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Cravings for alcohol


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1 hour ago, LaHermes said:

I do recall you mentioning some months back:

I have anxiety and depression and just started antidepressants. Alcohol is one thing that makes me feel content."

Hope that you are finding an improvement with the anxiety and depression. 

Getting help with the anxiety and depression could help you stop self medicating.

2 hours ago, CrazyWife said:

I wouldn't say I am in denial at all. I know I have alcohol use disorder but get frustrated with my mind trying to pull me back. 

I realize that you are aware that you have a problem. But keep in mind that those occasional thoughts that minimize the extent of your problem (e.g., 'it will be different this time,' the nostalgia, the selective memory) are actually mini forms of denial that will sneak up on you and get you. 

Edited by Jibralta
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1 hour ago, SherrySher said:

Absolutely! I fully agree, I remember feeling a type of mourning and loss.

I remember feeling, like I was now cut out of all the "good times" that everyone else seemed to be involved with.

Christmas parties, summer bbq's, girls weekends, etc, etc.

Yes, I remember quite well.

You'll feel left out, you will feel like everything is boring or sad without the drink and others drinking.

You will feel like just throwing in the towel and joining, even though you know it's a toxic place to go to.

This is another part of the whole addiction that you need to get past.

It's part of the recovery.

You need to be okay with letting it go, letting those situations go.

And you need to realize that there are still many good times out there, filled with happiness, laughter, joy, excitement, achievement...that have absolutely nothing to do with alcohol and drinking.

You just need to find those places and people, find what you're interested in and what you want to become involved with.

Will it seem lame at first? Maybe...your brain is wired for partying, drinking...so yes, it will think everything else is boring.

But it's not the truth.

You just have to redirect your brain and start seeing all the good things out there that won't lead you back to drinking.

Finding a new hobby, taking classes (furthering your education), a new challenge, focusing on getting your body stronger.

 Speed walking, cycling, yoga,...whatever you think you can manage and want to create goals towards.

Reading books, or learning something online.

Deciding on travelling somewhere, reading up on where you want to go, the culture, the views, saving money towards it.

Redecorating your house, photography, writing, cooking, making jewelry.

There are so many things out there that is new to discover, and so many people yet to meet that will be in the same mindset as you, in wanting to have a happy life with no substances.

Redirect your mind to other things, keep yourself busy, focus on a better you, a different perspective and better horizons/goals.

In the moments that you feel sadness for the loss of your old lifestyle...allow it, recognize it, but let it pass and remind yourself that you don't need to be tied to that any longer.

Force yourself to remember the fights, the drunken slurs, the silly behavior, the out of control behavior.

It's all false happiness through a substance.

It's now time to find real happiness through life and down other paths.

 

 

Thank you for such an amazing reply. Well i do want to write more and get fitter. I also need to work on my confidence as i always used alcohol for it.

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51 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Getting help with the anxiety and depression could help you stop self medicating.

I realize that you are aware that you have a problem. But keep in mind that those occasional thoughts that minimize the extent of your problem (e.g., 'it will be different this time,' the nostalgia, the selective memory) are actually mini forms of denial that will sneak up on you and get you. 

Yeah i know that is the addiction talking to me. Robin Williams described it best when he said it is like a sleeping beast but it likes to nudge you now and again to get you to waken it. 

I am going to discuss what I have today to my therapist and my peer support group that i am going to be joining this week. Nervous but sure it will be good.

Getting treatment for my mental state too.

Edited by CrazyWife
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Maybe i do make the mistake of still going to bars etc...I don't want to turn unsociable but maybe a break for awhile would do me good. I just wish this wasn't happening to me...yes i know pity party lol. Life can deal you a hard hand sometimes.

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5 hours ago, SherrySher said:

You don't need alcohol to have a good time. You don't need alcohol in order to deal with stress, or upset.

^ I think THIS is key. It seems so many people believe that in order to have a good time you need to get plastered.  Not so.  As a teetotalar I always seem to have the most fun at any social gathering/party, lol.

I also agree with the other posters who have mentioned that it's a good idea to get the anxiety and depression sorted out first and then as you get mentally healthier your need for drink should hopefully ease off and with professional help you should be able to manage it.  Godd luck.

I wish you well.

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1 hour ago, CrazyWife said:

Maybe i do make the mistake of still going to bars etc...I don't want to turn unsociable but maybe a break for awhile would do me good. I just wish this wasn't happening to me...yes i know pity party lol. Life can deal you a hard hand sometimes.

It would probably help you to limit your exposure to bars, and to friends and family who drink. 

It's so hard because there are so many parts of the problem. You have to battle the physical and mental addiction with the alteration of your relationships and habits, all while doing a very thorough analysis of yourself and your triggers. Everyone's habits, relationships, and psychology contribute to the problem in different ways, so there's no clear roadmap.

It's like trying to find your way out of a tangled forest when you don't know how deep you are within it, if it ever actually ends, or what's on the outside if it does end. I mean, how do you even know that outside isn't even worse? That's why the right kind of support is so important. Getting to know people who have battled through that same forest will help you get to know yourself. They haven't walked the exact same path, but they've definitely been where you are.

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Good on you.  Grit your teeth and be brave.

I considered my father to be a pretty brave man but seeking treatment and exposing his perceived weakness as an alcoholic scared deeply.

 The people that love you already know and probably have been worried about you for some time.  Don't hide your journey from them.

Best wishes

  Lost 

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12 hours ago, CrazyWife said:

Maybe i do make the mistake of still going to bars etc.

You don't have to turn unsociable. Bars serve all manner of drinks besides the alcoholic ones.

Ginger beer, fruit juice cocktails (there used to be one called "San Francisco"), etc. 

And as Capri pointed out , you don't have to get paralytic drunk to have a good time. 

Edited by LaHermes
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12 hours ago, CrazyWife said:

Maybe i do make the mistake of still going to bars etc.

You'll have to rearrange your life a bit so that you're not tempted and around alcohol..

Problem drinking is about lacking control over drinking. Putting yourself in this position presents too much temptation.

Join some clubs and groups, take some classes, volunteer, get involved in sports, get fit, etc. Engage in alcohol free socializing.

It's not about "moderation" or hanging out in tempting venues and using willpower. It's about a commitment to controlling your life rather than alcohol controlling your life.

Unfortunately, you'll need to make some new friends who enjoy life without going to bars and drinking.

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On 7/18/2021 at 8:57 PM, CrazyWife said:

I also need to work on my confidence as i always used alcohol for it.

Perhaps CW this is what lies at the heart of the matter.  I bet you are aware that all alcohol does is give "Dutch courage".  No doubt you will also discuss this important aspect with your therapist. 

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Haven't read all the replies but I connect with your post so much. As someone who's struggled with alcohol since my late teens (I'm 36), I totally relate. When you're addicted to something the cravings are often just there in the back of your mind and they just don't go away. Even after a while they might still come back. It's like some kind of dormant thing that sometimes wakes up even if it's been sleeping. What people sometimes don't realise is that even getting through one day and not giving in to those cravings takes A LOT of effort. I've basically always had them except when I took this medication Baclofen which is used off label for alcohol cravings. It really worked but it had some other bad side effects and I had to stop it. 

I also totally understand how you feel about AA because I feel the same. I was in rehab for a month 11 years ago and one of the conditions of being there was that you had to go to four Narcotics Anonymous meetings a week. They also strongly encouraged you to go to them in your own time. Each NA meeting was 1.5 - 2 hours. I seriously thought I was going to go mad sitting in those meetings eight hours a week! The whole higher power and religious thing really didn't suit me because I'm an agnostic/atheist. People also kind of acted like a cult and in my opinion some acted just plain weird.

One time I went to an AA meeting and I never "shared" or spoke to anyone at all in this meeting. At the end of the meeting a few women came straight up to me and a couple immediately said: "Can I have your phone number?" I panicked and gave my number to one or two of them. A couple of hours later this woman called me and left a voicemail asking me to call her. I understand supporting each other but I'd never spoken to her before at all and she straight up just asked for my number. 

I must say though that the aversion from going to those NA meetings actually got me off drinking for a good while lol I came out of rehab and after that didn't drink a drop for at least six weeks. Then I may have lapsed but I basically stopped drinking every day like I had. I was terrified of going back into rehab and tried my hardest not to drink because I knew they'd send me to all those meetings looll

I really like SMART Recovery meetings and personally would highly recommend them. There are no 12 steps or any kind of religious affiliation. All participants take turns to speak on topic and the facilitator us usually very good at guiding discussion. The facilitator and participants also give actual advice and strategies on how to manage your addictions. You set short term goals and try to work on them. I attend one meeting a week on Zoom due to COVID. The facilitator is really nice and the participants seem nice and have been supportive. In that particular meeting a lot of people also struggle with alcohol. It helps to know other people are going through the same things and we relate to each other.

You could also try anti craving medications but for me they had bad side effects. For some people they work well though. It's always worth it to at least discuss your medication options with your doctor. 

I'd like to add also that I don't mean to offend anyone who likes AA or NA. I know they really helped some people. Some people in the meetings were clean and sober for like 20+ years. They continued to go to the meetings and I'm sure the meetings helped them to stay that way. It's just that their format is not for me. Not just the religious undertones but the structure of people just sharing and nobody commenting anything or giving any advice actually bored me.

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On 7/22/2021 at 12:54 AM, Tinydance said:

Haven't read all the replies but I connect with your post so much. As someone who's struggled with alcohol since my late teens (I'm 36), I totally relate. When you're addicted to something the cravings are often just there in the back of your mind and they just don't go away. Even after a while they might still come back. It's like some kind of dormant thing that sometimes wakes up even if it's been sleeping. What people sometimes don't realise is that even getting through one day and not giving in to those cravings takes A LOT of effort. I've basically always had them except when I took this medication Baclofen which is used off label for alcohol cravings. It really worked but it had some other bad side effects and I had to stop it. 

I also totally understand how you feel about AA because I feel the same. I was in rehab for a month 11 years ago and one of the conditions of being there was that you had to go to four Narcotics Anonymous meetings a week. They also strongly encouraged you to go to them in your own time. Each NA meeting was 1.5 - 2 hours. I seriously thought I was going to go mad sitting in those meetings eight hours a week! The whole higher power and religious thing really didn't suit me because I'm an agnostic/atheist. People also kind of acted like a cult and in my opinion some acted just plain weird.

One time I went to an AA meeting and I never "shared" or spoke to anyone at all in this meeting. At the end of the meeting a few women came straight up to me and a couple immediately said: "Can I have your phone number?" I panicked and gave my number to one or two of them. A couple of hours later this woman called me and left a voicemail asking me to call her. I understand supporting each other but I'd never spoken to her before at all and she straight up just asked for my number. 

I must say though that the aversion from going to those NA meetings actually got me off drinking for a good while lol I came out of rehab and after that didn't drink a drop for at least six weeks. Then I may have lapsed but I basically stopped drinking every day like I had. I was terrified of going back into rehab and tried my hardest not to drink because I knew they'd send me to all those meetings looll

I really like SMART Recovery meetings and personally would highly recommend them. There are no 12 steps or any kind of religious affiliation. All participants take turns to speak on topic and the facilitator us usually very good at guiding discussion. The facilitator and participants also give actual advice and strategies on how to manage your addictions. You set short term goals and try to work on them. I attend one meeting a week on Zoom due to COVID. The facilitator is really nice and the participants seem nice and have been supportive. In that particular meeting a lot of people also struggle with alcohol. It helps to know other people are going through the same things and we relate to each other.

You could also try anti craving medications but for me they had bad side effects. For some people they work well though. It's always worth it to at least discuss your medication options with your doctor. 

I'd like to add also that I don't mean to offend anyone who likes AA or NA. I know they really helped some people. Some people in the meetings were clean and sober for like 20+ years. They continued to go to the meetings and I'm sure the meetings helped them to stay that way. It's just that their format is not for me. Not just the religious undertones but the structure of people just sharing and nobody commenting anything or giving any advice actually bored me.

Thank you for an amazing reply. I too found AA a bit cult like and too much 'you need to do this or you will fail' but no evidence to back up what they are saying. I personally don't believe in the disease model and they didn't like that one bit. 

But yeah it can be a big struggle but hear I am still sober. The nostalgia part is the hardest and giving up that party lifestyle. But i have so much to give and don't want to waste my life being drunk. Surely that is worth fighting for 😀

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15 minutes ago, CrazyWife said:

But i have so much to give and don't want to waste my life being drunk. Surely that is worth fighting for 😀

Keep telling yourself this  over and over again.

AA is AA and has saved thousands of lives and families. It isn't the only way to get clean and stay sober but it has an awesome support system.

  Interesting enough my father wasn't to keen on it at first but that was when he still really didn't believe he had a problem and could control it if he really wanted to.  He died at the age of 52 from DT's that caused his heart to stop.  He was brave and sought help and treatment but the fourth time wasn't meant to be...

Lost 

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Hey, OP.

On 7/18/2021 at 12:39 PM, CrazyWife said:

Well I have stopped drinking for a while after failing at moderation. I admit it sucks and i am really struggling right now. Was trying to persuade my husband to let me try moderating again and also trying to persuade myself 'it will be different this time'. 

I am getting help but feel sometimes it is not enough. I have a lovely daughter and husband so why risk it all just for a bottle? 

I try to tell myself i am not experiencing psychological cravings but know I am. I do not have any physical ones  

I just pray this gets easier. Even with help it is a struggle 😞

I think you made the right decision, OP, after failing at moderation the first time. Some science shows that quitting addictions or habits cold turkey is more effective than trying to partake in moderation. The study pertains to smoking, but it may be applicable in your case too. Accordingly, any drink you have moving forward would be a step in the wrong direction. 

Stay the course; keep it up. 

Quote

I have anxiety and depression and just started antidepressants. Alcohol is one thing that makes me feel content.

I am glad to hear you are seeing a therapist and recently started antidepressant medication. Hopefully, that helps. I too struggle with anxiety. My physician put me on the medication buspirone as a long-term anti-anxiety medication. It has made a world of difference.  

--

Hope this helps. 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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19 hours ago, lostandhurt said:

Keep telling yourself this  over and over again.

AA is AA and has saved thousands of lives and families. It isn't the only way to get clean and stay sober but it has an awesome support system.

  Interesting enough my father wasn't to keen on it at first but that was when he still really didn't believe he had a problem and could control it if he really wanted to.  He died at the age of 52 from DT's that caused his heart to stop.  He was brave and sought help and treatment but the fourth time wasn't meant to be...

Lost 

I'm not fully slating AA. It works for some but not for me. Tried it a few times. I'll keep to my SMART meetings and therapy. Has worked better for me so far. I hate using the terms 'alcoholic' and 'addict'. So stigmatising. 

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11 minutes ago, CrazyWife said:

I'm not fully slating AA. It works for some but not for me. Tried it a few times. I'll keep to my SMART meetings and therapy. Has worked better for me so far. I hate using the terms 'alcoholic' and 'addict'. So stigmatising. 

SMART Recovery for the win lol Yeah actually it's interesting because when I was in AA meetings I didn't feel comfortable to "share" but in SMART I talk very comfortably and openly. I find the people in the meeting nice and supportive. The thing is yes maybe some people in AA tried to be supportive but to be honest some did it in a creepy way. They would immediately ask for my number or they would talk about how they became religious and God helped them get off x substance. There is nothing wrong with being religious in and of itself but sometimes I just felt a bit like some religious people preyed on vulnerable people. I remember I knew this guy a long time ago who was a drug addict and did live on the streets for some time. And he was approached by some people from this church and they were supportive and welcoming to him but they wanted him to follow their religion. He got off drugs but he became all this born again Christian and he was saying some ridiculous things like that sex before marriage is a sin. And the reason why that was ridiculous is because he'd already had sex and done everything else under the sun lol

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I never really thought about it like this but I agree with you that every person in AA introducing themselves as like "Hi I'm Tiny and I'm an addict" is like putting that label on yourself forever. And they do believe it's forever because people go there who have been clean and sober for decades. AA did work for me only in the sense it was like an aversion therapy. I hated AA and I associated it with drinking so in a weird way it created an aversion lol I also didn't really like the format where all these people would just talk for ages about whatever they want but you weren't supposed to comment and nobody gave any advice or anything. You'd sit for two hours just listening to this wondering what you're actually getting out of that. 

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5 hours ago, Tinydance said:

And they do believe it's forever because people go there who have been clean and sober for decades.

Anyone who chooses sobriety has weighed the costs and the benefits of addiction and has concluded that sobriety adds more value to their life. And that's the bottom line, whether people do it through AA or not. 

5 hours ago, Tinydance said:

introducing themselves as like "Hi I'm Tiny and I'm an addict" is like putting that label on yourself forever.

They are successful because they have transcended the concept of stigma and are no longer afraid of it. The word "alcoholic" is just a word to them. They decided they are more than their addiction, and not defined by it.

AA has their members stand up and admit that they have an addiction because people cannot change what they do not acknowledge. This is easier said than done, as it's very difficult to admit to something that you hate about yourself, or which you are deeply afraid of or ashamed about--especially when you are surrounded by people who won't let you make excuses for it.

In America, alcoholism is classified as a disease by medical and psychological professionals. AA had no say in the matter. 

5 hours ago, Tinydance said:

They would immediately ask for my number or they would talk about how they became religious and God helped them get off x substance.

In every group, there are zealots. 

Edited by Jibralta
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On 7/27/2021 at 7:59 PM, Pleasedonot5 said:

Hey, OP.

I think you made the right decision, OP, after failing at moderation the first time. Some science shows that quitting addictions or habits cold turkey is more effective than trying to partake in moderation. The study pertains to smoking, but it may be applicable in your case too. Accordingly, any drink you have moving forward would be a step in the wrong direction. 

Stay the course; keep it up. 

I am glad to hear you are seeing a therapist and recently started antidepressant medication. Hopefully, that helps. I too struggle with anxiety. My physician put me on the medication buspirone as a long-term anti-anxiety medication. It has made a world of difference.  

--

Hope this helps. 

Agree 100%. 

Moderation is not possible for the majority of addicts. I mean, let's be real, CrazyWife, if you could moderate yourself with alcohol, then you would be doing that. You're going cold turkey because you can't moderate and that's not an issue with your willpower or personality or anything like that. This is just simple brain chemistry. Your brain does not process the effects of alcohol like the brains of other people. This difference is what makes you unable to moderate yourself. To your brain, alcohol is more akin to heroin and thus, you can't use it recreationally.

Buspar is such a crapshoot (either it works or it doesn't, worth a try though if your doctor feels it's appropriate, it's cheap!) but it seems to work well for people with depression/anxiety who have a history of alcohol abuse. Not sure why, and actually many scientists aren't sure why either! But it may work and you can ask your doctor.

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22 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Anyone who chooses sobriety has weighed the costs and the benefits of addiction and has concluded that sobriety adds more value to their life. And that's the bottom line, whether people do it through AA or not. 

They are successful because they have transcended the concept of stigma and are no longer afraid of it. The word "alcoholic" is just a word to them. They decided they are more than their addiction, and not defined by it.

AA has their members stand up and admit that they have an addiction because people cannot change what they do not acknowledge. This is easier said than done, as it's very difficult to admit to something that you hate about yourself, or which you are deeply afraid of or ashamed about--especially when you are surrounded by people who won't let you make excuses for it.

In America, alcoholism is classified as a disease by medical and psychological professionals. AA had no say in the matter. 

In every group, there are zealots. 

Alcoholism has now been more classed as a mental disorder by the DSM 5 (USA) and ICD-11 (UK). Science is more pointing in that direction now. But it will forever be debated. But AA don't see it that way and don't see it on a spectrum. 

But either way I am happy to be no longer involved with it and am going my own way. 

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22 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Anyone who chooses sobriety has weighed the costs and the benefits of addiction and has concluded that sobriety adds more value to their life. And that's the bottom line, whether people do it through AA or not. 

They are successful because they have transcended the concept of stigma and are no longer afraid of it. The word "alcoholic" is just a word to them. They decided they are more than their addiction, and not defined by it.

AA has their members stand up and admit that they have an addiction because people cannot change what they do not acknowledge. This is easier said than done, as it's very difficult to admit to something that you hate about yourself, or which you are deeply afraid of or ashamed about--especially when you are surrounded by people who won't let you make excuses for it.

In America, alcoholism is classified as a disease by medical and psychological professionals. AA had no say in the matter. 

In every group, there are zealots. 

^ THIS. Jibralta, just have to say - brilliant post!  Nailed it.  10 rep points to you.

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