How difficult it can be to give up alcohol if it was the most normal thing in the world your whole life. But it is always possible! And you get so much in return. For example, just listen to the beautiful words of the writer of this week’s experience story:
What do you do in daily life?
I am an absenteeism expert and work 40 hours a week. What I also think is good to tell is that I am doubly genetically linked to alcohol. My father drank himself to death at the age of 52 and my mother had a brain tumor around her 68th year and later Korsakov/dementia. I come from a family known as functioning alcoholics. Hardworking, affluent individuals and no domestic violence. On the contrary: our family was warm and cozy. Although it is of course very strange that I received a bottle of Pisang Ambon on my 16th birthday…
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I really started drinking around my 35th year, and now and then I had a glass of wine from the age of 23. Before that, I hardly drank. On working days I drank 1, sometimes 1.5 liters of rosé. In the weekends this was 1.5 to 2 liters of rosé. So I drank every day.
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
I stopped January 1, 2021 now so more than 250 days ago.
Was this your first attempt?
This is my third serious attempt. I’ve tried not to drink on weekdays before. I kept that up for about 6 weeks, but then the drinking started again. After my mother passed away in 2019, it was all over and I started drinking earlier (and secretly too). To my embarrassment, on the weekends I started drinking already around 12 o’clock.
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
I have always known that I am an alcoholic and have shared this with friends as well. I was always preoccupied with the fact that I drank too much.
What made you finally flip the switch by stopping anyway?
My oldest daughter still lives at home and she became increasingly sad. I also saw that things were really not going well and then I took the plunge. Of course I often shouted that I would stop drinking, so those around me were quite skeptical.
What do you miss most about drinking? And what the least?
The funny thing is, I’m not missing anything at all. I’m sitting on the terrace with a tonic now and that’s fine. Some of my friends are still in solidarity and do not drink alcohol in front of me, even though I indicate that I really don’t care if they do.
What do you do when you have a hard time and still want to drink or have drunk again?
I haven’t had any difficult moments yet. The only thing is that I do go everywhere with my own transport. If it gets too cozy (many tipsy friends) I just go home.
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
I know that I will never be able to drink 1 glass of alcohol again.
What have you experienced as the biggest benefits so far?
I have my life back. I like the fact that I never go to bed feeling guilty again and that I don’t wake up in the morning and the first thing I think is “do I have enough booze in the house?”. I also remember what I did the night before. I still enjoy every night how wonderfully I sleep now. I was really dreading the social contacts without alcohol, but that’s not too bad for me either now.
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
I drink coffee (way too much), tonic or water, vitamin water. Big advantage: I have lost 10 kilos just by not drinking anymore. I didn’t have to do anything for that. And my skin has really improved a lot.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who also consider quitting alcohol?
For the people who are in doubt, I give the advice: just do it! If you really want something, it works, and the peace of mind and walking around guilt-free is more than worth it.
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
Say to yourself or write it down every day, I never want to drink again, I can do this and I’m worth this.
And that’s just how it is! Everyone is worth it, and I truly believe that everyone can do it too. And that makes your words “if you really want something it works” really true. Thank you for your wonderful contribution, and enjoy your well-deserved alcohol freedom!
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.