It’s great that nowadays there are more and more (on- and offline) platforms to help you quit alcohol. You are not alone in this, and by putting your shoulders together you can go a long way. 1 day at a time! And on the way, you can use experience stories like this to inspire you and help you get through the more difficult moments on your journey towards alcoholfreedom:
What do you do in everyday life?
I worked in care for disabled people, but now I’m at home with our daughter for a year and a half now. My husband is a seafarer. He works in periods of 4 weeks: 4 weeks away, 4 weeks at home. My irregular shifts could not be combined with his work, so now I am at home with our daughter which I enjoy very much.
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I mainly drank wine. Sometimes also beer but if I could choose it was wine. I drank every night, usually 4 to 6 glasses. On occasions this was more, like when going out for dinner. Then it was actually more like ‘drinking out’ than ‘dining out’.
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
I have now stopped for more than 100 days.
Was this your first attempt?
This was not my first attempt. In November 2020 I went to the doctor and quit under professional advice. This went well for 2 months, then the habit crept back into my life. It started with a beer, the next day a glass of wine or 2 and so the habit was back in my life.
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
I kept telling myself I didn’t have a problem with alcohol. But deep down inside, I’ve always known that I have a bad match with alcohol.
What made you eventually flip the switch by stopping anyway?
By having stopped for 2 months, I started to look at it differently. But every time I drank, the next day I felt sadness, shame and I was very angry with myself. I stayed in that spiral. I took every opportunity to drink and planned everything in such a way that I could drink with it. I already read books and listened to podcasts about quitting. This really started to open my eyes.
In May this year, I started a 40-day challenge to quit alcohol. That started just in time for my feeling, because my drinking really seemed to get out of hand. My husband had also said that I’m not nice when I’ve been drinking: big mouth, smart, not open to reason. That kept haunting me, but when he was at sea, it bothered me less.
What have you experienced as the greatest benefits so far?
I have much less anxiety since I stopped drinking and worry less about small things. For example, I was always very afraid of flyovers (a kind of viaduct). It’s not my favorite yet, but I can drive over it. I’m much calmer in my head, have no more ringing in my ears, and I sleep a lot better.
Also, I recently moved to a new place to live. I was so aware of this step and the move. That also made me a lot stronger: not drinking during such an intensely stressful period. I could now enjoy everything, and especially enjoyed the farewell parties.
And what do you miss most?
The intoxication, when I’m having a hard time. Then wine was always a perfect solution. I also felt more confident than when I was sober at a party.
So: what do you miss least about alcohol?
The day(s) after, the hangover, shame, anger and sadness.
What do you do when you have a hard time and want to drink again?
I joined an online platform with like-minded people where I can openly vent these difficult moments. Also, I say it out loud to myself and husband. I look at my daughter and realize that she needs me badly and above all sober.
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
I now mainly drink tea in the evening, when we have company I drink non-alcoholic gin and tonic, non-alcoholic beers. But I’m tired of that sooner than when I was still drinking wine.
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
For now I’m really glad I stopped. I don’t dare to say how it will go in the future, but as I said: I have a very bad match with alcohol. So I’m also afraid that something will go wrong if I try to drink again. I now notice a lot of peace in my body and mind, because I don’t impose any rules on myself. That is a nice experience.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who also want to quit alcohol?
Get serious about it and don’t do it alone. Make sure your closest person knows, just in case you’re having a hard time. Join a platform if you want, there are plenty of them. I always like to have contact with like-minded people, then you don’t always have to explain everything because they understand.
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
Keep it small, then it is clear. When you say to yourself: I’m stopping now forever, your brain will go into resistance: “it’s not that bad”, and such. Give it a try for 30 or 40 days and see what you get. And then you look further. Every day there is 1 without the negative effects of alcohol!
And that’s just how it is. 1 day at a time, and before you know it the days will fly by! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and it’s great that there are so many platforms these days to support you. Alcoholfreedom of course being my all-time favorite! 😉
And if someone else, after reading this story, would like to write down his or her experiences: please let me know! If you fill in your e-mail on this page, I will contact you as soon as possible.
Have a nice day everyone!