Welcome to the Ask Jo page, where I reply to your questions and post my answers below. You can read through other people’s questions and answers and you can leave your own comments and thoughts. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can send your own question to me using the form to the right.

If I think it will be helpful to other people, your first name, question and answer might be published below so bear this in mind if anonymity is important to you. Choose an alias if you don’t want to use your real first name.

Answers are usually posted here or emailed to you within 24 hours of your question being posted.

Rae

Q: I don’t drink during the week, in fact sometimes I go for a couple of weeks without drinking but when I do drink I don’t have an off switch. I never seem to able to stop and I end up getting so drunk I can’t remember things and I get embarrassed about when people tell me what I’ve done. Do I have a problem or can I cut down on the amount I drink at the weekends?

A: Hi Rae, and thanks for your question which will resonate with lots of people visiting this site.

Firstly, I want to explore the concept of what constitutes a “problem” with drink. Many people think it’s to do with the amount you drink and the regularity you drink.
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MomoBean

Q: How long will it take before I can go out and feel confident and happy about not drinking? It’s been 6 weeks since I stopped drinking and I still feel crap. I feel like I’m missing out and I’m getting frustrated that it’s still hard work and I’m still not feeling this sober amazing that everyone talks about.

A: Hi MomoBean, lovely to hear from you and thanks for the great question – this is one that will help lots of people who are in a similar position to you. I want to answer it in 4 parts:

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Chris

Q: How do I deal with my EUPD without alcohol? I’m scared the alcohol was the only thing helping me get time out of my own head and my mood’s up and down like anything without it.

A: Hi Chris, thanks for getting in touch with your question. This is a really useful one because it brings the whole issue of alcohol and mental health into the conversation.

For people who might be reading this and don’t know, EUPD is Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, also known as Borderline Personality Disorder.
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Mouse

Q: I’ve tried to quit drinking about 6 times in the last 2 yrs and each time I find a reason to start drinking again I find I can stop drinking easy enuff but always seem to start again. I’ve bin drinking for the last 6 months and feeling desperate now cuz Christmas is coming and I don’t wanna f… it up again but am telling myself now is not a good time to stop. Please help – shld I wait till new year or go for it now and what if I can’t do it?

A: Hi Mouse, it’s great to hear from you – I’m so glad you reached out and asked a question. I know that this probably took a lot of courage and I salute you for that.

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Veronica

Q: I am currently stuck in a rut of drinking too much every evening as a way of coping with low self esteem, self hatred and food issues (I had an eating disorder for many years and although weight stable and fine I use alcohol to cope with the fact that I have to eat). I am worried about how to stop drinking without the other issues becoming overbearing. Should I be tackling other issues first, alongside or after trying to stop drinking so much? Would you recommend drinking less each night, having some days off or going cold turkey?

A: Hi Veronica, it’s great to hear from you.

You ask some really good questions here and it might be helpful for me to deal with them one-by-one. I have a funny feeling my answer is going to be a lot longer than your questions!

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Penny

Q: Hi Jo, I’ve just come across your site and to be honest, it’s a godsend. I took the plunge and stopped drinking a week ago. It’s tough but I’m feeling pretty determined right now and am using your blogs to help me stay motivated. My question is this - my cousin is getting married next month and it’s a big family event. I’ll be expected to be joining in and providing some drunken entertainment as I always have done – most of my family are big drinkers so this is kind of the norm. I really can’t imagine facing it and staying sober – the pressure to drink will be too much for me. I’ll be the odd one out if I don’t drink and I’m not ready to get into the whole story of why I’m not drinking with people. Can you give me some advice?

A: Hi Penny, great to hear from you. Well done for taking the plunge and for 

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