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Habitual Drinking

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:32 pm
by Trying2019
I have had a binge drinking problem for over ten years. I have always seemed to manage it OK, and as I have got older it has become more reclusive, more at home and for no reason. Now it seems so habitual that I just drink on Friday nights (especially) because that is what I do. I have two small children and a nice husband and life. But the drinking seems to be on my mind a lot. And i have a guilt/shame/drink cycle happening as well. I am not having benders, and generally drink Friday and Sunday, but I drink to sleep, and I never buy just one bottle of wine, I buy a few, "just in case", but of course in case, is that I always drink everything. With having my second child, being off work and under stress, Friday/Sunday has gone out the window and I am drinking a lot. I am worried about my physical health more than anything, and the long term effects of my choices. I project happiness and even the next day just fake it until I make it in terms of pretending I am not hungover. I am secretive in my drinking behavior, my husband knows but does not really know and we are at an impasse where I can tell he is not quite ready to say that it is out of control because I am 'just' managing it. I cannot talk to my GP, I just cannot. So I am trying online instead. It had already helped that I have read about other people struggling, as it easy to imagine I am the only person this horrible. I am definitely trying, I have not drank since Sunday and made it to today and am having wine. I understand that this should not be an achievement but it is, so that is why I am here.

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:06 am
by Jack23
hi @Trying2019

Welcome to the forum and thank you sharing your story.

Sometimes our way of life creeps up on us and we end up with bad habits or coping strategies that become a problem.

As it has taken years to develop negative habits, it takes patience to change habits to more positive ones. You could try looking at your life holistically and maybe modify the activities you do to incorporate what you need to help yourself with stress and also to reward yourself with things that you enjoy and the things you are grateful like your children and husband. It is important to reward yourself with something that you look forward to, that is rewarding you for your efforts with work and looking after your family.

I hope the above strategies help.

Take care and keep sharing your experiences.


Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:38 pm
by huntingmyhappy
Hey there! I'm a little bit in the same boat at the moment. I'm currently only drinking wine on the weekend nights but finding that I really need wine to wind down from my week and also to "enjoy" my me-time, rather than just collapsing in a heap and going to bed. I tell myself when I start every new week that instead of drinking wine to wind down and have a breather from life that I'm going to just go to bed and watch netflix on my phone or read a book on kindle but it never ends up happening. As the other post here stated, I think it really needs to be something that you look forward to (more than the drinking) in order to distract you from doing it. I don't know what that is.

In the meantime I've actually just visited my doctor after I did some online research into a medication called Naltrexone. Its a tablet that you can take that can take away the desire to drink. It sounds a bit far fetched but after looking at many online reviews it seems it's really been life changing for a lot of people. So I asked my doctor about it and she said that they prescribe it at the practice and would absolutely be happy to let me try it. It's also subsidised by the government now, which makes it cost effective. I haven't tried it yet so I can't attest to how it works but I'm hopeful.

As far as being concerned about having to explain your problem to a doctor. I hear ya! I was in the same boat too but I guess a little bit fortunate that I don't have what would be considered a large problem with alcohol. I basically said to my doctor that I'm so tired of the habitual need to have a few wines in order to wind down from the busy week and I need assistance to just stop thinking about it and I was wondering what she thought about that particular medication. You don't have to completely "out" yourself and make yourself feel worse. You can minimize the situation in order to save your feelings. We live in a society that completely normalises alcohol consumption and it's very difficult to escape that and have resistance to it when you actually enjoy drinking and it's pretty much everywhere you go when you're an adult. The doctor understood where I was coming from and I think because of the nature of the harmlessness of the medication, the success people seem to be having with it and the fact that the government support it enough to subsidise it, they don't see it as a big deal either.

Anyway, I'm not sure if this is of any help or not but I just thought in the off chance it could help it would be good for me to share. You are very much not alone. I feel like A LOT of people are in the same position as us these days where we're not complete tragedies yet but just need a half-decent solution to escape this feedback loop we are stuck in!

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:20 pm
by Jack23
HI @huntingmyhappy

Welcome to the forum.

Try finding something to look forward to rather than medication options.

Just a few strategies you could try to find the thing:

:idea: something from the past that you loved.
:idea: look at your bucket list or create one.
:idea: study, courses
:idea: creative - art, dancing, writing, exhibitions
:idea: travel
:idea: exercise, training, etc
:idea: weekend away

I look forward to reading more of your story.

Take care.


Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:30 pm
by Trying2019
Thanks for the replies. I did drink on Friday, but went the rest of the weekend without drinking and have not drank mon-thurs for over a week and a half. Which like most things sometimes is not as bad as you think it will be. I do get it in my head but just tried to shake it off, and refocus on something else as well as the fact that I actually don't want to drink for x, y , z reasons. A big trigger for me is just having alcohol in the fridge so I need to mindful about purchasing alcohol and that is something I want to focus on. If I buy it, I will drink it. Whereas if its 7pm at home and I have to go out and buy alcohol its like another barrier to help me stop and really consider it. Thanks for the tips and be back soon.

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:09 am
by Deeker
Sounds so similiar to my story!

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:57 pm
by huntingmyhappy
You had a better weekend than I did by the sounds of things. We had an event to attend and it was byo. Because of the long hours and socialising there was a hangover to contend with the next day. Looking forward to getting some support shortly.

Well done to you though!

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:05 pm
by Vik
Well done @Trying2019, something to be proud of!
Thank you for sharing.

Sounds like not keeping alcohol at home is a smart strategy for you. Love it!
And sounds like both you and @huntingmyhappy are benefitting from planning something different to look forward to for distraction.

Looking forward to hearing more about your journey :)

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:25 pm
by Trying2019
Travelling well, maybe being accountable to something other than inside my own head is being helpful. I have not drank at home since the 14 June and in this time I had my birthday usually a perfect excuse to 'celebrate'. I did drink on Saturday but it was in a social setting at an event we had planned for a little bit, and while it was a big day of drinking It was in the framework of my short-term goal to not drink in an anti-social way, to not drink at home and to not drink myself to sleep. I also had a conversation with the hubby and we are going to do dry July, I think having my hubby on board with this will be very helpful as while he is not as problematic a drinker as me, he does drink on the weekend and often I let that be a reason for me to drink also, it always ends with him having a few, than having a coffee and going to bed while I sit up drinking way too much, way too late alone. So I am hoping just abstaining for a month will help me get a handle on my bingeing. I am already feeling like after having a stressful start to the week that I am not sure how I would do with the added stress of drinking, being hungover and the guilt/shame dialogue that ends up going on inside my head. Essentially I use alcohol as stress relief but it is very short term and tends to add to my stress because its one more thing I have on my shoulders. Thanks for listening and be back soon.

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:45 am
by Hercules
Hello @Trying2019 ,

Hercules here, one of the Counselling Online Forum Moderators. Thank-you for your post. Well done on your progress so far, and keep up the amazing work! Great to hear that you're committed to doing Dry July with your husband, it sounds like having someone else on board will help monitor your progress and keep you on track towards reaching your goal. Wishing you all the best.

Kind regards,


Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:15 pm
by Vik
Good on you @Trying2019! Love it!

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:00 pm
by Sallos
Great strategy @Trying2019!

Choosing to abstain this month through dry July could be just what you need to reboot your drinking habits. I've always likened the process of habit-breaking to the wearing-in of a new pair of shoes: New shoes are generally uncomfortable for a period of time as the stubborn material renders itself to the shape of your foot. This process can be agitating and it may be tempting to revert back to wearing your old shoes that, whilst worn out and ugly, are familiar and comfortable. However, if you persist with wearing the news shoes they'll soon feel just as good if not better than your old pair! As with with the new shoes, forming new habits can be trying but with time can become effortless!

Best of luck with this month!

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:58 pm
by Trying2019
Well Dry July is already a bust. Some positives is I have gone 2 weeks without drinking my longest stretch in a long time. I also was drinking on average every 3 nights heavily so I feel I have still made progress. Some observations are I am less guilty when not drinking but quicker to anger and frustration. I also suffer from in my mind thinking of alcohol as a reward for not drinking alcohol (essentially thinking if you go 2 weeks then you can drink and not feel bad, or 3 weeks and have a big drink and so on). I feel I have improved in the regularity but not in the bingeing nature. Would love some feedback and input on maybe getting this balance right, I honestly am not sure if I could be at this time completely abstinent from alcohol.

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:44 pm
by Jack23
hi @Trying2019

There are lots of positives in your post, focus on that and it is really about taking it one day at a time, and being patient and kind with yourself.

Keep trying !

Re: Habitual Drinking

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:02 pm
by Vik
Hey @Trying2019, how have things been going for you lately?

Going two weeks is a really great achievement!
I know you said that your main concern is the binging aspect of your drinking.
Have you considered perhaps when you know you'll be drinking, having a plan in place to minimise the amount? Some people find it helps, particularly in the beginning. Things like having less wine in the home.

Looking forward to hearing an update :)