When you drink often, there is always an excuse for a drink. After all, that drink is just a part of life, right? Well, in that case: yes, but it certainly doesn’t have to be! Fortunately, the author of this week’s story has realized this and has been alcohol-free for several months now. And is enjoying the benefits ever since!
What do you do in everyday life?
I am a 47 year old woman, married and we have no children. That was a conscious choice. I work full time as a driving instructor.
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
Drinking has gotten hopelessly out of hand in recent years. I drank daily. At least 1 bottle of dry white wine every evening during the week and much more during weekends. I always found an excuse to grab a nice glass of wine: I had a busy day, dinners, or because it has been 4 o’clock and that wine just used to be there with me. I even started drinking in secret. Sometimes I hid the empty bottles (and sometimes found them again, when I didn’t even remember I hid them).
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
I did not feel comfortable with this behavior at all and I slept very badly. I felt very unhappy, but still I kept justifying it to myself. I functioned normally, exercised at least 4 times a week, I ate healthy, so why not? Well…
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
I stopped 45 days ago now.
Was this your first attempt?
This is not my first attempt. I think I made my first serious attempt a year or two ago. I went to the doctor and sat there crying and was terrified to stop. I thought my life would be over then. Then I was referred to a counselor. But the supervision was a mess due to staff turnover and illness. Appointments were always rescheduled or canceled so I quickly gave up. The worst part is that the drinking had become worse after that.
What made you eventually flip the switch by stopping anyway?
This time it feels better. I went back to the doctor. Last time I was scared to stop, but now I’m more afraid of the consequences if I continued drinking like this. I have been given medication and I am talking to the specialist to find out what is behind my drinking behaviour.
What have you experienced as the greatest benefits so far?
I sleep a lot better, I feel calmer, fitter and above all proud!! I am very glad I took these steps. I went on vacation a few weeks ago, so I didn’t drink wine at the time, and I liked it. Of course I had some difficult moments, but the benefits are so much greater!
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
I still go out to eat and drink sparkling water. Even at parties, I think that’s fine and I still have fun! At home I occasionally drink non-alcoholic bubbles, I really like them.
What do you do if you find it difficult not to drink?
I now mention more often that I no longer drink wine and the reactions are positive. The “funny” thing is that these talks always turn out to be about why the other continues to drink his or her drink. I recognize that behaviour so well, of course, and everyone makes their own choices.
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
I know now that not drinking alcohol is really not the end of your life!
And that’s just how it is! And perhaps what appeals to me most in your story is your insight that this time you are more afraid of the consequences of continuing drinking, than of the idea of not drinking anymore. Perhaps that’s a question every drinker should ask themselves at least once a year…
But anyway, thank you so much for your story and this nice contribution to the ever-growing collection of experience stories for AlcoholFreedom! If, after reading this story, someone else would like to share his or her experiences about quitting alcohol: please let me know! Just leave your e-mail on this page and I’ll contact you as soon as possible
Have a nice day everyone!