Alcohol cravings and getting it under control.

BillM

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Hello, my name is holechit and I have an alcohol problem. Could use some advice and support. I used to have a bit of a dependence issue with alcohol, but I’ve beat a lot of it. I have come to realize that I do still drink too much. The old lady and I have decided to completely eliminate alcohol from our lives for at least a month, but have discussed extending things out an extra month or two. My end goal is not to completely give up alcohol, but to lose some weight and get back to where I can sit down and have a drink or two and catch a buzz.

I am only 3 days into not drinking and man, I am dealing with some cravings. With this I am also cutting down on my sugar and carb intake, and man am I craving any kind of sugar or alcohol I can get my hands on. Any tips on battling this? Any tips on this process as a whole? I would like to come out of this next 1-3 months healthier, with the ability to enjoy one of my favorite vices, without things getting out of hand again.
I cold-turkeyed nicotine/tobacco, but wasn't strongly addicted. Anything you've been using for years you probably need to taper down on, since your body needs it to function like you're used to it functioning. I'm still working on tapering down on caffeine. Down to a couple or 3 cups of strong tea a day, say a maximum 150mg, from a minimum of 600mg in the 80's.

Start by measuring how much you need to feel right. Do you drink hard liquor or beer or wine or some of each? Figure out how much alcohol you're actually using, then start reducing it. Maybe cut out one drink a day, or have your drinks in a smaller glass. Just start reducing what your drinking, and reduce it a little more each month. If you want it badly enough, you can do it. Maybe start saving the money you've been spending on alcohol for something else. I found I could get 5 used paperback books for what my 3 packs of cigarettes per day were costing me. $1.05 at the time. Not saying I saved any money, but I bought stuff I wanted more.

You may not need to completely quit, either. There are supposed to be health benefits to drinking one or two glasses of wine a day. Likewise tea. Nobody needs to drink a case of Coke a day, like I was doing, in addition to all the gallons of sweet tea, hot & cold, I was drinking.

Knew a guy who drank a minimum 6 quarts a day of Passport Scotch. Cheap nasty stuff. He'd rather have a drink than get laid or anything else. And he was as drunk as he was going to get on the first drink of the day. Got himself thrown out of the Air Force when I was an Airman 1st Class. Was a Technical Sergeant when I started working with him. And I out-ranked him before his career was over.

Bill
 

TedKennedy

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I cold-turkeyed nicotine/tobacco, but wasn't strongly addicted. Anything you've been using for years you probably need to taper down on, since your body needs it to function like you're used to it functioning. I'm still working on tapering down on caffeine. Down to a couple or 3 cups of strong tea a day, say a maximum 150mg, from a minimum of 600mg in the 80's.

Start by measuring how much you need to feel right. Do you drink hard liquor or beer or wine or some of each? Figure out how much alcohol you're actually using, then start reducing it. Maybe cut out one drink a day, or have your drinks in a smaller glass. Just start reducing what your drinking, and reduce it a little more each month. If you want it badly enough, you can do it. Maybe start saving the money you've been spending on alcohol for something else. I found I could get 5 used paperback books for what my 3 packs of cigarettes per day were costing me. $1.05 at the time. Not saying I saved any money, but I bought stuff I wanted more.

You may not need to completely quit, either. There are supposed to be health benefits to drinking one or two glasses of wine a day. Likewise tea. Nobody needs to drink a case of Coke a day, like I was doing, in addition to all the gallons of sweet tea, hot & cold, I was drinking.

Knew a guy who drank a minimum 6 quarts a day of Passport Scotch. Cheap nasty stuff. He'd rather have a drink than get laid or anything else. And he was as drunk as he was going to get on the first drink of the day. Got himself thrown out of the Air Force when I was an Airman 1st Class. Was a Technical Sergeant when I started working with him. And I out-ranked him before his career was over.

Bill

I couldn't disagree more. Alcoholics don't have the capacity to "moderate" drinking, not in the long term at least.

Some of the financial logic y'all are applying makes sense, but to an alcoholic/drug addict in the middle of a craving, it goes out the window. A guy needs a couple months clean and sober for the fog to lift and logic to have any relevance in his mind.
 

wawazat

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I've never struggled with alcohol, I was more of a social binge drinker through my 20s and early 30s. I drank copious amounts of Crown, but I didnt have a problem cutting out alcohol. At this point, I get a bit of anxiety thinking about having a drink because I really dont like the feeling of being compromised anymore.

Cigarettes on the other hand, are a completely different story. When I started dating my now wife, we agreed tobacco couldnt be a thing around the kids. I didn't want to normalize it for them in an effort to hopefully keep them from ever using it themselves. That was almost 6 years ago and I had two very brief relapses during stressful times at work (less than a month each). I still miss smoking every day. I always wished I could be the type to have an occasional cigarette with a glass of whisky or cup of coffee, but I cannot. I told my wife if I ever get diagnosed with something terminal and cigarettes are still available, I am buying a pack. I don't think I will ever not be addicted to cigarettes no matter how long I go without smoking.
 

TedKennedy

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. I told my wife if I ever get diagnosed with something terminal and cigarettes are still available, I am buying a pack. I don't think I will ever not be addicted to cigarettes no matter how long I go without smoking.

Lol - I've been of chewing tobacco for 22 years. I told my wife is they ever tell me.....I'm gettin' me a box of Kentucky Twist on the way home from the doctor.

Booze nearly ruined my life, but only one thing is more addictive than tobacco, and I damn sure ain't giving that one up!
 

TerryMiller

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I've never struggled with alcohol, I was more of a social binge drinker through my 20s and early 30s. I drank copious amounts of Crown, but I didnt have a problem cutting out alcohol. At this point, I get a bit of anxiety thinking about having a drink because I really dont like the feeling of being compromised anymore.

Cigarettes on the other hand, are a completely different story. When I started dating my now wife, we agreed tobacco couldnt be a thing around the kids. I didn't want to normalize it for them in an effort to hopefully keep them from ever using it themselves. That was almost 6 years ago and I had two very brief relapses during stressful times at work (less than a month each). I still miss smoking every day. I always wished I could be the type to have an occasional cigarette with a glass of whisky or cup of coffee, but I cannot. I told my wife if I ever get diagnosed with something terminal and cigarettes are still available, I am buying a pack. I don't think I will ever not be addicted to cigarettes no matter how long I go without smoking.

I smoked for 41 years, with about 20 each for cigarettes (Kool menthol) and a pipe with no filters. I quit back in 2003. The wife and my doctor ganged up on me when I went in for my annual physical. (Never go to an annual physical if one's wife is on vacation at the same time.) I was prescribed Welbutrin and told to pick a quit date about 2 or 3 weeks ahead. Wife and I also looked at the Farmer's Almanac to see when the astrological signs would be right. That turned out to be a Saturday. During that 2 or 3 weeks, I did change my smoking habits by changing how long I went before having another smoke.

The day came and I got up and smoked the pipe one last time at about 7:00 am. Then the wife, our two sons, and I went out to just goof around in Oklahoma City without me taking my pipe and tobacco. Around 9:00 pm, I was REALLY craving the pipe, and the next morning, I told her that she was going to have to drive to church because I couldn't concentrate on anything for much more than about 10 seconds or so.

After evening church services, I sat down to the computer to do nonsense stuff just to have something to do. Around 9:00 pm Sunday night, I suddenly realized that I hadn't had a major craving for the pipe, so I was over the craving in about 36 hours. I still had an occasional craving for the pipe, especially so when I went in for cataract surgery and knew that they were going to be messing with my eyes. I'd have given one of my limbs at that time for the pipe.

All that said, it may take a bit of planning and support from family and friends, but this CAN BE DONE!!!
 

Rooster1971

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I guess I didn’t offer any suggestions on reducing cravings. I relied on candy early on, but it’s really important to eat well balanced meals and healthy snacks. It’s also good to get plenty of rest. Early on it’s difficult to relax and even sleep. It’s okay to consult a physician to get non-habit forming meds to help. We were so used to passing out.

During the afternoons, I would get really uncomfortable and restless. Sobriety was so foreign to me. I found that walking would take some of that off. It was almost meditation to me before I started meditating. Spent a lot of time at lake overholser either chilling or walking. I have an app on my phone and would make me realize I walked sometimes up to 10 miles without realizing it.

There are also medications that help with cravings. Campral and Nalprexone. There is also another that makes you ill if you drink on it. The name escapes me. I tried the first two. Did campral for about 60 days before I got off of it.
I had to stay away from people, places and things that would trigger me. After a couple months you really start feeling better and thinking more rational.
I was having some weird health issues and my blood panel didn’t look well when I decided to quit. Just had blood work done last week and all looks great. My body has recovered. It’s really amazing due the decades of abuse it’s been through. I’m 50 years old and very lucky. That **** was going to kill me. It’s not too late for you.
 

p238shooter

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So I may be in the minority here as far completely stopping but over the summer I had a wake up moment. We got a pool a few years ago. What goes best with swimming? Cold beer! One night I caught myself sneaking in a beer when the wife wasn’t looking etc. finally got busted and just had to lay off for awhile. I didn’t quit drinking but I definitely stopped for a good while. I still crave beer on occasion, and have one at dinner if I want one. We just don’t keep anything at the house anymore except for around the holidays. That approach pretty much curbed my problem but I can also say that I never felt like I had dependence on it.

i have more of a problem with moderation than alcohol itself. It doesn’t matter if it’s beer, coffee, or candy, I gotta watch myself carefully or I’ll Eat 10lbs of M&Ms or drink a case of beer.

Do what you gotta do to get yourself right Marine and stick to it.
I say " yahoo" and more power to the OP here and to Kroberts2131 and to anyone who wants or needs to quit drinking or smoking or even decides to really cut back on either one. Myself I have been a beer drinker over 50 years and am not in a "need to stop" situation, but am in a cut back some mode. I have found the Bud Zero alcohol free and the Bush NA are really not that bad tasting (Have not tried the Coors NA but I hear it is pretty good also) if really cold, especially with Mexican food, pizza, or BBQ where I enjoy beers the most and then usually a few afterward.

To me the NA's do have a little twang, kinda like Lite beer has vs regular beer, but nothing like the "Near Beer" or what ever that nasty stuff was from years ago. Alternating back and forth with real also cuts the alcohol intake in half over a period of time. Good luck to everyone out here meeting the goals you have set, we definitely are rooting for you.
 

TedKennedy

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I'm just gonna say - if you get honest, and come to the conclusion you're an alcoholic, AA does work. Not everyone's the same, and not everyone gets as deep as I did, but if you try to quit and can't, it's a great program.

That being said, there are meetings at various times in various locations. In Tulsa, it was easy to find a meeting, however some meetings are serious, some are more like a social event. I was fortunate enough to get in a group of old bastards that had a lot of sobriety and took their cause very serious.

They encourage you to make a meeting every day - that's good advice. Being around folks sharing the same struggle is helpful. For me it was good just to have interaction with folks that were sober, as all of my friends and work buddies drank and drugged. Getting away from that crowd was a big help, but Nature abhors a void. Gotta fill that time up with something.
 

Shakel65

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I'm just gonna say - if you get honest, and come to the conclusion you're an alcoholic, AA does work. Not everyone's the same, and not everyone gets as deep as I did, but if you try to quit and can't, it's a great program.

That being said, there are meetings at various times in various locations. In Tulsa, it was easy to find a meeting, however some meetings are serious, some are more like a social event. I was fortunate enough to get in a group of old bastards that had a lot of sobriety and took their cause very serious.

They encourage you to make a meeting every day - that's good advice. Being around folks sharing the same struggle is helpful. For me it was good just to have interaction with folks that were sober, as all of my friends and work buddies drank and drugged. Getting away from that crowd was a big help, but Nature abhors a void. Gotta fill that time up with something.
Fantastic advice here. If you are interested in some AA meetings in the metro, send me a PM.
 
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