My Relapse – Ouch My Head Hurts

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by

 
Participant
5 days, 17 hours ago.

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  • #14766

    Participant

    So it’s been a little while since I’ve been in here. I did a couple 30 day breaks last year on my own, and found this book and did another this past summer. It was great and very helpful in getting myself through the 30 days and provide support that made it easier than my previous 30 day breaks.

    But now, I have been having the occasional social drink, and often choosing not to drink over the pas few months and not having any issues. If I look I my personal definition of relapse below, I have done ok to not cause myself harm, with the small exception of feeling a bit tired after a few bears one evening.

    –What does relapse mean to me–
    It means drinking to the point of causing any amount of fatigue, or sickness affecting my daily life or ability to take part in activities at my best physical and mental ability.

    But today, is different. My wife and I wend out with friends, and then they came over to the house for some social time and drinks. We had a good supply of spirits on hand and managed to drink them all before the night ended. Not the smartest thing to do and I am suffering for it today with severe headache and upset stomach. There is no way to sugarcoat it, I have completely crashed into my definition of Relapse. There are things I need to get done today, chores and painting that I started yesterday, but I feel like crap and it’s hard to keep myself from vomiting.

    I’m reviewing the relapse solution now and writing this note as a way of documenting what I’ve done, why and how to do better in the future.

    First – What led up to this heavy drinking episode.
    I think it was the stress I am feeling by being in a job I don’t like, but feel trapped in by the good paycheque. (I know, first world problems). So when the time came I used drinking as a release to let off some steam, and relax or escape from my stress and anxiety

    Since my last 30 day break using this book, I have been doing well as a social drinker with a take it or leave it attitude. But I find that this is a slippery slope for me and eventually I will end up over doing by not staying aware of how much I am having, and end up feeling really gross and hungover the next day. Like now.

    For me quitting drinking is about improving my health, and giving myself more time in my life, so I don’t waste days like today feeling crappy for no good reason.

    I have a picture in my mind of myself as a non drinker, long term, but have found it difficult in my family and social circles to completely abstain. Hangovers are the number 1 reason I am here as a reader and participate in this group. No other family or job issues, no one else thinks I have a problem, except for me. Because as I mentioned in my personal definition of relapse, I don want to feel sick, tired and unhealthy, especially from the decisions I’ve made myself.

    SO I am thinking I am one of those people that has to quit all together for a long time, but making this decision at the moment seems hard. I have a 50th birthday coming up, people will expect me to be drinking and be the life of the party (Sober I’m a bit of a quiet introvert). I have a vacation in January for an all inclusive resort with lots of food and drink, there never seems to be a good time to draw that line in the sand. And as I type this I know intellectually this decision is as easy as picking up a red pen or blue pen off my desk, but I allow my other thoughts, perceptions and perceived expectations of other come in…decision making gets much tougher.

    Has anyone else here made the choice to abstain for the long term, a year or years, and navigated through family, friends, birthdays, vacations etc. Are there many here who like me, find it to be a slippery slope, once you are only having an occasional social drink, but then one day your back to overdoing it and feeling like crap again. I think I need to commit to longer that 30 days…more like a year or more to get better perspective and to learn new ways to deal with stress and anxiety from my job or other sources.

    I think I have to interrupt myself next time the stress builds up, and find a better way to deal with it.
    Exercise, or meditation may be a better outlet that won’t hurt my head and body so much like they are hurting today. I know now, the next day I used drinking as quick fix to escape from reality for a bit. Now reality is banging my on the head and saying you got to get up and finish painting your living room.

    I am not beating myself up today over this, although I am a bit disappointed that let it go to far and let it affect my health and energy for today. But as they say, learn from it, move forward, and see how I can handle the situation better next time. I will be reviewing my journal notes, and my future me notes and visualizations as I really like the way I look and feel in a future with no drinking.

    But I seriously think I may have to make the big leap and quit altogether to avoid this slippery slope next time.

    ps. let me know your thoughts and experiences if you can relate. I have to go get some ibuprofen now but will be interested in seeing others who struggle with either quitting altogether or remaining a social drinker.

    Darren

  • #14769

    Participant

    @db297,

    I think the most simple solution for you would be just to abstain from drinking alcohol altogether. Especially at the age of 50, havent you put your human body thru enough abuse?

    Are you willing to shave an extra 10 years of your life? Because that is what happens to people that drink to excess after the age of 50. When we are 23 years old our bodies can tolerate huge amounts of the toxin but as we get older the poison is too much and begins to break us down on a cellular level. Most importantly our cognitive functioning. For me that is the one thing I would never jeopardize to lose. Certainly not for “a buzz”

    You talk about being trapped in your job. I feel if you had alcohol out of your life for good that you would have had the courage to face up to that problem and either quit the job or make changes to allow you to be happy at the job. But as we know alcohol undermines our courage and we end up settling for mediocrity in our life.

    And then when we are 80 we look back on our life with regrets and wish we could jump into a time machine and slap the bottle of liquor out of our own hands at age 35.

    But you have a chance to do that now. Just put down that bottle of poison that has harmed your productivity and stolen your dreams.

    When you go to a nursing home and you can see the ones that chose to “be a normal drinker” for their entire lives. They are the ones with tubes in their nose and tears in their eyes.

  • #14770

    Participant

    @fc321 I agree that this is the easiest choice. Not waiting for the right moment, or until the next holiday is over, there always seems to be some excuse to delay making the decision I know is best from my health. Today is the day. Thanks for your feedback.

  • #14774

    Participant

    @db297,

    Also dont worry about the people that “expect you to drink on your 50th birthday and be the life of the party”. You can still be the life of the party without being intoxicated.

    THe hell with what other people expect. You are not a clown being paid to perform for the amusement of these people. And believe me that if they knew it would set of a domino effect that would bring you back to heavy alcoholism then I doubt any of those people would encourage you to break your abstinence. In the final analysis nobody knows what is for your own good as much as you do.

    Plus I would bet you money that you are wrong about your perception that people are “expecting you do get wasted on your 50th birthday”. That voice you hear is just the addictive voice that is trying to set you up to take a drink. THis inner enemy will seize on any opportunity to trick us into taking that first drink. We must never give in.

    You have a bright future ahead of you if you just stay clean. You have come to a fork in the path on your journey to life. You can take the path to the left (pick up a drink) or the path to the right (live without alcohol).

    When you die and they read the Eulogy at your funeral it will be a much different script depending on which of the 2 paths you chose to walk.

  • #14786

    Participant

    @db297 (aka Darren) — these things happen, so don’t beat yourself up. You simply got caught up in a moment. The headache should have been a staunch reminder of why you came here in the first place. If you have a picture in your mind of being a non-drinker, or feel that you can’t (or don’t want to) just have a drink or two and then leave it at that, then perhaps giving it up is the most logical thing to do. “They” say the hardest things to do are the best for you, no? But only you can answer that. Everyone has their opinion on this topic, but I know people who have gone from drinking heavily to drinking occasionally, and I know people who had to give it up because they just couldn’t make that leap, so abstinence was their only option. It’s different for everyone, although after reading what you wrote regarding the situation it seems pretty obvious to me (at least) that you feel you have an issue, and the hangover after the night of overconsumption solidified that.

    Good luck and don’t worry about the rest of the world or what they think – this is all about you, your health, your future, and your sanity. And there are great people here to cheer you on through this journey. Reach out if you need/want to anytime. How are you feeling a few days after the incident?

  • #14787

    Participant

    @pages_0075 Thanks for the support Pages_0075 – I am certainly ready to start another 30 day journey, and not wait or make excuses for a convenient time to begin. I feel resolve today to make this a much longer term decision, but the questions I will have to ask myself in 6 months or a year, is will I stay abstinent or wade back into the “social drinker” realm. Since my negative experience is recent it is easy to have the resolve today..so at least I know for the short term I will not drink. I will go back and make use of the tools here to begin again, and keep that long term vision of myself as a self confident, productive non-drinker in my mind.

  • #14822

    Participant

    I enjoyed reading what you wrote and related to it. I quit for three years, but allowed myself to get back in to the alcohol lifestyle,starting 18 months ago, and am again looking at quitting completely. (Also have some ambivalence about it). Just found the book, so haven’t been able to read much yet. I would say it’s kind of crazy how taking this particular drug is seen as normal, and not taking this particular drug is seen as wrong by society. It’s crazy! I think future generations will look back on this as some Great Delusion! Anyhow, I like your idea of quitting for a specified amount of time, like a year. That would be a great topic at parties! But don’t be surprised if people try hard to get you to drink. I think it makes drinkers uncomfortable to examine their own situation. So I’m considering coming up with some fake excuse to use with people I don’t know well, like, “it gives me hives.”

  • #15116
    mmt

    Participant

    Hi all, thank you very much for this discussion! My two cents:
    db297, you’re doing great coming and talking about your situation. Kudos! To me it’s quite clear: you either can drink moderate or not at all. Seems you can’t, right?
    I’m merely 30days sober after long stints of on/off relation with alcohol. I enjoyed!! waking up clear and sober and rested after partying with Ginger ale not Gin. In the end it’s your decision, your life.

  • #17006

    Participant

    Im back again, feeling the pain of a hangover again. I’m starting again today on my 30 day journey, and plan to go longer this time. 1 year no beer has a nice ring to it. I think I need much longer than 30 or 60 days to really reset myself, and to really consider if I want alcohol in my life. I noted today that it errodes the two most important things in my life. My health, and my relationship with my wife. Here I go!

  • #17010

    Participant

    Hi Darren @db297 . Sina here! BTW I friended you on your profile page last year. Check it out!

    For someone like me, (and maybe many of us?) , all the Resets in the world won’t change the fact that Alcohol doesn’t enrich our lives, it impedes our lives.

    Doing the work involved to have crazy fun wonderful experiences fully present and sober seems a better bet after multiple relapses for me!

    Only you can decide what works for you.

    Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying that…”the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”
    I’m choosing to eliminate Alcohol from my equation in favor of Thriving in Sobriety . Onward! Sina

    • #120809

      Participant

      Hi @sinaqueena , I’m back again, starting day 1. Thinking about the 100% commitment topic. There is no real debate if we are all in 100%. Seems like a good strategy. Hope your journey is going well. And yes, my head hurts again today. But here we go….Day 1

      Darren

  • #120823

    Participant

    Hi Darren, @db297,

    I’m at Day One again after completing the 30 days in April-May of this year. But my moderate drinking this summer started sliding into binge drinking and so I’m starting again. The only failure is giving up!

    I’ve been drinking off and on for more than 50 years. It’s time to let it go. I like your “no beer one year”! Hang in there and let’s do this!

    • #120826

      Participant

      Yes, summer has been tough on me as well, that’s why I am back. Good luck to you as well.

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