The wrong mindset?

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I just can't get to grips with my mindset regarding alcohol. I'm currently trying to tell myself to have some alcohol-free nights, and yet I seem to cave in at the last minute or have a 'stress-related' reason to have a drink.

This is really beginning to annoy me now!

I have always drank alcohol; since may late teens and I'm now 60.

There have been many times in my life when I've gone without drink, whether it be odd days, weeks or in a few cases months.

However, for at least the last year or two, I've had very few alcohol-free evenings.

I mainly drink red wine (occasionally white), usually 12%-13% . . . so 10 units per bottle.

I drink usually between a half and a full bottle each evening; occasionally less and never more than one full bottle (which may happen once or even twice in a week).

So, by my reckoning, I drink anything from between 30 and 50 units each week, with no free nights. This is way above the recommended limit!

My LFTs have been above average for a few years, but the last one was 'normal' apparently.

I wake each morning both guilty and annoyed that I failed to avoid drinking wine the evening before. I don't have a hangover, but usually just feel tired and aching.

I've had issues with joint and tendon pain for a couple of years and my 'mental state' has been one of irritability. This includes swearing at myself etc. I often feel fed up, even though my family life is generally good.

It's my overall mindset that seems wrong. I'm an intelligent man but am at a loss as to why I don't just stop drinking wine in the evenings. I believe I treat it 'as a reward' or something like that, and yet have the guilt feelings the following morning.

I never have the urge to drink in the morning or afternoon, but ususally by about 7.30-8.00pm, I have the wine with the meal, then continue sipping until I go to bed.

Any comments or advice, empathy or solutions would be most welcome.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    I feel exactly the same... I drink EVERY night and I now think well, I don't care. I'm 67, life is hard, bits of me hurt, red wine is so fantastic, delicious and such a brilliant effect. I deserve it! My liver function is fine, apparently. The only difference is that I drink around the recommended limit for a woman (about 3 units a night, 1/3 bottle), and I do that by using a very small wine glass (bought specially) and telling myself I can have two or possibly two and a half of those and THAT'S IT for the night. I don't find that too difficult, whereas I would find no wine at all impossible. Could you do something similar?
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  • Posted

    Thanks for your reply Sue73 . . . . I have actually tried that and it has worked occasionally, but I soon find I have 'an excuse' or a feeling for a need of a 'reward' and slip back into my normal drinking pattern over a period of about a week.

    I sometimes feel I'm over-thinking the whole issue, but then again, unless I can get back to drinking just maybe 3 or 4 evenings a week (say 20 units) I'm going to continue to feel physically and mentally unwell (I reckon the alcohol has had a depressive effect over time).

    My greatest theory is that I feel somehow deprived by not having the enjoyment of having wine with my meal etc. I seem to treat wine as some kind of reward as well as relaxant.

    So, although I readily understand these things and truly believe that the long term effect has been to upset my health, I'm annoyed with myself for not being able to get in the frame of mind (which as I've said in my first post, I have been able to in the past) just to feel comfortable and accepting of missing odd evenings here and there, and sticking to it.

    Trying too hard and then getting annoyed or guilty seems to have the opposite effect.

    I already know from years of drinking, that I will never have or need a drink during the day and I also know that I would never drink more than one bottle of red in an evening. What I'm drinking right now (35-50 units per week) is my max . . . . but I so realise that it's too much and almost hate myself for not having the ability just to quit for a few nights a week.

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  • Posted

    It sounds like if your health isn't suffering from it, the only thing you're doing is making yourself feel guilty for something that isn't bad.

    maybe just try to cut down on how much per night you have, instead of trying to stop.

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  • Posted

    Hi Roger,

    I was a heavy drinker for many, many years, at first I drank whisky because it had an instant effect and socially I didn't have to keep running to the loo frequently like you do with beer, then as the years progressed I changed to wine, red wine and used the same reasoning as you, as I tried periodically to cut down but it never worked.

    I was drinking a bottle of red wine every night for years, until I discovered i had an aneurysm with other health issues. I researched it on the 'net' and it became clear to me that I HAD to give it up altogether , which I did February 2012 and I have to say I have never felt better, I don't even drink socially, I just have lemonade or even water and I feel miles better.

    So I think sometimes we need the impetus of important health issues to focus our minds to a new way of living, if only to survive. I am 70 now and mean to go on alcohol free, I feel more relaxed, my circulation is better than its ever been and I don't feel guilty when I see a police car in my rear view mirror when I am driving and that's a bonus! John

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