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Discussion Starter #1
So... I've come to the realization that I need to slow down in the drinking. I drink every day. At least 3 glasses of wine. As a mom and a healthy eater I know this is too much. Last night... It was probably 4 glasses.

I have a very hard time going without alcohol even for a day.

Do I need to stop cold turkey? Or should I just reduce my intake?
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You've probably tried cutting down in the past and already know that isn't successful. Cold turkey with an occasional glass with dinner out of the house would be my recommendation. If you have a bottle in the house its too easy to keep drinking it til the bottle is empty. Ymmv.
 

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Absolutely cold turkey. Basically there are two things with addictions (a) the addiction itself and (b) the habit.

Withdrawal symptoms generated by going cold turkey can last a few weeks. It’s the habit that takes longer to break and until you’ve broken the habit you’ve still a problem on your hands.

But how do you know when you’ve broken the habit? You no longer even think about having a drink, it just doesn’t enter your head. My problem wasn’t drinking as such (not alcoholic but occasional problems with drinking), it was smoking. I quite cold turkey after 50 years nearly two years ago and haven’t looked back since.



But how do you break the habit in the first place? Every time you get the impulse for a drink just say “no” to yourself. That’s all it is, that’s all you need do.

The impulse will pass you by. Until you get the next impulse to which you say “no”. You keep going that way, keep saying “no” to each impulse you get. For the first week or more you may well get 30 or more impulses a day. Just keep saying “no” and you’ll find the impulses fade away until one day you become aware that you just don’t get the impulse anymore. That’s the day you broke the habit.
 

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Well done for coming to this realization and the very best of luck :)

Edit: I don't have personal experience with this, so it's probably better to listen to the people who do, like AFEH above :)
 

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During a recent bad time in my life I found myself drinking a couple more bottles of beer when I got home than I normally did. And it does very much become a habit. I remember I came home once and there were no cold one's in my refridgerator and I almost lost it. I knew then that I had to cut back. I switched to buying very light beer and I cut back from 3 to 2 and then from 2 to 1. Now, some days, I don't have any.

My point is, I just cut back. What you can do with wine is make it into a wine spritzer. If you are used to having more than 1 glass than make two glasses but only use a total of 1 glass of wine. Fill the other half with a seltzer or sprite. Whatever works. You still have that wine flavor, you can still have a couple glasses of wine but you'd be cutting back as well.

Just my humble opinion! :)
 

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Well done for coming to this realization :) LastUnicorn's suggestion is a good one - just an occasional glass with dinner(out of the house). With that said, I think gradual is maybe the best way to go initially(for the first week or so). Maybe go to one glass, then half a glass, then a very small glass etc etc. Maybe get rid of all the 'excess' alcohol in the house.

Edit: I don't have personal experience with this, so it's probably better to listen to the people who do, like AFEH above :)
With any addiction if you can't say no to the next "fix" whatever it is then you're addicted.

It's breaking the habit that's essential to breaking the addiction. Your inexperienced and somewhat naive suggestion above just continues the habit and therefore the addiction.
 

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With any addiction if you can't say no to the next "fix" whatever it is then you're addicted.

It's breaking the habit that's essential to breaking the addiction. Your inexperienced and somewhat naive suggestion above just continues the habit and therefore the addiction.
Fair enough. I have edited my post accordingly :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I feel as if it's too much but how do I know if it's a full on addiction? Lots of people want drinks at night, right?
I don't drink during the day but I am definitely consuming too much. But going without ... Forever... Sounds quite extreme. Maybe I need that?


Fair enough. I have edited my post accordingly :)
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Take a look at this book:

Take Control of Your Drinking...And You May Not Need to Quit

In it, it will help you determine whether you need to stop all together or give you the means to cut back. I read it and realized I wasn't the "cut back" type. You may be able to, maybe not, but it's a good place to start.
 

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Maybe you need to prove to yourself that your not addicted. What would that proof look like? None for a day, a week, maybe a month? The truth will be reflected in whether you are successful in changing your behavior.

You also may want to consider what is driving your increased impulse to drink.
 

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I feel as if it's too much but how do I know if it's a full on addiction? Lots of people want drinks at night, right?
I don't drink during the day but I am definitely consuming too much. But going without ... Forever... Sounds quite extreme. Maybe I need that?
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If alcohol has ever contributed to your doing something you were sorry for or know you shouldn't have done and you continue to drink then you know you have a problem.

If you can't go without for a day or a week or a month without difficulty, you should stop completely (at least for a while) because your natural tendency (to drink every day) is working against your best interest (being in control)
 

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If alcohol has ever contributed to your doing something you were sorry for or know you shouldn't have done and you continue to drink then you know you have a problem.

If you can't go without for a day or a week or a month without difficulty, you should stop completely (at least for a while) because your natural tendency (to drink every day) is working against your best interest (being in control)
This makes perfect sense to me.

I'm a daily wine drinker too questionme2. It's nothing for me to kill a bottle a night if I really let myself do it. That said, I haven't had any since Saturday and I'm feeling fine. For me, I think it's to keep my anxiety at bay. I'm a wound up tight ball all day long, I have a long commute, and when I get home it's hard for me to settle my mind and relax. There's that, and I just like wine. I prefer it to being medicated... I fear my doctor putting me on Xanax or something when I'm sure I can manage without it. I realize I may just be acting stubborn here.

Try stopping for a few days and see how you feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I hear you... ABM. Anxiety and avoidance I think contribute to my drinking. And boredom.

I have tried to quit for more than a day and it's a real challenge. It's not like I am in withdrawl. I think it's more about the mental game... When I'm really into work or something fun... I don't really even think about it. But it's become a problem.

My husband loves wine. He used to drink far more until I brought up my concerns a few weeks ago. HE has been just fine with a glass or two a night... But I have been the one who has drank more. I need to figure it out though. I used to be fine with a glass a night. Now I can drink a lot more... Quickly. I am going to try a food/drink detox and see how that goes. It is going to be hard!


This makes perfect sense to me.

I'm a daily wine drinker too questionme2. It's nothing for me to kill a bottle a night if I really let myself do it. That said, I haven't had any since Saturday and I'm feeling fine. For me, I think it's to keep my anxiety at bay. I'm a wound up tight ball all day long, I have a long commute, and when I get home it's hard for me to settle my mind and relax. There's that, and I just like wine. I prefer it to being medicated... I fear my doctor putting me on Xanax or something when I'm sure I can manage without it. I realize I may just be acting stubborn here.

Try stopping for a few days and see how you feel.
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Boredom is definitely an issue. I probably am an undiagnosed ADD candidate... I get bored very easily. My son has ADD so it's a strong possibility.

Activities that fill that space is a good idea. Playing with your kids, household chores (there's always tons of that to do) and something else I just picked up, doing puzzles and words with friends. I'll solicit my husband to play games with me whether it be scrabble or cards... my kids are grown and only one lives at home but he's gone most of the time so I have a ton of down time now. I find things to fill it with that are more productive than drinking wine and watching movies (though I love doing that on Friday nights especially... I'm a Turner Classic Movie fiend).

Your kids are young still and so you have plenty you can do with them. As far as what your husband does? Well I would try not to focus on his activities as much. I think it will make you more anxious and that could escalate the issue.
 

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How do u get to the point... Like others... Who literally never have alcohol cross their mind. I wish I didn't dwell on it and could walk away from it.




Boredom is definitely an issue. I probably am an undiagnosed ADD candidate... I get bored very easily. My son has ADD so it's a strong possibility.

Activities that fill that space is a good idea. Playing with your kids, household chores (there's always tons of that to do) and something else I just picked up, doing puzzles and words with friends. I'll solicit my husband to play games with me whether it be scrabble or cards... my kids are grown and only one lives at home but he's gone most of the time so I have a ton of down time now. I find things to fill it with that are more productive than drinking wine and watching movies (though I love doing that on Friday nights especially... I'm a Turner Classic Movie fiend).

Your kids are young still and so you have plenty you can do with them. As far as what your husband does? Well I would try not to focus on his activities as much. I think it will make you more anxious and that could escalate the issue.
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It's your crutch right now. It's a tool to help you cope with your life as it is. If you change things about the state of your life, you won't need it or think about it. You drink to deliver yourself from the state of mind you're in to another... one less anxious. If you replace the drink with other things to do that will change.

Think about the things that are making you anxious. What can you do to make life less stressful? Avoiding them by being buzzed only puts off what you can do today for tomorrow, and on and on and on. You can keep procrastinating or... do something constructive. I know a lot of your frustration comes from your financial situation and your husbands overall attitude toward you and the finances.

Recently you've taken control of the financial stuff, but your husband isn't being agreeable (which isn't new). You can only do one thing at a time. It probably feels like a lot is on you, but you have to keep telling yourself that you are only one person and you can only take on one beast at a time.
 

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I agree. I do need to realize that I can only do so much. But some of the problems in our lives are really hard to figure out. He doesn't want to move. I don't either. But in order to survive in that lease for another 9 months I will have to tap into my 401k. He says that's the best thing for us to do so we can avoid the moving costs and another security deposit. In a way... He's right. I just don't know how to "fix" things and I am just do fearful of doing anything... Hence I drink.


It's your crutch right now. It's a tool to help you cope with your life as it is. If you change things about the state of your life, you won't need it or think about it. You drink to deliver yourself from the state of mind you're in to another... one less anxious. If you replace the drink with other things to do that will change.

Think about the things that are making you anxious. What can you do to make life less stressful? Avoiding them by being buzzed only puts off what you can do today for tomorrow, and on and on and on. You can keep procrastinating or... do something constructive. I know a lot of your frustration comes from your financial situation and your husbands overall attitude toward you and the finances.

Recently you've taken control of the financial stuff, but your husband isn't being agreeable (which isn't new). You can only do one thing at a time. It probably feels like a lot is on you, but you have to keep telling yourself that you are only one person and you can only take on one beast at a time.
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I agree. I do need to realize that I can only do so much. But some of the problems in our lives are really hard to figure out. He doesn't want to move. I don't either. But in order to survive in that lease for another 9 months I will have to tap into my 401k. He says that's the best thing for us to do so we can avoid the moving costs and another security deposit. In a way... He's right. I just don't know how to "fix" things and I am just do fearful of doing anything... Hence I drink.



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You can't control every outcome. It's not possible. You both agree you don't WANT to move, but honestly what's best for your family in the big picture? Taking $ from your 401k now, paying taxes on what you take out later and staying or doing what's uncomfortable because in the long run it's the better move for you all? Is a security deposit and moving expense worth it? Or is taking out of your 401k and taking a tax hit later worth it? Both are risks. You can reasonably determine which one is a bigger risk just on the facts you have in front of you. Make a choice, then move forward and hope for the best, but you can't CONTROL the outcome/consequence of either choice.

By doing nothing, already you're making a choice. How many more days of doing nothing have to go by before you withdraw $, because that's what you will have to do to stay. You're forcing your own hand.
 

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Questionme2, you're a wise woman to recognize that you've lost your ability to control your drinking. In many women, addictions go unrecognized because it tends to be less noticed, so you're way ahead of the pack by recognizing your dilemma instead of trying to prove that your drinking is "normal."

If you don't like the amount you're drinking, have trouble saying no, find yourself looking forward to it, use alcohol to solve problems, feel a need to cut back or change your drinking, and have more tolerance (a sign that your body is handling alcohol differently), then there is a good chance you are alcohol abusive and you may have crossed into dependence.

When I was still doing alcohol counseling, here is what I'd have recommended to someone at the point you're at:

Set yourself a firm limit and then stick to it. If you EVER go past that limit, even once, acknowledge that you aren't in control and start getting to an AA group. If you think 2 glasses a day is reasonable, then if you find yourself having 3 because it was a rough day, you've failed the acid test.
 
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