Going dry

Thanks, jagman2!
 
It's time to say it. I'm CaptainPlume & I'm an alcoholic.

Booze was the principal excuse used by MrsPlume to leave me (there's a lot more to it than that, mainly on her side) and on sober reflection was probably a factor in a lot of things that have gone wrong in life. As someone in one of my AA meetings said the other week, if one has 20 problems and one of them is booze by taking alcohol away the remaining 19 may disappear too.

I managed five months under my own steam with a bit of counselling from when MrsPlume & I separated roughly this time last year. Things then went downhill rapidly & when she decided to sack marriage guidance I got it into my head that drinking all the alcohol I'd been given for Christmas by employer & contractors was a good idea. A case of wine, a bottle of gin, and two bottles of brandy over a weekend wasn't a pretty sight.

Work were fairly good to me, but I was effectively told I was drinking in the last chance saloon. A very vicious message from MrsPlume telling me MasterPlume never wanted to see me again (I've subsequently found out this was balls) led to another binge, & at this point I joined AA.

I really struggled to start with. I had been resistant to going to more than one meeting a week, & while I'd bought "The Big Book" at my second meeting & read it before the third it wasn't working for me to the extent I was using the meetings as an excuse to go out & buy drink.

However something clicked late this summer, having lost my job partly over the drink. I thought I'd reached a "rock bottom" a few times before, but that was really it. I'm now two months abstinent again (early days & all that) & do get the odd wave of, "go on, you can have a drink, no-one will know". I get over this by "playing the tape", a visualisation of where I would go if I succumbed.

I never saw myself as an alcoholic. I could give up for months at a time, and generally "drink like a gentleman" as the Big Book has it. However I never knew when I had that first drink if I would stick at a couple of pints or go on a massive bender. I can no longer take the risk of the latter.

Anyway alcoholics were people who sat on park benches and shouted at pigeons, right? As Bryony Gordon put it in a Torygraph article her park bench was her sofa; mine had been various Mess and University bars, my local, and in latter years my garden chair or sitting room. No idea what the pigeons were as I was a very gentle & inclined to sleep drunk.

Using the principle of delay and distract I've taken up cycling. It hurts going from zero to hero in two months, but from wheezing my way round a couple of miles near my village I'm now averaging 50-75 miles a week & hit 92 recently.

I've lost a stone & everyone says I look a lot better. I'm not really daunted by stuff either. Weight seems to have plateaued but as Whey_Aye_Banzai says I have a terrible sweet tooth now. I also reckon as I rearrange the lumps by going out on the bike (I've only taken solitary exercise voluntarily about three times in my life, less gym sessions, preferring Rugby training & suffering military PT) the lard is gradually turning into muscle.

One of the best things is that I cooked a 9-dish Palestinian mazzeh the other weekend, including baking my own bread. I've done this kind of thing in my drinking days, but there were occasions when I would run out of steam & leave MrsPlume (or others before we got together) to finish up while I crashed out.

AA's not for everyone. I thought it was a bit like a cult when I first joined, & it's notable that I now know the promises as well as I know the wording of the communion service. However it's working for this grateful former booze hound, & I'm glad every time I do't pick up that first drink...

Edit to add:

GP sent me for a "Gastroenterology Review" which turned out to be a liver scan. Glad to say I'm not showing any real ill effects, but I must be a lucky one. It's nice to have a solid sh!t on a regular basis, too ;)
Well done
 
Using the principle of delay and distract I've taken up cycling. It hurts going from zero to hero in two months, but from wheezing my way round a couple of miles near my village I'm now averaging 50-75 miles a week & hit 92 recently.
That's impressively fast, but it's fair to warn you that, even on a pushbike, such speeds are illegal and will be laying you open to prosecution.
 
CaptainPlume said:

Using the principle of delay and distract I've taken up cycling. It hurts going from zero to hero in two months, but from wheezing my way round a couple of miles near my village I'm now averaging 50-75 miles a week & hit 92 recently.

That's impressively fast, but it's fair to warn you that, even on a pushbike, such speeds are illegal and will be laying you open to prosecution.
Very impressive indeed for one so old :)
 
Thanks very much. Fastest I’ve hit is 30 mph but would have been faster if I hadn’t run out of gears & was freewheeling. Wouldn’t have attempted the ride I was on before giving up booze!
 
Cheers, irlsgt. Without stereotyping I meet an awfully disproportionate number of Irish & Scots on my current journey!
 
So you've become a lycra clad menace of the highway then?

I'll forgive you just this once.
Well put it like this. MrsPlume has left me, my shorts are very tight*, & it pays to advertise ;)

*Unlike me, no longer tight...
 
Good for you. Till recently, this was what I was peddling about on.

It’s things like this & the Bermondsey Beer Mile that I wish I’d done before going teetotal!
 
I'd forgotten how quickly the tolerance to booze disappears. After a messy weekend I've cut down this week (1 beer and 3 small glasses of whisky since Sunday morning). Having got in this evening and had 2 beers I'm definitely feeling slightly wobbly when that normally wouldn't happen on a Friday night until 5 or 6 pints.

I've also dropped a kilo and a half this week as I haven't replaced the alcohol calories with food so that's a definite positive.
 
I've recently found something I can drink as an acceptable substitute for IPA.
Diet tonic water with a dash of grapefruit juice.

No gin involved either. :mrgreen:
My usual consumption of beer whilst in the US is 6 or 7, 12oz bottles of 7% IPA an evening but since Monday, it's been 2 & 2 pints of the tonic water/grapefruit mix.
Only downside is all of a sudden, I've moved about 3 places up the Bristol Stool Chart.8O
Upside is 1,000 calories less a day.
 
So after a dry October/Nov at work, got back home with a day of in flight drinking Wednesday. Plan was to continue the good work. Thursday Friday wholesome living

Piled out last night with almost reticence. My sofa was telling me stay in. Dragged myself out and crashed through two bottles of wine due to the performance nature of the night out (cringey spoken word/comedy night)

Didn’t enjoy myself till booze kicked in. Now sat in bed unable to ******* sleep feeling dreadful, came home compos mentis, walked hound had another glass of wine and now feel sick.

Very strange. Maybe it’s the body saying stay grog free/chin it off. My arthritis is ******* belting out as well.

Got shag offers but I fear either my mojo has bust or I have become V choosy. Just want to sleep wake up walk hound, have a Sunday lunch and chill
 
So after a dry October/Nov at work, got back home with a day of in flight drinking Wednesday. Plan was to continue the good work. Thursday Friday wholesome living

Piled out last night with almost reticence. My sofa was telling me stay in. Dragged myself out and crashed through two bottles of wine due to the performance nature of the night out (cringey spoken word/comedy night)

Didn’t enjoy myself till booze kicked in. Now sat in bed unable to ******* sleep feeling dreadful, came home compos mentis, walked hound had another glass of wine and now feel sick.

Very strange. Maybe it’s the body saying stay grog free/chin it off. My arthritis is ******* belting out as well.

Got shag offers but I fear either my mojo has bust or I have become V choosy. Just want to sleep wake up walk hound, have a Sunday lunch and chill
Abstinence changes chemistry within the body. It can have quite pronounced effects and you are more than likely feeling them with having a drink after a long break.

When I first quit the physical effects were quite unpleasant and the dreams quite shocking (although some of them involving Kim Bassinger stand out as quite good)
 
Nothing wrong with choosy. Saves time, money and trouble in the long run.
Back to healthy living demain matin. Got an appointment to work out how fucked my cholesterol is on the 30th. Plan is to try and drop it with lifestyle changes. Weight loss,phys, diet.....

Otherwise it’s on pills apparently
 
Abstinence changes chemistry within the body. It can have quite pronounced effects and you are more than likely feeling them with having a drink after a long break.

When I first quit the physical effects were quite unpleasant and the dreams quite shocking (although some of them involving Kim Bassinger stand out as quite good)
I’m slightly disturbed at how much I can sink and still sit here typing legibly
 
I’m slightly disturbed at how much I can sink and still sit here typing legibly
Its a bit of an oddity for most people, I don't think any two are the same.
I generally have a little bit of whisky once a year, maybe twice a year. Always in very carefully selected company because I can be a fairly serious ******** in drink so I pick who's company I do it in.
I don't do it to get drunk but can sink half a bottle of malt once a year and only get merry.
My late brother who drank every day became insensible after 4 or 5 cans of cider.

In theory my non drinking should mean alcohol hits me quite hard but it doesn't. Don't really know the science behind it but that's how it is.

I am undoubtedly a better person for abstinence. Very old friends say I am a different character even if I do have a drink to how i used to be. Apparently I'm less of a scary bloke than I used to be. Probably because I'm now 14 stone and very grey rather than 21 stone with an attitude problem!
One thing I did notice is that those character "improvements" took several years. My perspectives took a very long time to change. I still have the same personality defects that I've always have but without the inhibition deficit fuelled by alcohol I am far more in control of those defects. (which basically means I'm less inclined to lamp anybody who irritates me)
 

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