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Thread: Your relationship with alcohol. Don't know how to reintroduce booze

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    Default Your relationship with alcohol. Don't know how to reintroduce booze

    I'm curious to hear how beyond treats alcohol now that most of us have "aged".

    I have been sober for 13 months now. Not a drop. The sign for me to stop/take a break was when I realized I couldn't remember a single day I had not had a drink in over two years! I was able to stop cold turkey by myself. No formal support. I don't know if I would be labeled an alcoholic. I was averaging half a bottle to a full bottle of wine a night. Never slammed, just comfortably buzzed. This was also easily a $300-400/month habit not including going out.

    It was a crutch. I drank to feel comfortable out socializing. I drank when I skied. I drank to numb work stress. Pretty much any excuse was found except when driving was my responsibility.

    I found it interesting how little support I received when I decided to go for an elongated break. Most of my friends joked constantly. My parents complained that I wouldn't have a drink with them. It certainly made it harder. I am very thankful that my wife and I found out we were expecting a month later after I started, so her not drinking also really helped me as there was no more wine bottles being popped open at the end of the day.

    My goal was always 12 months. 12 months and then reassess. I surely thought I'd figure out why I drank so excessively and come up with a new respect for it after 12 long months. Unfortunately, I'm hesitant more than ever. I miss the taste. I enjoy the social aspect of it. I would like to have a drink responsibly again some day.

    I've found it very difficult to find any literature that isn't black and white, ie. you're an alcoholic, you'll always be one, don't drink again. Yada yada yada

    So! My question is this: Have any of you taken an elongated break? Did you have success reintroducing it into your lives or do you find yourself in your same old routine?
    Last edited by cycosis; 11-05-2018 at 03:51 PM.
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    I just read your post twice. It's starts out saying you drank a lot. Then stated the reasons you drank. Then denounce the possibility you may have had a drinking problem.

    It sounds like you've come a long way after a year and definitely recognized that, which is great. The fact you've made this thread, that is you questioning drinking again, should honestly be enough to realize maybe drinking isn't a good choice for you right now. A bottle of wine per night is excessive and you've listed a myriad reasons of why drinking felt good for you, which to me possibly states some underlying issues that are much more important to rectify than if you should drink or not. A counselor would be a really great start for that conversation.

    My own opinion and experience suggests many of the things you're describing is an Alcoholic to a T, and you know what, you're not there anymore so good on you! I would strongly proceed with caution about ever drinking again - the fact is your body may react to differently to alcohol and how it's processed compared to others, and that's ok. Someone very close to me has been sober over 25 years, helps out with AA routinely and talks about his alcoholism very openly, both while he was drinking and while sober. The thought of drinking again scares the shit out of him.

    Whatever you end up deciding here and the discussion that follows, I would strongly suggest talking to someone professionally about the crutches you described.
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    Congrats on 13 months of alcohol-free living! That's a great achievement.

    I struggled with overconsumption for a number of years without realizing it. 1/2 bottle to full bottle a night is definitely overindulgence in my opinion. I decided to quit cold turkey myself, but only made it to 7 months. When I decided I was comfortable to introduce alcohol into my life again I set limitations on my consumption. I have limited my consumption to maximum of 4 beers during the week(2/night max), and 4 beers during the weekend. I have cut out hard alcohol completely since I was drinking it before as an escape and not to enjoy. It's easy to fall back into your old routine, so it helps to have somebody hold you accountable. I've told my wife about my intentions and goals and she has been very supportive in ensuring I don't drink more than I have set out.


    I do not enjoy the person I am when I am intoxicated and I feel that my change has made a major improvement in my lifestyle over the last year.

    My $0.02. Good luck brother.

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    First of all, congrats to anyone who has made a positive change or fixed an Alcohol problem in their lives. My cousin killed herself with booze, so I have seen the absolute worst of it first hand.

    As for myself, I am not in my 20's anymore, and I get 3-day hangovers if I get drunk, so I never drink past the point of tipsy and only really on events or occasions. That is more than enough of a deterrent for me. My drinking has basically been reduced from binge drinking every weekend when I was 18-20 years old to very rarely drinking, limited to occasions or trying the odd new beer/wine. Some months I have zero drinks, others maybe 5 or so tops. My drinking has been cut by 95%++ compared to 10-15 years ago but thankfully I never developed a problem with it.

    Rather than take any structured breaks, my routine just kind of naturally changed proportionate to how crappy I felt the next day and now I rarely drink. I haven't been really drunk in years and the thought of a 3-day hangover is enough to keep it that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cycosis View Post
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    I found it interesting how little support I received when I decided to go for an elongated break.
    Yep. I've taken a few longer 4-6 week breaks, and this is always the worst part. Lots of people seem to take it as a personal insult if you won't drink with them. No matter what true or fabricated reason you give them. In the end, it's probably best to cut some of those people out of your life anyway.

    Also, from a finance and health standpoint, there's a lot of good reasons to never drink alcohol. I fully support anyone who makes that decision, no matter what their reasons.
    Let's all work on positivity this week.

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    This thread hits hard to home.

    I feel like I’m in the same boat as you when you started your journey. I want to quit / slow down and no one wants to support it...

    Congratulations on 13 months though! I can’t comment on whether you should start up again or not. Personally if I could quit it would be forever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KPHMPH View Post
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    This thread hits hard to home.

    I feel like I’m in the same boat as you when you started your journey. I want to quit / slow down and no one wants to support it...

    Congratulations on 13 months though! I can’t comment on whether you should start up again or not. Personally if I could quit it would be forever.

    I support you brother! Took me a near death experience to make the change needed in my life. Don't let a bigger event be the trigger for you to make the change.

    Easier said than done, but if you need somebody to chat to I'm always there for somebody trying to make a positive change in their life!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cycosis View Post
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    So! My question is this: Have any of you taken an elongated break? Did you have success reintroducing it into your lives or do you find yourself in your same old routine?
    Congrats on your progress here.

    Don't have much to contribute, but my brother was probably as close to being an alcholic as you can get or maybe was one. But what he did was quit drinking for 3-4 years and just really figure out his life. What he wanted, new hobbies, etc etc. He now casually drinks at holidays or weddings or maybe a beer with dinner and hasn't had any issues, but I think really addressing what he wanted from life was the biggest step. I do think it was a lifestyle change that really helped him out the most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BavarianBeast View Post
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    I support you brother! Took me a near death experience to make the change needed in my life. Don't let a bigger event be the trigger for you to make the change.

    Easier said than done, but if you need somebody to chat to I'm always there for somebody trying to make a positive change in their life!
    Take this man up on that opportunity!
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    I have gone through periods in my life when I drank far more often than is good, but as soon as I recognize it is becoming a habit I stop and take a break. I have not been in that position for quite a long time now, but even then, I will sometimes have a single scotch every night for months, and then none for months. I think that having a single scotch in the evening because I enjoy the taste and ritual and like to collect different varieties is different than getting a buzz on (or hammered) every night.

    I think when you are drinking to compensate in your life is when you need to take a step back and assess what is going on, but if a year has gone by and you decide to share a bottle of wine when you are out for dinner or have a scotch in front of the fire is not an issue, but if you find it draws you back into regular drinking for effect, you may be going down the wrong road.
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    Whatever you choose to do, I wish you good luck. Hope you make responsible decisions. If you've dropped it cold turkey for over a year already, do you really need it at all? If you do enjoy a few drinks now and then, are you positive you have self control to not turn it into a black out every time? It's important to be honest with yourself if you're going to dabble again.

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    I am not in a 100% break, but my consumption is WAY down. And like you, I didn't find it that difficult to stop.

    I don't go to bars anymore. Once you realize that you are only going to a bar to have fun, and that means getting drunk to have fun, you learn pretty quick how dumb that is.

    Now, I buy a case a beer maybe once a year. I have a 26oz bottle of rye in my desk now with about 1/3rd left in it going on 2 years now.

    Basically now, the rule I follow is, if we go out for dinner somewhere nice-ish, I will have a pint of beer with my meal, and not feel pressured to finish the beer. Or if I am together with some friends building something, I can have a beer or 2 with them. still lets you be social without the ridicule. And it can be refreshing.

    Other than that, we don't really have any alcohol in the house, and that makes it super easy to abstain. Basically turn it into a special occasion thing. realize you don't need that drink to be happy or have fun. Unfortunately for a lot of people, it is their default setting, and you have to be able to resist it.
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    Congrats, that is quite the achievement.
    It's unfortunate that the people around you offered little/no support.
    I realized several weeks ago that since before the summer had even started I have been drinking every single day. Not excessive, but every single day. It was routine to come home and have 1-2 beers or ciders every evening. I have recently stopped drinking on weekdays and have limited myself to alcohol on weekends only, I haven't told anyone but my closest friend, and I prefer it that way.
    I sleep much better but I also noticed how not so great I feel after drinking on the weekends, perhaps there will come a time where I will stop consuming alcohol, I am not sure. I used it to cope and I needed that every single day. I wish you the best of luck.
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    Congrats OP.

    Alcoholism is rife in my family and extended family. My ex girlfriend was a severe alcoholic. Go to any Punjabi wedding, alcohol is rampant.


    I don't have much of a support network as im alone here. So im careful of how I drink and that it does not become a place of comfort or a tool to numb psychological pain.
    I remember running a family business a few years back. I was having a odd drink almost every day. It got to the point it was like.. just another drink thats all. When I became aware what was happening I stopped right away and took a break. I did not find this approach healthy for myself (I SPEAK THIS FOR MYSELF ONLY). It becomes a psychological fight.

    I went back to my old habit prior to immigrating which was more of a French method. If I drink its with food. My limit is two drinks (hard liquor) and if I do drink otherwise, its in the company of good friends and good conversations (again two drinks). I don't drink as a reward (i.e end of the work week). I NEVER drink alone. Even when I have lady friends over . I hardly drink.

    I have alcohol at home. I never touch it unless someone is over for dinner. Even then because im a host, I hardly drink.
    So these rules have helped me managed it and its less of a psychological fight and social problem.

    So its not so much the alcohol, its more of my relationship with it. But everyone is different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KPHMPH View Post
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    This thread hits hard to home.

    I feel like Iím in the same boat as you when you started your journey. I want to quit / slow down and no one wants to support it...

    Congratulations on 13 months though! I canít comment on whether you should start up again or not. Personally if I could quit it would be forever.
    I am also here to help or talk if you need it. I certainly had a problem that does progress year after year if it continues ....
    I am happy to say as of today closing in on 11 months of complete Sobriety. I needed it. Do you know what charactizes a true alcoholic ? Simple one that doesnít have an off switch and cannot stop after a drink and just keeps on going. Sure there are more clissificarions on who is or isnít but thatís really it. I needed more than just myself because I alone couldnít do it. So I got the help and support I needed. It certainly is an adjustment and have had to completely change my life style but at the end of the day Iam much happier and healthy. Donít plan on having another drop. Now does a little ďGreenĒ change that sober classification..? Perhaps another discussion entirely...
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    Well if it's affecting your life in a negative way, then you can probably do without it.

    Alcohol I can easily go without. I can go months without a sip as it's not important to me. It has always been a social thing (friends, partying etc.) I'm a light weight anyway and get buzzed after the 1st drink, by the 5th drink might as well take me home. I hate the hangovers now too. I didn't get them but something about turning 35 lol, hangovers, delayed recovery from gym, can't sleep etc. but still decently fit.

    Cannabis oil tho, must must must have. I tried to cut it a few weeks back and bad idea haha went a week of averaging 2-3 hours rest a night and some nights no rest.

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    Interesting to see other people’s points of view/struggles. If you are wanting to take a break, take it one day at a time! The first few weeks are the hardest. I found I no longer had cravings after about 2-3 months.

    The positives that I’ve experienced this year have been immense. I recognized how miserable I was at my job of 6 years (family business) and I decided to leave in April. Found a new job 2 weeks later and I have a boss/owner who are investing in me and challenging me. I stopped having the daily morning headaches. My wife and I started saving all the cash we would have spent on booze and went on a shopping spree after the one year was up. I have more energy. I learned how to socialize and have fun at parties without the crutch of a glass in my hand which was probably one of he biggest struggles.

    As I said before, I miss wine. I miss the taste. I want to go on more wine tours in the future with my wife. I just don’t think I’m ready yet to try it. I also now have a 3 month old and I’m thoroughly enjoying being present for all his moments. I have a lot of pride in my accomplishment and I don’t want to feel like I failed myself.
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    I too took a 1 year break about 5 years ago. It was much needed. I couldn't believe how much better I felt and slept. Lately, I can't really drink much at all. I go from nothing -> hangover in 2 beer. So Im either not feeling anything or I feel terrible. My Dad is the same and doesn't drink very much if at all anymore. And even if he has 1 glass of wine my mom has to drive. I still drink now, it comes and goes with how much, currently it is very low. I haven't felt good and need my body to do things in the next few months that sleeping off a hangover isn't going to cut. Example even this weekend I had probably 8 beer at a big party and concert with my friends over the course of 7 or 8 hours and felt terrible. Next day, had 1 glass of wine with my dinner and a cocktail. And this was after I dropped a lot of money to spend with these guys, to fly there, buy tickets to the events, etc. No one pressured me, no one even commented on it.

    My relationship with alcohol has changed so much, which is partly a shame because I truly love how beer is crafted and what you can do with it. I've actually purchased PC non-alcoholic beer and drink it quite a bit. 1/3 the calories, no alcohol, and doesn't taste like a pilsner.

    As for your friends, I caught some flak but it was all in good fun (mostly). I think if it isn't guys picking on guys it would be people who feel like they too might have a problem but aren't willing to confront it yet. Now I have no idea but this is just a guess. On top of that, I think that it is sometimes bigger in our heads than in reality. I know a few people who don't drink, like never ever had, and it never makes going out strange with them. No one picks on them. Just "hey beer?" "no thanks, don't drink". I think when I recently quit it was like "Oh no thanks I am just taking a break.... blah blah" and people just assume that you're looking for an excuse.

    Whatever you chose to do, go back to it or not, take breaks from it or not, do what is best for you. I think since you're making this post you know the right answer, you just don't really like that it is the right answer.

    Overall, you're not alone. Probably not by a long shot honestly but I am sure it feels like it sometimes. Just you do you and let other people do themselves.
    Last edited by The Cosworth; 11-05-2018 at 09:38 PM.
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    I stopped for a year when I was 19 because I was a fatty. Have also gone through periods where I would have a 12-24 drinks a week.

    Last year and this year me and the Mrs have done 2 clean eating and no drinking months
    February, after the holidays, and September, after the summer. Has worked really well and helps keep the weight in check.

    Also I drank a lot in the first 5-6 months after the baby was born. Was a stressful time.. booze is great.
    Last edited by dirtsniffer; 11-05-2018 at 10:08 PM.

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    Keep seeing the number 21 thrown around to change your habits. So if you can make it to 21 days you can form a new habit whatever it is.

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