Going dry

Well done to you! It's good to realise that there is a life without enough alcohol to kill a small horse. Keep it up Captain
Many thanks. It’s only because I clean house, trust God* & help others that I remain sober.

*one chooses one’s own Higher Power, doesn’t need to be a religious God.
 

Just_plain_you

Old-Salt
Good idea.

Thanks.


On sunny days try cider/soda, really nice drink.

Obvs half the alc.
Try the Sainsbury's low alcohol cider, it really is difficult to tell from the full fat version apart from not ending up sleeping naked in a wardrobe
 
When I got to the point of sponsoring others I was given a guide to help me take them through the process, although a lot of what I do is based on what my sponsor did with me. The first, and absolutely crucial, step is:

“we admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable”

Note the “we” and “our”. The programme works because we work together, with a Higher Power. Going it alone doesn’t work.

Note also there are two parts. Without acknowledging both powerlessness & unmanageability this step is not complete & progress cannot be made.

We talk about drowning men clutching at logs for support but the logs giving way. Of this list of logs I’d tried something like 90% either to stop drinking or at least moderate:

F5C5BE19-0970-4262-92A4-6B57612415A6.jpeg


Of course I later learned that an alkie like me can never moderate or give up for any length of time. I used to joke about throwing away wine corks or whiskey tops when the bottles were opened, not realising how this wasn’t a joke at all.

Then we come to unmanageability. A significant number of these things had happened to me:

6A57742E-4146-4F9C-8945-B8946692C032.jpeg


I was in no doubt about this step. Took me a little longer to get the rest of the programme, mind, about 4-5 months. However this was the start, & we seek progress not perfection!
 
I'll raise a glass, no, er, wait....
Please, I’d be flattered if you did! I have nothing against alcohol or those who consume it, & would have to pack in seeing a lot of good friends & stop going to Irish if I did. Heck, I’m still a CAMRA member as I think real ale is a national treasure worth preserving & pubs need to be saved.

What I do know is that alcohol is not for me. I give thanks for the daily reprieve from the compulsion to consume it.
 
I have tried both of these in 'Spoons when meeting up with people. It's actually cheaper in there than it is in an independent health food shop. I prefer the ginger and lemon. This is my new substitute for beer. I have seen other brands of kombucha elsewhere in pubs recently.

Warning if you aren't used to it and drink too much of it it will have a laxative effect. 2 cans is plenty.

1565686067395.png
 

pinback2001

Old-Salt
It's not a joke, it's a Russian tradition!
Sunday mornings used to be spent at a friend's house waiting for the pub to open. We used to take turns buying a litre of gin, and I remember my pal opening the bottle and throwing the top into the fire. Thought nothing of it at the time, but realise now the significance. I remember on one occasion the pub landlady called me a taxi within 5 minutes of me entering the bar, due to me being ratarrsed. This was at 11am opening time.
 
Interestingly, @pinback2001 the throwing away of the top doesn’t necessarily point to alcoholic drinking. Alcoholism isn’t about how much one drinks, but how one drinks it.

Most people in the Fellowship I know drank a lot. Judging by stories I’m not even top third, even though the quantity I could put away inspired either awe or horror in the eyes of those beholding me on the hoy.

However there are some who describe what their consumption was like & I think that sounds like a quiet lunchtime. The important thing is step one. Is one powerless over alcohol & is life unmanageable?

Answer “no” to both & good luck to the drinker. Answer “yes” to both & AA could offer a solution as it did to me.
 
I’ll give an example of the compulsion to drink. An alcoholic would recognise this, sorry if I’ve shared before.

On one occasion I decided to get on it at about nine in the morning. I had some lovely German beers in the downstairs fridge, & popped one open drinking it straight from the bottle.

I immediately puked up the first mouthful, it was coming out of nose & mouth still cold & still fizzing. That didn’t stop me glugging away, going through the same routine with every swig.

And then I drank the remaining five bottles, cold, fizzy puke coming up every time I took a mouthful.

Even I knew that wasn’t normal & wasn’t right. Didn’t stop me, though, simply nothing could stop the compulsion.
 
This looks good and I wish they sold the Brewdog alcohol free beers near me. I think the loss of the flavour of alcohol itself means regular lager doesn't convert very well to akcohol-free so something with additional flavour and a bit more to it, like an IPA or weissbier, works better.

I really like the Erdinger alcohol-free version Our Beer | ERDINGER Weißbier

I haven't given up completely but find this stuff a godsend, I can just have a beer when I feel like it with no impact on work or sport. Amazing. I think I read someone on here saying they probably just drank when they were bored, certainly is the case for me.

Thanks for starting the thread, it was a great help in looking at whether I could benefit from hitting the sauce a bit less.
The Erdinger isn't alcohol free, it's 0.4 or 0.5%. But yes, it is good.
 

Nick Dipples

War Hero
This is true but shouldn't be a big worry. The UK is pretty much alone in saying 0.5% can't be labelled as alcohol free. First pass metabolism of alcohol* means at that level it (almost) never becomes even detectable in your blood, there's a paper on it somewhere I can dig out if it's of interest. Fresh orange juice is often about that ABV apparently.


Steady Drinker has some good articles and recommendations if you haven't seen it before.

*i.e. enzymes in your stomach that break down alcohol and then because everything absorbed from your gut goes through your liver first
 
This is true but shouldn't be a big worry. The UK is pretty much alone in saying 0.5% can't be labelled as alcohol free. First pass metabolism of alcohol* means at that level it (almost) never becomes even detectable in your blood, there's a paper on it somewhere I can dig out if it's of interest. Fresh orange juice is often about that ABV apparently.


Steady Drinker has some good articles and recommendations if you haven't seen it before.

*i.e. enzymes in your stomach that break down alcohol and then because everything absorbed from your gut goes through your liver first
Interesting and informative article. Thanks.
 
Found another couple of "Alcohol Free" beers to try. Both are from "Infinite Session Ltd" in London.
Their brand spiel: "believe beer is bigger than booze. Drinking on your terms. More hops, less hangover. It's alcohol-free, not boring AF"*

I didn't chill these. They were in a slightly cool cupboard. Chilling can hide unwanted tastes but there were no issues here. Just don't expect an in depth review.

Infinite Session Pils - Craft Lager <0.5% 39 cals
A clear straw lager colour. It is light and refreshing. I like the fact that it has a lot less calories than a normal beer. Clever use of ingredients. Water, barley, wheat, oats, hops, yeast. I'd have that again.
What they say: "Our craft lager is crisp and refreshing, yet full of flavour. An original Pilsner brewed to give you everything you want from a lager. And more"

Infinite Session IPA <0.5% 39 cals I'm using an oversized half pint glass, so maybe it looks paler than in a pint glass. It's a pale ale, using basically the same ingredients as the Pils ie Water, barley, wheat, oats, hops, yeast, although there's more to it than that, as different types of barley malt, hops and yeast are normally used.
What they say: "This India Pale Ale is dry hopped with Amarillo & Cascade, to give a bold citrus flavour, Six grains combine to give a smooth full body. Tasty AF."
It's certainly hoppy. A hint of lemon / citrus peel followed by a hoppy bitterness and soda water aftertaste? I doubt I could drink many of these as I'm feeling full (not pissed obviously).

* I originally dropped an h from hops "More ops, less hangover."
 

Dafty duck

War Hero
The Cobra alcohol free stuff is pretty decent. That and the Kopaberg 0% if you're into cocktails.

Having my annual alcohol free month and thankfully the options for low or 0% beer/cider seems to be getting better and better, can't tell the difference with a lot of them now.
 

Sttrory

Old-Salt
It gets better & better! Only thing is I now get pretty annoyed if I’m generally out of sorts (for example old bobsleigh injury playing up at the moment) & now need to come to terms with the fact that the odd illness may crop up.

Couple of quick examples of how things have changed. Only small ones, but might be interesting.

At the weekend entered a photo competition at the village flower show. I’d never dared in the past, simultaneously thinking I wasn’t good enough or that my “genius” wouldn’t be recognised. In the end, of the four categories I entered, got a second place & a commended. Pretty happy with that, had fun mounting the pics, contributed to horticultural society funds by entering, & had the fun of being part of the competition.

This is the second placed entry, BTW:

View attachment 410088

Have also just got back from sailing trip (where pic above was taken, at Hamford Water) with a cousin. Last time we sailed together, in 2005, I’d drunk to blackout & my then girlfriend used this as an excuse to dump me there & then, which made the atmosphere a bit difficult on a 34’ Yacht for a week.

I made an amend to my cousin & was somewhat surprised to find that, contrary to what the then girlfriend had led me to believe, I hadn’t fallen out of the dinghy on the way back from a run ashore, gone over the aft rail while “checking the backstays” (aka having a piss off the arse end) or got punchy when refused more drink. In fact I’d just been a bit wobbly & fallen asleep in the cockpit. Cousin said he was more pissed off with girlfriend for ruining everyone’s holiday; that he’s never seen me really pissed although knew I had a bit of a problem; and that he wouldn’t have invited me if I was still drinking not because of this but because he doesn’t think drink & small boats (his is 24’) mix well.

Anyway, point of tale is that on the trip there was a boozy yachty party on the eve of a rest day. Some surprise was expressed by one or two on the trip who knew I didn’t drink (but not exactly why) that I spent a long time talking to the Club Bore, & how did I manage that without a drink?

In simple terms I’m sure in the past with only my cousin there known to me I would have ended up making best friends with the barman & having a skinful, only leaving the mahogany sanctuary for the porcelain one. Instead, as we put it, “I had lost interest in selfish things & gained interest in my fellows” & had a cracking night with some great people including the Club Bore :)
Good to hear mate
 
Today is the year anniversary of my last day’s drinking. I’m profoundly grateful it’s not that day today!
 

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