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 Post subject: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:34 pm
Posts: 521
Location: Denver
Hi All - Ready to say I'm cured or at least regained control. It has been 5 weeks and a day since I woke up on Memorial Day 2012 and decided to give AF a go after not being AF except once or twice in 16 months. The night before I had downed my usual bottle of wine and stumbled to bed. The next morning I woke up to find my youngest daughter aged 12 in bed with me. I looked over at her angelic sleeping face and thought, "She doesn't deserve this you know. You can quit drinking. You're ready."

As I mentioned in some of my posts, that didn't go so well the first week. I had strong cravings and was really an irritable mess a couple of days (my husband says not so, but I say YES, SOOOOOO!). However, I had decided to leave my only preferred drink wine behind on Memorial Day and ultimately, that did the trick. After a week or so of drinking one or two watered down margaritas I no longer craved wine. Now, I don't drink unless I go out to a restaurant in the evening and then I may have a glass or two of wine. In five weeks I've probably only had about 6 glasses of wine. In contrast, before Memorial Day I used to come home from work and always pour myself a glass of wine, sit in my favorite wine drinking chair, turn on the TV, and drink the whole damn bottle over the evening. Now, I sit in that same chair, watch TV with my family, and drink water! Woo Hoo! Wine doesn't really cross my mind....I enjoy my evenings so much without it. If it does cross my mind instead of thinking like I used to, "I have to get to a glass of wine," I think about all the good times I've had without alcohol over the last 5 weeks. Here's the list:

1. I walk the dog around 8:00 in the evening most nights.
2. I cook a decent dinner every night and usually my daughter is helping me rather than hiding in her room so she doesn't have to see me looped.
3. I watch favorite family TV shows with my daughter and husband rather than sitting in my wine drinking chair half watching.
4. I've taken up a new hobby that seems to be one most of us begin upon going AF or mostly AF. It is reading. I look forward to my time reading a book at the end of my evening as much as I used to look forward to my wine. With wine, I went straight to bed and essentially passed out.... a bottle of wine (or a bit more) will do that, huh?! Now, I read instead. I've read 10 good books in the last three weeks.
5. But most importantly, I just love sitting in my wine drinking chair....drinking instead of wine....a nice cold bubbly water or iced tea and actually interacting with my family!

So, that's my story. Eleven years ago just about today I decided to have a half a glass of wine. I knew I came from an alcoholic family and had never been much of a drinker due to fear of becoming an alcoholic myself. But there was trouble in my life at the time, and I needed something to take me away from it. The next thing I knew a half a glass of wine had turned into a half a bottle of wine which was causing me much trouble. However, by then I couldn't stop as the cravings were too strong. Then a half a bottle turned into a bottle and a half and I was becoming an alcoholic fool. I am sure grateful to have found TSM a year and a half ago. I always knew it would work for me, but had a hard time wrapping my head around how long it was going to take after six months of TSM. I think everyone's path in TSM is different and like many before me have said, "Just keep going, don't overthink it, and always practice the golden rule....Nal one hour before Al."

One hint I would like to give from my experience. Most of this after about six months to a year is habit. Habits are very hard to break (for me especially). Once you commit to breaking the habit, new habits form, and you will see remarkable results. I really had to find something else to replace the reward of a glass of wine once TSM cured the addiction, and for me that was reading. Forming that new habit has been remarkable in my recovery. Now instead of waiting with great anticipation until I can have a glass of wine, I wait with just as much anticipation until I can reopen the latest great book I'm reading.

To all of you, thanks, and good luck on your TSM journey. Half Glass.


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 Post subject: Re: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:37 am 
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:50 pm
Posts: 13
I am very happy for you! You must feel liberated.

I agree with the idea of starting a new activity or hobby as many people drink out of pure boredom. I started learning guitar, working out and drinking tea (tea in itself is a very interesting subject and there are so many flavors to enjoy - and it can also be a hobby in itself).

Good luck and keep us posted!

_________________
Andy G.

Started May 8, 2012
Pre TSM: 40+/wk, 0 AF
Week 1: 29, 4 AF
Week 2: 27, 3 AF
Week 3: 31, 3 AF
Week 4: 31, 2 AF
Week 5: 16, 5 AF
Week 6: 15, 3 AF
Week 7: 26, 4 AF
Week 8: 16, 5 AF
Week 9: 23, 3 AF
Week 10: 16, 5 AF


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 Post subject: Re: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 547
Location: midwest, usa
What a terrific report, congratulations!

Your saying after 6 months you think it's just a habit, really resonates w/ me: for many months now, I start each week feeling I'm practically "cured" and that I'll have really low #'s for the week. This is based on how alcohol now affects me: the first two drinks are fine, and after that it is pointless. And yet...each week my #'s are NOT as low as seems would correspond to those feelings. :( I'm thinking the Nal has done it's job and now I need to work really hard to break the habit factor. Further supporting this idea is the fact I have some other bad habits that you wouldn't call addictions and yet the idea of ceasing them is very painful...similar to the pain I still feel in resisting some of my drinking behaviors.

I'm trying some new specific techniques now to work on that part, so your post is very helpful! :)

Lastly, I'm really curious about what you are reading: would you please list your 10 good books? Or you could PM me.

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Chrissie
Pre-TSM: Daily Drinker, 35 - 40 au/wk, 0-1 AF days
Regained Control @ Week 52
TSM WORKS!!!


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 Post subject: Re: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:13 am
Posts: 1359
Location: New York, NY
YAYAY! Congrats half glass (no glass now??). I'm so happy for you. Two things really resonate with me - first, I also really love reading (always have) and I miss it when I spend too much time drinking. Even in the depths of my drinking, if I was reading a super good book I was sometimes able to convince myself to stop drinking just so I could go home and read!!! Now that I drink less unfortunately I still read lots so that has been making my bedtimes later than I'd like sometimes...but sober :)
The other thing is the question of habit. I really feel what you are saying. I feel very "in control" of my drinking right now, and I've lost the urge to keep tight tallies on what I drink. But although everything seems to be fine most of the time, my numbers are needlessly high (for me). I say needlessly because like Chrissie said, first two drinks are nice these days, maybe four on a big night, but anything after that is really a waste. I don't enjoy it exponentially and it gives me exponential hangovers. And I don't feel huge cravings to keep going these days - but sometimes I do anyways. DRAT!!
Anyways, best of luck in your post-TSM life and hopefully you'll check in here and there :)

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TSM, second year.
Attempting to keep my drinks below 3 for each session, and below 10 for the week.


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 Post subject: Re: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:11 am
Posts: 105
Holy Cow! I can't believe this has come up!! First of all "half" I'm so very glad for you that you've finally had your breakthrough. It's just wonderful to read your story, especially the bit about your daughter....how many children of alcoholics (like me!) show our poor dear kids the wrong way to go about solving problems!!

Anyway just this morning I made a pledge to myself (and to God) that I would FORCE AF days - as they don't seems to be coming on their own and I guess depending on naltrexone to do all the work is not practical for many of us.

In my case I have been sober for long periods of time - only to succumb to one sip again and again. With naltrexone the neural pathways do become normalized over time, but for ME I feel it's not enough - that I have to FORCE myself to be sober now. So I start that today.

Don't mean to hijack your wonderful news but I hope others will chime in too and not only congratulate you, but also say what they think about just "doing it" once they feel the stranglehold of alcohol begin to loosen.

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Goal: Drinking under MY control, with AF days


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 Post subject: Re: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:07 am
Posts: 239
Location: East Coast, USA
Congratulations Half glass. Your post is immensely helpful to me. And so inspiring. Enjoy your new found freedom

Best wishes,

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Nalwayout

Weekend drinker usually 1 beer and 2-3 wines


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 Post subject: Re: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:34 pm
Posts: 521
Location: Denver
Thanks everyone. I am still ticking along "regained control." My goal remains to return to my former pre-alchy life of drinking maybe a glass of wine one or two times a year if at all. So, until then I will continue to report in to all of you. For now though, I continue to have a glass or two of wine out at a restaurant maybe one or two times a week. After Monday night's outing for dinner and two glasses of wine I no longer want to do that, at least not today. I watched myself and didn't like what I saw. I get so snippy with people if I'm the least bit tired or stressed when I have that glass of wine.

Chrissie to answer your question, I have read the standard NY Times bestseller novels or series of novels that everyone is reading (Wild, Hunger Games, Dragon Tattoo, etc.), but I have read a couple of books recommended by my 12 and 18 year old daughters such as The Bean Trees, Honor, and The Alchemist. These were really good books too.

So, everyone keep trucking along. I hope that knowing it took me 16 months of Nal to work up the courage to go AF for the most part inspires all of you to hang in there. I feel so free and happy today without the constant nagging thought of going home to a bottle of wine. At first I had to substitute with watered down margaritas, just the margarita mix, special teas, special waters. Now, after six weeks I drink straight water and I'm perfectly content. I keep telling myself "Water is my favorite beverage." ;)


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 Post subject: Re: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:11 pm
Posts: 46
Congrats! I envy you.

Everytime I force AF, I face a huge backlash. How do you know when you can stop fearing the ADE?

It's only been 3 months on TSM but I proved I'm not there after 4 AF last week...

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Weekly Total/AF days
01: 76/0 - 75/0 - 60/0 - 66/0
02: 63/1 - 64/1 - 70/1 - 82/1
03: 58/1 - ??/0 - ??/0 - 35/4
04: ??/0 - ??/4 - ??/0 - 00/7
05: 33/4
06: 28/4


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 Post subject: Re: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:34 pm
Posts: 521
Location: Denver
Hi Matt - Sorry for my delay in responding but my life marches on without alcohol. I didn't force AF in any real sense. In fact, for the first 16 months I was unable to do AF except maybe one time. When I was ready, I was just ready. Yeah, the first week was tough as I had some cravings, but they weren't enough to get me to start drinking daily again.

Hope that helps. Don't overthink it. Just do the Nal+one hour+Al and you will get there.


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 Post subject: Re: 17 Months for TSM to do the trick
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:37 am
Posts: 218
Hi HG, thats great news. A huge congratulations to you. I'm really happy for you (and your family). Your persistence paid off. I don't get on here very often anymore but I was wrapped to see your name on the cured list when I opened the menu. Once again congratulations, you really deserve it.


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