1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014

BlankSlate

 
Banned
Oriental Orthodox
May 30th 2022

Alcohol has been the number one thing holding me back in every aspect of life. Physical, mental, financial and spiritual it has taken it's toll.

But being in my 30s now, the one thing I can't handle anymore is voluntarily throwing away and trampling on my dignity every time I have a single drink which lately always turns into 2-3 day benders.

I went through most of this fascinating thread and would like to thank the OP plus all the great contributors for this.
 

bucky

Hummingbird
Other Christian
May 30th 2022

Alcohol has been the number one thing holding me back in every aspect of life. Physical, mental, financial and spiritual it has taken it's toll.

But being in my 30s now, the one thing I can't handle anymore is voluntarily throwing away and trampling on my dignity every time I have a single drink which lately always turns into 2-3 day benders.

I went through most of this fascinating thread and would like to thank the OP plus all the great contributors for this.
God bless man, and good luck. I've actually never been drunk for various reasons and it's allowed me to see clearly what an immense evil alcohol is and develop a strong hatred for it. It sounds like you've reached the same point, albeit by following a different path. I think your desire to leave drinking completely behind is a perfect example of what Jesus is talking about when he says "ask and it will be given to you" in Matthew 7:7. You'll be able to do this, and through faith in Christ it will probably be easier than you think.
 

darknavigator

Woodpecker
Catholic
"To guys looking or trying to quit drinking. I've been there. One of the challenges you face is that turning to drink becomes a solution to feelings of anxiety, depression, boredom, etc."

I totally agree!

I've had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol throughout my adult life. I haven't drank alcohol in approximately three years, however, I'm a 'problem drinker' and I've often relapsed after years of not drinking. I definitely have an addictive personality (alcohol, porn and sex).

To anybody that's trying to stop drinking one of the biggest pieces of advice that I can give is to find something that your passionate about - it might be reading, art, music, sports etc. This is one of the main reasons that I have occasionally relapsed back into drinking after years on the wagon - I had nothing to fill the void and I became overwhelmed by my feeling of anxiety, depression, boredom etc.

Going to the gym / exercise has been a huge help for me. Thomas a Kempis said that "habit overcomes habit" i.e. if you have a bad habit then try to replace it with a good habit. Find something that you are passionate about. A good way to do this is to look back on what you were passionate about when you were younger.

Also, programs like AA sometimes get a bad rap, however, I found AA to be extremely helpful as it provided me with structure when I was first trying to stop drinking.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
So after drinking my last beverage, a foul-tasting cheap vodka brand, on the close of Lazarus Saturday: the one year drinking wagon begins. Although my ambition is to quit completely, I will comply with the challenge and reflect on it after the first year's done, setting off again after it.

I'll aim to post an update every month or so, just to keep score and mark any difficult occasions. I'm looking forward to it :)

Nearly posted recently about how well it was going... and then I relapsed a few days ago. I broke my NoFap commitment earlier this week, and then it all came crashing down. It hasn’t really been that heavy, but drinking just enough to keep me lazy and despondent. The misery and BS emotions I’ve experienced have been exhausting. There’s no way I can moderate it successfully.

But this was my first serious challenge to really put an end to my alcohol habit, so I was expecting some form of relapse.

Well, back to Day One. Here we go.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
I managed to quit drinking for 5 years (from 2017-2021). I was tee total. I relapsed, quit again and now I am back to 'normal' drinking which is escalating worryingly fast.

I got inspired by the movie 'Another Round' to try to keep my blood alcohol level to 0.08 % (about 2 drinks and then 1 drink per hour after that to maintain it) and I noticed that with this method, I could maintain a decent buzz without getting trashed or too hungover.

However, my self-control has slipped and on my drinking sessions I've just been pounding booze basically. I set a rule for myself 'not in the house!' but I have been laughably bending the rule by drinking alone in pubs or going for 'one last drink!' alone on my way home. It's all very sad really.

At least I haven't returned to the daytime/morning drinking or boozing it up in my apartment but it's pretty obvious that I am on a downward trajectory and justifying it as a cope.

I might have to take up this challenge as some sort of middle ground.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
I managed to quit drinking for 5 years (from 2017-2021). I was tee total. I relapsed, quit again and now I am back to 'normal' drinking which is escalating worryingly fast.

I got inspired by the movie 'Another Round' to try to keep my blood alcohol level to 0.08 % (about 2 drinks and then 1 drink per hour after that to maintain it) and I noticed that with this method, I could maintain a decent buzz without getting trashed or too hungover.

However, my self-control has slipped and on my drinking sessions I've just been pounding booze basically. I set a rule for myself 'not in the house!' but I have been laughably bending the rule by drinking alone in pubs or going for 'one last drink!' alone on my way home. It's all very sad really.

At least I haven't returned to the daytime/morning drinking or boozing it up in my apartment but it's pretty obvious that I am on a downward trajectory and justifying it as a cope.

I might have to take up this challenge as some sort of middle ground.

I hear you. Well I relapsed again yesterday, despite my good intentions before, a couple of posts above. Drinking again today too. Hot summery weather conditions might be a minor trigger for me.

It's funny you say about going to pubs and drinking alone - I did this a lot through my mid-20's, struggling to craft a social life and choosing broody moments in Wetherspoons or some other traditional pub, writing poetry or other things but just wasting my life away really. I think by doing this (among other foolish acts) I permanently stained my relationship with alcohol. Some people don't have these associations and they genuinely can enjoy it but I've not maintained that privilege.

For some it is:

"wine that gladdens the heart of man" - Psalm 104:15

but for many...

"Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise." - Proverbs 20:1

although I find that this is more accurate when describing my struggles with al-khul:

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaints?
Who has needless wounds? Who has bloodshot eyes?
Those who linger over wine,
who go to taste mixed drinks.
Do not gaze at wine while it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a snake
and stings like a viper.
Your eyes will see strange things,
and your mind will utter perversities.
You will be like one sleeping on the high seas
or lying on the top of a mast:
“They struck me, but I feel no pain!
They beat me, but I did not know it!
When can I wake up
to search for another drink?”
- Proverbs 23:29-35

You've already done five years so you can do it again!

I've only ever managed about six or so months I think, not long ago. I want to be rid of this for good. I believe God has allowed me to fall due to my pride. I lack humility and observing myself fall back into these ways shows just how weak I am and how much I need to lean upon God and ask for His strength. It's a hard lesson.

I think to make it really effective I have to amass offline support as well as online, I'm really struggling getting a group of friends together, I've battled with loneliness for some time now but I'm ready to start making new connections with people. This will be a game-changer.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
I hear you. Well I relapsed again yesterday, despite my good intentions before, a couple of posts above. Drinking again today too. Hot summery weather conditions might be a minor trigger for me.

It's funny you say about going to pubs and drinking alone - I did this a lot through my mid-20's, struggling to craft a social life and choosing broody moments in Wetherspoons or some other traditional pub, writing poetry or other things but just wasting my life away really. I think by doing this (among other foolish acts) I permanently stained my relationship with alcohol. Some people don't have these associations and they genuinely can enjoy it but I've not maintained that privilege.

For some it is:



but for many...



although I find that this is more accurate when describing my struggles with al-khul:



You've already done five years so you can do it again!

I've only ever managed about six or so months I think, not long ago. I want to be rid of this for good. I believe God has allowed me to fall due to my pride. I lack humility and observing myself fall back into these ways shows just how weak I am and how much I need to lean upon God and ask for His strength. It's a hard lesson.

I think to make it really effective I have to amass offline support as well as online, I'm really struggling getting a group of friends together, I've battled with loneliness for some time now but I'm ready to start making new connections with people. This will be a game-changer.

I hear ya mate. I was in spoons drinking alone last night. I know it is pathetic but I frame myself as some sort of romantic downtrodden soul when in reality I'm just being a loser.

I like to read while drinking alone in pubs. I tell myself this is 'more social' and helping me focus more on the text.

Last night, I had a few White Claws on the train and even broke my no drinking at home rule by knocking back a few others at home.

At the very least I have managed to avoid drinking prior to 5pm but I can see that rule slipping as well. It is becoming increasingly clear to me now that I have to quit drinking again.

But immediately my mind starts thinking, 'what if I go on a date?' 'What if I go to X social event and can't drink?' etc...

Because I really do think booze makes social events more relaxing and fun. I just can't bring myself to socialize for hours and hours sober.
 

IM3000

Pelican
I hear ya mate. I was in spoons drinking alone last night. I know it is pathetic but I frame myself as some sort of romantic downtrodden soul when in reality I'm just being a loser.

I like to read while drinking alone in pubs. I tell myself this is 'more social' and helping me focus more on the text.

Last night, I had a few White Claws on the train and even broke my no drinking at home rule by knocking back a few others at home.

At the very least I have managed to avoid drinking prior to 5pm but I can see that rule slipping as well. It is becoming increasingly clear to me now that I have to quit drinking again.

But immediately my mind starts thinking, 'what if I go on a date?' 'What if I go to X social event and can't drink?' etc...

Because I really do think booze makes social events more relaxing and fun. I just can't bring myself to socialize for hours and hours sober.
I can relate to the part of rationalizing/ making excuses for self set rules. I was (and probably still am) addicted to weed for 25 years and quit 2 months ago.

I noticed that something was wrong, when I was trying to limit my consumption by setting rules, e.g. only smoke on the weekend, only smoking after x pm, but I just ended up violating my own rules by coming up with excuses why the rule wouldn't apply that day. Basically, I just kept smoking every day. That's when I realized that I was addicted to weed and that the substances ruled my brain/ life. Took me only several decades to figure this out.

So yeah, you do sound like an alcoholic. Have you looked into the 12 Steps Program or something along these lines? My uncle was an alcoholic and it destroyed his family. Good luck.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
I can relate to the part of rationalizing/ making excuses for self set rules. I was (and probably still am) addicted to weed for 25 years and quit 2 months ago.

I noticed that something was wrong, when I was trying to limit my consumption by setting rules, e.g. only smoke on the weekend, only smoking after x pm, but I just ended up violating my own rules by coming up with excuses why the rule wouldn't apply that day. Basically, I just kept smoking every day. That's when I realized that I was addicted to weed and that the substances ruled my brain/ life. Took me only several decades to figure this out.

So yeah, you do sound like an alcoholic. Have you looked into the 12 Steps Program or something along these lines? My uncle was an alcoholic and it destroyed his family. Good luck.
Thank you. It is just that I tell my friends or family and they say 'you're not an alcoholic!' They don't get it. It's part of this British mentality of not standing out too much. Only a real outlier can be an alcoholic, a real extremist. I'm not passing out on the street (anymore) or drinking all day everyday, so I'm not an alcoholic. At least according to the people I speak to. They don't understand the whole picture.

The other problem with these 'rules' is that enormous amounts of mental energy are spent keeping to them. For example, I'll make a rule of 'I can drink after 5 pm' and then be only obsessively thinking about when I can have that drink for most of the day. It's pretty pathetic. My rule of one drink per hour had me downing a pint and then staring at my timer on my phone with desperation for the time I was 'allowed' a refill. Weird way to live.

I don't even know how much my drinking has influenced my inability to finish my post graduate studies. I can't say I was drinking every night or anything but I was using it to cope with the stress and it probably ultimately led to me getting more overwhelmed with stress.

Since I left, I have been drinking daily to cope with the bitter disappointment of having not achieved what I actually didn't much want to do anyway. A bizarre cocktail of negativity.

I don't know how to pull myself fully out of this.

When I was sober, I was so down on myself saying things like 'you've just replaced booze with caffeine and sugar and fast food and sex addictions! It would actually be better if you drank since at least then you'd be 'normal' and have some fun nights out ' etc...

I would say I despised the 'vegetable health' grayness of sober living. I'm scared to go back to it again because I can't quite face having broken my 5 year streak. That felt like it was IT and now I just have to accept that I drink.
 

IM3000

Pelican
Sounds like your brain chemistry is pretty messed up from the drinking. I, too, felt that "grayness of sober living" and relied on smoking weed to make life more fun. Why watch a movie sober when you can watch it high? Why go to a concert sober when you can go there high? Why clean the apartment sober when you can do it high...? You get the point.
Of course, alcohol addiction is much worse than weed addiction and has way more severe consequences, but I think that the working principles are the same.

I like science. What helped me to understand/ conceptualize my addiction better was this discussion. Check it out, maybe you find it helpful.
That said, I still suggest that you look into professional help. His alcoholism destroyed my uncles's marriage and alienated him from the family. After many many years of being an alcoholic, he finally looked for professional help and was able to reconcile with parts of the family. He was in his late 40s/early 50s when this happened. Do yourself a favor and start earlier.

 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
Thank you. It is just that I tell my friends or family and they say 'you're not an alcoholic!' They don't get it. It's part of this British mentality of not standing out too much. Only a real outlier can be an alcoholic, a real extremist. I'm not passing out on the street (anymore) or drinking all day everyday, so I'm not an alcoholic. At least according to the people I speak to. They don't understand the whole picture.

The other problem with these 'rules' is that enormous amounts of mental energy are spent keeping to them. For example, I'll make a rule of 'I can drink after 5 pm' and then be only obsessively thinking about when I can have that drink for most of the day. It's pretty pathetic. My rule of one drink per hour had me downing a pint and then staring at my timer on my phone with desperation for the time I was 'allowed' a refill. Weird way to live.

I don't even know how much my drinking has influenced my inability to finish my post graduate studies. I can't say I was drinking every night or anything but I was using it to cope with the stress and it probably ultimately led to me getting more overwhelmed with stress.

Since I left, I have been drinking daily to cope with the bitter disappointment of having not achieved what I actually didn't much want to do anyway. A bizarre cocktail of negativity.

I don't know how to pull myself fully out of this.

When I was sober, I was so down on myself saying things like 'you've just replaced booze with caffeine and sugar and fast food and sex addictions! It would actually be better if you drank since at least then you'd be 'normal' and have some fun nights out ' etc...

I would say I despised the 'vegetable health' grayness of sober living. I'm scared to go back to it again because I can't quite face having broken my 5 year streak. That felt like it was IT and now I just have to accept that I drink.

It is a bitter struggle. I can relate to that first part of people not thinking you're alcoholic. It's so much more subtle than what people think. Also maybe others are in denial about their own addictions and haven't come to realise them yet. There are many veiled alcoholics lurking amongst us, I would say. The hard part is actually realising it, which you and I have no problem with, so we just have to focus on the part of quitting.

It's been mentioned on previous pages of this thread, but it's definitely worth checking out and potentially investing into Allen Carr's "Easyway" method for how to stop drinking. Initially this method was made for smokers trying to quit but it has since expanded to alcohol, caffeine, gambling addictions etc.

I have the book which I will attach to this post (in ZIP file, .epub files don't attach to posts), but also I would check out this link and fill out their consultation form which will give you personalised advice on what you can do - I just got one and it was pretty good:


They have lots of centres in the UK, although they are now apparently "covid-safe", ugh... but at least there's an online version either w/ on-demand videos or online seminars. You could start with the book first, that's free.

I read the book not long ago and it definitely helped, but I skimmed much of it and didn't allow it to sink in, so I need to go back and read it through more carefully.

Whenever you're ready to go on this journey, PM me and I will be your accountability partner and vice versa, if you like. I'm doing this elsewhere on a porn reboot forum and find it can be a motivating factor.
 

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Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
Sounds like your brain chemistry is pretty messed up from the drinking. I, too, felt that "grayness of sober living" and relied on smoking weed to make life more fun. Why watch a movie sober when you can watch it high? Why go to a concert sober when you can go there high? Why clean the apartment sober when you can do it high...? You get the point.
Of course, alcohol addiction is much worse than weed addiction and has way more severe consequences, but I think that the working principles are the same.

I like science. What helped me to understand/ conceptualize my addiction better was this discussion. Check it out, maybe you find it helpful.
That said, I still suggest that you look into professional help. His alcoholism destroyed my uncles's marriage and alienated him from the family. After many many years of being an alcoholic, he finally looked for professional help and was able to reconcile with parts of the family. He was in his late 40s/early 50s when this happened. Do yourself a favor and start earlier.


I have to admit, I was in therapy for the whole time I was sober and I wouldn't have gotten sober without it.

My heavy red pilling and frustration at where my life went caused a lot of resentment towards my therapist, rightly or wrongly. He also charges over 100 gbp per session, which I just can't afford anymore. I have been tempted to get back in touch just to help me get back on track or see someone new. I have felt my life has been nose diving lately.

But I basically started to feel that my therapist was giving me very blue pilled advice and when I started to mention my growing interest in Christianity and belief in absolute evil plus distrust of the vaccines, my therapist didn't have much to say in response even though he agreed with me on the woke stuff and general scam of the plandemic. Maybe I expect too much to find some sort of spiritual guidance through therapy as well.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
It is a bitter struggle. I can relate to that first part of people not thinking you're alcoholic. It's so much more subtle than what people think. Also maybe others are in denial about their own addictions and haven't come to realise them yet. There are many veiled alcoholics lurking amongst us, I would say. The hard part is actually realising it, which you and I have no problem with, so we just have to focus on the part of quitting.

It's been mentioned on previous pages of this thread, but it's definitely worth checking out and potentially investing into Allen Carr's "Easyway" method for how to stop drinking. Initially this method was made for smokers trying to quit but it has since expanded to alcohol, caffeine, gambling addictions etc.

I have the book which I will attach to this post (in ZIP file, .epub files don't attach to posts), but also I would check out this link and fill out their consultation form which will give you personalised advice on what you can do - I just got one and it was pretty good:


They have lots of centres in the UK, although they are now apparently "covid-safe", ugh... but at least there's an online version either w/ on-demand videos or online seminars. You could start with the book first, that's free.

I read the book not long ago and it definitely helped, but I skimmed much of it and didn't allow it to sink in, so I need to go back and read it through more carefully.

Whenever you're ready to go on this journey, PM me and I will be your accountability partner and vice versa, if you like. I'm doing this elsewhere on a porn reboot forum and find it can be a motivating factor.
Hey man,
Yeah I read Carr before but this would be a good time to re-read. I know he makes the point there is NOTHING good about alcohol and when I read it, I nod my head in agreement. However I think socially the loosening up aspect is key. I think if I could only drink socially, it'd be fine but I drink solo way more than social.


I appreciate the offer for accountability partnering. I don't feel quite ready to stop yet. I might need to talk to someone or something.
 

John777

 
Banned
Protestant
Since I left, I have been drinking daily to cope with the bitter disappointment of having not achieved what I actually didn't much want to do anyway. A bizarre cocktail of negativity.

I don't know how to pull myself fully out of this.

Well I relapsed again yesterday, despite my good intentions before, a couple of posts above. Drinking again today too.

Please correct me if what I am saying is sacrilegious in some way. But, as St. Paul wrote,

"He also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes."

What do you think of saying a short prayer and making the sign of the cross in rememberance of the shedding of Christ's blood, before every drink you take? Then the drink could be taken in remembrance of Him and the sacrifice He made for our sakes, so that we could be forgiven and sanctified.

This might help prevent mindless or obviously gluttonous drinking, and would give at least some good purpose to an otherwise destructive activity.

Setting your mind on the Lord before each drink and taking it in His name might help keep your mind and intentions in the right place, and help increase virtues like self-control and moderation.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
Please correct me if what I am saying is sacrilegious in some way. But, as St. Paul wrote,

"He also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes."

What do you think of saying a short prayer and making the sign of the cross in rememberance of the shedding of Christ's blood, before every drink you take? Then the drink could be taken in remembrance of Him and the sacrifice He made for our sakes, so that we could be forgiven and sanctified.

This might help prevent mindless or obviously gluttonous drinking, and would give at least some good purpose to an otherwise destructive activity.

Setting your mind on the Lord before each drink and taking it in His name might help keep your mind and intentions in the right place, and help increase virtues like self-control and moderation.

Personally, abstinence is the only path. I cannot balance consumption of alcohol by blessing my drinks or moderating it in any way. I am either all or nothing.
 

rainy

Pelican
Other Christian
When I was sober, I was so down on myself saying things like 'you've just replaced booze with caffeine and sugar and fast food and sex addictions! It would actually be better if you drank since at least then you'd be 'normal' and have some fun nights out ' etc...
Do you exercise?

It just seems to me if you're filling the latter part of your days with alcohol, and if sober, throwing down unhealthy food and sex addictions, you might try committing to a healthier lifestyle across the board. Because it appears you're leaving yourself with too much time on your hands.

I cut out all drinking and all porn at the turn of the year. First thing I do every morning is lift weights. Work. Evening walks. BBQ. Then with no drinking later at night I have 2-3 hours to focus on professional/personal improvement, building my business, etc. I no longer have any free time as that's my rhythm. And when your day is filled with positive actions, the negative vices disappear as they negate positive momentum.

Boredom leads to no good.
 
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BasilSeal

Kingfisher
Catholic
Gold Member
Please correct me if what I am saying is sacrilegious in some way.
The idea that there is even a hint of equivalence between the sacrifice of the Eucharist and your own blessing of a gin and tonic is, yes, rather sacrilegious. Correction delivered, as requested.
 

John777

 
Banned
Protestant
The idea that there is even a hint of equivalence between the sacrifice of the Eucharist and your own blessing of a gin and tonic is, yes, rather sacrilegious. Correction delivered, as requested.

Thank you. I was thinking not of an equivalence, but simply a better way to drink while remembering God and not being self-destructive.

How about simply making an effort to recall my sins, giving thanks and then making the sign of the cross before drinking? Also, taking it with bread? This is what I usually do, and it helps avoid continued, random and mindless drinking.

Maybe looking at it in a religious context would be wrong. Either way, some kind of blessing and making an effort to remember God probably cannot hurt.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
To be honest, no I haven't tried giving a blessing before smashing a bud light nor would I think it appropriate to do so.

I ended up having a few drinks last night but I am doing the classic stupid drunkard's move of pushing the misery as far as I can to force me into sobering up. I am almost scared to get a few days of sobriety going because I know that will force me to reflect on my already stupid recent behaviour, which I would rather just keep going . It's childish really.
 
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