Ha! JoanieL, no one is going to beat you up! ( I hope) I have had this conversation with myself before, I used to "detox" a few times a year when I would give up meat, booze, cigarettes...It was sooo hard, but I did feel fantastic after about a month. I just had a surprise baby (3rd) 4 months ago, and I quit smoking cigs (for good this time) about a year and a half ago. So I suppose I am pretty clean right now, actually, lol.
I agree that I really, really enjoy and anticipate that one glass of wine....does that make me dependent? Maybe. Does that bother me? Not really. It took me many tries to quit smoking, and each time I became pregnant and smoked my last cig for the duration of pregnancy and nursing, it was like leaving that lover that is soooo bad for you, but sooo good in bed. Lol. I think I cried one time (I never cry). My husband, on the other hand, would rather smoke pot than drink.
The connection between sugar and alcohol cravings is very real. I know someone more technologically advanced then myself can provide some useful links, but this is definitely something to be aware of.
Good luck with whatever you decide, if you are even considering not drinking for awhile, it's probably a good idea! I do not believe that it has to be something permanent, but a predisposition does need to be managed.
I got sober when I was desperate enough that my I became willing to let go of my judgements about AA and religion and just listen. It took awhile. There is not a requirement to believe anything. I think there is a lot to be said for surrounding yourself with people that understand and are having success. That being said, I come here to read about this way of eating so I can model my own way of eating from people who know and I go there to learn from people with long-term happy sobriety.
I was just reading Richard Nikoley's journal about trying a milk and kefir diet (I think you have to subscribe to get it) and he reported a substantial decrease in desire for alcohol. His friend sent him an excerpt that I will leave you with now that explains why he might be experiencing this phenomenon.
Then I go full on milk and just simply began losing my taste for it altogether, most days. So now consumption is way way down and most days of the week in week one, I wasn't having a drink at all. And what's more, as I mentioned in last week's Newsletter, those three days I did have a few drinks, I felt like complete crap, which forced me to wonder if I had just gotten used to feeling crappy and now that I'm not, the difference was too pronounced to ignore.
I've even come to the point of seriously wondering if I ought to just toss the sauce completely.
In response to the blurb about alcohol last week (that got plastered around on Drama sites and comment boards), my friend David Brown—who recently did the guest post on omega-6—emailed me an extensive quote from a book by George Watson, Nutrition and Your Mind: The Psychochemical Response and here's the most relevant portion of it:
"Water of life it would indeed be if the whole story of alcohol were to end with its nutritional biochemistry, and it was simply another easily utilizable and wholesome source of energy. But it is not. Every drop of alcohol burned in the tissues creates an nutritional demand for carbohydrates and for many biochemicals that it does not by itself supply, the vitamins and minerals necessary to process it. Consequently, continued, constant, or frequent use of alcohol can lead to depletion of cellular nutritional reserves needed for normal metabolism. The paradox of alcohol is that while producing acetate and stimulating the breakdown of glucose, which in special circumstances results in apparent immediate physical and mental relief from stress, at the very same time this substance is a dangerous drug, both physically and psychologically.
One might think that since alcohol is metabolized in the normal nutritional pathways of the citric acid cycle, alcoholism is a nutritional disease, one that can be successfully treated by good nutrition. And indeed we have witnessed some dramatic successes using this approach. When psychological dependency has resulted from using alcohol as a substitute for food, then optimum nutrition can help erase the conditions of mental and physical fatigue which provide a stimulus to "think whiskey." For literally speaking, if you think you "need a drink" you don't NEED A DRINK; you need ATP (energy) derived from acetate, through the breakdown of blood sugar, fat, and protein. If one is really well nourished his energy reserves are as high as they can be. This is why truly healthy individuals cannot tolerate alcohol. Their cellular acetate breakdown is near maximum, and any rapid increase such as will result from a drink of whiskey may lead to headache, sweating, nausea, and possibly vomiting. In short, one's tolerance to alcohol reflects the state of one's biochemical health. The more one can drink without adverse effect the worse off he is. It is just plain utter biochemical nonsense for people to pride themselves on being able to hold their liquor, for only those in very bad shape can do so.
Unfortunately, the use of alcohol as a nutritional crutch is far from the whole story, however, for there are many reasons why people drink other than nutritional ones. For example, I had a young man tell me he was stopping his optimum diet and vitamin-mineral formula because he was "losing his taste for Scotch." He preferred the "pleasures of drinking" to the alternative I was offering of increased mental and physical functioning. However, for those who don't want to drink, who find alcohol a problem rather than a continuing source of pleasure, their first goal should be to adopt an intensive nutritional program which will build them up to the point where they not only do not feel they "need a drink" - they couldn't tolerate one without feeling ill if they drank it, amazing as that sounds."
Interesting, eh? When I read that it was like a huge lightbulb going off, explaining my whole experience over these last several years.
P.S. Sorry about the length, but I thought it was worth it.
I have found since being in nutritional ketosis more or less permanently, I have lost my taste for booze entirely just as the above article posits. I'm not holding myself back from drinking, I just don't find it appealing anymore. (Note: I never had a problem with excessive consumption, I just liked good red wine. Now I don't.)
I really think that Dr. Robert Lustig's point stands that fructose and alcohol are very similar in the way they are processed both by the liver and the way they tickle the same endorphin spots in the brain.
When I have indulged in wine (my birthday) I found myself craving carbs which never happens for the mostly carnivorous ketotic me.
[QUOTE=JoanieL;1138392]Quitting alcohol is tough. And now I'll start my paranoid riff on why. Drugs like LSD, most types of 'speed,' etc., make you think, create, do stuff. For some they are addictive; for many they aren't. Drugs like pot and alcohol numb your brain and get you to sit around doing nothing except watching TV and/or (mostly a male thing) get into stupid fights. The govt doesn't want you to think, so alcohol is legal and sooooo easy to find and very cheap - there's also the whole money thing as in taxes, etc. Pot is slowly becoming acceptable with some states either having medical or now a couple of states having recreational use legal.
There is a flaw in my logic in that if the govt really wanted us totally numb, they'd make heroin legal. But they want us numb, but able to work and produce. That's my rationale, anyway. And truth be told, I probably got it in my youth from some heavy revvy like Abbie Hoffman or Jerry Rubin.
Where I live, I can buy a liter of cheap vodka for less than $8 (including tax). There isn't a cheaper, faster source to get inebriated that I know of except maybe prescription drugs (which I include in the conspiracy to make us all slow and stupid).
Giving up alcohol is a one day at a time thing for a lot of people because sometimes looking at one's life without alcohol is just too tough to handle - the same can be said for quitting cigarettes, wheat, or anything else we might use on a regular basis. Every day we make choices, and the choice to drink or not to drink is one of them.
I struggle with this. I really love getting high. I'd rather smoke my high than drink it, but alcohol is easier and legal. Still I figure that even if I get totally shitfaced three days a month, I'm sober 329 days a year. I can live with that. Perfection is nothing to which I aspire.
I hope you don't beat me up too badly. :)[/QUOTE]
Joanie, I like the way you think. I know the government wants me numb and unthinking, but sometimes *I* just wanna be numb and not think so much for my sanity's sake... I can focus on unraveling the world's conspiracies some other time.
Continued long-term practice of alcoholism always to death or insanity (or 'living hell'). How about visiting a local hospital that has 'wet-brain' ("living hell") patients. Maybe fear will help you to stop.
This book was an eye-opener for me at a time when I was doing personal training with young men from a secondary drug/alcohol treatment facility. Now it makes perfect sense:
[url=http://www.amazon.com/Sober-Staying-That-Way-Alcoholism/dp/0684847973/ref=la_B000APS1SS_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364264728&sr=1-1]Sober...and Staying That Way: The Missing Link in The Cure for Alcoholism: Susan Powter: 9780684847979: Amazon.com: Books[/url]
Thanks guys, I'll check out the books. And I am quitting because it's a problem and I HAVE to, not because I just want to stop having a couple drinks now and then. Alcohol has cost me a job, a relationship, lots of sanity, money, and almost another relationship. I see a therapist but she just tells me to go to AA, so I was hoping to find some other things to do as well since AA doesn't work too well for me (at least thus far).
[QUOTE=Clymb;1138624]Thanks guys, I'll check out the books. And I am quitting because it's a problem and I HAVE to, not because I just want to stop having a couple drinks now and then. Alcohol has cost me a job, a relationship, lots of sanity, money, and almost another relationship. I see a therapist but she just tells me to go to AA, so I was hoping to find some other things to do as well since AA doesn't work too well for me (at least thus far).[/QUOTE]
AA will not work for you until you work for AA. When you tried AA, did you get into service? Did you make coffee, help arrange the chairs, talk to another AA everyday, etc?
A while back, I also had the NEED to stop drinking. I, like you, was NOT interested in AA (just not my cup of tea) so decided to look here on MDA for any insights and came across a post by "Jo" that mentioned a book called Easy Way to Stop Drinking by Allen Carr. I had been drinking well over a gallon of rum a week for years (sometimes much more)! I was drinking every night... Won't get too far into my issues but I took a chance and ordered the electronic version. I read it the first time and it made sense but I wasn't quite ready, so immediately read it again and stopped dead! No cravings whatsoever. Where before I would decide to stop via will power and would panic at about the 1 day mark and not even get ON the wagon, much less fall off! LOL
I will say that you MUST be in the right frame of mind for it to work though (and it sounds like you are). But it did for me and at least 1 other primal person on here.
If you're interested, here is a link:
[url=http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Way-Stop-Drinking/dp/1402736479/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364293157&sr=1-6&keywords=allen+carr]The Easy Way to Stop Drinking: Allen Carr: 9781402736476: Amazon.com: Books[/url]
Good luck! I know what you are going through and how hard it is!