This is a thread for ILXors ON THE WAGON (and for the Wagon Curious)

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We do have the "I'm an alcoholic" thread, but the word "alcoholic" can be off-putting and not sufficiently inclusive of all the various reasons for and approaches to Going On the Wagon.

So this is a thread about Not Drinking Alcohol: thinking about it or already there, long-term or short-term, drinking problem or no drinking problem, all welcome, don't be a jerk.

I personally find it meaningful to hear from other people who are Not Drinking for whatever reason. My own reason can be summed up as high-functioning-problem-drinker and I availed myself of plenty of help to quit.

What's your relationship with The Wagon?

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 8 September 2019 15:45 (one week ago) link

oh hi, thanks! yeah I'm not drinking for the foreseeable future while I get my shit together, but it's not the primary driver of the problems - it just greases the rails and numbs the pain. So this thread feels appropriate.

2 weeks today, gonna go for at least 3 months and then see what's up with the other issues.

sleeve, Sunday, 8 September 2019 15:48 (one week ago) link

I found things got significantly easier after 3 weeks.

Not drinking has been tremendously helpful to me for dealing with the issues driving the drinking. I really couldn't have worked on them with any success while still drinking, though I god knows I tried!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 8 September 2019 15:52 (one week ago) link

thank you, that is encouraging

this Naked Mind book recommended in the other thread seems kind of new agey in a creepy Marianne Williamson way, but I will give it a fair shake even though the author talks about her mysterious back pain that no doctor could fix that she cured with her mind, rmde

sleeve, Sunday, 8 September 2019 15:56 (one week ago) link

That book can be irritating, yes, but it does make some good points despite the weird tone.

The Recovering by Leslie Jamison is better written by miles, but is a totally different ball of wax.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 8 September 2019 16:07 (one week ago) link

I have tried alcohol on a dozen or so occasions, never much cared for it, at most I got annoyed at how loud and incoherent I felt like I was getting (on 1/3 or so of a beer). So practically speaking I don’t drink, don’t have an interest in it, and never hear anyone talk about drinking in a way that makes me feel like I’m missing out.

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Sunday, 8 September 2019 16:39 (one week ago) link

This is not the thread for you then

or something, Monday, 9 September 2019 07:49 (one week ago) link

See I read quincie’s op and it seemed like it was, is this a recovery thread or about not drinking alcohol

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Monday, 9 September 2019 09:28 (one week ago) link

cmon dude, “on the wagon” is unambiguous

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Monday, 9 September 2019 09:32 (one week ago) link

hi, i am a not particularly functional serial binge drinker of 30+ years standing and no amount of attempted moderation or self-control doesn't lead me swiftly back to wildly self-destructive binging, and i know really i must accept i have to stop, proper stop, forever and that is terrifying because the pub goer is about all i feel like i have left of who i am

Joe Proroguin' (Noodle Vague), Monday, 9 September 2019 09:41 (one week ago) link

Noodle Vague's predicament is kind of mine, too. I had a really quite destructive period in my mid-late 30s (mid-40s now) which was part of a larger crisis of purpose. I've since changed career - a move that meant I essentially couldn't drink as much and function at the level at which I need to be - and my relationship to booze has been much healthier. I'm getting to grips with the job now though and, well, I can see old habits creeping back in. And I get long(er) holidays, where I tend to make up for things and this summer in particular, was fairly boozy. Short version: my mental health and relationships suffered.

All of which has meant me taking the last 10 days off and I feel immeasurably better.

Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Monday, 9 September 2019 10:18 (one week ago) link

I have cut back significantly after fairly heavy drinking for the best part of two decades. It took nearly getting sacked from two consecutive jobs and real and active concern from my partner before I got help. Unfortunately I've kind of replaced that urge with a fondness for prescription painkillers that I need to shake. There's always something but I'm marginally more in control now and optimistic, sometimes

or something, Monday, 9 September 2019 10:32 (one week ago) link

I'll be a boringly functional but killing myself slowly alcoholic till the death I think. My addiction doesn't cause any crisis's so I can happily plod on with it till the death. Or least until my ailing health becomes a crisis, but that is what it take to persuade me to even consider stopping.

calzino, Monday, 9 September 2019 10:42 (one week ago) link

This is totally a thread for silby per the original thread intent; people abstain from alcohol for numerous reasons.

Yerac, Monday, 9 September 2019 12:39 (one week ago) link

I use the term "on the wagon" frequently and casually to mean I am currently not drinking. More because it's a signal to friends that I don't want them cajoling me to go to a bar or to offer me drinks when we hang out. I often have long periods of not drinking (I likely won't be drinking for the rest of the year) because I find it difficult to eat and exercise to the standards I want to be at while drinking even a little.

Yerac, Monday, 9 September 2019 12:48 (one week ago) link

Booze does have a significant knock-on effect on a whole bunch of things - diet, exercise, sleep, wallet, mental health (to varying, difficult-to-gauge levels). I did 100 days at the start of last year and initially felt great for it - I read more, was generally more 'level', exercised more etc - but I missed the culture around drinking (seeking out new beers) and the way it gave shape to my weeks. I also missed something more nebulous along the lines of the camaraderie of drinking together with people.

Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Monday, 9 September 2019 13:00 (one week ago) link

I stopped drinking entirely between December 2018 and June 2019 aside from maybe 3 beers over the course of those 7 months, mostly because my drinking habits were manageable but constant; my kids were constantly asking me if every drink I had was a beer and it concerned me that that had become their default impression of me. As a side effect, I lost 15 lbs of weight I'd been whining about but never motivated myself to get rid of.

I'm back to drinking much more moderately now and am very conscious of what I'm doing when watching tv or playing videogames.

brigadier pudding (DJP), Monday, 9 September 2019 13:01 (one week ago) link

Good point about kids. Mine are of an age where they need to see me being responsible not acting like a dick.

I also want to acknowledge calzino's post, but I don't know what to say. Will a nod across the bar suffice in any way at all?

Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Monday, 9 September 2019 13:03 (one week ago) link

for several years now i've hardly drunk at all, it seems i went from being a social drinker during grad school - occasionally to excess - to having the rare drink with friends. for part of that time i have been a lot more skint, but also once i was drinking alone - which i always rather liked - and the next morning i looked like shit, and figured i was getting too old to be drinking much. i think i probably last imbibed a year or so ago? and similarly in the year before that, etc. this is surely a byproduct of my dead social life. recently i thought i might pick up a little wine or something to have with dinner (was never much for wine), inject a new variable into my routine.

j., Monday, 9 September 2019 15:30 (one week ago) link

this is the same thing i posted in the other thread

I don’t have a reading rec but this summer I didn’t drink for 2 weeks bc of a health issue, which I realized was the first time I ever attempted complete teetotaling for that long. During that time, I played 2 shows, my dog died suddenly, and I had to go on an overnight retreat w my coworkers — all situations in which I’d have gladly been drinking — and it was definitely hard! I drank inconceivable amounts of flavored seltzer and noticed that I did indeed feel different after about 10 days. Much less depressed, for starters, in spite of the dire circumstances.

Since those two weeks, I’ve been thinking that maybe alcohol just isn’t very good for me. Not terrible, but def not good. Not-drinking is way more appealing than it used to be.

― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, August 26, 2019 6:50 PM (two weeks ago)

I think that generally, if you are feeling bad AND drinking, stopping drinking is a very good start to feeling better (mentally, physically, etc) If it's difficult, that teaches you something too.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 9 September 2019 16:11 (one week ago) link

I concur. I didn’t even realize I met DSM criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (despite being in a profession in which I routinely screened others for such) until I went into treatment for SUD. 4+ months later and I no longer meet criteria nor feel anxious much at all! It’s been like a silver fucking bullet. Of course it has been a giant pain in the brain to get to this point, but dear god so worth it.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 9 September 2019 17:06 (one week ago) link

I find it near impossible to go completely sober so my version of On The Wagon means no drinking at home unless friends are over. This usually results in me going out to bars more regularly but honestly that's a net plus because I'm otherwise too much of a shut-in. I wish I could adhere to this policy year-round but usually can only do a few weeks at a time, 2 or 3 times a year. I definitely notice and enjoy the mental and physical health improvements when I'm not going through a 6-pack plus a few whiskeys every night.

Fetchboy, Monday, 9 September 2019 17:07 (one week ago) link

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