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Was it hard quiting alcohol?

I got two crates of beer I bought a while back, before I started all this.

I tell myself I will drink them and then quit, so of course I am thinking no more alcohol I am not sure if I manage to pull it off.

So I'd like to ask if anyone strugled with it? Note I am not addicted but I do like a cold beer every now and then, however last time I had some I felt really bad and thought it was not worth it. So it's mixed feeling, I guess I could always drink alcohol free beers, if it's just the taste I want.

Does anyone do that?

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Comments

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    edited December 2014

    A doctor once suggested I stop drinking alcohol as a health/cholesterol measure. It was my habit to have a small glass of wine late at night when I got home from work. Though I didn't drink much, still I dreaded breaking the habit. Dread or no dread, I switched to orange juice and had no problem at all. Buddhism had nothing to do with it.

    Nowadays, I drink a beer when I feel liked it, but probably haven't had more than half a dozen over the past ten years.

    This is not to demean the difficulty in breaking an alcohol addiction -- the largest single drug addiction in the United States. My mother was an addict who eventually joined Alcoholics Anonymous, so I can testify directly to the damage such self-aggrandizing/self-loathing behavior can do.

    RhodianlobsterVanilliVictorious
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited December 2014
    Not as hard as living life with a hangover.

    I have the odd beer or glass of wine when in the right company and mood but I just don't enjoy drunkenness anymore. It stopped being fun and it seems to me that's the whole reason I started so...

    Things change.
    DhammaDragon
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    Hi @Rhodian.Do you have low alcohol beer where you live? In Australia we have beer that is still quite tasty but only about 2% alcohol. Works for me.
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited December 2014

    I found it difficult; it took about two years of trying to stop drinking before I actually did stop drinking - and it took the help and support of A.A..

    Earthninja
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited December 2014

    @Chaz said:I'd ask, if it's not a problem, why do you want to stop? I'm curious. If you want to stop, and can do so, then more power to ya.

    With anything like that, you have to really want to quit. It's more than an intellectual assessment, such as "I really should quit .......". It's a deep conviction that quiting is imperative and without option. You may need help, and you may not. I needed aids to quit smoking after 40 years. Just the same, breaking the cycle of my addiction would have been impossible without conviction.

    Nicely put. Also, there's no fairy godmother or mystical being who's gonna give out brownie points if you quit when you don't have a real problem with alcoholic beverages.
    (*)

    Rhodian
  • as a mother i ask all my sons including Sun and daughters to stop drinking (beer, vine, whisky etc.) unless it is prescribed by a doctor for some illness

    as a wife i ask all my husbands to stop drinking

    why?

    not because i am against the fun
    but
    1. because i can not tolerate their silly behaviou and silly talk once they having a drink
    2. there is a repercussion that does not bring happiness at a later stage

    do not ask me about the No 2

    you have read and heard enough to come to your own conclusion

    silverRhodian
  • @DhammaDragon I do drink from time to time, sometimes as a craving because I like the taste. But I never really drink to get drunk, I just like the taste and it calms my mind at times. I think those are wrong reasons perhaps. But I never really drink a lot.

    @Bunks You have alcohol here with 0.1% alcohol.

    @Tosh Glad you got rid of it!

    @Chaz Because it is in the precepts and alcohol might not really improve my life that much in the long run, though it is pleasure. I do never drink a lot, I sometimes do get drunk on christmass to avoid my family drunk I can tolerate them. But I decided to celebrate christmass alone this year, besides that I only drink in weekends or on a bday, or when I want to. My alcohol intake a week is probably. 1.5 liters - 2 liters. 2 literes = 0.52 gallons. But ussually it's just 1.5 liter. 3 bottles a week, of 0.50 liter each.

    @upekka
    Thanks for your input, I think I am 22 now and I only got a headache from drinking 2 times. This was at party here and there, but besides that I never really get drunk. I drink one bottle on friday, one at saturday or one at sunday. Sometimes I drink 1 on saturday and sunday and 1 on wednessday. Sometimes very rarely I take 4 bottles. I won't get drunk or even tipsy from that, surely I cannot drive a car, but I can still walk straight and do my things.

    DhammaDragon
  • RhodianRhodian Veteran
    edited December 2014

    @Bunks said:
    Rhodian - I wouldn't fret too much mate. At your age I was drinking and smoking weed until I blacked out at least twice a week!!

    Funny thing I live in the Netherlands and never had weed even.... :neutral_face:

    Jeffrey
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I remember eating "space cakes" in Amsterdam many years ago. Wowee they were strong!!

    The girl I was travelling with at the time had never had weed before and started freaking out and trashing our room.....it was a mad night!

    DhammaDragonJeffreyEarthninja
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran
    It doesn't look like you have a problem with alcohol.
    Just to stay on the safe side, as @Bunks proposed, you could try to stick to the low-alcohol sort of beer.
    If you are in control of when you want to have a drink and when you need to stop, then you are just fine.
  • RhodianRhodian Veteran
    edited December 2014

    @DhammaDragon said:
    It doesn't look like you have a problem with alcohol.
    Just to stay on the safe side, as Bunks proposed, you could try to stick to the low-alcohol sort of beer.
    If you are in control of when you want to have a drink and when you need to stop, then you are just fine.

    Yeah I just thought I should follow the precepts in order to be more peaceful. I mean breaking them in a way. It's only the 5th precept that troubles me as I like to drink a beer every now in a while. But If you tell me I cannot drink for half a year because of medication I would not even be troubled.

    Thanks for your advice!

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I haven't stopped, but that is a conscious choice I have made. I don't drink often, and I don't drink to feel something. I just like the taste of particular things once in a while, so I have them. My inlaws make some fabulous wine that we provide the fruit for. It is quite a treat. We also make beer, for fun. It's something to do in the winter. We also make root beer with the kids. I haven't felt a need to completely give it up because it does not present a problem for me, and a roadblock to my practice. At what point that happens, then I will re-investigate the issue.

    Don't stop because someone (whoever it was) said you should. Stop because it's what you want to do, because you feel it's best for the goals you have in your practice, or whatever.

    BunksEarthninja
  • I think everyone is different. Some people form a good relationship to drugs or alcohol. And some it destroys their life. One problem is you can be in denial and blind to what is happening. On the other hand just because some people have denial does not mean everyone is in denial.

    I posted maybe a month ago apologizing from some song lyrics I posted when I was drunk. On two times in the week I passed out at my computer. So I was worried I would become an alcoholic. So I am keeping an eye on it. I had a beer two nights out and I bought one single beer with groceries. So I would just keep my eye on it. The one thing I learned from that single beer I bought is that I didn't really enjoy it much more than a diet coke. So for me it doesn't make much difference if I never have a beer again or if I just have a beer out to eat. It doesn't make me happier or sadder. But I know that I could potentially be a drunk. So knowing that I have a lot to lose and very little to gain I will just meditate instead of beer. The single beer I bought was nothing special. The beers out to eat were more special because I was with my family and beer and food you notice it more and it is not just 'nothing as a diet coke'.

    So you are doing good sounds like but be careful not to become an addict with a problem! ;)

    person
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    @Jeffrey, How's the NS going?

    I have never had a problem with alcohol, but perhaps love beer and wine more than I should. But I do like to plan any use of such things towards the end of my waking day.

    I just cannot help but remember Ajahn Chah's advice about the bottle of pills. You cannot just read the label and expect the medicine to work: you actually have to follow the directions to the full. That is, read the dosage, &c, and then actually swallow the pills. It's like that with intoxicants, you cannot get right concentration if you're frequently imbibing. To follow the Path, you must not indulge too much. It's probably OK, by these calculations, to have a little before you go to bed if you're done for the day, though.

    I enjoy my full-bodied beers and almost never have a second. Beer-Snob that I am, I point out to my friends who drink several light beers that they should just have one real beer if they want to be satisfied. B) I don't understand how they drink beer by itself; to me it's a digestiv.

    I dunno, is it necessary that I refrain entirely to reach nirvana? Maybe someone should market some Nirvana beer or Nirvana Zinfandel?

  • http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/15898/36237/

    Here is a bottle for you Nirvana :)

    I had a friend offer a few of those bottles to me for homebrewing, but unfortunately I don't homebrew any more owing to too much temptation to bing drink. But it's a pretty awesome bottle!!! He asked if I was offended knowing I was Buddhist.

    Regarding smoking I haven't smoked in about 100 days!! I still think it would be wonderful if smoke did not affect the health. It's very enjoyable just stinks (literal?) that it is so harmful.

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited December 2014

    Good Going on the Quitting Smoking, Jeffrey! Thanks for the empty bottle!

    Lucky Buddha Enlightened Beer? From the Lucky Drink Company? (Never mind the poor-to-middlin' scores!)

    Earthninja
  • Note I am not addicted but I do like a cold beer every now and then.

    You are just starting out. You are not an alcoholic. You are not 'super Buddhist'. An occasional beer is OK for lay people. Give the beer to guests, friends, family or complete strangers if you must . . .

    You might try and give up the intoxicating effect of not thinking for yourself a little ;)

    I am trying to give up the be here beer/ambrosia . . . turns me into a cushionated smartass :'(

    Rhodiandhammachick
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    Good for you @Vanilli. A big part of this practice is starting to really see and question our own behaviour and deciding whether it is beneficial or not.

    I can recommend using this forum as a bit of a sounding board or diary if you do decide to cut bac or give up the booze. You will get plenty of support and helpful tips.
    lobsterdhammachick
  • Rowan1980Rowan1980 Keeper of the Zoo Maine Veteran
    I wasn't much of a drinker once I hit my late 20s/early 30s. My stomach stopped tolerating it and, truth be told, I started to dislike the feeling of getting tipsy or "warm" after one beer. So I had no problems with ditching it, thankfully. Besides, coffee and tea are less expensive to order when I go to a restaurant. ;)
    BunksEarthninja
  • VanilliVanilli Veteran
    edited December 2014

    @Bunks said:
    Good for you Vanilli. A big part of this practice is starting to really see and question our own behaviour and deciding whether it is beneficial or not.

    I can recommend using this forum as a bit of a sounding board or diary if you do decide to cut bac or give up the booze. You will get plenty of support and helpful tips.

    Aceee, thanks @Bunks :D! Everyone seems a great support so far :)!

    My Gramps used to be an alcoholic who could get aggressive and be very nasty when he drank. It's a sad thing, but I feel it's the biggest push to stop drinking, that we could be aggressive towards others or hurt them. It's odd because I am very sensitive towards people normally, but when I drink, it's like whoosh, the hostility comes because I have no compassion inhibiting me. It's a scary state when you think about it.

    Rowan1980Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    It is scary @Vanilli. I have been reasonably close to two people over the years who have been aggressive drunks.

    They ended up losing friends and relationships and being spoken about in hushed tones behind their backs.
  • stavros388stavros388 Explorer
    edited December 2014

    I cannot drink more than two drinks without almost always drinking 12 or more. I am not sure why... My parents were both alcoholics, and I have inherited a good deal of their anxiety. Whatever the reasons, I can tell you from experience that for some people, it is very difficult to control or to refrain from. I would be much better off never at all imbibing. I have struggled with this for my entire life, and even following periods of abstinence, I end up 'craving' intoxication.

    ToshlobsterBunks
  • @Tosh said:
    A.A. worked for me; nearly six years sober now (which sounds better than 5.5 years sober).

    Yes, I can certainly relate to the mental obsession for alcohol. I abstained from drinking alcohol for 6 weeks this summer and a few weeks this fall. I certainly felt better! I should probably consider A.A. as I've heard very good things from several people now.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

    Toshsilver
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited December 2014

    Deleted; I talk too much.

    Apologies.

  • Sorry @Tosh should not laugh.

    The universal love/compassion you mention from the monk, is something many practitioners through the centuries including me, attest to. Real.

    Well done on being sober. Takes courage. <3 I do not know if I would have such strength, if I had an addiction.

    DhammaDragonToshRhodian
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Tosh said:
    Deleted; I talk too much.

    Apologies.

    No way, @Tosh!

    Why is it those who talk to much never apologize, and vice versa?

    While you're shutting up...listen to @Bunks! <3

    Toshdhammachick
  • @lobster said:
    Sorry Tosh should not laugh.

    No, it wasn't the laughing; I was meaning to be humorous earlier. I deleted a post aimed at Stavros. I'd shared my experience, planted some seeds, Stavros thanked me, and really that was job jobbed.

    But I felt compelled to drone on about alcoholism, trying to show how smart I am, so I deleted the post.

    BunksEarthninja
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    @Tosh said:
    But I felt compelled to drone on about alcoholism, trying to show how smart I am, so I deleted the post.

    We already know how smart you are, @Tosh <3

    ToshdhammachickBunkslobster
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I grew up with an alcoholic grandfather. The thing was, he was a total bastard when sober but the greatest guy in the world when drunk - shame he needed two slabs of beer to even get drunk.

    As a result, when I was a child, I never knew my grandfather to be anything but funny, loving and unsteady on his feet. I didn't get a wake up call till his 80th birthday party when as a 17 year old he wouldn't let anyone but me pour him a beer because I was the only one who could pour a decent head (do you know how many times I had to reword that before I typed it? :P ). When I got onto the second slab of beer (in Australia a slab of beer has 24 cans in it), I realised that he had serious problems.

    I loved him anyway. Which was probably easy for me as I did not have to live with him.

    _ /\ _

    DhammaDragonToshlobsterRowan1980
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @dhammachick said:
    I grew up with an alcoholic grandfather. The thing was, he was a total bastard when sober but the greatest guy in the world when drunk - shame he needed two slabs of beer to even get drunk.

    As a result, when I was a child, I never knew my grandfather to be anything but funny, loving and unsteady on his feet. I didn't get a wake up call till his 80th birthday party when as a 17 year old he wouldn't let anyone but me pour him a beer because I was the only one who could pour a decent head (do you know how many times I had to reword that before I typed it? :P ). When I got onto the second slab of beer (in Australia a slab of beer has 24 cans in it), I realised that he had serious problems.

    I loved him anyway. Which was probably easy for me as I did not have to live with him.

    _ /\ _

    No, how many times, ha ha @dhammachick! It is sad in a way, but what a way to live - total ying/yang........a slab we call a case. 80 years old is a ripe old age, I take it he's passed on, now?

    Alcohol and alcoholism can make lives end so very poorly...one of my best friends in high school had to watch her father die of cirrhosis of the liver.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    Writer Stephen King said he could not bring himself to accept he had an alcohol problem until his wife threatened to leave him on the grounds of his alcohol addiction.

    "I don't have alcohol issues," he said in denial.

    His wife took him by the hand to the basement, and when she opened the door, he said the basement was full to the roof with empty alcohol bottles.
    The sight of those hundreds of empty bottles was an eye-opener to the problem he had been refusing to see.

    lobster
  • The best way is to not start using alcohol in the first place. I realize that's not helpful for some of the people here, but it may give encouragement to some of the younger ones who haven't started yet.

  • @DhammaDragon said:
    Writer Stephen King said he could not bring himself to accept he had an alcohol problem until his wife threatened to leave him on the grounds of his alcohol addiction.

    I'm not really a fan of horror stories, but I read Stephen King's sequel to The Shining, called Dr Sleep.

    King got and stayed sober with A.A. and he draws heavily on his knowledge of recovery for the book. The little boy from The Shining grows up to be an alcoholic and ends up in recovery.

    It's not a bad book to be honest; lots of decent insights into recovery interwoven with the story.

  • @Dakini said:
    The best way is to not start using alcohol in the first place. I realize that's not helpful for some of the people here, but it may give encouragement to some of the younger ones who haven't started yet.

    Drinking is probably something you get involved with quite young, where I live the drinking age for beer has been 16 in my time. It got pushed foward to 18 now, because kids couldn't handle it... But I started even before 16 so well I guess it's easier if you live with a family that won't let you drink til 21 you can then make a better choice, for me it's already part of my life to drink a beer every now and then though I do not drink that much.

    Smoking on the other hand I never even smoked or have taken drugs, I do live in the Netherlands and knew people that did, though I am happy I never had any real contact with it though people offered me a smoke/weed multiple times.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @silver said:
    No, how many times, ha ha @dhammachick! It is sad in a way, but what a way to live - total ying/yang........a slab we call a case. 80 years old is a ripe old age, I take it he's passed on, now?

    About seven :) Yes my grandfather passed on at 87. Pretty good innings all things considered. He'd beaten throat cancer and avoided two heart attacks. I'm not even sure alcoholism got him as his liver was still functioning well. One of life's mysteries. I know he drank after returning from WWII. I feel sympathy because I know from the very little he spoke, he saw unspeakable horrors and it was his way of coping. A peaceful death was the least he could get at the end - IMO.

    _ /\ _

    DhammaDragonRhodianChaz
  • @dhammachick‌

    The man that introduced me to Buddhism was a special units army man he saw horrors in Bosnia and those regions also in Africa. I always wondered how he coped with all this but even he does not like to talk about it.

    My grand uncle was a Dutch resistance fighter that died in his last stand to make sure his allies could get away. Ever since I heard this as a kid I got interested in wars the how and whys I think Erich Maria remarque with all his books gives the best answers. I remember when I was going trough a graveyard and the texts the people that died in war made me so sad the ages the texts the family chose to put in.

    I don't think many people get out of a war bruised either its having been in the cold too much that leaves you with a weak body on old age

    Or a post traumatic stress disorder, alcohol problems. And so on, war Is a sad thing and sorry I get a bit derailed when people speak of war, after all war is something I wanted to learn a lot about, I am not one of those guys that collects knifes and guns though just books to understand partially the pain of those wars so I as a human being can sincerely hope they will cease to exist.
    dhammachickDhammaDragon
  • @Tosh‌

    I always came to understand you had two types of drinkers those that get a taste of it and can't stop and those that do because of problems. Of course every individual has they're own story, suffering and problems. Whilst I do agree its bad to hide behind things. I remember a year ago with my depression I would on some days drink quite a lot for my doing. Due to my personality disorder being with people Is hard so I would drink

    However once I became more stable nowadays I drink one case every three months truth to be told when I buy two cases they last me five to six months.

    I think it is important for when you have a problem to deal with it many timed though sadly one problem can work the other in the hand I got a lot of problems now because of my past I do not dwell in the past but it gives me peace of mind to know where it comes from. But I am happy AA has helped you and I am happy you managed to stay sober.

    I just wanted to put out my thoughts or how I think. Though once my two beer cases are empty or it will start to hinder meditation I will throw them out.
    Tosh
  • I am an alcoholic myself, so quitting drinking was not the hard part. Being sober was. However, it was through a Buddhist 12 step program that I found my way back to mindfulness. Drinking a glass of wine now and then is ok in my opinion, but if you can't stop there, you are asking for more suffering.

    lobsterBunks33_3
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    I used to have a bit of a problem with the drink ( not getting enough ) but then I'm Irish so it's quite normal...I eventually stopped drinking completely, it was easier than I thought actually. ;)

    Earthninja
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    I always hated that out of control feeling I got when I drank, plus I didn't like the taste, so it was fairly easy for me to swear it off. It can be a bit awkward, though, at family gatherings or holiday parties.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Weirdly, I've just watched Simon Pegg ACTING the 12 stages of drunkenness.

    leaving aside the obvious negative connotations of excessive alcohol, and addiction - it was actually very funny....

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