How difficult it can be to break the habit of alcohol. But it sure is possible! Today I can share another beautiful experience story of someone who continues to fight tirelessly to free herself from that intoxication over life. A nice read:
What do you do in everyday life?
In daily life, I don’t do anything in terms of work since April 1. I used to work in a hospital for children with cancer.
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I drank 2 beers every day at 5 pm and then 1…2…..5…wines. And oh, how I felt like the queen over the wine. And oh, how bad I felt when I woke up again at 1 am and was tossing and turning in my bed.
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
Yeah, how long have I stopped… that’s a bit of a “fooling myself” question. It could also be a motivational calculation. Today it is 206 days -4. You probably understand why this sum is made. Since January 1, I’ve taken 2 beers, one day 2 wines and 1 time I’ve gone. So considering this, it wouldn’t be fair to report the 206 days to be completely alcoholfree.
Was this your first attempt?
This was certainly not my first attempt, but I have never completely went for it except for this year. 1 month was already too long.
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
What stopped me from quitting isn’t hard to answer. Everyone around me drank alcohol. In the family it is everywhere, everybody drinks immensely. My brothers in particular are heavy drinkers, and I can see their struggles with it too.
What made you finally flip the switch by stopping anyway?
I eventually stopped because I slept so badly and realized that if I didn’t drink, I immediately slept better. In addition, the eternal discussion with myself about whether or not I should have a glass made me mad. That discussion was mainly at 5 pm, then I have a completely different brain. If I allowed myself 1 glass of wine, then that brain immediately started running with me and I was gone again.
What have you experienced as the biggest benefits so far?
There are only advantages. Tell me a disadvantage? No hangovers, no headaches, no insomnia, no fighting stairs. No mistakes like inviting people by WhatsApp and promising golden mountains that you regretted the next day (if you remember). This week I was talking with a new Zoom friend about events that have happened. I’ve shared a few of the many stories. We had a great laugh about it, hers too, but it is also confrontational. What effect alcohol can have on your behavior. The last times, even after 2 wines, I wondered what the dessert was again the next day and whether I had eaten it or not.
And what do you miss most?
I miss the uncontrolled situations. Just unabashedly crazy times, dance, laugh, etc. You don’t foresee the consequences and you don’t care, that’s something for the next day. Nowadays, I remember an evening in the binning of my quitting days, when my husband and I had a nice meal together. He drank wine and was drinking water. I realized then that if I had been drinking too, we would have danced across the room. Now I just got a little pissed off because I had to go through this sober.
So: what do you miss least about alcohol?
I miss the puppet show we act the least. It’s not real.
What do you do when you have a hard time and still want to drink or have drunk again?
When I’m having a hard time, I say to myself: “You’ve made a decision, so don’t do it!”. Being confident helps. What also helped me a lot, is that I was able to register for a webinar during Dry January. During that webinar for 150 people, a group arose that also wanted to get acquainted via zoom after the webinar. This happened after 2 weeks on Tuesday evening at 8 pm. There are now 10 of us and we have been video calling every week on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. for months. This is of great value to me. It gives you something to hold on to, it feels like a kind of stimulus. You also persevere because otherwise you will have to tell the truth on Tuesday. Because that is possible and allowed in the club. Almost everyone has fallen and got up again. It looks like a kind of AA but there is a lot more going on.
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
At first, I really needed a non-alcoholic beer at 5:00 PM to pass the time. Until I realized that I thought it was a kind of unappetizing lemonade and I only drank it to calm the mind. Now I drink bitter lemon, sparkling water, tea or coffee.
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
My future is without alcohol, I don’t want to go back to that high.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who also think about quitting alcohol?
Tip: stop. Just don’t think about it and stop. You really can. To cut down on drinking is just kidding yourself. Someone who doesn’t struggle with booze, doesn’t pour it into periods.
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
Find people to whom you can tell your story, your doubts and your struggles. I am currently in Italy where we have our own place. We always buy a damigiana here (that’s a carboy with 54 liters of wine). We then bottle them, store them in our wine cellar and then drink them. I’m usually here for 6 weeks and it took me 2 damigianas. Now I’m here until September. I was very much against it. Here everything is wine. We also got a damigiana the day before yesterday. While bottling, I told my husband that I would rather go cycling. That was all fine and so I left. I did help clean up in the cellar later. It doesn’t bother me anymore. That gives me a strong feeling. I love our cellar, but it is not for me anymore. In the beginning, every glass my husband drank made me kind of angry, call it jealousy. That too is over. People can determine their own lives, with or without alcohol, as long as they don’t bother me.
Do I miss the alcohol? Sometimes. But I miss my mother too, and she has been dead for over 24 years now.
And I think that’s a wonderful comparison (although of course nothing is the same as the loss of a loved one). Quitting alcohol sometimes just feels a bit like a grieving process. Especially if you feel somewhere that there is no middle way of ‘reduced drinking’ for you. When I realized that for myself, I was a bit sad as well, but that process also passes quickly. And now I look back on a mostly beautiful past with alcohol full of funny adventures, but from a sober and sharp today. And that’s simply amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing this story! And if after reading this, someone else would like to share his or her story: I’d be very happy! If you on this page I’ll leave you your email address contact you as soon as possible.