I will never forget how I felt on the first morning of my alcohol-free life. That freshness, that clarity… that sharpness! That was an unprecedented feeling that I probably should think about more often. The writer of this week’s personal story also experiences that feeling, after she made a rigorous decision to stop drinking. What a wonderful feeling that is! Very nice to read about it again:
What do you do in everyday life?
I am a young single woman of 33 and I work, among other things, in a child center. I am creative and I love cultural activities/events and the Burgundian lifestyle.
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I liked to drink wine, or beer. I drank an average of four nights a week, sometimes three. Dependent on social activities. But always just too much, at least a bottle of wine or 6 beers… Holding back on alcohol was always hard for me.
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
Was this your first attempt?
I stopped drinking alcohol for a month earlier in 2021.
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
I’ve never seen it as a real problem or as a hindrance before.
What made you eventually flip the switch by stopping anyway?
My ex-boyfriend ended the relationship after a long struggle, over 2 months ago. Every time I had a drink, I would text or call him, because I missed him so much. The next day I felt weak and depressed. I ended up in a vicious circle: I felt hurt and denigrated in my being by his decision to end the relationship. If I then had a drink, that feeling got worse. Getting worse. Mentally I was weakened by the alcohol, while I felt invincible when I drank. But that invincible feeling only lasted a moment.
The sense of declining personal development grew stronger by the day (and the pathetic pleas I made to my ex). My drinking pattern also worsened: from having a nice (but too much) drink with friends, I also went for a drink alone. Purely out of self-pity and destruction.
What have you experienced as the greatest benefits so far?
So one day I decided: I just stop drinking alcohol. I don’t want to be on the phone like a scared, pathetic, tipsy girl. I don’t want to see myself that way and I certainly don’t want to be seen that way! I decided to regain my strength and that was only possible soberly. Many days sober.
I decided I wanted to be sober for 100 days. I started right away, bam. Just before the planned parties, drinks, holidays. There is never a right time. 100 days because I believe you need at least 100 days to change a pattern, to condition yourself.
I also immediately stopped smoking, because I only did that together with a drink (1st advantage). I started exercising intensively again, 4 times a week. Routine (2nd advantage). I suddenly had no more hangovers (3rd advantage). I woke up once with a pounding headache and for the first time I didn’t feel guilty, because hey: can’t be a hangover (4th advantage). I am still amazed every day at how my visual memory regenerates (5th advantage). I suddenly have seas of extra time that I use usefully with, for example, study (6th advantage). I’m a much better friend to my friends, a friend said to have conversations with me lately that we’ve never had before, such as about collaboration in the future creatively and work-related (7th advantage). I am mentally strong, I no longer contact my ex (8th advantage). And oh yeah… shit, I’m so sharp! My senses seem to be at the fastest shutter speed for the past week. (Benefit 9). And I could go on and on…
And what do you miss most?
– Oh dear. I really need to think about that… What do I miss the most… *10 minutes later*: I can’t think of anything I’m missing at all. wow. mind fuck. I thought I would miss the numbing effect. The unrestrained. But I only get negative feelings when I bring out those numbing moments. New. Clear is more attractive to me. That sedation, that blur… I can also generate that myself in my REM sleep.
So: what do you miss least about alcohol?
Well, nothing because I’m not missing anything.
What do you do when you have a hard time and still want to drink again?
Luckily I haven’t had that moment yet. But suppose I get it… What will I do… I’ll think of the woman I want to be. And that’s the down-to-earth, mentally strong person. That will hold me back.
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
I really like non-alcoholic beer! After exercise I like to drink an AV beer that is isotonic. Wonderfully refreshing and I love that bitterness. I also like to drink all kinds of herbal teas, coffee… and I like to experiment with cold herbal drinks.
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
No. Idea. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if I no longer feel the need for alcohol after those 100 days. Because well.. what is the added value of alcohol in my life? Seriously.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who also quit alcohol?
Yes. Start before the holidays. Before that one wedding, birthday barn-party-bbq, bachelorette party. If you have “survived” those events without alcohol, you have crossed a big threshold and you are mentally stronger anchored to really keep it up.
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
CUT THE BULLSHIT. You don’t doubt for nothing, do you? If you didn’t have a problem, or it didn’t hinder you, you wouldn’t hesitate. And then you probabl wouldn’t be reading this either 😉 Come on! Choose your own identity.
Love & good luck everyone!
A proud woman.
How wonderful to read this, thank you for that! And thank you for your excellent tip to stop before those difficult occasions, in stead of after them. I’ve never looked at it that way, but I think you have a really good point there. Those tough challenges are precisely the moments that make you stronger, and if you can handle that, the rest will only get easier.
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 weekend everyone!