An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Clean house, or keep some on hand?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by irishrose, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    I have a loved one who is a recovering alcoholic, and has been sober for almost 15 years. I recently found out that he keeps a stash of alcohol in his room. He does not use it, but he says having it there and choosing not to have it is empowering and helps him to resist temptation. I had never heard of this before, but it seems to work for him. It is my understanding that for most people, cleaning house and getting rid of all alcohol in the house is an important first step in recovery.

    Have you cleaned house and got rid of all alcohol to resist temltation, or do you keep some on hand?
  2. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    I have never heard someone do something like this before. If he believes that having alcohol in the room will empower him because he is resisting it than that is on him. But here us the thing: how many of us deliberately surround ourselves with temptation to empower ourselves when we resist it? If he wanted to have alcohol in his room let it a least be the kind you use to decorate your home. Better yet, why not just dump the alcohol out and keep the empty bottles as a decoration.
  3. MichelleVL

    MichelleVL Senior Contributor

    Hi Irishrose. My best friend was actually addicted to nicotine, not alcohol, but did do something similar. She has been nicotine free for 8 years, and still keeps 1 cigarette in a kitchen cupboard. In her case, it is reassuring for her to have that cigarette there, even though she is not going to smoke it. I don't think everyone is strong enough to have their vice so close at hand and not consume it. Everyone is different and will use whatever tools work for them in order to stay clean.
  4. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I have never heard of somebody doing this before but it makes prefect sense to me. He wants to prove that he has control over the alcohol, that it no longer controls him! I remember when I lost quite a bit of weight a few years back. When people would offer me sweets at work I never said no. I always took them but it made me feel powerful and in control when I went back to my offer and threw it out. I could have eaten it alone in my office but it was rewarding to know that food did not control me. I had control of it. So I can understand where he is coming from. To him it is not a temptation, it is an inspirational thing for him.
  5. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I reckon that it is something that we need to think about and also keeping the alcohol we need in our house and also it is something that we need to be aware o,f which can make us think about the substances we will need in the house and not keep too much in the house. I try and keep alcohol in a cabinet in the lounge far away from the kitchen so I am not tempted by the booze and get drunk which can be easy when we are tired or stressed, and may feel like a drink which can lead to more then enough. It is something which can take time and also we need to try and be careful of which place we put the alcohol and make sure it is not near where we can easily consume alcohol, and make bad choices and see the consequences.
  6. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    The thing with this, is that no matter if we think it's a good idea or not, people are looking over the first line, that he's been clean and sober for 15 years so it's obviously working for them.

    People will handle their addictions in different ways, and what works for one person doesn't always work for everyone.
  7. Dwayneu

    Dwayneu Community Champion

    Sounds like it his reminder, and a testament to his will. Some people might take it as that he is keeping it just in case he has to resort drinking, but it really depends. Some people have odd ways to deal with these things. If it inspires him and helps him stay sober, more power to him.
  8. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    For me, I have to keep the house empty from it. I guess the way I see it (for me - not saying this is the case for everyone!) is that if something really, really upset me, and I didn't think logically, it would be too tempting in the moment to just drink the booze if it was there. If it's not in the house, and I really thought to myself that drinking sounded like a solution (which of course it isn't) then I would still have to get out of the house in a presentable fashion, drive to the store, go into a store to purchase alcohol and drive home. That fact just keeps me from doing it, because most of the time I've had enough time to get into my logical, rational headspace before thinking that heading out to the liquor store is a good idea.
  9. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I can see how keeping a tiny bit in he house may bring comfort to some people, but I would be scared of getting into an overwhelming situation or something and then turning to that one drunk or one cigarette. Next thing you know, you could be hooked again.
  10. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Well, it's great to know that this kind of method is working pretty well for your loved one. But honestly, on my end, I don't think it's going to work effectively for me. Anyway, it varies from one person to another, and if this strategy is somehow improving your lifestyle, then you just have got to stick to it.
  11. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Nice to know that he had that kind of thinking and control. Some if not most of those who are recovering need a clean house since just a sight of an alcoholic drinks can make them feel tempted. Right that it could vary depends on personality.
  12. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    Wow I to have never heard of this. I guess if he has been sober for 15 years he knows what he is doing. I got rid of all my stash within weeks of starting my recovery. Of course I found it here, and there hiding places I had forgotten about, but it's all gone now. I suppose it's different strokes for different folks, and if he is still sober after that long why change it.
  13. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    Your loved one must be confident and sober enough to be able to resist the temptation of alcohol, so good for him, right? Some people are not that strong and will easily succumb to temptation, so you should be proud of your loved one because he can resist the one thing that he used to love. Not all people can do that.
  14. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I think a lot of people use this tactic to motivate themselves, and while it might not work for everyone, you do what suits you the best.

    I know a lot of people who have quit smoking for example, but will carry a couple of cigarettes around with them. They have no intention of smoking them, but they feel stronger knowing they're there. This is the same kind of situation.
  15. Psyduck

    Psyduck Active Contributor

    Most definitely a clean house. Keeping some in hand would lead to nothing but temptation and finally giving into it. You might think that you might need it just in case but it is always infinitely better to just get rid of everything and not have any distractions lying by.
  16. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    Hmmm, interesting. I think it's odd and not a good idea even if he is resisting the temptation. It's still there and having it there makes it so much easier for him to relapse.
  17. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    I used to keep a fully stocked bar in my place, with the thought being I mainly only drank rum, so the other stuff I wouldn't really touch once I ran out of rum in a given evening. And even if I did, I wouldn't have much of it because I didn't care for the taste of these other liquors all that much. When my drinking started escalating though, I started drinking whatever I still had left on hand if I was ever binging on a given night.

    I could go both ways on this, I get what he is saying, about the empowerment thing. If it's working for him, then so be it. I found a rather large stash of cocaine I had tucked way, nearly a year after I had quit it completely, and it was kind of funny to see. I didn't end up doing it either, and rinsed it down the sink. But it was so weird to think back at how hooked I was on that stuff. Personally I wouldn't have kept it around much longer as some sort of souvenir, only because I might have that one bad day where I'm totally pissed off and might just say "screw it" and do it.
  18. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    Well if it works for him I don't see any issue with it, great for him that he found a way of coping with his addictions! Personally I love keeping my house clean and not have any substances around, it makes me not think about alcohol and the likes.
    JonnyMacdonald likes this.
  19. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Alcohol has never been an issue in the family. No one resorts to it to ease the pain or run away from emotional or psychological distress. There are a few bottles of alcohol at home - some given by relatives working abroad and some bought for special occasions like Christmas or birthdays. We hardly ever consume alcohol outside of important events.
  20. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Heh... I had a stash of pills not so long ago (But thanks to this community I realized it was very wrong and got rid of them) but honestly I didn't keep them close because they made me feel empowered or anything. I guess some people might actually feel that way, but not me. I'd be worried as well if we were talking about my own relative.
    deanokat likes this.