New Year’s Evolutions

Every January I see a huge spike in traffic on this blog as the new year gets people thinking about change. Yes, that’s right – if you have searched “quit drinking” and found this blog, you are not alone. I want you to meet the most amazing group of people: the readers of UnPickled.

I’m asking the readers of this blog to comment below and “tell us how you did it”. Most of us come to the idea of sobriety believing that we are different from other people with alcohol problems. Often the stigma of alcohol addiction has us thinking that alcoholics are bums in the park, not soccer moms and business executives and school teachers.

Most especially, people seem curious to know if it is possible to quit drinking without joining a program or going to detox. The answer is yes, many can self-manage recovery successfully – especially those have recognized the need to change before life becomes unmanageable (sometimes called a “high bottom”) and who have lots of personal support, are surrounded by healthy relationships, and who haven’t experienced major trauma (not my opinion, I heard that on the Dr. Drew podcast).

That said, there are many different pathways to recovery and the greatest gift you will receive through the process is getting to know other people just like yourself who totally understand you and listen without judgement. Guess where you meet these wonderful folks? Yep, in recovery groups. (There are more programs to choose from than you may realize. Check out the links at the sidebar.) Many people in recovery make a point of helping others who are new to sobriety because being of service helps keep us strong. The warm willingness of others is astounding and frankly a huge relief after struggling alone for so long.
Gently, I suggest this: try anything to get sober – alone, with a program, online support, anything – but if that doesn’t work, don’t give up. There are many other ways  and one of them will be a fit for you, so be open minded and prepared to try another way. You are worth the effort and you will LOVE how much better it feels to be free of this burden.
Readers, would you be so kind as to share a few words? What would you like to say to someone who is searching today? Tell us how you did it. Tell us why you did it. Tell us if you’re glad you did. And maybe let us know how you differ from the stigma of the bum in the park!
2014 looms ahead all bright and shiny and full of possibility. Let’s help one another make this a Truly. Happy. New. Year.
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About UnPickled

I am learning to walk without the crutch of alcohol. As I begin I am 1 day sober. Gulp. I drank in private and hope to quit just as privately. The purpose of this blog is to help make me accountable - just by following you will give me enormous support and encouragement.
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198 Responses to New Year’s Evolutions

  1. Megan says:

    First off, I would like to say thank you to all of those who have shared in these replies with complete rawness and painstaking honesty. This has allowed me to realize that by keeping my drinking problem a secret, I am allowing it to fester and giving it greater power. I am a 24 year old self-proclaimed “socialite”. I love to go out on the town with my girlfriends, get dressed up, and hold a martini glass to feel classy and sophisticated. I spend so much money I don’t have, lost so many opportunities (jobs, completing my English degree, successful and happy relationships, etc.), and have lost myself along this slow decline into a debilitating alcohol addiction. I have been in denial of my issues for so long. I have always blamed all of my issues and crumbling life on other circumstances and people, so that I could continue to drink and soothe my constant need to feel “different” -outside of myself as to not let the world and those closest to me know how truly insecure I feel. How unsure I am of everything in my life. After flunking out of college my sophomore year, due to my excessive drinking problem (which of course I was in denial of) I continued on this way and found a respectable job as a banker. I believed my lifestyle was normal of a woman my age and naturally my circle of friends felt the same. I made it all seem so glamorous and trendy. When deep down I felt worthless and like a fraud. I was in a relationship with a man who came from money and supported this lifestyle as he was living in a similar fashion. Finally, after 3 years of a volatile and rocky relationship, I left and was determined to get my life together (still not accepting that alcohol was the main issue). One fateful day at a dog park in my city, I met an amazing man. He swept me off my feet instantly. But this was different… He treated me with care and compassion and encouraged me to finish school and continue with goals I had set for myself when I was a bright eyed girl of 18 years. I felt amazing, things began to look better than ever before. Life was opening up new possibilities and I felt true joy. But oh THE DRINKING. I could not stop. For the first time in my life, I was with someone, the only person in my life really, who had ever held me accountable for my drinking. He began to notice my problems about 6 months into our relationship. I was hiding wine in my closet, waking up in places I had no I idea I had ever gone, drinking more and more. Finally I agreed to change. I began to cut back on my consumption. I even went to some AA meetings here and there. But it was not glamorous enough for me and I believed the people to be hopeless and out of control. I did not fit in because I had self-control, I could control my drinking. And so a vicious cycle ensued. I would quit for a few weeks, then slowly begin only having wine on the weekends, then progressing to drinking nightly, hiding it from my boyfriend, and then ultimately waking up and realizing I had screamed profanities and threw a glass of wine at my boyfriends face the previous evening in a drunken stupor and rage. 3 days ago another similar event occurred and I woke to my boyfriend telling me he wanted me out of the apartment and that he needs a few days to decide if he can continue with this relationship because of all the empty promises I have made to him to get help and truly make a change. I still have not heard from him. I am devastated. I wanted to marry this man. Madly in love, the two of us are. This is a crossroads for me. A wake up call. If I don’t get help now and dedicate myself to a sober life, then I will lose everything. I may have very well just lost the man of my dreams. I have never felt so low. The self-loathing is incredible. I hate the person I have become. The constant lying. The endless cycle of becoming out of control. I have lost all confidence and sense of self. I want that bright eyed 18 year old girl back. The one with so many dreams and an incredible sense that she could achieve anything in this life. I want to be able to look at my reflection in the mirror and not hate who I see staring back. I feel numb, dead inside. I have decided to go to counseling and begin a treatment program of some sort to get my life together and remain sober for the rest of my life. I know the road won’t be easy, but I must do this. I want ME back. I want my man back. I want to truly live again. I can’t stop my tears as I type. I’ve never known sorrow, regret, and guilt as I do in this moment. I can beat this and will. I must. Thank you for listening.

    • Sober Second Half says:

      Oh, Megan, hang in there – you can beat it; you will be sober. The first big step was writing this comment. If you haven’t heard about it already, you should check out the 100 day challenge over at tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.wordpress.com. Participating in Belle’s challenge is a great way to hold yourself accountable. Also, you may want to read Allen Carr’s The Easy Way to Control Alcohol. I found those two things very helpful on my (89-day and counting) sobriety journey. Concentrate on taking care of yourself by eating good food, drinking water, getting good exercise, and especially getting good sleep. Keep commenting and reaching out as much as you need to — there are so many people going through what you’re going through.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you, Sober2ndhalf. Your words are encouraging. Bought the book by Allen Carr and also was put on a list to begin the 100 day challenge. I think it’s great you have a “pen pal” as a sober accountability partner. Again, thanks for the advice. I’m doing anything and everything to get my life back on track. P.S. The boyfriend is willing to stay… There is some light in the darkness

        • Sober Second Half says:

          You’re so welcome! There is light in the darkness. Just remain patient and take each moment as it comes. Keep your sobriety toolbox full with whatever tools you need to get through the first few weeks. Some examples of tools are: a non-alcoholic drink you truly enjoy, a new nail polish, good dark chocolate, a hot bath…whatever makes you feel good and pampered. You’ll make it through!

        • mal says:

          Your comment struck home for me. Especially the aspect of relationship problems and your continued attempt to quit. The escalation of your drinking reminds me of myself as well as your notion that aa is not glamorous enough for you. I like to believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But I’m having difficulty seeing it.

  2. Hi Jean,

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now, and I wanted to thank you for it. Although I have wanted to stop drinking for over 2 years now, it’s taken me this long to cop on. Your blog has inspired me, and even though we are in ways different (I am a 24 year old unmarried Irish weekend binge drinker) I feel our mindsets are very similar. And I too hope to achieve what you have achieved; the strength to overcome the urge to give in. I’ve been checking up on your blog, and how you’ve been getting on ever since I first read it and felt pangs of jealousy, mixed with a swell of admiration, wishing I could do what you’ve done. You’re an inspiration. Thanks again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and Day 1 of my attempt to rid my life of alcohol. The irony of this day is not lost on me. My ex-husband was a severe addict, he lost our home, multiple jobs and racked up numerous DUIs which eventually led to our divorcing and me securing full custody of our infant son. While in the throws of his addiction, I “gave up” drinking to support him. I think in the back of my mind, I knew I wasn’t a normal drinker, but because I could quit for long periods and I wasn’t losing things like my ex, I figured my problem could not be that bad of a problem. I starting drinking at age 14. From the very start , my drinking style was drink to get drunk. I would go a week or 2 without drinking, but when I would engage, I would always catch a good buzz and many times wake up the next day with a horrible hangover coupled with extreme guilt or embarrassment from the previous nights events. My circle of friends were also binge drinkers, so I would rationalize away my behavior and seek their words of comfort (acceptance) that I was not that bad and we would then chuckle at our foolishness. I am now 35 years old, happily remarried to a amazing man and am finding out that as I get older that my relationship with alcohol is nowhere near normal and if I do not do anything about it, I could lose everything including my life. I am utterly terrified. As I have aged, my other binging friends have settled down and I now find myself the only one at the party who doesn’t recall the last few hours of night and am told the next day by my husband that I said this or that, or tripped on the whatever it was that “jumped” out in front of me. These episodes happen mostly when I am left in a uncontrolled..ie open bar, parties. At home, I can better maintain as I have set rules, no drinking until Thursday night, I only buy a bottle of wine, etc. (half the time I am successful with only drinking the bottle, other times I have driven to the store (I am ashamed to admit) to pick up 2 more mini bottles, because 1 bottle of wine is not a good enough buzz!) I have started hiding the extra bottles and have to remember to retrieve them the next day from said hiding place to avoid someone finding out my secret. My husband thinks i am a lightweight and cannot understand how I get so plastered off a few drinks, little does he know its usually double what he thinks I had. If we have hard alcohol in the house, I will sneak to the freezer and take 1or 2 shots extra without my husband knowing. I am so tired of this horrible existence. On the outside, I have a successful career, 2 beautiful kids and a amazing husband. What the heck am I doing? Why do I have to check out like this? Why can’t I be normal ? Many of these posts resonate with me, bc many people actually enjoy me drunk. I am extremely social. Without alcohol, I have borderline social phobias to the point where I have borderline panic attacks before a event. I want so bad to leave alcohol in the past. I am going to take it one day at a time. I can no longer deny that I have a problem. I just am so scared that I will fail. My dad was in AA for over 30 years and successfully quit drinking. He died in 2010 of cancer-SOBER. I wish he was hear today to talk to. I really need him as I feel no one else in my life knows how horrible and scared I feel.

  4. Unpickled and friends,

    I’ve been reading the blog, starting with the first entry, for a week or so and finished it the other day. I’ve identified more with your situation than any other so far (and I’ve been reading tons!!!). But more about that later.

    I’m a 38 year old mother of 3 (11, 9, and 6) and am closing in on 14 years of marriage. By all outward appearances, I am a stable, level-headed, no-nonsense person who has her act together. For very nearly 20 years though, I’ve been nursing an increasing dependency on alcohol–primarily wine and beer. With the exception of pregnancies and breastfeeding, my consumption slowly increased over the years. I’ve thought about reducing and taking breaks for the last few years, but until this past November I never thought as long and hard about it as I should have. I never made it (excepting above mentioned times) more than a few days without my evening simmer-down drinks. Like so many who read/comment on your blog, my problem has always been in saying “enough!” when refills were involved. I would plan ahead for events to ensure that I would be able to drink or drink enough and even pass on events when I knew I wouldn’t be able to grab an evening beer or glass of wine. But it got to be too much. Even when alone I couldn’t stop at a half or 3/4 bottle of wine. I’d HAVE to finish the whole thing…I’d sometimes even open a new bottle if the last pour from the first bottle didn’t fulfill my drinking appetite. I wasn’t a party-person, I was a home-drinker. I thought I’d earned my wind-down drinks in the evening, but I slowly but surely let them overtake me. I’ve learned that I hit a “high-bottom,” and that’s what let me to this blog and others like it.

    I thought long and hard about where I was headed, took the Johns Hopkins test for alcohol abuse and failed miserably. In spite of the fact that I always held a steady job, volunteered at my kids’ schools, cooked fabulous daily meals for my family that would be the envy of most households, my bottomless wine/beer glasses were slowing causing me to self-destruct. And whether I wanted to fess up to it or not, the little people I most wanted to protect–my kids–, were suffering for it too. I knew I had to do something, but I didn’t know where to begin. I only knew where I didn’t want to begin, and that was AA.

    I exercise/jog quite a bit. On one of my favorite routes I pass by a church that advertises it’s weekly AA meetings. I’ve noticed the sign countless times, but one particular morning (when I was likely sweating out a hangover) the sign inspired me to take the test, which led me to search for people like me online. I didn’t immediately find “Unpickled,” but I did find some other helpful blogs that inspired me to get a plan in place and led me to some good lit sources that I read over MLK Jr. weekend which I spent at the beach with my family. That weekend I savored my last rendezvous with beer and wine and returned home Sunday as well-equipped as I’ve ever been to give it a go. I took my last drink Sunday night and woke up Monday inspired by MLK Jr’s words “A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.” I’d found that quote last year while searching for inspiration during a work-related crisis. This year, though, the figurative “man” represented my dependence on alcohol. I’d let it weigh me down and it was time for me to take back the control I had given up. Since that Monday (1/20), I’ve slipped once and I learned from it. This is the first time (and I hope the only time) I’ve seriously tried and I’m taking that one bump in the rode on this journey as a lesson learned. I feel stronger for it.

    What I’ve learned so far:
    1. I like myself better sober
    2. I sleep MUCH better without wine before bed
    3. I like non-alcoholic drinks more than I remembered…even better than the alcoholic ones. My go-to drinks around happy-hour are grapefruit juice and sparkling water, cranberry juice and sparkling water , an occasional tonic water (I splurg on Vling) and all with lime if it’s handy, and tea…lots of varieties of tea. My favorite before bed tea is Sleepytime) I find the warmth of the tea incredibly soothing.
    4. I automatically take better care of myself. In my early twenties my college roommate was in awe of how well/religiously I took care of my skin. I’ve gone back to those before-bed skin routines I had long since abandoned in favor of topping off my wine and usually falling asleep on the sofa before I made it to bed.
    5. I have less guilt. Much less guilt eating up my days and nights (also contributing to better sleep). I’ve got lots to work on, but I’m headed in the right direction and that’s a really good place to be.
    6. I’m rediscovering interests I’d given up in favor of booze. Stargazing is much more memorable without the buzz. So is reading;-)
    7. I have so much more to learn, and learning while sober increases retention by leaps and bounds;-)
    8. I’m not alone. There are so many out there just like me.
    9. I’m stronger than I thought.
    10. I’m a better mom. This is reason enough alone to stay the course.

    Unpickled, thank you for your honesty and inspiration!

    • UnPickled says:

      Wow, you have come a long way in a short time! Thank you for sharing your story and your insights. You are so right about everything – life is so much sweeter in the freedom that comes with sobriety!

      • Thanks. I’m in a better place than I was a month ago…but I have long way to go. I focused on the positive in that post, so it may have come across as being easier than it actually is. I should probably counter that “10″ list of positives with a “10″ list of things I still struggle with. The first week was especially painful and although “intense” is the best word I can come up with to describe my happy-hour cravings, that word is a gross understatement. I was surprised by how much I liked the way my non-alcoholic drinks tasted, but I still sorely missed that tingling numbness that the alcohol provided. I read a lot to keep myself as focused as possible on my goal, but sometimes I found myself separating myself from the people in the stories I read, like, “I was never THAT bad…sheesh.” For example, I couldn’t get more than a dozen or so pages into LIT by Mary Karr (Unpickled…I believe you mention this book with similar sentiments too). In fact, I think it was right after trying to read that book, about two weeks or so in, that I convinced myself maybe this had all been a mistake. I was very wrong to think that. The real mistake was that I thought I was better than that. So I tested myself and failed. This had some value toward my progress so far, though. It was humbling, just as the moment I failed that alcohol-dependency test was humbling…humiliating even.

        Here are some of the books I found most helpful in case anyone is looking for distraction and inspiration (as I was and constantly am). Our stories are as varied as the stories of the people in these books, but there is something valuable I have learned from each one. I’m open for what to read next, so please bring on the suggestions!!!!

        1. Drinking: A Love Story (Caroline Knapp). Great book. I had to follow this one with…
        2. Take the Long Way Home (Gail Caldwell). Although not directly about alcohol abuse, this was written by Caroline Knapp’s best friend. Caldwell’s story of her friendship with Caroline is stunningly beautiful. I treasured this book. They became friends years after both were already sober. Their friendship and the beauty/crispness of the details of their SOBER time together is inspiring. It’s a true testament to the clarity and beauty of life–and relationships–sober. I read both books voraciously.
        3. Seven Days Sober (Meredith Bell) . There are quite a few typos in this book, but it’s excellent in spite of this! (I can’t talk, as I misused “it’s” in my first post ;-). I really liked that it came from a person who worked for years in the wine industry. Her book led me to the next one on this list…
        4. Easy Way to Control Alcohol. (Allen Carr) This one helped me villainize my beloved beer and wine. One problem I find w/his approach, though, is “no substitutes!”. I mean, if you’re used to drinking alcohol from 5pm until bedtime, you have to drink something else, and you’re going to have to experiment to find what you like. His is an authoritarian approach, but there is considerable value in much of his advice.
        5. Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife (Brenda Wilhelmson).
        6. How Alcoholics Anonymous Failed Me (Marianne Gilliam). Tread lightly here. There are books here that support AA; this happens to be one that doesn’t…but it doesn’t completely nix it either (contrary to what the title implies). Everyone of us comes to this w/a unique experience…so we all have to follow a path that best suits us. This is just her story. Where Carr is absolute (although also w/out AA), Gilliam is less definitive.
        7. Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here anymore. (Rachael Brownell).

        Anyone have other suggestions?? Other than Allen Carr, all I’ve listed are female authors. I’ve naturally related more closely with their experiences. But I’m open to anything!!

    • sccrown says:

      Unsoutherncook, are you sure you’re not ME? I resonated with everything you just said. I am so happy you are on this journey to better health! I’m 121 days alcohol-free and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I drank EXACTLY like you described above. I even enjoy sparkling water and tea these days. Anyway, thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day!

      • Wow! 121 days! That’s fantastic. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement!

      • drymom says:

        Ditto!!! Something I’m seeing a lot of is how much I have in common with people on these blogs, particularly unpickled’s readers! I’m 240 days in, stay at home mom of 5 & 7 year olds, and LOVE reading how I’m actually NOT just “losing it” as my kids get older, but rather I am simply…readjusting. :)

  5. Dd says:

    I came across your blog today after a particularly bad hangover from last night has compelled me to ask why I keep doing this to myself. I am 34, but have been a binge drinker since high school, but I have a successful career, a happy marriage, a really good life, and two beautiful small children who are the center of my world. Why then do I keep drinking?
    For years now I try to convince myself that I don’t have a problem. I can stop drinking full stop. I did for around 6 months five years ago after a very bad night. I also did so through both of my pregnancies. When people said, oh you can have a glass of wine during pregnancy, I always jokingly replied that I did not want one glass of wine – I wanted four. And that is my fundamental problem. A month will go by where I will “drink responsibly.” I’ll have a glass or two with friends and stop. I will convince myself that I have it under control and that I am perfectly capable of drinking moderately. And then, because I have let my guard down, that common problem for me of not having an off switch, and I will keep drinking until the bottle is drained and I am passed out. I am so envious of my friends who drink like reasonable adults. I wish I could and I think I have to face down the fact that I can’t. That a bad night is always lurking around the corner so long as I keep drinking.
    Due to a recent relocation, I’m now home with my kids, and I have been drinking a lot more then I used to when I was working. I put the kids to bed and run for the wine. Maybe I use it as a way to carve out adult time where I now have none. Or because I am bored and I also feel guilty about that. I feel like a failure as a mom on a near daily basis. So what used to be a thing I would do only on weekends now is an almost daily affair, and I am so tired of the spiral of shame.
    I want to stop drinking. I have so many fears about doing so. I am afraid to tell people. I am afraid they won’t want to hang out with me anymore because they think I am judging them (I have felt that way about people who have sobered up- likely bc I felt like it was a spotlight on my own issues). I am scared of the people who will say , oh you don’t have a problem- you’re fine! But I am equally scared that there will be some people who will say, good for you – it’s about time. Because that will mean that I haven’t been hiding it as well as I thought.
    I’ve spent the past hour reading through the comments on here and seeing so much of myself. Thanks for being brave and sharing your journey.

    • Coming Clean says:

      Hi Dd
      you are such a brave girl to go onto this blog and tell us all about what is troubling you. I just want to say that when I was 34 I was writing in my diary saying how ashamed I was about my alcohol intake. It took me twenty years (now 54) of hard drinking before I stopped. I wish so much that I had done it earlier. Life is wonderful now and it is not too hard.I see some women now who are alcoholics and they look so unhealthy. Your kids will respect you so much more if you are 100% alive.
      Take pride in yourself and who you are. You have to arrest this disease before it either kills you or makes your life miserable.

    • UnPickled says:

      Hello my friend. Thank you for reaching out. You don’t have to live with these secrets, burdens, shame, and fear. You are strong enough to speak so honestly, strong enough to look at yourself and see what is real, and that makes you strong enough to go forward as your best version of yourself.

      Don’t be afraid to tell people. But DO think carefully about who you turn to. Many of us – without realizing it – choose to tell people who we know won’t ask too much of us. Part of our brains wants to keep drinking and that tricky little part says, “hey I bet that friend with a wineglass in her hand is a good person to talk to about my drinking!” We spend years building a social circle that tolerates and even supports our unhealthy choices, and then wonder why they don’t support our recovery. If you find someone who is in recovery and say “I want to quit drinking” you’ll be met with a cartwheel and a hug and a TON of support. There are millions of people in recovery out there, but how do you find them? A recovery group is a great place to start. The online community is wonderful and supportive – you’ll find it helpful. Some find that’s enough, some need real life support. I denied myself these connections for a long time and now that I have them, I am so glad for the sober friends in my life! Please stay in touch.

      • Dd says:

        Thanks for responding. I am now 11 days in without having a drink, and I feel truly great. Last week was hard. I think I was going through some withdrawal symptoms- mostly feeling panicky and anxiety. I knew that if I had a glass of wine, it would immediately calm me, but I also knew that if I did I would be back at square one and have to start the process all over again. I also was thinking and fretting over future abstract scenarios (will I really not be able to have a glass of champagne at my sons’ weddings? (my sons are babies)).So I am on the other side of the weekend now, a weekend where we went out to dinner with friends one night and went to a birthday party one night, and I did not have a drink. I am setting small goals for myself- right now its just get through the week, then tackle the weekend. I can also honestly say that I haven’t missed it at all this week. Once you break through the routine of those evening drinks, start doing other things, I’ve found it’s 10 o’clock and I realize I have thought about wine for the first time. I’ve been getting up early and working out, playing with my children a lot, writing again, watching True Detective (highly recommend). It’s amazing how I always complain how little free time I have, that I actually do have free time I was just squandering. Granted this is the second week, so I know there will be good days and bad.
        And I think you’re right about finding sober friends. I have confided in one friend here (I am a recent overseas transplant) about my issues and how I was stopping. She has been nothing but supportive, though I think, as we all do, she is using me as a magnifying glass to examine her own behavior. I have surrounded myself here with a group of people who use alcohol indiscriminately and often. I think a lot of us are trying to navigate a new country, new friends, and new situations, without any sort of support network for the first time, and alcohol has inadvertently become that unifying link (much like it was in college so many years ago). So I know that as the days stretch into weeks or months, I will need to find an outlet with a sympathetic and understanding ear.
        In the meantime, thanks for listening.

  6. Mx says:

    I am a 39 year old single mother of 3, ages 19, 18 and 13. My sons are independently living now but my 13yo daughter lives with me. I’m a recently registered nursing graduate, I’m a musician, a writer, a pet owner, I’ve had my fair share of life challenges; sexual abuse when I was younger, a string of abusive and unhealthy relationships throughout my adult years, am a suicide survivor etc and I am proud of myself for turning these negative aspects around and getting myself in good place to be able to move forward in a positive direction for the last half of life both for myself and my children. But one thing has always remained. My addiction to drinking at least a bottle of a wine a night for the better part of the last 15 years. Sometimes I’d drink two bottles. On rare occasions, I might have a night or two off altogether, but mostly, it was a bottle. Like a lot of people on here, I’ve still managed to function very well in my daily life (usually). I was not the drinker to wake up and get straight into it. I’d more just look forward to the 4pm mark of the day that gave me permission to get into it and stay in it until I went to bed/sleep. I’m not an over the top/hysterical/aggressive drunk. At times, yes, but mostly I just drink to escape, to be more ‘social’ (even though I’m at home alone) on the phone or online, to feel ‘better’.

    A few years ago I went to the doctor for a check-up. I went back the following week to get my results, hungover of course, bleary eyed and sweating, and most likely stinking of stale wine and hoping he didn’t notice. From my blood results, he was able to tell me that my liver was damaged. Only slightly, but it was an indication to him and to me that if I continued to drink the way I was, I might be fine for the next 5 years but after that, it would be all down hill and fast. Of course I never admitted to him just how much I drank (I didn’t need to though did I. The blood tests blew my cover) – and I never went back to him either. I felt judged and scared. In fact, I haven’t been to a doctor now for over 3 years because I haven’t wanted them to know about my problem. The fact that I am in the health profession also makes me refrain from getting help. I’ve also thought to myself, hmm 5 years.. that means I’ve got 2 more years of fun left! 2 more years of peaking out that I’m over the limit to drive the day after due to how much I consumed the night before, 2 more years of anxiety hangovers, hangovers in general, profuse sweating, insomnia, bad breath, bad health, 2 more years of insane guilt, avoidance, hiding the wine bottles, spending money I don’t have on wine, 2 more years of dutch courage and telling people what I ‘really!’ think, the whites of my eyes like road maps, the damage to my gums, the not wanting to go to certain places and events because I can’t drink or drink as much as I want to, not going anywhere because I have to drive and therefore can’t drink, 2 more years of pretending to potential romantic relationship partners that I don’t have a drinking problem, risky sexual behaviour, pretending to my health professional colleagues, pretending to my friends, pretending to my family, 2 more years of seeing patients with alcohol induced dementia and being scared shitless that that is how I may too end up (so have a drink and forget that horrible thought!), 2 more years of writing overly exposing facebook posts causing much anxiety the next day, calling people on the phone and spilling my innards, memory loss, looking haggard due to being constantly hungover, tired and dehydrated, 2 more years of being a health promoter all the while secretly destroying my own, a walking contradiction, a fraud, 2 more years of missing out on valuable time with my children and demonstrating to yet another one of them, that this is how you cope with life. 2 more years of denial. Fun? FUN? Wow. When did my neurons get so back to front.

    I spent last year removing toxic relationships and situations from my life, believing that if I removed these, my anxiety levels and insomnia would also diminish. However, the drinking continued and so did my anxiety.. and so did the guilt and the unshakable feelings of dirtiness and fogginess. I want to change this. I want to feel my self love and self respect again. I want to know who I am underneath all this.

    So what have I done and how am I doing it?

    I have committed to a 30day challenge of no alcohol at all – I am on day 3. And also, I committed to a 30 day yoga challenge that I found on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wJtQjQ4HI8 I almost broke my challenge yesterday at 4:16pm when I got so excited about being able to play a piece of music I’ve been attempting for months now, that I just wanted to ‘celebrate’ (get smashed…any excuse will do! But hey, I can control this, right? I’m over re-acting.. I don’t really have a drinking problem…) and it was almost unbearable to fight the urge UNTIL I remembered the yoga. And in that moment of intense resistance, I realised just how badly I DO have a drinking problem. I went to my room with my laptop and (struggled) with day 2′s program. It’s only 20minutes but I am so unfit. The first 10minutes was spent following the girl’s instructions and speaking encouraging things to myself ‘you are worth this’, ‘it’s only for 30 days’, ‘it is natural to feel peaky’, ‘do something different’, ‘feel the energy that has come up and honour it – dance with it! – don’t crush it by drinking – it is beautiful! You are beautiful and I love you!’ all the while tottering about trying to do the poses. After ten minutes, the yoga had me relaxed enough that though still having a niggling thought of ‘the bottle shop will be closed soon..’, I somehow got through that and accepted the ‘pain’ and after yoga, went out into my garden/jungle and began weeding. Gardening is an instant gratification though I don’t do hardly any of it. But you are kept busy, you are immediately balanced because you are in nature, and you can see the results, the positive results of what you are doing. Hours went by and I came in and cooked dinner for my daughter and I. The rest of the night was spent reading this blog and having moments of intense emotion and regret for the past but also an excitement for my future. I am excited to know who I am without this addiction. I am scared also that I can’t get passed it. But if I need to check in with myself to debate whether or not I do or I don’t have a drinking problem, I just have to imagine myself apologising to my children for all the times I wasn’t there for them and ‘inside a bottle’ instead; the heartache and tears that instantly follow sadly remind me of the truth.

    I also smoke a packet of cigarettes a day and have done since I was 17. From all the comments on here, I am looking forward to reading the Allan Carr book on this one. For now, I just want to feel good. I want my self respect back. I want to feel clear. I want to be able to see properly again. I want to be someone my children are proud of. And though only day 3, I can tell you that already my skin feels smoother, I feel clearer in my mind, my vision is sharper, the whites of my eyes whiter, and my posture is taller. And I’ve also saved $30 at least. I’d also like to subtract the word ‘only’ from the day 3 sentence. I am on day 3 of my recovery from my wine addiction and I am proud of myself. I plan to just get to the end of this 30days and then start another 30days and another and another… To say I’m giving up altogether is threatening and just makes me want to have a wine. So 30days it is. I’d like to thank you Jean, and everyone else on here for being here with such honesty and love. I am ever grateful to have stumbled upon this site (which I came to from the google search ‘quitting wine’). I think it’s going to be my saving grace.

    I am about to post this and I feel resistance. Fear. Sadness. This really is the end of my denial. I feel vulnerable. I think it’s time for today’s yoga.

    Love, Respect and Gratitude to you all,

    Mx

    • Laurie says:

      So much of your story was familiar to me! Fortunately, you are only 39 – I wasted 10 more years before I got sober. Now I am on day 202 and can assure you that this is possible and you can do it.

      • Mx says:

        Thanks for your support and reassurance Laurie. Much appreciated. And Congratulations on 202 days!! That’s Awesome! I had an unexpected visit tonight from a friend who brought with her a bottle of chardonnay…. I got her a wine glass and grabbed my water bottle. Considering I’ve had a pretty strained day on the inner, I don’t know how but I resisted and didn’t have any. Maybe I really can do this! Mx

        • Laurie says:

          It does get so much easier! And there are benefits – I’ve lost weight, I’m saving money and there is no more shame in the morning. I used to worry that I wouldn’t be “fun” anymore if I didn’t drink but it turns out I am still just as crazy (in a fun but happy way.) Much love and positive energy to you – you are bigger and stronger than the bottle of wine.

    • I feel like I have to completely remove myself from my world to stay sober. My boyfriend and his group all drink regularly, my brother and colleagues, too. I hope to find a mantra to help. I was feeling so great when I stopped for a week. Wine is not my friend. Causes me to miss work, eat too much and lose sight of my goals. Ugh.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      • Pondering in Montana says:

        hows ithe journey going for you miss montana? i’m from montana too! best of luck to you!

    • KAM says:

      Hi Everyone! I’m new at this. Actually, this is my first time ever posting a response on a blog. First, I want to say that every story that I have read – I can certainly relate to many of the stories. I have so much that I want to say; so many questions that I am searching for the answers too. But the only thing that I can do is start from the beginning. I’m a successful wife and mother of one. I’ve been a “heavy” drinker since I was about 25 (I’m 34 now). I really don’t like to use the word “heavy” because I didn’t have a problem them. I could have a glass of wine and that would be it but on the weekend, I would party so much with my girlfriends and we often got pretty smashed. However, when my husband and I decided to have our son, I stopped drinking without any problem. During my pregnancy, I didn’t drink at all. I promised myself that I wouldn’t go back to drinking as much as I did before I got pregnant. How is it that I ended up where I am now? Struggling to go a day or two without alcohol. When I was on maternity leave (3 months) – I found myself bored. Outside of taking care of our new baby, there wasn’t a whole lot for me to do. So, I would meet my sister for “lunch” or I would buy myself a small bottle to consume when our newborn was napping. That continued for most of my maternity leave once I started back drinking (NO – I wasn’t breastfeeding) :-). Fast forward to today, there are so many day’s, especially on the weekend, where I consume my first drink before noon and I don’t stop until I pass out sometime around 8pm at night. I’ve identified what my problem is – I am okay without drinking, it’s a struggle, but I can do it. The problem is that when I drink, I can keep going and going and going and going. I kept thinking to myself, why can’t I just have one drink? I am always so consumed with guilt because I can’t have just one drink. I drink heavily by myself. I’m ashamed because often times, my now 2 year old is with me and all I can think about is, what would happen if I pass out on him and he hurt himself? The mere thought of it now is bringing tears to my eyes.
      I said in January that for the first time since I realized I had a problem, I was going to make a true effort to quit. I told myself I wouldn’t drink the entire month of January – I made it about 6 days. After that, I binged one weekend and felt like crap on Monday morning. I then refrained for another 4 or 5 days, and again, that following weekend…binged! Then finally, I was sick of the guilt and I had a breakdown and told myself that my husband deserves a better wife, my child deserves a better mother, and me, well I deserve to be a better me. So I quit…I lasted 2 weeks, and on Superbowl Sunday, we had people over and it all went to SHIT! I’m so disappointed in myself. During those 2 weeks, I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt so good! I wasn’t tired. I didn’t feel like crap. I was better focused at work. But once I had that first drink on Superbowl Sunday, now, that’s all I think about it. I guess, it will be harder and harder to quit each time I try, but I will keep trying until I quit for good.
      Like many that have been posting here, I don’t think I can do AA. The type of work that I do and who I am within my community just doesn’t warrant that. Perhaps I’ll be willing to tell my story publicly once I believe I’ve crossed a milestone of some sort but I am not sure what that is just yet.
      I must admit, I’m scared. I’m afraid that I can’t do this. I’m afraid that I’ve caused permanent damage to my liver and that I won’t be around to see my child grow up. I’m scared that I will be judged by my friends. I mean after all, my husband and I are the “entertainers” of our circle. I’m just SCARED!!! I keep telling myself, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world or stop now so that when you are in your 40′s having dinner with other couples, you can have a glass of wine and be perfectly fine with it. But from all the reading I’ve done recently since I made the decision to quit is this – I have an addictive personality and I need to just accept that I may not (no, let me say, WILL NOT) consume another drink. I keep trying to plan for the future. I’m in my best friend’s wedding in March – open bar (top shelf — just the way I like it), I keep telling myself, stop now and then in March have a drink at the wedding. But that’s not the mentality I should have, I don’t think.
      I will say, that I admire everyone that has ever posted their struggles. I have attempted to post something several times but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m proud of myself for taking this first step. I used to write a lot when I was in school (high school & college) perhaps this needs to be my outlet.

      Thanks for listening. Wishing everyone luck on this journey!

      Today is my new day 1, it’s 9:22pm EST and I’m sober, haven’t had a drink :-) Wish me luck!

  7. NoMoreNightcaps says:

    Thank you for this blog. I just found you because I had the novel idea of starting a blog to chronicle my journey without alcohol. :) The stories I’ve read so far are so helpful; probably the most gratifying part of this is realizing that I’m not alone. There are many more of “me” out there! I’ve stopped drinking a few times before, just to relapse after a super-hard day or week at work. AA is not an option for me because of my profession and place in the community but it’s time. I feel like I’ve flipped that switch and it’s wonderful to consider myself “in recovery.” It dawned on me recently that drinking just makes me tired anymore (not relaxed or peaceful) and I’m tired enough from my job and my life that I really don’t need that compounding factor of alcohol!

    I do worry about the feedback from my family when we’re in town for holidays or events (my family is the type who has a manger scene on the basement bar at Christimas). But I’m prepared to have a cranberry and club soda while they drink. I’m sort of looking forward to staying sober and watching how the volume in the room intensifies as everyone gets tanked! Thanks again for this forum and for your stories of both struggle and success!

  8. Cat says:

    I’ve started my journey to recovery via the traditional route of Alcoholics Anonymous. I cannot explain to you the support, welcoming, resources, and joy I’ve found in every one of the 20+ different meetings I’ve “sampled”. I am one of those who know for a fact that I cannot get and stay sober without the structure and support of A.A. I’m blogging about my journey as well. Best of luck!

  9. Darcy says:

    Hi there! I have just finished reading all the posts and have decided to follow this blog. I stumbled upon the whole Sober Blog phenomenon the other day and love the whole concept. I have also joined a few other blogs, including tiredofdrinking, which included a 100 Day Challenge to quit drinking, which I am on Day 4.

    I consider myself to be an alcoholic of the variety that cannot ever drink like a normal person again. “Normal” meaning someone who never thinks about drinking alcohol, can take it or leave it, and may not even finish their glass during a champaign toast. No worries, I’ll finish it for you!

    I consider myself a “functional” alcoholic. I may go to work with a hangover, but I have never called off from work due to a hangover. I don’t drink on the job. I never got a DUI. I never lost a job or a home over my drinking. I did, however, marry and divorce 3 alcoholics, and thankfully, never brought any children into my sick world.

    I am a Registered Nurse who works in the field of addictions and mental health. You would think that I should know better. Oh I know all about the effects of alcohol on the body, how to detox, and am well versed in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. But first and foremost, I am a human being who is just as suseptible to any and all diseases.

    I relapsed after 3 years, a year ago. And am finally to the point that I have to get this shit done for myself before it is too late. I already have the fatty liver.

    I came across a quote somewhere recently, I don’t remember where, but it goes like this:
    “You have to love yourself enough to do what you need to do to take care of yourself”. This was such an epiphany for me. I suddenly felt so sad for myself not being loved and cared for the way I should be by the person closest to me…..ME!

    Then within a few days, I found these sober blogs and my eyes were opened!

    Don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing wrong with AA. I still attend meetings occasionally, but I am not being honest by declaring myself once again to have relapsed. I just cannot bring myself to go up there again and pick up that white chip! I don’t want my sponsor wanting to help me go back through the steps again. And I don’t want to hurt her feelings. She is a great person who was there for me when I first tried to get sober.

    I am busy with work and graduate school. I know what to do and I know I must have accountability. Yes, I still have my other sober friends, but I like the concept of the blogs.

    I look forward to our mutual support!
    Darcy

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi Unpickled. I found your blog almost eleven months into sobriety, I can’t tell you how relieved I am to find you! I have great online support and am doing well but I am a “secret” quitter too. My husband now knows but nobody else and every so often I feel so guilty about that. I went to one AA meeting but it wasn’t for me, I just want to get on with life but then I feel guilty because I’m not going around say “I’m an alcoholic”. The guilt gets you both ways. I look forward to reading your archives. Thank you and all the best for 2014.

    • UnPickled says:

      Yes, I know what you mean. I am finally starting to tell people here and there….I’m feeling the need to embrace my whole identity. We don’t need to slap any label on ourselves though, not if we don’t want to. I like to say “I’m in successful long term recovery” or “I’ve quit drinking because I didn’t like where it was taking me” but almost never say “I’m an alcoholic” unless in speaking with other alcoholics who understand the terminology.

  11. sweetheidi12345 says:

    I really appreciate your blog- I have read many of your posts and am very encouraged. This battle can be won.

  12. Fiona says:

    Dear Unpickled, I found your blog today from a comment on my blog, on a post I wrote about stopping drinking. Your honesty and humour is compelling and I congratulate you on this. I stopped drinking almost two years ago after reading Allen Carr’s ‘No More Hangovers’ book and have never looked back. Best wishes to you and your readers. Life is better without alcohol in it!

  13. Sunshine says:

    Ugh !! I let temptation get the best of me and only lasted a week! Feeling very awful and angry at myself :(

    I can’t give up though and have to keep trying… I am worth fighting for and overcoming this. Today is my Day 1 … Again…

    • DB says:

      It’s understandable…all too well. We have all been there. Just forgive yourself and pull those big girl underwear up and keep moving forward. I have been in the dumpers sooo many times I can not count…I had to stop beating up on myself and forgive and learn, and recognize. Than…when I was successful I didn’t miss that magical moment. Hanes granny pannies and all!

    • novemberdry says:

      Sunshine, hang in there! I’ve started-stopped-started-stopped a zillion times, too. You’ll get there:)

    • Sunshine, the same thing happened to me after about 2 1/2 weeks. Pull up your bootstraps and try again. When I slipped, I found reading Seven Days Sober (super cheap from Amazon Cloud Reader) and Easy Way to Control Alcohol to be helpful in getting me back on course…of course with the mammoth hangover as an additional incentive. Don’t beat yourself up. On week sober is one week closer to where you want to be!

  14. PP aka anonymous says:

    I keep thinking about a comic on face book that says: Alcohol, because no funny story ever started with a salad. I am looking back on the year 2013, what were some of the funny highlights of the past year that alcohol was the reason that made it hilarious? Was it when we went downtown on St. Patricks day and my husband fell flat on his face in the middle of the street? No not so funny! How about I planned a surprise birthday get together for a friend and ended up blacking out right after she arrived and my husband took me home right away? Not so funny! Or being a bridesmaid for the first time at 53, riding the party bus from the church to the reception, drinking like crazy, barely remember eating, missing out on the fabulous cupcakes and then going to work on Monday and everyone commenting how drunk I was. Funny…not really. The past 21 days playing Uowords and Sorry with my college aged children, stone cold sober laughing so hard I thought I would wet my pants! Yes that was fun! Playing cards on Saturday night drinking one Odohls because I love the taste of beer, and knowing one was enough and there is no reason to drink more than one. Had a great time and remember every minute. There is absolutely nothing at the bottom of a bottle that makes, wittier, prettier or smarter.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are lovely!! Thanks so much for your honesty.

    • Anoooooonymous says:

      Thanks for sharing! One of my main fears about not drinking is not being able to have fun like I used to, but your post made me remember the time I got together with an old friend I missed terribly only to pass out on her couch. The fun stopped quite suddenly that time. Or the two occasions I puked on people on the way home from a party. Not fun for me, even less so for them, and that’s only what I remember about those nights.

      There is indeed nothing at the bottom of a bottle that makes wittier, prettier, or smarter.

  15. Rosie Devon says:

    After a life time of denial and thinking I didn’t have a problem, I am finally doing something about my wine guzzling, binge drinking problem. A particular low point for me was when I accidentally got trashed in front of my children – they witnessed me slurring, staggering, slumping and then passing out. It was horrendous and I felt I had totally failed as a mother, and human being. I was so nervous about writing my first blog post as am terrified about being judged or shouted at. Thanks for your website – it is such an encouraging and informative read… X

    • Sunshine says:

      Hi Rosie

      Thanks for your post:) I think as mothers we are so quick to judge ourselves… Hopefully our children can be a motivating factor and inspiration to keep fighting;) You are worth it:)

    • Coming Clean says:

      Hi Rosie
      I have just seen “Saving Mr Banks” the story of PL Travers and Walt Disney. Apparently Mrs Travers wrote Mary Poppins to save the memory of her father from fading, a lovely father who over time developed a serious drinking problem and died when she was a young girl. Watching an alcoholic parent guzzling spirits in front of his child was very confronting for me. I saw myself and I saw the bad example that adults can have and the impact it has on children for the rest of their lives. A “must see” for all of us to understand the insidiousness of the disease and the opportunities that are there to make our lives better.

      • ppgokey says:

        Rosie:

        After reading your post I started to beat myself up for the way I raised my girls, they are now young adults in college and yes they do drink. Did I set a bad example, yes I did would it have made a difference if I was stone cold sober all those years, I really don’t think so. I never saw my mom drink more than 2 drinks in her life, my dad would drink two beers per night. But in his young years he drank ALOT, I am told. I have friends who do not drink, he doesn’t care to and she is recovering alcoholic. But they have been through hell and back with their daughters. Yes I do believe we can set a good example but I also blame society and genetics. Have you watched a Main Street movie without drinking an pot smoking? Good luck and keep a good eye on your children as they grow up, stay vigilent and watch where they go and what they do. My story 25 days sober my family, not so much but I believe that it is never too late to be a good example!

    • UnPickled says:

      Thinking of you as you begin your journey. Sending you lots of love and strength.

  16. Heidi says:

    I found your site yesterday,of course, googling “how to stop drinking” and spent most of the day reading. I started drinking about 5 years ago, starting with one and am now up to at least 3 strong southern comfort cokes every evening without fail. This morning I woke up and told my husband that I needed to stop drinking. He was amazingly supportive and stated he had been worried about me as I can drink him two to one. His drinking is totally social and can take it or leave it and also stop at one. (don’t know what that means as I cannot stop at one) I admit I am scared shitless about the “witching hour”, which for me starts about 6 pm and how I am going to sleep without my drinks. I don’t know what the future will bring but writing this makes it real so I guess we are going to give this sobriety thing a shot and see if we survive it. Here’s to DAY ONE! Thanks for all the posts that gave me the courage to finally admit that I need to stop.

    • UnPickled says:

      Heidi, it took me a few days to reply. I hope you are alright – how are you managing? It is hard, really hard at first so don’t give up. Please touch base and update. You’ll find a good cheering section here!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I have read many of the replies but not all. I found a wonderful community of women in the Women for Sobriey community. I have not had a drink in over 9.5 months. It has not been easy but WFS has been an absolute saving grace for me! We do not focus on the past but look at the joys of sobriety and the amazing women we can become without alcohol in our lives getting in our way!

    Jo

  18. lolli says:

    My sister has a drinking problem. It has been going on for at least two years. It has escalated and I finally could not stand aside anymore. I talked to her and her friends, and she knows that we all want her to get help and stop drinking. She has been drinking straight vodka for a long time and getting drunk at night after work and on the weekends. She is still able to get up and go to work each morning. I’m really scared for her. She wants to try and stop on her own. She is very fearful of her boss finding out and potentially firing her, so she won’t go to a doctor, etc. Today, she said when she got home from work, she was shaky and felt nauseated and strange, so she took a few shots to calm her. She lives alone during the week, so there is no one there to watch her. Can someone really quit on their own? I don’t know how she will be able to get through the withdrawals without some kind of medication. Please tell me what your thoughts are.

    • UnPickled says:

      I’m really sorry to hear of your sister’s struggles. This sounds like advanced addiction – don’t take chances with your sister’s life. I’m not a medical expert and that’s what’s needed here. Please search PAWS to help understand how dangerous it can be to quit drinking without medical supervision – there are risks depending on one’s drinking pattern. A doctor could help your sister detox safely and greatly improve her chances of success.

      • Sunshine says:

        Hi lolli

        I am a health professional and wanted to add about your sisters drinking. Seems she has a more serious drinking problem and needs to be medically supported throughout her process as abruptly stopping her drinking can lead to severe withdrawal effects and seizures known as delirium tremens. She should also have blood work done due to the nutritional deficiencies that can occur with alcoholism.

        She should see her doctor and be advised that any information she provides him about her drinking is strictly confidential and legally the doctor is not allowed to disclose her medical health issues.
        I hope that helps.

        • lolli says:

          Thank you for the information. I have contacted a psychiatrist (M.D.) and have set up an appointment and my sister has agreed to go. I feel that this will be a really important step for my sis. Reading the comments on this blog has been an eye opener. So many people are suffering from alcoholism. It’s so good to read that many have been able to overcome their drinking and live sober. Thank you to Unpickled and Sunshine for your comments. Knowing others care means so much!! :)

          • UnPickled says:

            Oh Lolli, I am so relieved. Your sister is a lucky girl. There is hope ahead – please let her know that life can be really great without booze – honestly better than ever before once. It takes some effort and a lot of introspection and brutal honesty, but eventually the light breaks through and things start to change.

  19. TimeToStop says:

    Thank you so much for your truly inspirational blog. I find myself in a similar situation to you (and many others here) – a ‘high functioning heavy drinker’. I am 21, in my final year at a big university in the UK, and decided to stop drinking a week ago. It would be the secret gin and tonic (more gin than tonic) up in my room before joining my family downstairs for the usual one, or the extra glass of wine just to ‘get the buzz’ – even if that buzz was more just numbness.

    I feel so much better already. I have been back at university for one week, and survived four trips to the pub with friends. I was ashamed at first, saying I was on antibiotics, or had a cold, when my friends, surprised, asked my why I didn’t have my perennial pint in my hand. I never thought it would be so hard to say ‘I have given up’! I have survived six late nights working over essays in my room, which still has the remnants of my drinks cabinet sitting on my shelf. So far, no temptation to touch them. Thank you for your blog, which has given me the inspiration to start making the steps in my life that I knew, deep down, I had to make.

  20. a new me says:

    Today I have decided today is the day I will put the bottle of wine down. I feel like my life was consumed by boozing. I am great all day thinking I don’t want to drink, but as soon as I get home and start making supper I reach to pour a glass of wine, and I don’t stop till the bottle is done…and sometimes open a second one. I have dated a wonderful man for almost a year, and have talked about moving in together this summer….he has no idea how much I drink. We can hang out all evening, with no alcohol and its great. The moment he leaves I open a bottle and won’t go to bed till its done. I have to kick this nasty addiction before we move in together. I know I can do this I have quit smoking cold turkey and never cheated…I wanted to run a marathon…where I could only run half a block when I started and ended up running two marathons in one year.
    I need to quit for myself…and I don’t want to lose such a great guy because a bottle of wine. All I get out of alcohol is a hang over the next day.Here is to a happier and healthier life…wish me luck!

    • Traci says:

      a new me – I could have written a lot of what you shared, at least the first 8 or so lines (except I’ve been married to my wonderful man for 28 years). 22 days ago, I decided the night before was the last night I was going to drink, & I’m so proud to say I’ve been sober since! What helped me the most was reading sober blogs, namely this one, Tired of Thinking About Drinking, & Soberbia, and reading straight through the book “Kick the Drink…Easily” by Jason Vale. I had tried for years to quit, tried moderation & failed miserably, but something finally clicked for me. I wish you all the luck in the world – you can do this!!!

      • a new me says:

        Traci -Well today is day 3…and I feel absolutely amazing!!! I was so tired going to work feeling crappy cause I was hung over and having to act like I felt great…these last few days I feel and look great! I have thought about putting the bottle down before…but I think I was scared of missing out on the fun and enjoyment of a drink. The funny thing is that one actually misses out on more when you drink. I am the only one to blame for drinking the way I did…afterall noone shoved a bottle down my throat and made me drink. However, I will take full ownership in the pride I will have from saying no to it.
        Afterall, we only get one chance at this beautiful life…I have decided to embrace it.
        All the best

        • Traci says:

          I’m so happy for you!!! Isn’t it an incredible feeling?! I agree with everything you said – here’s to fully enjoying the rest of our lives!!

  21. 2ndtime around says:

    My whole life involves drinking. My husband and I are very social, and everything we attend involves alcohol. Monthly happy hours, weekends away with friends, girls’ night out, etc. We also usually have wine with dinner every night at home. I am that person who says they will only have 1 glass of wine with dinner, then will end up having 1 or 2 more. I do not have a “stop” button. I, like others, somehow manage to get up and go to work the next day without any ill effects. I stopped drinking 6 years ago for 10 months by going to AA meetings, and am not sure why I started again. I really need to do this.

    • secondstart says:

      I think I am in the same category as you (as well as several others here). My entire social life always includes alcohol. I live in a city where alcohol is part of the culture. I have had other people drinking around me every single day since I stopped on Jan. 1st. I also COULD continue to drink without anyone thinking I have a problem. I am the only person who really sees all the negative effects of my drinking. That’s the biggest challenge for me…how to remain involved socially when EVERYONE else in your social group is drinking – and without making everyone else uncomfortable. I’m still not sure how to do this yet. I’ve been fortunate these past few weeks to not have any really large events that I had to back out of, but they are coming up very soon. Good luck!

      • 2ndtimearound says:

        I admire you for not drinking since January 1! Keep it going!!

        We are going out of town with friends this weekend, again with other friends in 2 weekends, my birthday is in February with friends coming for the weekend, and we are going to wine country in California in March. In my mind I say how do I tell people I have stopped drinking because I have a problem, and I answer myself well maybe you should get through these next few months, and quit then. Sadly I have done this year after year.

  22. Chloe says:

    Hi UP,

    I had my first night wine free for 15 years ( 1 1/2 -2 bottles a night between 5 and 930 pm) hard worker, loyal friend family member, just with a dark nightly demon.) I had horrible night sweats and chills that kept me up all night. I am shocked that this is most likely a symptom of withdrawl as I drink only in the evening. Has anyone else experiences this and how long till it subsides? Thank you;) Promised Jesus this am that I would not drink today as well…. One day at a time for me is all I can handle….

    • Traci says:

      Chloe – I experienced similar withdrawal symptoms as you for probably the first 4 or 5 nights after I stopped drinking (about the same amount as you each night), it definitely got better as time went on! I think it could help if you can drink more water to stay hydrated. Hang in there!!!

  23. Jill says:

    I am trying to quit drinking on my own. Due to my position in the community, I can’t risk support meetings and am not even willing to admit my problems to friends. I would tell myself that I didn’t really have a problem. I am a beer drinker and would have 2 per night after work before dinner. Once I eat I am no longer interested in drinking(after reading many posts I realize I am lucky for this). For the past 6 months, as life threw me a few curves, I found myself having 3 or 4. Then I started buying beer and hiding it in the garage so I could have 5 or 6 and my husband wouldn’t know. I convinced myself since I wasn’t driving, since my husband and I are empty nesters, that I wasn’t hurting anybody. Friday night was the last straw. I drank too much, forgot to eat dinner, forgot conversations I had with people, and scared myself. Before it gets really bad, I knew I had to change. I came clean with my husband about my hiding and sneaking. Funny…he already knew most of it. I don’t feel that he is being very supportive…more like he is mad at me. Hence the internet search that brought me here. 4 days without drinking. So far so good but I could use a cheerleader.

    • Anonymous says:

      I too am a partial sneaker. I would stop on way home from work and get a strong high alcohol can of something to start, then come home and continue to drink. Sometimes I will be drunk before 5 pm and still continue to drink. I continue to go into work everyday hungover. I hurt most of the day on a bad day and by evening usually can rehydrate or do ” hair of the dog” I have gotten into bad relationships and risky behaviors. My body is hurting and today is the day I decided I’m tired of hangovers! Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I will never return and I’m so lucky all this destructible behavior has not made me lose my family, my job or my friends…very lucky!

      • DB says:

        OMG! so been there! Good luck! I am now thinking it just takes…”being sick of it”, but by no means am I a professional. I became so tired of the complete 007 cover up…I was so tired. My body was tired. And every ounce of my mind, soul, ability to interact, calculate, adjust, hide, conceal, cover-up, LIE, (help us all), and just cope, yes cope with simply daily life… Yes…I caved in..to just wanting to be normal..Heck. What is normal? I think just feeling healthy. Just feeling……..????? actually…just feeling friggen sober.. What a concept..I still recall how refreshing and exciting I felt heading up to the High-School when my kid needed me! AT Friggen 5pm…OMG! no worries..I got this won…. yes, I actually said won instead of one..(That literally was an accident), I guess I had felt I had earned or won an award). Oh my goodness..I felt like a Champion heading out at 5pm..on the road and the SOBER won….One
        Where do I claim my award?
        Good luck! There are really rewards in many different avenues ahead of you!

        • Mo says:

          I know just what you mean. Just hoping to God that I didn’t have to get in the car after 6pm (but I did…to go and buy more wine. I am ashamed). And the telephone conversations I have forgotton that I had, conversations with my family I forgot I had, pointless niggling arguments I started, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum, how stupid do you think I feel now? What a waste of time.
          Now I have my life back. I was on a treadmill of guilt, depression, exhaustion, and all I needed to say was ‘Enough. No more. Stop.’
          Since I quit (today is day 50) there are so many (all positive) words I can use to describe how I feel but I shall go with this one…

          LIBERATED!!!!!!!

  24. Lee Davy says:

    Hi Jean,

    Thanks for the invitation to share experiences like this. It’s a very clever idea and can really help people who are considering a life without the alcohol.

    Here’s my story in a nutshell…

    My marriage was falling apart and it seemed to me that every argument was when one, or both of us, were drunk. A typical man – I thought my ex wife had the problem, but she struggled to cut down and wouldn’t dream of quitting.

    So I decided to quit in the hope that I would be a role model. 10-years earlier I had successfully quit smoking after reading The EasyWay to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. He taught me to understand that there was really nothing to give up. I got it and never smoked again.

    So when I saw his alcohol book in the store I knew once I had finished it I would never drink again. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. I knew that I would quit. I had the belief because of my experience with smoking.

    I read the book and quit instantly. No cravings, no problems – I just quit. I would love to say that it was really difficult, but it wasn’t. Did it save my marriage? Nope. We divorced and I lost everything.

    Since quitting I have changed every aspect of my life. I cleaned out £30k worth of debt and started savings for the future, I managed to get through a divorce, gave away everything I owned, learned to live apart from my son, had to move back with my parents at the age of 36, fell in love again and had to manage transference, quit gambling, pornography, sugar, caffeine, my job, created a new job from scratch, travelled all over the world and now live the most wonderful life helping people to quit destructive habits at http://www.needyhelper.com.

    All of this because I picked up a book by Allen Carr (The EasyWay to Control Alcohol) and had the belief that I would quit.

    Lee

  25. Just wanted to check in here-I’ve been sober now for 72 days :-) For some reason the past few days have been a struggle…but I got through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and PPD…so I can get through this ;-) Thanks for your blog and support!

  26. Anonymous says:

    I love, love, love to drink. I am 53 and have been bing drinking since I turned 21, before that marijuana was my thing. Over Christmas I noticed my liver was swollen, I felt it was going to surpass my breasts in size! New Year’s Eve we went out for dinner (with drinks of course) then came home to play cards with our friends. On day 8 we went to see a musical and with dinner I had two draft beers, which was fine, but if only I could do that every once in a while. Has anyone else experienced the liver problems? I am afraid to go to the Dr. For two reasons. 1. He says there is something wrong and I need to quit. 2. There is nothing wrong and I continue to drink.

    • UnPickled says:

      My friend, I’m afraid that this falls into the category of “Sh*t that Alcoholics Say”. When normal people notice that a crucial body part is swollen and scary, they run to the doctor and do whatever it takes to get well. It’s the alcoholic who is more scared of having to quit drinking than of having a life threatening problem. Please, please, go to the doctor. And please know that life without alcohol is WONDERFUL – just read through the comments here and see how many people say they are thrilled with the changes it has brought to their life! I am not a medical or psychological expert, just a person in recovery who cares to share a story of hope. I am glad you are here, and I hope you come back, and most of all I sincerely urge you to get a health check! You deserve to be well!

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for your quick reply. And thank you for saying what I need to hear and deep down what I wanted to hear. I know that getting to the bottom of the bottle doesn’t make me any funnier, any smarter or prettier. You may hear a lot from me in the coming days, weeks and hopefully months. I love to read and write, so here I go onto a better life!

        • DB says:

          Hi, please refer back to a post I gave in the beginning..sorry not exactly sure which one..That is not my speciality in life. I do not know exactly..which one, what, when and where…I just know that I am still plugging along and still alive..Yes..I felt my liver bulge when I turned on my side a certain way.. which ever direction, etc. when I was sleeping..And yes I am in the medical profession..and yes.. I was in denial.. and yes..I do all of the very provocative testing needed for person’s on the Liver transplant list. And Yes..I got very close to them..in fact all of them,… and yes..I was in denial.. by day I was somebody else and by evening I was another person.. And yes..I had to shake myself silly and wake up and smell the roses..We lost many..and before I was a statistic I had to wake up and not only smell the roses but….kick the booooze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          Sorry for the truth…I really do care…

          • Anonymous says:

            I made an appointment with my family Dr for this Thursday.

            • UnPickled says:

              Awesome. Be honest, and insist on help even if your doc downplays the problem. Rather than asking “Do I need to quit?” you could go in saying, “This is how much I currently drink and I am planing to quit. Please help me do that safely.”

              • DB says:

                So good to hear…One step at a time..sounds trite and boring.. But..we have all been there.
                Good for you!

                • Anonymous says:

                  Tomorrow is d-day for me. No matter what the dr says I have to change! I just got a message tonight that my cousin’s husband found out today he has liver cancer. Do not know the type, stage or cause at this time. He is only 46.

                • PP says:

                  I just had the best sober weekend! We hosted a card party in our home with plenty of food and just as much alcohol. Out of 16, 4 did not drink, 1 out of 4 I have never seen him drink in ten years. 2 gave up for the month and then there is me struggling with what is best for me! I had a good time being sober and some asked how long would I be abstaining, one day at a time. My husband asked if I was ever going to drink again, he just doesn’t get it. So as the White Snake song says: here I go again on my own!

    • Pondering in Montana says:

      i’m 28 and just got diagnosed with liver disease from drinking and while i dont get drunk regularly, i drink regularly… one or two a day. If you catch liver problems in time, it can be reversed… if you dont, it can progress. My dad was diagnosed at my age, and died 6 years ago at only 48. I never knew he had liver disease until I was diagnosed. I was extremely upset with him for never doing something to save his life when he had the chance… I have been working and planning on quitting for the last couple weeks… just need to pick the day. Good luck on your journey! and GO TO THE DOCTOR

  27. 1129dry says:

    I find this blog and the commenters refreshing, in a word. I relate to so many of you and love reading words I could have written myself. How is it so easy to feel alone with this battle? Going to try going to a SMART meeting next week. Anyone have experience with this vs AA? Nervous and have never outed myself…. But think I need it to maintain sobriety and feel confident with the help of loved ones and with you all, too! Thank you all for your honesty and always know we are in this together.

    • UnPickled says:

      Both AA and SMART are helpful programs in the journey to recovery. The main difference between the two is that AA takes the perspective of finding a spiritual connection to a higher power and connecting to that power, realizing that you are powerless over the alcohol. Then you begin a process of self examination that helps you change from the inside out. SMART (Self Management and Recovery Training) focuses on the power you have within yourself to create change, and uses behaviour mod techniques to create change. Both are a good way to connect with other people in recovery and stay mindful of the support that exists. Let us know how it goes!

  28. Aaron says:

    I decided on Jan. 2nd to try to quit drinking for a full year. I technically started on Jan. 1st but that day only counts because I was too hungover to even think about having anything to drink. On Jan. 2nd, I Googled something like ‘how to give up alcohol or 1 year’ and found this blog. Reading the posts and comments inspired me to really give it a try. The first couple days were easy, exciting even. But now it’s day 7 and my thoughts are different than the first few days. I feel like I have enough determination that I could stick with this…if left alone. But one thing I’m realizing is that most, if not all, of my really good experiences with other people as an adult have involved alcohol. Now that I’m not drinking, I’m feeling…subdued, for lack of a better word. I’m feeling like it’s going to be hard to achieve the same level of ‘highs’ that I achieved with alcohol. I can survive the dinner parties and sit quietly sipping my coffee while everyone else is animated after a few drinks, but that feels depressing. I feel like I need to find a substitute for those highs…some way to get that same feeling but without alcohol or drugs. This, if anything, may break me. By nature, I’m extremely socially anxious and reserved. But magically with alcohol I have often been the life of a party and had an amazing time. I’ve never had that experience without alcohol. I’ll continue to watch this blog & comments to see specifically if anyone else struggled with this issue in particular and happened to find a way to achieve similar ‘highs’ without alcohol or drugs and despite anxiety.

    • robert says:

      Hi Aaron. Jan. 2 was my last night to drink also. I have been drinking for about 50 years, and every night for the past thirty years. I recall Tony Robbins saying that willpower alone doesn’t work, and that you have to replace the bad habit with a good habit. Like you, I wondered what kind of habit I could find that would be like ” Getting High “. I guess that’s the problem with this addiction. I never drank because of stress or anything else. I drank while doing everything happy or sad. I finally came to the conclusion that I just didn’t want to live like that anymore. I actually forgot how it feels to feel good. When I go to bed now and wake up without that hangover, it makes me feel great. I know if I have just one beer, I will be back to square one. I realize everyone is different, but for me, focusing on the painful payback, instead the few hours of pleasure is working for now. Good luck to you !

    • Mo says:

      Aaron, try reading Alan Carr’s Easyway to stop Drinking. It’s a quick read and part of it covers the exact problem you have, thinking you need to have a drink to have a good time. He doesn’t preach, the book just gently changes the way you think about alcohol. Hope it helps.

    • The great thing is, you are now more awake to spend your evenings with more intention. I was a HUGE wino, and loved the highs I experienced with people then, too. But it was all about drinking and zoning out. Now, we can do things that are good for our souls. Maybe take a class? Get into a sport that allows you to go to the gym at night? Read. Go to movies. Be awake! Good luck. I started on Monday, January 5. Here we go!

    • UnPickled says:

      Checking in, Aaron. How did the weekend go for you? You have pointed out a very common concern (“Will I ever be fun again? Will I lose the capacity to HAVE fun?”). A lot of people worry about this – myself included when I initially quit – and for me, my definition of fun has changed a bit. Now that I am more used to social events and have more comfort around what to order, etc., I find that I still do have a lot of fun. And I am still pretty fricking hilarious (when I am in the mood to be). And it takes me by surprise how I am able to throw my head back and laugh loudly without reserve. When I drank I was so afraid of the telltale “drunk cackle” that I’d hold back. Now I laugh from my toes at whatever humours me and it feels GOOD!

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s nice to hear from someone who was able to get to the other side and say that it’s worth it, that you can still be social and have a good time. The hardest part of this for me so far has been other people. I feel like I can handle not having ‘fun’ myself, but other people in my circle are not so sure about this. Some of the responses I’ve gotten over the last 12 days include “you don’t have a drinking problem so why do this to yourself?”, “you make everyone else uncomfortable when you don’t drink”, “the only time you have fun and relax is when you’re drinking”, “what about all of our summer camping trips?”, and from one of my bowling buddies: “your plan is fucking dumb.” I’m finding that when your entire social circle, including family, is made up of drinkers, the biggest challenge is getting them to agree that what I’m doing is a good idea. Tonight at a family dinner with my in-laws, they had brought me some beers that they bought me while they were on vacation. And later tonight there will be wine while we watch the Golden Globes. I’m sticking to this…but socially, this pretty tough. I appreciate this blog as it’s my only outlet at this point.

        • Anonymous says:

          ^ Forgot to put my “name”

          - Aaron

        • UnPickled says:

          It makes me sad that you are getting such negativity. Are you getting some support, at least? If yes, then those are the people who should get your energy and attention. Maybe avoid the negative people (who sound like rather shitty friends if you ask me – are they worth worrying about?). Over time you will settle into a new normal and the social situations are easier, even if you are never as fully relaxed as you were with booze it will get better than it is now. Are you going to a recovery program at all? You could really use the support and connection with people who understand what you are going through and who know that what you’re doing is GREAT, not stupid. (I want to tell that bowling dude, “No YOU’RE dumb!” like a little kid playground arguement. Stupid asshole for picking on my friend Aaron.) We’ve got your back here.

          • Aaron says:

            You know, I understand where it’s coming from. And it’s all in the context of people just missing how I used to be when I was drinking and now being uncomfortable drinking around me. I can remember several times being at a party or, well, any event, where everyone was drinking except one person who decided not to drink and was just no fun to be around anymore. It is a weird social thing to impose on people who maybe weren’t prepared for it and don’t fully understand the need. So, the ‘negativity’ is more just a lack of understanding, and even an expression of really liking who I am when I’m drinking (I’m a fun drunk, never mean or angry, but often TOO fun). Anyway, no not much support yet but I figure people will get used to it after a while. I just am hoping I can figure out a way to not get labelled as the guy who used to be fun. I know that’s entirely up to me, but going to be a challenge. And thanks for having my back. :)

            • Lee Davy says:

              Hey Aaron,

              I feel your pain man as I have been there.

              I got very little support when I quit and I was also subjected to the same hurtful taunts and suggestions as you. It made me realize that these people, whom I thought were my friends, weren’t that nice after all. Then after gaining a little more experience around the issues I realized they were scared. What I was doing was freaking them out because they knew that drinking was not normal, and what I was doing (abstaining) was.

              Regarding your state of mind, cravings and depressive moods. This will happen until you learn to understand that alcohol offers you zero benefits. If you keep thinking that alcohol offers you benefits i.e. social experiences are better, then you will keep on being miserable and what’s the point of living a miserable healthy life?

              I suggest you read Allen Carr’s EasyWay to Control Alcohol. This is how I quit and I never craved a single drop after finishing the book. Also check out my work at http://www.needyhelper.com as I cover these sorts of issues a lot.

              Good luck

              Lee Davy

              • Aaron says:

                Hmm. I hear what you’re saying, but I think that the way people are reacting to me is actually pretty normal and not intended to be malicious. I think people’s reactions can be interpreted as “Hey, we liked the person you were when you were drinking. Don’t change!” That’s understandable to me, and seems normal. I figured others here could relate. I don’t have any hard feelings toward anyone in my social circle who is having a hard time with the idea of me not drinking. I get it. But it doesn’t make it any easier for me personally.

                • Lee Davy says:

                  No that’s pretty much what happened to me also, and they did love the ‘old me’ but I want my friends to love me for who I am and to support the path I want to tread. I lost some friends along the way, but I don’t regret anything. Quitting drinking changed my life so much.

                  Good luck.

                • Mo says:

                  Aaron, you sound like you know your friends well and they will get used to the non-drinking you and will see that you’re still the same guy as you were before. Actually, more fun, as your wit will be sharper, quicker and you won’t just repetitively ramble!! I too have tried to quit many times before and one particular friend said I was boring not to have a drink, and another just kept offering me drinks…’go on, everyone else is drinking’. And so I failed that time around. This time I am I the zone to do this. The one offering me drinks has accepted that this is what I want to do, and he can see I’m serious. I haven’t been in a social situation with the other yet, but she is a good enough friend for me to be firm with her and say I was drinking too much and I feel so much better for abstaining. They’re your friends and they will love you know matter what.

                • Mo says:

                  That’s ‘no matter what’!!

  29. mom2boys says:

    I’m a 46 stay-at-home-mom of two boys. I have a nice house, great husband and we live comfortably. I started drinking heavily after the birth of my 2nd boy. My husband and I would have our martini’s on the weekend. Soon the weekends started earlier and earlier for me until I am now drinking every night. I usually start around 5, then my husband gets home around 6 and I’ll have a beer with him. Then after the kids are in bed, we sit down with our nightcaps. Right now I’m typing this at noon – still in my pj’s, with a hangover. Most days I will drop the kids off at school and come home and climb right back into bed and try to sleep off my hangover. Time and time again, I’ve told myself I need to stop this, I feel like crap, I’m not giving my best to my family. Over a year ago, I told my husband I needed to stop drinking and I needed his support. He said he would try but nothings going to stop me from going to the store to buy another bottle. I feel like I have no one to lean on, so I need to do this on my own somehow. I had my last drink last night at 9pm.

    • robert says:

      Hi mom2boys. Your story really hits home. Relaxing and having a few on weekends, then every night, and then those terrible hangovers. I hope you find something in the stories here that helps. Good luck to you !

    • Aaron says:

      My wife and I have (had) the same daily routine for a long time. The routine continues, only now my glass is full of ice water while she enjoys her wine. I’m managing this for now, but it’s not super easy. Good luck!

      • nowinemom says:

        I am also the mom of two boys, and drinking became an “activity” with my husband, girlfriends, act. I am on day 8 and I feel AMAZING. I played cards with my 14 year old after his homework was done last night and we laughed and hugged. Yes, my 14 year old son hugged me and said, “Thanks, mom. That was fun.” I think he was actually thanking me for not drinking. Our kids notice. What has helped me immensely is Belle’s 100 days sober challenge. Google it. It has given me the strength I need thus far. I’m early, just a baby, in this journey. I am going to start blogging at Nowinemom in wordpress. Maybe we can help each other :-)

        • Aaron says:

          I feel a bit out of place here as a male (seems to be a female-oriented blog), but I can relate to a lot of this. I also have a 13 year old son and I do think the kids notice. I’ll check out that challenge.

          • Coming Clean says:

            Aaron
            Please join in with us all. Don’t feel out of place. We are here to help one another. Male or female, young or old, religious or non religious! We all have one thing in common and that is the common sense to do something proactive in our lives. Alcohol is common in many couples male and female, and for a woman to read about a man’s struggle may help her appreciate what her other half or her brother, father or friend is going through.

  30. On my day one after several failed attempts, therapy, promises, etc. Doing it for myself, but also for everyone around me. Who knows what the future will hold when I bravely set my feet forward into the unknown?

    I’m a writer, teacher, athlete, girlfriend, friend, daughter, sister, but I’m also a wino.

    Here is to day 1. Curious to see how 6PM will feel without a glass of Cab Sauv.

    Thanks to all of you for your courageous responses.

    • UnPickled says:

      Pamper yourself with nice little treats and rewards. On the first few days, weeks actually, my body yelled hard for all the sugar it was used to getting in the form of wine. I ate a lot of little chocolate covered ice cream balls and drank buckets of tea (which I then hated, now like). Good luck and lots food cheer! Look into the recovery links listed at the side of my blog – consider a group for support if you can’t get going on your own. Xo, UnP

  31. robert says:

    Well, I’m trying not to post too much on here, but I keep learning from each of you. After reading this blog over and over, it seems the most successful tool to sobriety is… ” THE PAIN OUTWEIGHS THE PLEASURE “. I had an experience as a teenager that I am using as a tool today. I drank a whole bottle of ” Green Mint Gin ” one day. Actually, I guzzled it in a short period of time. I was so sick, as Bill Cosby says, ” I Was Throwing Up My Shoes “. My first time to see a bottle of green mouthwash after that, I almost heaved. That was nearly 50 years ago, and I still haven’t used green mouthwash. Since this thing is progressive, I had to imagine how difficult this would be living like this for another 5 or 10 years and then trying to quit. I knew a man that was only 36 years old, and was on his death bed in the hospital with liver disease. He surprised everyone and survived. A short time later, he got drunk and shot himself in the head. For reasons like that, and my own negative experiences, I am done with this thing controlling me. Thanks for giving me a place to talk. I will post on Feb. 2nd, to tell you about my first month without alcohol.

    • UnPickled says:

      Robert, dear friend, please post all you want! It lets others help you and hearing about your journey is inspiring and helpful to many! I’m very happy for you and grateful you are sharing the miracle of recovery with us all.

      • Mo says:

        Oh Robert, mine was Cointreau. My friend and I had a sleepover and raided my parents booze cabinet. (My folks were out but my brother was home. Boy did he get in trouble, poor guy, and it was nothing to do with him!) I was so sick and my folks made us get up the next day early, as we had promised to help a at charity function. I couldn’t face oranges for years after that! And yet I continued to drink. Why is it only now that the penny has dropped? All that time I have wasted and all those moments I wish had never happened. Ah well, look forward, not back and just roll with it.

  32. Lance says:

    Good day and Happy 2014!

    I quit drinking alcohol on 18 Oct 2011.
    First 90 days I utilized the well known anonymous group setting.
    It was a point of focus for me. I changed and so did my “program”.
    Next was another anon group, online, more empowered.
    Currently self managing, through terrific support and encouragement of those close to me.
    I found, for me, early on in my return to a non-drinking status that telling everyone and anyone
    who would listen, or even pretend to listen, that I no longer consume alcohol.
    I said it and still do, with purpose as a matter of fact.
    Most commonly people ask, none to politely I might add, If I have a “problem”
    with alcohol. I tell them in a two part answer, “not since I quit drinking” and/or
    that “I choose to not drink the same way people choose to drink.”
    I speak directly, clearly , and with intention. I would venture to say that
    all of them are satisfied with my response.
    Sobriety is an aspect of who I am, not what I am.
    Making the most of this is no guarantee, but the trade off does not
    appeal to me in the least and the thought of returning to my former experiences
    as a drunk are so unappealing.

    • robert says:

      Lance, your comments are very inspiring.

    • DB says:

      I completely and absolutely love your responses you say to others about drinking . I can picture myself saying both of them…Thanks!

    • Mo says:

      Lance, I love your replies to those people. I have told 2 sets of close friends but have not yet been in the situation where others have had the nerve to press the issue. I shall use your replies when needed. Thanks!

  33. Coming Clean says:

    I am one year sober today. The year has not been as difficult as I had anticipated.It has been made all the easier by the constant reading of your blogs, thank you. I hope that you all keep strong like I have as it is alcohol addiction is a life destroyer. If you are like me alcohol reaches out and entices you, it controls you and it destroys you, your relationships, your sense of reality and your future. It is not the panacea that it is cracked up to be. When I see an empty bottle of wine it is a lonely horrible reminder of my dreadful secret. The secret which I hid so carefully night after night year after year. There is nothing I could do to stop at one or two glasses. It was years ago that one or two glasses would suffice. You see no one other than my husband knew how much I was drinking. He used to look through the recycling trash can to count the bottles. Sometimes I would take the bottles to a public trash can so he wouldn’t find them. Giving up has left all of that now as a distant memory. I am appreciating my life so much more now. Thankyou to all you people who like me use this site for support.

    • robert says:

      Happy anniversary Mo !

    • UnPickled says:

      YAYYYYY!!! Woooooo weeeeeee yipeeeeee!! One YEAR! I am so happy for you and I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Huge hug with my heart, CC! MMMMMWAH!

      • Mo says:

        Dear Unpickled and Coming Clean, I too have not found this as difficult as I thought (but I am only one month in). I put this down to 2 things. 1) it is the right time for me. The stars are aligned and I feel so ready and strong enough. 2) This wonderful Unpickled blog. Thank you so much to all who write here. At the moment I have the time to read every day and each and every comment helps me to carry on. You show me I can do it too!

  34. So glad you asked, and that so many have shared. Before Thanksgiving, desperate for some inspiration/hope/advice/motivation, I googled “sober blogs” or something like that. I immediately quit for 10 days, but it didn’t stick over the holidays. I let myself wonder, “Wait, why am I quitting again? Why now? It will be too hard right before the holidays.” The weird thing, though, was I didn’t drink nearly as much as I normally do, and I constantly had the blogs in the back of my mind. I even managed to share a single bottle of wine with my sister one evening. But I knew it was only because she was there. If I’d been alone, I would have finished the whole thing myself. An open bottle is a finished bottle, unless it’s the second bottle, in which case it’s only sometimes finished. Anyway, I found Unpickled and the blogs you link to, and I think something fundamental has shifted in how I think about drinking, and how I feel about quitting. I’m astonished by the quality of the writing in every blog I’ve encountered, by the insight, by the thoughtful, honest reflection. I truly feel like I’m not alone, and I’m so very grateful to everyone for sharing your stories. It seems like documenting your journeys begins as a self-help endeavor, but winds up helping others in the process. I’m hesitant and scared, not at all sure I will succeed. But I’ve been inspired to start a blog of my own, and hope it will help me on the road to recovery. I know I won’t quit quitting if I don’t make it this time, but I hope I won’t have to. Day 4.

    • Finding these blogs have been my saving grace too. Last New Year I remember vowing I’ll give up completely if I lose control of my drinking again, if I pass out from drink or do anything embarrassing. I did all of those things but still continued to drink. This time feels so different. As soon as I read Unpickled, and from there lots of other blogs, I knew I wanted to do this. I still can’t imagine not ever having a drink for the rest of my life, but for now I’m managing. I just keep reading the blogs, blogging my own progress and taking on board all the helpful advice. We can all do this together.

  35. Lisa V says:

    Amazing, to the point. Exactly what I needed to read today. You seem to know how to get others to open up, what a gift to all of your readers! I drank for a very long time, made a fool of myself and embarrassed my children for way too long. The day I quit was a long time ago, I quit without help, but six months later, I joined a support group. For me it was the right decision, as it was five years ago to stop going to support groups for the most part. I had helped myself, got sober, got better, then decided to focus on my family, Well, four kids almost all grown and now I am exploring what to do now. I am still sober, but every day I read a blog from others, I am reminded that everything is temporary. I agree, get sober any way you can, just try it. I have had an amazing experience, and love life ( most of the time) The hard part for me now is maintaining and connecting with others. Just one comment helps and makes the connection all the more real. My favorite thing is to close up, hide away, become a hermit. Not good for me though, I always feel better when I open up. Happy New Year, let’s all stay connected…..

    • UnPickled says:

      Yes, it is such a beautiful thing to look in the eyes of someone who has travelled the same road. Or to share with a friend who hugs you and loves you more than ever. Resist that urge to hide – in recovery our strength comes from reaching out.

      • Lisa V says:

        Thank you for responding! Yes, it is important to stay in contact! It is truly life and death for the alcoholic. Sometimes it’s easy, as the years go by, to just fall out of touch with others and ourselves. I have experience with this as I have been sober quite a while. I remarried three years ago and have been to few meetings. I am still sober, but just like a strong relationship, that ebb and flow, that day to day, often requires much attention. Many things are changing. My adult children are finding themselves, I have been going through menopause and a new day is dawning. All together, it’s imperative for my safety and sobriety that I stay in touch. So, as I venture into the new days to come, I intend to stay connected, try to help others and re-connect to my passions. We all have a story and a path that is uniquely our own and similar to others. Thank you again for your inspiration, and love of life!
        Lisa V…..A Serene Soul

  36. nowinemom says:

    I am on day 3, and I loved your insights on getting through the holidays. Today, armed with your suggestions, I went to a brunch at a friend’s home. The minute I walked in, she offered me champagne, and I said, “Um, no thanks, I need to run to the powder room!” What did I see by the sink but Candy Cane liquid soap. I laughed to myself, took it as a sign to stay strong, and refused the second offering of champagne! Thanks for those words!

  37. barista1971 says:

    I feel something in my mind has changed. It kind of like when I quit smoking. I quit, I carried a pack with me, I found it more disqusting, the way it made you smell. The look of the cigarette hanging out of the side of your mouth when you had to use both your hands for soemthing else. Yuck! I did relaspe in trying to quit smoking, but usually just for one or if I was drinking. The taste of the stale pack was horendous and then realizing not only completely polluted my body but I smoke on top of it. So now I am thinking about alcohol as yucky! Nasty habit. Does not benefit my lifestyle. I feel like I alcohol didn’t win but I have learned to quit while I am ahead. Have a very Blessed New Year!

  38. robert says:

    The best sleep in a very long time ! After waking up yesterday with a hang over so bad that my ears were aching, I made a decision that enough was enough. Last night I actually ” Got High ” on feeling normal. There was no waking up sweating or going to the bathroom at 3 a.m. I love the ” Buzz ” from 2 beers, but there is no stopping after that. Instead of focusing on that ” Buzz “, I realize that the focus has to be on the horrible things like… pounding hang overs, zero energy, zero motivation, lost wages, poor health sooner or later, 2000.00 per year for beer, a possible DWI, and endless other negatives. I have never seen anything end well for people that are addicted to alcohol. I won’t post everyday, but I will read your comments daily. Much success to all of you !

    • Mo says:

      Robert, what you say is so true. I too love the ‘buzz’ of the first wine or two but then one is never enough. Focusing on the the many, many crappy things that result from the initial buzz really works for me as well. As you say, the hangover, the nausea, the crawling through the work day, the tiredness, the not being there 100% for your kids or husband, the guilt…I needn’t really go on…if I don’t pour the first, the inevitable end result won’t happen. Now I wake up happy as I’ve slept well, full of energy for the new day and so, so grateful that I’ve been given this chance to continue my life with a clear head and not just scraping by.

      • robert says:

        Thanks Mo, your words just make me more determined. I had a second or two last night thinking about that buzz, and turned my thoughts to the outcome. As I played that video in my mind, like Barista1971 stated in her post, I became disgusted, and the urge stopped.

        • Mo says:

          Fantastic! You beat the ‘buzz’. It doesn’t take long to say no, and make a cup of tea instead. Also easy if there’s no alcohol in the house! You did it today and you can do it tomorrow!

  39. It’s been one hell of a day two as I made this decision at a time that I’ve been without my prescribed medications for almost a week. Talk about white knuckling it! Almost ready to retire and although my head kept telling me that not having my depression meds was a good excuse to change my mind, reading your blog has kept me on track. That and reading responses from so many others like me. Thank you.

  40. DB says:

    Wow! such inspiration! I have read and re-read everyone’s comments.
    The day I came upon this website was a day that I was haggard, exhausted, guilty, worn out, and literally had nothing left in me. I honestly do not even remember exactly what I typed in. How lame is that? I miss wine each day I wake up and see that it is a new day. Yummm, that very first slurp is what I deeply miss and loved ever so much. Sounds so ridiculous. It just didn’t stay at a controllable level. And guess what?… Wine just does not love me back. I honestly can not quantify how much wine I was ingesting…again..how lame is that…but, it was a lot!
    My problem actually started out as a way to immaturely handle stress and anxiety and fear. It was a life changing event that I do not want to go into detail..there again..I do wish to not be detected. And..as crazy as it sounds it actually worked for a bit….than came the vicious rabbit hole, slip, slip, slip and darker, darker, darker and more narrow. Ouch! I hurt my body, soul and family. I never set out to say, “wow, I want to have a drinking problem”. My shame, guilt and humiliation was the last thing on my mind that morning as I typed in “something” that would end up saving my life. All the games, deceit, manipulation were out the window at that point. My double-life,and circus-like mastery at juggling balls in the air had already crashed down around me. The pain was so severe. The process has been punishing…but as so many have said….”I just keep adding tools to my tool kit”…or at least I think that is close. I am out there reading everything I can on-line, (recently added Message in a bottle to my tool kit…fantastic writer!). I have reached out a little bit to others that may be suffering but honestly do not feel sophisticated enough yet…Still focusing on my path at the moment…
    Thanks again…so Love this site…can not get enough! Hope to give back more in the future.

    • UnPickled says:

      And I love YOU for all the many insightful, helpful, encouraging comments you’ve shared. It’s a rich tapestry, a symphony of voices and perspectives and fears and triumphs – I am often moved by the way we all work together to understand ourselves and each other. I look forward to more! Xo, UnP

  41. Mrs D says:

    Your blog was one of the shining lights to me in my early days darling Unpickled. Bogging was my lifeline.. finding a community online definitely helped keep me sober. But for me getting sober was all about having that moment where I just decided I didn’t want to keep living in wine-soaked misery any more and realising that I had the power to make a change. We can decide how we want to live. We have the power. Here’s to a fabulous 2014 everyone.. xxxx

  42. robert says:

    Thank you for creating this site. After reading many of the comments posted here, I feel that I can kick this demon to the curb. I started drinking beer every weekend at age 16. The hangovers were so bad that I would not drink until the next weekend. One would think that that would be a clue that drinking was not good. For the last 30 plus years the drinking has been every night, sometimes 12 to 13 beers. I am so sick of waking up during the night to go to the bathroom, waking up hung over, and still tasting alcohol. Some mornings I pour all of the beer on the ground, but when 5 o’clock rolls around, I buy more. I am disgusted that I have become a slave to this addiction. At age 64, I realize that this must stop. Thanks for your stories.

    • Coming Clean says:

      Robert, I was exactly like you. Drinking at an early age and getting dreadful weekend hangovers as a young person until eventually in my fifties I was consuming copious amounts daily. My family have all spent the New Year asking me if I am going to try drinking light beer now that I have given up wine(12 mths sober). I said no, not all all because I know the dreadful dark hole that I will fall down. It is so strange to be sober day in day out. The nights are peaceful, the mornings are clear and the world is a much safer place.

  43. nowinemom says:

    I am on day 2. I have tried to stop before, but this feels very different! I love, love, love your blog, and read through all of it over the last two days. I have also signed up for the 100 day challenge. I am so much like you – no one would ever suspect the amount of wine I drink….well, except my teenaged children. I am so sad that they have seen this monster that lurks inside of me. I have a great marriage, a beautiful house, two dogs, and a ton of friends. It’s crazy that I would open a bottle of wine every single night, and finish it. Sometimes, I would open another. Why? I have missed out on so much of my life, and now it’s gone. I want to start living again! Thank you for your blog!

    • Reading your comments is causing the lyrics of an old Beatles song to go through my head. “You are me and me is you…” Come Together! Your comment, including the lines about the kids is so eerily my life. Signing up for the 100 day challenge with you sister.

      • nowinemom says:

        The 100 day challenge has been great so far, and I am glad you are doing it as well. I never knew there was such a wealth of support online! Good luck!

        • Sober Second Half says:

          Nowinemom, I hope you are enjoying Day 7! I am on Day 2 and I’ve also joined the 100 day challenge. I am astounded by the number of stories that are similar–or identical!–to mine. The last lines of your comment: “I have missed out on so much of my life, and now it’s gone. I want to start living again!” are the sentences that have been bouncing around my mind, too. I never had a “reason” to drink all that wine; my life is sweet. It was just a habit, a routine, that became wildly out of control. The crazy thing is that nobody but me has noticed! My husband makes cracks about me being a wino, but he has no idea of the depth of my problem. Anyway, hang in there!

  44. anonymous says:

    Hi again … could you please delete my comment below? I’m so worried that I will be found out and it will have a negative impact on my job if anyone finds out. I would be happy to repost it using the name Anonymous. Thank you.

    • UnPickled says:

      Done sweetie – no worries. But whoa – deleted but not forgotten. Let’s get to work on getting you strong again!

      • Anonymous says:

        THANK YOU!! I really appreciate it. Going to be using the name “Anonymous” while I work through some stuff. I contacted a counselor today through a local church, hope to start meeting someone soon. I’ve also started reaching out to a couple trustworthy friends about abstaining, and one friend is putting me in touch with a counselor she knows who specializes in alcohol issues who helped out a friend of hers. I think I really want to understand why I have these incidents where something is triggered and I go kind of crazy/make foolish decisions (there have been numerous nights where I’ve drunk a modest amount and not done anything out of the ordinary!). Anyway thanks for deleting my whole saga. I have really enjoyed reading the comments from other people dealing with issues surrounding alcohol and will be checking back on your blog frequently. Thank you so much for sharing your journey!

        • UnPickled says:

          Awesome – you deserve all the self-care you are putting into this! It is worth the effort and you will never regret not drinking. Yes, sometimes I miss it but I never regret leaving it all behind. xoxoxo I am SO HAPPY for you!!

  45. LynneR@Lynne_Suzanne1 says:

    I have had many “day 1′s” and made myself many promises over the past few years. I finally came to understand the fact that I never ever wanted ONE drink– one is pointless. If I don’t take the first drink then the drink can’t take me. I simply do not have control to stop, there’s no “off” switch. I was unhappy and thankfully finally saw the path I was headed down was a dead end. I read ‘quit lit’ there are so many good books out there, and I read blogs to connect with all you fine folks. Today is day 56 for me. I had a great sober New year in Quebec City — and I remember it all and felt fine the next day. What a concept. My advise is READ –educate yourself — and be honest with yourself, have the courage to admit you don’t like what you see and know that you can change it. Stay with it. Keep trying. Peace

  46. I only drink occasionally, how ever I wanted to stop doing it because only of my friend got sick because of drinking. To find out that he has mild fatty liver and that’s because of drinking.

  47. Sunshine says:

    Hi everyone

    This is day 1 for me… I am excited to live without this burden of disordered drinking. This blog has really hit home for me and I am gaining so much strength from all the women’s stories.

    Thank you Jean for being so candid and honest… I am eager to get week one under my belt.
    Will be checking in frequently:)

  48. Shawn says:

    What a wonderful place to be. I am sober three days. I’ve bottomed out before, but usually like a plane that comes down hard and bounces off the runway back into the air. I always felt a bit of invincible. I’m a professional, with a wonderful wife, and 3 beautiful children. I finally got to a place on Dec 30 where the reality of my problem finally sunk in. I had come down hard, and damaged everything in my pathway.

    Deciding I that I had to acknowledge that I had a problem was not easy, of course I’ve said it before but never really believed it was something I couldn’t just reel back in if I wanted too. I cheated my wife and family out their hard work to help me find my way and now, after I’ve taken advantage and spent every ounce of goodwill, I feel pretty alone. It’s not that I think I shouldn’t or that I think someone should feel pity for me, because I don’t (anymore) but I never thought I’d be here, so I honestly had no idea what it would feel like.

    I flamed out and stepped back and realized how awful things had become and thought that realization was deserving of some sort of parade – hooray – he realized what a mess he is, now everything will just be great!

    I’ve got a long road, like many of us here, and things won’t be the same for me I know that, my relationships with my family and my children and my wife will change, in ways that I believe will be positive, even if they’re not ways that I’d choose.

    Having stayed up late one night thinking of how to take another step was a really good decision. Finding people facing challenges similar to mine, talking about them, sharing, it has been a wonderful relief. I’ve also found that being able to lay out how I’m feeling has been a big help. Thank you, to everyone on here, for sharing

    Happy New Year

  49. glenn says:

    I am one of those people that, due to the severity of my addictions, the devastation of my substance abuse, someone else could perceive me to have been the “bum in the park” or at least not too far from the comparison.

    Writing from that perspective I can tell anyone who reads this that it wasn’t until I was absolutely ready to make the necessary changes in my life to be happy and healthy that I could begin the process of recovery. My experience and education in sobriety is unique to me as yours will be to you but there are similarities that may bind us. We are not broken, we are capable of overcoming fear and self-limiting beliefs and we are worthy of love.

    I learned to be vulnerable and to ask for help. I learned to be open and honest to myself and to trusted others. I found that getting to the root of my substance abuse, learning about myself, was the best way for me to grow, to move forward and to live without being active in addiction.

    Some of this was accomplished with counseling, some with a recovery group, some with writing, talking, reading and a whole lot of introspection. Taking time daily – some days require more time than others – to look within myself and to be aware of what I feel and how I have come to feel it has opened my eyes to sober living.

    Although I have only touched upon my recovery (as an example for you not a directive) I would be remiss to not end with this; what has truly fulfilled my life in sobriety has been to give of myself (which may read like a contradiction to what is stated above) freely and often. I am not trying to save the world or boil the ocean but simply trying to give of myself, a little at a time, every day and in turn have found meaning in sobriety, in recovery, in life.

  50. HighOnHugs says:

    What a great post and idea…Love this!

    My name is Clairey and my sober/clean date is 2/4/08. I’m 38 years old. My parents are not alcoholics or addicts and I grew up in a very loving home in South Carolina. At 16 I was diagnosed with bipolar and shortly after that my addiction started rearing it’s ugly head. My drug of choice was more. More of whatever I could get my hands on. I left home for good at 19 and moved from place to place running away from whatever mood or mind altering substance I was struggling with at the time. Wherever I went, there I was. It wasn’t until my drug dealer cut me off, told me I needed help, gave me $500 for gas and told me to go back to South Carolina and get help. Yup, you know you have a problem if your drug dealer cuts you off. My parents had no clue as I was on the other side of the country for most of my time.
    I detoxed from alcohol & cocaine at my childhood home for 2 weeks and then checked myself into a 6week inpatient rehab center on 11/7/07. I was introduced to NA & AA there. I went to a meeting the day I checked out of rehab and relapsed on 2 glasses of wine on my 90th day. That is when I conceded to my innermost self that I can not behave normally when ANY substance enters my body. I went to a meeting the next day and have been clean and sober since.
    I moved back to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I have been for the last 5 years. I attend AA meetings as many times a week as I possibly can. I have a sponsor and I sponsor other woman. I work the steps. I try and live the steps as well! I read 12 step literature, pray and meditate daily.
    My life is AMAZING TODAY! I am becoming the person I always knew I could be. I have since married an amazing man who is also sober and attends and practices a program of recovery and we now have a 20 month old son who has never seen us drinking or using! What a miracle!
    The gifts of practicing a program of recovery just don’t stop! By admitting my powerless I have gained the power of choice. Today I choose not to pick up no matter what. I have freedom!
    I started blogging this past November and I am really enjoying having even more ‘tools’ in my toolbox by doing so!
    As long as I keep practicing doing the next right thing, trusting the process and having faith in a power greater than myself than I know from experience that life just keeps getting better. So much better than the drunken and high days of my past! My feelings aren’t always fun to feel but I am grateful I can feel them today!
    Today I’m High on Hugs!!
    This is what is working for me so you better believe I’m gonna keep in keeping on!
    Thanks again for the post and big HUGS from Wyoming,
    Clairey

    • Laurie says:

      I really understood when you said your drug of choice was more – that was me, too! I also lived in Jackson Hole in the early 1980s (long time ago!) Anyway, I’m so glad that you are doing well and have shared your story.

  51. LifeUnbuzzed says:

    I had my last drink on 12/24/2011, at age 56. I’ve worked at the same company for over 25 years. I’ve raised 3 sons. I was functioning “just fine” but I wasn’t happy and I hated the part of me that needed alcohol every day. Giving up alcohol and building a sober life is the best thing I’ve ever done. I did it with the help of an online forum (I posted almost daily), then I found sober blogs like this one, podcasts, and did a lot of reading. Finally, at 22 months sober, I decided that I wanted some real life sober friends and I started going to a women’s weekly AA group. This has been a great experience and I’ve met some wonderful people. It strengthens my daily resolve to not drink and continue to become a better person. At long last, I’m creating a life that I love.

  52. losedabooze says:

    I joined the sober blogging community in May. I learned about your blog through another ‘health’ website and have been following ever since. In 2013 – I managed to get through some really hard times and managed to get longer streaks of sobriety in, but I’m a work in progress. My resolution for this year is no resolution but simply living one day at a time. I tried the counting method and it seemed to work against me so I am simply doing this day by day and working through the highs and lows of life. I’m very grateful to this community and all that I learn from it and look forward to the continued journey to a healthier and happier life.

  53. Happy sober new year to us all: the seasoned, the searching, the questioning and the committed. That is all of us, at one point or another…on this journey toward (continued) sobriety. My epic DO NOT PASS GO moment happened 39 days ago, after 2 years of flirting with sobriety. This time it feels different, as this community of support has inspired me to start my own little blog, documenting the ups and downs and – increasingly, the neutral spaces – of it. I have to say, if you’re questioning – you’re in the right space! These people here are full of support and humility; and yes even some humor along this road. Reach out, leave some comments, make some connections. Make 2014 your bitch* – you can do it! Xx

    * it’s a turn of phrase ;)

  54. sadieb says:

    So today is my Day One. At 11:00 pm I will be 24 hours sober. I have been reading this blog (and the comments and recommended blogs) for the past week as I mentally prepared for this day. So much of your stories resonate with me – the secret drinking…keeping the glass half full so no one really knew the amount I was consuming. Which was a full bottle of wine every night for 15 years…or liquid gold as I called it. A professional woman with a loving husband and two great step-kids and four adorable step-grandkids. The world doesn’t see that I ached for 5pm every day. The Witching Hour. As I have read so often…. the wine glass is my constant companion once I get home from work and start to wind down and create dinner. Thinking about drinking was 24/7. I was always thinking about when I could have that next glass of wine.
    A little over two months ago that one bottle of wine a night became 1 1/2 to sometimes 2 bottles of wine a night. We discovered that my husband had a reoccurrence of esophageal cancer. Initially diagnosed in 2011, he had chemo and radiation and surgery and was doing so well. He even had a clean CAT Scan in March. But it came back aggressively in August and he passed away in October. I have been drinking to numb the sadness and grief. I made myself experience an out-of-body scenario and look at myself from above….sitting with a bottle until I pass out. I’ve aged 20 years these past months, Grief is responsible for some of that, but alcohol has taken it’s toll. Sallow skin, glassy red eyes, dark circles. I am determined that this is not going to be my future. I have been so impressed with the strength and courage of all of you. I am so hopeful that I will have that same level of courage. My immediate concern is what the severity of my withdrawal will be. I had a doctor appointment scheduled for Monday but she was ill. So hoping to see her tomorrow for any prescriptions she might advise to help me through. I’d prefer none but I’m alone now and if something severe were to occur I have no immediate support. I quit for 30 days last April and the physical symptoms weren’t horrid…not easy but not horrid. I’ve been drinking lots of water, cherry juice, eating vegetables I work out regularly so fingers are crossed. Hoping I sleep tonight. Missing my husband terribly.
    Thanks for all the wonderful stories and for your willingness to share to help those like me who are just starting out……again

    • Kate Elliott says:

      Stick with it Sadieb! it can only get better huh. when you think about wanting that first drink just remember that it REALLY will not help. It will only make things worse. You can do it girlfriend! Stay positive. Good luck.

    • atg says:

      Dear Sadieb. I hope you got in to see your doctor today. That is a very wise step. I am so sorry about your dear husband. The drinking is very understandable and a method I too used to cope with a difficult loss. However, I found once I stopped drinking the grief was easier to tackle head on – the extra depression and anxiety created by the booze made it so much worse. A spouses only grief support group can also really help. Take care good care. You are on the right track and will get there. atg

    • Andie says:

      Sadieb, my heart goes out to you. My drinking problem began after the death of my husband and now at 50 days sober I’ve also realized, as atg says, that the grief and depression are much easier without the booze. Alcohol makes the depression and anxiety worse. Hang in there and keep in contact with the sober blog community. Everyone is here to help you. Grief support groups are also helpful.

    • Laurie says:

      I was right there with you, Sadieb, drinking 1 to 2 bottles of wine a night. I quit 164 days ago and feel great. When first sober, I would drink soda or juice in a wine glass after work which had basically the same effect to help me unwind – really!!! I know there are so many reasons to drink, grief being one of them, but life is so much better on the sober side. Keep going!

  55. Sue says:

    I managed to quit by leaning on the sober blogging community. The single most important thing for me was finally feeling like I wasn’t alone in my boozy misery. The sober bloggers were so generous with their stories and support. I couldn’t have done it without them. My story is posted on Mrs D’s blog: http://livingwithoutalcohol.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/a-special-message-from-sue.html

  56. I’m currently on day 66 of my sobriety and like you, I’m a ‘lone ranger’. I’m a spiritual counsellor, astrologer and intuitive tarot reader, so regularly binge drinking was a great source of self-shame for me. I always knew I would give up ‘at some stage’ but kept putting it off.
    This year, I thought the holiday season would be harder but the relief I have felt to be off the drinking roller coaster is so acute that it is keeping me strong. I think the hardest thing over Christmas and New Year has been feeling like a grumpy party-pooper when family I would usually have a high old time with, are drunk and I’m not. I’m the first to leave instead of the last. Some of my good friends and drinking buddies didn’t try to catch up with me over Christmas, even though I could have done it without wanting to drink. Friendships and relationships are changing but I do feel like respect for me is growing amongst people I care about and who care for me. My 22 year old daughter, who never drinks, told me that she loves the fact we’re now “on the same page”. She even spent New Years Eve with me instead of going out with her own friends. We walked down to the beach, walked the fireworks and walked home again. It was low key but I felt grateful to be sober. Thanks again for your blog UnPickled. It’s an inspiration.

  57. I can relate to so many of these stories. Funny how some of the responses say that they may not be the norm, and yet….here we are, in the same place (here at this blog and all the other fantastic sober blogs out there). Can we really be that different? Sure the circumstances are different for us – some of us sunk lower down the scale, some had fab jobs and lives while crumbling inside, some got arrested, some didn’t, some lost their loved ones, some didn’t, some are grandmothers, some are college students…and yet, we have this *thing*. This thing that shreds us up inside and takes us away from the pain of us and then brings on it’s own pain and consequences. This *thing* that tells us that we are crap, that we don’t deserve love and life and tells us that next time we drink, things will be *different*. This *thing* that keeps up separate from others, isolates us and makes us feel lesser than and better than at the same time. The thing that shrinks and shrivels a once vibrant and beautiful spirit.

    I love that we have these oasis’ of peace and understanding and no judgement out here. I love that anonymous or not, we share our stories and experiences and joys and heartaches and know that others just *get* it. I can read a few lines from someone out here and just *get* what they are saying. Reading between the lines kind of stuff. Getting invited into each other’s kitchens. Opening up the hearth, starting a fire…opening up. And folks like us don’t often open up – alcoholism is the ultimate “closed for business” sign.

    I got into recovery through detox and then treatment. Treatment was 12-step based. If they told me that I had to stand on my head to get sober, I would have done it. 12-step recovery – working the steps as outlined in the basic text and my connection with the Creator has transformed my life. Working with others and guiding and mentoring is the blood that coarses through my veins. Being of service to others – in 12-step or otherwise – is what I love doing, and that is why I love the sobersphere: we are all equal here, regardless of method of sobriety / recovery. It was out here that I learned that there are many ways to do this deal, and no one is better than the other. Happy and sober is the key. How you get there is unimportant.

    Thank you for this post. A wonderful way to start the new year.

    Happy new year to you and to all the wonderful ladies and men out there who help my recovery in so many ways.

    Blessings,
    Paul

  58. Erica says:

    Alcohol completed me from my first drink at 17. I went to rehab at 21 during summer break of my senior year of college. I have a wonderful family, no abuse, no known alcoholics in the family. Therapist thought I may have a brain imbalance- seratonin or dopamine, but I did not want to put unknown chemicals in my body (say what? I was young).
    I would manage to stay sober for a few years, then moderate, then binge, then repeat the cycle for the next 15 years. During those years I led a typical life with travel, marriage, work as a marketing exec. I left work after my first son was born at 36 & I was in heaven being a mom. After my second son was born life got more difficult. He was not an easy child & has some medical issues. I did not deal well with the stress. I was in a moms group that thought “mommy drinks” were perfectly acceptable to serve with lunch. I started drinking everyday as my reward when the kids finally went to bed. Eventually I started putting vodka in crystal light to take my oldest to karate at 4p. I started getting depressed, anxious & very easily agitated. For an entire year I went to bed vowing I would not drink tomorrow. Somehow, three days after an epic night of partying on a trip to Vegas, I had enough. I finally surrendered. My husband was shocked when I opened up about how unhappy I had become & how much I was drinking. Friends said they would have never guessed.
    Luckily my kids ( now 3 & 5) have never seen mommy drunk or had something horrible happen to them while I was drinking. In the 10 months I have been sober my life & my family’s has gotten so much better. I have been given back my confidence & trust in my self. My loved ones have my joy & love. I am filled with gratitude. I wish everyone the gift of sobriety.

  59. mishedup says:

    I can so relate to so many of the posts here!
    What a great idea for a thread!
    I quit drink March 21, 2011…4 months after the day I consider my personal bottom.
    It takes what it takes folks!
    In those 4 months I found a sober community of bloggers and a yahoo board where I could “talk” to folks. What I read resonated with me….i thought I was so unique, so different from anyone else, and I was so wrong (and I am so grateful for that!).
    I started going to AA meetings at the beginning of March and was done on the 21st. AA has been the cornerstone of my sobriety, and I am so grateful I gave it a try. It was great to read and have online support, but , for me, nothing has been like the in real life support of people in the rooms of AA. I also, after much kicking and screaming and thinking they weren’t for me, came to embrace the steps…I am the kind of person who needs a plan of action, and as i did them things got clearer and clearer for me, and the obsession to drink was lifted completely. Do I occasionally thunk about having a drink, romanticize it? hell, yes! But it’s a fleeting thought vs. the constant obsession that always had me drinking by the end of the day.
    I had a big problem with “god” when I entered the rooms but am so grateful that didn’t keep me away. I scoffed at the idea of a HP, that this was a spiritual program….I certainly have not “come to jesus”, but I do yoga and meditate and have found buddhist oriented materials that go so well with AA that have made the whole process easier. Please don’t use god as an excuse to not check it out, please!
    I blogged before I got sober but that blog is in my archives now. I am glad I did because when i was thinking about quitting the first thing I looked for was “sober blogs”….because I knew they would be out there. They were, and they saved my ass.
    I hold great hope that anyone, anyone, can get sober if they want it badly enough, if they are willing to be completely honest. AA is great, my way, not the only way. I love this post, this thread of responses and sobriety itself.
    So, so grateful to be free.

  60. SusanB says:

    Today, actually Jan 4 will be my 14th year of life without my 12 year old son who died of cancer. Each day I try to live forward, not stuck in the muck that is my grief. I’m getting better at switching the channels in my head when I find myself playing the same sad movie, over and over, letting it infect my life. This is my one shot, my life, and I’m going to suck the joy out of it, regardless of what’s gone by, and then because of what’s gone by, and especially because there is someone who would have lived each day like it was his last. Oh yeah, he actually did live like that. Best wishes to everyone else who struggles to move along, but continues to try.

    • mishedup says:

      Ah Susan….

      I so hear you. This January 21 will mark the 8th year of my life without the husband who I so dearly loved and miss.
      Here’s to sucking all the joy and laughter and goodness out of life that we can…for us and for them.
      xoxo

  61. Not ready to share says:

    Day 1. Wish me luck.

    • UnPickled says:

      Luck. Joy. Success. Good health. Freedom. Peace. Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing. You are not alone!

    • Good luck…and welcome to sobriety. I wouldn’t trade my sober days for anything else. It’s a beautiful way of living. :)

    • Congratulations on your decision to quit and the best of luck with it. I’m only 17 days ahead of you but absolutely determined to do it. I’ve enjoyed going to the non-alcoholic section of the supermarket and trying out all the different drinks on offer there and not allowing myself the thought of wine or beer to enter my mind. Try to feel excited, not sad and you’ll be so proud of yourself.

    • Mo says:

      Good luck, Not ready to share. Day 39 for me and I feel calm and clear and happy without alcohol consuming my life. It’s really, really worth the effort. :-)

  62. Tricia H. says:

    Today marks 2 yrs since I’ve had a drink. I’m grateful for this blog, which helped give me the courage to walk into my first AA mtg. It is not a support or recovery group, but a group of people who get together and share how they did it. There are no “rules” or “dues”, the only requirement for joining is a desire to stop drinking. I give back by working with other alcoholics to keep myself sober, and to remember how it was. I urge others to not try to do this alone — it is much bigger of a problem than I realized. I just had to change everything in my life. Today I attend AA mtgs at least 5 days a week. I have a strong friend base, and have greatly improved relationships with my husband and family.

    I’ve not had a “slip” as some like to call it, and I give AA 100% of the credit. Instead of hiding on the web, I had to lower my pride and ask for help. In person. Sure, there are other programs, but I believe that for most of us, something bigger than ourselves is needed. I found the happiness I desired.

    I am a successful, professional who works in law. I’ve never had a DUI, never lost a job over my drinking, and had all the “things” in life I thought I needed. If I can do it, so can others.

    If anyone on here needs more info on AA, or just wants to talk about how I did it, you can reach me at travel.tripper@yahoo.com. Trudge on.

  63. ccisclean says:

    My decision to give up drinking was reinforced by exactly how you describe in your post: Depressed over yet again another drinking binge and hungover I googled “how to quit drinking” and came across your blog. I followed the links to other blogs, too and discovered this network of others who share my experiences. I’m not the bum in the park alcoholic either, but I DO have a drinking problem. I signed up for the 100 day challenge, which is helping so much too. I’m not even an entire week yet sober (6 days), but I started my own blog and continue to read the blogs of others daily, and I’ve never felt so committed to sobriety in my life. For others who are thinking about quitting drinking, who don’t identify themselves as the “bum in the park,” and who aren’t sure about traditional approaches like AA, I would highly recommend blogging, following the blogs of others, and not being scared to reach out for support.

  64. Loving reading everybody’s stories. This was a great idea.

  65. Sharon says:

    156 days ago I read this blog from beginning to end. I found Belle’s blog Tired of Thinking about Drinking here. I signed up for the 100 day challenge and have never looked back. The sober blogs and support from Jean and Belle has been beyond amazing!
    I am a 62 year old grandmother, mother and wife. I live in a beautiful house in a upscale neighborhood. I have been drinking since the birth of my son some 30 years ago. Most heavily in the last 10 years. I was just so sick and tired of being tired, irritable, heavy headed and full of shame and regret . This sober community has helped me continue to stay sober. I feel so alive now, there are no words to express and unpickled started me on my way. Join us, you won’t regret it.

  66. 80 days sober today! I sleep like an angel for the first time in many years. I have lost 6kgs. I have started working out and I feel like a million bucks. In short I am loving myself stupid! Never thought I could do it after so many failed attempts but this time feels different. I am getting so much more out of life. Finally! Give it a go. It is really hard but really worth it. Happy new year!

  67. Hi Unpickled readers! I love this blog! I quit drinking mid-August after realizing that my drinking was getting out of control again after the birth of my baby (I quit while preggo). My parents are both functional alcoholics and I grew up thinking it was normal to drink your feelings away. After getting sober I have realized that it is much better to deal with them head on! I was a heavy drinker from when I was about 14 until I stopped at 33…I was functional at times, but a lot of my life revolved around finding the next party and avoiding reality.

    I agree with all the comments here saying to do whatever it takes to stop drinking. Go to meetings, read books, get support. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone- it can be a really good thing for you. I went to an AA meeting early on, joined Women For Sobriety online, and blog about my day-to-day life. My husband also quit drinking to support me. I also prayed a lot! Do whatever you have to do. It is worth it. I feel a million times better about myself than I used to. It is tough at times, but it DOES get easier.

    xx,
    Jen

  68. Hello out there! I am a 60 year-old administrator in a private school. I am married 35 years and have two grown daughters who live out of state. My parents were both alcoholics – but not the bums on the street. The 5 o’clock cocktail hour that began at 4 and continued till bed. My childhood memories are of ice clinking in their old fashioned glasses. Of course I drank (before I was legal)! The legal age was 18 so I was on my way. I watched as I drank progressively more through the years. It was when my 90 year old mother was hospitalized and I watched her go through detox from her nightly martinis that I knew I had to stop. Totally stop. I had tried moderating – no go. I was always focused on the next glass of wine. Always watching my wine level go down during dinner – rather than enjoy the company of others. Always focused on that glass. I came across a yoga blog accidentally where the writer was going to stop all abuses for 40 days. She wrote daily about her life without alcohol. I followed with interest, set a date for myself and armed myself with a toolbox full of help. Books, other blogs, audio tapes. I immersed myself. On that date, June 9, 2013, I had my last drink. I feel amazing. I have total control of my life. I can jump in the car after dark without worry. I am everyone’s designated driver. I don’t every have to worry that someone else will need to tell me to quit drinking (husband, daughter, doctor). I have been reborn. Try it…you’ll love it!

  69. Jean says:

    I am doing it (not drinking) for 63 days. I have read lots of blogs, I have found them helpful and inspiring. The blogs make me feel that I am not alone. I am a middle aged wife and mother I have a good job and a good life and like many people recognized drinking was not working for me anymore. The amount of wine was increasing and this was causing anxiety in my work and personal life. This was not how I wanted to live. I tried moderation many, many times but it didn’t work for me. My bottom was high, but I was beginning to really over drink at parties and I had a few black outs and as much as a promised myself I wouldn’t drink Monday through Thursday, by Tuesday I was drinking. I had a doctors appt and my blood pressure was high and I knew it was from drinking and lying to my doc about my drinking. So for the umpteenth time I tried and so far it is working. The first week I was lucky because my work schedule changed so I couldn’t cook dinner, and I also made a commitment to journaling and reading and commenting on blogs everyday. Also, I decided not to worry about how much I was eating and if I was eating too many sweets. I already practice yoga and exercise so having that in place helped a lot. I joined the 100 day challenge when I hit day 30 or 40, I didn’t want to fail so I waited. I read the book Drink. But of all the things I am doing not to drink, reading all the great blogs like Unpickled and others like it and joining the 100 day challenge are the most beneficial to me.

  70. Coming Clean says:

    Quitting drinking is like reaching maturity. When I look back and see that I started drinking as a teenager (aged 14) and then throughout my life to age 53 I see a young girl who never got to be a true adult. I would drink to be funny, drink to be sociable, drink to have a good conversation. I was astounded when I eventually gave it all away last January that I could still be funny, sociable and interesting. What stands out is the steadiness of my life now. I love the predictability of knowing that I now “own” my nights, I am able to get in the car and be on call 24/7 and I can plan like an adult can. I have slight memory loss from the one bottle for fifteen years every night and I have to really rein myself in with lists and goals now to accomplish tasks as I think the alcohol may have also been a symptom of attention deficit disorder. I have also been through breast cancer three years ago which I attribute to the alcohol abuse. Unpickled has been my saviour. There isn’t a day that goes past where I don’t read the RSS feeds and see who else is joining in. I would love to know if anything I have said as Coming Clean has resonated with anyone else. I gave up on the 6th January 2013. Last night I had a drinking dream where I was trying to hide an empty glass of red wine. I felt shamed. My problem with alcohol is that I know that one glass is never enough and the empty bottles become my dirty little secret.
    I am looking forward to another sober year with my Unpickled friends.

    • mishedup says:

      WOW….

      happy almost soberversary!
      That is awesome!

    • LynneR@Lynne_Suzanne1 says:

      You are telling my story. We are the same age. My sober date is Nov 7 2013 so I am new just coming up on 60 days. I just had my first sober New Years in —like ever it seems. it feels soooo freaking great :)

    • Jean says:

      Coming clean, happy one year soberversary. I am only on day 68 and hoping as you did to get a year. I am feeling a little sad that one glass is not enough, but I guess if I just face that and can continue to embrace sober life and look at what I am gaining, peace and better sleep, I will hopefully get to a year.
      Congratulations!

  71. mb says:

    I tried to quit drinking many, many times over the last couple of years. When going to AA — which in my mind was a “last resort” — proved unsuccessful, I was truly scared. But when I stumbled on Unpickled (I don’t recall exactly what I’d googled to get here, or even why I had the optimism to google about sobriety again!), and — voila — here was a voice to which I could relate. I’ll never forget when, in an early post, she talked about being “so, so sad” that she couldn’t have a glass of wine. It was so honest. So funny. So absurd. And so true. It made my own feeling of being sad about not “getting to drink” (I know, I know, but that’s what it’s like at first) feel equally absurd and true and just OK. I then started reading tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking, which has also been so right for me somehow (she had me at the title). But my main point is this business about not giving up. I was very discouraged by all my failed attempts. But something in me kept trying, and I believe that will be true for any of you out there looking for a way. You will find it. Don’t give up. Keep trying. Your unpickled self will be so grateful.

  72. Debbie says:

    I had to chime in. (Great idea) For those lurking out there and wondering if you can do it, know that you CAN. I hate to say it, but yes, you may fall once or twice or a zillion times, but that’s okay. As noted in a reply above, each time you create new tools for the tool box and trust me, that helps tremendously. I’m a newbie at 105 days and it’s still one day at a time but worth it. Totally worth it.

  73. oceanviews88 says:

    I have a husband, kids and an administrative position with a healthcare system and I lived a lie every day. I moved through my days playing the role of wife, mother and boss but at the end of the day I was just wanting to have a glass of wine and feel free from the pressures and anxiety of my daily life. But it wasn’t a glass of wine or two…it was a bottle or two a night. I felt like crap inside and out..and I felt this tremendous hatred toward myself. I happened on a maagazine article about a woman who described her relationship with alcohol similiar to mine and found support through the sober blog world. I emailed Belle at tiredofthinkingofdrinking and she emailed me back. I was so humbled. I signed up for 100 day challenge not knowing I could do it but someone out there said “I was not broken” and believed that I could do it. I email her every day to let her know I am sober. I found Unpickled and read every single blog those early days. I laughed and cried reading her blogs because I felt so many of the same things! It helps to know that you are not alone and that it is your choice to drink or not. I read Jason Vale’s Kick the Drink Easily and it gave me a whole new perspective about alcohol as a drug. It’s ok to be nice to yourself! Give yourself a break from having to “be” everything to everyone else and then deal with this self imposed anxiety by pouring alcohol into yourself as a way to escape.
    Reach out….its the first step!
    We will be there for you.

  74. In reading the comments above, it seems I fall outside of the norm, but I will share my story anyway. I am sober 23 months and 6 days (but who’s counting :)), and I recovered within the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am a big fan of the 12-step program, because it helped me in ways far beyond staying sober. So I have done the recovery thing a little backwards from the other readers here… I was about 3 months sober when a friend suggested blogging, and it was here that I found another whole stratosphere of support! Now the two “programs,” blogging and AA, have been a tremendous help to me in staying sober, and it is also so wonderful to connect with people who understand my pain, my crazy ways of thinking, and my desire to live a better life! Happy New Year everyone!

  75. Maggie says:

    I may fall outside the average reader but I am sure someone can relate. I am 66, married, grandmother and Montessori teacher who drastically started increasing my alcohol intake four years ago. Discovered vodka and loved it. I knew something had to change and found this blog in early 2013. At the worse I started drinking at 2:00 in the afternoon every day and continued until I literally fell into bed with a glass of vodka on my bedside table.
    Stopped July 31, 2013. I did it alone.
    I can’t believe how much better I feel !
    Good luck to everyone. 2014 will be your year.

  76. What a great idea! I decided to try sobriety because I started to binge drink out of control on the weekends, and occasionally at home alone. Being in and a part of the sober blogosphere has really helped. For a few days I was just reading all the ones I could find. My blog helps me feel accountable, and writing about my experiences does that – and helps me process what’s going on. Another was that I wasn’t finding many other bloggers that seemed to reflect my life – I’m a 31 year old professional, single (but maybe ok some day trying to date), childless, living in a trendy mid-sized city, and most of my friends are similar (or coupled and childless). I was tired of feeling like my life had stagnated. I was tired of not feeling safe driving. I was tired of not remembering shit I did or said. I’ve come to realize that finding a similar story to mine doesn’t matter as much as finding support in all different kinds of experiences. Am I glad I’m sober? HELL YES. If nothing, nothing else, not drinking made me really face the *why* of my drinking – and realizing that there are underlying issues I just need to fucking work through, and there’s never an answer at the bottom of a glass. Never. Will I never, ever drink again? I don’t know. Do I now know what substance dependence looks like, and how it doesn’t work, and never will? HELL YES. We’ll be here for you if you decide to see what sobriety is like for you. Whether it’s for a day, or a week, or a 100 day challenge, or a year, or tonight, and then tomorrow night, and then again. Happy New Year :)

  77. I quit drinking 17 days ago and I am definitely no bum in the park. I live in a gorgeous house with my husband and two fantastic children. I fundraise for the school they go to and am in the second year of a history degree with the Open University. To say that my life was spiralling out of control is a bit of an exaggeration, but the amount of beer and wine I was putting away on Friday and Saturday evenings was enough to completely ruin my weekends and enough for me to hate myself on Mondays and Tuesdays …. until it all started again on a Friday night. I finally decided that I had to stop drinking when I found myself pouring whiskey or brandy into my coffee on Sunday mornings, to help me get through how rough I felt. I turned to the internet to find help and this is the first blog I came across. That first Monday morning I sat and read blog after blog and the relief I felt was overwhelming. I couldn’t believe that there was this whole community of people supporting each other and I desperately wanted to be part of it. I have just got through my first Christmas and New Year without having a drink and I am incredibly grateful for this sober community. If you feel like you need to give up I really recommend you looking through these blogs. I see it more as an adventure than anything else and although it is still early days for me I have absolutely no regrets about this commitment. This really is the best decision I ever made.

  78. lucy2610 says:

    If you are here searching for an answer I would echo what Jean says and say ‘don’t give up giving up’. It took me many attempts but each time I learned something new that added another tool to my toolkit. I did it by reaching out to others in the sober blogging community because I was fed-up of the hangovers both physical and psychological and I didn’t want the rest of my life to play out how the last 25 had and I am so glad that I did. I am now 102 days sober and it is the best decision I have ever made. I am not the bum in the park kind of drinker although in my time as a nurse I have cared for them! If you met me in the street with my husband and kids you would have no idea that we had an alcohol dependency (my husband is on day 108).

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