Any primal advice for quitting alcohol (for good)? This is coming from someone with a history of alcohol problems, who would like to avoid AA if possible (I've been there, it was overly religious and that doesn't work for me). I can control my drinking for a short period of time (a month, tops), and then it all goes down the shitter. Any advice? I'm afraid I can't do it and I'm having a hard time finding answers. Thanks :)
Hmm, this is possibly not good advice for someone in your situation, but I'll give it to you anyway. While I think quitting booze is a noble goal, there's always a bigger question of "why?" A glass of wine or (dare I say it and risk the attack of the grain haters) a beer really helps me calm down after a long day. My mom is a hardcore teetotaler and would tell me I need to consider why I am turning to alcohol, but I just think, God gave us the stuff for a reason. When I have a drink or two, I'm friendlier, I find socializing easier... I suppose it would be nice if I didn't need alcohol to feel that way, but I'm not going to beat myself up over the fact that a drink or two helps me relax.
I think the more strides you make in purifying your diet, the better you will feel, the less you will NEED to drink to feel happy. But I also think quitting drinking altogether is a hard goal to reach, and might not be necessary. A lot of it is psychological-- i.e. if you think you need alcohol to relax, then you WILL need it. I think you would be better off trying to [I]cut down[/I] your drinking than trying to quit entirely. That way if you want a glass of wine one night, you can give in and have one, whereas if you totally deny yourself any alcohol for a long time you might end up binging on it when you reach a point where you just can't take it anymore. Like I said, the whole thing is very psychological. I'm sure you've already done a good bit of introspection on why you drink, etc. but the more in tune with yourself you get, the better you will feel, the better you'll understand yourself and your cravings. If you set your goals too high, you might despair when you don't reach them. If you focus on cutting down, you'll notice your progress more, feel happier and more positive and better able to sustain your progress. Just my two cents.
I quit completely and totally about 10 years ago. I didn't have a bad alcohol problem but it could have gone there. I drank about 3 drinks or so a day, like a few shots and a beer, or three shots, or three beers.
What I did was say to myself, I'll quit drinking for a bit and see what happens.
There were several months of flatness, the world was gray and I had a sense of complete boredom and numbness especially on weekends and evenings when I would have had my drinks.
After that it was okay. I have always had liquor in the house and never had so much as a sip. But if you ask me, I'll tell you I'm not drinking for the moment.
This is important I think. Not to build an imaginary future for yourself. The real wisdom of AA is the "day at a time" mantra, and of course the group camaraderie that makes it much easier to quit. (I have never attended a meeting but I read a book about AA.)
So that's my advice. I've also quit pot with the exact same experience. I think that was more difficult than quitting alcohol for me. It's the "day at a time" thinking. You string one day together, then the next, and just see how it goes.
Another thing that seems a total paradox is, it's better to say if you screw up and fall off the wagon "I'm human, that's okay, I'll try again" instead of shame and blame. People who succeed at this don't attack themselves when they screw up, but realize they're human, brush themselves off, and get back on the wagon.
I never did fall off, not even once, but I know this to be true.
Hope this helps.
^ Yeah, I actually did completely quit pot within the past two months. I honestly didn't even think about it, I just had this point where I was like, "this substance only has power over me because I let it have power over me," and after that I went from smoking once or twice a day to not smoking at all without even thinking about it.
I stopped completely about 18 months ago and it was a slowly growing long term problem for me until I did. I didn't use AA--not the "joining" type and don't agree with the philosophy of "you are an addict for life" stuff.
A book I got used off Amazon was quite helpful--"Sober for Good" which is interviews and accounts of how people quit using various methods. I got it for 50 cents and shipping for an older edition--I just checked and that is still an option so not a big investment to try it.
I worked the Primal thing, ate some dried figs / fruit when I felt alcohol cravings, made herbal blends and kefir, did Crossfit / Yoga and hiking, and have felt (surprisingly) very little difficulty overall in quitting. I agree that sometimes
the weekends are "flatter" as was mentioned above, but I would describe life now as more subtle and nuanced and I am happier than I have ever been.
It is worth quitting to see how you feel. I suggest giving yourself maybe 6 months as a trial. Get the booze out of your system and try life without it. I have no interest in going back to drinking at this point even though I set myself a one year goal. That has long passed and yet I was so sure that when I said a year I would start drinking, at least socially again. I don't miss it and that is the biggest surprise of all. Good luck in your quest. . .
As far as books go, this book is amazing, it's what convinced me to quit drinking in September (lasted a couple months) and it's also just a deliciously fun read: [url=http://www.amazon.com/Smashed-Drunken-Girlhood-Koren-Zailckas/dp/0143036475]Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood: Koren Zailckas: 9780143036470: Amazon.com: Books[/url]
Thanks for the advice guys. I think the one day at a time is the hardest part, you really wanna just say it's done forever and let that be that. What was the bit about the herbs/fruit and figs/etc when having cravings?
I'm in a similar situation. I don't have a trouble quitting for a few weeks. Those periods are restful, productive, restorative. But they can also be a bit boring after about three weeks. When I try to sprinkle some drinking back in, well, the sprinkle becomes a firehose.
In my case I've learned that I'm usually fine if I stick to beer. It's when Mr. Whisky shows up that I get into trouble. I've also learned to eat first. I'm not worried about whether I'm "addicted" or an "alcoholic". I just want to enjoy my life. I'm going on another dry spell in advance of small trip, when I'm sure I'll be drinking.
So I guess I'm n=1'ing it with alcohol. It may come to having to give it up entirely. I hope not, as I enjoy downing a few with friends. But I can picture a life without booze. So.....
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. :)
i am probably a rarity in the fact that i always say i didnt get the alcoholic gene. none of us in my family are that way inclined. we have way worse demons instead. what i find with booze is i can take it or leave it and i have spent a fair portion of my adult life accidentally on purpose spilling my shots. or i will subtly pour my drink into empty beer cans as men do tend to try to ply us with alcohol for certain reasons. that said, i do love a good excuse to party but i do have to know i am safe. so if i do get totally smashed, it is only once in a while and for me it doesnt trigger any ongoing issues. i always maintain it is good to challenge your system every so often.
people i know who have given up drinking who have drunk heaps and had a good many years of alcohol abuse going on have always only ever been sucessful if they totally abstain. it is poss one of the worst addictions to fight as it doesn't seem to be something you can take or leave if you have ever had an issue and it is so easily obtainable and socially acceptable to have a drink. good example, i can take a bottle of beer or wine to a bbq at my kids school. but if i so much as light up a cigarette on the school grounds all hell breaks loose. most people replace their alcohol addiction with something else such as religion. and i really think the trick is to addiction replace myself but you need to choose what it is wisely. i sorted my other issues with the exercise addiction but i do it healthy and maintainable. i was also lucky in the fact that most of my issues were to do with the need to be numb. now i have so many places to go which are beautiful and things to do which are fun, that i need to be with it. so for me, i concentrate on the positives. i make sure i keep busy and make concious choices for my health. and it is a concious thing. you need to love yourself, you need to look after yourself and you need to take every day as a new day and enjoy the ride. if you do stuff up after a while, you generally feel so bad that you are able to get back into it. you also need to identify your triggers. be aware and take countering steps before it is too late.