Even 7 years after quitting alcohol, a relapse is always lurking. I honestly wonder if you can ever get rid of an addiction completely. In any case, I will not take that chance, especially after reading about the relapse of the author of this story. I also believe that in no time I would become an overly social drinker again! A great lesson to read:
What do you do in everyday life?
I am 62 years old and I make myself useful with volunteer work. I am married and have 2 children: a 26-year-old daughter and a 23-year-old son who have both left home.
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I drank almost only dry white wine.
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
I have stopped for over 2 years now.
Was this your first attempt?
No, after hospitalization followed by all kinds of complications, it took six months before I could go outside independently again. I hadn’t drunk for more than 6 months and then thought that it would be stupid to start again after such a long time alcohol-free. I did it on willpower, but always had booze as a dot on the horizon. If this, if that, I can have a glass of wine. I believed that after a long period of not drinking, I would be able to drink socially. After a period of almost 7 years of not drinking, this led to a relapse of almost 2 years.
It started off very social indeed, but I quickly slipped back to almost my old level. I remembered how much more fun life was without alcohol and now I decided to do it differently. I went to AA meetings and followed a specialized program at an addiction center. Since then I have been recovering.
What made you eventually flip the switch by stopping anyway?
I eventually stopped for various reasons, but the two main ones were that I really wanted to get rid of the drink myself, and I risked cutting off contact with my daughter (who was still living at home at the time) because of my alcohol abuse.
What have you experienced as the greatest benefits so far?
There are many advantages, but the biggest advantages are that I have regained my self-esteem and that I now have a very good relationship with my daughter.
And what do you miss most?
I’m actually starting to miss it less and less, but if I feel a sting, it’s on a terrace or at a dinner party.
So: what do you miss least about alcohol?
The hangovers, never feeling fit, hardly ever sleeping well, but above all the loss of self-esteem and shame.
What do you do when you have a hard time and still want to drink again?
At a difficult moment I think “this will pass too”.
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
I drink a lot of (sparkling) water, on a terrace sometimes a mocktail or Crodino with lemon and bubble water. And at this time of year and in winter plenty of tea.
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
I will not drink alcohol in the future. That brake is broken for me (and most addicts) for good, so I don’t plan to take the first one again. That’s the lesson I learned from my relapse.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who also quit alcohol?
I myself have experienced that it is very nice to be in contact with people who understand what an addiction is. So go to meetings and join AV groups on Facebook. There you will find a lot of advice and support.
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
It is certainly difficult at first to find your way around not drinking, but it is so worth it. Life is so much more fun without alcohol!
And I can only confirm that! It’s weird actually, how at first you are afraid that you will never drink again, but later you are afraid that you will drink again. That shift takes a very long time, but that intrinsic motivation to really not want it anymore is really coming eventually. The habit goes out of your system, but you should indeed always be on your guard against the addiction. 1 sip and you can go back to start in no time!
Thank you so much for sharing, and I’m glad to hear that your relationship with your daughters has improved so much. 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 weekend everyone!