Sometimes I receive an experience story on Alcoholfreedom, of which you think: “yes, that sounds logical… why wouldn’t you just stop drinking alcohol?” After all, if you list all the benefits of quitting, it is the better option to go for by far. The silly pitfall is simply that alcohol (especially for moderate-strong drinkers) seems so harmless that you don’t feel the need to quit. And before you know it, you’ll be putting off the moment for years. But luckily, that’s not the case for the author of this weeks personal story about quitting. Enjoy:
What do you do in everyday life?
I am a married mother of a 6 year old son.
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I mainly drank wine: white and red. Very occasionally a beer or something stronger such as an Amaretto. I drank a glass of wine almost every day. Sometimes not for a day, but it was a habit to pour a glass of wine around 5 pm, or while cooking. Sometimes it was just two wines, and sometimes it was more. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday there were more than two as standard, and often I felt the bottle had to be empty once I opened it. When I started drinking, it was hard for me to stick to just two glasses.
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
I have now stopped drinking alcohol for 64 days. The first 40 days were with a 40 days challenge of Sober in Life, after that I continued my streak.
Was this your first attempt?
Every year I participated in Dry January. I always liked this very much and yet after that alcohol-free month, I started drinking wine again. And that single wine gradually became more and more.
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
The relaxation I thought I would find when drinking a glass of wine. And my environment. There is a lot of drinking around me. My husband likes a beer and we have a lot of friends who like to have a drink. Drinking was therefore also strongly linked to socializing for me.
What made you finally decide to stop drinking?
I live a very healthy life, I exercise a lot and pay close attention to my diet. I’ve been doing Intermittent Fasting for a while and I eat two healthy meals a day and almost no sugars. It didn’t feel right that I continued to drink my wine. It didn’t fit with how I want to live and what actually suits me. In addition, I did not consider myself a good example for my son, being a mother who drinks wine so often. Oh yes.. and I also wanted to get rid of that last bit of belly fat 😉
What have you experienced as the biggest benefits so far?
To wake up fresh and clear in the morning! I also really enjoy that I can do so much in the evening because I haven’t been drinking. And I had a nice insight when I woke up last night because my son called me after a bad dream. I was immediately awake, and – apart from being a bit sleepy – I felt very clear. I suddenly realized that when I’m not drinking, I can jump in the car anytime when necessary. It is such a relaxing thought to be able to think and act clearly in an emergency!
And what do you miss most?
In fact, I’m going to miss drinking less and less. But every now and then I would like to enjoy that first sip of ice-cold white wine, together with my husband or friends.
Then also: what do you miss least about alcohol?
The shaky feeling the next day. And the hazy feeling after a few drinks. While I thought I would miss that, I actually like not being misted, to just really be myself without a haze of alcohol. Sometimes it means that certain situations aren’t so fun anymore, but that’s okay too. Then I just leave. Fine. That’s me!
What do you do when you have difficulties in staying of alcohol?
I think in advance what I will do if I get into a difficult situation. Like the other day when I went away for a weekend and already knew we would grab some terraces. For those moments I make a plan: IF I feel like a glass of wine on the terrace, THEN I take a Heineken 0.0 for example.
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
Since I prefer not to eat and drink sugars, I don’t have that many options left. I also don’t want to replace my wines 1-on-1 with 0.0 variants, so I drink a lot of water and tea. Sometimes with fresh ginger or mint in it. For the really difficult moments I always have a 0.0 Heineken cold. And I’ve tried kombucha and G’nger… these are nice drinks for once in a while!
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
64 days ago I started the 40 days no alcohol challenge from Sober In Life, which is highly recommended if you want to be alcohol-free for a period and could use some support! I have extended these 40 days and now would like to at least not drink alcohol for 100 days because I notice that the habit is not out of my system yet. Ideally I would like to drink a glass of wine now and then, although I wonder if I can… I don’t look that far ahead, I now feel very healthy and happy with no alcohol. I’m going to keep it up for 100 days and who knows longer because I feel very good about this. Proud and happy!
Do you have any tips or advice for people who also quit alcohol?
Seek support if you can. There are many books, podcasts, online platforms etc that can be very helpful. And if you ever fall back and have a drink, don’t be to hard on yourself, but just keep going! Every day you don’t drink a day that is healthier than a day with alcohol, so be proud of that and focus on that!
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
Give it a try! 🙂 You really have to want it for yourself, but I notice that it can bring you so much. It gives me peace (no longer the struggle within myself about when I can and cannot drink from myself), it brings me clarity and energy and it makes me feel very proud and happy about myself. Oh yeah and that belly fat is starting to disappear too..
Thank you for your beautiful story! I recognize just about everything you say, especially your insight about your son after his bad dream. I can now also be next to my sons bed within 10 seconds, and if it is necessary I can jump in the car 24/7 to drive him to the hospital. That’s a wonderfully comforting thought, isn’t it? No, I don’t want anything else. Drinking without alcohol does indeed take some getting used to, but that too will come naturally over time. And then you only reap the benefits. So good job, and keep it up!
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.