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I’m ANGRY. Angry about the reports that came out last week that young Americans are dying painfully, senselessly and in abject humiliation. Angry at the 60 percent increase in deaths from cirrhosis of the liver since 1999. Angry that the biggest increase is among millennials. That the biggest increase is among millennials and women.
I’m ANGRY that this will most likely be hidden under a pile of quasi-scientific reports on the health benefits of whisky, wine and tequila. It'll be suggested that it COULD be about nutrition or it COULD be about obesity or it COULD be about health care or it COULD be about poverty.
It's about DRINKING. It's about BINGE drinking . It's about HABITUAL drinking . It's about an industry that is making a fortune selling the idea that drinking A LOT has no consequences.
I'm angry that it has become uncool to suggest that dinking has consequences.
Since the first reportscame out around the year 2000 that wine was heart healthy and should be included in our daily diet , the liqure section at the grocery store has grown and grown. We now celebrate our healthy appetite for all things alcohol with flavored vodkas, and infused gins, with spiked seltzers and high alcohol beer. Our wine glasses have gotten bigger and bigger and it's no wonder that people are confused about the size of an actual serving. Magnums of wine, 5 liter tetra packs, six packs of full size champagne bottles.
Super Size Me Happy Hour!
Even Sake is served in jumbo cups now ... excuse me but YUCK!
NBC reported yesterday that alcoholic liver cirrhosis and liver cancer are rising at an alarming rate in the United States. NPR focused on the statistics for the younger generation and Reuters highlighted the growing numbers of women dying for a drink. All three articles that I read suggested shock on the part of the researchers at the statistics. How can it be happening that so many more young people and women are dying of binge drinking ?
It's because the Alcohol Industry and Media is Allowed to Bully us. The people who have been making an absolute fortune off selling you the NEED to drink daily have created a culture where we bully each other with the idea that everyone should be able to drink like a sailor, or like a mommy! It's "mommy's wine time" RELAX ! You deserve a bottle or two of wine for everything you do all day! Let's do shots! It's wine wednesday!
It's killing us and it's killing our kids but we can fight back against the drinking has no consequences hard sell
Drinking like that has consequences.
Drinking like that is addictive. Encouraging habitual binge drinking creates the best, most reliable consumer on the market . It creates addicts. Addicts who in our culture are driven into isolation by the shame of being the one in ten who cannot " handle" it. The one in ten who becomes addicted. BULLSHIT!
I don't think it's one in ten anymore and it's time to start talking about it openly.
It's time to stop talking only about the disease of alcoholism, as if it is a cross that a minority must bear, and start talking more about a progressive addiction that MANY of us find ourselves falling into, a behavior that we are SOLD aggressively and gleefully every single day.
This is the soft sell. It's pink. It's pretty. It's bubbly. It's Homey and Comfortable and Friendly and it's right there at the check out for last minute impulse buy!
This is the hard sell .
If you feel like you NEED to drink it's time to take a break for a while and figure out how to live without it. You CAN! Life is great without alcohol. It is low drama and high passion. It is everything that we dreamed of being as adults when we were kids. It's strong and responsible and kind. It's better health and a brighter brain and EVERYTHING you FEEL you feel more vibrantly. Get my drift? Sobriety is Clarity, it's creativity, and it is FREEDOM from the NEED to drink. Freedom from the NEED to NUMB.
You've been conned. People are dying. People are making a lot of money off selling people addiction.
It starts with each one of us saying I have had enough! I am enough!
If you’re drinking too much too often come talk to us. Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking to much. Anonymous, independent, free community support.
10. Visualize yourself not drinking. If you've slipped, think back and figure out what happened that caused it. Then come up with a plan for the next time. Then sit and imagine yourself back in that situation, using your new plan, and succeeding; Do that a couple of times and you will find the new plan right there when you need it.
9. Weigh the outcomes. What will happen if you drink, What will happen if you don't drink. Sometimes it helps to write down how you feel after you've overdone it, and re-read that honest assessment the next time Little Voice is feeding you a line.
8. Create accountability. Post your goals here, and faithfully log in an 'fess up when you slip. If you have a spouse or friend who can serve in this role that helps too. Accountability strengthens resolve.
7. Break it down. Remember, the only time you can actually not drink is right now. The past is over and the future has to wait its turn. Just don't drink today, don't drink right now.
6. Reward yourself for not drinking, with a favorite show or new clothes. Don't be bashful; Post here that you've completed "Day ##". Stick your chest out!
5. Take your brain out of it. Remember when you learned to ride a bike? When you were thinking about it, you wobbled all over the place, but then the time came when you just did it. Don't dwell on sobriety; Just make it an integral non-optional part of your life. Then move on to other things.
4. Surround yourself with success. I'm not into dumping friends, but there may be some dyed in the wool drinkers you just need to move on from. More importantly, make new sober friends, and read the posts here from folks who are running the good race.
3. Look back once in a while. As you make progress, occasionally remind yourself of what it was like "back when". It can be a huge motivator.
2. Prepare for success. We all know when the tough times will be: At the pub with pals, the 5PM Happy Hour. Have a plan. Be aware of the times you have problems (this is often half the battle) and have something planned. Exercise at 5PM. Be ready to order a non-alcoholic drink at the pub.
1. Know that you CAN succeed. This is not a seven foot high jump. It's not "rocket science". It's just NOT drinking alcohol. Never let Little Voice con you into thinking, "I can't do this." Horse manure! Tell LV to, "Stuff it!".
Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don't HAVE to drink. Don't stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking to much.
Sobriety is Clarity, Creativity, Freedom! Community connection is the first step.
Direction is something I think a lot of us lack. It happens partly because we are really not sure what to do with ourselves, how to live, how to adult, without booze. It's part of the reason we run back to it. Life without our crutch can be scary. And the need to run back to 'safety' is strong.
But that safety is not real. The love of your life is a snake in your bed. He offers you escape from all the big meanies and scaries, while he quietly tightens the noose around your neck and the bindings on your wrists and ankles.
When others try to save you from him, he whispers in your ear "They don't know you like I do, love you like I do. I am all you need." Alcohol is an abusive, controlling lover.
Plotting the course away from booze is every bit as hard as leaving an abusive lover - take it from me. In some ways I would even argue it can be harder.
Society takes a dim view of abusive lovers. But us? Well we did it to ourselves - no one held our noses and poured the booze down our throats now did they. And we could just stop.
This is why we can cop so much flack from people. The disapproval that alters people's perceptions of us when they learn the truth, and in turn changes the way they treat and regard us. excerpt from Fix it Change it Redirect it
If you're drinking too much too often Talk to Us Sobriety is Clarity, Creativity, Freedom! Community connection is the first step.
There is a gray area between health-conscious, moderate, daily drinking and alcohol abuse, that has been broadening and deepening these past twenty years. Many women of my generation have fallen into a hole of ambiguity about the role alcohol should play in their lives. We have been sold the idea that moderate, daily drinking is good for our health and that Wine o' Clock is aharmless and essential downtime activity. But what is a healthy dose of alcohol and how do you use it daily without becoming addicted?
Women who were born in the 1960's and 1970's are dying of alcohol related diseases in record numbers and the statistics don't begin to show the full range of devastation on our many of our lives.
I fell into that confusing gray area between drinker and drunk, and struggled for six long years to get my drinking under control. I was terrified that I might be an alcoholic, wasting days recovering from unintended binges, my self- esteem washing away bit by bit. The thought of losing my wine crutch was unimaginable and every time I turned on my television for a bit of mindless entertainment, the message came across that drinking like I did was funny and normal. There was a lot of pain and frustration that might have been avoided in those years between my fortieth and fiftieth birthdays if I'd known a few simple things. If you think you're drinking too much too often you are not alone. Stopping can be a challenge but it is nowhere near as dramatic a loss as you may expect it to be. For me, ending my long and illustrious drinking career has been one of the best choices I've ever made. Here are some thoughts on how to rein it in that may be easier than you expect.
I think you have a choice about how you view stopping drinking. You can view it as something you are forced to do or you can view it with curiosity and as a good thing. You can view your life without booze as a lesser life or you can view it as something that will bring new untainted highs, open new opportunities, and inspire you to learn new things. If you're feeling scared that's natural as you have most likely relied on drink for a long time. Feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and negativity are common among people who are heavy habitual drinkers. The alcohol works on your brain and body to bring you down and often the best solution seems to be another drink. When you are ready to stop you'll find it takes a while to work through those emotions. Bloated, tired, under performing at work, and losing the joy in our relationships, most of us find our self-esteem down around our ankles as we begin day 1.
. Genuine self-care is something that will truly replenish your body and soul, and not take more time then you are now spending on the drink, drunk, recover cycle. People often say that addicts are selfish and it's true. If you're becoming addicted to the wine o' clock routine you may find that you're beginning to put drinking above your family or friends. Be prepared to be a selfish in a healthy way for a while. While you focus on putting yourself back together without the booze crutch you will need to start by asking for some genuine time for yourself. It will make an enormous difference if you can be open to new ideas and immerse yourself in all things sobriety for a while. With everything available on the internet now from podcasts, to blogs, to communities, it has never been easier to find the help you need.
There are many groups on the internet and in the "real" world that can offer support when you're trying to stop drinking. It helps tremendously to have a community of people who understand from personal experience how difficult it can to dry out in a wet world. Our group, BOOM, is private and independent of social media, which works well for quiet, focused expression and discussions, but if you are on Facebook check out the Recovery 2 Global Community
SHAIR recovery network and the 30 day challenge group Sober Together. Look around until you find a group, or multiple groups that fit you. Readily available, community support from people who know what you're going through can be the difference between holding on and letting go in the early days.
The resources in this post are among the favorites of our online community, BOOM. We are one of many free resources on the internet, full of people who are helping each other get sober and stay that way. Sobriety is a gift to be shared generously and you'll find many people out there doing just that.
I always assumed that people who were not physically addicted would not suffer withdrawal from alcohol but that is incorrect. Addiction to alcohol is neurological long before it becomes physical. The struggles that most of us face when we stop drinking have nothing to do with the intense physical withdrawl that is associated with acute alcoholism.
In addition to Belle's thoughts on the struggle that was going on in my mind, one of the simplest most important lessons I've learned is that there is a connection between low blood sugar and alcohol cravings in the late afternoon. If you're in the early months of kicking a drinking routine, be prepared for low blood sugar to trigger alcohol cravings and make sure that you plan to eat before your usual drinking time. Try using L-Glutamine powder as explained in these posts by two of our members
by Annie Grace, author of the book This Naked Mind. Like Belle, Annie offers a variety of free and paid resources. Her book and her pod casts are a big piece to the puzzle for many.
There are as many different experiences as there are people trying to get stop drinking. All are valid. There is no specific addictive personality or absolute cure. When I was drinking myself numb I lost track of who I was. Sobriety has been about re- discovering me.
If you want to stop drinking come up with a plan and share it. Work with a community online or in the tangible world or both. If you make sobriety your number one priority for a while you will find your way out of that ambiguous, gray area, hole before it becomes a bottomless pit.
Open a Book, open a browser, open your mind. The keys are out there.
You don't HAVE to drink.
If you'd like to add our community to your tool box you'll find us private, anonymous, independent and free at www.boozemusings.com. Click ,Talk to Us, to open the door.
To make this delicious sexy mocktail we used about three cups of freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice. Add juice of one lime. We sweetened this with some of the syrup from the maraschino cherries which is completely decadent but delicious. Then add sparkling water to taste. Serve over ice with a fresh sprig of mint and a maraschino cherry.
Bird is optional.
If You're Drinking Too Much Too Often Retink the Drink
When I started my first sober year I did “come out” to my family and my closest friends. They all knew that I enjoyed drinking but I needed to be honest with them about how seriously I had lost control if I was going to have any chance of success at sobriety. For most of us who are very high functioning heavy drinkers our loss of control is a secret but it is a secret that we have to expose if we are going to have the support we need to stop. I needed to know that the people who were closest to me would really understand that I absolutely could not have “ just one” drink ever again.
The problem is that if I’m at a party or a work event and say “ Oh no Thank You I don’t drink…period” then every stigma that goes along with the word alcoholic attaches to me like flies on paper. People suddenly see me a fragile, unreliable and somehow diseased, or worse yet , they think that I’m exaggerating and going through some sort of menopausal rebellion against the status quo. The reaction is either “ Oh my are you an ALCOHOLIC!? “ or “ Oh Come On your NOT an ALCOHOLIC.”
For me sobriety is the most empowering experience of my adult life. I have not been brainwashed or hypnotized and I don’t think that alcohol is demons poison. I just know that my long and illustrious drinking career is over and I am thrilled with the result. Rather than waking up blurry, hung over and grumpy I’m up at six ready to rock. It turns out that every occasion that I once thought required a drink is actually more fun, less stressful, easier and more genuine with a clear sober head.
Take roughly 2 cups of sliced frozen strawberries. ( I used fresh strawberries and put them in the freezer for a while) Throw them in a blender with a few ice cubes, half a cup of sugar, juice from 1 lemon, and blend until they are smooth. It will make a sort of frothy syrup. Pour into whatever glass tricks your trigger and fill the rest with bubbly water. I used a martini glass and put lime juice on the rim and then dipped it in sugar. Yum!
If You're Drinking too Much too often
Talk to Us
Alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for Not using
I don’t believe that there is one type of addictive personality but I know that the loss of control all addicts experience does lead to shame. Shame leads to isolation and the solution is community. Sharing our stories and supporting others in the process of recovery is the best way to not only break the addiction but rediscover the value of who we are as individuals.
Mark Lewis’s Biology of Desire is the book on my bedside table right now. I’m working through it slowly trying to digest his research on neuroplasticity but even without fully understanding the science behind his theories I know from my own experience that they are true.
As he brilliantly puts it
“The facility for viewing one’s life as a narrative may be what’s missing in addiction... Addicts experience something breathtaking when they can stretch their vision of themselves from the immediate present back to the past that shaped them and forward to a future that’s attainable and satisfying... It feels like being the author and advocate of one’s own life. It feels like being real... The many addicts who end up quitting do so uniquely and inventively, through effort and insight. Thus quitting is best seen as further development, not “recovery” from a disease.”
Breaking an addiction is very hard work but if the work is done consciously and creatively the rewards are amazing.
I spent years writing tortured private journal entries promising to stop drinking. I didn't journal often but when I did I wrote empassioned, apologetic, sad, and frustrated pleas to myself. I wrote promises to my kids and husband swearing that I would stop! That I would stop TODAY! But I sealed those promises inside my journal and hid it in the bottom of a drawer.
I wrote those journal entries sincerely but when I wasn't able to stick to the promises I made I would kick myself hard for being weak willed, and then settle back into the routine of lying to myself about the dangers of daily binge drinking untill the next colossal hungover guilt fest. Then I would write another tragic, empassioned, apologetic, sad, and frustrated secret plea to myself and a promise to my kids and husband that I would stop this time, finally, today, because enough was enough !
But it never worked.
My addiction was absolutely dependent on lies and secrecy. I drank like my friends in public but when I got home I continued, and continued, and continued. The further I sank into secrecy about the extent of my drinking the more important it became that I get real in a public way ....... public but somehow private at the same time .
The first day that I started journaling publicly, by posting my plan anonymously to an on-line community, was the day that I finally stopped drinking once and for all.The process of recovery for me has been about finally growing up, finally accepting responsibility, working out my truth and unexpectedly awakening to a childlike wonder at the world around me. It took courage to state my plan publicly and It took courage to lay my thoughts on the line each day but in return, for trusting the people around me to gently catch me if I fell, I was rewarded with genuine freedom.
If you’re drinking too much too often Talk to Us
We are a private, anonymous, independent, community