1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
I am still sober. I guess this is day 8?

I haven't really put myself to the test recently. As in, tried going out to a bar or doing a social event. I do like the non-alcoholic beer though. It gives the chance to drink something not so common to drink at home.

I feel like just kicking back with a few bud lights and enjoying myself but I realise that I never really enjoy myself, I just want to continue drinking and then feel awful the next day.

Carrying on from the post above:

You're making the exact same mistake I was with PMO and also with booze, which I have been discussing on another forum.

Forgive the cliche but there's a reason it is one: You are focusing on the problem, and not the solution. If you constantly think about drinking, you're going to do it again sooner or later, it's that simple.

I was focusing on the addiction itself - why I keep doing it, the triggers involved, stressing about all the consequences of it etc. it kept leading me back to the same pit i wanted to escape from.

I would suggest drafting up a list of activities, hobbies, and to-do's, involving tasks, books, movies, music, prayer, work projects, financial budgets, plans for future, life vision, journalling, seeing/making friends etc. etc. anything that requires an action from you, that leads you away from thinking about the problem, i.e. booze.

If you've not been to an Orthodox church yet, go and visit a local one this Sunday and talk to the priest about any issues you're having after the liturgy. He'll give you a blessing and instil you with the confidence you need to beat this. I can help you find a local one as you're in the UK. Or you can attend whichever Church you're familiar with but make it a regular attendance. God rewards our struggles.

Eight days is good progress. All the booze is out of your system now, so it's just the psychological triggers and sinful habits that need addressing next.

Also, subtle changes in language can help as well. When someone asks, "Would you like a drink?" instead of saying, "No thanks trying to stop", you can say, "Sorry, I don't drink" - the first implies you are losing, the second shows that you've already won. If you're serious about stopping, saying that you don't drink at all is correct because we aren't planning for another round of this again.

Hope you take something from this mate.
 

etwsake

Woodpecker
Catholic
Gold Member
I had the exact same scenario you described this past weekend with some old mates: "oh but, why cant you just learn to drink socially? just avoid drinking alone and everything will be fine?" - they are so blind to the struggle and how difficult it actually is. I

Yeah, for me it was, what is even the point of drinking just a few? I'm just teasing myself. Some of us have that all or nothing demeanor. I used to think it was a flaw, but I don't think so anymore. It can be channeled into doing good things.


Yes. I've had all the same thoughts, been in the same situations. Some people don't understand that to a guy like me, "a few beers" is not only a complete waste of time and may as well be water, all it does is open the floodgates that lead to me drinking whiskey and vodka til I pass out at dawn.

We're all wired differently. Some of us simply can't "have a few." There's no point. I don't order a pizza, open the box and take a deep whiff of the fresh hot ingredients, and then toss it in the garbage. I'm gonna eat that damn pizza!!

Hope everyone is doing well....keeping it going...being strong.
 

EuropeanCanon

Woodpecker
Trad Catholic
Made it through day 6 and now begin day 7.

I am at my mum's house. There are several tempting beers in the fridge.

I am a bit annoyed because I texted 3 or 4 friends proudly telling them I was off the booze and their reactions were things like, 'well maybe you can just drink socially' or 'I think you can drink a few tonight' etc...

It just makes me think, is all of this in my head? Am I REALLY an alcoholic or am I just dramatizing myself as one to feel more 'interesting' ?

Classic clown world thing of thinking that being more of a mess of a human being is an achievement.
I went to a couple of alcoholics anonymous meetings many years ago and I always remember something they said about drinking which was its not how much or little you drink, its what it does to your life. Its also classic addictive behavior to rationalize and/or minimize the effects of our drinking. And as I think you mentioned above it is common to replace one addiction with another. That been said I allowed myself to carry on smoking cigarettes' when I gave up drinking at first. Later I gave up the cigs as well. Then I started overeating LOL one thing at a time my friend
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
I am still on the wagon as of the current time and date.
I am planning to go to an event tonight which will be a huge trigger for me.

I will be seeing faces and being at a place where I drank regularly.
I am going to hold fast and try to avoid drinking at all costs. I hope posting this here will help me.

I know that I will be ashamed to come back and type my very predictable relapse report. It will not come to that because I will not be drinking today.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
I am still on the wagon as of the current time and date.
I am planning to go to an event tonight which will be a huge trigger for me.

I will be seeing faces and being at a place where I drank regularly.
I am going to hold fast and try to avoid drinking at all costs. I hope posting this here will help me.

I know that I will be ashamed to come back and type my very predictable relapse report. It will not come to that because I will not be drinking today.

I'm with you man, still on the wagon myself. Day #7 now. You can do this.
 

Solitarius

Robin
Catholic
For those who have concluded that it is best to give up drinking altogether I'd recommend reading about Matthew Talbot, an Irishman who lived from 1856 to 1925. He was an alcoholic, what some would call a no-hoper from the age of 13 to 28 when he took the pledge & began praying assiduously & assisting at Mass daily. He practised austerities like those of the Desert Fathers for the last half of his life. Here's a quotation from him:

"Never be too hard on the man who can’t give up drink. It’s as hard to give up the drink as it is to raise the dead to life again. But both are possible and even easy for Our Lord. We have only to depend on Him."
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
I'm with you man, still on the wagon myself. Day #7 now. You can do this.

Thanks man.
Ultimately, I couldn't go to the event I had planned to attend as the trains were all cancelled. This was a blessing in disguise as it forced me to evade what would have been a very tempting scenario.

I tend to think we can't really assess our virtues until they are tested and so for me to face a pub or social event without booze would show progress for me.

The difference between an alcoholic and a normie drinker I think is that a normie drink can have their drink, enjoy it and whatever they are doing and then move on to something else. For me and I guess other drinkers, it becomes a fixation. I think an example of that is going to someone's house and the primary thought on one's mind being 'I hope they serve drinks.' Entering their kitchen and scanning the room like the Terminator for potential alcohol to be had later...it seems normal when you're in that zone but it's a temporary insanity that can unfortunately be prolonged for a lifetime.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
Thanks man.
Ultimately, I couldn't go to the event I had planned to attend as the trains were all cancelled. This was a blessing in disguise as it forced me to evade what would have been a very tempting scenario.

I tend to think we can't really assess our virtues until they are tested and so for me to face a pub or social event without booze would show progress for me.

The difference between an alcoholic and a normie drinker I think is that a normie drink can have their drink, enjoy it and whatever they are doing and then move on to something else. For me and I guess other drinkers, it becomes a fixation. I think an example of that is going to someone's house and the primary thought on one's mind being 'I hope they serve drinks.' Entering their kitchen and scanning the room like the Terminator for potential alcohol to be had later...it seems normal when you're in that zone but it's a temporary insanity that can unfortunately be prolonged for a lifetime.

It's still early days, only a couple weeks into this, so indeed this was a blessing. You can prove yourself another time soon.

Are you going to allow 0% alcohol beers or are you avoiding them completely as well?

Yeah some minds are geared for addiction, it's a blessing and a curse. I have to give up caffeine too, i can't even modulate that without going to extremes. We can only wonder how others are able to do it successfully without resorting to extremes. I think a lot of it has to do with upbringing and culture. I heard Father Josiah Trenham, American Orthodox priest, recommend a "two-drink maximum" on one of his videos talking about alcohol. I think i managed that for about a day before tipping over the edge. Some people really can do it, even virtuous Christians, but many cannot.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
Yeah, I have a coffee problem which I am just putting on the backburner for now.

I have porn solved through blockers only. If I didn't have the blockers, I would probably be consuming it every day.

The other issue I had over these last few years was nicotine lozenges. I never smoked but that nicotine high was in a way better than booze as I could prolong it all day.

I have forced myself to stop as I believe there is a correlation between my recent severe dental issues and pocking those thing in my mouth all day long.

Porn might be worse than alcohol actually but alcohol is right up there.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
There's a good discussion happening on another thread about pornography:


Pornography hijacks a natural mechanism so i think's it's way more pernicious and difficult to deal with, personally. If you can conquer porn then I think you'll definitely get over alcohol. It's knowing yourself and where your triggers are that's important, as we've spoken about.

I'm about two weeks PMO-free as well, and I know that as long as I stay away from alcohol then I can keep that streak going. Although I've never done a year-long streak with either alcohol or PMO abstinence, so it's the first time I've taken it seriously. And i'm two days free from caffeine... baby steps.
 

BasilSeal

Kingfisher
Catholic
Gold Member
It's probably rare to find someone who has a single bad habit or vice. However, because alcohol and drugs impair your ability to make reasonable and sound judgements, if I had to pick a single vice to eliminate first, it would be this one.

A clear mind is essential if you want to continue to make progress in other areas. It is so easy to open the door, and then from my own experience, it's anyone's game. I lost far more often than I won that game.
 

rainy

Pelican
Other Christian
This may sound stupid, but it was something I thought of when committing to no more alcohol.

Pretend you're pregnant.

Dumb, right?

It occurred to me my wife had been pregnant twice. Each time, the second she received the positive test, no more drinking for 8-9 months. Then another year afterwards for breastfeeding purposes.

There wasn't a choice in the matter in her eyes. It wasn't about her desires/habits. It wasn't about whether she liked a glass of wine/beer at night. It was all about the health of the baby she was now carrying.

So from day one, soon as the test was positive, she quit drinking for the next roughly two years. Did it twice. With booze still in the cabinet downstairs. And trust me, there were plenty of nights whether dealing with the aches/pain being 7 months along or dealing with a screaming infant, a beer sounded nice. But she didn't have a drop.

That perspective helped. So much of the initial battle is me, me, me. My cravings. My habits. My routine. My desire to relax and get a buzz. My ability to handle the struggles of life. I'm bored so I'll mix some drinks and watch a game. Well a good pregnant woman is not thinking about "me". It's about the baby. And the process is immediate. No, I need weeks of mental preparation for this.

I reminded myself of that during my first 30 days. If I couldn't make it to 30 days, then I'm a weak, weak individual compared to my wife. Not only did she do it with zero complaints, she did that while I still would have drinks in front of her. Shame on me. Looking back I would have done it differently.

So my advice and what helped me was, work on stepping outside of your inner demons. Ignore the voice in your head rationalizing using your vices. Stop making it about you. What made me stop altogether was a) deciding I'm going to do all I can to reach my potential and fill my purpose, b) be the best husband I can be and c) be the best father I can be and live a healthy, long life to be here for my children.

So I quit for my purpose, my wife, my kids.

And I feel God gave me guidance to reach that decision. It was through prayer I couldn't hide from the reality I wasn't living up to my potential. And I knew to live up to my potential I had to clean up my house. I could ignore that during the day as many do, we're all busy. But in the silence of prayer, it was always there.

Once that viewpoint is accepted, any battling the habit of having drinks after work while I watch Tucker or throwing down a few more simply because it's Saturday was so far in the rearview the thought quickly vanished.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
So this week I will go out on Thursday and Friday and I am very much struggling with the demons in my head telling me to get smashed these two days just for old times sake or just for the fun of it.

I just find being sober to be so relentlessly anxiety inducing.

In one way it's good because as my thoughts are ping ponging around like a pinball machine they hit on various ideas that I never would have thought when utterly consumed with 'is it nearly drinking time?' obsession let alone had the energy or self-esteem to tackle.

But in another way all this thinking and additional energy leads to a restlessness that I crave a beer or 3 to soothe and calm...
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
So this week I will go out on Thursday and Friday and I am very much struggling with the demons in my head telling me to get smashed these two days just for old times sake or just for the fun of it.

I just find being sober to be so relentlessly anxiety inducing.

In one way it's good because as my thoughts are ping ponging around like a pinball machine they hit on various ideas that I never would have thought when utterly consumed with 'is it nearly drinking time?' obsession let alone had the energy or self-esteem to tackle.

But in another way all this thinking and additional energy leads to a restlessness that I crave a beer or 3 to soothe and calm...

This might be a good time to work through Allen Carr's Easy Way to Control Alcohol again, if it's been a while, and start afresh. I can send it across if you want a copy.

Their online on-demand seminars might be a good idea too, just so you can frame everything again. It depends on what you think is best for you.

Personally, if I was experiencing the same urges and anxieties, I'd check if i was praying to God daily, getting enough sleep, drinking too much caffeine, mitigating EMF exposure at night and throughout the day (wifi router off at night, phone on aeroplane mode etc.), tracking my internet usage, drinking enough water, assessing my diet, exercise, finances, work, family, social life etc. etc.

I'm on Day #12 so barely out of the woods yet myself. Long ways to go yet... but we can do it.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
This might be a good time to work through Allen Carr's Easy Way to Control Alcohol again, if it's been a while, and start afresh. I can send it across if you want a copy.

Their online on-demand seminars might be a good idea too, just so you can frame everything again. It depends on what you think is best for you.

Personally, if I was experiencing the same urges and anxieties, I'd check if i was praying to God daily, getting enough sleep, drinking too much caffeine, mitigating EMF exposure at night and throughout the day (wifi router off at night, phone on aeroplane mode etc.), tracking my internet usage, drinking enough water, assessing my diet, exercise, finances, work, family, social life etc. etc.

I'm on Day #12 so barely out of the woods yet myself. Long ways to go yet... but we can do it.

Hi mate,

Started re-reading the book again.
It does land some good points against drinking but I still can't fully buy that alcohol has no positives. I still crave those hours of not feeling down or hating myself or stressed etc...

I am going to go out this evening and not drink.

Tomorrow will be more difficult but doable.
I will say that I was sat in Wetherspoons and thinking about how depressing everything is with drinking. Remembering that feeling of being on pint 2 at 5pm and understanding I had to either sober up and feel dreadful all evening or keep drinking and have tomorrow be a disaster. Thoughts like that are reminders of way it's better to be clean and sober.
 

etwsake

Woodpecker
Catholic
Gold Member
I read Carr's no smoking book out of curiosity, and it amazed me that it helped so many people stop smoking. Even a guy I know! It all boils down to "Decide you don't like smoking anymore and you'll never smoke again."

Huh.

So I perused his "quit drinking" and "stop eating" books and he applied the same formula. "Stop eating pizza cause you decide you don't like it anymore." What a load of crap.

I loved getting blackout drunk, and I'd do it right now if I could. Even after seven years I've never got over the desire to drink. I've been in HUNDREDS of situations where people were drinking.....hanging out on Friday night....weddings, birthday parties, New Years, etc. I never gave in, even with all those people drinking around me.

There were only two occasions I remember in all that time where I just had to get up and leave cause the booze looked so good. I went home, chilled out, and was fine.

If you're in a situation where the temptation is starting to overpower you, just LEAVE. No social function is worth putting yourself in a bad situation like that.

Good luck, dude!
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
Hi mate,

Started re-reading the book again.
It does land some good points against drinking but I still can't fully buy that alcohol has no positives. I still crave those hours of not feeling down or hating myself or stressed etc...

I am going to go out this evening and not drink.

Tomorrow will be more difficult but doable.
I will say that I was sat in Wetherspoons and thinking about how depressing everything is with drinking. Remembering that feeling of being on pint 2 at 5pm and understanding I had to either sober up and feel dreadful all evening or keep drinking and have tomorrow be a disaster. Thoughts like that are reminders of way it's better to be clean and sober.

Yeah the Allen Carr book is obviously not suited for everyone. Actually upon further inspection i realise that the Allen Carr method suits atheists/agnostics way more. It's all about their actions and changing their own mindset, without any intervention from God or recognising His presence in all this. I don't think Allen Carr mentions God once. It seems like an AA for atheists really.

I'll DM you about two books I found which you might want to read instead.

Other than that, I'd say you're doing well man, keep it going. It's good that Wetherspoons is sparking the negative associations, I haven't been back to one in a year or two now. Post-covid scamdemic it gave me enough cause to stay away from them. If you can try to keep away from bars/pubs for a little while at least that would be better, but if the social occasion is held there then fair enough.

Day #15 and counting for me. Hard to believe it was only two weeks ago i was down in the mud. I've stabilised now but still remain vigilant. Getting past my birthday in August will be a challenge, and then all the festive season to come, with its calls for indulgence and "just have one drink, go on", but one day at a time. Must remain vigilant.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
Going to be going out tonight to a very alcohol heavy environment.

Just posting here to remind myself NO EXCUSES.

Do NOT lose the streak now
Had a hard day after failing a job interview and phone call about debt. Tempted to escape but must withstand this stress without an aid.
 

Tippy

Kingfisher
Other Christian
Unfortunately I bought some 'non alcohol beer' which I found out has 'less than 0.5 % alcohol' though still some alcohol.

I will proceed to drink them and not call this an official relapse.

To be honest, I knew what I was buying so I cannot pretend it was a mistake.

I just got bored of drinking Heineken zero...
 
Top