This topic contains 41 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Tiffany 13 hours, 39 minutes ago.

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  • #70570
     maddog 
    Participant

    I have no idea why not. Usually I get to day 3 or 4 and think, hey ho, time for a glass or a bottle. I maybe feel a little calmer but otherwise no different. It’s really odd. I don’t know if it will last as I am making no effort not to drink. I would really like it to be my new normal as I am the standard by whom problem drinkers compare themselves as in, oh well, at least I don’t drink as much as Maddog… Most of my friends became more sensible about alcohol many years ago while I have been carrying on like a student, just about functioning, never missing work and doing what needs to be done. It has been a place to hide.

    I don’t think I’m missing wine. I feel kind of relieved. Just baffled.

  • #70571
     KIP. 
    Participant

    People self medicate with alcohol. Perhaps you simply don’t need medication anymore x well done. The health benefits are amazing x

  • #70574
     Helovesmehesays 
    Participant

    Hello Maddog,

    I made a concious effort to stop drinking after the new year. I am a recovering alcoholic. My ex and i both had problems with alcohol, which led to all the abuse. I got involved with our local addiction group (my mentor bangs her head against a brick wall with me frequently!!!) I binge drink, i use it as a crutch, a way to make it all stop for a few hours. I know it doesn’t go away, i just ‘forget’ for a few hours.

    Well i decided nye was the last time. I downloaded a sobriertry clock a while ago, but i reset it for the 2nd jan. I managed nearly 8 days before my first blip (but then it was only a very weak bottle of wine over a 6hr period, not chugged in 5 mins like it would normally be, followed by various others!!) I was dissapointed that i had to reset my clock, but i was a little proud of myself for holding out that long with all the S***e going on!

    I’m being honest with my family & friends, trying to find distractions, drinking lots of juice etc. Its b****y hard but i HAVE to do it. I have to stop completely.

    Even though you’ve not made the concious effort to do it, very very well done for getting this far. Its not easy, and i hope it continues for you.

    Take care ❤

  • #70575
     Lisa 
    Main Moderator

    Hello Maddog,

    I just wanted to say it sounds really great that you have nearly done two weeks without drinking. It is wonderful that you are feeling calmer too. There is lots of evidence to suggest that alcohol can be a depressant and if you think that perhaps you were drinking too much and that your life would be more positive without alcohol in it then perhaps you could consider getting some support from Alcoholics Anonymous. They have a great website – https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/ which might be helpful.

    You deserve so much more than to ‘just about function’so if alcohol was holding you back then perhaps see what you are capable without it in your life.

    Best wishes,

    Lisa
    Forum Moderator

  • #70585
     SunshineRainflower 
    Participant

    I got like this a few years ago. I realised that I had had hardly any alcohol over several months and hadn’t missed it at all. The only time I had an alcoholic drink was on dates and I found I no longer enjoyed them. I decided to try being tee-total and it was surprisingly easy, and I haven’t had any alcohol since! It’s a massive relief actually, because in social situations you no longer get pressured to drink anything when people know you’re teetotal. I also don’t miss the hangovers, headaches etc. It just feels like a kinder way to treat my body and mind, it definitely used to make me feel depressed. Maybe see if you can be alcohol free for the whole of January then see how you feel?

  • #70587
     Frankfurter 
    Participant

    Woohoo! Well done Maddog. It’s the best thing going forward, it really is. I stopped drinking after I left my abuser and it is seriously the best thing I ever did.

  • #70589
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi Maddog, just want to let you know that what you are doing and how you are coping is blo..y amazing. My OH has a major problem with alcohol. He comes from am alcoholic family, he doesnt drink, hasn’t done so for decades, every time I drank he’d say im on my way to becoming an alcoholic,he was sick of my drinking, it was a bottle of wine nothing more and it was at the weekend. We didn’t/ don’t go out. Over the years I began to drink secretly so it wouldn’t cause arguements but realised he was going to be proved right if I kept sneaking a bottle into the house. With the meds I’m on I can’t stand the taste of wine anymore, so he’s won in a way, in another I have. It’s made me able to see him fir what he is rather than reaching for a glass of wine cos I was stressed out by him and then finishing the bottle to get through the night with him. Only downside is I’m not tipsy enough to be able to sleep with him, I’ve to psyche myself up to to it. Again well done, I really don’t miss it now either.

    IWMB 💕💕

  • #70593
     maddog 
    Participant

    The thing about alcohol as self-medication is that it works so blooody well. The only times when I really haven’t drunk have been when I’ve been pregnant, in hospital or had a really important job that meant I couldn’t drink and do the work the next day. All those things were a long time ago. I grew up in a household awash with booze. Drinks for any occasion and I would normally at this time of year think, oh wouldn’t it be lovely to have some wine in front of the fire, or later in the year, in the garden, or whatever. But so much of the time my alcohol brakes are faulty. Perhaps it’s like leaving anther abusive partner. I think it probably is, but no way am I out of the woods.

    It’s so interesting to hear other people’s stories, and very reassuring and less lonely. I have absolutely no idea how long this will last but I am just so pleased that I have broken the 4 day barrier!

    My ex was Mr Judgemental. Of course he was: He was Mr Perfect and he used to say so himself.

  • #70609
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi M.D. not sure if this makes much difference but I think also after menopause some women no longer drink too. I never really liked the taste of it, but after a glass or two you didn’t mind so much, I also as I got older found it took days to recover rather that one day. More lack of sleep than headaches,being sick, but definately the tiredness from being up later than usual and drinking added into the mix.
    What I did miss was having a wine glass in my hand though,
    IWMB 💕💕.

  • #70611
     Tiffany 
    Participant

    I never once was a heavy drinker. And I gave it up during the years with my abuser because I was so scared. At the time I thought I was scared of the hangover – I am already chronically ill, I don’t need anything extra to make me feel worse. Now I suspect that I was actually scared he would rape me if I lost control. I have the occasional drink now I have left. But after years of sobriety I am kind of used to not drinking and rather like it. My current partner has just done his first year sober, after drinking heavily in the past and his realisations have reminded me why I don’t want to start drinking again even though I am free. No hangovers is a great start. Never worrying if you are safe to drive is another. No peer pressure when someone is getting a round of shots that you really don’t want – you just say “I’m not drinking”. And nobody argues. It’s weird that you get peer pressure to have a second/third/fourth/subsequent drinks, but no one really pressures you to have the first. The other one for my partner is that he is happier, feels better in himself and is more productive. He loves getting up after a party then going out for a long dog walk or working in the garden because he feels great.

    If it feels like a natural time to try it I would highly recommend a trial period of sobriety. Doesn’t mean you actually have a problem with drink. It can just sometimes be nice to do without. Changes the focus of your life I think. And also saves you a small fortune!

  • #70613
     KIP. 
    Participant

    I gave up alcohol because bad things were happening to me when I was drunk. Having sex when I didn’t want to. Looking back it was always my abuser who plied me with too much drink. He had always been a heavy drinker and got really angry when I refused to drink. It didn’t occur to me at the time that he was abusing me through alcohol. I was still in the fog of abuse but something subconsciously told me to stop drinking and keep my wits about me. I’ve never gone back to drinking.

  • #70616
     Halfwayout 
    Participant

    Well done Maddog! I’m in the same boat as you, I get to a Thursday /Friday and I need a drink is on repeat in my head. It worries me as I know I drink to cope and its grown progressively worse over the years and I hate myself for it. I did say that when I’m out of this mess I will try to change but, the change has happened earlier than expected, for some reason I’ve just went 8 days without a drink. Last night I did have 1 glass of red wine,  just one!
    It seems the need for it has changed, like you say its very early days.
    Baby steps. xx

  • #70618
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Well done Halfwayout. We are all in control of our lives at some point or another, at some point out abusers took that away from us, we didn’t allow it. I probably would have nit drank as much previously before giving it up, if he’d not nagged at me or bullied me as much. No-one likes being told what to do. Something else he did was, I’m only looking out fir you, I’ve seen how it affects people first hand. In a normal relationship you would have been able to accept that, but in an abusive one, it’s anither way of manipulation.
    💕💕

  • #70619
     maddog 
    Participant

    I know what you mean, Halfwayout. That weekend feeling, that sense of entitlement, of deserving a ‘treat’ with our favourite enemy. How horrid for you KIP. Well done for recognising what was going on. An eye-opener. My ex only criticised me.

    On about the 3rd and 4th day I took drugs that meant that I couldn’t drink if I wanted to see the rest of the week. That was the biggest hurdle so far.

    I’m oddly pleased with myself in a very quiet kind of way. I didn’t think it was possible and it’s wonderful to know that I can stop at least for this length of time and nothing adverse happens and I’m not getting bottles of wine winking at me.

    I’ve taken SSRIs pretty much since they were invented, and they are at least for me a brilliant hangover buffer. Without them I used to want the earth to open its jaws and swallow me whole never to resurface. On them I just feel a bit rubbish and plod on regardless. It would be nice to cut right down and even to see what life is like without them. A few years ago I came off them and found myself being quite short tempered and thinking, oh, this is what my ex is like. He’s on drugs and it makes no difference at all.

  • #70624
     Halfwayout 
    Participant

    You take pride in what your doing Maddog ,it is a little step but its in the right direction. Thanks for the encouragement ladies, I’m aware how differently my body has felt with no alcohol, less agitated is the main one. Its amazing how living with abuse affects your health, my daughter has only realised the thought of coming home to this house with her father affects her asthma, but she trauma-bond to come home.

  • #70657
     EbonyRaven 
    Participant

    I can guarantee that not drinking alcohol becomes something you rarely even think about as a ‘thing’ after a little time. It just is the case that you don’t drink. I’m in my 4th year of not drinking. I stopped for lots of reasons; My oh was taking advantage of my being ‘in my cups’, he’d actively top my glass up over and over again to make sure I always had alcohol. I couldn’t seem to find an off switch, in that I never quite realised how very drunk I was, and kept drinking until I was ill.
    He’d also use the fact that I had been drunk against me so often too; Making up things I had supposedly said or done to use against me.
    I eventually realised it wasn’t an escape at all, just another layer of the cage. Well done for stopping, enjoy the clear head.

  • #70658
     KIP. 
    Participant

    Hey EbonyRaven, you’re not alone. My ex used the same tactics from day 1. I was often sick through alcohol. There were often full glasses of my wine left in the pub while he drank everything. Always buying more and more. Only last year I found 2 bottles above the kitchen cupboard. We’ve been separated several years. Alcohol was always a huge part of my ex. I blamed the alcohol for years for his abuse, he did too. There is simply no excuse for abuse. Many people drink but do not abuse.

  • #70660
     maddog 
    Participant

    My ex didn’t load my glass. I learned how to do it myself. The home I grew up in was awash with alcohol and glasses were always being refilled. I understood alcohol to be a part of daily life and when I was very very ill because my eating was terrible I was told that f**s and booze were the least of my problems. I learned that alcohol was good for any occasion and I was never told that I’d had to much. Looking back I can see how utterly mad it all was. There is no doubt that it seemed like a lot of fun with lovely people around all the time, gales of laughter, delicious food… Nobody was being judged.

    I have wanted a break from booze for such a long time and I have seen wine as a friend who in truth despises me and really couldn’t care if I live or die. Another abusive relationship.

    It waits to be seen how I will cope when I see my heavy drinking friends and how I cope with peer pressure. I still hold a deep sense of wanting to belong, even if it means belonging to the wrong group.

    Well done Halfwayout! I really think it is baby steps. I think may be beginning to feel a little better. I am chuffed to bits to have got this far. Who knows what the future holds.

  • #70664
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Hello there all,
    I really appreciate this thread. It is early days for me but I too recognise these various dynamics.
    After my blood pressure being way too high lately my new year’s resolutions have included eight glasses of water per day.
    It can be tough making changes, and well done everybody and keep going.
    thanks for posting on this, there is shed loads more to say, I feel and I will be watching this

    thread.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #70665
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    p.s. the water sounds like a simple thing, but I’m finding it takes some effort.
    I know I feel better when properly hydrated so I’m plodding on with it.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #70671
     KIP. 
    Participant

    There is a good book called. Mind over mood. It explores core beliefs and I’m finding this section fascinating. Maddog, if you get the chance to have a look I think you will find it helpful. Dealing with our core beliefs when those beliefs are damaging is a great way to rewire our thinking. And you can apply those changes to all our core beliefs that damage us x

  • #70676
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Thanks for the tip @kip. I’m a firm believed In holistic approaches, listening to my body,(just another part of me he derides) so will give that a wee look see.
    💕💕

  • #70677
     HopeLifeJoy 
    Participant

    Very nice Maddog, well done. Enjoy the clear head it gives you.
    January is for me the detox month, no alcohol, no sugar and no coffee. Alcohol is the easiest to skip. This year I have indulged myself my morning cup of coffee, I am not strong enough to go without.
    Some years I go well into February without alcohol, I don’t miss it and it is really nice to be clear headed.
    My ex didn’t drink much, like me he can’t handle a lot otherwise he falls asleep. We drank a few glasses in the weekend, never during the week.
    Since I am out of the relationship I stopped drinking completely, to keep a clear head until I get my life back on track.
    Then as my efforts seemed to go nowhere and I kept crashing down, I started to drink out of desperation. To console myself. Then I told myself I am adding a problem to my life if I continue down this road and will become an alcoholic. So I stopped to drink as a past-time and went back to indulge myself a few glasses only when I have something to celebrate.
    I understand the need to belong to a group, socialising is healthy and it beats loneliness, you can choose to spend more time with your healthier friends who have different hobbies than just heavy drinking.

  • #70679
     Halfwayout 
    Participant

    Just wondered if you’ve tried the Non-alcoholic wines @maddog, Eisberg Sauvingon Blanc is a pretty good substitute if I get the wee voice. I am also drinking lots more tea.
    I will also say @FTC I got Garmin Fitbit thing for xmas, so yes I’m monitoring my sleep, stress and blood pressure and walking for miles.
    Will take a look for that book @kip.

  • #70687
     maddog 
    Participant

    I’ve tried non-alcoholic gin and it was good. I make my own elderflower champagne which would probably give you diabetes before making you drunk. It has a sort of kick to it like a ‘proper’drink but the desire to polish off a bottle isn’t there. I find a stop button easier with beer. Wine is too more’ish. And spirits… No, I won’t go there!!

    I will have a look at that book KIP. Thank you.

    A problem I find is that I associate drinking with fun and good times. The reality is very different. I end up a slubbering incoherent drunk. I am well versed in forgiving myself (the anti-depressants help, like a lot) but it’s tiresome forever having to pick myself up, tell myself it’s ok, and get on with my day.

    To be honest I am not more productive at the moment than I was drinking like a fish!

  • #70731
     maddog 
    Participant

    It is the same but without the relentless expense of wine, the muted feeling of having to forgive myself, feeling in a slightly better position to be kind to myself. I am not missing it so far apart from the occasional flash. There are too many negatives.

    I know I can go to parties and not drink. It’s been when I get home that has been the problem. I find myself less tolerant of rudeness and do not want to have toxic people in my life or poisoning the apple cart. Ouch, I am becoming an old dragon! It’s quite fun breathing fire for the first time!

  • #70738
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    I like dragons Maddog.💜 Many of us are no longer as tolerant of peoples bad behaviour, rudeness and latent abuse. It stands out a mile once we’ve walked that path. Once I’m free, I’m going to look more into my intuitive self. Might even join a coven. There’s a lot to be said for the Sisterhood and the mysticism it invokes. That’s why so many of us were shunned and burned at the stake. I’m at peace when i have my bare feet on the ground, whether it’s grass or sand. I’m often accused of being a hippie, a witch but it’s said in derogatory remarks. Communing with Mother Nature, being aware of our surroundings isn’t a bad thing, it’s peaceful and very tranquil.
    I love going fir walks in the woods, my OH complains constantly when we’re out, so much so his negativity has now put me off going with him. I blame my back pain, which is true it hurts so much, but the peace I got from being outside is gone, so I don’t go now. I get peace from him in the house, but with all the gadgets and electrical currents running through the house, its not really peaceful in the true sense.
    So you be your Dragon, let her roar. 💜
    IWMB 💕💕

  • #70740
     Tiffany 
    Participant

    I rather like going to parties sober. I get to leave when people get boring and start repeating themselves and because I am sober I know I am making the right call and don’t worry I might miss out on something wonderful that might happen later. I also really like going out dancing and telling the drunks who are hitting on me or my friends to f**k off. Admittedly these days I might do that drunk too. But there is a lot of fun to be had telling a******s to f**k off while stone cold sober. Breathe that fire maddog!

  • #70837
     maddog 
    Participant

    I’ve fallen off the wagon and have polished off a bottle of wine. I’m not in touch with myself. Not yet.

  • #70839
     Tiffany 
    Participant

    Ah well. The main thing is you know that you were fine for a couple of weeks without. You don’t have to go back to drinking at your previous level just because you drank today. It’s all about working out what you actually want and like after you leave your abuser. It’s a work in progress for me. I imagine it is for you too. My big one is actually eating rather than drinking. My abuser controlled my food intake for a long time, and obviously there isn’t a teetotal option for eating. Sometimes I binge these days. And sometimes I forget to eat. But when I am kind to myself I practice mindful eating. Listening to my body and deciding if I need food or not. Maybe you could try something similar with drink. Ask yourself if you really want it and why.

  • #70841
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    It’s food with me too. I’ve finally realised that when he’s happy I can eat healthily and stick to plan no problem, but when we’re in the moment food is either the enemy and I make wrong choices or I can’t eat at all. I had bul…a in my 20’s, no-one knew, my relationship wasnt anywhere near like this one is, but I didn’t love him like I did my oh. I guess I could control what I ate because at the time I felt I couldn’t control my relationship. It’s not all about cutting to self harm, we do it in so many ways when we’re emotionally hurting. I’m trying to get back on plan, I’ve rejoind my slimming class, told the consultant a bit about my situation as I’m not prepared to let how he makes me feel make me hurt myself through food. It’s so hard because eating physically makes me gag and want to be sick just now, but at the same time eating sugary unhealthy food is also making me feel sick. I can do this.

    IWMB 💕💕

  • #70844
     Twisted Sister 
    Participant

    What a healthy thread all!!

    Also these New Year new habits, its such a lovely read. Well done all managing to make changes and also those aspiring to, if not quite ready yet, or had a slip up.

    I had a dry New Year’s eve!!! I know! Shocker!

    Was such a great eve though, and felt no need of alchohol, because I wasn’t at a party, but doing home things and drinking didn’t even occur to me.

    Keep at it Maddog, get involved in something good for you instead, yes, replace the bad relationships with the good. I think viewing its another abusive relationship that causes harm. Choose some positive activity to replace it is

    Warmest wishes ts

    PS, good analogy, another layer of the cage!!

  • #70846
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi TS, Bliadhna Mhath Ùr (Happy New year)
    Aye it’s been a really good thread, thank you @maddog for starting it. This was my first Hogmanay not having a wee whisky to bring in the bells, sacrilage😏 (detail removed by moderator) Our bodies definately reject poison after a while of not taking it, like months and months. So to anyone falling off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up, it’s like getting rid of anither abuser, it takes time. And we have plenty of that now.
    Love and best wishes to all
    IWMB 💕💕

  • #70860
     Halfwayout 
    Participant

    Hang in there @maddog,if its any consolation I succumb last night myself and had a glass. I feel I could never go cold turkey but I’m feeling the benefits of wine free days. I have bought the books that @kip has recommended and have started reading again and I’m taking them in and retaining some of the information. Can’t wait to be stress free so my brain can retain more information. Baby steps remember🤞

  • #70906
     maddog 
    Participant

    Baby steps indeed! I oly learned today why I have such problems after day 3. On obe of the useful booze websites it said that after 72 hours your body is finally recovering. So I want to gi back to ‘normal’, ie feeling vaguely rubbish. Took drugs today just in case I thought I might er.. treat myself. Probably won’t tomorrow. It’s a real issue for me to get over the 3 day hump. At least now I know why!

    It is really good that so many others are taking a look at long standing habits from a different angle. It’s not easy to be kind to oneself after decades of practice of the other.

    I also really appreciate all your company. It can feel so bitterly lonely.

  • #70932
     Tiffany 
    Participant

    Have you considered going to AA? My partner is an addict, although not an alcoholic and finds it helpful. He thought the format could also be useful for getting over abuse. We’ve found quite a lot of parallels in experience between the abuse and the addiction recovery. But as I don’t have any kind of substance issues we didn’t think I would really be allowed into AA. But given that you would like to change your drinking habits it might be worth giving it a go as another support network.

  • #70939
     maddog 
    Participant

    I’ve tried AA and it didn’t suit me at all unfortunately. I have a few friends I grew up with who have similar drinking habits & have found the same. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • #70997
     maddog 
    Participant

    Oh dear. Last night I caved big time. At least I got bored and went to bed. I felt overwhelmed & didn’t kniw what to do. Today I feel a bit hungover. I felt like screaming at my ex. Instead I told him to stop bullying me. He was on at me about money I don’t have. No doubt he doesn’t believe me &(detail removed by Moderator) I am so sick of his lies. I am sure he is gloating that my computer is dead.

  • #70999
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi Maddog, at least you see through him now. It’s when we keep getting pulled Into them that the damage gets done. When he goes on keep repeating, I hear you, or I hear what you are saying, or repeat back to him what he’s said, that way, you’re not rising to his bait and also you’re not getting sucked in to his wanting a fight. Sometimes they just get to us, fir whatever reason. I’m trying not to rise to how he treated my dogs recently. I have to protect them so I’m going to have to make a very difficult decision soon. Better that, than one of them seriously injured, but if that happened again it’s something concrete to be seen by the authorities. Hang in there Maddog, you can do this. Xx
    IWMB 💕💕

  • #71000
     maddog 
    Participant

    Our darling dogs. My ex is no longer allowed to take them out. I can’t offer the children the same protection. The RSPCA offers a service for fostering animals. Not in my area tho. Please keep safe. WA may be able to advise re dogs. Ex has caused mine huge problems. Feeling better now. Stupid wine. Silly me.

  • #71006
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    So do Dogs Trust Maddog, they foster too, if at sometime your able to take your pet back. I’m afraid of what he’ll do to me if I get them taken to the shelter or maybe even afraid the police will get involved too. Sometimes the way out isn’t how we pictured it. I’m not really protecting them am I, getting them away from him is protecting them.

  • #71014
     Tiffany 
    Participant

    Sorry you had a tough day maddog. It’s so hard to be kind to ourselves after abuse. Can you reduce your contact with your ex any further? He is going to be making dealing with everything else harder.

    It sounds like both the drinking and contacting him about things are behaviours you are trying to change. Not sure if it would help, but I had ‘go to’ alternative behaviours when I was leaving my abuser when I had the urge to contact him, or self sabotage in other ways. I had a list of people I could contact to talk to when I was struggling. That was probably the most effective for keeping up no contact because it helped with part of the isolation of being newly single. In the shops I bought myself flowers as a treat rather than treating myself to junk food. It was all a process, but I think it helped.

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