.

by Anonymousreply 2September 17, 2023 8:43 AM

AA is controversial here. I found it to be helpful for early sobriety. Whatever you choose to do:

I recommend the book Living Sober. It's often sold at meetings, but I found it to have a lot of solid practical advice on getting through the day-to-day without drinking—how to deal with cravings, socialize without booze, etc.

Also check out Gillian Teitz's Sober Powered podcasts and newsletters. She does not do AA but has tons of great advice. She's a biochemist, and I've found her information on why we drink (and therefore how to avoid it) to be enlightening.

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by Anonymousreply 3September 17, 2023 8:45 AM

You have to want to quit for you. Alcohol is so bad for you. It’s poison! I wish I never started drinking in college. I don’t drink now but wasted a lot of years & $ drunk.

by Anonymousreply 4September 17, 2023 9:02 AM

Agreed with the poster above, AA is controversial on DL.

Get to AA, it’s life-altering and you will learn so much about yourself and also about alcohol. The literature and wisdom in the group I found really helpful. One day at a time.

by Anonymousreply 5September 17, 2023 9:07 AM

When I first stopped drinking, the sub Reddit Stop Drinking helped me. Good luck, OP. Don’t get discouraged if you slip up, dust yourself off and try again.

by Anonymousreply 6September 17, 2023 9:07 AM

I just don't understand how I got so out of control. I didn't realize how much it negatively affected my life. It felt so good in the beginning.

by Anonymousreply 7September 17, 2023 9:09 AM

A lot of us have done it, R7. Don't beat yourself up.

Alcohol feels great at first. It feels like it solves your problems. Then you need more and more of it to get the same effect, and it reduces your ability to function, and then it becomes the problem. A pretty common scenario among those who have human brains.

You've realized it's a problem and you're doing something about it. That's huge.

by Anonymousreply 8September 17, 2023 9:19 AM

I gave up drinking once for a year just to see if I had a problem. I was still in my 20's so almost all social gay things revolved around that. Good news is I didnt have a problem. Didnt miss it at all except for the flavor of some cocktails. Bad news, it's really boring when everyone else is drinking and you chose not to. You see how sloppy people get when your are not. Funny at first, annoying after a while.

Anyway, here's a clip, apparently I am not the only one who has randomly done this. He makes some good points to doing so.

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by Anonymousreply 9September 17, 2023 10:26 AM

Good for you OP. Even Hulk Hogan quit the booze. Alcohol really is just poison. Whatever you need to abstain from drinking is the answer.

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by Anonymousreply 10September 17, 2023 10:34 AM

OP -- tell yourself that if you live to age 80, you will give yourself permission to get plastered every day **if you still want to**.

This way you are not giving up alcohol entirely, merely postponing drinking it.

This works for smoking tobacco too, BTW.

by Anonymousreply 11September 17, 2023 10:37 AM

Godammit stop drinking OP/R1. Day drinking is really serious.

I'm the child of an alcoholic and very experienced with alcoholism and I can't express how much damage and destruction your drinking is doing to those around you. Not to mention you.

Go to AA or find some other support group but snap out of it before you can't and have lost everything and everyone. Don't waste chances.

I'm sorry to be so blunt.

by Anonymousreply 12September 17, 2023 10:40 AM

When people say "alcohol is poison", are they advocating for cutting it out completely?

I drink socially and can easily go several weeks without an alcoholic drink, so I know I don't have a problem, but I will have a drink when I go out. Whereas when people say they gave up drink for a month/year they usually follow it up with "I'm never going back!" like even infrequent drinking is bad for you.

I could go teetotal if I wanted to, as I don't really care about drinking, so it wouldn't be any hardship - but if I hardly drink anyway, it feels like it wouldn't have much impact anyway.

by Anonymousreply 13September 17, 2023 11:30 AM

Find a secular alternative to AA in your city so you won't have to listen to all that religious crap, which adds nothing to the recovery process and can even be harmful.

by Anonymousreply 14September 17, 2023 11:55 AM

R14 don’t confuse religion with spirituality

by Anonymousreply 15September 17, 2023 11:59 AM

What about naltrexone?

by Anonymousreply 16September 17, 2023 12:25 PM

r15 Nah, it's the same nonsense, albeit in different packaging. People don't realise that the main function of these support groups aren't the steps or any kind of special dogma, it's simply sharing your story with others who are going through a similar ordeal, and feeling supported in your recovery process. You just need a group of people (i.e. a tribe) for that very primal mechanism to kick in and aid in the healing, no woo-woo needed.

by Anonymousreply 17September 17, 2023 12:35 PM

AA. Is a good tool for people early in their sobriety. Go to a few meetings and see if you like it.

by Anonymousreply 18September 17, 2023 1:14 PM

One day at a time, rummy.

by Anonymousreply 19September 17, 2023 1:44 PM

R13 for people that cannot stop drinking after having one drink it is wise to cut it out completely. Those that can stop drinking after one drink can drink sparingly if they like.

by Anonymousreply 20September 18, 2023 12:06 AM

Keep goin strong op, within a year you will wonder why you ever drank to begin with.

by Anonymousreply 21September 18, 2023 2:14 AM

0h oh oh, Ozempic!

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by Anonymousreply 22September 18, 2023 2:20 AM

[quote]What about naltrexone?

It doesn't work R16 and OP might as well take a placebo. The only thing which works is [bold]stopping drinking[/bold].

by Anonymousreply 23September 18, 2023 2:26 AM

The reason you feel intoxicated and have impaired judgment when you drink is because as others have said it's a poison. But beyond that it's your body not being able to do what it's designed for which is to filter it out quick enough. When it's too much, that's when you feel cock tailed. You have overloaded the system so to speak.

by Anonymousreply 24September 18, 2023 3:12 AM

I’ve seen naltrexone pushed as something that helps with cravings. People are told not to drink and given Naltrexone to assist in achieving that. But the Sinclair method is to take naltrexone and then drink as usual with the idea that because the naltrexone eliminates the euphoric feeling that alcohol normally produces people won’t binge and the brain will eventually become rewired.

I suspect therapists and doctors and rehab centers are wary of telling people with substance abuse issues to go ahead and drink, so they prescribe it (because people have heard of it) and tell people not to drink and that the naltrexone will help with cravings. It’s weird. I don’t think it had any effect on my cravings at all, except that it can make you feel sick so that can make a drink seem less appealing.

I’ve used it and it did work, but but well enough. It absolutely made me able to have 2-4 drinks and not become fixated on getting more. But I was still having four drinks fairly frequently and the occasional binge when I just wanted to escape. Also, as I got older, the morning after a binge anxiety got worse and I would drink the next day and have to taper off. I think I was too far gone. I am also in my fifties and I just don’t think it’s that important for me to drink.

I would definitely suggest naltrexone for someone young who really wants to retain the option to drink socially. But it might be challenging to find a prescriber who is familiar with the Sinclair method and who will be on board with you continuing to drink. And, really, the argument that if your drinking is problematic you should just give it up is valid. It’s just that it’s hard to do that. If the success rate of abstinence programs was high, then it would make sense to discourage naltrexone as a means to manage alcohol use. But the success rate is not high, so discouraging alternative treatment seems wrong to me.

by Anonymousreply 25September 18, 2023 3:17 AM

Good for you, OP. Keep up the good work. Alcohol is my downfall and I wish you all the best.

by Anonymousreply 26September 18, 2023 3:54 AM

[quote] Whereas when people say they gave up drink for a month/year they usually follow it up with "I'm never going back!" like even infrequent drinking is bad for you.

People can be black-and-white about things. I quit drinking because I have a hard time with moderation. But, I will admit that I miss certain things about drinking. The bad outweighs the good, though, for me. So, because I can't drink in moderation, I had to quit.

by Anonymousreply 27September 18, 2023 4:03 AM

I took part in a double blind study at the University of Pennsylvania; they found that Seroquel helped some people stop drinking. After the study was completed they encouraged me to join AA. Did them for five years. I mentioned here several times that while initially it helped me adapt to a sober lifestyle the cliques, crazy people and borderline cult like atmosphere I stopped going. Now I have a great therapist and I have been sober for fourteen years. Everyone is different.

by Anonymousreply 28September 18, 2023 10:28 AM

Getting and staying sober is possible.

I went into treatment (The North Cottage) and that's what saved me. That was 2015.

My journey has had its' ups and downs but I'm so ultimately grateful for it.

1) AA was good at the beginning for support and structure. I did a meeting a day for a year. It is cultish though. Take the good stuff with you and use it.

2) The drugs they push do not work. There is no medical way out.

3) Find the source of your pain that causes you to self medicate. Addiction is usually genetically related.

4) Never let a "fuck up" derail you. Put it behind you and keep moving forward.

I changed careers. Your circle of friends will change, it can be very painful.

I never thought I would succeed but I did and so can you.

I sincerely wish you well.

by Anonymousreply 29September 18, 2023 12:30 PM

After resisting AA for years, tomorrow I plan on attending my first (gay) AA meeting on Zoom. Wish me luck

by Anonymousreply 30September 23, 2023 1:51 PM

I went from drinking 5 days a week to 1 and sometimes go several weeks without a drink. Its worked for me but other friends had to stop completely.

As others have stated, I wish i had this perspective when I was younger. I’d be a lot richer.

by Anonymousreply 31September 23, 2023 2:04 PM

I love day drinking

by Anonymousreply 32September 23, 2023 2:16 PM

Has anyone here tried Antabuse before?

by Anonymousreply 33November 1, 2023 2:34 PM

I just got my one year token.

I was ambivalent about AA when I was thinking of quitting drinking but I'm so glad I decided to go to some meetings.

by Anonymousreply 34November 1, 2023 4:26 PM

Congratulations R34! How are you feeling?

by Anonymousreply 35November 1, 2023 4:54 PM

I quit years ago and never went to one meeting after that last drink. I was just done.

For years prior, I did go to AA. And I don't regret that at all. It definitely wasn't for me. But it did get me started on the road to quitting for sure.

But I knew - even after a few meetings and years before I did quit for good - that for me to really quit? It would have to be a choice I made and stuck to. It sounds simple. And in a way it was. But it took me a long time to get that simple epiphany.

Because you say, OP, that quitting for good seems daunting to you? I doubt you're ready to actually give it up. And that's cool. But just know it's not magic. Going to meetings or praying or hoping or whatever else isn't going to make you stop. It's really is just a decision to not pick up that first drink. At least that's how it worked for me.

by Anonymousreply 36November 1, 2023 5:55 PM

Congratulations!

by Anonymousreply 37November 1, 2023 5:57 PM

Since writing this things spiraled. My last three drunks left me with horrible anxiety and depression. I was kicked out of a bar, got into two seperate fights and lost an expensive new jacket. I also relapsed on cocaine while drinking and fucked someone I never would've fucked sober. Thankfully we used protection despite him asking not to. I had 17 days and today is day 3. I went to an AA meeting the first night and listening made me feel less alone. I'm going to keep going frequently because NOTHING else has worked and I don't have the money anymore to pay an addiction counselor. I saw one for months and it did nothing for me.

by Anonymousreply 38November 1, 2023 6:28 PM

Good for you OP. I got sober 16 years ago through therapy and Lifering - a secular recovery org. Fitness was also a big part of my recovery as was (and is) good nutrition. My dad developed alcohol related dementia in his fifties. He was a professional and none of his colleagues would have guessed how much he drank. We drank together and I loved booze - absolutely loved it. Unfortunately I became an alcoholic and loathed myself as a result.

I never desire alcohol and haven’t since I looked at my hungover and deeply depressed face in the mirror 16 years ago and decided to quit. It was the best thing that I ever did. I finally have a life worth living.

You can do it.

by Anonymousreply 39November 1, 2023 6:28 PM

Highly recommend reading the book’Empowering your sober self’ as well OP. It was a life changer for me.

by Anonymousreply 40November 1, 2023 6:38 PM

How's your liver? I'm polishing my black shoes, and washing a shirt, getting ready for the inevitable funeral of my sister in law, whose liver is shot and has internal bleeding. She's been a dynamo uber-funtioning, successful, beloved, community leader and alcoholic and her funeral wil be attended by 1k people she's helped. 58yo. It's an ugly, fucking death.

Quit now, while you have the chance. If you drink in the day, go to a day AA meeting. Treat it like a buffet, most of it's crap, but you'll find something that you like. If you don't, go to a different meeting. It's not a cult, we're all adults who've seen the movie and read the books. There's not secret to staying sober and it's different for everyone. Good luck.

Unlike my sister-in-law, when my day comes, my mourners will be able to split a cab.

by Anonymousreply 41November 1, 2023 7:48 PM

That's really sad r41, my condolences.

Its interesting to me how some people manage to be functioning members of society and maintain long careers while being alcoholic.

by Anonymousreply 42November 1, 2023 10:39 PM

I find that I enjoy it less and less. Just went 6 weeks without either alcohol or soft drinks. I missed the soft drinks more.

by Anonymousreply 43November 1, 2023 10:50 PM

I feel great, R35.

Obviously I don't miss the hangovers and feeling shitty; getting a full nights rest each night is great.

I realized that the low level of anxiety and depression I always felt and was trying to escape from by drinking was more than like caused by drinking.

by Anonymousreply 44November 2, 2023 1:39 AM

If you go to AA you'll be around Borderlines and other severely personality disordered people.

by Anonymousreply 45November 2, 2023 1:44 AM

Kind of like being on DL, right, R45?

by Anonymousreply 46November 2, 2023 1:47 AM

Well its better than being alone.

by Anonymousreply 47November 2, 2023 1:48 AM

yeah but DL doesn't assign you a sponsor who tries to run your life.

by Anonymousreply 48November 2, 2023 1:48 AM

Neither does AA, R48.

You can ask someone to be your sponsor, and if you don't like them you can tell them it's not good fit and move on.

Having a sponsor is not a requirement, though.

by Anonymousreply 49November 2, 2023 1:52 AM

I was a daily drinker for 20 years. I wasn't wild about that but didn't think I had a real problem.

COVID kicked up my daily volume. My body started responding: Kidney stones, digestive problems, inflammation in my joints.

I did a dry January this year and am coming off a Sober October. Thing is, I'm feel great and most of my symptoms have improved. I'm not looking to rush back to booze. A break has been really quite good for me, so we'll see.

Abstaining has been surprisingly easy for me. Some insomnia, but that's about it. Even if you don't think you have an issue, taking a break and doing a recheck is a good thing I feel.

by Anonymousreply 50November 2, 2023 2:28 AM

I know I have an issue because I'm unable to stop for long periods of time. The cravings get pretty intense, I even dream that I'm drinking and using cocaine. I don't think that's something that "normal" drinkers experience. I can't even comprehend not having a complicated relationship with alcohol. For some people, they can take it or leave it. They have a drink or two or three around other people and they go home and it doesn't affect them. Or they can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. When I drink, I can't stop. I always want more.

by Anonymousreply 51November 2, 2023 2:36 AM

Worst eight hours of my life.

by Anonymousreply 52November 2, 2023 3:28 AM

Both of my sponsors were nuts. One went back to drinking because he said cocaine was his problem. The second one transitioned…I still don’t drink, but AA lost its appeal to me after a while.

by Anonymousreply 53November 3, 2023 7:05 PM
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