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    1. #1
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      Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      Hello to all!

      I am new here and am hoping for some direction, via personal experiences, that will help me to taper off of one bottle of wine per night. (Give or take?.but only a glass, either way.) This is LONG, so please bare with me?..(sorry in advance!!!)

      A bit about me: Recognizing my addictive personality and having battled other addiction, I realize that addiction is an insidious disease. To sum it up, I used to be a runner (leisure only, but 4-5 times per week/3-6 miles). Two years after the birth of my twins, which likely contributed to my back/neck issues (as well as having degenerative disc disease run in my family?both parents) a disc in my lower back herniated. It was a large herniation, but due to my age (33, at the time) it was recommended that I try every alternative to surgery, and so I did. Thus began the roller coaster of steroids and narcotics (as needed) and ultimately, my dependence on them. By the time I said "Enough" and had the surgery to fix my back, my neck happened to herniate just 6 months later. And so I was placed on an even stronger narcotic, b/c of my tolerance to the other one. THIS was where my REAL troubles began. (In my opinion).

      Long story short? I have overcome narcotic dependency with the help of Suboxone therapy, seeing an Addiction Specialist monthly, as well as seeing a therapist WEEKLY. I am off of ALL narcotics and have no cravings or desire for them. What I have realized now though, is that while I HAVE developed many positive and healthy coping skills to combat THAT issue, I also allowed my "occasional" glass of wine, to turn into an "every night" bottle of wine. I can go the occasional day, without wanting any, but if I am honest with myself, looking back? I can see that I was just substituting one addiction, for another. I feel I was in denial at first, simply b/c I have never liked the feel of an alcohol buzz, save for a few long nights out?here and there. I never thought I'd have an "issue" with alcohol.

      At this point, I am attempting to nip this entire "thing" in the bud, before it spirals out of control. While I can and do function on a "bottle" per night, I do not like how I feel, nor what it is doing to my body.

      My SPECIFIC question is?.what is the BEST way to taper from a "bottle per night" wine habit? I have been attempting it this week, and realized that while I KNOW that when I don't drink any, it is partly uncomfortable b/c it's what I am used to?but?that I have also had some actual symptoms of what I feel are alcohol withdrawal. Compared to my experience with narcotic withdrawal? They are beyond mild, but concerning to me, none the less.

      My symptoms have been (after drinking a bottle/4 glasses on Tuesday):

      *Wed?no desire for alcohol, poor sleep Tuesday night (alcohol disrupts my sleep terribly) and the next day, being able to push through, although fatigued. Didn't "feel" hungover, even with being tired. Sort of "knew" how I'd feel and just pushed through. But was SICK of feeling THAT way, so decided to test myself.

      *By Wednesday evening, I felt "good enough" to have "wanted" to have a glass (which would have turned into a bottle) while making dinner, but I abstained. That evening, I developed a headache and had heart palpitations, that I chalked up to being dehydrated. I take a small dose of Klonopin (0.5mg) at bedtime for a mild tic disorder anyway, so that probably helped, unbeknownst to me.

      *On Thursday, I was TIRED ALL DAY and had a nagging headache. The kind that makes you think that your sugar is low or something. But, after researching some, I started to think that maybe, it was *mild* alcohol withdrawal. (No tremors, no confusion, no real sickness, no anxiety, no confusion) Just TOTALLY TIRED, for what I felt was NO reason.

      *On Thursday evening, by 8:45, I had gotten through my duties at home (and would usually have my first glass by 4:45-5:00) and decided that I WAS likely having W/D symptoms. So after eating a nice meal earlier, I had 2.5 glasses of red. (white is my go to and makes me "exited" while red seems to "lower me" more.)

      *Today? I woke up feeling good, slept AMAZINGLY well and felt proud of myself, but by 4pm, I was wishing I could have a glass of wine?.you know?b/c it's FRIDAY! But, I didn't. The headache hit by 4pm, with very mild heart palpitations. (have had before during other types of W/D and can feel that these are not too bad.)

      So I had PLANNED to abstain tonight and tomorrow and then have 2 glasses on Sunday. But instead, I decided to have the 2 glasses tonight, both as justification, I'm sure?but also, b/c I wanted to learn more about how OTHERS have tapered off at this level. I KNOW that this is something that I can do. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. I know enough about addiction and replacing poor choices with good ones, nutrition, supplements, you name it?.to KNOW that I have a mild to moderate habit here, that I likely developed while weaning from the Sub.

      If I can never drink again, then so be it. Don't really care. But my hope at this point is that I can, in TIME, go back to how I WAS, when I could really just drink a few glasses on a weekend night and then be "wine free" all week. It never bothered me before. I never craved it. I never NEEDED it.

      I suppose my question, again, is?should I just go down to half a bottle a night for a few nights, then down to a glass or something? Or should I just quit and deal? I know I'm not going to go into DT or have a seizure. But for those who have had a habit similar, how long should I expect to feel the lethargy and the heart stuff? I've got the Klonopin on hand, if needed, but have never had a liking for or an issue with benzos. I could use as needed, by breaking off pieces of my already minuscule dose, but I am just looking for a formula that others think might work.

      As a side note, I already take Vit.B, high dose Fish Oil and magnesium, potassium, as needed. I also eat a very healthy diet of nearly all organic/Non-GMO fruits, veggies, water, lean meats, healthy oils and smoothies/juices. No dairy. I also drink warm water with lemon and cayenne each morning for my liver and take Epsom Salt baths.

      ANY thoughts or suggestions or experiences are all appreciated!!! And again, my apologies for the length of this. Just felt a history was needed, for many reasons.

    2. #2
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      Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      BT,
      Welcome to MWO! We are so glad you found us! Read all you can on this site, there Is 7 years of first hand knowledge to be gained right here! Everything you need to know about this affliction, you can find on this site. I would like to invite you to 2 threads, links to both are in my signature line below. Newbie's nest is a great place to start out, we have folks in all stages of quitting. The Tool box is full of tips and coping skills to help you.

      To answer your question, and this is my opinion, both in living it and observing it over my 4 years here....the best way to quit drinking is to quit drinking. Cold turkey. It is the only way I could stop. You see, if we could cut down, we 'd have already done it. Most of us are not able to quit any other way but cold turkey. I drank about a bottle and a half a day, more on weekends, I would try to cut down, but one drink only led to another. By the time we have 2 drinks, our judgement is impaired, guess what happens next? We have another, and so the cycle continues. I am sure there will be some who can taper, but I have rarely seen this work. In this fight, you must starve this beast! Otherwise, its like a stray animal, if you feed it, you own it.

      Stick around, read and post! We re so glad you found us! I only wish I had done this sooner! Byrdie

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      Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      BT welcome and thanks for explaining yourself so well.

      I am with Byrd here, i was a bottle to 2 a day drinker and tapering just did not do it for me so i went cold turkey. My sleeping patterns were crap for weeks, i was continually bone tired and had horrible headaches but as i knew i put the al into my system i had to deal with my body healing. I had a bit of anxiety at first but nothing compared to when i was drinking so i took a few xanax for the first few days but that is it. I am sure others would have healthier alternatives to xanax though.

      Just be positive and determined and make the choice for what you feel is best for you. the best choice i made was to not drink and i will never regret that.

      Best of luck and go to the Newbies Nest, lots of advice on there and read and read some more.

    5. #4
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      Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      Welcome to MWO.
      I was about a bottle and a half of wine a day (night) - for years. Sometimes more and with other varieties of the poison. I also quit without tapering. I had tried that in the past (as in moderating and it was a waste of time for me). Wine is far too easy to consume.
      When you quit you feel like crap for a while but its the best way IMO to quit that level of habit. You have to deal with the cravings and actively stand up to them. You will find lots of advice here on MWO for this.
      I did not take any extras for anxiety or sleeping etc. Just made sure I ate well, had lots of AF drinks, and gave myself time to blob in the evenings.

    6. #5
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      Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      Thank you to all of you (Byrd, Ava, Tree) for the nice welcome, and the info! I went over to the Nest after reading this post last night and read over there for quite some time. Lots of useful info, and am looking forward to getting into the "toolbox" soon too!

      When I re-read my original post, I realized that in trying to give a short history, yet encompass so much, I sort of missed making some sense here and there! LOL! When I mentioned having been a runner, not only was THAT my passion and outlet, but after my back/neck issues, I could never run again. ( I tried, repeatedly….but it always caused my back to flare). Somehow, at 39…I STILL have hope that one day I will be able to run again, even if just a mile or two once or twice a week. There was NOTHING like THAT high, and when I was first injured, I went through about 6 months of depression about it. One day I "got over myself" and let it go. But it was hard and seeing the runners out right now (we finally have some beautiful Spring weather!) makes me want to just "take off"!

      I also wanted to mention, that I am in the midst of what is becoming (I hope) an "amicable" divorce. Prior to this, (we filed last September 2013, but our house isn't moving in this economy, and is too much for either of us to stay in) my marriage was an emotionally and verbally abusive one. We still live together (shocker) while we wait for the home to sell, but the marriage has been "over" emotionally for me….for almost 5 years now. Likely the reason I fell apart (in my mind) when I didn't have the outlet I used to.

      I KNOW, that while MY CHOICES were and are MY OWN, that living with him for 12 years and being belittled, joked about in front of others, put down, and all of the other things, along with the non-verbal looks and classic abuse tactics, played a HUGE role in my choice to "numb out" on pills, and then once I was off those (on my own and with no support from him) it's also likely why in the "evenings" I allowed my occasional glass to turn nightly, and my nightly glass to turn into 2-3-4. I was lonely and bored in my marriage, but felt "stuck" b/c we have young children, and trying to fill a void. (Obviously didn't know that or do it deliberately!!! But can see clearly now).

      Anyway…somehow, things have settled here…his anger has subsided (even though he has always refused continuous therapy or any meds) and we are getting along very well as friends. It is sad b/c to me, this is how it should have always been. Us allowing each other to make mistakes, and still love one another, as well as letting crap just roll off our backs! But I realize that the only reason he can be so "normal" with me now, is b/c he has cut himself off emotionally, and knows a divorce is coming….so in his mind, it's like…"why be pissed" if he doesn't like something I do or say or cook. It's as if he doesn't need to control me anymore, now that the marriage is ending/over. Sadly, were I to suggest we reconcile (which I never could and do not want to) I know that things would go back to how they were OVER night, since he has never worked on HIS OWN issues.

      Finally, I did want to say that asking about a taper, while it may sound and actually BE naive, was only b/c I understand the way an addicted brain works and how it lies to us. I HAVE attempted to just drink less, many times, but have never really WANTED to feel better and be "clean" before. That makes a huge difference. And having never really loved alcohol or it's removal (still don't!) feel that with some "will power" and self discipline, as well as my continued therapy AND with summer upon us and me choosing to replace "the drinking hour" with other things…..that I can be successful. I also am NOT naive to thinking that once I stop for "a few weeks" that I can go back to drinking socially right away, or at all. To be honest, I really don't want it in my life anymore, as I've already changed SO MANY of my thinking patterns, my friends, my daily activities and so on. I don't want or need to "numb out" anymore and my self esteem is back to where it needed to be (and was prior to marriage) all along!

      Currently, I have no wine or vodka (which I would drink if I went "out") in the house and we cannot purchase alcohol on Sunday here, SO….my plan today is to just not get any! Then I'm AF tonight and tomorrow for sure. And maybe by then, after abstaining on Wed., and being able to stop after 2 glasses of red (which I don't really like or feel "high" from) on Thur/Fri….maybe some of the headaches and fatigue won't be as bad? Either way, I can tolerate it. I just saw this train coming a mile away, and wanted to head it off before it plowed through. I suppose there is no time like the present to do that, huh?

      Thanks again for your warm welcome and your suggestions. Sorry for another long update. Just wanted to say a few more things, and suppose I could start at the Nest, but feel it's hard to tell about myself and get to know who everyone else is, and then….I always feel bad when I join a group thread on ANY board (in the past) and don't address each person with my own updates. So I may post there, once I get a better feel for the boards! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! The sun is out….so I am HAPPY!

    7. #6
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      Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      Hi Eliza,
      I've read your posts. You've been through lots and lots. I'm glad you found MWO and the support here is incredible.

      I agree with the others in that just going cold turkey would be the best option. Trying to drag out the pain, bring any al back in as you said having two glasses of red just teases the Al brain and makes it struggle in the same cycle over and over again. If it doesn't make you "high" and you don't like it, don't drink it. The alcohol is in it regardless of what it tastes like, and it can continue to play with our minds.

      You're so on top of the world with everything else, eating, feeling good, and hopefully you can find a form of exercise that you love as much as running. I hope you can make a decision to let go of the Al altogether! Hope to see you in the Newbie's Nest.

    8. #7
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      Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      hello mate

      I've been drinking on a daily basis too before but now my friends suggested me to try some herbal tea as a substitute to alcohol as my daily drink before I sleep and it helps a lot, although I'm still drinking a little alcohol sometime but still the tea helps. You can try it too and I hope it helps.

    9. #8
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      Re: Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      Quote Originally Posted by Byrdlady View Post
      BT,
      Welcome to MWO! We are so glad you found us! Read all you can on this site, there Is 7 years of first hand knowledge to be gained right here! Everything you need to know about this affliction, you can find on this site. I would like to invite you to 2 threads, links to both are in my signature line below. Newbie's nest is a great place to start out, we have folks in all stages of quitting. The Tool box is full of tips and coping skills to help you.

      To answer your question, and this is my opinion, both in living it and observing it over my 4 years here....the best way to quit drinking is to quit drinking. Cold turkey. It is the only way I could stop. You see, if we could cut down, we 'd have already done it. Most of us are not able to quit any other way but cold turkey. I drank about a bottle and a half a day, more on weekends, I would try to cut down, but one drink only led to another. By the time we have 2 drinks, our judgement is impaired, guess what happens next? We have another, and so the cycle continues. I am sure there will be some who can taper, but I have rarely seen this work. In this fight, you must starve this beast! Otherwise, its like a stray animal, if you feed it, you own it.

      Stick around, read and post! We re so glad you found us! I only wish I had done this sooner! Byrdie
      Hi.
      I know this is an old post. But I came to find it after googling the subject of this post.
      I am in the same predicament as the above poster. I see there are many replies to just go cold turkey but I also read that going cold turkey can kill you. I drink a bottle to two a night.
      How do you know that it will be ok to just go cold turkey?

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      Re: Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      Hi, CER
      I replied to you in your other thread.
      Byrdlady is still hanging around in the Newbies Nest so you could talk to her more there.
      All the best, NS


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      Re: Best way to taper off one bottle of WINE per night?

      Hey CER!
      I am now 7 years sober and I find that I absolutely stick to my belief that cold turkey is the best approach. I remember that I used to use the fear of withdrawals as a reason to not stop....it wasnt safe! Like drinking a bottle or two was! All I can suggest is to give it a try. Just know that you are going to feel anxious, thats not because you re having a seizure, its because we are not getting our fix. That first night is scary and long. Do you hve someone at home with you that can keep an eye on you?
      I wish you well, I will go check on younin the nest. We are so glad you found us! Byrdie
      All you gotta do, is get thru this day. AF 1/20/2011
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