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How hard is quitting?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭ Pretzill


    Hi everyone - I think alcohol has contributed to a lot of stomach issues and weight gain for me, over the years. I would typically drink 1 to 2 bottles of wine a week, I used to drink more regularly. I quit smoking 3.5 years ago and I really started enjoying wine too much, tasted nicer - love it with a meal, snacks, cheese etc.

    Recently I got a very bad bout of gastritis, nausea and I have been taking meds for that which I can't drink when I'm taking them so I thought I would use the opportunity of a couple of weeks sobriety to see if I can cut out and lose some weight, get healthy.

    But I am scared my lack of willpower will defeat me and the covid evenings will lead me back to wine. Have you any tips on how to approach cutting out the drink?

    I smoked for 25 years, I thought I'd never stop but in the end bar the first few weeks I found the process much easier than I ever thought. Even as I type this, I'm telling myself the perfect way forward for me is to cut out for a good while but that I'd still be able to enjoy the odd beer on a summer's day. It's like I don't want to remove that good feeling I get.

    Any tips?


Comments



  • I used to drink and smoke like you. But when my second son was born with cancer. I had to stop so I could drive to and from the hospital. This make me quit pretty much instantly, now It's been so long not having a drink I never think of it or miss it.
    My advice is to fool your mind into thinking that the next bottle of wine will kill you. If you can attach your thoughts to something like that. You won't drink. Mine was easy, at any given moment I had to drive, therefore I couldn't drink.




  • Thanks Wolfmann

    I have something similar in my mind to put me off - I'm a week in but that's not unusual for me, so not finding that hard - It's the reward feeling that I may get next weekend or the weekend after - I don't want that - at least for a few months. See how I go.




  • If you are drinking a lot at certain times can you change your routine i know with covid options are a bit limited but you need to do something to take your mind off drinking and getting fitter is one .I used to drink at home but stopped but filled my time by getting fitter even going for a walk you might just break that habit and if you can do that it becomes much easier .




  • Im off it at the moment. Just tired of Covid binging at the weekend and need to do something different. First couple of weekends are tough but I'd you just stick it out you get used to it.




  • It’s all in the head as far as I’m concerned. Might be different for others but the main thing that helped me stop permanently was the realization, I could socialize, but not drink alcohol. Like you a gastrointestinal illness was the starting point. For 30 days, I couldn’t drink alcohol, caffeine or carbonated beverages

    I was very fortunate in that Heineken was my favorite beer so the introduction of Heineken Zero was a game changer for me once the 30 days was up. Becks and St Pauli would be second and third choice

    For Xmas, someone bought me a bottle of Alcohol free gin.....there is such a thing believe it or not. Make yourself a nice (NA) G&T using one of the craft tonic waters, a fresh lemon and lots of ice in a nice crystal glass.

    For me, constantly explaining to people why I’m not drinking is in fact harder than not drinking itself


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  • whitey1 wrote: »
    It’s all in the head as far as I’m concerned. Might be different for others but the main thing that helped me stop permanently was the realization, I could socialize, but not drink alcohol. Like you a gastrointestinal illness was the starting point. For 30 days, I couldn’t drink alcohol, caffeine or carbonated beverages

    I was very fortunate in that Heineken was my favorite beer so the introduction of Heineken Zero was a game changer for me once the 30 days was up. Becks and St Pauli would be second and third choice

    For Xmas, someone bought me a bottle of Alcohol free gin.....there is such a thing believe it or not. Make yourself a nice (NA) G&T using one of the craft tonic waters, a fresh lemon and lots of ice in a nice crystal glass.

    For me, constantly explaining to people why I’m not drinking is in fact harder than not drinking itself

    Those non alcoholic drinks sound lovely - yes it's mostly in the head and I'm doing good - had a little craving this evening but I let it pass. I already feel better and more energetic. Thanks for the tips.




  • Pretzill wrote: »
    Those non alcoholic drinks sound lovely - yes it's mostly in the head and I'm doing good - had a little craving this evening but I let it pass. I already feel better and more energetic. Thanks for the tips.


    Crazy thing for me is that a craving for a “beer” is not necessarily a craving for an “alcoholic beer”.

    After a long week, I’d always have a few Heinekens sitting on the couch on a Friday evening. Now, I just have a few Heineken Zeros instead.

    Another tip would be to keep plenty of soda water/seltzer on hand.

    Heineken Zero
    Soda Water
    Heineken Zero
    Soda Water

    Mission accomplished




  • 14 days




  • Pretzill wrote: »
    14 days

    Good going!

    I find the first two weeks the toughest when taking a break/giving up as you still have the physical addiction fresh in your body.

    Once you pass this milestone you can keep going! Well done.

    Edit: I hate saying things like well done as it sounds patronising (to me at least!) At worst or cheesy at best. But it's a tough habit to break and when you hit a milestone it's good to recognise it. It's is tough and I do mean well done!




  • Two weeks is good and shows you can break the habit .Any habit can be hard at times to break especially drink but it will get easier and your lifestyle will change .keep going that's real progress .


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  • 21 Days

    This weekend wasn't easy I was tempted by an unopened bottle in the press - but thankfully I resisted. If I get through a weekend it's a mini win! I'm sleeping better and feeling more relaxed.




  • Doing well a weekend is always a bit harder to keep the drink at bay especially with drink in the house .Good that you feel some benefits should keep up your motivation to stay on course .




  • Once u get past the physical addiction of some short sober time it’s all about filling your mind with positive stufff activities, support groups,exercise. An idle mind is the biggest devil behind us.




  • I'm 6 weeks off it today. I won't lie, everyday is a struggle in some shape or form but I'm delighted to be free of it at the same time.

    Going to try stay off it till we can go into a pub again and ill hopefully be rewarding myself with a feed of creamy Guinness! Don't think ill ever get an easier opportunity to have an extended period off it as there's nowhere to be and no social pressure.

    Good luck to anyone trying to stay dry!




  • Throw all the alcohol out of the house




  • Housefree wrote: »
    Throw all the alcohol out of the house

    The wife would divorce me.




  • If you try to go off the booze for a period there must be an issue somewhere.

    Probably best to extend it in that case.




  • If you try to go off the booze for a period there must be an issue somewhere.

    Probably best to extend it in that case.

    Well it’s hard to ignore the fact that alcohol is a drug and is something to be respected and not abused or messed around with. For me personally I would enjoy frequenting the local every few weeks or a hot whiskey on a cold winters night at the end of the week.

    At the start of the covid I would have a few whiskeys or a few beers on a Saturday or Friday night which was good substitute for the pub at the start but since November I stopped.

    Some evenings I crave a beer so I just have a Heineken zero. One thing covid has taught me is drinking socially or when your in a good mood is completely different to drinking when bored or to try and numb yourself from what’s going on in the world at the moment. For me personally that’s when alcohol becomes dangerous and it’s why a lot of people have hit the bottle hard at the minute and succumbed to bad habits with no work to get up in the morning or that.

    Therefore I think the decisions people are making on here at the moment is wise especially considering the current times.




  • If you try to go off the booze for a period there must be an issue somewhere.

    Probably best to extend it in that case.

    From a health perspective no level of alcohol is good for you. Most people i know are addicted to alcohol even if they don't think they're. All upstanding tax paying members of society i might add.

    So i find your statement a little silly if I'm honest.




  • Paddy223 wrote: »
    Well it’s hard to ignore the fact that alcohol is a drug and is something to be respected and not abused or messed around with. For me personally I would enjoy frequenting the local every few weeks or a hot whiskey on a cold winters night at the end of the week.

    At the start of the covid I would have a few whiskeys or a few beers on a Saturday or Friday night which was good substitute for the pub at the start but since November I stopped.

    Some evenings I crave a beer so I just have a Heineken zero. One thing covid has taught me is drinking socially or when your in a good mood is completely different to drinking when bored or to try and numb yourself from what’s going on in the world at the moment. For me personally that’s when alcohol becomes dangerous and it’s why a lot of people have hit the bottle hard at the minute and succumbed to bad habits with no work to get up in the morning or that.

    Therefore I think the decisions people are making on here at the moment is wise especially considering the current times.

    You are correct if it’s under control then it’s no issue.If the occasional drink has remained that way during Covid then ok.


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  • From a health perspective no level of alcohol is good for you. Most people i know are addicted to alcohol even if they don't think they're. All upstanding tax paying members of society i might add.

    So i find your statement a little silly if I'm honest.

    More power to you if you can manage it the way you do.




  • Pretzill wrote: »
    Hi everyone - I think alcohol has contributed to a lot of stomach issues and weight gain for me, over the years. I would typically drink 1 to 2 bottles of wine a week, I used to drink more regularly. I quit smoking 3.5 years ago and I really started enjoying wine too much, tasted nicer - love it with a meal, snacks, cheese etc.

    Recently I got a very bad bout of gastritis, nausea and I have been taking meds for that which I can't drink when I'm taking them so I thought I would use the opportunity of a couple of weeks sobriety to see if I can cut out and lose some weight, get healthy.

    But I am scared my lack of willpower will defeat me and the covid evenings will lead me back to wine. Have you any tips on how to approach cutting out the drink?

    I smoked for 25 years, I thought I'd never stop but in the end bar the first few weeks I found the process much easier than I ever thought. Even as I type this, I'm telling myself the perfect way forward for me is to cut out for a good while but that I'd still be able to enjoy the odd beer on a summer's day. It's like I don't want to remove that good feeling I get.

    Any tips?

    Im in a similar position. Started feeling Bloated constantly with some cramps in December. I stopped drinking beer n started drinking wine, about five bottles a week. Because beer is fizzy I felt it affected me more.

    So I've been to the hospital (in Spain since autumn),a few times as an outpatient. Some growths removed from my stomach which I'm told don't look sinister but being routinely checked. The doctor told me I had chronic gastric inflammation.

    It seems I have a problem digesting food so I've to take a tablet to help with the digestion but I would think it is a problem with or without drink.

    There are three or four days some weeks I'd have no drink but still same symptoms.

    Im just wondering why you think it's drink causing your problem? I'm not clueless so understand that drink could be a contributing factor.

    I have to see consultant after having endoscopy recently so I'll ask him if he thinks alcohol is a big factor in all this. I don't get to see him until April 29th.

    I would find it hard to give up drinking cos I enjoy going to the bar (open here til 10.30pm) to watch the Premier league. Like you I gave up smoking seven years ago so I think I have the will power but don't want to give it up unless I'm told its a fairly big factor.

    The fact that you've quit smoking I think it's jus a matter of deciding to quit (or not) and deciding when to do it.

    If I was advised it would improve my issues I would stop, just wouldn't find it easy to give up the bar.




  • I watched a docu' a while ago now but in it they were treating alcoholics

    but every night they would each get a glass of alcohol before they went

    to bed which did indeed surprise me but what the medics' were doing

    was gradually reducing the amount of alcohol on a nightly basis.

    I can't remember what happened in the end of the docu' but I thought it

    was a different approach!




  • jobeenfitz wrote: »
    Im in a similar position. Started feeling Bloated constantly with some cramps in December. I stopped drinking beer n started drinking wine, about five bottles a week. Because beer is fizzy I felt it affected me more.

    So I've been to the hospital (in Spain since autumn),a few times as an outpatient. Some growths removed from my stomach which I'm told don't look sinister but being routinely checked. The doctor told me I had chronic gastric inflammation.

    It seems I have a problem digesting food so I've to take a tablet to help with the digestion but I would think it is a problem with or without drink.

    There are three or four days some weeks I'd have no drink but still same symptoms.

    Im just wondering why you think it's drink causing your problem? I'm not clueless so understand that drink could be a contributing factor.

    I have to see consultant after having endoscopy recently so I'll ask him if he thinks alcohol is a big factor in all this. I don't get to see him until April 29th.

    I would find it hard to give up drinking cos I enjoy going to the bar (open here til 10.30pm) to watch the Premier league. Like you I gave up smoking seven years ago so I think I have the will power but don't want to give it up unless I'm told its a fairly big factor.

    The fact that you've quit smoking I think it's jus a matter of deciding to quit (or not) and deciding when to do it.

    If I was advised it would improve my issues I would stop, just wouldn't find it easy to give up the bar.

    Well the first thing all doctors ask is do you smoke or drink so if you are honest he will attribute your problems to alcohol even if your stomachs problems are related to consumption or not. Anyhow a blood test of liver enzymes should tell this usually.




  • A quick update - I haven't been counting the days anymore - I have done what I wanted to do and that's break the habit of having wine at the weekend or when I feel stressed or the need to relax with it. It's a good feeling not to think I have to have alcohol.




  • Well done its a big thing to just break the habit it definitely gets easier and it makes a real positive difference to your life .




  • Pretzill wrote: »
    A quick update - I haven't been counting the days anymore - I have done what I wanted to do and that's break the habit of having wine at the weekend or when I feel stressed or the need to relax with it. It's a good feeling not to think I have to have alcohol.

    That's brilliant, that's half the battle and not easy to do at the mo the way things are.




  • https://www.alcohol.org/alcoholism/self-assessment/


    How is Alcoholism Diagnosed?

    According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disease that is characterized by a person no longer being able to control their use of alcohol, compulsively abuse it despite its negative ramifications, and/or experiencing emotional distress when they are not consuming.

    To be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder (AUD), individual must meet certain criteria outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). If you meet at least two of the below criteria within the same 12-month period, you may benefit from speaking with a medical professional or addiction specialist about your drinking habits. You may be struggling with alcoholism if you’re:

    Unable to cut down on alcohol use despite a desire to do so.
    Experiencing cravings, or a strong desire to use alcohol.
    Giving up previously enjoyed social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use.
    Continuing to abuse alcohol despite the presence of a psychological or physical problem that is probably due to alcohol use.
    Using alcohol in higher amounts or for a longer time than originally intended.
    Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol.
    Unable to fulfill major obligations at home, work, or school because of alcohol use.
    Continuing to abuse alcohol despite negative interpersonal or social problems that are likely due to alcohol use.
    Using alcohol in physically dangerous situations (such as driving or operating machinery).
    Having a tolerance (i.e., needing to drink increasingly large or more frequent amounts of alcohol to achieve desired effect).
    Developing symptoms of withdrawal when efforts are made to stop using alcohol.

    I've put a similar test up before, it's a brave thing to do this questionnaire honestly. It's also a good idea to have a blood test to see if your body is being affected by alcohol.


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