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.
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 DON’T NEED COFFEE ANYMORE. SO I DON’T DRINK IT.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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!