Today's the day....

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Today I'm going to stop my usual midweek drinking of a bottle per day. I've been doing this pretty much every day for 18 months and after a lovely Mothers Day out, drinking etc - today is th day! 

Question is, how do I go about helping y body recover inside and out from such heavy drinking? 

Thanks for your help guys :-)

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  • Posted

    Any damage done to your liver will repair itself naturally over time if you are not drinking. You may have a deficiency of B Vitamins after drinking excessively and it is worth buying Thiamine (Vitamin B1) (a deficiency of this can lead to alcohol-related dementia later on) and some Vitamin B Complex. You can get both of these over the counter.

    Otherwise, decent diet and all the usual healthy things including plenty of water which everyone should have.

    Congratulations on your decision and good luck smile

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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul, will get some of these today. I have a B12 deficiency and get injections every 6 weeks. I'll need that luck but feeling positive :D
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  • Posted

    Hydrate, plenty of fluid. Healthy food that does not come from a packet or in anyway resembles a ready meal. Fruit and vegetables. Thiamine B12 for a month, 100mg per day, available non prescription. Vitamin B compound strong for a month and folic acid for one month, available non prescription.
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  • Posted

    Have you tried to stop before? Are you planning on continuing drinking, at weekends? Have you discussed prob with Doc?  Best of luck with your decision. I find it sooooo difficult. I am trying a new med now.
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    • Posted

      I have done the odd day but start thinking about drink and end up with a drink back in my hand telling myself it's fine. I don't feel I have an addiction as such as it doesn't effect my daily life in any way, I don't NEED a drink, I've just got into the habbit of drinking fro 6pm every single day. I'm 32 and notice how much I drink by how little others drink so I would still like to drink of a weekend but stay dry mid week.
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    • Posted

      When you drink, from 6pm, is it on your own? I started what I call "over drinking", many years ago. It was when I was cooking dinner, every evening. It did not have any effect on my day to day life. Your tolerance to alcohol increases as time goes by. You are in a good place, to be able to check this, now. I didn't, then. Big problem for me and it does not go away.
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    • Posted

      Hi Danielle,

      Congratulations on your decision! I was in a similar position - or probably worse - 25 years ago. I never touched alcohol till I was 20, binged occasionally in my late 20s when I was in the Army (which tends to be par for the course) then started steady but limited wine consumption when I moved to a country with a wine-drinking culture in my early 30s.

      I only noticed I was drinking more when I got into my mid-40s. I was in an absorbing but demanding job that I loved, and my first impulse when I got home every night was to pour myself a glass of sherry. I'd then go on to white wine while preparing my supper, then switch to red or continue with white while eating it. I suspect I clocked up a bottle and a half some nights.

      I was living alone by this time (not alcohol-related) but I don't think loneliness had anything to do with it. Nor did stress. I've always noticed I don't want to drink if I'm feeling low or anxious, I'm more at risk when feeling relieved from stress or pleased with myself.

      Like you, my drinking wasn't affecting my work performance or any other area of my life, and I never had a hangover. However, I sometimes continued drinking until quite late in the evening, and it never occurred to me that my breath would still smell of alcohol the next morning. (At this point I should say I've never owned a car as I live in a country with excellent public transport.) When a colleague quietly pointed this out to me one day I was mortified, and decided to do something about it.

      It's actually quite easy to cut back when you're dependent or habituated, as opposed to addicted. Over the next few years, I managed to push back the time of my first evening drink. I almost never drink earlier in the day, btw. First I cut out the "welcome home" sherry altogether, then moved on to only allowing myself to drink while cooking, rather than preparing, my meal, then to pouring my first glass just before I'm ready to plate up.

      I've stayed at that level ever since, and consume on average half a bottle of wine per night. My liver enzymes have always been on the high side - even before I started serious drinking - but they haven't gone up over the years. I'm now working on having one alcohol-free day per week but find this mysteriously difficult. Yet on nights when I can't have a drink for some reason or another, it doesn't bug me at all. I can't even stand the smell of the stuff if I have a cold or a sore throat. During a recent short hospitalisation following an accident (also non-alcohol related) I didn't miss it. Most tellingly, last October I sat up several nights at the bedside of a dear friend who was dying in a dreadful psycho-geriatric unit, to protect her from sexual assaults etc. at the hands of the other inmates. I slept during the day and stayed awake every night during that week, so there was no opportunity for a glass of wine. Even in these stressful circumstances, I never once gave it a thought - though I admit going on a minor bender the night after she died.

      So... why is it so difficult to have just one wine-free night per week now?

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    • Posted

      So... why is it so difficult to have just one wine-free night per week now?

      Because when you're working, your mind is on other things. The devil makes work for idle hands - i.e. when your mind has time to turn to other things, guess what pops up?

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    • Posted

      Not sure... it seems to me it's more food related, and only the evening meal. I sometimes have days when I slob around and don't do much all day but my mind never turns to alcohol until I start cooking supper. Come to think of it, it's more likely to be the act of cooking or preparing food itself that does it. In most of the circumstances where I don't drink in the evening and don't miss it, it's because I haven't prepared the meal myself - travelling, in hospital etc. Even when I eat out in the evening with friends, I notice I actually drink far less than most of them.

      Food for thought...?confused

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    • Posted

      If you don't feel you have an addiction,then not drinking during the week won't be any hardship. Just drink at the weekend. I don't understand what your problem is.

      If on the other hand, you're doubting you can do it, give it a go. You will soon know whether or not you're addicted. If you don't, as you say, need a drink, just knock it on the head and enjoy weekend drinking. If you struggle and find it hard, then you're just kidding yourself and why would you post on this forum  if you don't have a problem?

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    • Posted

      If you don't feel you have an addiction,then not drinking during the week won't be any hardship. Just drink at the weekend. I don't understand what your problem is.

      If on the other hand, you're doubting you can do it, give it a go. You will soon know whether or not you're addicted. If you don't, as you say, need a drink, just knock it on the head and enjoy weekend drinking. If you struggle and find it hard, then you're just kidding yourself and why would you post on this forum  if you don't have a problem?

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    • Posted

      Yes, I drink alone as my partner rarely drinks at all. My intake is increasing. I can drink 2 bottles of 13% wine and although the second bottle will make me drunk, I function ok the next day. X
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    • Posted

      I'm so busy during the day, I normally use my drink as a treat and a way to relax so during the evening I'm not wondering how I will fill my time and find a way to stop the habit. I don't feel 1 wine free night in enough so will try for Mon-Fri and just do weekends.

      Sounds like you're doing well from how you started. Well done!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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    • Posted

      It's all about habit Vicky, it's s hard one to break! I'm posting on a forum for a bit of help and tips to rectify what I can in relation to over drinking. If it was so easy to do, I would not be here. 🙄
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    • Posted

      Thanks Danielle! I hoped my story would encourage you to cut down. I use alcohol in exactly the same way as you. Now all I need is a bit of encouragement to go for one or two alcohol-free nights a week! Fortunately for both of us, habit isn't nearly as hard to break as addiction, but it can still cause a problem. But it should be easier for you than me as you're much younger than me, so your habit won't be as deeply ingrained.

      Good luck!

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    • Posted

      "It's actually quite easy to cut back when your dependant or habituated, as opposed to addicted" I find this a bit of a contradiction. If you're dependant on alcohol then surely you're addicted?

      if it is so easy to cut back when you're dependant, then just go ahead and do it. IMO being dependant on alcohol is the same as being addicted to it.

      Drinking out of habit is totally different than being dependant on alcohol. It's a bit of a slippery slope where a habit can easily turn into an addiction. I'd suggest breaking that habit whilst "it's actually quite easy". If you're not careful, this drinking merely out of habit, can soon turn into an addiction which is much harder to deal with. With the risk of being unpopular or unhelpful, I think you're kidding yourself saying it's actually quite easy to cutback.

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    • Posted

      I would agree with your statement, habitual (routine) is easier to get out of, before dependency or addiction sets in.

      I think where the confusion may set in, is people's understanding of the word dependent. Rightly or wrongly, they may interpret this word differently to its strict meaning (and with alcohol, it has a very defined meaning).

      Somebody might think that they're 'dependent' on having a bottle of wine a night, to mellow and sleep. They can't go without that bottle pyschologically, hence 'dependent' but they are not physically dependent (yet) in the way you or I would view dependence. If that makes sense.

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    • Posted

      Yes, RHGB, that's where I was coming from. If I'm forced by circumstances to forego my half-bottle or so of wine in the evening I don't suffer any physical or mental distress, except for slight difficulty getting off to sleep. I suppose I'm basing my addiction/dependence comparisons on two of my uncles who were undoubtedly addicted. One of them regularly went into full-scale delirium tremens when forced by my grandmother to go cold turkey. (This in the days before there was much of a medical approach to alcoholism, of course.)

      I don't think I'm totally kidding myself, having managed to painlessly reduce my intake by two-thirds twenty years ago and keep it there. I'm not at risk of going back to that level as I couldn't physically tolerate that much alcohol any more, nor do I have the desire to drink more. I'm just slightly frustrated at myself at still not managing at least one regular weekly alcohol-free day, which I'm convinced is good for everyone's health.

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    • Posted

      I am in exactly the same position as you, Lily, it could have been me writing that last paragraph!!  I guess you could call it lack of will-power, but I don't know how to rectify that.
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    • Posted

      Yes, Patricia - I think it's lack of willpower too. I have similar problems with food, with a tendency to continue eating when I'm no longer hungry, though I do manage to keep my weight within the normal range, albeit with some effort. That frustrates me even more: if I can keep this tendency in check with food, why can't I totally manage it with alcohol? 

      I think the best way for me is to keep chipping away at it, reducing my intake little by little. Each time I avoid that last top-up is a small victory. I find it's often a question of mindfulness.

      Like last night, for instance. I normally allow myself half a bottle or so with my evening meal - alcohol has never interested me during the day. Last night it was white wine to accompany fish. There was only about a third of a bottle left in the fridge, so I drank this with my meal and was quite happy. While loading the dishwasher afterwards, I spotted the remains of a bottle of red on the worktop - probably less than a glass. (I have one of those vacuum pumps with the special stoppers, so I'm able to save wine.) I immediately thought that as I hadn't had my usual half-bottle I was entitled to drink the rest of the red, to make up for it. I was actually reaching out for the bottle when I reminded myself that I rarely drink after the end of a meal, and that I neither needed or even wanted that extra glass! Fortunately it worked on this occasion but I often over-ride my own better judgement. I actually think it was the knowledge that I'd been posting on this site that helped.

      This approach has worked in the past - I was drinking a bottle and a half of wine per day 20 years ago vs. half a bottle now - so I guess it's the only way forward.

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    • Posted

      Well, then force a circumstance once a week, where you can't be accessible to alcohol. Go and do some activity in the evening, eat early, so it does not feel like wine time - if you eat at 5:00pm, you're far less likely to crave a glass with your meal than if you sit down in front of the tele at 7:30pm, watching Corrie (or whatever it is).

      Find some activity to do once a week, go to the cinema, anything, just something that takes up a good part of you evening. Then hopefully you will get use to it, and can be at home and have your alcohol free night.

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    • Posted

      Well said. It's not an easy habit to kick. There are people on here that can point you in the right direction. I haven't found any advice just yet that has made me stop. I'm still drinking. Keep posting. We are all here to help xxx
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