Monday, 14 April 2014

Nearly Two Years Later ....

So here I am  April 2014... so what happened. I discovered that will power alone was not enough. I fell into traps like being 'on the wagon' or 'off the wagon'. Coming up with smug lines such as "I've gone a month without a drink". All the time I was fooling myself. I wanted escape but was stuck in purgatory or some type of grog trap with out realising the predicament I was in. Each day was a hard slog in trying to stay free when all I wanted was to wake up and feel good each morning. Not only was I craving for a drink but also for sweets, food bread anything to relieve me of the desire to drink.

Therefore after my last post, back in May 2012, in which I was about to embark on a trip to Germany, I fell back into old habits. I was on my own and I had fun but broke completely what I had set out to achieve i.e. stop or cut back drinking.  I have since realised that you cant cut back on drinking and there is no such thing as a normal drinker you either drink or you don't!
Also of note is that will power alone will not normally solve the problem. I was like a insect being attracted to a fly-trap with no escape. I was hooked.

One needs support. AA is a club of types where one can call on support though after going to one meeting I preferred a different option (I was not a full blown 'alcoholic' just a 'normal drinker' who had drank his life time fill or just had had enough and wanted out) as the meeting made me sad and out of sorts.  There must be another way. I continued to look for self help and through Amazon I had bought two books one of which inspired me to write this blog in the first place. The second was by Allen Carr and described the Easyway to control alcohol. I finally picked up the book and began to read it in late 2012. It was inspirational.

More on the results shortly.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A New Week Dawns

I have travelled to Germany to spend the week at an Expo and conference where there will be a lot of opportunity to break my drinking fast.

I am feeling strong and with good will power and actually like not waking with a blurry head. I still have some physical withdrawal symptoms though and the psychological hold I still there but I am working through the issues day by day. Yesterday, for example, I had a massive craving for all things sweet and high in carbs. Starting with a pastry in the morning at work, ice creams in the afternoon and chocolates in the evening. It seems to have settled now though I will need to work on eating a balanced diet to control the sugar imbalance.

This is the longest I have gone without a drink in many years and I am very proud of my efforts. I feel I can power into the coming Diamond Jubilee weekend with my head held high. There will of course be demons waiting at every corner though I am prepared.

I am now off for a walk to break up the day. Part of the new me.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A Good Week

The first week in my new life and. One and gone. Normal sleep has returned after many years of alcohol abuse and the detox feeling has subsided. I am waking earlier though feel refreshed though with slight headache which passes in a few minutes.

This last week I have learnt, self control, willpower, and rekindled a love of life (without a drink). Yes, I still think about having a drink and but have now the resources to hand: 7 Up Zero and Diet Coke. I even tried a 0.0% beer called Bavarian which tasted vey good when cold, at a party last night.

Heading in to week two I don't have the anxiety I felt last Monday and the worry about many things including how I would cope socially not drinking. This is still a concern though I feel better positioned to handle it.

I did not have the desire and attach the gym as I felt generally rubbish though went on Friday and will go again today. A good work out is all important.

Food wise, I have watched the carbs and sweets though not that I worried about it as my main thought has been to not drink and used or ate whatever got me through the day. I have lost a kilo so can't be too bad. I will start to focus on a more balanced diet this week and maybe, just maybe, I will lose some weight.

Anyway, I am proud of my progress and I am making good progress. I wonder what this week will bring when I am travelling for three days on a business trip and delegation in Europe.

Well done me!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Friday, Sunny Friday

Glorious London Weather
Today is a week anniversary, since I had a drink and a major record for me. It is also a gorgious day in London. The struggle seems be be getting easier and I have been able to say NO on two social occasions. Many things to overcome but progress is being made.

I just been reading an article and some of the responses over on Brad Bollenbach's excellent 30 Sleeps site on how to quite drinking. Following on from Brad's blog, I also think that most people who choose to quit drinking are not alcoholics but have a long-lasting bad habit. Actually, the first few days this last week were tough,  there was the detox and psychological elements that were working against me though the physical desire for a tipple is waning. That said, today is Friday and I may not know what to do with myself when I get home. I am looking for inspiration and this may be a simple as taking the dog for a walk around the neighbourhood.

Friday, was always a time to meet up with friends after work and have a few pints before going home and having a bottle of wine with the family. So it is all about distraction and thinking and doing other things. I am starting to feel full of energy and invigorated. I did not feel up to visiting the gym earlier this week though I am now motivated.

Next week will be hard as I am away at a conference where many corporate types like to socialise and party away from the office and the family. I will need to be on guard. I am determined to stop drinking!

The weather in London today is wonderful and a nice cold glass of Rosé would normally be on the agenda and be very enticing but I think I can overcome this desire, my willpower is building daily.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Today is a surprisingly lovely day in London and I am feeling pretty buoyed. Still powering through and the cravings seem a little less though I am not fooled, like the weather in England it can change at any time and return to its old grey self.

I keep pretty busy and work later to occupy my time and by the time I have had dinner and watched a little TV it is time to think about bed. Yes, a little earlier than the norm but I need to focus on other things and not about drink or eating chocolate.

So to bed, a book and very soon I am ready to switch off light. I close my eyes and soon realise I have no chance of sleeping. I read again and by the time I turn off the light the next time I have taken a magnesium tablet and 1/2 litre of water.

My mind is buzzing. I am wired and obviously my body is changing. It is detoxing and I lie in hope of sleep with my mind fully switched on. I after a long time doze off into a dream world that can only be described as Indie and definitely in technicolor. I actually wake and trundle off to loo around 5 am then, surprise, surprise, I fall back into a deep sleep.

I wake around 6:30 and again notice the detox sensation - no headache though. Must be a form of acidosis happening in me which is a sign of detoxification I have read.

So far all the reports i have on sleep related problems when stopping drinking are true. My mood seems to have improved a little today.

I will enjoy the lovely weather today and look to the glorious future.

PS Big test this Sunday as I am invites to a Christening party where much drink will be on offer. I will drive and be the designated driver.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Coping Without A Drink

If you think you are drinking too much and becoming worried about it becoming a 'drinking problem' then please contribute your thoughts to this blog. I have decided to diarise my journey into controlling my drinking urges and taking control of my life again. 

Today is Day 2 of being in control. Last night I attended a function at a central London Hotel at which all the trimmings were laid out, food, wine, champagne and beer with the drinks were coming out thick and fast. I had to specifically request water or soft drink as none were being served. After nearly 3 hours and I can successfully report that I drank only sparkling water. Was it was easy? Yes, surprisingly so. 

I don't have to have a drink every day it is the longer breaks that worry me. I cant seem not to have a drink for more than 5 days. I have stretched this some years ago to 10 days whilst on an all protein diet and in the late eighties I went about 25 days as I was on strict antibiotics but mostly I seem to need a drink after 3 or 4 days and this is the root of my worry. 

As with other sites I was expecting the bodily feeling of a detox and yesterday evening it hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt wired, stressed, all tingly and did not know what to do. I thought about TV but decided to take a book to bed and read. 

When sleep finally came over me, it was very light and filled with weird and amazing dreams waking after each dream with a vivid memory or what had passed in my subconscious. I have read about this in self help books and websites like Bright Eye and to me it was akin to giving up coffee, or cutting out sleeping tablets or drastically changing your diet, which it is. taking magnesium supplements and drinking herbal teas are a good way to relieve this feeling of detox. 

Anyway, today I am feeling better, but I have a long way before me and I can stop thinking about having a drink. I assume the physical side effects of no booze will be over soon (week or so) and I will keep you updated though the psychological aspects of the change will take much longer.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice - Craving

I am absolutely craving for something sweet. Over the last few days I have had a constant need for sweets from biscuits/cookies, chocolate, candy, juice, soft drinks, cake the list goes on and on. My blood sugar levels must have dropped as my body is now craves all the sugar consumed from drinking beer, wine and the likes.

I think I'll just ride this out and take more exercise (or write a blog) to compensate for the damned sugar craving. My body had compensated for the alcohol intake and is now adjusting for lack thereof. I have turned to coffee for the vice of choice (never smoked - thank god) and will suffer those consequences later when i decide to cut back.

I have noticed over the years that recognisable trademark of die-hard 'alcoholics' who have sobered up is that they drink diet coke in huge volumes. Even the Dukan Diet allows diet drinks and I may also now look to this gem of wisdom as a source of reprise from my cravings.

Anyway, I think this is normal and will need to find a way to manage these cravings without becoming too fat.

PS I wonder what I will drink next Sunday at a friend's 40th birthday bash. This will be a huge milestone. Good idea - I'll drive and abstain by saying I am the designated driver.