6 of the most popular member posts from Hello Sunday Morning

We wanted to share a few of the most loved blog posts from Hello Sunday Morning’s old online platform.

One of the best things about online communities is that they create a space for people to share anonymously and connect with others they can relate to or learn from.

These six posts are written by Hello Sunday Morning community members at all different stages of their journey to a better relationship with alcohol. The reflection process is a really important part of behaviour change as it allows us to look back on how far we have come and how we got there or what worked and what did not work for us. It is not an easy journey, and the posts below reflect that. However, for those of you who have come out the other end – it is well worth the effort.

Day 149
By LongTimeComing

Some things I love about my situation these days:

I get to work early every day, instead of a few minutes late. Waking is so much easier.
I ran a mile this weekend and I swam some!
I’m much less prone to eat garbage junk food.
Driving with a clear head is truly relaxing.

I hope you’re well. Message me anytime you need encouragement, no matter who you are.

By Juols

Not happy with myself today. Don’t know why but thoroughly cheesed off. Not hormones or anything I can put my finger on but would really rather not be with me. Of course escapism is no longer an option. Feeling sad.

An update
By hobophoenix

1) I was asked to purchase some valium for one of my straightlaced lawyer friends, one of the last I’d ever expect to ask me for drugs. Go figure. It is for her courtroom anxiety. Normally I hate playing drug middleman (and I tried to dissuade her to no avail) but since it is a one-off and she is my friend, I decided to do it this one time. Also decided to purchase three pills for myself, for when I wean myself off alcohol again and I suffer the inevitable insomnia/anxiety of withdrawal. Yes, I’m already planning for my inevitable discontinuation of drinking. I’ve had a considerable output in my painting, and the alcohol is helping loosen me up in this regard, but I know alcohol is not a necessary condition for me to be creative. It is not who I am, and one day it will mean nothing to me. I know it.

2) I really wished to purchase hard liquor today, but knew my mum would freak out if she saw the empty bottles, and it is oh-so-stressful to have to hide and dispose of the empties in the company dumpster. So I’m sticking with beer. Subsequently, I’m not as drunk as I’d usually get at this time.

3) I contacted a friend on Facebook who admitted he was an alcoholic a few days ago and we had a great discussion (he is the only one of two brave souls on Facebook who I know have publicly admitted to having a drinking problem, explicitly or implicitly). He used to drink twenty cans of Wild Turkey Rare a night. I remember my meetups with him as filled with heavy drinking and public urination in liquor store car parks (we met online, as I used to meet most of my friends in my late teens and early twenties). In fact, he was the first one to tell me about rolling the old Coopers bottles on the ground trick. Anyway, he had to go to the psych ward. Now he is getting alcohol counselling and I am glad he is getting help. I even recommended this site to him, so maybe he will check it out. Who knows.

Sleep and control
By Mungo

Going well, all on track, hope you are all doing well.

I LOVE sleeping now! I know I have banged on about this before but I really haven’t slept so well since before I had kids! It’s a much better escape than alcohol although you can’t achieve that escape unless you have some peace and life doesn’t always allow that. I don’t hate alcohol or what it does, I just want to have complete control over it. That’s what this is about for me I think – learning to live HAPPILY without it and learning to master it at all times.

Really must stop with the ice cream/frozen yoghurt thing. That is this week’s focus. Go well soberites!

Going strong…ish!
By setYOUfree

Have had a great 2 weeks abstaining so far and I am proud of my efforts. Have been more than rewarded for my “sacrifice” by feeling the best emotionally I have in years. I can’t remember how long it’s been that I’ve felt so stable and in control of myself. My husband has also commented that he is proud of me and is liking this “new” side of me. This is great, as my previous boozing has caused lot of discord between us in the past as he hates seeing me drunk.

I have to confess that I did have two glasses of wine last night though, which is against the rules, but I don’t count this as a slip up. It was in good company, it was only two drinks (not 2.5 bottles at home listening to miserable music), over a nice meal and I felt in complete control. I also was so excited to be able to just jump in my car and go home when I wanted, and be able to drop my mates off too. For the first time ever, I have driven friends home on a night out!

The aim of my HSM is to learn how to enjoy alcohol and to behave like this all the time, so I will continue on abstaining from this point. My crunch time in the past has always been at the two week mark, so I’m mindful that this is where it’s going to get hard and when the thoughts of “oh it’s ok, just have 1, you’ve proved it to yourself enough now”. It feels like I need to completely limit it to make sure I don’t tip over the edge and start rationalising in my head that it’s ok and wind up back in that awful place again.

I think if my friends were hitting the booze hard that it would have been hard for me to say no – I am confident that I wouldn’t have had more but it did highlight to me that I am not as strong yet as I am aiming to be.

So for the rest of this month it will be zero. I don’t want to revise my HSM to start again or to be about controlled drinking, because I know that the whole point of Hello Sunday Morning is to put some distance between yourself and alcohol so you can see the difference. I have been wondering whether I need to start again or not, or add an extra two weeks onto the end. This seems a bit like scary alcoholic rationalising thoughts territory to me. Thoughts??

(It didn’t make my temperature go up in the morning so I think all good for basal temp chart tracking!)

Some things I have noticed so far:

My skin is looking better, my belly and tummy are tightening up and most importantly I feel like I am starting to like myself again. The first week I had a few headachy type symptoms and some funny dreams (probably related to stress that I used to cover up with booze).

What are some improvements that other people have noticed – around the first few weeks?

I had a drink for the first time in 92 days
By #moderation

I’ll put that hashtag in front of any post involving moderate drinking, so those who don’t want to read about it can skip over the post. I won’t be offended if anyone chooses to do just that, as each of us needs to do what’s best for themselves.

I was at my women’s club meeting last night. I hadn’t realised we were having a catered dinner…and wine was being served. I had decided to have some wine to see how I would handle it. I had thought about trying a drink at home a couple of days ago, but I’ll be honest: I was too nervous to, and never did.

I decided to give the wine a try at the meeting because: I wouldn’t be drinking alone, which is one of my major problems/triggers. b. I had to drive home—for all of my issues with alcohol, I am a staunch anti-drinking and driving, and would not consume more than a glass and do it early on so it’d be out of the system before I drove. c. The wine choices were white and rose. My vices are red wine and champagne; I dislike the rest and won’t binge on them.

So I poured myself half a glass of white merlot (a rose). It was an enlightening experience. I had to resist the urge to gulp it down, surprising considering that I really dislike rose. I had to force myself to take small sips and pace myself. Was it because it’s been more than three months since I had any alcohol? Was it because it was hot as hell in the room and the wine was chilled? Or was it something darker and more addictive in me that just got awakened?

I had several glasses of seltzer after finishing the wine. Now the seltzer, I pounded down. I then tried a second half-glass with plenty of ice and a glass of seltzer to go with it.

This serving I didn’t feel as driven to gulp…if anything, this time around I noticed the taste more and that it wasn’t all that appealing. I actually spent more time drinking and refilling my seltzer glass and letting the wine just sit there. About half-way through the second half-glass of wine, I started feeling the affects of the alcohol: I wasn’t drunk by any means, but I could feel it starting to hit me. Three months without drinking will definitely decrease one’s tolerance. So I called it quits on the wine and kept on the seltzer for the rest of the meeting. Fortunately, I wasn’t going anywhere for a couple of hours, so by the time I had to head home, I felt normal again.

When I got home, I didn’t have any cravings to keep drinking, which was a very good thing. I exercised, had a snack of Chinese food, and called it a night. I did wake up dehydrated today, but that was due to late Chinese food. I don’t know what this means for me. The fact that I was able to stop, as well as not having cravings for more after stopping, is promising indeed. At the same time, my initial desire to just slam that first half-glass of wine after tasting it disturbed me.

If you’re inspired to share your journey with people going through a similar change, we encourage you to download our online program Daybreak and post to the community!

I would like to write about myself and alcohol. Is that called a blog.

The weirdest thing happened when I gave up booze – again. So the last time I abstained for about 14 months I didn’t do a lot other than that – I just didn’t drink.

I had gone to AA meetings which really helped but got tired of it after a while. Eventually I gave in and just had a drink. But I didn’t have any strategies in place or I didn’t think about how much or when or why I wanted to drink again. I just drank at the end of the day and most days. It was brutal…I would get plastered and then winge and wine (pun intended) about my drinking – mainly to myself as misery loves company:) and yet I had no idea how to not drink. Finally I went back to AA meetings again and did this for 90 days. It really helped me to quit and it filled a void in the evenings if I felt lonely. I also tapped into HSM and discovered a whole other community that supported my mission. But you know what – not once did I really stop to think about why I used to drink every day and what did it achieve and what were my triggers or was it just a nasty habit. But the biggest thing I actually realised after 12 months of sobriety this time around – voila a light bulb moment wait for it a drum roll……. I adn’t actually educated myself about alcohol – how it affects us and what are the Guidelines to safe drinking. No more than 2 units of alcohol a day – a unit being about 100 mls so really one normal size glass of wine holds about 200 mls so that’s about the daily limit! and anyone who drinks more than this is drinking outside safe limits. So to make it easier about 1 bottle of wine per week to stay in the safe area. Of course no wine per week would be even better. Now I am into health and fitness and really enjoy this a lot so I want to be kind to my body. What really surprises me is that most drinkers think it is ok to drink more than this (I certainly did and polished off a bottle or more per night) and don’t seem to bother about the danger of over consumption. Would we seriously consume too much of a poisonous food if we knew it was going to make us very ill? Alcohol is a sneeky molocule and the poison unfortunately rewards us with pleasurable side effects – until it punishes us if we have too much. But we go back for more because we remember the fun jovial affects not the punishing painful ones – until they happen again. It’s a complex game. It can also be a very simple one. I learnt that if I want a good happy life and be useful and healthy then I need to be aware of the rules and there are rules for the safe consumption of alcohol. I also found that alcohol no longer gave me that high it used to – dunno but it just wore off and one of my biggest helpers in my life has been exercise. The most under utillised anti depressant around. I run 3 times a week and gym twice a week with some salsa dancing thrown in. 15 months down the track the ‘self centredness – obsession with self and negativity has left. There are still challenges but nothing compared to the merry – go – round world I was in a few months ago. ANYONE can do this. Start running and don’t stop!

Thank you for sharing these wonderful blog posts. They give me hope. I had quit drinking for 34 years, then started again about 7 years ago. I have been trying to quit ever since…4 detox stays, 2 treatment centers, 4 outpatient treatments….all would work for a while but then I would want to just “see” if I could control my drinking. I can not. I am ready to quit, but am a little afraid of detoxing by myself. Reading these blog posts are very encouraging. Day one here…again…will see if I can make it to day two! Thank you again.


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