Isn’t it amazing how people can become completely different persons, simply by saying goodbye to their addictions. The writer of this story stopped with 3 addictions at the same time, and she has felt reborn ever since. An extraordinary feat, and I simply loved reading about all the benefits she experienced so far:
What do you do in everyday life?
I am a nurse in a retirement home. My age is 56 years old, am divorced and have 2 sons who are out of the house.
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I mostly drank wine.. a bottle or more every day, but never during or before work. I also took a lot of sleeping medication. This has been going on for at least 20 years.
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
I stopped sometime in March this year.
Was this your first attempt?
This is not my first attempt. My third… I’ve stopped a couple of times for several months in the past, and after a while I always thought I’d manage to get a just a small drink every now and then. In the beginning this went fairly well, but every time I fell back into my old drinking pattern eventually.
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
The reason I didn’t stop earlier is that I didn’t have the courage to do it. I have a lot of personal problems that weigh very heavily on me.
What made you finally flip the switch by stopping anyway?
Towards the end it sometimes happened that I had drunk so much that I had a black out. I was very ill because of this, which even lasted for days… I felt depressed for a long time and knew somewhere that the alcohol was not doing this any good. When you drink you feel better for a while, but afterwards you are even more unhappy the you were. A lot of people don’t really realize that. Alcohol really doesn’t make you happy! On the contrary.
What have you experienced as the biggest benefits so far?
You might not believe it, but with psychological help, I quit alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking overnight, all at the same time. Immediately, I felt like a completely different person. I feel much happier and fitter… I used to stay in bed often until 11am, and now I get up at 7am every day. I lose weight without actually dieting, my skin looks fresher, I no longer have a headache, I am not restless when there is no wine in the house and I save a lot of money.
And what do you miss the most?
Sometimes I miss the fun on a terrace, and I don’t always know what to choose for a drink now. Other than that, I don’t miss anything.
What do you do when you have a difficult moment and want to drink?
I try to accept the moments when I am having a hard time and then I think of all the disadvantages. I also think that after a while, it must be getting easier. It’s all in the mind, isn’t it? Why would we need alcohol, really?
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
I drink soft drinks and on special occasions an alcohol-free aperitif.
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
I would prefer never to drink again and I will hold onto that idea. It is of course very difficult to say that I have succeeded and will continue to stay sober for the rest of my life, but from experience I know that occasionally drinking simply is not an option for me. I think you’re just making it harder on yourself when you try to drink less…
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
I would like to say to anyone who is struggling with an alcohol problem that it is definitely worth it. You will only feel better. Hold on at first, the withdrawal symptoms disappear, even if it doesn’t seem like it… Look at all the benefits… be proud of yourself and don’t see a relapse as a failure but another lesson to do it better next time. I wish everyone who participates in this a lot of strength and happiness.
And I completely agree! It’s great that you persevere, and it’s great that you also killed your sleep meditation and smoking at the same time. That is something to be proud of!
And if somebody else would like to share his or her experiences with quitting alcohol after reading this story: please do! Just leave your e-mail in the form on this page and I’ll contact you as soon as possible.