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Quitting Drinking

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Fuh Real, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Fuh Real

    Fuh Real Guest

    I'm a regular poster wanting to remain anonymous for the topic at hand. I always noticed a thread on quitting smoking, but I didn't see one on quitting drinking (alcohol).

    Sometimes for me drinking can be a fun and relaxing thing around family and friends. Other times, I see what it can do to relationships. I do not want to go down the same road as several of my friends with alcohol abuse, so I want to stop now. Recently, I think it might have caused tremendous damage to a relationship of mine. I do not want it to go any deeper.

    I do not drink every night, nor do I drink every night on the weekends. I just want to be done with it. I am reaching out looking for help. What are some steps to stop? I know about AA and things, but I am not to the point where I need that. To those who have experience with the subject at hand (stopping drinking), what worked? To anyone who wants to lend a post of advice, I thank you in advance. I also expect the usual sarcasm. So please, what works and how do you get it out of your life?
  2. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    Well, I think one of the keys is to take yourself out of situations that focus on drinking. I've never had a drinking problem, but I did go through a phase where I made mistakes in my life because I surrounded myself with the wrong people. Removing myself from those people helped a lot.

    But there will be a few who are true friends rather than just drinking buddies. You'll have to be around them. When that happens, make sure you have an option to drinking. For example, go to a party with a mini-keg of root beer. They make them, because I've had one. Or maybe bring along some gum or candy. Or just stay for a short time. Or bring along a game.

    And remember that, like cigarettes, you'll be able to save money. You should make sure to enjoy that extra cash. Go to a ballgame or take a vacation. It's certainly possible because I know people who spend $300-$400 a month on drinking.

    Also, you might need to find something to do when everyone else is at the bar. I started running. I remember running past the bar at 9 p.m. and seeing people I knew stumbling in and out. They were three sheets to the wind and I was four miles into a six-mile run.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    You arent drinking every day and you arent binging, so that's good.
    To ome, the older you get the easier it was. I understand about being set in your ways, but... I used to go to the bar after work 8 days a week. It was my social club.
    But as I got older, I realized that wasn't importanrt. A drink or two on occasion to relax is not unhealthy; recognizing that you always need to do that to relax is.
    Simply, it starts with your own willpower and ability to say no -- just like a diet. OK over simplified, but turn to your own selfcontrol first. Drink water, plenty of it. try fruitjuices.... wean your body of the desire.
    If you cant, then look to external sources...

    (and so you aren't disappointed -- you want to quit drinking and you call yourself a journalist... HAH)
  4. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Some good advice from Heineken. A very good friend of mine struggled with the bottle for years, in and out of rehab, on and off the wagon. Finally he decided the best way for him to kick it was to cut ties with us, to minimize the temptation since we were all pretty heavy drinkers at that time.

    Nobody saw him until he resurfaced at the funeral for a friend's father in February. He's been sober for 15 years now and as much as we all felt that we had been supportive of his efforts to get off the bottle before the only way he could really do it was to move on and start over. He said he regrets bailing on all his friends now but I imagine he'd be dead otherwise.
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Pvt. three_bags, Spc. three_bags, and even young Sgt. three_bags were sometimes (read: all the fucking time) stupid soldiers. Those guys didn't know when to quit; they didn't think about the consequences of staying out 'till 3 a.m. with PT in the morning. They didn't think about the consequences of missing formation or, better yet, a day of class, because they were hung over. In one of the most important schools of my life, missing class because I was hungover cost me being named the honor graduate.

    I don't know when the switch flipped, but somewhere along the way, it did. The older, more mature Staff Sgt. three_bags and (in 21 days) 2nd Lt. three_bags -- not to mention soon-to-be-father three_bags -- knows when to turn down those six shots of tequila and leave the party at 11 p.m., rather than 2 a.m.

    I still drink. I can still drink alot. I just don't do it as often.

    This probably didn't help much, Fuh Real, but I guess it goes back to what slappy said: It was part of growing older, for me.
  6. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    No offence, Fuh Real, but if you "don't think you're at the point where you need AA," just by talking about it, you probably are.
    I'm not an alcoholic, but I could easily have been one by now. It's in my family, and I'm one of those guys that, unless I'm careful and concious of it, I can be the last to leave and have more than I should have.
    I guess the biggest thing is to be concious of it -- be worried about it. When you go to the bar, have a soft drink instead. Have three or four of them to start. By that time, the people you're with or the bar you're in, the people will have a buzz on. Somebody will be a sloppy drunk. Or loud. Or foolish. That could have been you.
    It's powerful motivation, believe me -- especially if you have a reputation and a job to protect.
    You're not going to get away from every social beer or drink, but I always make sure I put it down with something still in the bottle or glass. First time somebody offers me a refill, I say no. I don't entirely rule out another one, but that gives you a few more minutes -- and a little more time to observe the effects -- before you have another one. And again, leave something in the glass. After a couple of that -- two max -- leave.
    Don't drive. But leave.
  7. Quit for a designated time. Set a goal and reach it. Some people find it convenient to quit for Lent, for example.
    I decided to quit from 45 until I turned 50. Since then, I've been more moderate than I ever thought I could be. Some cycle in me broke down and my relationship with alcohol changed.
    Not saying it works for everyone, but it's a way to start.
  8. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Even though I play rugby I don't drink and with the exception of two beers in Hawaii two years ago, I haven't in over a decade.
    I don't know how I quit other than the fact that one day I just decided I didn't want it in my life anymore.
    In high school I never drank. In college I drank a lot. Every time I hear about some college kid dying in a binge-drinking incident, I think "There but for the grace of God go I."
    Once I got to my mid-20s, the hangovers lasted longer and felt worse. I also had to drive everywhere I went. Career-wise and socially, I wasn't where I wanted to be in my life and thought maybe alcohol was something that was holding me back. I thought, I got along well without it for 18 years, why not trying getting along without it again.
    I still have problems, lots of problems, but a lot of good things in my life, too. I just feel if I were still drinking, I'd have a lot more problems.
    Regardless of how you quit, whether you get help or not, what it comes down to is that just about everything we do is to either seek pleasure or avoid pain. Once you decide that the pain that comes with the consequences of drinking outweigh the pleasure you get from it, you're ready to quit.
  9. Fuh Real

    Fuh Real Guest

    Thank you for all of your advice. I am taking into consideration everything you are saying and going to try to insert it ASAP into my life. Please continue with the advice, it is very very helpful. Thank you all again.
  10. Pick and choose what you want from this thread. There is no one cure-all.

    I had a buddy who struggled mightily through high school and into college with booze. Smartest fucking guy I know. He should be a doctor right now. But he couldn't handle it. Dropped out of school and damn near dropped out of life. Me and others did just about everything we could think of and nothing worked. AA didn't work. Rehab didn't work. One day, he got in his car and took off and drove cross country by himself. He had a 'come to jesus' type of moment on top of a mountain in Colorado. That was eight years ago. He hasn't a drop since. He got married last summer and is one happy fucker.
    The point of that is this: It's on you, ultimately. There are outside things (AA, rehab, friends and family, etc) that can help. But it is all on you.
    So start this off by yourself. Take Fenian's advice...quit for a month and see how you feel. Then make it two months. Then six. If it is hard and if you are thinking about it and missing it, then you are going to need to some help. But it still comes back to you. You have to make the change.

    I partied hard in high school and college and then for a year after college. I reeled it back after I met my wife to be and reeled it back more after my daughter was born. About a year ago, I started hitting the sauce pretty hard again. Not getting drunk, but drinking almost nightly. I hated my job and always felt the need to "take the edge off." I always thought that was ridiculous when I heard "alcoholics" say that, but that it how I felt. I changed jobs and when I found myself still drinking, I knew it was time for a change. I quit for four months. After two weeks, I felt better and didn't even miss it. In fact, during that four months, the only time I thought about it was when my friends would give me shit (jokingly of course) when we'd be out at a restaurant or playing cards or whatever. But it was easy for me. Now, I have a glass of wine a couple times of week, more so for the health benefits than anything. I've had a couple nights of having a couple beers with the guys. I haven't had any problems with stopping after a couple. I haven't had any urges to make those nights occur with greater frequency. I've learned that I can handle alcohol in moderation. But everyone is different.

    Best of luck.
  11. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    If you have an Employee Assistance Program where you work, make an appointment with a counselor and see if you can work on this problem.

    From your post (I could be wrong) it didn't sound like alcohol is controlling your life so I don't know that AA would be the best route - this sounds like somebody who wants to break a bad habit or improve.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I've watched two colleagues die (one directly and one indirectly) because of alcoholism... It's pretty scary and that, combined with having kids was enough for me to (for the most part) give up alcohol... I think I can count on one hand how many alcoholic drinks I've had in the last year...
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