Alcohol Detox At Home ~ Day 7

22June 2020

Quote. life begins at the end of your comfort zone

Alcohol Detox At Home ~ Day 7.

Here it is finally, Day 7 and the final day of detox. If I’m being perfectly honest, there is a Day 8 but it only involves one tablet at night time and I’m on the Acamprosate tomorrow anyway.

I don’t know why I’m so excited about it. Tomorrow is where the real work starts, and I’m sure it’s going to last several weeks before I realise that I’ve been a whole day doing normal stuff and not thought about wine time once.

Bring on that day…

A Nice Day to End On

So today is Day 7 the final detox day, Father’s Day and our wedding anniversary all rolled into one.

Ordinarily we would do something nice like a family pub lunch or a BBQ weather depending, but today of course is different.

The day has started quite nicely. I’ve definitely no cravings or any strange feelings and the thought of drinking wine because it’s Father’s Day is non-existent.

I just hope none of the daughters come around with any alcohol free alternatives as I’m trying to break all association with wine consumption, and the alcohol free stuff still tastes like wine. Not only that, but you pour it into a nice wine glass and drink it chilled as you would do with the alcoholic version.

Anyway, if they do then they do. I’ll accept it gracefully and try not to touch it.

Lightbulb moment! –  I‘ll put it in the garage. That way it’s out of site and warm. Lightbulb moment

There’s only one thing worse than alcohol free wine when you’re used to the real stuff, and that’s warm alcohol free wine. It’s like somebody trying to make you drink their home made hot mulled wine at Christmas.

Mother of God – That stuff is dreadful….. Just the smell of it turns your stomach, and that’s before you get a whiff of the bloody sprouts. It’s like walking into an old person’s home…(Why do communal homes for the elderly always smell like cabbage and p*ss? Have they not discovered the benefits of ventilation, like opening a window)

Anyway, that was an unnecessary digression. The point is that I didn’t receive any alcohol free wine but I did receive a very well thought out detox survival kit off  the youngest daughter which consisted of numerous soft drinks, tea, coffee, biscuits, Anadins, a mug and a nice deodorant.

And to keep me feeling and looking  fresh the eldest bought me some really nice toiletries from a specialist fragrance shop.

father's day gifts

I have to admit that I feel lucky and grateful to have the support around me that I have in order to get through this, and I would urge anybody who is thinking of embarking on the same journey to try and build a group of relatives, friends or somebody close to champion your cause.

Don’t attempt to be a lone wolf when it comes to breaking away from something you’ve become dependent on, you need to be running with the pack for survival and success.

You don’t have to share it with everybody, but you do need a support network, and that includes your counsellor or support worker if you’re using one who you must be completely honest with.

Honesty is another crucial factor to your success. That’s honesty with both yourself and those supporting you.

If you do fall by the wayside then these people can help you back up, but if you hide your temporary failings then ultimately you will fail completely. But not only that, you will have betrayed their support and belief in you, and that’s not a situation you want to find yourself in.

Failure

Today’s Meds.

Librium.  Breakfast x 1. – Lunch x 0. – Evening Meal x 0. – Bedtime x 1.

Thiamin. 1 tablet 4 times per day.

Blood Pressure. Stable

Afternoon Tactics.

So, as I said, it is also our wedding anniversary today, and as we can’t go out anywhere due to pubs and restaurants being shut I’ve decided to make a nice celebratory dinner just for my wife and I.

I’m not inviting close family as even though we are permitted groups of up to 6 people from the same family, I just don’t feel strong enough mentally to have everybody drinking around me, and it’s not my place to ask them not to drink alcohol either.

This is still my journey and I can’t impose my self restrictions on others.

This will be the first time since the start of my detox that I’ve spent any significant time in the kitchen preparing food, and as I wrote on the My Story page, spending time prepping food and cooking is my wine trigger.

This was going to be a test, but I’m sure there are going to be plenty more on the way, so let’s just do this.

Long story short, the dinner was prepped, cooked and consumed. My wife washed it down with a bottle of Prosecco, while I convinced myself that low calorie ginger ale was the future of enjoyable meal time drinking.

The rest of the evening was spent with a little drama from a couple of NetFlix films while consuming cups of tea and Club biscuits.

At the moment I feel like the 10,000 calories I’m saving by not drinking wine are being replaced by sweet treats and crisps, but for some reason I’ve had the snack attacks all week. Hopefully it will settle down. Maybe it’s something to do with the Thiamin supplement?

To conclude the week.

Has detoxing been harder than I expected?

Do I feel any better?

Do I still crave alcohol?

Will I keep going?

Would I recommend total abstinence, or cut back?

At the start of this journey these are questions that I often asked myself and as much as I tried to find the answers, I couldn’t find conclusive answers. And the reason is simple.

Everybody’s journey, everybody’s reason for drinking too much and everybody’s experience is unique to them.

Yes, we might all have a common goal to break the control alcohol has over us, but our reasons are different and our levels of consumption or the amount of alcohol the body can tolerate are all different.

I’ve seen tough looking grown men become emotional and cry when they’ve had too much, and I’ve seen petite framed demure women turn into screeching foul mouth fish wives after drinking seemingly harmless cocktails. It therefore stands to reason that our cravings during recovery are going to be different too.

But to try and answer these questions from my perspective then here goes.

Has detoxing been harder than I expected?

No. Detoxing hasn’t been harder than I expected. In fact it has been relatively straight forward, and there are reasons for that.

Firstly I was prepared mentally,  and secondly I was well informed.

By this I mean that through the guidance and patience of my counsellor and medical advisers I was able to explore the different options available to break the hold alcohol had over me. This led me to my own personal conclusion that abstinence and a medically supervised detox was the correct path for me.

Therefore, mentally I knew what I wanted and needed to do. It wasn’t a knee jerk reaction to one too many hang-overs, or a snap decision made out of guilt or stress. Also, I was well informed of what to expect from my conversations with the detox team who gave me no frills professional advice and made me aware of any potential hazards or pitfalls. 

Do I feel any better?

That’s slightly harder to evaluate as it’s only been a week and I’ve been consuming alcohol for the best part of 40 years.

The Librium has been a replacement for the alcohol (albeit a placebo that tricks the brain into thinking it’s OK without it’s drinking buddy).

However, I can tell you this. I can tell that my eyes are clearer, my facial skin and eyelids are less puffy, I must have expelled what feels like gallons of excess fluid and I’m no longer falling asleep in front of the TV in the evening.

In fact, I’ve re-discovered those missing evening hours that I felt I’d lost and I’m looking forward to being more and more productive as I gain greater mental strength, fitness and clarity.

Do I still crave alcohol?

Honest answer, yes I do. Well for me it’s not alcohol in all forms, it’s white wine and all the feelings I associate with it.

However that said, the cravings have been at expected times and I’ve been able to ride the wave which doesn’t last too long.

Tomorrow might be a different story because the Acamprosate medication starts which is designed to help with the cravings, but I’ll share my experience of that in a few days when hopefully it’s kicked in.

Overall though I think I’ve coped well with the cravings. There’s been the odd mad moment along the way where those little wine receptors have tried to ambush me (I think that was Wednesday Day 3).

But this is the detox period. The aim of this week is to clear the body of the alcohol and associated toxins so it can start to recover and rejuvenate.  The next few weeks will be tackling the mind and building up resistance and confidence.

Will I keep going?

The short answer is of course YES, I will keep going. 

Although I’ve mentioned before that this is a journey of one day at a time, you also need a longer term goal.

I’ve decided that the time frame for my first evaluation is 3-months.

At that point it will bring me to October which means that it will be 12 months since my GP revealed that my annual blood tests were showing signs of pre-diabetes, and I needed to change my lifestyle or face potential health consequences.

At that point I’m expecting to have lost some weight, become more active and have a better control of my blood sugar levels, all because I’m not consuming 8 to 10 thousand extra sugar filled valueless calories each week and battering my poor overworked liver with 2 litres or more of 12% alcohol every night.

Will I abstain forever? Only time will tell. I have two trains of thought. 

One train says that after a good period of abstinence whereby I’ve reclaimed my health and maintaining a healthy weight, then I might be able to reintroduce drinking socially or on holiday and enjoy it as a treat at a sensible level I can control.

The other train of thought tells me not to go back to it ever. If I’ve got that far without alcohol then why risk undoing all that hard work. After all, it’s only a drink and I will have found many other alternatives by then.

Who knows? I used to smoke, but these days find the idea and smell totally repulsive.

Would I recommend total abstinence, or cut back?

I’m assuming you’re reading this article and other similar websites because you are concerned about your level of drinking and have considered stopping or cutting back. You’ve probably been considering it for months, or even years!

If you haven’t then you really need to click away now and spend your lunch break reading past copies of Rolling Stone Magazine or National Geographical. (Only joking of course, there are some great websites on 18th century butterfly and insect collectors)

Getting back to the question, it once again falls into the no one size fits all category.

I’ve been down the route of cutting back, alternating alcohol with non-alcohol drinks, changing my drinks from wine to spirits with a low cal mixer, experimenting with different alcohol removed drinks, making spritzers, mocktails, frozen alco-pop lollies. 

You name it, I’ve tried it, and I’ve tried it many times over.

For some people this strategy might work. It really depends on the grip the alcohol or association with alcohol has over you.

If you enjoy drinking alcohol but you have no strong association connected with alcohol then you may find it easier cutting back or stopping for two or three days per week.

For me, the association was with a period of continual drinking born out of the boom periods of the 80’s and 90’s with celebrity chefs who celebrated the new found British love of European wine. 

We wanted to be continental, we wanted the Mediterranean lifestyle of fresh simple food and wine, and the TV channels were only too happy to give it to us.

So for me, the association with wine is very strongly rooted with prepping food, cooking and kicking back to enjoy and celebrate life and family.

In order to find the correct path for you then I suggest you need to find your why.

Why do you drink too much? Do you recognise any trigger points? Is there any particular association with these trigger points, or any association that you recognise with continual or heavy drinking.

If you have access to it, this is where a professional service can help immensely by finding your why and leading you to the choice that you will eventually and intuitively know you need to make.

Whatever your reasons for needing to control your alcohol intake, and whatever decision you make, I wish you well and hope you too eventually find your correct pathway.

I thank you for reading my story and I sincerely hope that it has helped even in some small way to encourage you to believe that you can do it too.

Please come back frequently as the aim of this website is to help people with alcohol addiction by providing new articles, information and encouragement on a regular basis.

Hopefully we might get some professionals chipping in as well. Who knows?

Best wishes

Paul.

If you wish to comment or share your experience on this or any of the articles, please feel free and join in the conversation. I will respond to all comments as quickly as possible once moderated.

 

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