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cookey
Aug 18th, 2008, 10:22 PM
That would be a good idea Cookey.:smile:

At the moment I am having to focus on social activities that do not centre around the pub. Luckily my closest friends and my husband don't drink hardly at all but I know I will have to be around very drunk people at some point socially and I am dreading it.:o

Me and Emma P and a few others have got together a few times around more cultural and eatery type outings with our children, despite the fact that we live a considerable distance apart! I'd be happy to travel if someone suggests something.
I am very lucky to be involved in a social scene which revolves around dancing rather than alcohol where a lot of people don't drink much if at all - salsa . I was very pleased when I discovered it. My dad does rock and roll and says its a simlar situation with that (he doesn't drink either).

BlackCats
Aug 19th, 2008, 01:15 AM
HOO! RA!
Well done BlackCats, EmmaP, and Mr.Flibble.

Thanks Whalespace.:)

Thanks for posting that link Seitan.:)

Cookey - I know I should get out and do more cultural things like museums etc, that is a good idea. I would travel for a non-pub meetup as long as it wasn't too far.:)

emmapresley
Aug 19th, 2008, 11:10 PM
do you consider wolverhampton too far to travel to aphroditerrrr..blackcats? :D

BlackCats
Aug 20th, 2008, 12:59 PM
do you consider wolverhampton too far to travel to aphroditerrrr..blackcats? :D

(No it isn't too far. Cookey mentioned it to me, it's just that I might be going away on holiday in November so I will have to see nearer the time *should send this in a pm*:D)

I was thinking yesterday that I felt like I had to alter my life when I became vegan and now I'm teetotal I feel like I'm moving away further and further from the mainstream (that might not be a bad thing.):smile:

cookey
Sep 15th, 2008, 09:17 AM
I think some of us will be at Wolverhampton fayre if anyone wants to meet there? Have a look at the meet-ups sub forum.

BlackCats
May 18th, 2009, 04:39 PM
^ I never got to the Wolverhampton fayre.:o:D

I have decided I am giving up alcohol again for the summer so I'm not being teetotal for the rest of my life or anything but giving up until September at least. I always feel better for having a break from drinking for a while anyway. It's not been difficult so far but it hasn't been that long.:)

Marrers
May 18th, 2009, 05:50 PM
Good luck with that BC. :)

BlackCats
May 18th, 2009, 05:54 PM
^ Thanks Marrers.:) I managed it for nearly 6 months last year so hopefully I have set a precedent.:D

cobweb
May 18th, 2009, 10:46 PM
i'm back off the drink again, too, it just doesn't agree with me anymore, or something like that anyway.

starlight
Jun 11th, 2009, 02:05 AM
I've been totally alcohol free for 5 weeks now :D

Marrers
Jun 11th, 2009, 11:44 AM
Well done starlight. Have you found it a challenge?

starlight
Jun 11th, 2009, 08:46 PM
Thanks Marrers.

I know it's not long but I'm really chuffed. The hard part was deciding to do it - that bit took about 20 years :)

Most of the time it's been no problem, but I've learned lots about my relationship with alcohol.

There are certain situations where I find myself suddenly "needing" a drink. For example, if I've had a particularly stressful day at work or am really tired after training I used to drink. Now I'm having to find new ways to cope - like go and lie down for an hour and close my eyes until I stop feeling so crappy. As it turns out, the new way is so much better because after that lie down I can carry on with my day, not waste my entire evening brain-dead drunk like I used to.

Funny thing is, I used to believe I was drinking to "help me relax" and that it was a concious choice, but what I'm realising is that the drinking was actually a programmed habbit and a subconcious way to get me through without having to face up to the bad feeling. I was lying to myself.

How many other people lie to themselves about alcohol I wonder?

Other than that I've cancelled a boys-night-out as it was going to be no fun, but that's not such a hardship for me (I don't get out much haha).

Luckily I don't have too many triggers. Generally I feel so much better for stopping - losing weight, better sleep, better emotional stability, happier.

I want to stay off alcohol for good now. That's the same part of my brain saying that as the bit that knows it's best to be vegan.

I definately feel like a freek now though - alcohol free and vegan!

Sorry if this has been asked before, but does anyone know of any good support material on the web for people who don't drink? (not the usual moderation-is-best line)

Barry
Jul 24th, 2009, 06:13 PM
Good luck with giving up alcohol. It's something I can relate to a lot cause I battle it myself quite a bit to be honest. I'm 28 and have beeen drinking regularly and quite heavily since the age of about 16. I was recently off alcohol for three months around the time of my final exams for my degree because quite frankly I would have failed miserably had I been drinking at the time, ended up getting a 2:1 purely because I didn't drink. Theres been a few other periods, generally for 3-4 months at a time when I've stopped in the past because I've had to get my shit together, but I have to say, alcohol is a hugely negative thing in my life, in fact probably the only negative thing. I'm doing what I want to do with my life, great girlfriend, family etc. It's hard to describe how big a part of the culture it is where I come from - Galway, Ireland. There's a few other Irish members on these boards and they'll know galways reputation! People have been mentioning straightedge and the hardcore scene in this thread, it sure isn't involved in the Irish hardcore scene! I've been playing in hardcore and metal bands my entire life and it's definitely only encouraged my drinking - I have many memories of a venue in dublin who in my experience only ever paid bands with pints! Three day sessions with no food are simply thought of as a 'good night out' by a lot of people I know! Having said all that my drinking ultimately rests on my own head and I can blame as many outside influences as i want but ultimately the buck stops with me. I'm starting a postgrad in september and I've decided to give up alcohol for the entire year, which I think will be a challenge but I'm determined to do it. If I can do it for a year then maybe I can make it a permanent part of my life - especially as I'm moving to the U.K next year so maybe I can make some friends whose lives don't revolve aroung the pub!

jimmeh
Jul 24th, 2009, 06:25 PM
Aww I really feel for you. I'm pretty much going through exactly the same thing. I have been drinking heavily since I was about 14. I suppose Glasgow is pretty similar to Galway. If anyone here tells you they don't drink it's because they used to have a problem and they can't drink, not that they just choose to be tee-total. I keep saying to myself, I'll go out tonight and I won't have anything. But then I can't think of anything interesting to say, or I get bored or tired, and alcohol seems to alleviate every one of them. I know I need to stop drinking but it's so so difficult when you're in that kind of cycle

Barry
Jul 24th, 2009, 06:42 PM
I think I probably made myself seem worse than I actually in that post. The funny thing is I think is just a routine at this stage! I have a very full happy life, I just can't seem to break the habit of getting smashed with my friends pretty much all weekend every weekend. During the week I'm all business! I just seem to lose friday, saturday and Sunday most weeks!
I keep saying to myself, I'll go out tonight and I won't have anything. How many times have I said that to myself! It's ridiculous! From what I hear galway and glasgow would be fairly similar in terms of alcohol alright, people don't seem to trust you unless you have a drink in your hand! This makes you feel uncomfortable and brings up feelings which as you rightly said
alcohol seems to alleviate. As I said I did three months off recently and felt pretty great about it, but what did I do the day I finished my exams? take a wild guess. I think now is a good time to give up forever, I'm lucky enough to be in perfect health despite my shenanigans through the years. I read an article during the week about a guy in his mid twenties who died from liver failure because of binge drinking. FUCK THAT! That is not going to be me! I have WAY to much to live for. Would I be corrrect in thinking jimmeh that you've been partying with pretty much the same group of friends since you started drinking?

jimmeh
Jul 24th, 2009, 06:56 PM
The drinking at uni was pretty heavy, and I was with a crowd who preferred to go to the bar at 11am when it opened than go to lectures. But then we all graduated and moved away. I don't drink anything like as much as I did back then. I calculated that I was drinking about 70-80 units per week, and then I started getting pains in my abdomen. At 21 years old, that really shocked me into thinking I better stop. So, that was about 5 years ago and I probably drink within the recommended units now. I just think that now would be a great time to stop for good.

Barry
Jul 24th, 2009, 07:12 PM
That is a bit of a reality check alright, not a good sign... Like you I've definitely slowed down a fair bit over the last few years compared to when I was about 22. My reality check wasn't something that happened to me personally but to a friend of mine. A guy I've known and loved for 16 years has basically become a complete drunk, a totally serious alcohol problem, It has completely changed everything about him including his appearance - red cheeks, bulbous nose, it's horrible cause the poor guy was a really good looking man only 3-4 years ago, if alcohol is having that affect on his appearance I can only imagine what it's doing to his insides. All his friends have attempted to offer him help and advice but he just doesn't want to know about it. And quite frankly I feel like a serious hypocrite lecturing anyone about alcohol when I'm a binge-drinker myself.

Barry
Jul 24th, 2009, 07:16 PM
Actually as a side note to the above, and to show the local attitude towards alcohol where I live - a hell of a lot of people I know (not friends, i merely know them, and DEFINITELY not his friends) consider this guy to be completely normal, and that his drinking is no big deal (he regularly drinks bottles of port by himself in the morningtime).

jimmeh
Jul 24th, 2009, 07:25 PM
I really feel it when I go to the cinema (sober) on a Saturday night and I come out about midnight and people are literally asleep on the pavement in their short skirts and a pool of vomit. It makes me really happy to have stayed in control.

I just think, well I don't do drugs, cigarettes, meat or dairy, I run two miles a day, I am educated enough to know that this one thing could potentially kill me. And yet I still do it. Grrr!

Barry
Jul 24th, 2009, 07:33 PM
I just think, well I don't do drugs, cigarettes, meat or dairy, I run two miles a day, I am educated enough to know that this one thing could potentially kill me. And yet I still do it. Grrr! You just summed up what I was trying to say over the course of four very long posts in two sentences.

cobweb
Jul 24th, 2009, 09:45 PM
I'm back to teetotalling again now after my recent bad spell. It wasn't caused by alcohol but I do know that alcohol will definitely hamper my recovery so therefore am abstaining again.

starlight
Jul 24th, 2009, 10:19 PM
You just summed up what I was trying to say over the course of four very long posts in two sentences.

I hear what you are saying about culture - university culture was big on drink, as was going-out culture in Northern towns in England. And the work culture in one of my early jobs was very alcohol fuelled.

The way I stopped was like this ...

One day I saw a TV programme that followed a young woman who was drinking far too much. She just thought she was having fun, being young, getting dutch courage yada yada and the drinking was no big deal.

But it was really clear from the outside that she was slowly ruining her life with the stuff. It was destroying her health, her relationships, her mental stability and killing off her chances of getting the life and career she really wanted.

The effect was really, really obvious but she just couldn't see it herself, and neither could her "friends" who were in the same drink culture.

So while I was watching I was thinking I was probably deluding myself in the same way. Maybe it's the drink itself that stops you realising what is going on? Anyway, I was starting to see that maybe looking at my drinking from the outside the reality was different to what I had been telling myself for years. Not that I was necessarily drinking any more than my peers, you understand, but that we were _all_ ruining our lives with the stuff.

So after the programme I turned off the TV and said to myself "that's it, I'm never drinking again" and went to bed. And that was it.

Once I made the decision I just had to work out how practically I would deal with situations where drink was about. I just dealt with them one at a time when they came up and to be honest that was quite easy.

So for example, when a mate asked me on a beer and curry night out, I just said no-thanks and did something else that evening. It was no big deal - life goes on and you adapt. But life is so much better!

cheers
:)

Barry
Jul 25th, 2009, 03:09 AM
Not that I was necessarily drinking any more than my peers, you understand, but that we were _all_ ruining our lives with the stuff.

complete ditto on that, although I seem to the one of the few of my friends who's realised that there is a problem when you're still binge drinking on a friday, saturday and sunday and the age group of your friends is from about 25-35. You can get away with that stuff when you're 18-19. Like I said I've been lucky enough to have been at this crap for a long time with absolutely no adverse effects to my health(mental and physical)
The way I stopped was like this ...

I just had to work out how practically I would deal with situations where drink was about. I just dealt with them one at a time when they came up Cheers for the advice, I think I'll be following a fairly similar approach and like i said in an earlier post, I have abstained for periods before when I've needed to really apply myself to somthing in life, and I'm starting a pretty intense post-grad in september, it'll be my first full year off alcohol since I started drinking! I really feel that once I do this it will show me that i'll able to enjoy the rest of my life without having to binge drink. The fact that me and the completely supportive of everything I do missus are moving away from ireland next june will probably help as well....

Barry
Jul 25th, 2009, 03:18 AM
Bigs thanks to starlight and jimmeh for advice shared. I'm not normally so open about this kinda stuff, and it's great to have some honest but non-judgemental talks about this. The only people who know I feel this way in the 'real world' are my girlfriend and one other friend (who basically feels the same).

jimmeh
Jul 25th, 2009, 11:09 AM
Yeah, thanks to you too! I'm going to give it a go for a couple of months, with hopefully the intention of giving up for good. Best of luck to you :thumbsup: