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Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby tbone3443 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:30 pm

I would consider myself a moderate drinker normally and heavy social drinker, and I have been that way for 30+ years. Alcohol was a big part of my life growing up and in the lives of virtually all of my family members-I was always surrounded by heavy drinkers. I have struggled with alcohol addiction for so long that getting heavily intoxicated at parties, having intense hangovers, and having several blackouts annually, seemed like a normal thing for me. Over the past few years I have found that I have been drinking a lot more than usual (not for any reason in particular-perhaps boredom but not sure), and have noticed some health issues related to excess drinking. I have always known it would be helpful to slow down, but will power just never seemed to allow me to do it. It just was too much a part of my life, and my wife’s life, and I thought I was getting at least some benefits from drinking alcohol-like relaxation, reduction of social anxiety, good tasting wine with dinner, etc. A few months back I had an episode where I started drinking by myself (which was unusual) when my wife was in the other room on a Friday night. By the time she came out to enjoy the night with me, I was almost unconscious after rapidly drinking wine-I had lost control. I could barely even respond to her, and I woke up the next day with an intense hangover, and not remembering what I had done. It was time for a major change in my life, but I just didn’t know how to do it. I tried for a few months, but was recently at a party where I probably drank 10+ drinks in a few hours. It was depressing. I have denied for so long that I was an "alcoholic", saying that I can still function well on my job and generally in society and with friends, but after the past couple of years, and especially the last few months, I just cant deny it anymore. I am an alcoholic.

However, I just stumbled on a book by Allen Carr called “Easy Way to Control Alcohol”. Allen Carr also wrote a book called “Easy Way to Quit Smoking” which has a shockingly high success rate- over 80% of people immediately and forever stopped smoking. Seems too hard to believe? That’s what I thought. But he uses the same techniques to get people to immediately and forever stop drinking. Even AA will tell you that their ultimate results are not good-that people that use the program are no better off in terms of curing their addiction, whether they join the program or not. To me, this implies AA is more a place for people to commiserate and feel better about their addiction, than to actually cure it. So even a slight improvement over AA would help. But Allen Carr goes at the problem a completely different way-by exploring why you drink and eliminating the desire to drink at all, so that you are not committing your life to saying you are an addict and only willpower will stop you from diving deep into the abyss-that is a painful way to live the rest of your life. He breaks down all the “benefits” you think you are getting from putting that foul tasting poison into your body-the benefits you think you are getting are an illusion.

Well, I read the book and WOW. It both confirmed what I already knew, that I am in an advanced stage of alcoholism, but almost unbelievably, I feel like I have virtually no desire to drink. Yes, I know, hard to believe, but at least as of Day 4, it is true. I feel completely different about my attitudes towards drinking, and it sickens me to think about the poison I have been putting in my body for so many years, with no benefits to me whatsoever The only thing that I am dreading now is how I am going to tackle the social part of it (not drinking with my wife at dinner, not drinking at parties, etc) and wondering if I have enough strength to tell others what I really feel-that I don’t want a drink, not even 1. If you have tried an failed many times like me to stop drinking, I suggest you give this book a try-you don’t have much to lose, and it could potentially be the most significant book you have ever ready, if alcoholism is a big problem in your life.

I know this is early. I am not naïve enough to think that I wont have future challenges with alcohol, or that I am 100% sure this will work for the rest of my life, but it sure feels like it today. Day 4 of my recovery. I have had ZERO drinks so far.
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Re: Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby NewSunRising » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:48 am

I will say that there are a huge amount of Allan Carr fans and his success rates do seem impressive . I'm really glad it's helping you . I tried reading his Quit Smoking book but alas , it didn't do anything for me .

I have recently quit drinking for good , not because I drank to excess but because the physical effects were getting ridiculous . I'm not talking about hangovers either . One drink would jack up my sleep for days . Up in the middle of the night , again at 5:00 AM , exhausted by 3:00 PM the next day but can't get to sleep until midnight ... it happened every.single.time .

Yet for some reason , I still kept auto-ordering a drink when out with friends . It just felt odd not to after half a lifetime of social drinking . Ordering a beer or a glass of wine was an almost unconscious act when in a group . What helped break that habit was restricting my evenings out to the weekdays for a month or two . Telling myself that I had to work in the morning helped overcome the knee-jerk reaction of ordering alcohol simply because everyone else was . And honestly - my social circles have quite quickly gotten accustomed to my abstaining . We're all older adults , none of us has the " Let's get hammered and have a good time " mindset . A few of them occasionally join me in having an alcohol-free evening .

I don't think you should have to dread social occasions unless you feel you'll be tempted to drink . I personally am impervious to peer pressure now and I don't really hang around people who engage in it . I think you'll be fine with some simple , honest statements , should anyone ask why you're not drinking .

These days the only reason I need for declining to do something is " I don't want to ." :mrgreen:
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Re: Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby tbone3443 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:32 pm

Thank you so much for the response. I so want to live the life you are living with no drinking, and Im glad you were able to completely stop. Perhaps it wasn’t so much Allen Carr, but rather I had finally got to a point in my life that I knew something had to change, and this book finally opened my eyes to what I have been doing to myself. (Maybe the book would not have worked on me 10 or 20 years ago because I couldn’t see that I had a real problem).

Interesting what you have said about your social circles. My social circles tend to drink pretty heavily. I used to feel that is was ok that I drank so much because people in my social circles did as well, but then I have to look at the fact that perhaps I have those social circles BECAUSE I drink so much.

I sit here on Day 6 thinking about all the holiday events coming up this year and getting together with my social circle and my wife who drinks pretty heavily too. You are right, I should just be honest with them and tell them I have no desire to drink. But while they are all enjoying the Holiday cheer, it seems like telling them is a huge obstacle to overcome, and I am anxious about it. Plus, if I do give in, after my first drink, will that once again lead me to just having 10+ drinks again and going back into the same routine? Your friends have gotten accustomed to you not drinking-but Im not yet sure how that would go with my friends. Do I lose those friends because they think Im a bore for not joining in the Holiday cheer (and perhaps are they not friends I should have in the first place if they do)? If I say I am abstaining and dont have a good excuse, do they think I am an alcoholic in recovery mode, and do they then feel less inclined/comfortable to hang out with me from now on? Most importantly, does it hurt the relationship with my wife-we have a relationship where alcohol is such a big part of it (we met while we were both drunk too many years ago, and fell in love while drinking alot), and what does that relationship look like without alcohol-is it better or worse? I cant help but feeling a little anxious about it, but I do know that right now, I still have zero desire to drink at all during these upcoming social events.
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Re: Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby NewSunRising » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:08 am

I started out telling people that I wasn't drinking because it was causing me health problems ( the sleep thing ) so I was " taking a break " for a while . I'm still on that break . :D Some of my friends are pretty heavy drinkers too . I tend to bow out early before they get really drunk and rowdy . I didn't make any announcement about it , I just ordered a coke and no one really commented . If they did , I usually said something like " Yeah , taking a break . Booze has been messing up my sleep lately . " or " I don't feel like drinking tonight . Got too much to do tomorrow ." Then I changed the subject and that was the end of that conversation . You could also tell them that you are your wife's designated driver tonight .

I don't have a partner to consider so my situation is a little less complicated . You may find that being with your wife when she's drunk isn't that great when you're sober . I have a friend who drinks and his wife doesn't . She's OK with him getting drunk when they're out but retires to a separate bedroom when they get home . She wants nothing to do with him while he's still inebriated . It's an agreement that they've come to . I've personally found that my tolerance for drunk people drops dramatically when I'm not one of them .

I think it also depends on what " state of drunk " your wife usually gets in . That can vary from funny/giggly/cute to loud/combative/needs help to walk . What are you willing to deal with as the non-drinking partner ? How receptive is she to limiting her own consumption when you're out together ?

I think it's something you two should discuss . Her drinking doesn't make her "bad" just because you don't anymore but it is going to change things . You can prepare yourselves for those changes now .
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Re: Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby tbone3443 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:37 pm

Thanks NewSunRising, that really helps. I feel reluctant to tell people I gave up completely, and I think giving excuses like the ones you have could help a lot. It seems like your friends have accepted your excuses with not much of an issue, and that is great. I was thinking about perhaps ordering one drink when out with friends/my wife, and “milking” the drink all night, but not sure if that is the right thing to do, because Im not sure of the path that will lead me down.

My wife is the real issue. I “think” I could deal with my friends “if” I didn’t have a wife that drunk moderately/heavily when we went out. There have been times in the past I have not drunk much (perhaps I was losing weight or something at the time) and got some pressure from her to “keep up”. There have been many other times where I have been drinking and she has not, and I can tell you for sure, she doesn’t like that at all-and gets annoyed/angry at me (understandably) very easily. Although I consider it a very good marriage, I think the biggest fights we have ever had are when we are both very drunk, or one of us was very drunk, and the other was not nearly as drunk (a good sign that alcohol is not good for relationships).

This past weekend, my wife was drinking at home and I wasn’t. I kind of fooled her into thinking I was drinking by having soda water, because I wasn’t ready to handle the conversation about alcohol with her yet. I think I can deal with her drinking a lot better than she can with mine, so I don’t think it is much of a problem for me. She for the most part is fun while she is drinking. But we were home, and going out and spending time together (with or without friends) is the real challenge. It will be interesting to see if/how I can successfully deal with this, but I think you are right, communication is the key. I am going to talk to her about it because I know she wants to cut back too.

Thanks again for the post, I really appreciate it. Day 8.
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Re: Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby NewSunRising » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:07 am

I think your friends might factor into this a lot less than you think they will . I mean , you're still you - just without a glass of booze in your hand . If you act like it's no big deal , they will react like it's no big deal . And it shouldn't be a big deal .

If one of my friends told me that alcohol was adversely affecting his health now and he gave it up , I would be completely supportive . I would also expect that he would do the same for me . If I need to wreck my liver , inflict myself with a hangover and risk a DUI every weekend so my friends will " like " me , then why would I want these people as friends anyway ?

The attitude of " Oh , so you're better than us now ? " or " You're not any fun to hang out with if you're not drinking ." is seriously a High School ( or more accurately , Elementary School ) response .
Are the people you know normally that childish ? Have you ever seen them turn on anyone else for not being " in the club " or declining to take part in what they consider fun ?

Millions of people don't touch a drop of alcohol for reasons of their own . You have the right to be one of them .

I recently told another friend that I stopped drinking because it was doing me absolutely no good anymore . I said " I might as well tell the bartender to charge me triple for a soda then hit me in the head with a brick just before I leave . The effect is the same . " :mrgreen:
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Re: Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby tbone3443 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:18 am

Great/funny post! Its like we are all living in a society where everyone is paying to get (metaphorically) hit by bricks and we have to all pretend we like it. No more! You are right, I doubt this will happen, but if other people cant accept the fact that I don’t want to drink anymore, how can I consider them much of a friend anyway. Thanks again!
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Re: Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby Wally58 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:05 am

I have heard that the real alcoholic cannot control their drinking and there is no cure for alcoholism. I found this to be true in my case. I was unable to limit my drinking once I started and would not know how it ended. The only path for me was to quit drinking.
If alcoholism is thought of as a chronic disease, such as diabetes, it can be arrested at some point and recovery is then possible. Fixing any underlying issues, like depression or personality disorders can only be effective once the haze of alcohol is lifted from the mind. I always used to think of my next drink and when I could crack that bottle again.
You don't have to make excuses for not drinking. "Doctors orders" works and usually stops people from inquiring further. Most people won't notice or care whether you are drinking or not.
Close friends of mine knew that I had a problem with it and welcomed my trying to get sober. I have met some people that I used to drink with in AA. They grinned and told me "It's about time you got here, we've been waiting for you". :mrgreen: It was good to see that they were alive, recovering, happy and still had a sense of humor.
I remember the anxiety I felt at going to parties, celebrations and going out of town alone in early sobriety. I kept my 24 hour coin in my pocket and knew that it was there and that I didn't have to drink.
'Not having to drink' was a concept that I would have never thought of until someone told me that. It was a profound moment when I realized that he was right. 'I didn't have to drink'. :shock:
It has been 30 years one day at a time. AA got me involved as coffemaker, greeter and service work to the rehabs and detoxes. It got me involved with people, where before I tried to hide from people.
I quit smoking at the same time, as I always did the 2 together. I had a sweet-tooth for awhile. I distracted myself with work and staying busy at first, just to keep my mind off drinking. It got easier, the longer I stayed sober. Be careful with excessive sugar and caffeine.
Life isn't perfect. There are still difficult, but not unmanageable days. I still make mistakes. I do trust my decision-making and judgement nowadays. I have friends. I have self-respect. I have a drivers license. If I feel a need to burp, I enjoy plain seltzer. I'm still learning.
Best of luck to you. :D
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Re: Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby tbone3443 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:11 pm

Thanks Wally58, I really appreciate the response. I love to hear success stories like yours. You are right, one shouldn’t have to use excuses for not drinking. I am trying to figure out how to do this though when I am out with friends who I normally drink a lot with, as I know I will get the question as to why I am not drinking like I use to. “Doctors orders” is a good one, but I don’t want to raise alarms. I think I will probably just say I am trying to get healthy.

I have gone the last 11 days without being intoxicated. That might be the first time I have done that in years , perhaps decades (i.e not having at least a couple drinks during at least one day during that length of time). I understand everyone is different and you are not able to have even one drink. The good thing about “The Easy Way…” method is that it really takes away any desire to drink, and one therefore does not need willpower to stop from drinking. I am feeling that now, and have been for 11 days.

My wife wanted to drink last night, and she did, so I played the part. I had about a half a beer (dumped half) and sipped on a wine spritzer. Total, I had less than one drink over a 6 hour time period, so I didn’t feel buzzed at all. My wife didn’t even notice that I wasn’t drinking, as once anyone starts drinking, they tend to no notice what others are doing as much. Im still worried about having the conversation with her about alcohol. But I was so encouraged that even when I started to drink, I just had no desire to continue. The taste was bad and I cringed at the small amount of poison I was putting in my body, and I didn’t want anything to do with going into the fog of intoxication. I wouldn’t have had any but just haven’t had the courage to say to my wife that I really want to quit completely.
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Re: Easy Way to Control Drinking

Postby Wally58 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:01 pm

Many bar servers will appreciate 'designated drivers' and take care of them. Bars can face prosecution and lawsuits for over-serving an individual.
This will also free up the people who want to drink to intoxication from worrying about driving home.
A seltzer with a twist looks remarkably like a gin & tonic.
A ginger ale looks remarkably like a beer.
I stayed away from situations involving alcohol at first, until I felt stronger and had someone there in recovery for support. Don't go if you are hungry, angry or tired. Have an exit planned if you need to leave.
My problem was once I started drinking, I couldn't tell when I would stop. Alcoholism is the only disease that tells us that we don't have it.
I read about alcohol as a physical allergy. That starts the craving for more.
https://www.alcoholproblemsandsolutions ... o-alcohol/
It is the way we are wired. It is not a choice, therefore willpower may not work.
I feel that if willpower truly was effective, there would be no alcoholics, drug addicts or relapses.
I couldn't do this alone. I needed others for support. There is strength in numbers.
I also needed to deal with my past. It was helpful for me to enter counseling and attend AA.
Left to my own devices and old coping mechanisms, I would not have made it.
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