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  • Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    For people making and maintaining change in their alcohol and other drug use. Connect here to share your story and gain motivation today.
    UltraViolet
    Junior Member
    Posts: 6
    Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:43 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jul 31, 2021 8:11 am

    Hi everyone, I am glad to be here.

    I've had a struggle with managing my drinking for many years now, with stretches of sobriety interspersed with with relapses. For the past couple of months or so I have been cutting back, at the moment only drinking on Friday. Yesterday I had a bit of a debate with myself over whether I really felt like it or not but then I used the excuse of a stressful work week to go ahead. And to be fair, last night wasn't the most I've ever drunk, I don't feel hungover today, but I don't want to live this way any more. The last few years have been rough for me and I think I have been using alcohol as my "reward" to get through it all.

    I like myself so much better when I'm not drinking, and I don't even mean the self-loathing that follows a drinking episode. I'm better at life when I don't drink - I'm nicer, funnier, more fun, I do stuff instead of having my motivation sapped away.

    Anyway. Here's to actually living life!
    2 x
    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 252
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:55 am

    hey @UltraViolet Welcome to the forums! I just wanna say it takes a lot of strength to share your story, so good on you. It sounds like despite past struggles, you're doing really well in terms of reducing your drinking! Getting to the point of only drinking one day a week is seriously good work.

    It can be hard when you view alcohol as a reward to make that mental switch and find something else to treat yourself with. You mentioned that in the past you had periods when you didn't drink, what worked for you then?

    I'm going to tag our peer worker's here, as they are a great source of insight in recovery! @PnorkelPW and @ScorpionPW , are both here for you, as is everyone else in the forum! Do any other forum members have anything they would like to add, some tips or advice for @UltraViolet ?

    We're always here when you want to reach out, I'll see you around the forums :D
    1 x
    JR78
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:42 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:00 am

    Hi,

    I’ve just signed up to this online community as I was looking for some external support, away from immediate family/friends, who would understand my struggles with alcohol addiction.

    I am 2 days sober after many years of excessive alcohol abuse. I’ve stopped drinking this time because I think I have done some irreversible damage to myself and I’m scared. I’m scared that it’s too late for me to fix what I’ve done. I’m going to the Dr on Monday to find out but I’m terrified of what they will tell me and feel like giving up.

    My history, I started binge drinking when I was a teenager but was relatively alcohol free during my twenties. In my thirties I started drinking wine which progressed to a 1-2 bottle habit per night. 10 or so years later I have tried countless times to quit but I always fool myself to thinking that, each time I start again I’ll be able to control it. I’ve destroyed my relationship with my partner, woken up so many mornings in absolute panic of what I’ve said/done the night before and have so many wasted days of hangovers behind me.

    I want this time to be the last time that I quit, I really need it to work this time because if it doesn’t I think drinking will kill me soon.
    4 x
    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 252
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:38 am

    hey @JR78 welcome to the forums!

    This is a really massive step you've taken, reaching out and telling your story takes courage. Thank you for sharing with us here. It's really good to hear that you've got in contact with your GP as withdrawal from alcohol can sometimes have side effects. It is scary to tell someone, and it's even scarier to think about any possibly bad news, but your GP is there to support you and they will be able to set you up with a safe way to reduce your intake and start to work on your health. Having gone ahead and actually made the appointment is really good, be proud of the fact that you're taking these steps in the right direction!

    It sounds like your health is a really strong motivator for you. Is there anything you've tried in the past to reduce your drinking that has worked? It can be helpful to view lapses or relapses as learning experiences that can show you what techniques are useful, and what aren't.

    Everyone here has lived experience and their own stories through recovery! @PnorkelPW and @ScorpionPW are our wonderful peer workers. We also have other community members such as @WildeReformed who are currently on their own recovery journey's who may have some words of wisdom!

    Again, you're taking a really good first step, whenever you need we're here for you, welcome to the forums, and I'll see you around :)
    0 x
    WildeReformed
    Junior Member
    Posts: 24
    Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:46 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:39 pm

    @JR78 welcome to the forums. I've very recently reached out to this forum after recovering from a lapse. It can be a pretty scary move, so congratulations on making the leap.

    One thing that I have learnt in my most recent lapse is to start looking at the things which have triggered them in the past. When you've stopped drinking, what was successful? and when you've lapsed, what do you think caused it? Sometimes we might not know immediately but with a bit of reflection we might see that we were going through a stressful time, or that the little voice in our head said "you've got it under control this time". It's great to reflect on what has worked and what hasn't worked because it gives us the tools we need to succeed but also can help us to feel more in control.

    I know that in my previous lapse, I felt really ashamed afterwards and I felt like I didn't have any control- that I was being driven by my addictions without realising that they were driving me. I'm slowly learning that this most recent lapse could be a blessing. I've learnt that I won't be someone who can use occasionally, or have one drink during dinner with friends... and that's okay. It's allowing me to realise that little voice that told me "I've got in under control" was just my addiction reaching out so in future, I'll be able to recognise it.

    I hope you find comfort and support in the forums and remember to congratulate yourself on this big step. Good luck with your doctors appointment on Monday and we'll be here when you need it.
    2 x
    CatMumofone
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:32 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jul 31, 2021 6:00 pm

    Hi guys, very nervous about posting, but here goes!
    I've never had a good relationship with alcohol and even as a young teen I was binge drinking. Childhood trauma and all that fun stuff.
    As an adult now, wine is my biggest nemesis and I tend to have quite a few while my child is with their other parent.
    Then I go back to being sober Mum while they are with me.
    I want to stop, I'm sick of it and I feel like crap. It's easy for me to hide.
    I'm very lonely and isolated and recently discovered I'm part of the LGBTQ+ community. Late bloomer.
    I'm the black sheep of my family and don't fit in at all.
    CM.
    4 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 251
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:10 pm

    Hi and welcome to the forums @CatMumofone,

    First of all, kudos for posting despite the nervousness. It's not always easy to post for the first time, so well done!

    Thanks for sharing with us your story. I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. Please remember and try to be kind to yourself, to forgive yourself, to be self-compassionate (just as you would to your best friend if they came to you with the same issue). You've already reached out here on the forums, and that's a great step forward in the direction you want to take onward.

    I'm also sorry to hear you're feeling lonely and isolated, it can be a lot going through this realisation by yourself (and also congratulations, definitely not an easy one being a late bloomer as you said). Just want to say, you're not alone! Lots of people going through similar situations and many ears out there ready to listen and help, starting with these forums. Have you tried also reaching out to a LGBTQ+ service that can provide support in that regard such as QLife?

    I want to introduce you to our peer workers @PnorkelPW and @ScorpionPW. They're a true well of knowledge and two incredibly kind and supportive persons you can reach out to here at anytime. :) There's a couple of members that have joined recently too you might want to connect with: @WildeReformed, @Exfitspo, @JR78, @UltraViolet and @Globe. You can also have a look at the stories of some of our more senior members like @Simply me, @Gizelle or @Alvarosyd, they're all very inspiring and can hopefully shed some motivation.

    Everyone is here to support each other, so please keep reaching out. :D
    2 x
    WildeReformed
    Junior Member
    Posts: 24
    Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:46 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:39 pm

    Hi @CatMumofone

    I understand how isolating and scary it can feel. Congratulations on taking the first leap and posting.
    2 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 251
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:14 pm

    Welcome to the forums @Bpk30!

    Within this safe and non-judgemental space you'll be able to connect, share, be supported and support other people with similar experiences. We're all here to help and support each other, so please let us know if you have any questions we can help out with. :)

    Please feel free to post an intro about yourself, you might want to share your hobbies, what brought you to the forums or if you have any goals in joining in.

    Looking forward to reading you around on here. :D
    0 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 225
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:30 pm

    Yeah but I understand the fear around bringing stuff like that up in workplaces @WildeReformed. It wasn't until I started working in the Drug & Alcohol field that I felt completely comfortable being open about my past of addiction in the workplace without fear of judgement. But, the good news is that you're starting to be open to things that can help you :)

    In terms of online groups:

    - Narcotics Anonymous (NA): https://www.navic.net.au/meetings/ on the meetings list you'll see which ones are online and which ones are face to face.

    - Alcoholics Anonymous: https://aatimes.org.au/times

    - SMART Recovery: https://smartrecoveryaustralia.com.au/o ... eetings-2/

    Let us know how you go and I'm glad you're finding the forums helpful :)
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 196
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:57 pm

    Hi @UltraViolet , @JR78 and @CatMumofone ………….it’s great that you’ve reached out on the forums. I hope you can find some support here and maybe identify with the stories of others. I’ve learnt a few things along my journey and one of those is that no two stories are the same. Thing is though…………there are a hell of a lot of similarities in those stories. I even find that sometimes it’s the differences that get me thinking more about my story and help me to gain a better understanding of myself.

    @UltraViolet it seems like you’ve been thinking about this for some time and are pretty aware of the negative impacts it has on you. I wonder what else you can do to “reward” yourself? What can Friday night be without the drink?
    Something that’s worked for me is not just planning for the Friday night but planning for something early on Saturday morning like a market, hike or just breakfast with a friend. This not only helped keep me on track the night before but got me up early enjoying the day. In getting up early I was tired earlier the next night and ready for some sleep……………and to do the next day’s activity. Before long I’d built up a routine and was actually “doing” things not just talking about them. I wanted more of that and it was affirmation I was doing the right thing for me……….not to mention I just felt good physically, mentally and spiritually.

    What sort of activities might work for you?


    @JR78 there is so much about your story that I identify with……….thanks for sharing. 2 days is a big achievement. When people used to say that to me I thought they were being condescending but over time I learnt the truth………..early recovery is bloody hard and two days is a miracle!!

    I remember that fear of thinking I’d done irreversible damage but luckily the body is amazing and can do some healing. That’s not to say that there were no effects at all but for me they were manageable and as I stayed sober for longer my body figured itself out. The fear of not knowing what was done or said the night before just added to the feelings of guilt, shame and remorse that kept me trapped for so long on the merry go round of addiction.

    I couldn’t do it alone though. I needed help. For me that came through rehab and then linking in with AA. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

    Have you seen a Drug and Alcohol counsellor? They can help provide you with information, tools and strategies that might help you not just get on track but stay on track. For me, as hard as it was, the stopping was the easy part………staying stopped is where I needed the help.

    What help have you accessed before? What has worked? What do you think might work in the future? SMART recovery is a great group to get in touch with too………maybe you’d find it helpful?


    @CatMumofone I mentioned this in my answer above but AA could be helpful for you? There are groups specifically for people who identify as LGBTIQ+ and I’m sure they’d be a great source of support for you. 12 step recovery groups can be a great way of establishing new support networks and give you a safe space to be in 7 days per week morning, lunch and night times.
    It sounds like you too have been thinking about this for some time but are a little uncertain of where to turn. Even if you don’t stick around at AA, the members at the LGBTIQ+ groups might be able to put you in touch with other supports that are out there. All anyone will want is that you find supports that work for you.
    It’s amazing what the support of people who have experienced similar difficulties to you can do to assist you on your journey. Maybe even reaching out to a Drug and Alcohol counsellor will help? They might know of other services and support networks in your area that can help.


    Anyhoo @UltraViolet , @JR78 and @CatMumofone it’d be great if you could stay in touch and let us know what has worked, what hasn’t and just how you’re going in general. Remember, we don’t just want good news and to hear about the good times……….we want to hear when you’re finding it difficult so that we can support you through the tough times too.
    2 x
    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 252
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:29 am

    good morning and welcome to our newest member @Jak88 ! The Counselling Online forums are a judgement free space for people to connect with others and share their stories through recovery! When you're feeling comfortable, you can introduce yourself in this thread here! I'll see you around the forums :D
    0 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 251
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:06 pm

    Welcome to our newest member @aboperdnom,

    Please feel free to introduce yourself, perhaps you want to tell us what your hobbies are or what brought you here.

    Looking forward to reading you around in the forums. :)
    0 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 251
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:53 am

    Welcome to our newest member @Ds67!

    Would be great to hear why you've joined and if you have any questions or goals we can help out with. Please feel free to post an intro about yourself.

    Looking forward to reading you around in the forums. :)
    0 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 225
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:15 pm

    Hi @CatMumofone, thanks so much for being brave and sharing that with us.

    I can relate to falling into patterns of behaviour that don't serve me when the external things that I have to front up to are removed, in and out of recovery. Before I got into recovery if I wasn't working or engaged in something that gave me a sense of purpose it would always only be a matter of time before my addiction would take hold again.

    Even though it feels crap right now, it's good that you've ended up in a place where you've decided that you've had enough and you don't want to live this way anymore. Making that choice is the first step we need to take to begin to change things. That openness to change and desperation can actually be great gift.

    It's great that you've started reaching out for support here as well. To second what @PnorkelPW suggested as well I'm wondering if you've ever done any kind of peer support group before or if you're seeking any other help at the moment?

    I hope you continue to share your journey with us here and just know that we are always here :)
    1 x

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