Is cold turkey the only way?

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi everyone,

I joined here in 2016. I received lots of great advice & so much support from people on this forum. I could be 100% honest here. I would come here every few months when I would decide my drinking needs to change & then I would return to my old habits for some time & again decide I needed to change & come back again. Here I am back again.

I would say in the last year maybe year & a half to cut my drinking down from 2, 3 or 4 times a week to once a week. This may sound like I wow you don't have a problem anymore but on this one night I binge at home. For those of you that have read my previous posts I do this in secret. I will drink before my husband gets home from work & then pretend I am only having a drink or two with him. He does know I have secretly drank, he discovered this some time ago & it caused of course problems in our relationship but I had continued to do it every Saturday night without him knowing or he may have suspected but left me to it.

I haven't had a drink now in 11 days so 2 weekends have passed & no booze. I have actually found it the easiest attempt so far. Part of that is due to the fact that we are trying to conceive & it would be better to not be drinking but I have sensed a change in me. I don't want the alcohol to control me anymore. The thoughts still popped into my head over the last 2 weekends to drink but I just knew I wouldn't. I would think about how I would feel afterwards that tomorrow would come & I would be hungover & so disappointed in myself. I have not sworn myself off drink forever but I have sworn myself of ever secretly drinking again!!!!

I am on another forum which is also very helpful. On this forum its about going sober full time. I am not sure if that is what I need to do. I do have a problem with alcohol, the secrecy for me is the biggest problem but I did manage to cut my drinking down & now I am wondering if I cut the secret drinking out can I enjoy a drink socially. On the other forum that is a definite no no. Is it possible though if I break this habit I have had for years as my go to for relaxation & anxiety & go sober at home do I have to not drink forever? Am I kidding myself that I can socially drink. Do I give it a try & see? Or is cold turkey the only way? I have to say I did not miss the drinking at home the weekend just gone. The no guilt & shame & clear head has been brilliant.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

Thank you xx

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  • Posted

    I am at a month sober. My behavior sounds similar to yours. I am fearing another drink at this point. I am worried that social situations and networking events might encourage me to drink. It sounds fun and I want to unwind and have a drink socially but I know what it will most likely lead to. I think what is helping me is exercising self control in other areas of my life. From what i understand, it's like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Also, I am searching for things to do, goals to achieve. I know i am not capable of much hungover and that is really driving me to not drink. One drink will definitely lead to more and it's never enough once i get going. It's good that you are staying sober because you are trying to conceive. Try to keep your future family in mind when the urge to drink comes on. I have found that having a purpose is crucial to life in general. It definitely is helping me stay sober.

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  • Posted

    its different for everyone, it seems. I drank heavily for a couple years, then too much but not nearly as much 3-4/day, then dropped it really low 3/month, then nothing at all for 6 months. I can drink socially now enjoy just one and don't feel any sort of inclination to drink. I don't think I was an alcoholic, I didn't experience "cravings" or any problem cutting back when I wanted to, but I was going down a bad path.

    you have to use trial and error to see what works for you. that's scary and can lead some back to drinking which is why some people say "nothing, ever", because that's what they need. what you need is what you will have to discover. I personally would say tell yourself you will drink again but that you're taking a little break and you will do it "later". give yourself a few weeks to heal. then maybe try a couple months....and so on. when you no long even think about the desire to drink socially, give it a few more weeks then, if you want, maybe try having one. or maybe not. Just what I would do.

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  • Posted

    Message to Sadie Dee and mike98072,

    staying sober works for me since i have no guilt or shame, no hidden bottles and much better health. I am sober for 6 years now and cannot trust myself to have just one drink. One will lead to another and an and another!😤 i see it as poison. If i drink once more i will dielll😩 works for me. Might seem very dramatic but my wife brain and body is wired i this way. You will feel better, look younger and have money in the bank. I drank MASSIVELY for many many years and was destroying my health and family life. Up to you😃 try it. Robin

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    • Posted

      Hi there. Like Robin, I've been completely sober for several years, but the niggling 'just one drink' thought is still there. Special events pass and the booze is in the house and people even give me a drink, not realising that I don't drink and it makes me feel great when I say no thanks. I get some funny looks but that's ok. BUT! The shall I? Just the one maybe thought is always there. One day maybe? I'm 73 now, so why not? And so on ......

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    • Posted

      and that is totally valid, if that's what you need to do in order to be sober. Im just commenting that it isn't black and white for everyone. how much did you drink if you don't mind me asking. my Dr didn't flinch when i told him, even though it was a looooot.

      the massively excessive drinking stopped for me when i got out of a physically emotionally and financially abusive relationship. i still drank "too much" and it had become a regular thing to drink so it was a routine

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    • Posted

      Yes Toad, this is exactly how I feel!! I ask myself what is the point of having just one drink? If it's only going to be one (which I know it wouldn't) then don't have it at all. One drink would not affect me so I know I'd have more and more to get the 'relaxed' feeling and then slide down the slippery slope, which I don't want to go back down. I've asked Sadie on here, about the forum for total abstinence she's on as I'd find that so interesting to read.

      It's difficult as I know the temptation will always be there.

      All the best

      Claire xx

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    • Posted

      Hi hiker. We are all different i agree and some people manage to reduce their drinking dramatically and have the odd one without any excess. A lady on this forum managed to sort this through medication and have the odd drink. No hiding and her family accepts her for what she is. Very strong but i cannot trust myself. I obviously admire.her tremendously! You seems to better and now out of the tricky relationship. i drank one bottle of wine a day and sometimes more including vodka.. 6 years sober

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    • Posted

      Hiker

      I was a very heavy drinker for years, both openly and secretively. i lost pretty much everything, and was in danger of losing my family.

      I had tried most things, nothing really worked. i even gave up totally for four years, but the craving was still there constantly. I was out at a family event, and asked for my usual drink, lime and soda. Unfortunately or fortunately! I was given wine and soda. I had two choices, drink it and say nothing, realise and put it down.

      I chose to drink it and several more. I couldnt see anything wrong. However I was very quickly worse than before, google alcohol kindling. Very frightening.

      Last resort was medication, Acamposate (campral) helped turn my life around. Its an anti craving drug which does work. You dont drink with it and it takes a week to ten days to kick in. I had no cravings at all, not drinking didnt bother me. I took it, two tablets 3 x daily for the maximum time, about 10 months.

      Put very simply, the drug resets your brain. You dont crave, you dont want another one or ten. Yes as Robin said, i do drink normally now. However never secretively, never alone and dont touch spirits.

      Ive no hesitation in saying campral gave me my life back and more importantly, my family and my self respect.

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    • Posted

      That is how I would like to drink, the odd glass and not excessive. I've been over 12 years sober now, not a drop, but as I have written over the years, the thought of having a social drink often surfaces. My wife drinks a bit, sometimes a bit too much, but I don't usually want to join her then. It's more the wine with a meal I miss. For the record, I was drinking about half a litre of whisky in an afternoon, often resulting in having to go to bed and wait for the room to stop spinning. Vomiting as well. Not nice. Sorry about the detail, but that's how it was. I certainly don't want to do that again. But will one drink lead to that?? Hmmmm.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sadie,

    It sounds like you have a lovely plan ahead, trying to conceive, and that is something far more worthwhile than drinking and hopefully it will give you something to aim for in life without the dreaded alcohol. Grab onto these positive thoughts with both hands, the fact that you haven't missed drinking over the past two weekends and the fact that you feel so much better.

    Just think every drink that you don't have is a bonus.

    I'd be really interested to read/join the forum you mention in your post regarding total abstinence.

    This is the route I am taking at the moment as I don't trust myself around alcohol to even have one glass. I can't afford to test myself but I had an overwhelming urge to have a glass of wine the other day but I didn't so I would find reading info on the forum really interesting as I have the same questions as you. Could you let me know what it's called or maybe direct message me it's name?

    All the best

    Claire xx

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    • Posted

      I remember you from last year and long time sober which is great. Like me, you worry about the one drink....will it lead to another and another and another?? 6 years 4 months sober, so far. I know that i cannot trust myself and prefer to avoid the temptation 😄 Robin

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