How to handle the first week?

I am giving this a shot again. Over the past few years I have gotten to the point of drinking every day. I dont wake up and need it but by the afternoon I am always thinking about drinking…and more than not I do. I use it as an escape, and it affects my sleep, health, anxiety…etc. I can stop for a few days but the urge always returns and I can always justify drinking. I need help and companionship through this process. I would love to hear how you all get through the first week…

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Welcome. I was really never physically addicted to it, it was all mental. It was a way of self medicating. I stopped after a 25 year drinking career. This place is a wonderful first step. Reaserch, share, and participate here and it will help.

Good luck! We are here to help.

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The first week should be all about YOU.
lots of water, lots of rest, go for walks.
Try and avoid your normal routines.
Read all you can about alcoholism.
Gather knowledge here.
Investigate : therapy / counseling / support groups.
Ask for help
Make a plan.
Wishing you all the best :pray:

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Hey there! Welcome!

I wasn’t physically addicted either. Like you I didn’t drink when I woke up, or throughout the day. I drank when I got home from work until I went to bed. Sometimes I blacked out, most times I didn’t, but still had problems recalling what I did or said the night before. Probably did this 6 days a week for 20 years.

What has helped was changing every aspect of my life, from the biggest to the smallest. I quit my job, quit my drinking friends, quit nicotine, quit caffeine, quit going to the places I associated with drinking (bars, restaurants, stores, gas stations), started going to the gym, started cooking food from scratch, started meditating, started coming here daily.

I remember the first week well, because I journaled every day (every hour) so I could document what I went through, as a reminder.

Day one I paced back and forth and was uneasy all day. I went to concert that night and was agitated and on edge, but I powered through.

Day two was a lot like day one, I spent the day pacing with an overwhelming sense that there was something I was supposed to be doing. It was uncomfortable, but I powered through

Day three I spent all day on the couch. This was a Monday so I was home alone. I watched Netflix all day. I was feeling like shit and ate and ate and ate. I had tickets to go see on of my favorite bands, whom I’ve never seen before, but I stayed home. It was very uncomfortable, but I powered through.

Day four was much like day 3, maybe a little better. I felt I was maybe at the apex. I wasn’t sleeping much.

Day five I felt better, finally over the hump but still uncomfortable. Still in a fog of confusion.

Day six felt much much better. This was the last day I felt physical withdrawals.

Day seven I finally felt like I was ready to get up, dust my self off and begin my recovery. I still had some symptoms that were a little uncomfortable, but I was like 70% .

By week two, I was maybe 80%. Sleep became easier.

Week three 90%

Week four 98%

Week 6 100%. Sleep became magical.

Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that will help you other than sheer will. It’s possible, and you can do it. We’re here with you!

Good luck.

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Stay busy and exercise…and lots and LOTS of sparkling water. I also take melatonin and magnesium for restful sleep. You’ll get there.

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In the first week or two you need to keep yourself super busy…distraction is crucial. Once you get passed the immediate withdrawals then you start putting plans together to help you deal with the voices in your head that will tell you “it wasn’t really that bad” and “you’ve stopped drinking for a while now, you totally deserve a drink to celebrate” or things like that. These are a few of the things that I do.

  1. One of the first things I did was write a letter to myself. I wrote it on one of the early days when I was feeling particularly hungover and going through withdrawals. In that letter I tell myself all about how shitty I feel in that exact moment so if I ever get tempted again I can read it remember (because once those physical symptoms go away we forget!!). I printed a copy AND saved a copy on my phone so I always have access to it.
  2. After that I started preparing a tool box (actually a fabric pouch that I keep in my purse). In it I have printed out some song lyrics, some prayers and mantras, some articles, and some healing crystals that I can pull out to bring me comfort when I’m feeling a little anxious or tempted. Even just holding the crystals in my hand can bring me great comfort.
  3. Oh, I also have some nature/spa music on my phone that I will sometimes listen to in my car when my mind is racing too much.
  4. You can also listen to guided meditations on YouTube.
  5. Podcasts (Recovery Elevator is GREAT!!). Put one on and go for a walk.
  6. Get some books from the library. My favourites are Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol (your post didn’t specify gender so I don’t know if this book will interest you) and Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster (Kristen Johnston) but there are many more (you can search for in this forum).

Are you willing to try some meetings? I know I spent 2 years with a million reasons why I didn’t need to do meetings but this time I went and I love them. It’s great to be around other people who are just like you. Their stories might be different but ultimately we are all people who can’t control their drinking but want to stop. It doesn’t have to be AA. There are lots of recovery fellowship groups you can look into. But I go to AA so I can only comment on how those work…for me…

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Thank you so much for these thoughts and suggestions. The hardest part will be saying no when my wife has a glass or 2 of wine. She can stop…once I get going I dont stop until i have had too much. I am going to take the advice and give this 100 percent. Having the ability to stop and tell myself that I cant drink, versus “oh I will stop tomorrow” will be a challenge.

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My husband still drinks. He used to offer me glasses but not anymore. He just heard me say no enough times. It also helps to have a glass of something else already on the go. He’s less likely to ask.

Have you told her you’re quiting? My husband refuses to accept and use the dreaded A-word but I was adamant that I was no longer going to drink. I told him it didn’t really matter “why” I didn’t want to drink anymore, simply that I was done. He’s coming around.

The first week I was a grumpy girl with not enough sleep. I ate massive amounds of chocolat and I pity myself a lot!
Wat helped me? I just gave in. I gave in in everything exept alcohol.
So I tried to be gentle to myself with nice foods and drinks, extra vitamins, powernaps, Netflix, etc.
Good luck, you can do it! :facepunch:

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