Secret drinker

I have always been a drinker but have been heavily drinking for 10 years. It has affected my mental health and self esteem. I hide any evidence of what I drink from family and friends. I avoid any social occasion that may interrupt my precious bottle of wine. The irony is that I work in alcohol services supporting people to reduce/abstain from alcohol. I am well aware of the risks to health and how alcohol destroys families yet I continue to drink excessively. I am unable to attend support groups as there is a chance that I will see a client. I am lucky that I am not physically dependent so thought I would join a group online for support....... I have never disclosed any of this information to anyone.....It quite liberating!!!!
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  • Hello @brian68, welcome. Since you work in alcohol support, I am sure you know all the tools and procedures pretty well. Now that you recognize what is going on, you can start to apply those tools. Don't feel bad about the situation either. No one wakes up and says, "I want my life to revolve around alcohol", but the insidious nature of the disease slowly gets someone to that point. Concur that being honest and frank about the situation is quite liberating. Now, imagine how the freedom will feel once you no longer have to hide the drinking? Or don't have that shadow of guilt hanging over you? From my experience, those things are incredibly motivating and achieving them is amazingly liberating.

    Whatever you need for support, we are here for you. With focus and determination, you can get to be the person YOU want to be.

    Keep the faith!
  • Hi Leaker,
    Thank you for your kind words! It was a very strange feeling when I received your message..... in fact it made me rather tearful, I'm not usually a crier.
    I had a moment of clarity when I read a book and thought.....My goodness, that's me!!! I spent the evening for the first time last night sober at home chatting with my son and it was fabulous.

    It's funny the things you do. For example, going to different supermarkets to by alcohol in case people judge you. Hiding the empty bottle of wine in the recycling bin before your husband comes home. Stealing my sons alcohol and replacing it with tap water until I can replace it. I think that's why i'm good at my job because i know all the tricks :)

    You must feel top of the world with your recovery. Any advice you have would be most appreciated. Thank you muchly :)
  • @Brian68 hello and welcome. great that you are ready to say goodbye to drinking. while it may feel like you're giving something up that you like, you're actually giving up poison...and gaining a life of freedom and possibility! yay for that!

    i realized that when i drank more than i wanted, it was b/c i was not happy in some areas of my life. underneath that drinking there was some unhealed pain, wounds... as i addressed those things, my cravings for alcohol to numb that pain decreased... i wasn't physically addicted; i was emotionally addicted by coping using it.

    today, i cope better. you've got the skills, glad you're ready to use them.


    welcome to the forum and glad to have you aboard the freedom train.
  • Thank you Dominica :)
    I think this forum with help me not to drink at home. However, it's social occasions that I will struggle. I don't know about you but when I didn't drink for 3 months people tried to force me to have a drink. They wasn't aware why I decided to stop drinking, i said I was detoxing (big fat lie). I'm a very private person and to be honest ashamed. Thank you for your support!!
  • @Brian68 i hear you. many (and i mean many) people have no clue that alcohol has a hold on them... and they think they can't have fun without drinking... we've been brainwashed since we were so small that drinking is fun.... social drinking is the bomb...and the only way to have fun, or more fun!!!!!!!!!! but most won't tell you that even drinking those few brewskies with the guys will leave them feeling crummy when they get home.... tired...fat... (oh, those calories!).... and they won't tell anyone, but many of them wish they didn't NEED to be a social drinker...

    me... i've learned to enjoy life without a social drink. i've learned theh booze might give me a buzz for what, one beer? then i gotta try to keep that buzz? but that never really works out as i plan, so to heck with it. i just smile and say i don't like the way booze makes me feel... that's exactly what i tell people...and they are good with that.

    i don't like the way it makes me feel...and i can catch a good buzz without it (like dancing... that makes for a good buzz for me.. .my dopamine levels rise high :) )
  • It's so true what you say. Every celebration it appears it's compulsory to drink. I don't think I'll be dancing.....I never liked it when I was drinking :smile:
    However, I had a good workout at the gym. You've given good advice on how to deal with the social occasions, instead of "I'd best not I'm a bit of a lush"

    I'll make sure I'm driving too!

  • @Brian68... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing with us. I'm super proud of you for finally disclosing your "little secret."

    Like @Leaker said, I'm sure you're aware of what you can do to help yourself, given your line of work. As far as support group meetings go, maybe you could check out online meetings and see if they help you. And, of course, we are here to help and support you anytime you need it. You can come here and vent to us whenever you feel like it, too. That's why we're here!

    I was in a similar situation to you a little over 9 years ago. I wasn't dependent on alcohol, but I was drinking more and more to help relieve the stress I was feeling from my son's struggle with addiction. I finally decided to quit drinking in order to set a good example for my son. And it was the best decision I ever made.

    Life without alcohol is a little hard to get used to at first, but it grows on you. As I like to say, being sober is only as dull and boring as you make it. As far as social occasions go, get yourself a glass of soda water or a Coke and stick a lime wedge in it. I've found that's a pretty good way to fool people.

    Sending you lots of strength and encouragement. Sober is better!!! :)
  • @Brian68 Glad to see you are settling in here, and glad we can help. I've blabbed all over the forum, along with other people, and a lot of our musings are not specific to any individual person or situation, so there is tons of advice out here already. I'm not brushing you off, I just know this post will be long enough as it is without rehashing all my other "wisdom".

    You mention reading a book and saying, "That's me!" That's great! Keep doing that. In my recovery, I found that I KNEW everything, but I didn't REALIZE or UNDERSTAND what it meant. I knew alcohol was bad. I knew I didn't need it to be happy. I knew I was in trouble, but I didn't understand what is all meant, or what to do about it. Plus, with a healthy dose of arrogance and apathy, I didn't care, and also "knew" that I could handle it. I'd encourage you to read more. Go to the bookstore and get a couple books on the subject. Maybe not the pure self help ones, but maybe some biographies of famous drunks or stories or something, and see just how much more of yourself you see. I thought in my arrogance I was alone and unique and special. It was humbling yet liberating, to learn that others went through the same thing. If they could get free, so could I. If I can do it, so can anyone else.

    I can say that you described a lot of my habits too. I had 3 stores I would rotate around to so I wasn't in the same one every night buying booze. I would hide the drinking, I would make excuses. I too had that moment where I was crying in the mirror, looking at myself and admitting that I was an alcoholic, that I was in trouble, and I needed help. 6 years later and I am in a much better place.

    For the social aspect, @dominica adn @DeanD have given some good advice on that one. As you grow comfortable with your sober life, it will be easier to go to places and simply say, "no thanks, I'm good with water". At first you might have to force yourself, and maybe not fully believe it, but eventually you will say it and honestly mean it.

    For dealing with people trying to force on drinks, an easy out is, "No thanks, I'm driving". In this day and age, either people respect that, or they really aren't the people you need to be around. Sounds harsh, but I will stand by that statement. Perhaps try a non-alcoholic drink? Who really knows what is in your red solo cup? If you really need to, some sort of lie about needing to work, or having a stomach problem might dp the trick. Or, if you are really in a jam, at least early on, there is the old, "No, I really hurt myself on vodka last night, still getting over that one. Man, anything with Cyrillic on it, DON'T trust it!". It would be value added to rehearse scenarios in your nugget and come up with game plans. If this happens, do this. If that, then do this. Not just for social situations, but other aspects of recovery. It is an extension of the "playing the tape through" technique of reminding ones self that one drink turns into 2, which mean 5, which then means ::ACTIONS REMOVED OR MISSING::, which then means regaining consciousness, and trying to determine how exactly you ended up in the park across from the library, and how long you've been there.

    As stated, and as you know, recovery is a long and twisty journey, almost like this post (I warned you up front!). But, the effort is worth it. For visuals on my recovery, I draw a lot from Shawshank Redemption. Don't ask me why. I love looking at people just like Andy and saying, "No thanks, I stopped drinking". I describe my journey as "crawling through a river of shit, and coming out clean on the other side". And now, I see myself in the convertible, driving along the coast, with the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, and a little smile, just enjoying the freedom I've earned.

    You'll get there too. Keep the faith.
  • Thanks guys!
    I truly feel inspired by you all! It's day 3 today and I realized that I really haven't been kind to myself for a long time. I would never talk to or treat anybody the way I have myself. I'll just be glad to to rid of the feeling of shame. You have to be very organised with a secret addiction and the constant anxiety of being found out is exhausting!
    I've decided in these early stages it's too overwhelming to say I'll never drink again. I'm just telling myself that I wont drink today.

    DeanD I do hope your son is doing well in his recovery. I'm so glad he's got you on his side!

    I'll be clinging onto that faith Leaker !!!!
  • @Brian68, you know from your job that "one day at a time" is the best way, especially starting out. I was intimidated by never drinking again too. But, as I got comfortable with my sober life, and realized the truths about what I was, what alcohol was, and how much better everything was without it, "never" went from being a daunting challenge to being a comforting promise to myself.
  • @Brian68 congrats on 3 days sober! that's great! yes, one day at a time tends to feel better... i too don't like to think about my whole life without anything... but 24 hours? sure...

    it's ok you don't like to dance :) exercise is a great tool for recovery..and health in general! good for you!
  • Congrats on Day 3, @Brian68! That's AWESOME! Just keep going!!! We're all behind you 100 percent!!!
  • @Leaker great tips by the way on how to say no to a drink :)
  • How are you doing today, @Brian68? Thinking of you and sending you lots of encouragement and hope!
  • Hi Brian, hope you're doing ok, I read about how you had trouble turning down social drinks... well, there are lots of variables... when I meet new people, I say "I don't drink", but of course, that never worked with people that knew me as a beer guzzling party animal... for them, it was really hard. I left bars crying, because the "just have one" wasn't something I could explain to them. In the end, I figured out that the "friends" pushing me to have a drink were not friends. Had to let them go. Nowadays, I just say "I'm not drinking tonight"... and, even though it's been three years, with the exception of one microrelapse, I still say "tonight"... and I mean it... because it's literally one night at a time. Refuse one drink at a time.
  • good input @zozzie. i agree that if people push you to drink...well, that's rude and i'd think twice about calling them friends.

    so glad those drinking days are behind you! :)
  • Thank you all for cheering me on you lovely people!!!

    Well I still haven't had a drink and attended training yesterday. I was sharp and no feelings of crippling anxiety. I'm so thankful that I wasn't physically dependent. I can't believe that I have been so arrogant to think I'd never be as bad as the people I work with. The only difference between us is that they are homeless. I spoke to a co worker who has been sober for 3 years. I didn't go into too much detail but that I had decided to be abstinent due to the anxiety it causes.
    If it hadn't been for you guys I would have been sprinting to the wine aisle in Tesco. I the near future I aim to support others in our position joining this site.

    Thank you all so much. I'm so looking forward to getting to the point you are all at today!

    PS My husband went out with friends last night and has a bit of a fuzzy head this morning......... Is it wrong to feel smug? :)
  • @Brian68 that's great you're doing so well! congrats!! makes me smile reading about the victories people experience!

    there's so many valuable lessons we can learn all along the way....

    i think it's fine for you to feel good about your success with sobriety... not so sure about smug.... but positive about your choices, sure....
  • @Brian68 Again, you are learning, and you are seeing the truth of what alcoholism is. I wasn't am alcoholic. I mean, alcoholic are toothless homeless people wearing bags for shoes and pushing around shopping carts, right? They stand in the street yelling at walls and spitting teeth out on a regular basis. No, I couldn't be an alcoholic. I still had control. I was too good, too smart, too awesome, to cool to be one.

    Until I took a solid look at what was going on, and that the only thing separating me from those poor souls was what I had built before the disease fully took me, and a good bit of luck. Truly a "there but for the grace of god go I" sort of moment. I indeed WAS an alcoholic, and I needed to either change that and be the person I wanted to be, or accept the role I had chosen for myself and figure out what shopping cart I wanted to repurpose as a mobile storage unit. Rich, poor, young old, educated, ignorant, it doesn't matter. Alcoholism can claim anyone. But, anyone can escape from it as well. It's a wonderful trap humans have created for ourselves, isn't it?

    I wouldn't say it is wrong to feel smug, but keep it in perspective. Those days are behind you, as long as you work at it, but having a Schadenfreude Party every time will probably get old. At this point, I should throw out the standard caution to not try and convert others until they are ready. It might seem obvious that someone needs to make a change, but until they are ready, pushing or nagging is just going to add friction to an already tough situation.

    Thanks for the update though, and glad to hear you had another event reinforcing your decision to stop. Push anyone you want our way. We love new people. @dominica promised to cut back on the hazing initiations so hopefully we don't scare too many more people away. ;)
  • Please don't misunderstand me, I have no intention of asking my husband not to drink. He's a social drinker and it has not impacted on his/other peoples life. In fact he's exactly the sort of person I want to be........ When I get back to being a grown up again :)
  • @Brian68 Not accusing you of anything, I have not idea on the situation or the nuances of things. But I was just putting that out there since the smug, "Glad it isn't me" or "I told you to take it easy", can turn into a "why do you do this to yourself?" or "I hate to see you like this" and then various forms of, "Just give stopping a try".

    If he's in a good place (minus the fuzzy nugget in the morning every now and then), he's in a good place. Good for him. Now, to get you to that same good place...
  • I didn't think for one moment you were accusing me, it's great to here another persons perspective. I just wanted to be clear about what I meant. I did feel excessively proud and did think "I'm glad its not me" ;) (I make no apologies for that). However you have to let people make their own decisions on lifestyle. Bullying people into doing things they're not ready for make the situation worse. I completely agree with you.
    I did feel like drinking yesterday but it passed. I just reminded myself why I'm doing this. Thank you for your input Leaker ! :)
  • @Brian68, did you really feel like drinking? Or was it another part of you? The part that I call "the monster". I learned in my recovery about the rational side of me that cared about myself, others, and my future, and then there was the monster that just cared about drinking. The rational side said at 3 PM that I didn't want to drink, that I was done with it. It was the monster that said at 5 PM "It's 5 PM and you are dangerously sober buddy".

    If you are saying you want to stop, then anything that says otherwise is just the monster of addiction. Dealing with him takes time and practice, but recognizing it is extremely important, and beating the monster once means one can do it again and again. It'll be back often and repeatedly, at least at first, but eventually it will become just a whisper in one's life.
  • @Leaker hazing initiations....!! haha made me smile

    @Brian68 we're all learning and WANT to learn, so that's a great thing.

    nice weather in the spring is a trigger for me... it'll be beautiful and the thought, wow, a few beers would make this day even better! and i know me. i could have two or three and be done..and probably enjoy myself, but i have a desire to not even be a social drinker. i was a social drinker...actually, didn't drink a lick for 20 years... but even life as a social drinker isn't all it's cracked up to be... there are still the rare occasions i'd have one too many and feel super tired or even wake up feeling crummy....

    must be the poison i was drinking.

    i chose to not be a social drinker...and the more i learn about alcohol and the monster... the happier i am i made that choice. so when the thought comes, "boy, a nice cold craft beer would taste great"... i remind myself that the real me does not want that. and plenty of other things taste great that aren't poison or make me feel tired. :)

    have a great week!
  • Glad things are going well for you, @Brian68. And glad you're finding some solace here in this community. And really, really happy that @dominica didn't force you to go through the initiation process!! ;)
    Keep doing the next right thing, my friend. And know that we're here for you whenever you might need us. Support, help, advice, etc. That's what we do. :)
  • Thank you all,
    I have really appreciated all the support and reading other peoples experiences really helps. I know that my danger time is between 4 - 8pm. I made myself go to Tesco at 5pm (I've been avoiding that) and walked past the alcohol aisle. I just said to myself " Go away wine" only that's not how I put it and wouldn't want to offend anyone with the colourful language used.
    I don't know about you guys but I have to put myself in an uncomfortable situation as avoidance doesn't do me any good. That doesn't work for everyone though.

    I'm starting to feel fantastic!! Is that a pink fluffy cloud I see on the horizon? I'll have to be cautious and not get caught in a thunder storm!
  • @Brian68 Great news, and good work. I think it is great that you are intentionally putting alcohol near you in order to normalize its presence in your life (but not your glass). I think it is almost impossible to live a life without ever seeing a bottle of alcohol, or a billboard ad, or a hearing a commercial, or a sponsor notice like "brought to you by the crisp refreshing (lies!) taste of Peewater". Knowing how to hear or see those things and not react is great progress towards that sober lifestyle that is sustainable and livable.

    Also great to hear that you body is healing and getting back to what it should be. But you are right, things sound like they are going well, but don't get overconfident and forget the principles that got you to this point, and don't let a moment of laxity walk back all the progress. Alcoholism is, as you know, a very sneaky monster.
  • @Brian68 glad to hear your progress.... there is a pink cloud, but there's also the legit feeling of feeling FREE.... and the body and mind just does feel better when we're not willingly ingesting poison. the liver thanks you for the break!

    for sure there's alcohol everywhere... so learning to see it for the truth of what it is can be helpful. i tell myself the reasons why i pass on having a drink or two... and remember my commitment to live my life sober and free.

    have a great day!
  • Wonderful update, @Brian68! You're making progress and I'm super proud of you! Embrace that you're feeling better, and keep moving forward. And remember we're all behind you 100 percent!
  • @Brian68 hey there! thinking of you! how are you doing???

    would love to hear from you when you get a chance!
  • Hi Dominica,
    Lovely to hear from you! Yes, all is going well, no alcohol. I thought I'd weigh myself as I decided I deserved to lose a couple of pounds. I thought it was scandalous that I weighed the same then I remembered the salted caramel ice cream I'd been stuffing into my mouth ;)
    Thoughts of alcohol are lessening and I had a great night in with my friend. We laughed so much and it was great to wake up without a fuzzy head. I'm so grateful knowing I have support and can reveal any anxieties to you all. I couldn't have started on this road without you!
  • Terrific news, @Brian68! Glad the thoughts of alcohol are lessening, and that you're waking up without that awful fuzzy head thing. Keep doing what you're doing and know that we're here for you anytime you need us!
  • @dominica @DeanD I have to say, I'm worried about my 50th and going all inclusive on holiday. However, that's a few months away so I have time to get some strategies in place before I go. For some reason my replies keep appearing randomly in the thread. Have a great day!
  • @Brian68 hi there! yes, you do have some time to work on some solid strategies for sure! are you a reader? maybe take a book to read and read a little bit everyday that discusses recovery... or listen to audios... i convert some videos to audio and listen as i take walks sometimes... helps to keep my frame of mind where i like it :)

    an accountability partner may help too :)

    celebrating your 50th b-day should be an amazing celebration, sober and free!
  • @dominica I had a bit of a wobble yesterday. I went to Tesco for shopping. My son asked me to buy him a beer. I very nearly bought wine. Isn't it strange how it can creep up on you from nowhere.......... However, I bought some expensive sparkling water instead. Phew......... that was so close. I was prepared for a few bumps along the way but it was an overwhelming urge :# As Oscar Wilde said " I can resist everything except temptation. You're right about audio books. I bought a few and they do help. I'm actually very proud of myself this morning. have a great day Dominica!!!
  • @Brian68 hey you! congrats on overcoming that temptation!! wow! and yes, i do know how that temptation can creep up on you in one moment...even when you've put it in your head for days that "i'm not going to drink, i'm not going to drink, i'm not going to drink".... then your eyes see your favorite ale... but to heck with the "monster"!! right? our brain conjures up lies about how awesome it will be...

    but it's not! and i'm so proud of you for resisting that temptation. also, you were an example to you son... :)

    glad you got some audio books! keep on the recovery path and keep creating a good, good life for you!

    you deserve it!

    you have a great day too brian!
  • @Brian68... Overcoming that temptation was a sign of how far you've come. You had an urge and you fought it off. I'm glad you opted for the expensive sparkling water! In fact, I'm super proud of you for the progress you're making. Keep doing the next right thing, my friend! And happy Friday to you!
  • 4 weeks in :)
    The things that have changed.
    1) I'm feeling less anxious.
    2) I have more energy.
    3) I actually like myself.
    4)I like alcohol free beer - In the past I would have thought " what is the point"
    5) The dry skin on my shins is now smooth...... who'd have thought keeping hydrated would achieve this ;)
    Despite the positives I'd love a bottle of wine but choose not to drink today o:)

    Have a great week everyone!!!!
  • @Brian68... Four weeks! Wow! You are doing this!

    I'm sooo proud of you, my friend. And that list of things that have changed is a good one!

    Just keep going! And I hope you have a great week, too!
  • @DeanD Thank you. I feel what's keeping me going is not feeling that crippling shame. Every morning I congratulate myself. My lovely husband has also started to buy alcohol free beer. In his quiet way he's supporting me too. Hope you are having a great week and your son is doing well.
  • @Brian68... I hope you congratulated yourself this morning, because you deserve it! Keep doing the next right thing!!! :)
  • @DeanD Thank you so much. I'm certainly getting my mojo back, When I see people struggling on this site (like me) I can't help but send them a little message as I know how just a few words can help. I know I'm not out of the woods yet but I'm trying hard to plod on. As they say, recovery isn't a destination it's a journey! Have a great evening.
  • @Brian68 well that is just fabulous!!

    good for you!!!

    and great that you're noticing benefits too! that helps....

    thank you for sharing your journey here with us! we appreciate YOU! <3
  • Happy Wednesday to you, @Brian68! I just want you to know that I'm thinking about you today and sending you tons of positive juju and encouragement. And hugs. Lots of hugs full of hope!
  • @DeanD Thank you my friend.! All these positive thoughts from you appear to be working their magic :) In fact I'm not as terrified of social occasions now. Alcohol free beer is actually quite delicious and works for me..... and the morning after is anxiety free. Have a great evening!
  • Glad my thoughts are helping you, @Brian68. But to be perfectly clear, I am not a magician. Unfortunate, but true. ;)
    I'm really glad you're starting to feel less anxiety. That's terrific!
  • Just reading through these posts and wanted to comment on @Leaker marking reference to the «Monster » and the actual wanting to drink/use. There was an article I read recently about the battle that occurs inside us when we struggle with addiction. Yes there is just me, I don’t have split personalities however this psychologist referred to it like having two separate yous... the one that wants sobriety and the addict side that wants to use. Kinda makes me think of an old Mickey Mouse cartoon where Pluto had the angel and devil on his shoulder, if i recall it had to do with a new kitten Minnie got & she was knitting them sweaters? Lol I digress

    I thought it was neat article.

    Also @Brian68 a ginormous congrats to you. It’s amazing how you can observe your growth over the past month through this discussion, I hope you are proud of yourself and truly recognizing how strong and amazing you are :)
  • Yeah @blueorchid, I think there is a huge distinction between multiple personalities and what we are talking about. Put on the positive side, when you see an old lady in the store reaching for something on a high shelf that she can't get to, I bet there is part of you that says, "just keep walking", and another part that says, "You should try and help". Sometimes the first voice wins, sometimes the second one does. It's just a part of life, but not indicative of any kind of serious illness like Multiple Personality Disorder. I think the monster of addiction is the same way. Yes, it is part of an illness, but not in the same scope as MPD. Unless someone like @dominica has some sciency article up her sleeve that says otherwise. Even then, I stand by my statements.

    I like the "angel vs devil" analogy. It's pretty common throughout all older, less PC (and totally awesome!) cartoons. Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and other Warner Bros characters were commonly afflicted by those competing voices of good vs evil, and the choices they made were key elements to how the rest of the cartoon turned out.
  • Well you may not be a magician but nonjudgmental support and encouragement IS magical :smiley:
  • @Leaker, you say: No one wakes up and says, "I want my life to revolve around alcohol", but you’d be surprised how many people thought my boyfriend was sooo cool sitting there with his cup of tea and his whiskey flask. I remember 16 year olds telling me that’s that how they wanted to be when they grew up. He always “carried” it well. Until the last few years that is, nowadays it seems that when he wakes up it takes him 20 minutes to calm his shaking enough to pour the first drink into himself. I don’t suppose anyone wants to trade with him anymore.
  • @Dontknowfurthet, oh I wouldn't be surprised at all. Even when I was in the middle of my addiction, as my life was revolving around alcohol but I just couldn't see it, I still had these disillusions of eventually being a cool kid with a flask or with a glass of scotch, leaning against the bar being all interesting and cool. Alcohol gave me this idea that that was somehow possible, and I kept trying to make that a reality, but I just ended up stumbling around my living room and puking.

    What I meant was, no one wants to be like your boyfriend and incapable of functioning. No one wants to be the one stumbling around. They all want to be that person that "carries it well", but that is usually just an impossible goal. It's like no one wakes up and says they want to have a terrible day, lose $100, and have a fight with someone they care about, but the choices people make put them in circumstances where that happens all the time.

    Thanks for sharing though, and keeping me honest. I probably could have written that line better. Now, if I had a dollar for every time the choices I made got me into saying THAT, I'd be rich.
  • Time to ask for support from you guys again! I'm on a slippery slope to getting back to where I started. I'm drinking 3-4 bottles of wine a week and the anxiety/shame is creeping back. I've found that the first 2 weeks of staying alcohol free the hardest. You all helped me so much when I started this journey..... I think with a little help I can get back on track.
  • @Brian68 . Hello there. Welcome back to the Forum. I'm super glad that you're here and are reaching out for support. I believe that you can get back on track. I'm glad that you see that the road can indeed be slippery and your not wanting to stay on that road.

    We're glad to help you on your journey and especially this first two weeks. Get as much support as you can and keep recovery in the Forefront of your mind. Your brain is going to challenge your decision, so maybe spend some time each day doing something recovery-related. And know that we're here for you!
  • @Brian68... I'm glad you came back to ask for support. Believe me, there is no shame in admitting that you need help again. And we're always here for you, no matter what.

    You can get on the recovery path again. Take it one day at a time, or even one hour or minute at a time. Whatever it takes!

    I'm curious: Is there any specific thing/event(s) that led you to start drinking again?

    We are here to help, support, and listen, so lean on us as much as you need to, okay?

    You can do this. I know you can!
  • Thanks @dominica @DeanD
    I think it was when I hit the big 50 that I started slipping again. It's the old "It's my Birthday so it doesn't count" Doh! Then the menopause hit me. However, these are excuses and I'm just trying to justify making the wrong decision.
    I do think my mental health is a link to my drinking but while alcohol takes anxiety/depression away in the evening it returns with a vengeance the following morning. That pesky brain of mine!! Have a great evening!
  • @Brian68 . Hey there. I can relate to menopause LOL. I can also relate to wanting to drink to numb feelings. I remember a rough time after a breakup drinking on occasion to numb out, but I also knew that if I chose to cope with anxiety or depression via alcohol, I would never really get to experience authentic Joy. I wanted so badly to just be happy for no reason. Not because of this or because of that or because of someone or because of a relationship and so on. I just wanted to wake up happy for no reason and I knew that every sip of alcohol as a coping mechanism would prolong that....

    so there were times i refused and instead committed to "doing the inner healing work".... and so glad I did, b/c more times than not, today i can wake up happy FOR NO REASON... doesn't mean i don't occasionally struggle (that's normal), but i'm not stuck there....

    so, yes, back on the sobriety track... deal with any underlying things... in therapy and out of therapy... you can do this!!
  • Hope you're having a good day today, @Brian68. Thinking of you and sending you love, light, hope, and encouragement!
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