Not drinking alcohol, and what I’ve discovered.


1. I’ve discovered that I want a drink. Badly. Especially when I’m having a horrible day. I never thought of myself as one to self-medicate, but there it is. This begins to make me realize that a month off from all booze is maybe a good thing.

2. I’ve learned that almost EVERY social engagement has something to do with alcohol. From bowling to dinner, people push drinks on you. Not intentionally. They just offer. And wonder why you’re not having any.

3. Thus, I’ve realized just how hard it must be for an alcoholic to have friends who still drink. It feels shitty to be around slightly drunk people and be the only one sober. Refer back to #1.

4. Some people are cool with it – the experiment of not drinking. Some people aren’t. They get defensive. Like I’m judging them for still drinking. It gets worse when I say that I “might” have a problem with alcohol.

5. At first, I didn’t like going to social events anymore. Because I was scared that I wouldn’t be funny or social without a glass of wine to relax me. Alcohol is a social lubricant, right?

6. I discovered that after awhile, it’s normal not to drink anymore. I’m on week 4, and it’s turning into a normal night for me to just have a glass of water with dinner.

7. I’m losing a ton of weight by doing nothing other than avoiding my usual one or two drinks every other night. Seriously. It’s like magic.

8. I’ve also discovered that I look better and I feel better. My body, especially as it gets older, just can’t handle the booze anymore. Even a glass later, and my head starts to buzz. I think that my liver is older, too, because it felt like longer to process the alcohol in my system. I felt, in essence, drunk faster and longer. Now, I don’t get as many headaches or upset stomachs. Coincidence? Maybe. But see below.

9. I sleep better. Drinking at night was making me restless. I know it’s a depressant, but a glass or two at night was making it more difficult for me to get a solid night of actual rest. Now I wake up feeling like I actually slept.

10. I’m less depressed. And dark. And moody. Which, although it makes me funnier, is better off dead. (Remember that movie with John Cusack, and the kid on the bike? And the French chick? It’s still great, by the way.)

About these ads

233 thoughts on “Not drinking alcohol, and what I’ve discovered.

  1. I quit drinking a month or two ago because I started talking medicine that got the alcohol in my blood stream MUCH faster… I was a mess because of it, and I just decided I needed to stop.

    Good for you pointing these things out. They’re all fairly true across the board for anyone… and it’s completely normal not to drink; just make it normal for YOU.

    • O.k guys this is what can happen, I am 41 years of age and have been sober for 9 months until the other day when I got some bad news. So like an idiot I went and had what I thought would be just a few drinks, $150 dollars later I woke up in a public toilet with vomit on my clothes and had lost my bag which contained my wallet, phone, car keys id, the lot. This is bad enough but as I was stumbling home I tripped through a garden and landed on my face on bitumen which left me with gravel rash all over my face, great work mate.
      I cannot drink at all, I realise this and don’t miss it when I’m not but people like family and friends like to make themselves feel superior by reminding me of my problem whilst they continue to drink, which is hypocritical I think.
      The fact of the matter is that alcohol is a poison to the body no matter who you are and if you have ever had a hangover you have a problem with alcohol, period.
      So after this last little episode I am definitely back on the wagon and will be staying there as long as possible. I know I’m a problem drinker but this sort of thing can happen to anyone that drinks alcohol. It’s a poison that is accepted by
      society but realise how silly it is when you are sober while around drinking people,
      just do something else, your life will only benefit, thankyou.

      • Thank you for this post. Your timing is interesting….I am also 41 and almost exactly 9 months without a drink but need a reminder every now and then to leave it alone. I keep telling myself at one year i may consider having a drink and moderating, but the realistic side of me knows that’s not possible. I wouldn’t worry about your friends who you talk about. They should be supportive and happy that you are taking care of yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself – this sounds like this night was just a chance to make your commitment to not drink stronger.

      • I have decided that after twenty years drinking, I’m done. I’m a few days in sober. Just to get a decent nights sleep would be great . I gave up before for a year and thought I had it sorted. That one drink turned into another year of drinking. My concerns are not what others may think etc. My concern is that , I do enjoy it. And I’m scared that I will spend the rest if my life wanting that drink. However for now its sobriety for me.

      • Why don’t you look at it as though you’re taking a break for a few years. You can even tell yourself you’ll start drinking again when you turn 80 and your mind will not see it as quitting forever. Funny thin about the mind – it understands forever, but it can’t understand how far out 30 years is as long as it’s not forever.

    • Hi everyone im over two years sober at age 33. I still feel like i want to drink even knowing it wouldnt be good for my health among other things. I am used to being sober and feel normal all the time. I just miss the fun part of drinking and laughing. Thinking about it doesnt go away and thats why i ended up here on this site. Im hoping this will make me feel better temporarely. I dont go to AA and dont plan to start, ive gone this far on my own, so anyone reading this can do it also. Just dont drink. Hope i helped someone and will continue to just try and be happy. Another thing is that im actualy not very social anymore but thats ok i can keep doing good for myself. Drank my twentys away still smoke cigs no meds or coffee or alcohol, i play video games for entertainment.

      • I went 14 months without a drink, previously a very heavy drinker all week. I never had any temptation to drink during that time, but I chose a date on December 21, 2013 where I would allow myself a “one day pass” whike attending a Christmas party. Let me tell you that there’s no such thing as a “one day pass”. I had my doubts, but thought I could do it. Big mistake – yesterday was my first day sober. My one day pass turned into 3 months of heavy drinking again, where I spent probably $1800 on alcohol, stopped tending to my business which suffered, had relationship issues, the whole 9 yards. Oh and I gained 20 lbs.

        Yes things aren’t as fun as if you were able to go out and have a few moderate drinks with friends, it’s simply not worth it to destroy yourself because life isn’t as “fun”.

        You have to have a way to have fun without drinking. Join a crossfit group, join a bookclub, join a rec volleyball team, go to church activities, join a hiking group – there are lots of people who don’t drink and have fun, you just have to adjust and work at it.

        I’ve learned a valuable lesson – hope you can stay on track

      • Thanks cam im glad someone was listening, that makes me feel a little better. I woke up thinking of how i should be proud of the fact ive been sober for 25 months, but at the same time i hate that fact, its hard to explain. Its like i feel like im not making my own choices and being a free man. Reality from your experience shows that it never works out to be a good thing when you enjoy alcohol to much. I keep having my doubts of wether i will stay sober, but i will keep going even though life is not easy. My work seems to keep me going i only realy get bored on weekends, got to go. Have a great day! Ill check back for posts. Its not about luck its about doing the right thing all the time.

    • I started drinking when I was around the age of 16 and got drunk the first time. I then began to drink heavily from the ages of 18-20 and it was really affecting my life. It felt like I couldn’t get really anything done ever. It also felt like I wasn’t really living a real life because I didn’t have control over my drinking. I then joined the Air Force in May of 2013. One of the reasons that I joined is to get over my drinking problem (many of u might laugh at that if you have ever served) but instead it made it worse because I wasn’t around my family anymore. I thought about suicide and I went to a behavioral hospital about 6 months on my first base and went and got the help that I needed. I did 28 days inpatient rehab then I didn’t 20 days outpatient. If it wasn’t for me going to get help then I would still be in the cycle of addiction. I now go to AA and am living a different life and a sober one. August 16 will be my 90 days sober and it feels great!

  2. Thats awesome. I know what you mean, you also generally get more productive too and do a lot less slouching around and having meaningless conversations. Hopefully I you wont get too much persecution for your new lifestyle

  3. I’ve not had a drink in 5 weeks now and I’ve found the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

    I’m just the same in social situation, but now I remember all the mistakes in the morning!

    In the words of the great poet Homer (Simpson):

    “Alcohol is the cause and solution of all of lifes problems”

  4. Nice article – I have been alcohol for 6 months, for no real reason but it coincided with me obtaining my drivers licence.

    Not that I would ever drink and drive, but just in case I wanted to drive the next day. In Australa, new drivers have to have a 0.00 blood alcohol level at all times.

    One of the major benefits for me is rediscovering the weekend and how brilliant Saturday mornings are. I had not seen one in 15 years, and wasted the rest of the weekend on the couch.

  5. I decided to quit after my 29th b-day, which was 5 days ago. I’m not an alcoholic, but socially drink a lot, and once I start drinking, it’s really hard to stop. I can’t handle the hangovers anymore, and really don’t have much free time away from work and school and am sick of spending it feeling like crap. Good luck and congrats to all of you! I’m going to my favorite club tomorrow night with some friends. Will be interesting to see what they think of me just ordering red bull. :)

  6. Its well worse here in Scotland when you refuse a drink, first thing people say is “are you okay?”

    I went a full year of college without alcohol and I gotta say, it was the most boring experience of my life. Now I drink whenever I can, football games, birthdays, mates house. I don’t let it get a hold of me though, but I cant say that about some of my friends.

  7. I don’t think I’m a ‘mean drunk’ or anything, but even a couple of beers makes me really irritable now (age 49). I really wish they would produce good-tasting beers and ales with about 2.5% alcohol so I could still drink them. But at 5% plus–Belgian ales often having something more like wine–I can’t handle them. So it’s little or no alcohol for me I’m afraid.

  8. I rarely drank before I met my current husband (10 yrs ago). My alcohol consumption increased the longer we were married (he always keeps a fully stocked bar and entertains frequently). There were times when I didn’t want to drink, but he and/or friends pressed on. As the night went on, I’d keep drinking as much as they handed me. I ended up not remembering things, throwing tantrums, and becoming angry. the night before last halloween, we were invited to a party. Every time I turned my back, our friend would ‘re-fill’ my chardonet. Needles to say, I got pretty looped and couldn’t remember anything. I actually don’t enjoy drinking anymore. So, I quit. This will be tested over the upcoming holidays -since 90% of our friends drink. They are pretty isistent on me drinking along with them.

    • Good for you! I know you can do it. I drank rarely as well before I met my now husband 2 1/2 years ago. He always has wine and booze at the house and I found myself drinking much more after we moved in together. He drinks a lot and pressures me to drink. All of his family drinks and there is always alcohol at every occasion. I quit only one week ago, on Earth Day, April 22, 2013. I am looking for support to help me through this. I feel much better physically and mentally after only stopping for one week. I may check out AA or Alanon.

  9. i’m looking to stop drinking, since i started uni last september i have drank a hell of a lot, put on 2 stone, my skin is in bad condition and my bank account is empty. iv also had some very very regrettable realisations in the morning :\

    i have a friend, he is the nicest/funniest person with the softest skin and brilliantly bouncy hair – guess what, he never drinks. i think he is a great example and lead for me to follow :)

    the first test: tonight, i have a saturday night off. to my friend and i, this would normally spell carnage or as she’d say – “rum times”. we are of course still going out, im just gonna stick to diet coke or something – and for my first night of teetotaling, the fact that im on anti-biotics and shouldnt drink with them anyway should help me to sway the temptations :)

    so bottoms up (of my diet coke glass) and i’ll see how it goes :)

    • I too have started to leave this drinking behind now on my second day. I been doing for so long and I just got tired of it always getting it way.

  10. Good post. I feel like alcohol to our generation is like cigarettes to our parents generation (50′s). Only later will we discover just how bad it really is. Now they classify alcohol as a class A drug same as heroin. I’m glad that i walked away from it and all it’s baggage problems. Cheers to better health (raising glass of water lol)

  11. Someone on the bus the other day told me, “Imagine if you had video footage that was compiled from all of the times you were wasted. How would you feel?”

  12. i stopped drinking , then one night i had a couple of beers , and within a week i was buying a carton of beer , i never no when to stop , no i,m close to three months no alcohol , and i really don,t miss it i feel better , cleaner,and more money in my pocket , alcohol , is to easly accepted nowa days, say no too it good luck ,

  13. I used to drink once every two weeks at the weekend ! When I didn’t have my kids !
    Once I used to start drinking wouldn’t stop easyly ! But next day nothing ! Until another 2 weeks ! And same !
    I realise I have got a problem ! I stoped now ! It is since 1 st of jan I am alcohol free !
    I haven’t been out. I don’t think I can go out sit next to people drinking and not to drink !

  14. I haven’t had a drink since the 1st of January this year.

    I remember during the Christmas i was drinking so much and i got the flu from being so unhealthy. On New years morning i couldnt sleep for hours and i promised to myself “this isn’t worth it, I’m giving up for a year!!”
    its nearly May and i feel unstoppable!! As I’m into my sports the alcohol didnt really suit me and being off it i have noticed a serious difference especially getting up in the mornings!
    Im getting more used to social events too and all my mates support me and have utmost respect for my decision!
    The final thing i want to say is that at the end of the year i will know that i can keep true to my word and this will give me a lot of confidence! hopefully haha!!
    and im 23 and in college (with drink promoted all the time)so anyone can do it!

  15. hey! late comment here, but perfect posting. my words exactly. i quit on an off, for a month, month and a half at a time. i really noticed a difference. my body started to shape up, workouts were paying off, depression and anxiety REALLY cleared up. i socially drank at least weekly for the past 10 years + some. the past 2 years i was on anti depressants. i got off of alcohol, meds, ciggs at the same time. joined a gym and the rest is history…(i’m turning 30 in a month and i’m the flyest i’ve ever looked!!)

    BUT

    my problem now..

    i guess since i am ‘healed’, if i have ONE margaria or glass of wine, i get panic attacky after the drink ‘wares’ off…. the next day, i am so depressed and needy! As depressed as I used to get pre medication.

    It’s kinda sad, i love margaritas and fajitas. i dont even get crazy drunk…just a little buzz. my next day is ruined. i guess those 10 years i really did some damage and i finally got back to stable… so a little ‘poison’ can really impact me. it is VERY hard to go out and explain why you no longer care to drink. my circle of friends has shifted because of it.
    that’s all. thanks for the writeup!

  16. Alcohol makes you wake up unrested because it interferes directly with REM sleep. I had a long time doctor who said he liked to have a glass of bourbon every night, just one, but would take a month off every year just to give himself a break and remind himself that he could.

    The idea of taking the summer off of regular drinking has great appeal. I like to have just one beer when returning home from the grind, or a glass of whisky, or even whiskey, however, the thought of losing weight may have greater appeal than a nightly jar. I need to, and it wouldn’t hurt to cultivate a different way of relaxing. When I do have a drink I’ll be a much more efficient drunk. An ecology professor here once told me that I wasn’t becoming a cheap drunk because I could only drink a couple of beers before reaching my limit, I was making better use of limited resources. So I was becoming a more efficient drunk. Yeah.

  17. Great article! I didn’t drink for over two years from ages 25 1/2 to 27 1/2. I have a tendency to get obnoxious when I drink and get myself into trouble with my mouth. Working overnight for two years really helped as well because being on that schedule really helped me to not even think about drinking because I essentially had no social life at all working those hours anyways…lol.

    But yeah, it’s difficult to truly socialize when not drinking. It’s everywhere! People get offended too, as if saying I don’t want to drink is the equivalence of telling them that I think they are losers for drinking or something along those lines. It gets easier to stay away after a few weeks though. After like the first six months of not drinking I would actually get nautious just thinking about drinking. After 2 years I thougth I was free of it forever, but this past year I got back with my old group of friends and all they do is drink so it’s been tough. I can control things better and try to stay away from them for 2 or 3 weeks after a night of drinking just so I don’t get back in the habit of making this a weekly thing again.

    I believe people drink because they feel it releases them from inhibitions that they feel they can not overcome when sober. I don’t get why people need to drink to go out and meet a girl or a guy, or why they need to get hammered at a cookout or social event. What is the gain from it? You get hungover, destroy nutrients in your body, people secretly don’t respect people that drink all the time, and you develop a bad reputation.

  18. I notice after I stopped drinking I would go have a drink and feel real tippsy, like I was drunk, off one beer, so I didnt like the feeling. I can have a glass of wine and feel somewhat normal….. if anyone has any insight on this feel free to comment…. I was consistly drinking on a normal basis, a couple of beers a day, about four times a week, and then one day I had 2 pints a beer, 2 shots of jameson, and then 2 hours later I had about 3 beers, didnt feel to good the next morning…… so then I took a break from drinikng…… best decision I ever made, besides dumping my stocks before the big 2011 crash…lol which was today……. any insight on this is helpful….thanks

  19. Ha! I did quit, then felt OK to have a wine or margarita again. Oh it is so not worth it! Now my thoughts under the influence have become even WAY more irrational that before lol. (and now i am 30!)

    back to the wagon again. I can even feel ‘tipsy’ after drinking a N/A frozen beverage – talk about crazy placebo effect! this changes my perspective of O’douls now LOL

  20. I have stopped drinking recently, im 20 years old and just moved to a new city,and it does make socialising harder but you get through it. I am on anti-depressants which was the reason I stopped, I say stopped, its more that I dont allow myself to be drunk; I drink 2 light beers if i head out I used to drink tons at uni, bottles of spirits a night and mix my drinks all the time, my family are big drinkers and its gonna be hard at xmas, problem is I cant figure out which look is weirder, the one you get when you say your not drinking, or the one you get when you say your on antidepressants. Ii realised when i stopped getting drunk how many of my own problems i caused through being pissed, especially with girls, talking to strangers sober does wonders for your confidence too.

    your post helped a lot, thanks man

  21. I stopped drinking a year ago. All my friends and my wife drink. I felt all the benefits described above. I am still trying to figure out how to stay off the booze and not feel like I am letting them down at dinners and parties. I even tried holding a beer without drinking all night. Once everyone is drunk they cannot tell the difference of whether I have been drinking or not. It is easier but I feel like I am deceiving them…. any suggestions?

    • I do the same thing sometimes. Especially if I get the feeling that abstaining is making others uncomfortable. It would be great if they understood and didn’t care, though. You could try explaining, but if that doesn’t work, I say carry on with the sipping one beer all night. It doesn’t hurt anyone.

  22. Been two weeks without alcohol now and i feel great, no headaches, no feeling tired all the time, and now i get up in the morning with a smile on my face instead of thinking please just leave me here to die.

    • Spot on! That’s exactly how I used to feel, I’ve not had a beer in
      6 days and your comment will help me keep going. Thank you.

  23. I’m not a big drinker and during semester I don’t tend to drink at all but these days (I’m 45) even one drink means I wake up feeling despondent even if I went to bed feeling sober. I’m thinking of abstaining from alcohol altogether and while I’m at it I’m going to strike coffee as well. Coffee is just as addictive, we experience the same highs and lows, and the coffee culture has created similar peer pressures to drinking alcohol.

    • this is exactly what i experience at the age of 39. i get hangover from one beer, coffee or fermented milk. that really disappoints me. cheers to the guys who have sustained sober lifestyles

  24. i quit 12 days ago, it took a hospital visit to do it. i woke up with the most severe pain in my side, found out i had something call pancreatitus. looking back, i can see that a lot of my physical pains were caused by my drinking. it’s amazing how our mind can make us overlook the obvious when we don’t want to see what we are doing to ourselves.
    i feel better now. my ‘friends’ are all behind me, although they continue to drink. i feel that i have lost a companion with my new lifestyle, i hope in time that passes.

  25. I have just made the decision to quit. Such an amazing feeling to be sober even after 8pm. I wonder why I never could relate the headaches, stomach pains, etc to alcohol. And the saving.. yes, that money! I now realise my money stays longer. Thnx.

  26. I’m now 220 days sober, I drank at least a dozen beers each night during the week and on the weekends it would be nothing to drink 2 cases (48 beers) , if the beer wasn’t available, I could easily put away 4 litres of cheap cask wine. Some days I would wake up and start drinking immediately…… but after 20 years of constant drinking, my ability to process alcahol was reasonably good. Through out all this, I held down a good paying job, ran my own successful business, met a lovely woman and had a beautiful baby boy (her, not me….hahahahaha)……..

    The crunch came when I was diagnosed with depression….. I had a great childhood but went through some horrible things in life, the worst being standing over my brother, looking at him dead before me not long after he took his own life… this saw me constantly drunk for 3 months straight just so I could pass out and not think about or see the visions of my brother.

    What I have learnt from my experiences is that drinking is nothing more than self medication, a way in which we get ourselves to in order to “FEEL NORMAL”.

    Now at 220 days sober, I still yearn for the taste of any form of alcohol from time to time, but with the correct medical assistance and medications, a supportive wife, parents and friends, I feel that eventually one day I won’t even consider the drink, ever again……..

    Sometimes I think about writing a book about what set me on the path to the drink, what happened during the journey and what’s happening now that I am off the wagon but so desperately sometimes want to get back on, but I won’t…. I am to busy doing things in life that I could never do when I was wasting my life away breathing through a bottle.

  27. I don’t generally drink but find it hard to avoid socially, so I’ll have 1-1.5 at the start and switch when people are less attentive.

    But, last night 1 1/2 pints of Guiness and this morning, not quite hungover but stomach not happy and so sleepy/sore headed I got to work before realising I’d put on a t-shirt and suit trousers and forgot the shirt. A pint and a half though….

  28. Day 9 for me. It’s a bit tough but not impossible. I’m so used to having that beer after a long day of snowboarding. Oh well, I feel great already and it’s only day 9!

  29. Day 18 for me. Im 44 and have been drink for the last 22 years and Im come to realise that I got a problem. The difficulty Ive got is that I smoked as well as drunk and the habits are intrinsicly linked. So since the 1st Jan Ive stopped both, the gigs permernatly the drink, well we shall see.

    Initally I thought about stopping the drink for about 6 weeks to help me stop smoking, but now Im starting to feel the benefits of not drinking. I used to drink a oint of larger nearly every day and then over the weekends a bit more. My consumption has been going down over the years but I will still have the occasional blow out, which invetiably leads to a fight with the wife.

    My kids are alo getting to the age where they notice things more and so Im starting to think seriously about giving up drinking permenatly.

    • Good on you. Day 255 now and it’s still hard, but worth it. The fights with the wife have stopped and i’m getting along better with the kids…. Happy to say i’m a quitter and feeling better for it. I applaud you all.

  30. Interesting to see recent comments here from a 2008 post! I tried to quit drinking wine for the month of January but only lasted 5 days. I was invited to a dinner party, tasted the cabernet they had poured and it was so good that I decided to have a glass…and then another glass. Just got back from a week vacation where I drank every night, not a lot, but I drank at least one glass of wine (or two) every night. I am a petite woman so two is really my limit. When I arrived home, I went to a party and did not eat dinner. I got drunker than I had been in YEARS and felt so awful and sick for several days that I’ve been forced to quit. I’m now on my 6th day with no alcohol and have no desire for any. I would like to keep this going as I agree with everything the original poster said – I sleep MUCH better, I feel better, and yeah my aging body (just turned 50) can’t hack it anymore. Socially I’m OK with not drinking but when the hosts of the party keep offering, sometimes it’s difficult to keep saying no. This will be a challenge for me but I also want to lose 4-5 pounds and the elimination of those empty calories every week will most certainly help with that. I think drinking in moderation is fine but when you are kind of teetering on dependence (as I was), it’s best to stop completely….my goal is to reach at least 14 days, and then 30 days and take it from there. A full, uninterrupted night’s sleep and increased peace of mind is definitely worth it. I also figure I’ll save at least 50 dollars a month, if not more!

  31. Wow you guys…hi I’m 52, female, kinda successful. I have always over-done everything. No such thing as moderation in my book (but wish I could be like everyone else). I don’t smoke but eat too much and definitely drink too much. The other day I missed an appointment (selling insurance) because I did not recall the prospect telling me over the phone at six p.m. the evening before to meet at such and such place instead. I realized yesterday this has gotta stop. I can’t believe how good I slept last night.
    I’ve been to AA and while it’s awesome for most, for me it was counter-productive. Made me wanna go home and get smashed. And some of the folks there weren’t really alcoholics (like I seem to be).
    I wish I could just be normal… :o)

      • Me too! AA got me sober, but didn’t keep me there. Too many people white-knuckling it and replacing alcohol with other addictions (nicotine, coffee, sugar). This article really helps me. Self-honesty about the fact that I can’t process alcohol like I used to (i’m 46) and that it’s not worth it anymore with the weight gain and sleepless nights and making an ass out of myself. I’m now just trying to figure out creative ways to not be alone and keep myself busy. Trying to stay social without drinking is a challenge in this society!

  32. My second attempt at sobriety only lasted 6 days. But this past weekend I only had one glass of wine at social engagements on both Friday and Saturday. But on Sunday (super bowl party) I had about 2-3 glasses and got a wee bit tipsy. Oh well. And two large margaritas last night at a Mexican restaurant made me feel like hell when I woke up at 5:00AM this morning. I thought I was doing so well with just ONE glass and was quite proud of myself but it did not last…I am hoping I can make it to 14 days this time. Starting today.

  33. I have not had a drink since a raucous fall-out the night of January 19. Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed an increase in mental clarity and overall well-being, making me reconsider the length of my abstaining. Being twenty doesn’t make things socially easy, but the incipient sober confidence that I have gained without the crutch of alcohol makes me feel alive. I now realize that you do not start really growing up until you face all dependencies. I encourage all of you that are taking a drinking break to keep it up and watch your life improve. Cheers!(without the clink)

  34. What a brilliant thread. I stopped 10 days ago and just feel tired all the time and a bit down. I binged like 10 pints on a Friday, then nothing on Saturday, but I would stay awake ALL saturday night! No sleep at all . It was beginning to kill me I think. Then Sunday I would drink 3/4 bottle of red wine so I would sleep then wake up early. Same on Tuesday so my body was all over the place. It’s Friday night and usually I am in the pub drunk by 1am

    I’m gonna try and stay off any alcohol for three months. I have always swam a mile every two days and am very fit but the alcohol was making it harder to do this well.

  35. Every time a post is made I sort of get a little excited to hear more benefits of not drinking from other people…. I’m at day 276 now and feeling bette than ever, even had a person I had not seen for ages make comment that I was looking really good. Made my day……

    Me personally, i feel we all have a connection, a similar goal, and were all in this together…. I’m proud of myself and everyone who has a go and has the strength to tell their story here… THANK YOU?. Keep us posted.

    Ross

    • I have just found this site. Im at the beginning of my sobriety. I’m determined but also a realist. Hence why your comments and too will help inspire my to carry on bein sober

  36. I was a weekend drinker,Friday Saturday Sunday,this behavior caused me to call in sick many times on Monday because I was so hungover.then on Mondaynight I would need to take three sleeping pills just to fall asleep.i would wake up tuesday groggy from the pills and go to work barely uttering a word to co-workers.tuesdaynight it would be 2 sleeping pills and Wednesdaynight 1 sleeping pill.by Thursday I would feel normal again and go thru the same routine.So I got tired of this and decided to quit drinking.its day 6 and I feel amazing.my ex-fiancé is also a daily drinker,she fought alot with me and would really say some nasty things to me,so I waited for her to eventually throw me out of her house and I never called her again.i hope she quits drinking before it kills her.im going to the gym 5 days a week,eating healthier and have a cleared mind.the benefits outweigh anything druckiness has ever brought me.

    • I’m not doing as well. I find in a social setting I am coming up with excuses to accept that glass, or two, or sometimes even more, of wine. Now I’m regretting some stuff I said at a dinner party this past weekend, with loosened lips due to wine consumption. it wasn’t anything too obnoxious or offensive, just not how I want to conduct myself. Back to square one, again.

  37. Morning all.
    Day 309 now and still looking forward to each and every post as much as I look forward to waking each and every day with a clear head.
    In the few months prior to quitting, I was seeing a psychologist on a regular basis to deal with my brothers death and of course the ensuing depression issues and alcohol abuse. This brings me to the conclusion that I am far from qualified to comment but experienced enough to share a little secret she taught me to help deal with the cravings for a night on the turps.
    Maybe like me you have 2 peronalities, or people with in you, the sober you that really wants to stop drinking and improve your life, and the alcoholic you that constantly makes justifications as to why it’s okay to have that “One little drink”. Maybe you don’t and I’m just talking out ymy arse, but here is how I deal with the “Alcoholic Ross”.
    Each time I wanted a drink I would ask myself who was I talking to?, why was the weak alcoholic Ross talking the strong sober Ross into taking a step back, I would then let the strong sober Ross go through all the rasons why strong Ross didn’t just want, but didn’t need that one little drink. Of course I would do this in my head, not out loud as it doesn’t look good in public.
    Anyway, just a little thing I used that I got from a professional, If you think it may help you, give it a go.
    Proud of all as always
    Ross.

  38. The comments on here are great. I’ve stopped drinking recently because my wife and I are trying to have children and we haven’t had luck so far. Excessive drinking can alter sperm production and motility. I’ve been drinking pretty heavily for 15 years (i’m 35). I don’t drink every day but when I do, I throw back a lot of beers and a couple of shots. I also smoked which I quit too. Just writing those last two sentences makes me wonder what the hell i was thinking. I haven’t been drinking (except for the occasional beer) for a couple of months now.

    Social interactions are kinda strange, and a little boring to be honest. When you build all your relationships on the common bond of drinking together, it makes it a little weird when you stop abruptly. I’ve made it a point to keep going to bars with friends anyway just to keep up relationships. Because honestly I love my friends and just because I stopped drinking doesn’t mean I have to cut them out of my life. It’s a challenge but I’m determined to get past it.

    One thing also about drinking. Hangovers not only suck but for me they caused me to eat really poorly. I constantly feel the need to stuff myself full of carbs, greasy foods, gatorade, and other bad stuff when i’m hungover. I realized that not only drinking was making me fat, but the aftermath wasn’t helping either. It’s much much easier to eat healthy when you aren’t ever hungover.

    Also, if I’m going out and decide to have a beer. I order something really stout. It goes down slow and allows you to hang out for a bit and still have “a drink”. I don’t recommend this for anyone that thinks they are having a problem. But if you are trying to cut down on your intake, this approach helped me go from like 6 light beers in a setting, to one stout beer and a water.

    good luck to all.

  39. That’s a cool technique, Ross. I used it tonight when I found myself craving a glass of wine. I’m still drinking, not every day but I’m still drinking socially. Usually I take 2-3 days off in the middle of the week. I wish it was more days off and in fact, someday I will be proud to say that I do not drink at all but I have definitely cut down and usually I only have one or two. However, if I have more than that my sleep is seriously disrupted and I ALWAYS regret drinking when this happens as my next day is ruined. Today there was a good show on NPR about alcoholism that got my attention. I find that yoga is helping me get relaxed without alcohol….

    One day at a time, as the slogan goes.

  40. Hi everyone,

    I decided to try and quite drinking yesterday. I’m a binge drinker, just come to the end of a heavy weekend of drinking. I started on Thursday, and finished Sunday night. Needless to say I still feel horrible. I normally won’t feel right until Thursday, then I’ll do it all again. Thats all I do, drink, recover, drink, recover… I didn’t sleep a wink last night, missed work this morning. I feel like I have two personalities, one that just wants to have a productive life, and the other just wants to get hell bent on booze.

    My social circle is completely focused around drinking, none of my friends have any hobbies but boozing. I worry I’ll have to make new friends. I’ve tried to cut down but never have. As soon as the booze goes down my will to stop is destroyed. Im certain that I would be much happier without alcohol. Will let you know how I get on.

    Gary.

  41. me too….all the above. This afternoon I drank four or five or six pints….lost count, and I felt embarrassed at the end of the afternoon for getting so drunk in front of my friends who drank much less than me. I am 47, and I agree that the effects of alcohol and caffeine are greatly magnified since I have gotten older. It’s nearly 2AM and it’s been about 10 hours since my drinking binge, but I cannot sleep yet and my head hurts. I don’t want to do this again. I know all about recovery, yoga, meditation, etc… but still I want to drink sometime. I don’t understand it except that it gives me some kind of escape for a few hours?? I mean, I woke up this morning saying to myself — oh, I want to drink all day! — why I was thinking that, I don’t know. It has something to do with not wanting to be alone with myself I am sure. Anyway, thanks for all the great comments and sharing here. I want to make today the last day that I drank. We’ll see and maybe I will report back to you with day 10 or 50 or who know….maybe day 365. Thanks to all, John

  42. Liquor can give me pretty bad cramps constipation its worse feeling ever . Loved to drink in my prime but had to give it up on day 41 (looseing wieght and hadly even exercise), had serveral attempts over the last 10 years to quit , but this time I really want to quit , hate the poison.

  43. I get the thing one of your posters said about it being harder in Scotland, my family is there but I am American. I am a fair bit apprehensive about visiting them now because I know my not drinking will give them a reason to take the piss and they are relentless… never mind the lives whiskey and gin shattered through the generation of my family. But, to the spot-on blog post, I relate to all of your points but the first. I quit five months ago and have not mourned the loss, I am healthier, more alert, less angry, more present for my sons… I feel so good without drink, the way I did as a teen, before it was ‘required’ of me to be one of the gang. Ah well, if I loose ‘friends’ over this I’ll probably miss their puffy red faces and whingeing about their hangovers as they slump over their beer guts on Sunday morning sipping Bloody Mary’s… but not for too long, I feel GREAT!

  44. Okay, so last night I kind of had a mental breakdown. Since I can remember (around 12) I have been depressed. I am now 22 and everything is finally catching up to me. I started drinking and experimenting with drugs at the age of 12. I stopped experimenting when I got into college, but I kept drinking. There have been numerous times that I would black out and have many regrets. Things I have said and done… regrets…I still kept drinking even when I almost died at the hospital from alcohol poisoning. My schooling went completely downhill, and now my relationships are getting worse too.

    My set group of friends have always been the partying type and I was clearly one of them. Binge drinking even brought unwanted emotions that would randomly come out while I was drunk. I even tried jumping off my 8th story apartment building because I couldn’t take the pain and sadness any long. Obviously… I was intoxicated too. Being drunk just took away the sadness temporarily, yet at the end of the day my sadness will always be there. A Depressed person + a depressant…. hmmm…

    Currently I am on anti depressants, and since my (now ex-boyfriend) and I broke up due to my excessive partying, lack of mental stability, and dishonesty towards him (I would lie about going out to make him feel better) I think I’ve finally come to a point where I need to quit. No, actually, I do not “need” to… I HAVE to. I WANT to.

    I want to prove to myself that I can be strong and live a life without alcohol. At least for the time being until I’m mentally stable again or even longer. I do not want to hurt the people I love anymore, and I especially am done hurting myself.

    I read these comments and it gives me hope, which is what I need because I am on a thin string which is ready to break any minute. The sight and thought of people being more happy being sober and just being who they are makes me happy. It gives me hope, and faith that I can finally be free from myself; I am my own enemy.

    I wish you all luck in the future! Thank you all!

  45. Hello all, Im 34 and loved nothing more than enjoying a few pints of guinness during the week and at the weekend, 6,7,8 or who knows how many, I’ve recently had a bit of a health scare which ended up with me spending a few days in hospital, also had to take 5 weeks off work. Drinking isn’t directly linked to my health scare but I absolutely know it played it’s part. So I decided to pack it in completely, I must say my head feels mega clear and I’m getting the best sleeps I’ve had in years, I’ve lost about a stone in weight and in general just feel better. It’s been almost 7 weeks since I had a pint I honesty don’t miss it one bit. In that time it’s been my birthday, I’ve watched my team with league, and not once have I felt the need to have a celebratory pint. Other benefits I have noticed is my skin is very clear and the whites of my eyes are much brighter, food tastes better and my memory is much sharper. I hang around with people who’s life revolves round socialising and drinking, I have explained to them I have sacked this off and they have been supportive, but take this piss a little but in all honesty I can handle the banter. I strong willed and good humoured so can usually turn it on them so they wish they hadn’t taken they piss. I’m off for a 22 boy stag weekend in magaluf in 3 weeks and this will be an eye opener but it won’t throw me of course. No way. I’ve decided to choose life. If I doesn’t fit in socially with people the that’s their problem, For once I can see a nice bright future rather than groundhog day, my goal is to pass my driving test in the next 6 months and buy a very nice car with the money that would have got pissed up against a wall. These posts only make sense when u actually lay off it and can relate to it yourself. remember choose life. Peace!!

  46. I have decided today to stop drinking. I am 32(female) and was involved in an affair that broke up their marriage and decided to stay with the man to work on us being a couple. I started using alcohol(wine) as a way to cope with the guilt and the pain. Its funny how you think if your a wine drinker out of a fancy glass that you couldn’t possibly be an alcoholic! But I realized that I was drinking about 4 bottles/week and often drinking alone….sometimes Id RATHER be alone then go out and drink socially. Recently(this past weekend) I got so bombed my anger and rage and guilt I had for my partner led to some violence toward him that I have NEVER done before or even thought of. I snapped and I was loaded. Scared myself. Its been a rough day. Oddly I don’t want a drink I am terrified…. I used to be a daily gym goer, eat a healthy meat free diet, had many hobbies and activites, and looked and felt great….. I see a different person in the mirror now physically. Almost like I’m aging twice as fast…. Thanks for the comments they do help hearing that almost everyone who has quit is glad they did…. I hope I get there succesfully and become a better me.

  47. I hear you loud and clear, especially the part about EVERY social engagement seems to stem back to alcohol. It really does make giving up that little bit harder!

    A while ago I decided to make some changes in my life but drinking alcohol has definitely been the hardest thing to give up. Why? Because everything I’m invited to revolves around having ‘a few drinks’. Like you, I try to avoid socialising because I know for a fact my friends will – albeit unintentionally – pressurise me into having a drink or I feel obliged to follow suit. If I don’t, however, I feel like I’m being boring and I find myself getting irritated by my drunk friends.

    That leaves me with two choices: I learn not to get annoyed by drunks when I’m in a social environment where the consumption of alcohol will definitely be the main fixture (which I admit will be almost impossible), or I change the social circles I choose to participate in. Thankfully, I do have friends who don’t drink alcohol so it shouldn’t be too difficult to arrange alcohol-free social events!

    Regards,

    John.

    PS. Thanks, you’ve helped me realise a few home truths and I can see a little clearer now.

    • Mmmmmm I would love to know the answer to this one. Social events are a nightmare. I look forward to my days but not my nights as much. How sad is that!

  48. Another reason to give up drinking is the fact that alcohol, especially in large amounts, decreases testosterone levels in men. That means every pint you are drinking is making you less manly!

  49. It is strange I know no one will know me but feel so embarrassed to be typing this. It is so hard to admit you have a problem. I am 46 and been drinking since I was 14. I would class myself as a professional with a good job and loving family and friends. I just love to drink. Been sober now for 2 weeks and do feel much better already. As said above better sleep and more energy but socially it is really hard.
    I stopped drinking last year for two months and thought I could start again and just do the occassionally glass of wine at weekends! Not so! I ended drinking every night. A bottle of wine no problem and could have easily had a couple of vodka’s too. I hate the feeling of waking up and feeling so shit and guilty. Days lost in bed. I miss the wine as it helped with the stress you get of every day life. Reading all your thoughts does help. I don’t want to go to AA I feel that is a step too far.

    • well nicky I have been sober since May 16, 2012 and I also have always loved to drink. i started drinking at the age of 16 and on may 15th was my last drunk. I always had fun with it until I no longer could have fun with it. I became mean, blackouts, throwing up etc… I didn’t even drink every night. I classified myself as a social drinker but I was always sooo excited for the socialisms!! It is very hard to do because my friends do drink but I am learning through AA that all friends dont have to drink!! its either drink and feel remorse and sad the next time and be almost 8 months sober and no more drunken regrets!! good luck but AA is a way for me!!

    • completely with you on the embarrassing part of writing on here. ? Having read through a lot of comments on here. It appears we are reaching for the same goal …and ultimately you like me enjoy a drink . This is where I need the strength. I couldn’t care less what others feel in social settings etc. But I know in the late evenings temptation will arise. and I will not go to AA. for too cultish for my liking.

  50. I’ve been flirting with giving up alcohol for some time now. Have gone 5 days here, three days there. A year (if memory serves) while in college. I have found that when I have a beer or two a night for several nights running, I begin to feel emotionally cruddy. Mildly depressed with low-grade anxiety. The mild depression and anxiety are alleviated by having a drink. It is a vicious $%@%@$# cycle. I feel like I have been walking a tightrope for the last 10 years, drinking just enough to feel better in the moment, without feeling overly crappy the next day. I have also come to realize that lately, I haven’t been experiencing much happiness or joy either. Just this moment, sitting here, I read what I have just written, and what came into my head is: What a !#$!@@#$ waste of a life.

    Last September (2011) I started dating a woman who drinks *a lot*. Daily. My alcohol consumption skyrocketed. She is also a smoker, and I started smoking (previously ex-smoker without having had a cigarette in ~ 11 years). I managed to quit smoking 2 weeks ago, and had to quit drinking for a week or so to get over the hump. In the last week or so I have experienced some mild depression from quitting smoking (apparently, mild depression is one of the symptoms experienced during quitting smoking). Some sources say that the mild depressive symptoms go away sometime between weeks 2 and 4, and yesterday (day 15) I did feel like I was starting to get some energy and positive emotion back. I feel like it’s time to address the other joy-killer in my life – alcohol.

    I want to thank the original poster, and all of the rest of you, for your posts and comments. I can relate to the experiences of almost every single person who has posted a comment here. A very good man I knew of recently died of cancer. As he passed away he told a friend of mine, “You think you will always have time. You don’t. Life is short. Get on with it.”

    There have been a few times I’ve gone to parties or out to bars and not drank. Thankfully, abstaining in bars or other social situations doesn’t seem to be a problem for me, but I have seen that it does make some people uncomfortable. Those times I have not felt like dealing with the issue, I found that drinking tonic and a lime (completely indistinguishable from a gin & tonic) works pretty well. I’ve also told people that drinking makes me feel like crap the next day and the vast majority of people seem to accept that, too. Takes it out of the realm of being either a moral or AA type of issue.

    Thank you all. Good luck to all of you. I’d be particularly interested in hearing if anybody experienced mild depression or anxiety as they quit, and how long it lasted. I’d also like to hear about other strategies that helped with quitting, like running, hiking, exercise in general, etc.

    • Thanks for posting that Charlie. I was amazed by how much your description of event mirrors mine…….
      I can tell you that by day 30 of quitting drinking for the first time, I was ready to step in front of a bus, and I often think that the only reason I didn’t is because of my brothers suicide… I know all to well the grief that comes from having a loved one kill them selves….
      My depression was also at a point that I hated my kids and wife and just wanted to walk away from it all, which I did for 1 week when I went and shacked up in an industrial shed to hide away from the world…. Drinking myself into a stupor of course….
      I eventually went back to my psychologist and saw a doctor who prescribed anti depressive medication, well 13 months later I am stall taking the happy pills as I call them.
      I know very well that drinking “Just enough” could keep me happy without the medication, but I so feel better now without the drink…
      From your wording, it sounds like you may have, just like me, a form of depression that can go un diagnosed for years or even ever… I have learnt to not be ashamed of it as I know that I’m not the only person in the world who was always depressed and suffering anxiety…
      Good luck mate, please keep us posted on how you go….. Would also like to get some updates from previous posters…… Motivation for all…
      Thanks again to all..
      Ross

  51. Hey everyone.
    Really enjoyed reading through the comments!
    Im on day 6 of not drinking and smoking. I wasnt a heavy drinker by any means. I did a lot of heavy partying in my early 20s but now coming on 27 id have 4 or more cans every friday and saturday an maybe a couple sunday. Even though this is only my first weekend i feel great!! Looking back i dont see the point in unsocial drinking and cant wait to wake up
    tomorrow morning feeling fresh and ready for
    another day :)
    The reason for me quitting is that i recently found out im going to be a dad so fingers crossed i can stick to it
    Good luck to everyone else!

  52. I’m in. Well, I’ve set a date to give up alcohol completely. I didn’t start drinking till I was 18, but between then and up till 30, it was only sometimes. I’ve had some very big nights and some monster hangovers lasting three days and sworn that I’m “never drinking again”. Post 30 (I’m 33 now), my drinking has become a lot more frequent, to the point where I can drink six beers a night in a couple of hours. I don’t feel hungover the next day, but after a few days of this I do feel tired, unmotivated, fuzzy, can’t make decisions properly, guilty and flat. In addition, it often leads me to binge eating, which affects my confidence and social skills. Recently I gave up for three months – the first couple of weeks were hard, but then it became ‘normal’. I felt fantastic all over – happier, less anxious, ready for anything. As soon as the three months were up I fell back into bad habits again to the point of me going to the doctor to get medication for anxiety and depression. I want to be the best version of myself I can be so have set myself a mid year resolution of July 1 to give it up for good this time. That’s about a month to mentally prepare. I’ve never been more ready. Bring it on!
    Belinda

  53. Well, well, well. I also am amazed at the recent posts from the mid 2008 original one. I just decided to Google for some help with my sobriety and stumbled upon all of you, for which I am grateful.
    I am writing from my home in Atlanta, GA, USA, where I am basically “stuck” and have been since mid April. It was then that my husband and I decided I must be without my car if I was to give up drinking. Seems every time I went for a ride I came home hours later than expected, drunk, slurring my words, pants wet and ready to go to bed. As a lot of you have mentioned, going to bed drunk is not sleeping, it’s passed out and does not rest the body for the next day.

    I searched for help because for some reason the last two days have been terrible for me. It’s been fairly easy up till now because I felt so good, looked good, loved waking up refreshed, and was so very productive during the days. All of a sudden though, I got extremely depressed, like overnight. The things that I am being depressed over are real, but they were real two weeks ago as well, and didn’t affect me like this. I haven’t had a drink since April (well two cheat days when I found my husbands hiding place for my car keys) and I’ve lost about 15 lbs. I spend my days doing house work, reading, gardening, cooking and other misc. hobbies. But all of a sudden I lost interest in doing anything…..NOTHING! It’s like I just think about how good cold beers or a few bourbons would be and I cannot shake the thought from my mind. So bad it’s been that I was crying deeply and even blurted out in my head “OK, I’ll just have to get a place of my own where I can do what I want and drink whenever I want.” Great thinking, huh? I’ll show you…I’ll kill myself! (sorry Ross)

    Hubby was not home at the time (he works from our home) but did notice my mood immediately when he returned. My eyes were red and I told him to please stay the hell away from me.

    That was my mindset about an hour ago when I sat down at this computer. After reading all your posts (and taking a break to make myself a cup of hot tea) I feel 98% better off. Thank you all for your outpouring of honesty and encouragement.

    Hubby had gone out again and he called a few mins ago to see if I needed anything. I apologized for my earlier tirade and said vanilla ice cream would probably do the trick :)

    Anyway, it’s late evening here and now I can go to bed with a healthier attitude thanks to this.
    And I will look forward to the morning (and the afternoon, evening and tomorrow as well) to catch up with more. Hopefully this will pass and my mood and energy will swing back to center.

    Best wishes and sweet dreams to all. Sorry if I was a bummer.
    Christine

    • Let us know if you do it – good luck : )

      Christine
      It is so hard to imagine life not drinking. It seems to stretch ahead and you think god I will be so bored. I need to read things from everyone to keep me going. Last week I had some wine on holiday thinking I could do just do it for the night. Bang right back to where I started. Wanting drink every night. Knowing in the morning I would wake up hating myself and feeling slightly crap.
      My boyfriend loves wine and I know he can take it or leave it and wants to enjoy it with me. I don’t have that mentality though.
      Been fighting about going to AA (I think a part of me still wants to be a social drinker but don’t think I can).
      Do you find when you watching television and you see people drinking you really want one? I do!
      Anyway from summer England night night

    • Hi Christine…

      What an honest and open letter that was, I hope you felt as good writing it as I did when reading about your resolve to quit drinking.

      I love getting my email updates that someone has contributed to this thread: thanks to the person who started it., and each time I read a great letter, I feel better about giving up myself. I’m 13 months sober now, and for anyone who thinks they won’t get use to not having a drink as I thought I wouldn’t, that doesn’t last long.

      Christine, I would just like to say that you didn’t need to say sorry for mentioning thoughts of suicide. Its 11 years now since my brother took his life away from us and although it still hurts, its so much easier to deal with sober than drunk. I know now that it was the drink keeping the sadness and dispair of his death simmering in me, even though I was drinking in an attempt to hide that sadness……..

      If you really are having thought of self harm, even if just fleeting moments of such thoughts, can I please urge you to seek some help. I know that without making that first contact with a good doctor who got me to a great psychologist, I may not have been able to give up the drink and I feel that I may not be here today……….

      Again, thanks for that letter. Please be good to youself, and thank you to everyone else who has shared their story here.

      Kindest regards.

      Ross

  54. I’m 23 years young and I know I had a drinking problem, I’ve been in legal trouble over it. I kept a good front, i.e. A+ student, full time worker and even in a reserve branch of the military. However inside I was depressed and lonely; they only friends I had were steady drinkers (It’s hip-hop night at KJ’s, lets party, it’s Friday night, let’s party, it’s Saturday night, let’s party, we’re gonna have a bbq, let’s party, we’re gonna float the river, let’s party, we’re at a concert, let’s get s*** faced – you get the idea) Then I had a roommate/’sister’ (adoptive) move in, she also had a drinking problem, now I had someone with me all the time who would support my drinking problem!
    I decided 8 days ago to give it up completely. I poured out all alcohol in the house, I told my roommate that alcohol was no longer allowed in the house (if she wan’t to drink, she can go elsewhere), I haven’t hung out with my normal group of ‘friends’ as everything they do revolves around drinking. I had the biggest test of all when this past weekend I went to a buckcherry concert; at first it was SO boring and I almost caved in; then as the night progressed, I saw how stupid everyone was acting. Then I thought about how good I was going to feel in the morning and how happy I was that I hadn’t done something (again) that I would regret, be ashamed of or be embarrased by. It’s very hard for me because I LOVE beer, and I used to tell myself ‘just one won’t hurt’ but I have no self control, so for me, I won’t even touch it. I have a poster on my fridge, so I’ll see it everyday. Reasons to quit drinking are listed on one side and alternate things to do are listed on the other. It helps me everyday, I know I can defeat this monster for the rest of my life; I have to.

  55. Dear Determined, congratulations to you on your first several days. At only 23 you have made a wise choice, one that I have only recently made at 57. Oh the years I wasted. I hope you (and I) continue. I’d love to see your list from the fridge. I think I’ll start one as well, just for reinforcement. I also have no self control and have been quarantined so to speak (no access to transportation) for the last few months, but I think I will start driving again soon and need to keep my mind focused on positive alternatives to getting high. My best to you. Christine

  56. I haven’t done so well. I went on vacation in May and since then I have had a drink (usually it’s wine) most nights. I have abstained a few nights. At a party recently I drank about three to four glasses and got pretty drunk. *sigh* Socially I find it difficult to say no and since I’m single, I’m fairly social. Last night I did not have anything and I’m really battling the urge to not drink tonight. I do have a bottle of unopened red and I usually rationalize opening it by saying “Oh I’ll just have one glass” but truthfully it ends up being two. If I could just keep it to one, I think it would be OK but I find that difficult. My neighbor can make a bottle of wine last four to five days. She has her little glass of red every night with her one cigarette, says it’s her treat. I envy that kind of restraint although I abhor cigarette smoking in all forms!

    So I’m writing here to say it’s not easy to stop completely. I am going to try to abstain tonight. No, I am not drinking tonight. I do not need that glass of red wine. Wish me luck.

    • No you haven’t done well. Me either. I AM an alcoholic and yes it’s hard to do the “quit” but it’s so worth it. You sound like you’re not as far along (addicted) as me, however I am a skeptic and don’t believe your “a drink” proclamation. I might be wrong, but I know how I was and if I was finding it necessary (or comforting) to post on a sobriety related site, it’s probably more than “a drink.” Best of luck to you. Just don’t drink today. Then, just don’t drink tomorrow. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel, look and think. Sometimes the urge comes because we are indeed thirsty. I keep a glass of tonic water with some fresh lime squeezes in it available at all times. Also eat well and often (small portions). Having something in your tummy negates the urge to drink (for me anyway). Come back and let me/us know how you’re doing. I stumble along the way but sobriety is so much more fun, productive, positive and healthy. Quit your “a drink” before your liver bids you adieu. Love and best wishes. ck

  57. No wine for two nights now. It’s a start. I usually have two, although in the last two weeks there were a few nights where I just had one. Yes, sometimes, especially at a party or if I’m out with a drinking friend, I will have 2.5 or three glasses. That is over my limit. In the past I only drink two to three times a week so having a drink or usually two each night was concerning. I’m going to abstain tonight as well. I also fear that daily drinking will age me more than I’m already aging at 51. One day at a time, as they say. ;-)

  58. Good for you chk! Great for you! I am a few years older than you and wish I had made the decision to stop a long time ago. I’m just over 3 months sober and the urge to drink has all but disappeared. There are occasions, rather strong at times, but I get busy doing something productive and it usually goes away in 2 or 3 minutes. I made a list of all the things I hated about drinking (very honest, even the gross stuff) and it helps if I refer back to it often.

    Godspeed all,
    Christine

  59. Hey,
    Quit drinking & smoking 2 weeks ago, best thing i’ve ever done for my health ( mental, physical, spiritual ) mentally feel way sharper & in control. physically stronger- workouts are soooo much better without a hangover. spiritually i just feel more at ease with life in general. i’m 47 & have been drinking & smoking pretty much all d time 4 nearly 30 yrs so it’s pretty cool 2 look at what’s happening around me with sober eyes. also having money in my pocket is a nice feeling too :D

  60. Crap, I lapsed again. Drank wine at a party last night. I feel pretty confident that like you, Christine, that if I completely give it up, the urge will disappear. I have pretty much given up sugar/sweets for years now and I don’t crave them. I can very easily say “no” to cake, cookies, ice cream, etc. Sometimes I do indulge in sweets but afterwards I just feel gross and realize I just don’t want the stuff. I am hoping the same will go for wine. In the past few weeks I have been noticing some concerning and unprecedented digestive symptoms when I lie down at night for sleep. This alone is going to scare me into a healthier lifestyle. Which may include becoming a vegetarian as well or really being careful about what I put into my body. My life and health at this point depend on it. Thanks for being supportive. I am going to need it but I feel confident I can DO THIS.

  61. You can do it. I know you can and you will. Life is sooooooo much better in so many ways as a sober person. When someone offers me an alcoholic drink now I say, “actually I’ve stopped drinking alcohol. Do you have any tonic water (or Coke, or whatever)?” If they ask why I stopped, I say “Well, you know what, I was beginning to like it too much and it was becoming a habit.” That usually ends it. Please don’t drink today. Go to bed sober and proud of yourself. Taking care of yourself and not drinking is PRIORITY #1 from now on. Loving best wishes. C

  62. Hey Determined, you still out there? How are you doing? Well, and sober I hope. By this time if you haven’t imbibed, you should be feeling a lot better and proud of yourself too. Please go to bed sober tonight and let us know how you’re doing. C

  63. Yes, that is really all you have to say. My friends who don’t drink (and they are not all alcoholics) say that they have to field questions all the time about not drinking, e.g. “oh, are you in recovery?” “really, you don’t want a beer?” “do you not drink at all” “you just want seltzer water – really?” or “oh, come on – join me in a nice glass of wine”. People generally don’t like to drink alone and will always encourage you to have a drink. I find this the most difficult to resist, the social pressure.

    I can start again today, one day at a time.

  64. The thing I worry about most – is not being creative.
    Anyone out there who paints/writes etc.?
    Could I really be as creative or interesting sober?

  65. Katie, I’m not a writer or painter (although I am making a mosaic tabletop : ) but I am much more creative and productive since quitting the drink. I love to cook, which can be artistic, and I have learned to make bread and am making my own beef and salmon jerky. I also started a small garden with some veggies and herbs. I read a lot and remember what I’ve read. I am writing a family history, though just for family, not for publication and I have made so much more progress on that project since stopping. The creative process is in your mind. Just think how much more creative you’d be without “the fog” of alcohol. No worries my dear.

    • Thanks Christine for replying,
      I can go a month without alcohol no problem (my hubby works in Saudi and I regularly visit for a month or so at a time)
      But I can’t write – or what I do write is Khara (Arabic for shit!)
      I recognise the ‘fog’ of alcohol u speak about – but just before that – there is the complete, uninhibited, inspirational part – and I seem to need that.
      Perhaps I’m looking for alternatives to reach this space.

      • My Dad worked in Saudi many years ago. It was during the design and first construction phase of the new Jeddah Int’l Airport (old now). His company back then knew people would find a way to drink alcohol and supplied beer making kits to its employees. Don’t know about now, but the penalties for being caught were very severe; cut your hands off or something like that (don’t really remember).

        What do you want to stay creative with? What do you do? Please let us know.

      • I am a poet – but not internationally known – just tick along (like many others)

        I married a Palestinian and therefore half my heart is in the Arabic world (I am a Celt)

        As much as I love Bukowski – don’t want to sacrifice my family for my art.

        Just looking for alternatives to reach that place that he visited most nights – can’t really believe that is the ultimate route. But that seems where I’m heading.

        Forget losing ur hands – it’s losing ur soul I worry about.

  66. Dear Dilettante, did you ever imagine your original post would last so long and lead to this. I like reading and learning from others trying (and succeeding) to abstain from alcohol. Thank you. I just realized that I never look at any other portion of your site. I’ll have to rectify that. Thanks.

      • I do like to talk (or write). My Mum’s French so I come by it honestly. My daughter is helping me with a website to sell used cookbooks. I have over 500 and it’s time to thin out.

  67. six 1/2 months sober, more tired, sleeping more, harder time at work. etc a lot of excuses to pick up another drink ? i am off extra days because of a conflict at work, going back to work will be not be fun. …

    reaching

    • Oh S, please don’t drink again. At 6 1/2 months you must have begun to feel the benefits, mentally and physically, of your quit. If not, you are almost over the hump. Mine took 4 months until the urges ceased to be overwhelming. You must start to not think about drinking and the only way to do that is to fill your time in other, more productive ways. Eat healthy food, get at least some exercise, take a multi vitamin daily and get a hobby. Why not learn a new language? Pamper yourself. Go for a brisk evening walk then come home and soak in a bath of epson salts before going to bed. Eat some cereal and yogurt, or eggs and ham or anything you want for breakfast, hell, eat ice cream if you want but you must eat breakfast. There is only one way to remain sober and that is if YOU want to. Go to bed sober today. Then repeat it tomorrow. One day at a time. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT! A brand new life awaits S!!!!!

      • Well i am about to get demoted at work. Everything else i have done. I was on the up and up before hmmm thanks though

    • S, Today was a tough one for me, as well. I posted here, but it hasn’t been approved yet (or ever)? One bit of info you might know already: Reaching for the drink because you’re feeling bad will just make you feel worse. You know how that goes. Happy drinking leads to “happy” – then rocky – moments. Sad drinking just gets more and more morose. No happy bump. Then, you’ll be dealing with far worse depression tomorrow. Just get through it. Tell yourself you’ll save any thought about drinking for happier occasions. In other words, give yourself the option to drink, but just wait a bit on the decision until you feel even slightly better. … Good advice all around (try to skip eating the beautiful piggies, though. Huge cholesterol hit, anyway.)

      • Sorry, sometimes it takes me a day or two to approve these (I just got a smartphone, though, so that shouldn’t happen anymore). I’m so glad that this thread helped you get through a difficult time. I never thought this post would end up being such a community of folks in the same situation. It’s maybe one of the best accidental things I’ve ever done. :)

  68. This thread really saved me today. Thank you to all of you. Today is Day 76 for me – pretty much tying or beating the longest I’ve ever gone without a drink. I’m 43 and have a long history of drinking since my teenage years. Today I convinced myself that I could take a stab at moderate drinking: no more than 4 beers in a night, but no more than 14 per week. Thing is, I feel like I really could have succeeded at it (at least in the short term, of course). But, one women really nailed it for me. She had stopped for a long time, too, and only upon drinking ONE drink, she began to feel “panicky” as the night wore on, and then the depression followed. I thought for sure that would be me. Like so many of you, I’ve been hounded by panic attacks and depression around my drinking. Which causes which? Who knows, but they’re tied together, for sure. That post and others saved me. I WANTED to drink today. Not a full-blown drunk, but three or so beers for that mild buzz feeling. As much as I wanted that, the MEMORY of the horrific depression and panic attacks actually outweighed the desire to drink on my part. Don’t get me wrong: I still get down. My beloved dog is going through a tough time medically, and I’m scared. Relationships could be better. I’m alone often (due to years of solitary drinking), despite being “popular” with women, etc. I’m sad and scared – but that GUTWRENCHING, knock-out, horrible depression has faded slightly. The panic attacks are nothing compared to what they were. I just can’t do that anymore! And, of course, there’s that nagging question: What is it about me that I wan’t to hide away under a layer of inebriation? It’s gone far beyond early 20s barroom fun and palling around. All those pals are gone and married with kids and – hopefully not – thinking about alcohol so often. … Thank you to all of you. You got me to Day 77, and this was the biggest test yet. Please, everyone. Find a way to hang in there. If you fail, write all about it, and re-read it any time you want to drink. You don’t want to reach that point where the panic attacks and depression become gran mal seizures and liver failure and (further) brain damage. Thinking of you all! Thanks! Todd

  69. Wow Todd. What a great post. Very inspirational. I am still trying…..unsuccessfully so far. Last night I drank 2 generous glasses of chardonnay. I don’t know what is considered a glass anymore (5 ounces) so maybe it was more like 2.5. Slept like hell and felt like hell. If I could JUST STOP AT ONE I would be fine but that first glass is the problem. So while I wish I could drink moderation (which for me, is ONE) i just can’t do it and with two and sometimes three, I suffer. I have to quit because my body is telling me too. I have developed heartburn, something I never had…ever. I can’t imagine alcohol is going to help either. When I woke up this morning at 5:00AM I was tempted to dump out the rest of the bottle of chardonnay but I did not. It is still there, in the fridge, and what usually happens is that by the time the night rolls around, I feel better and justify it again with “just one glass”. I’m not sure I can do this alone, I may have to join a group or something but reading these posts does help. I am going to try to leave the bottle in the fridge and summon the strength to say “no” to it, as I am still having heartburn symptoms today. It seems the true test is being able to say no to alcohol when it is in front of you. If I find myself ready to drink tonight, I will promptly dump it out.

  70. Beginning the QUIT:

    1. Prepare to be uncomfortable for a few days. HANG TOUGH! You CAN do it. Many before you are now experiencing a full and fruitful life. It will pass as your new life bossoms.
    2. Get rid of all alcohol in the house
    3. Establish some new rituals: non alki beverages (try tonic and lime), epsom salt baths, posting once a day here
    4. Read a lot of books
    5. Go to AA meetings. if you don’t feel a “connect” at the first one, find a different one. It took many before I found one that I felt really good attending and leaving in a much better frame of mind. I’ve made some very good friends.

    Mostly though, you’ll get really, really miserable. Miserable enough to be willing to put the drink down and face life without the blurred edges. The sober life is so AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Best wishes to all. Sobriety ROCKS!

  71. Thank you everyone for all these posts. What IS an alcoholic? I’m determined to stop drinking alcohol because of so many of the reasons given above but mainly ‘cos living alone and drinking a bottle of wine for 3-4 nights a week can’t be healthy.
    When I stopped smoking I was told ‘that cigarette is NOT your friend’ and I think I use wine as ‘my friend’ sad but true :(
    After 17 years without a cigarette I know that if I ever smoke another one I’ll be up to 20 a day within a week. So I guess I’m just unable to control intake when I’m addicted. So it’s got to be no alcohol EVER again if I stop…. EVER?

  72. Hie there guys, i Have had à wake up call, i was found sleeping in my car after à night out, im in the United kingdom, i refused a breath test as i thought i was within my rights as i did not intend on driving but sleep it off, but as long as you have keys on u, u Have broken the law, went to court my licence taken away, for 18 months, was on a down so drank wine à bottle red or two à day, got à letter to say i am to go for médical driving test, in september 2012, i stoppés alcohol all together 4months ago, never touches à drop, happy not 2b in a haze of alcohol, anyone know about thèse tests and what chances i Have on passing the médical, im on milk thristles big time and coffee. Just also wondering what can i drink thats not alcohol on a night out, as to be honest, i cant control alcohol and im just happy to be sobber.

  73. Lemonade or the such is a good substitute. It’s the high sugar content in the grog that it replicates and takes away a bit of the cravings, at least that’s what I found…. Good luck with the test, no matter the outcome, what you are doing now to better yourself will hopefully be enough to get you over the line..

    • Thanks Ross, i was thinking much of its not the licence its my health i need thank you for taking your time to reply, il find strength on here reading other stories this disease called alcohol can send people in dark places Meant keep the good fight, it can only fer better

    • Ross your comments and share on here are like a near mirror image of myself mate, found this forum on chance because I have been struggling recently with the drink and the depression, particularly manifesting itself because of seeing my own brother dead by suicide. Can relate to a lot of what you have said and it’s amazing to see you doing well off the drink. I will need to drop you a mail sometime, looking to stop the drink myself as its causing the depression and bringing out the bad stuff and feelings that I can control when sober. Well done again pal

      • G’Day Robert…

        It’s so true what I have always believed… No matter what happens to you in life, no matter how bad and how much that makes you feel so alone. There is always someone out there that is sharing that similar experience, and that means your not really alone in the struggle…. Thanks for sharing that Robert..

        So happy to hear from you and glad to hear that you can see what the drink is doing. Mate, if I could give just one bit of advice… don’t be scared to see a doctor or psychologist…. I really don’t think I could have done it this far without some professional help…. No matter how tough I’m suppose to be as an Aussie male.

        On that note, Day 435 for me today.. Still amazed at how well I feel, now I just have to get rid of the dreaded cancer sticks…..

        Get in touch any time you want Robert, I always read each and every comment, and I’ll help in any way I can, just as I would do for each and every person here.

        Regards

        Ross

  74. Dear All, Since I found this site I have been posting messages fairly regularly, but I’m signing off now. I thank “The Dilettante” for starting this thread and the personal results that occurred for me from her “accidental topic.” I have found another place that has helped me immensely (Dilettante, you were the catalyst, God bless you for that) that I would like to invite any serious quitters to. It’s called WQD (acronym for We Quit Drinking). I joined a few weeks ago and cannot tell you how much it has helped my thinking process. Some long time quitters and some newbies, but all (most :) congenial and wonderful sounding souls. There’s something there for everyone and the camaraderie can’t be beat. I wish you all the very best and maybe I’ll see you there. Love and hugs, Christine

  75. Sorry to see you leave, Christine, but thanks for the information. No wine for two days now. I do feel better and something clicked in me the other night, I just feel tired from the drinking. I’ve put on weight. Drinking over 50 is just not working with my body. I think drinking red wine in moderation is OK and actually healthy but it’s the “moderation” part that is difficult for many people. For me that would be stopping at one glass…..I know people who can do it but I have not been successful. I’m hoping to keep abstinence going for a while…I am still tired but sleeping better with no alcohol in my system. Cheers and good luck to all!

  76. I am 27 years old and have drank at LEAST 3 beers or wine a night for the last 11 years. Both of my parents are alcaholics, my husband is an alcaholic and I hate myself. I was searching for something to help my feelings about my drinking and was glad to have come across this posting with so many encouraging comments. Every night I go to bed angry with how much I drank, like tonight, I am on my 8th beer and feeling guilty. Tomorrow I will wake up and promise myself I won’t drink but I will. I read about so many successful ex-drinkers and it gives me hope. Thank you.

    • Good on you Liz….
      Glad to hear that we are giving you some hope… Doesn’t sound like your in a good place to be giving up the grog, what with so many other drinkers around you.. Be strong, Chin up, and it won’t be long before you will start to smile and like the person in the mirror first thing in the morning….

      Regards

      Ross

      • Thank you for your kind words. Today is my quit day! My husband has decided to get on board with me too so we will be quitting together. I couldn’t be happier!

  77. Alcohol limits the four things you can never have enough of,

    Love
    Time
    Health
    Money

    I read that in a book called ‘Easyway to control alcohol’ and has stuck in my mind ever since.

  78. I had a long relationship wth a lovely girl ( 80 miles ) for 18 months and we would visit each other every weekend, one week away and one home, but my drinking took hold of me and as soon as i got to her place the first thing i would do is get a can out of the fridge, this would lead to wine and i would go to bed and konk out and snore!!!!
    This got on her nerves and she ended it early this year, she was a really lovely person who i miss so much.The drink was more important to me.
    I used to wake up with really bad hangovers nearly everyday and started to get late for work and said to myself i will give up!!!.
    Finally i am now sober only for 7 weeks and really sleep ,eat and feel better, my stomach was always bad in the mornings and this is now normal.
    I have lost a special person ( i want her back and i want to tell her what i am writing ) but don’t know if this is the right way to do it, but one thing i do know is that drinking has cost me so very much and i really want to quit forever..As what you say you can’t have enough love well i know….

  79. I am 6 months into my quitting alcohol and I have never felt better ! All my friends are alcoholics in denial. I can still hang out with them, but wow the things I have realized being sober. I never drank everyday but when I went with my friends it was on, they drink every single day. The yukky hangovers were the worst. I have been working out and eating healthy, as well as supplements for over 25 years. Then there were times I would smoke cigarettes and drink wine wtf ;o( I am lucky that I have been health conscience and strong willed all my life. I’ve been to parties and can still have a great time. I never miss the gym, and sleep well every night. I will fight this fight till the end. I will never drink again nor smoke. I do like virgin drinks, they are healthy and good. I like virgin mary’s and you can have all kinds of drinks without alcohol. I never have to worry about driving, and I always remember the party and never have regrets. Being sober is the bomb ;-)..never give up, and never give in. its mind over matter !!!!!

  80. I decided to quit cold turkey because I wanted to lose weight. Then after a month I decided to continue not drinking because of the other benefits I discovered that just made me feel good overall and really add to my quality of life. Now it’s been seven weeks and I have a business conference coming up next week and they will have a couple open bar receptions. Next week with make two months without any alcohol, so I plan to have some drinks at this social event. I used to drink on weekends only and my choice of drink was sparkling wine. Now I’ve decided to make something I may do at an event or if one the weekends, not every weekend of the month. I really don’t miss it. Maybe because it’s getting old.

  81. I’ve never had a drink in my life. Im 22 years old and for the frist time I’am thinking about it. I know alot of it is social pressure, but it sucks being the only one left out. If I do drink I want it to be on my own terms, but Im wondering if it would even be worth it. Im looking for different point of views on the idea. I really dont know what to think, its not something I know much about. Anyone got any opinions?

    • I’m amazed at the maturity and strength you possess. What better way to get an honest opinion than from those who are stuck in the grip of alcoholism… Good for you Amanda..

      I’ll I can say is be smart, know when enough is enough, and if you start to feel like you “Need” that 1 little drink, then you most certainly DON’T want it…. Really what it comes down to is just be sensible, and from what we know of you (very little I suppose), you are a very sensible person to be checking the depth of the water before diving in….

      A social drink with friends is a great thing… Wish I could still do it, but as the saying goes..

      1 is to many – 100 is not enough..

      Good luck

      Ross

  82. I’m amazed at the maturity and strength you possess. What better way to get an honest opinion than from those who are stuck in the grip of alcoholism… Good for you Amanda..

    I’ll I can say is be smart, know when enough is enough, and if you start to feel like you “Need” that 1 little drink, then you most certainly DON’T want it…. Really what it comes down to is just be sensible, and from what we know of you (very little I suppose), you are a very sensible person to be checking the depth of the water before diving in….

    A social drink with friends is a great thing… Wish I could still do it, but as the saying goes..

    1 is to many – 100 is not enough..

    Good luck

    Ross

  83. It’s been three months for me FREE from wine, I would drink two glasses a night & a least a bottle or two on weekends. I noticed I was drinking if I had a bad day or if I had a good day & was getting affected really quick. I was having trouble sleeping, feeling down & always tired. So I decided to experiment for 6 weeks & just see how much it does affect my mind & body. I have noticed my clothes fit better, sooo much more energy & I just feel amazing. I have been to social events & just have lime & soda in a wine glass, works a treat, I still have a great time & feel great the next day. Well I can tell you I will stay alcohol free from now on, I just do not need it anymore. I want my kids to see that you don’t need grog to mask a tough day or to have a good time. The real affects started to kick in after three weeks, so give it a go & try and get through a month, trust me you will shine!!!!!!

    Tam x

  84. So I came back from my business trip in Dallas four weeks ago and I had a wonderful time. I had a few drinks as planned but I haven’t had any alcohol since I returned home. I am going to a concert this Friday and I’ll have a drink or two that day. I enjoy not drinking every weekend anymore and just making it a “special occasion” thing. I also enjoy reading all the inspring stories on this thread. It’s nice to be able to connect to people who knows what you’re experiencing. Not everyone will understand your choice to stop or cut back on drinking alcohol. The benefits FAR outweigh the negatives (#7-10). Plus, I never thought I’d say this but drinking is just “getting old.” LOL.

  85. I’ve been looking for a list of symptoms to expect when I quit drinking. Kind of like this list for cigarettes: http://www.whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Benefits_Time_table.html This timetable of symptoms for quitting smoking helped me understand what was going on when I quit smoking, and how long each stage would last.

    I quit drinking (for a month) in July – mostly because I went on a diet. I wanted to quit drinking for other reasons (see my post on 29 May 2012). My intake seems to be typical of what some others here have reported. Here is how I would describe my drinking: (all drinks ~ “standard” drinks)

    I drank at least two drinks every night – typically white wine or Gin & Tonic.
    On most nights I’d have 3-4 drinks
    1-2 nights a week, I’d have 4-6 drinks
    One night every other week or so I’d get drunk

    I’m male, 50 years old, and weigh ~ 185 lbs. I don’t / didn’t drink in the morning or over lunch. Even on weekends, I typically did not drink until after ~ 5:00 in the evening, but occasionally would start ~ 3:00 pm. I don’t get sloppy drunk. I’ve been told my alcohol intake might be described as “normal.” Substitute “beer” as the drink of choice in the above dosing schedule and I *really* feel like crap on about the 3rd day. Beer seems to be worse for me, somehow, and creates substantially more emotional grunginess / depression / anxiety.

    Here is what I experienced when I quit drinking in July…

    Initially (1st day or so) I felt a little clearer in the head, with a bit more energy. Then…

    General feelings of mild anxiety (seems to be a common complaint in the initial stages).

    Emotionally reactive – I found myself getting a little more irate and more vocal (with a little less control about what I said). I was more reactive to typical irritations / frustrations both at home and at work. Thankfully, this was pretty much gone by the end of the 1st week.

    My sleep quality deteriorated almost immediately. Disclaimer – my sleep hasn’t been all that great for some time, but it got noticeably worse. This was a concern for me because I read this article: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa41.htm When I did sleep, it was restless. My dreams were a bit more vivid and more emotionally intense. One night I dreamed about very large, fast-moving, vividly colored spiders moving about my bedroom walls, disappearing out of sight on the other side of my bed, possibly on or in the bed right behind the sleeping form of my girlfriend. (Wow, I just remembered that dream…). This might be a mild symptom of the DTs (delirium tremens). I’ve been told by a knowledgeable person that my alcohol intake was nowhere near enough to cause DTs. Still, I’ve been through this quitting drinking thing a couple of times and there have been some reoccurring symptoms and vivid dreams of creepy-crawlies seem to be one of them. It may be possible that the DTs are simply the amplified version of these milder symptoms (?).

    Jittery! – I felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. The jittery feeling peaked around day 4-5 (my memory is sketchy, but I remember that it was bad enough for me to call my counselor). I was also losing weight (I lost 8 lbs in that 1st week), so there was probably a *lot* of toxins that had previously been stored in the fat and were coming out. Fat-soluble toxins must be processed by the liver and kidneys, which can only be done at a fixed rate. I just accepted that the next couple of days were going to be a little rough, drank more water, and soldiered on. Still, it was helpful to know (or believe, anyway) that this feeling was not going to last forever.

    On about day 3 (hoping to improve my sleep quality) I also quit drinking caffeine. Here is an interesting thing… I have gone off caffeine several times in my life. Every single time (before then) I experienced crushing headaches and depression. This time there were no headaches (!) and minimal depression. My counselor suggested there may have been some sort of synergistic effect with toxins from drinking. Again, hoping to improve my sleep, I started jogging again. My sleep did improve to the point that, for the first time in years, I slept 8 hours in a row without waking and I woke up feeling rested. In the last 2-3 weeks of that month I did not experience my typical afternoon sleepiness (around 2:00 pm) which I have experienced for years. I believe that is due to caffeine crash…

    I realized I’d probably been doing the exact same thing people used to do back in the 70’s when they would take uppers in the morning and downers in the evening. I’ve just been doing it with alcohol and nicotine.

    Tired! I also experienced brief periods of extreme tiredness throughout the day, to the point I had to put my head down for a few minutes and sleep. This was in addition to my “normal” 2:00 pm sleepy-time. The extreme tiredness occurred 2-3 times a day (at odd times) and lasted about a week. The tiredness might have been explained by having quit caffeine, but I went off the wagon in August and just quit drinking again (I’m on day 6) and this tiredness came back even though I haven’t quit caffeine (yet) this time. So I’m thinking that the brief periods of extreme tiredness are part of the short-term effects of alcohol withdrawal.

    Back in July, in about week three of my sobriety, I realized that I did not miss alcohol (or cigarettes (I had quit smoking back in May, about a month before I quit drinking). I felt great. My head was clear, my thinking was clear. I felt settled, but not in a boring way. I felt easy in my own skin. I had more energy, too. Not manic, but I was able to focus at work for the entire day and I knocked out a ton of work that month. This was a good thing and the timing was good, because I had a ton of work to do and deadlines galore. Oh, and the deadlines did not seem to be overwhelmingly stressful. Lastly (and this might fall into the category of too much information) my orgasms became more intense. Completely unexpected bonus.

    And here’s the thing… I realized that when I am smoking and drinking, I almost always think to myself: “I should quit smoking,” or “I should drink less” or “I should quit drinking.” But after quitting, I didn’t miss them at all. This is worth saying again…

    When I am drinking, I want to quit. When I’ve quit drinking, I hardly miss it at all. This might be an important point for some of the people who have posted here. I was only ambivalent about giving up alcohol when I was drinking. When I got to the other side where I wasn’t struggling against the desire to drink, I wasn’t ambivalent any more, I didn’t miss it. No more ambivalence and no more struggle.

    About the actual quitting process for me… Back in July I didn’t seem to have too much trouble quitting. I even had an occasional drink (I had 4 drinks total in that month). Then August rolled around, I hit my target weight (lost 25 lbs)… and the wheels came off. I had two drinks out at the bar one night and I was right back on the ride. For the last 3 months (all of August, September, October) I’ve wanted to quit but haven’t been motivated enough to actually do it. Since then, I have not been able to recapture that feeling of being settled, of having energy, of being easy in my own skin. I started smoking and had to quit again (a couple of times, actually).

    It has been clear to me what I need to do, but I’ve just had difficulty doing it. I quit drinking again about 6 days ago, and those positive feelings are starting to come back (thankfully). BTW, I needed to quit smoking before I could quit drinking. Smoking created in me a constant, low-grade anxiety that was only alleviated by smoking a cigarette (and was only effective in alleviating that anxiety while actually smoking that cigarette and for a short while afterward). So for me, smoking made it really difficult to quit drinking (and even made me want to drink) because of the short-term / immediate withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine. Bad news, I’m sure. Quitting smoking really sucks.

    Anyway, this turned out to be a long-winded post. I wanted to write my experiences because there seems to be a lot of people who have similar drinking behaviors, similar experiences and a similar desire to quit as my own. At my alcohol intake level, I have been functioning very well for years – thank you very much. But I also realize that I’ve been missing a deeper enjoyment of life. Just dealing with the *@#$%^ struggle day after day is a drag. Not knowing what may be on the other side, however, made it even more difficult to get on with actually quitting drinking.

    This is what was waiting for me on the other side… (Your mileage may vary)

    • An end to the struggle of trying to walk the tightrope of needing to drink something to feel tolerable, and not drinking so much that I felt like crap the next day
    • An end to alcohol-related depression & anxiety
    • Increased energy
    • Clearer thinking
    • More creativity
    • Improved capacity to deal with stress
    • Improved capacity to get stuff done
    • Better sleep quality (this took a while and required additional measures…)
    • More enjoyment and the ability to enjoy simple things, more
    • Joy

    Good luck to all of you.

    Charlie

    • Charlie….Thank you soooooo much for taking time to get so detailed..I’m going thru what seems to be an incredibly similar situation & really needed to see how thing have been workin for you…Quit 7 days now of alcohol, adderrall, nicotine- a few here & there & minimal Xanax…Grosses me out when I read that because it’s like, really?! I’ve been a big wine drinker and also fancy whiskey- and martinis…ya, the lite stuff! As for being a 38 yr old woman who grew up on the beach and was always in great shape- all this “sh*t” has taken such a toll on me…I have put on weight that I KNOW came from all the alcohol…went from a size 2/4 – 10….over 5 yrs…yikes!!! Side note; I am in no way saying a size 10 is bad, that’s an average woman’s size, however, it was a result of my alcohol then late nite binging…As for the spiders in ur dreams- I was hallucinating so bad last night from obviously withdraws that I pictured fingers and toes being cut off with like garden prunes!! Wth!!! I’m not some weirdo, I was freaked out by the uncontrollable visuals myself….I know it’s gettin over this hump and it WILL get better….I’m over it- smokin is nasty and like you said, when I drink or smoke I’m always thinking I need to quit drinkin and smoking!! Well, sorry I carried on….I’m just so grateful for this page because everyone is so raw and supportive….We really can help each other by sharing our experiences….Also, love the leg cramps that joined along with it!! Bless us all on our journeys…. We can live a life without crutches!!
      Peace to you all
      MsB

  86. Day 27 for me. I tend to get manic when I quit and become 10 times more productive, but then I crash after 3 weeks or so, and become tired and don’t feel like doing much. Still no desire to drink. I feel like when you can get some momentum going, you got to dig-in and ride it formal it’s worth. It is hard to get to a stopping point when you are in drinking mode and I remind myself if that constantly. It feels so good physically to be alcohol-free!

  87. Ive been boozing for 30 years 5 to 6 nights a week drinking to comatise myself and also chain smoking. Developed gout (alcohol related) recently,started in toe then ankle now in my knee the pain is horrific im crawling about on all fours and still fancy a beer.
    So ive not had a drink for 4 days (Yes thats 4 whole days) still feel crap but want to see if i can last the week and evulate from there never really thought the booze was a problem cos of so many happy hazy memories.
    My smoking has decresed dramaticaly and my brain seems some what clearer but my sleeping patten is up in the air as i use alcohol to induce sleep but this method i’ll soon be sleeping permently !!!
    4 days without alcohol im realizing there is a problem i dont really need a week to evulate ive done it writing this. its the weekend lets hope how easy this is

    • Hang in there Marc. I am 40 and boozed for the past 20 years heavily. over the past 6-8 years, I would drink in the morning, sleep and repeat in the afternoon. I was easily taking in a case of beer every day or 3 -4 bottles of wine and smoking a pack of red apples a day. While I do not claim to be cured, I can tell you I feel much better and have found more desire to not drink than to drink – my self talk is much more positive, and you don’t realize how much it matters what you tell yourself day in and out. When drinking, the internal message is pretty bleak. When not, I feel like I can accomplish almost anything. Keep it up – you should be past the detox part by now. At night I drink a glass of milk with vanilla coffee cream in it and take a 5mg melatonin and sleep like a baby

    • Marc & Cam… Dead set you blokes are heroes…. Thank you for letting me know that is wasn’t just me who use to love a 7:00am beer (or earlier, depending on when I woke from the previous nights drinks)…
      Good luck fella’s, I’m now 18 months without a drop but still feel like a beer every now and then…
      Keep us up to date on your progress please…
      Regards
      Ross

  88. WOW A WHOLE 7 DAYS and not a drop of alcohol has past my lips !!!!
    This week has been a right eye opener for me,it started with me hobbling about unable to walk due to gout in my ankle. Today i am walking nearly as normal and i intend to slowly improve my fitness.
    The beginning was a bit fuzzy but it the last couple of days things seem clearer and my energy for life is much more positive i’m now feeling calm and not my normal Mr. Angry aggresive self who’s always barking back at the slightest thing has gone away.
    I had headaches and pains iaround the center of the spine but today eveything seems fine.
    My face is not as bloated and my hands are not shaking as much ( it looked as though i had Parkinson’s disease after every binge)
    I also chain smoke when i drink and this also has decreased greatly i’m smoking 5 to 10 a day. So my lungs must feel better !!!
    I have’nt discussed it (abstaining for a week) with my wife due to making undue pressure on myself or false promises but she can see plain as day that i’m sober.
    She went out on saturday morning and i took them out for lunch and it was a bit strange watching her drink wine and me on that sinful “pomergrante juice” but a first for me to be out with no drink in hand !!! But enjoyed the moment whereas normaly i enjoy the excuse to have a booze up.

    All in all quite a week to realize how weak i am to the temptation and people may not grasp the power of this liquid. I get thirsty so i have a beer or something stronger but now i want to change this to water or a soda for the short term.
    To be honest i’m NOW a bit in fear of having a drink because it turns me into a Dr.Jekkle — Mr.Hyde but 7 days to see this seems unreal
    i’ve been a serious drinker for over 30 years (and an ex publican) i’m not in no plan to be guzzling any booze this week either.
    You kid yourself all the time when your boozing and believe your invincible but with every sip its creeping into every part of your life and body and destroying everything you possess.( maybe a bit heavy that,but these are my thoughts at the moment so i can direct my anger at alcohol cos i want to have control)
    I want to have a few more days sober before i do have another drink but in realality do i need to get drunk again and again and again to understand that i must control myself instead of a glass of grog controlling me.
    Also my thinking about the next drink i’m trying instead to reward myself with something else ie a new pair of socks or dental check up, i want to spend some time and effort on myself not booze. Sounds a bit selfish but it seems i will gain even more if i do it that way.
    The reading of the other blogs has helped me very much and hope my blog can do likewise.
    Cheers ! Salut !

    • Very inspirational Salut.. Well done mate.
      I know the wives are always the ones to notice first and are always happy to see the drunk they were married to turn into a fit healthy MAN they always longed to be with. The bonus to us blokes of course is a much better sex life.
      Your a strong bloke to be giving away 30 years of the grog with just will power alone. Good for you, your story, just like many others here will no doubt help others just as other stories here helped you…

  89. Rooting around on the net to see if anyone else on the planet was seven weeks sober. So glad this thread continues. I have been drinking for over forty years, with gusto the last twenty. I have given away so much life. And now, who knew being sober could be good? I feel newly born. It has its difficult moments, what worthwhile thing doesn’t? For me drink was the destination. Now without drink, it’s the journey. Everything seems to be getting better bit by bit. We’re going to make it friends. We’re going to be alright. Thanks for sharing.
    Rob

    • Are you at another 7 weeks sober? You’re awesome, Rob! I quit about a year ago and have no regrets (after most of my nearly 50 years as a daily drinker).

  90. I am so happy to find this encouraging site. I am 1 week, 3 days off the juice. I am a true binge drinker; save all my drinking for the weekend and seem to have no internal switch as to when to stop. I told my husband I felt I needed to stop completely until the end of the year, and who knows, maybe beyond. I have found myself being incredibly angry when drinking and I am not proud to say it has affected several of my relationships, although I hope the effects aren’t permanent there. I am hoping to stay strong through this; I already fully enjoyed the weekend of waking up and feeling good for once; and not having to apologize for my behavior the night before. I feel more me. The stories and encouragement here is so welcome. Any tips on how to respond to the question “why aren’t you drinking”? I have dodged it so far, but am curious on how others may respond.
    Thanks again. Stay strong!

    • In the beginning, I would just tell people I was taking a break from alcohol and trying to be more healthy. They got that. I didn’t usually say I was trying to never drink again, because that seemed to always weird people out – even my good friends. No one ever questions someone’s desire to be a little bit healthier. Once people get used to you not drinking, it’s easier to have the “I’m not drinking” conversation.

    • Hi Vic!
      Welcome! This site has helped me too. I’m glad you decided to stay off the “juice” for a while. You sound like me…I used to save all my drinking for the weekend, but since I’ve decided to scale back, I feel much better – more powerful. It’s a normal thing for me not to drink on the weekends now. As for your question about how to dodge the “why aren’t you drinking” question…let me put it like this…I just tell people my honest reasons for not drinking…that I want to be healthier in mind, body and spirit. Period. I don’t go into lengthy reasons about why. I am totally unapologetic about my choice to not drink and people respect that. I even had people tell me that they decided to give up drinking for a while. Maybe I exude something that they want…I don’t know. Anyhow, I hope this helps. I’d love to hear an update on you after the holidays. Take care.

  91. Hi all, I am in my mid-20′s, and January 7th will be 6 months sober for me. I had been through a 12-step program before but stopped in the middle of it because I didn’t really feel like I belonged there (denial). A few years later I ended up making a decision to quit after a night of crazy drinking where I laid down drunk in a taco bell parking lot in front of a local cop.. thank goodness he didn’t take me in. I have done some seriously questionable stuff while drunk.. some things I remember, and some things I never want to. I have hurt more people than I will probably ever know.

    I feel a lot healthier now. I’d be lying if I said my moods didn’t shift every once in a while, but I have definitely had a much clearer head over the last few months. I’ve been able to pay off my credit card debt, and just purchased a home last week.

    Although I don’t really recommend it to anyone, I ended up quitting on my own with no rehab or TSP’s. Sobriety comes in different forms for different people. Whatever works, works. I still struggle daily because I don’t talk about getting sober with anyone.. I find that it tends to make people uncomfortable. But so far so good. Glad to hear some similar stories!

  92. I quit alcohol just 3 days ago for the following 10 reasons:
    1. I was calling in sick to work due to severe hangovers and then feeling guilty afterward.
    2. My daughter who is 12 noticed that I was drinking more and more wine in the evenings and I felt guilty about this.
    3. I am carrying about 20 extra, pounds I would like to shed and haven’t been able to do so with dieting because I was drinking about 3-4 glasses of red wine each evening:(
    4. I am tired and forgetting what happened the evening before, even thought I usually have a good idea and that is that I pretty much just come home from work, open a bottle of wine, and prop myself up on the couch and cruise the internet. If my daughter is here with me I do spend time with her and try to drink very little.
    5. I am sick and tired of feeling bad about myself and having headaches most days.
    6. I am tired of spending approximately $200 per month (wow)! on wine. I would like to use that money to help fund my retirement.
    7. I have become scared that I will ruin my liver.
    8. I am tired of having my life revolve almost entirely around when I can have a glass of wine, or how early in the day (provided I’m not at work).
    9. Some people have made comments about my drinking and I’m tired of hearing about it.
    10. I’m just sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    • I really really wish I had made a list like yours. What a sensational idea. Do you have it pinned up somewhere and read it often or is it just one of those things that get written down and tucked away?

    • You and I came to the same conclusions for the same reasons. I’m 9 months ahead of you. So far so good. Hang in there. There is very little down side to stopping, and I lost a very slowly lost but permanent 15 pounds.

      • i can totally relate to this post. I’m trying really hard and i find my biggest problem is I’ve lived to drink when not working and all my friends/boyfriend are part of my social circle of drinking. I’m getting on the treadmill after work instead of joining in on happy hour at the local bars but find myself getting lonely/bored at night because this has been my life for so long that I don’t have any “normal” (sober) friends. I need to learn to have fun without the alcohol, which means in the long run ultimately finding a new circle of friends because I don’t see mine wanting to join in on my new look on life.

      • Hi Kimberly, give it a little time without drinking and continuing to improve your life (gym, etc) and you will probably realize that nobody, NOBODY is worth sacrificing your own health and well being for. I’d glady discard anyone who would try to make me feel inadequate because I wouldn’t have a drink with them. I’m only about 120 days without drinking and it becomes clearer everyday what is important and what’s not. I hope you find a way to work through these challenges. Good luck

  93. Tomorrow will mark 4 weeks for me with no alcohol. I feel awesome. I’ve dropped a few extra pounds and found that my workouts are more productive (I actually have more energy to run longer).
    One interesting side note; Telling folks I’m not drinking was easier than I thought and this is why: I have found a lot of folks I know have entertained the idea of quitting; they are concerned about their own drinking. It’s hard to explain, but it’s almost like it’s taboo to say you don’t think you should be drinking so much. Then when someone does, it takes away the stigma. Anyone else have that happen? When this has happened, I am very careful in telling folks I’m not judging. Drinking is not for me, not right now, but it is not a condemnation of anyone else who chooses to drink.
    My goal is to make it through the end of the year and then see what happens. I’d like to think one day I can drink socially without falling into binge-area. But right now, I’m loving the way I feel sober. I don’t wake up hungover, wondering what I did the night before, and feeling the shame of apologizing to everyone I know.

  94. Ok, so I haven’t had a drink since Thanksgiving and I’m loving this indifferent attitude I have about not drinking now. Not to brag but I really do feel powerful. I’ve scaled back on drinking since July 2012. It used to be an every weekend thing for me after work, now I go months without touching a glass of sparkling wine. I went July thru Oct without a drink. Then I went on a business trip in Oct. and had a few drinks while networking. I had my next drink on Thanksgiving day. I guess it’s becoming a “special occasion” thing for me. I don’t know, but I’m happy. I love hearing the stories on this post. Stay positive everyone. I’m rooting for you!!!

  95. Today is my new years day due to work, tomorrow i am giving up drinking, novemeber 2011 i gave up smoking and that was the best thing that ever happened to me so far, next step it to stop the booze :-)

    • Good Luck. The people from the Department of THEY reckon that most New Year resolutions are the hardest to keep, but the fact you found and posted on this blog says your serious. Keep us posted on your travels

    • I gave it up about a year ago. I was not sure I’d be able to do it (and I’m still unsure). But I’ve succeeded so far without hardship. It’s not hard, but the desire for drink is insidious, coming at times when it’s easy to fall. I’ll recheck the posts here from time to time. Curious to see how you do.

  96. I’m not an alcoholic (either). I quit nearly one year ago, just after my 48th birthday. For 38 years I drank alcohol regularly. My dad routinely gave me alcohol sips when I was about 10 years old and I quickly started stealing from his supply. I got drunk for the first time by age 11 or so. When I was in my teens and twenties, I binge drank and would get good and drunk a few times a year, and otherwise had light, frequent use. Over the past 10 years, my consumption increased to about a bottle of wine a day. Even as a teen I was known to be able to “hold my alcohol”. I was always able to work and am functional with daily use.

    When I quit I noticed the slight tremor and balance problem I recently developed instantly resolved. My daily nausea and headache stopped. My sleep improved. I lost 15 pounds over the past year and people ask me what diet I’m on. I’m embarrassed to tell them the only change I made was that I stopped drinking. My wife is generally happier with me, except during her dinner parties for friends when I refuse wine with dinner. I’m usually the only adult drinking non-alcoholic beverages at parties. I noticed we did not get invited to anyone’s Christmas party or New Year party this year. I’m careful not to act judgemental of others. I assume most people who drink do not have the problems with alcohol I have. I’m still happy to have their company–but I will not drink with them.

    I often crave a good glass of wine or a cold beer. So far I’ve resisted the craving and remain free. I resist by remembering “the bad” of alcohol use: the tremors, the headaches, the expense, the questions from my kids about my alcohol use, the notes from my wife on bottles warning me not to touch this bottle, the poor self esteem, the obesity, my ridiculous pseudo-expertise in wine (a knowledge base of no consequence–wasted effort and irrelevent), the fear that my son or daughter will have substance abuse problems and I won’t have moral compass to guide them.
    I also think of the “good” of being sober: the extra energy I feel every day, the wonderful newfound joy I get from previously neglected interests in bicycling, flying (yes I got my pilot license while as a drinker, always following the “8 hours, bottle to throttle” rule), target shooting, playing with my kids, reading fiction (I used to fall asleep after about a page and a glass of wine). The good aspects of being sober keeps me alcohol free.

    I’ve never been to an AA meeting and I probably never will go. I’ve felt on my own on this life-changing project of staying sober. I appreciate the honesty of others on this site. It makes me realize I am not alone.

  97. Going for Day 1 here … I do appreciate this blog with everyone’s successes, failures and re-successes. It’s hard to even write or think about getting past 2 or 3 days, much less a week, two weeks, etc — but will endure ‘pain’ in short-term for long-term joy :) *Nearly each story hit home a point with me, as if my doppelganger wrote it! Crazy — cheer’s to all. *Looking forward to coming back in 2 days and update my progress.
    Thanks again.
    Greg
    TX USA

    • Good luck Joe! When you make your mind up, which it sounds like you have, it’s like swimming with the current rather than against it. When you try to quit when you’re not committed, it is like swimming upstream. Swim with the current as long as possible and ride the momentum that will develop because if you take a drink and then decide later to quit again, it may be an upstream battle. I’ve passed day 90 and have no desire to drink, and I feel great. My best advice is to find something simple you can look forward to at the end of each day. For me it is a glass of vanilla milk. I drink it before bed rather than beer or wine. I also now set aside $200 each month and keep a list of things to buy for myself at the end of each 30 day period and it feels really good to treat myself. Between beer and cigarettes, I was easily spending $600 per month, so $200 on myself and still saving $400 is a win-win. Anyway, just a couple strategies that may help

  98. Just checking back in with progress report — i have made it a whole 3 days and nights (I almost got a beer getting pizza (for the family) this evening–but didn’t. It’s weird because, I had a ‘better’ and ‘easier’ 2nd day/night than today. Day 3 sucks! lol But, so far so good. I’m hoping day 4 (or others) are no more as challenging as tonight. Hope everyone else’s ‘walking-the-line’ stays on path :)

  99. wow. I’m blown away by everyone on here. I myself have been drinking fairly consistently on and off for the last 12 years. I am 33 years old and my heavier drinking (3 glasses a night) happened early on when I was 22-23 and in a very depressed part of my life. Who knows if it was the chicken or the egg that started that problem, but all I know is that I’m not one that can handle the casual glass of wine anymore. I want two, then three. I am self-employed and there are days when I can start drinking early. I have enjoyed that afternoon glass (or two) of wine…(you know, like the Europeans do!) and then started my work back up after an hour of sobering up. In the evening it would be a glass or three. That really adds up over time and I’m sick of ignoring the reality of it. In the years I have been drinking, I’ve always been struggling with twenty pounds to lose. I’m an attractive person, but would feel so much more confident if I could personally tackle those weight loss goals. That definitely kills your self-confidence to never follow through on a goal after a decade of trying and then giving up. I believe my drinking has been in denial and as someone said in an earlier post (I read them all this morning…thank you everyone), it doesn’t necessarily seem like you have a problem if you’re drinking out of a fancy glass and you aren’t drinking the “hard” stuff.
    My boyfriend enjoys drinking with me as well although I know he could easily stop. I might have a harder time of it. I’m going to go for it today and will take it a day at a time. You all are inspirations and each of your journeys I’m sure had their incredible highs and horrific lows. Thank you for revealing yourselves on this thread and I will post my progress.

    Blessings

    Megan

  100. Funny, I never thought myself an alcoholic, but I suppose I am. Today is day 4 without a beer for me. I was a 12 pack a day + Budweiser man for many years. I feel like my health is in decline (I am way too fat) and I find myself too often thinking negative thoughts. Do I crave a beer? Not really, but the thought of cracking one open does cross my mind a couple times per day. It’s an expensive habit too! $4-5 thousand per year if you do the math! Retirement is 15 years away and I plan to be around to enjoy it with my beautiful wife. I’m going for a walk now….Good luck to all who posted here!

  101. I am a 37 year old male, and finally have said enough is enough and quitting the drink. The hangovers are so bad I feel like I am dying. I can hardly get out of bed anymore. And they are getting worse, the older I get.

    I went out drinking 3 days ago, and I am still not right, I’ve got bad pain in my right kidney, and really dehydrated and got swelling in my eyes, breathing problems, it’s the last straw I am not doing this anymore. This drink is killing me.

    Good luck to you all.

  102. Good luck Joe and hang in there. I can relate – Again! I posted over a month ago and quit drinking wine (that’s the only type of alcohol I drank) for 3 days and it lasted about 5 and I started with the wine again. Then about 3 weeks ago I have run into some health issues and concerns and had to be on two very strong antibiotics for about a week and the doctor said “absolutely no alcohol at all, not even a drop” and so it has been a week without wine and I can honestly say I feel so much better. I haven’t called in sick to work. My productivity is right on. I can think clearer and make better decisions. No headaches, no stomach problems. Plus, I’m sleeping like I haven’t in years. I started drinking when I was just about 14 and quit when I was in my late thirties for about 6 years. I am now fifty. When I started drinking again in my forties, it started out very innocently and slowly, just a glass of wine here and there. Then, before I realized it I was drinking daily and fairly often not remembering events from the previous evening. I also had found that I looked forward to when I could open that bottle of wine and start in. I’m again back on the wagon and hope to remain here. It helps to read through the posts, knowing I am not alone.

  103. Hello All:

    Thanks for all the comments. They’ve been very helpful.

    I’m a 39 y.o. male who had his first drink as a teenager, drinking rarely on the weekends through high school, then college and the rest of my twenties. In my early 30s I started drinking a little more and then a little more until I started drinking about 4 or 5 days a week. Not always to the point of no return but enough to where my body was not very happy with me several mornings for what I had done to myself the past week.

    Day 8 of 45 for me! A couple of friends and I decided that between the Superbowl and one friend’s Bday, we would lay off all alcohol for 45 days. The benefits were realized almost from day 2 (Day 1: not so pretty since we cleared out on the booze we had on Sunday which wasn’t much b/c we decided to do this NOW about 2 month ago a.k.a. football season is over). The three of us were all in the “drink all weekend, recover by Tuesday, have a mid-week “couple” of beers, feel pretty good on Thursday then rinse and repeat the cycle come Friday.” Multiple that by the past 6 or 7 years!

    So at I this point, I feel like saying let’s do this for 90 days. I think I’m just riding the high of remembering everything, sleeping better, no stomach issues, no morning hangovers, no somedays eating like a bird and no calling into work because “I’m not feeling well.” I know it’s only been 8 days but right now I tell myself: “If you don’t start, you won’t continue”.

    Hang in there!

    Chris

  104. Just checking in to read the posts. Please don’t believe the “one to two drinks a day are good for you” BS that some doctors even say. Alcohol is not good for me or anyone else on this site. I went flying yesterday and plan to ride my a bike (Miller’s Meadow) today before work. Thank God I’m still sober and feeling well. I love you all. I wish you all health and happiness.
    Geoff

  105. I’m just into day 6, really felt I wouldn’t last a day and was really fighting the urge to have a glass of wine earlier so it’s been a great help reading all your posts, thank you all so much!

      • Well done! Yes it’s great to feel good about ourselves instead of slightly guilty all the time. Actually stopping is easier than struggling with ourselves about whether we can or can’t stop drinking, i think anyway. People do amazing things every day, we can break a bad habit if we put our minds to it. Good luck!

  106. Starting day 62 for me. Been drinking pretty hard for 40 years. Took a year of when I was in my late 20′s. Now have decided to quit once and for all. It wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be. I’ve found the older I get, the more accepting by my friends of my decision. No hassles. Been in situations where I thought it would be too tough not to drink, But within 2 hours everyone was pretty drunk and I just had a nice evening of it. Been getting great sleep. Was tired and non-productive for a while, but all that has now passed.

  107. I’m on day 8, this is my first real attempt. I’ve been very heavy since I was about 14, although what you old say a functioning alco.. Still I was a bottle or bottle and a half of red a night and usually 2 nights out where nothing could happen. God knows how many beers and then often coke or MDMA on those nights. I’m 38 and have 2 kids and another on the way so really it’s nots a great look. I think you can kind of get away with in your twenties but in your thirties it’s time to slow down. I didn’t until last week and this is it. Told my wife and mum I was done and a few close mates, all very supportive and I think they all knew I was on a road to nowhere. I must say I’ve had On my way! Cravings for a nice chilled glass of white. Had one appointment with a d and a councillor, don’t think as is for me and I have my plan. I’ve been lucky, nothing really bad has happened to me, I’ve got a house, wife and business. I’ve had 2 good mates killed because of booze and an uncle. Another 2 in have been to prison so I’m quitting whilst I’m ahead.

    What I’ve noticed though is how much more confident I feel already, I was always hungover so normally had that slightly paranoid feeling or as we call it the booze blues.

    Also I did a search on famous/successful people that gave up drinking and I’m not saying that’s why I did it but I do honestly believe if you want a career you will do better and make more money if your clean.

    Anyhow folks that’s me and my two pence worth..

    • Peter, I’ve been sober for over a year, and quit drinking for much of the same reason you did (see my earlier post Jan4,2012, in fact you should read all the posts if you haven’t already). I want to encourage you. You can do it! The corporations that advertise and sell that poison want us all to think that casual social drinking is good! What a crock! They are getting rich off people’s misery. You and I are so much better off with a normal, untainted, nervous system. The successful people I respect most do not drink.
      Keep hanging in there…
      Geoff

  108. I quit drinking nearly 6 months ago and I can honestly say that I’ve never felt so powerful in my adult life as I do today. I will never go back to drinking ever again. I used to be a weekend warrior, waiting for the weekend to get hammered, only to go crawling back to work on Monday in a terrible mood and hating my life and my job. Now I never drink even a single drink and I feel freakishly awesome. My mind is so sharp. I never dread going to work. I wake up super early ever morning and work out every day. I remember everything that goes on every single day. I never forget anything at work and my performance at work has never been better. I have a much better sex life. All benefits of being sober far outweigh the benefits of drinking. And when I see a drunk person, I feel bad for them and realize how low class I was actually acting. Some of these folks walking out of the pubs at night look like hobos and I wonder if I used to look like that. Yes I probably did look like a hobo to someone totally sober. Try it out folks. There is no doubt in my mind that being totally sober is much better for your health than being a drinker. I will also add that since I’ve quit drinking, all the problems in my life have magically been lifted. My temper and attitude has improved dramatically for the better. I’ve lost about 10 pounds and people who haven’t seen me in a while say I look better than ever. I believe someday people will find that alcohol has no benefit whatsoever and science will prove that it is terribly detrimental to our health just like smoking. I encourage anyone to try giving it up for 6 months and report something contradictory to my statements.

    • There is absolutely no chance of anyone finding anything contradictory to your statement…. I’m coming up to 2 years this June 10.13 and still feel that awesom.

  109. Oddly, today is Friday and I thought to myself, geez, it is so strange that I’m not all hyped up because I will be partying tonight. I was quite the partier, not really during the week, only on a very rare occassion, but when it was Friday, it was time to let loose and enjoy. After kids came into my life, I started hanging at home and having a g/f over to drink with. My husband doesn’t like to sit around and drink, but I however didn’t care, as long as I was drinking and laughing it was all good. This obviously became a ritual, getting wasted on Friday night, laying around all day Saturday feeling horrible, worse hangover all day, and then of course on Sunday feeling pretty good and getting on with my life. Next week, same thing…but I loved it, I truely did. Well, one day I just “didn’t feel like it” my regular g/f warrior was sorta bummed, she would normally come hang out with me and drink, and after that I just stopped entirely. It has been 6 months, and I often wonder, what was it that made me just stop one day. I never looked back. Except the 1 time that I had a shot, which led to a beer, which, next thing I knew I was going to a club w/some friends, which led to me being carried home, and then oh, the aniexty attacks the hang over the next day, I literally thought I was going to die. Nope don’t miss that at all….Now, that Summer is approaching, hanging out on the deck, drinking w/friends, maybe I will indulge, just alittle, as I don’t have to get up at 6 a.m. with the kids etc….makes me alittle anxious to think about it. I get a bit of aniexty when I think about drinking now…so strange. But yes, I do feel much better, I think I look more rested, even though it was only a weekend thing and only 1 night at that, my head is clearer, I see things for what they really are, and now I realize how actually sad that was, I spend all week waiting for Friday night, which sometimes only lasted a few hours and I’d be in the bag, as my tolerance was low that night or whatever….Kodos to all those that at least take a break….its the best thing I ever did, whether it was a concious decision or not….:)

  110. I have started to document my sober and alcohol free life in my my blog “Drunk On Mocktails”

    http://drunkonmocktails.tumblr.com/

    I am 24 and havent had a drink for 3 months but can genuinely say I cant see myself having another drink again because of how enlightening its been. I feel great already and Im starting to master the techniques of continuing to live without alcohol- coming up against questions, social situations when others are drinking and how to spur myself on. Would be great to have some of your opinions on the blog.

  111. I’m 44 and been battling with alcohol for 30 yrs, i would normally drink 5-6 beers daily, and if i didn’t feel like beer I could easily drink a bottle of rum instead.
    Alcohol has destroyed some friendships but mainly relationships I had, not to mention the damage it has done to my skin, mind, & general well being.
    I have been sober now for 12 days & I feel great, my skin is improving on a daily basis, I don’t sweat as much as I used to, & things that used to make me feel depressed & down have lost their hold on me, my mind is much more clearer to deal with problems and situations that would have been amplified if I was under the influence of alcohol.
    I don’t know where the power to stop came from, it just did 12 days ago, & I really don’t miss or desire to drink.
    I wish everyone good luck in breaking this terrible addiction,

  112. I have been getting liver pains for over a week and have decided enough is enough. I know I have a problem… I only drink in the evenings but went 3 years drinking a bottle of strong wine every night, now it’s cut down but still 5 or 6 strong beers. I do have a day or 2 off a week usually but some weeks no days off. In total I have drunk heavily most days for 8 years.

    I went to the doctors as my stomach has swollen on the right side (been that way for 2 years) and had an ultra sound but it showed my liver as fine. But the pains tell me all is not fine and is worrying me.

    So, today is my first day of sobriety. It’s going to be hard but I hope I don’t revert back to drinking. I have a family (3 kids) so for them I must do it. I can’t say I will never drink again because I’d like to drink only a few beers at social events only (not at home anymore).

    So today I have started 6 months of NO alchol at all. Wish me luck!!

    • Good luck Dan, you can do it. I’ve been 10 months without a drink and I drank for over 20 years (a 12 pack plus per day). After a few days you’ll start to get some momentum and then grab on to that momentum with both hands and ride it. Don’t make it harder than it is, just don’t drink. Once you get a few months behind you, you won’t want to break the chain. Thanks for your comment

      Cam

      • Thanks! Been 7 days and had to sit through 2 very tempting situations to have a drink and didn’t :) Feel great: Much more alert; happier; skin looks so much better and lost 2lbs of weight already! Still have bad water retention though but hope that will pass!

  113. Just over 5 months sober. Started drinking at 15, stopped 5 days before my 32nd birthday. Here’s what I’ve noticed. I am happier. No hangovers, alcohol expenses, timing my days, making excuses, sleep disturbances, night sweats, blackouts, making an ass out of myself. I’ve always worked out, but I lost 20 lbs rapidly once I stopped. I eat better and my workouts are awesome. I’m friendlier and my mood has improved 100%. I can think clearly now and conversations are more meaningful. I never have to worry about driving, though drinking and driving was never my thing. If drinking, I either walked, stayed home or someone came and got me. I am more confident in everything that I do now. I can do anything! Before I stopped, I had myself a going away weekend (starting on Wednesday). Boy did I hit it hard. I felt like death on Sunday morning and the withdrawal settled in. I was thinking about checking in somewhere. Instead, I called friends and developed a good support system. I’ll never forget those that stuck a hand out for me. The first week was hell. Always on my mind, knowing that I will have to change my lifestyle…and some friends. I got over the hump! I still like to go out, even to bars. I just order water or cola. People ask why, I tell. Don’t care what they think. I am happy, and this what I’ve always wanted. To my eyes, people are attracted to non-drinkers that still know how to be happy and have fun. I’ve sealed it into my mind that I can’t drink and probably never could. There is no “one drink” or being able to control the addiction. I’ve proven that to myself over the years. Basically I keep in mind that the “one drink” will kill me. And it will. I choose to live. This is only the beginning for me. I have a lifetime commitment to stay sober. I wish you all the best of luck and a happy/safe 4th of July!!

  114. 11 months without the dreaded booze ..happier… healtier ..do not intend to drink alcohol again ..keep it up everyone ..thanks for the inspiration.. xxx

  115. Glad I found this blog. I’m encouraged by all of your positive comments about quitting drinking alcohol and my deep desire to quit myself. Today is my first day without alcohol and I will press on. I’m 44 and have been drinking on/off since I was 16.

    Tired of:
    Sleepless nights
    night sweats
    anxiety
    depression
    lack of energy
    an all around feeling of despair and how tough life is
    weight gain
    lack of money because I spend it on wine – I’m downing 1 to 1.5 bottles of wine per night
    etc…

    I also started smoking again. My alcohol and smoking picked up when I was laid off a few years back and the sudden decline in my fathers health and intimately his passing. Family in fighting and care taking duties took it’s toll on me.

    I’m eager to think clearly, sleep better and generally get back to my life. I’ll post more comments as I continue this journey.

    Thank you ….In gratitude.

    • Congrats. The stories here are inspirational… Attitude is half the battle won..

      Regards

      Ross (Who’s lost ofr words at 6am)

  116. Ahh, had a holiday and drank again… had 2 weeks back on it. Liver sore and gained weight again!. But started again today…

  117. I thought I’d check back in with this forum. I wrote why I quit in a previous post last January. I was nearly a year sober then and I’m 17 months sober now. I no longer have many cravings for alcohol.
    I had to change several things about my life, though, to keep myself sober. So far its working, and I’m thankful.
    Good luck to all!
    Geoff

    • Not sure if you will still look at this site. I have been in a few days. Taking each day as it comes. However my goal is to not touch a drink again. Still looking to what changes( other than hiding out in a cave for a few months)can be made. to help me on my way of sobriety.

  118. Hi All! I have really enjoyed all of your posts. I really hope that everyone is still in recovery mode, and doing good. I am 38 years old and have been drinking since the age of 26. The longest sobriety time for me was a year and a couple of months, but I felt so much better. I thought I could handle drinking again at that point, and it landed back in the same if not worse situation than before. But, I want the real me back. It has been 70 days today of being sober, and gradually I am starting to notice physical changes and definitely more mental changes. I have been more positive and my mood has improved so much. I am hopeful again! I still get down at times, but not like before. I don’t miss waking up feeling nasty, and irritated. I don’t miss the anxiety attacks after drinking heavily for days. I don’t miss feeling like I have made a complete fool of myself. I don’t miss laying in bed feeling lousy for most of the day. I certainly don’t miss spending money that I really didn’t have on something that made me have so many regrets. I sleep better now than I have in a long time. My energy level is better. My thought process is getting better. I feel like I care again, and that’s a good feeling. Things can only get better from here. Thanks for listening and keep up the good work everybody! I am proud of myself..

  119. Hi everyone I am new to the internet, after reading all of your comments I feel I have a good chance of quitting this drinking. I started 7 years ago after a divorce, I started drinking a couple vodka and red bull’s a night. 3 week’s ago I was up to 10 to 12 a day. I am on the 14th day of not drinking cold turkey. It has been an awful couple weeks, but starting to feel better. I feel like I will never be myself again. My husband still drinks his beer at night and it is starting to bother me, but I can’t make him quit because I have a problem, any suggestions?

    • That’s tough. You can’t ask him to quit, but you can talk to him. Maybe he could cut back for a couple of weeks. It takes about a month to six weeks for not drinking to become a habit. I can go to bars now and have no trouble having a diet coke. Just take it day by day and focus on how great you feel.

  120. I am 58 years old and have been drinking about twice a week for decades. I am now fat and moody and irritable a lot. My bad habit is on my weekends I will watch a movie and drink a 6 pack and eat snacks. To me this is entertainment? I need to stop and I have at times but I always seem to creep back into my bad habit. I feel like 6 beers is not that bad but I know that is wrong. I am going to stop right after the holidays. Sounds like I do not mean it but I do this time. I think? I really want to try. Maybe I need help?

    • Maybe you can make it a resolution? It’s hard to start something right before the holidays. But after NYE, maybe you just see if you can go 3 months without any weekend 6 packs. If you find you’re having real trouble NOT drinking, then maybe you should think about talking to someone. But give it a try. Maybe tell someone or enlist a friend to do it with you?

      • Good idea. Once I get on something I am pretty good at keeping at it. It’s just that it will always start to make its way back at some point. Thanks.

  121. Hey

    It’s Jan 1st and ive decided its time to stay off the beer. I drink a lot when out with friends sometimes to the point where I wake up em arrested about what I’ve said or done and I’ve decided that I don’t want to be “that guy” that no one wants to go out with because there is no chance for a social drink. Plus me and my partner want to try for a baby so here’s hoping this helps. Not sure how this is going to go but after spending the last hour reading all of the historic posts on her (really inspiring) I’m really hoping I can do it. Aiming for a month at first and well where I go from there.

      • Brilliant…I gave up drinking 17mths ago …feel great.. Hope you do well …you know it makes sense … good luck..regards Sandra

        Sent from my iPad

    • It would be easier if you replace the bad habit(beers) with a good habit(tea). That was how I quit drinking beers over 10 months ago. Also, avoid going to the stores that you used to buy beers from.

      I used to start drinking beers after I got home from work. Now, the first thing I do is to heat up some water for my tea. I got my tea leaves from a Chinese grocery store. A 1/2 lb container would last you about 3 months and it is only $6.

      I have not officially told my wife that I quit drinking, but I believe she knows. I have picked up a bad habit though-internet poker(not with real money.) I am going to replace this bad habit with learning how to design web pages with HTML and JavaScripts. Wish me luck y’all!

      Best wishes to you!

    • G’Day William..

      Don’t worry about the spelling. When I first gave up I reckon I forgot how to tie my shoes correctly….

      Well a month is over. How are you doing ?

      Hope your coming along fine, and even if not, at least your first go makes the second go that little bit easier

  122. Thank you all for your inspiring posts. I’m 34, and I’ve been drinking for many, many years. Though, It has really gotten out of hand over the last 5. It was one of the causes for a divorce, and even after that, I still thought I was fine. I was drinking about a 6-pack per night during the week, more during the weekends. Today I am on day 3 of being sober. I’m not enjoying it much, and had dreams of being drunk last night. Based on what I’m reading, this is rather normal, though not very enjoyable.

    I just wanted to stop, and say thanks for your sharing. I have no finite amount of days I’m looking to quit, rather I just want to quit, and re-evaluate if I’ll ever drink again once I have a clear mind.

    • Yes, it definitely sucks the first couple of weeks. But, then, it will feel easier and you’ll feel better. Good luck and hang in there!

  123. been on and off for 2 and a half years. I always find a way back to it or excuse. I hate it so much that I cant leave it alone sometimes. I have a bad day and boom, off to the liquor store. I don’t drink beer anymore, just go straight to the hard stuff. I’m 45 and had alcohol be a part of my whole life. nothing but shame and ruin. someday I hope to never taste it again. someday.

    • The road “someday” leads to a town called “nowhere”. – Anthony Robbins

      Someday is today. Good luck in your journey

      • yep, feelin the place “nowhere” is where im at right now. been here before…getting very old. thanks for your words.

  124. Dear all,
    So happy to have stumbled across this thread in my late night google session. I very rarely post on the internet, I am more of a lurker but after reading such honest stories I feel like joining in.
    I’m 23 and have been in denial for so long that alcohol isn’t the main problem in my life, but after just 7 days on the wagon I can see how destructive it is to me. I suffer from depression and anxiety, have done since I was 15 before I started drinking but the booze can’t be helping and is basically making my medication ineffective . I’ve realised that despite being so young it’s not that I should just cut down and drink sensibly. I’m a horrible drunk and I have no off switch. I’ve put myself in some awful situations, dangerous situations and ruined friendships along the way. I’m fed up of the shame and guilt and sadness in the mornings and all the next day. I sometimes wonder how I’m still here at all!
    I hope that I can keep this up for a while, we all deserve so much better than what we do to ourselves. Good luck everyone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s