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Drinking far too much

  • 26-11-2020 11:12pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    I've been drinking since I was about 15. In the last few years it has skyrocketed out of control. I haven't lost anything in terms of relationships/jobs etc but if I continue down that path I imagine it will and can only get worse. Today is my 16th day off the booze after a detox that lasted a week and non some meds that make me violently ill if I drink again. I've finding it hard now at the moment to stick to it. I have it in my head that I will get sick if I start again which has provided another reason not to drink but the last few evenings I've just found myself in a bit of rut watching ****e on YouTube or scrolling through random boards threads.

    The things I've done so far that have helped
    Reached out to my GP for a detox and a blood test to see was everything ok.
    Joined an alcohol support group that provides educational information on booze reduction although everyone in it seems to be trying to give up for good. I've found these meetings helpful.
    Booked a session with an addiction councillor to try and get to the root of why I was drinking so much nightly.
    Read books and youtube videos of people that have remained sober.

    I guess at this point I am looking for advice on how keep going with it. I suppose I need a bit more structure to my day. I work in IT and have performed reasonably well at it but I'm just bored a lot of the time I guess once work is finished. I guess it is my drinking time that I am looking to replace with stuff that fulfils me but I am finding it hard to stick at doing new stuff at the moment. Sorry if this a bit of a ramble.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭wildwillow

    There is a non drinker's forum on Boards which may help you.

    Only advice I can give is get something absorbing to take up the evenings. A friend has been doing huge jigsaws to take her mind off food. It needs concentration but is also mindless and a few hours pass unnoticed.

    Treat yourself with something non alcoholic at the end of each week, spending what would have gone on buying drink.

    In normal times you would have loads of opportunities to fill your evenings but it's more difficult now, and winter is against you also.

    Do you live where it might be safe to walk in the evenings, even with a friend or family member.

    Could you learn a new skill from facebook, maybe something crafty where you could source materials easily. Forage at the weekend for greenery and berries and maybe learn to make christmas wreaths or flower arrangement?

    I do lots of fabric based crafts but getting materials may be difficult.

    Sorry I can't be any more help.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple

    You need self-improvement to focus you I think. Builds self confidence, fills time, gives you a focus that will be positive

    If you're working in IT , if you have ANY interest in computer science the world is your oyster for self development and self improvement. Thousands of online courses for example.
    Or, if you don't want to focus on career development, pick something else to make your goal.

    Do any of these appeal?

    Skills you want to develop (Swimming, cooking, woodwork)
    Community service

    I know this is a controversial recommendation, but I've seen a lot of people, especially addicts, find this book useful for structuring their life.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 4,168 Mod ✭✭✭✭TherapyBoy

    All good advice above.

    These covid-filled times can make things a little tricky but something simple like taking a regular evening walk if the weather & surroundings permit can be very beneficial. The small amount of exercise & being out of the house always made me feel pretty good post-surgery, and you can walk as little or as much as you are able. If you’re currently restricted to walking alone a light-hearted or comedic podcast or even an audiobook could be good company to listen to while you’re out.

    It seems simple but it can be hard to start it, but once you find something regular it’ll be easier to maintain it. Something safe & easy to fill time & occupy your mind can be a great help, if it’s something that’ll burn some energy it might even help you sleep better. You’ve taken the first steps, 16 days is an achievement to be proud of & it’s movement in the right direction. Keep yourself occupied & the rest will follow. Good luck!

    Non-Drinkers Forum

    (Love the jigsaw idea btw!)

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,481 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    Hey GDPRnonsense

    It's hard trying to distract yourself. The only thing that got me to stop was that I was running. Initially I thought I could function doing both but I was kidding myself. At the time I couldn't go a day without alcohol, not one day. My husband was always at me and as much as I wanted to break the chain I couldn't.

    Over the summer I started following a running plan and found I couldn't do both much as I tried! It turned out to my great surprise that I really really wanted to run better more than I wanted to drink. I had to give it up altogether or not at all. As I started to physically feel better and feel stronger that became the most important thing to try and maintain/improve. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. You need nothing for it just a pair of runners (and lights in the evenings) and off you go slowly and gently. There is an Athletics forum on boards, full of helpful and generous posters ready and willing to help and encourage no matter what your level or their level.

    I've been there — looking at you tube videos and scrolling forums and it just makes you feel worse. If running really doesn't appeal to you, sit down during the day (before the evening sets in) and think about what you really really enjoy and could get a sense of achievement from and plan ahead.

    I know your counsellor will be able to give you great tips on staying away from the drink, but can I just suggest the 'I am Sober` app. I don't know about you, but it's nice to be able to physically see the days adding up together, like a visual pat on the back! I'm not allowed run at the moment and it has been so tempting to give in now I've lost the reason for staying Sober, but today I can see that my Sober Streak is on 95 days. So it's a nice backup to have in not wanting to break that chain you've built up.

    Good luck with it and fair play on the 16 days :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,364 ✭✭✭✭Sardonicat

    Hi OP, I dont have advice but just want to say fair play to you for all the pro-active steps you've taken. Don't be hard on yourself now.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 993 ✭✭✭fizzypish

    Hi OP,
    The hobbies thing is real. By not drinking you'll have a load of free time now. It can get very boring and leave you with a lot of time to think which may not be good thing. I ended up getting into power lifting style training. Running wouldn't have given me the same thing. Try stuff. I played a lot of chess after I first quit too.
    Good luck and congrats.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,172 ✭✭✭cannotlogin

    No advice, just admiration.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,555 ✭✭✭antiskeptic

    You could do worse than give Allan Carr a read. Him of 'The easy way to stop smoking' fame. Got it for a heavy drinking mate of mine and he kicked the booze.

    He comes at the problem from a different perspective than many methods. Rather than view alcohol or nicotine as really difficult drugs to kick, he digs out the root cause of the addiction, which, once known, is relatively easy to resolve. The drug itself doesn't have much grip at all and is easy enough to deal with.

    A worthwhile punt: no only because you only have to read a relativelt easy to read book, but his approach doesn't suppose you for evermore having to battle against an enemy at the gate just waiting for you to slip up. Compare to AA which would see you having to partake of ongoing support for, in theory, ever.

    Google it: The easy way to stop drinking or some such title. Allan Carr.

    Good luck

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    Day 19 today :) What I've gathered is that hobbies, exercise and routine have helped others out in the past or currently do so I'm going to try and tackle that.

    I bought a subscription to a language learning course earlier in the year which provides a **** ton of material to go through. I've been using it sporadically but going to try and start using it daily. I also started a course on buying stocks etc which should keep my attention as I've been into that recently.

    I've never been one for the gym or running much but I've downloaded a step tracker app to try and get a certain amount of exercise per day. I realise cardio but might be better though as it might tire me out more. Cinemas and stuff open again next week so might start going to that again for the next few weeks to get me out of house. It's a bit of a walk as well so can double up on exercise. My main goal right now is to get Dec 31st without a drink. If I reach that then I can do Dry January or something. If I fail then the next day I do not drink but get back on that sober horse.

    I'm not a big reader but I've read the Allan Carr book in last couple of weeks along with "The Naked Mind" and "The joys of being Sober". They definitely give me food for thought and the key right now is getting some sober time under my belt.

    Thanks for the recommendation of the Non Drinkers Forum as well. I've read through that and there some good resources to help quit drinking.

    Next week I should meet my councillor which should hopefully help me plan for the next few weeks/months.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭wildwillow

    Be proud of every day you are drink free. Your attitude to getting back on course if you falter is very realistic also.

    Good luck for the next few weeks.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1 soorajvalson

    Dear friend,

    You have identified your issue. Important first step to recovery. Your story resonates very well with me. Keep going, one day at a time and you will prevail. As other have suggested already, there are very many different approaches to deal with this. I took up running despite a poor athlete and it transformed me both physically and psychologically. You can do it, stay resolute.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,723 ✭✭✭✭Thelonious Monk

    Anne Grace's The Naked Mind podcast is good too, I see you've read her book, it's almost a word for word copy of the Allen Carr one I found!